Wander into Darkness (Anita Blake XO ADULT) (COMPLETE)

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Re: Wander into Darkness (Anita Blake XO, MA) Ch 10 ~ 7/28 Pg 6

Postby Whimsicality » Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:05 am

A/N: Just finished the chapter so if there are errors please forgive me. I really wanted to capture Jean-Claude's personality and voice and I just finished rereading the entire series except for the newest one so hopefully I pulled it off. One more chapter for this night and then the plot will pick up faster, we're probably halfway through the story now if not a little more. Thank you all, new and old, for your reviews, Yas and Garcia88 you are so loyal I love it! I know my updates have been spotty lately and I blame work and my other projects for that, plus I'm lazy ;-) Should be back in two weeks with another chapter :-D



~Chapter 11~





Jean-Claude followed her to the living room and his eyes settled immediately on the three children, if he was surprised by their presence he hid it well. He studied each of them individually with seeming mild curiosity; until his gaze reached Liz and he arched one perfectly sculpted brow before turning to Anita. “Have you been keeping things from me ma petite?”

Her exhaustion was catching up to her and Anita almost laughed at the thought of saying yes, and what his reaction might be. Shaking the urge off she shook her head, “No, she’s not mine.”

Reaching out with her power she probed at the mark and felt him react, his attention now fully focused on her. ‘Whatever brought them here changed me, changed the marks.’ She pulled the memory of the glowing sphere of energy that had brought the children here to the front of her mind, and felt his interest and concern as he watched the images play out.

Turning from her he approached the children; trying to taste their power and see how they had affected the marks he had created so significantly. Alex slid off of the couch to stand in front of the two girls, his small face determined despite the flicker of fear in his blue-grey eyes.

Jean-Claude chuckled, a warm caressing sound that sent flutters through Anita’s stomach. “Fear not mon petite guerrier, I mean you no harm.”

He sat down gracefully on the coffee table much as Anita had earlie,r and managed to look as regal as he would have if it had been a throne. Show off.

“What are your names mes chéris?”

Alex remained where he was but it was Liz who spoke, taking on what Anita now saw was her natural role of leader. “My name is Liz, this is Tess and Alex. What’s your name?” Her young voice was sweet but confident, no hesitation or shyness, and Anita felt rather than saw Jean- Claude’s amusement.

“She may not be yours ma petite, but the resemblance is uncanny.” Then he chuckled again softly and Anita cursed her current celibacy for weakening her resistance to his potent allure.

“My name is Jean-Claude ma chéri and I am, a friend, of Anita’s.”

They digested that for a moment and then Liz spoke again. “Are you a vampire Jean-Claude?”

There was a tiny little concentration wrinkle between her eyebrows and for once Anita’s thoughts mirrored Jean-Claude’s on how adorable that was. The word adorable was becoming part of her vocabulary, there was something wrong with that she thought, although she was sure her stepmother and certain of her friends would prefer that particular change over the others she had experienced lately.

“You look like a vampire.” Alex added, his stance still defensive.

This time it was Anita who laughed as her lover answered with all due seriousness. He did look like a vampire, perfect and beautiful with a well concealed aura of danger.

“Yes I am a Vampire; I am Master of this city.”

“How old are you?” Tess asked, her blue eyes glowing with excitement and her voice breathless.

Jean-Claude just smiled, his sapphire eyes mysterious. “Old enough ma ange, old enough.”

Anita moved to sit next to him on the coffee table, leaving a bit of space between them as she still wasn’t sure where she stood with Jean-Claude at the moment. “Do you think you could tell us more about what you can do now?” She asked, looking at all of three children, as much as she was enjoying watching their interaction they needed to get some things out of the way before Richard showed up.

Liz nodded sharply, as if she was expecting that question, but her next words showed that she wasn’t as confident as she had been when questioning Jean-Claude. “We’re not sure of everything that we can do, but we will tell you what we know.”

The animator nodded, but remained silent, doing her best to keep a reassuring smile on her face, not her most natural expression.



Liz took a breath, honesty still felt strange although they were certainly not telling her everything. This world had magic to explain the abilities that in their world had come from alien heritage, so they had decided not to open that particular can of worms. Besides for all they knew when the Granolith sent them here it made their abilities magical as well.

Their memories were growing fainter, every hour that they were here, more like a memory of a dream than of a real life, and so they were closing that box. Now it was time to open a new one.

“I saw things when I touched you and ever since then sometimes I can hear people up here.” She said softly, tapping her forehead. She saw Anita and Jean-Claude’s eyes widen and hurried to continue. “Not you, not since I touched you, no one here unless I’ve touched them, but at the stores I could hear the people there.”

They looked a little relieved and she glanced at Tess and Alex. “I can always hear Tess and Alex if I want to, and talk to them that way too. They can do the same with me but they can’t do it with anyone else, we tried, not even when they’re touching them.”

There was another ability she had discovered while playing in the yard and until now she hadn’t known whether to say anything about it or not, but seeing the encouraging smile on Anita’s face she wanted to. She wanted her to trust them, maybe if she trusted them she would keep them.

Raising her right hand she pointed at the stack of glass coasters next to Jean-Claude’s leather clad thigh, and they floated into the air one at a time. She lifted them over their heads and they spun in a little dance before settling back down again when she lowered her hand back into her lap.

“So cool.” Came a mutter from the corner where Zane was curled up with Nathaniel and Cherry and Liz grinned, a little spark of happiness flaring inside of her. It was cool.

“Can all of you do that?” Anita asked, still smiling but her eyes a little wider than they had been before.

Liz shrugged and glanced at the other two. Tess frowned a little and pointed at the coasters, the top two lifted into the air but wobbled slightly, and she had to put them back down after a moment. The blond gave a somewhat bashful smile and Liz squeezed her hand before they turned to look at Alex. He pointed and the stack wobbled but didn’t lift, he squinted and finally the top one rose slowly into the air before dropping back down with a sharp crack as it split down the middle.

He blushed and curled back into himself. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.”

“Do not apologize mon petite guerrier, that was quite impressive.” Jean-Claude said solemnly, his deep blue gaze taking in all three of them. “All of you were, that is a unique gift.”

Anita nodded and leaned forward so she could take Alex’s small hand in her own. “I never use those coasters anyways.” She said with a smile and Alex smiled back before finally climbing back onto the couch with the girls and taking Liz’s other hand.

“Anything else?” Anita asked, still smiling and her eyes gone back to normal as her surprise faded.

This time it was Tess who answered as she glanced around the room. “Can you stand up?” She asked Jean-Claude, tugging on one of her curls nervously.

“Certainly ma ange.” The vampire said with a small nod of his head as he rose to his feet in one graceful movement and stepped aside so he was no longer in front of the children.

Tess smiled and said “Thank you,” before turning her gaze on the candle arrangement in the middle of the table, just behind where he had been seated. All four wicks burst into flame and she grinned before looking back at Jean-Claude. “I didn’t want to accidentally set you on fire too.”

“I appreciate that ma ange, fire is not my friend.” Jean-Claude said gently as he exchanged a look with Anita. That was definitely a powerful gift and not one any Vampire would be comfortable around, she was going to need a lot of protecting.

The only other firebug she had met had been a vampire himself, and he had killed himself by latching onto another vampire and burning them both alive. It was not a pleasant memory. It would be best if no one outside of this room, and maybe a few select friends, were aware of this particular gift. Even humans were afraid of pyrokinetic’s. Anita took a breath and kept her smile going; trying to ignore the little voice inside of her that told her she could never turn these children over to foster care. “And you Alex?”

The little boy shook his head and shrugged, “I don’t know, I think there’s something else but I don’t know what it is.”

“That’s okay.” Anita said firmly,and then rose to her feet. “Now I’m sure you’re all tired and I need to talk to Jean-Claude about some other business so why don’t you go brush your teeth and then Nathaniel and I will come put you to bed.”

They gave a few token protests about not being babies, but she could tell they were tired, and were smart enough to know that the adults wouldn’t talk with them around, so they headed for her room and the bathroom connected to it where Nathaniel had stored their supplies after shopping.

“Ma petite, I have never seen you in such a maternal light before.” Jean-Claude said with a small smile that she was sure would have been wider if he wasn’t aware of her glare.

“Drop it Jean-Claude, we have a lot to talk about and I think we both want to finish before Richard gets here.”

Jean-Claude’s smile remained but his eyes sobered and he nodded, “Yes I think that would be best for everyone, go tuck in les enfants and we will begin.”






Translations: mon petite guerrier = My little warrior, mes chéris = my darlings, ma chéri = my darling, ma ange = my angel, les enfants = the children
Last edited by Whimsicality on Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:31 am, 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: Wander into Darkness (Anita Blake XO, MA) Ch 11 8/14 AN 10/2

Postby Whimsicality » Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:14 pm

A/N: *Peeks head around corner and looks for pitchforks or tar and feathers* So...I'm back! And I have an actual chapter and everything! I am soooooooooooo sorry it took so long, I had a horrible block for this story but these past couple days I've been crazy inspired and wrote a lot for this and several chapters for the sequel so yay! Also, as an apology for taking so unbelievably long (four months! :oops: ) I'm also going to be posting a new Roswell/AB story, one I actually started before I got the idea for this one, that I've been working in an attempt to restart my Roswell/AB muse which seems to have worked. So you get two for the price of one!

Also thank you all so much for your loyalty and continued bumps/pokes *looking at you Yas!* :-D It inspires me to keep trying even when my brain won't cooperate.








~Chapter 12~






Unfortunately, Richard arrived before Anita had finished putting the three to bed, and she returned to the living room to find him looming the corner, alternating between glowering at Jean-Claude who looked icily calm, and staring at the hallway as if willing her to appear.

Although once she did, he did not look too happy about it.

She sighed and wished she had her gun. It wasn’t that she wanted to shoot him, much, but she felt calmer when she was armed. She was pretty sure that that was not the healthiest emotional response, but it was a little too late to change that facet of her personality now.

She didn’t want to sit down, didn’t want to leave Richard standing over both her and Jean-Claude, giving him the emotional advantage, but this was one ‘discussion’ that she did not want to escalate into the usual screaming match, because there were three children just down the hall who didn’t need more trauma added to their lives. So, gritting her teeth, she sat down on the opposite end of the couch from Jean-Claude and forced a less angry look on her face.

Cherry and Zane were staying over that night, giving the children an extra layer of protection, but they and Nathaniel were hanging out in one of the back bedrooms in an attempt to keep from aggravating the temperamental Ulfric further. It galled to cater to him like that, but again, the presence of the children was helping her keep a rein on her own temper.

There was silence for several moments as they all avoided starting the confrontation, and in an unusual move it was Jean-Claude, the calmest of all of them, who spoke first. “Anita’s marks have been married to ours, but all of them have changed. They are not acting as they should and we must determine exactly how different they are.”

Anita looked between Richard and Jean-Claude. “You two already married your marks.” She stated flatly, not quite sure if she was angry or not, or if she had any right to be if she was.

“Oui ma petite, neither of us could afford to show weakness.”

Richard didn’t speak but his angry dark eyes said everything for him.

Anita digested that and let most of her own anger fade away, knowing how important it was that neither the pack nor any other vampires thought that Richard or Jean-Claude were weak enough to attack.

Everything was too complicated now, every action or inaction of hers had consequences that spread far beyond her own issues, and the loner within her wanted to run screaming for the hills. Damn responsibility.

The discussion that night provided nothing useful other than the knowledge that despite the marks being married; they could block each other out much more completely than was usual per Jean-Claude. As for other side effects and how they would be affected long term, it was just too soon to tell, although she had gotten both men to agree to a meeting with Marianne. Also, amazingly enough, only once had she had to shush Richard with the reminder that there were three six year olds trying to sleep.

His reaction to knowing that she had temporary custody of three children had been a wounded silence, and quick exit soon after, which spared him the sight of Jean-Claude’s good night kiss that sent desire singing all the way to her toes.

After that it was an all too short stretch of sleep, and then back to trying to figure out all of the current mysteries in her life. Marianne ended up being delayed so the next few days were spent looking at the first crime scene and finding the same symbol, which neither her nor Tammy could remember what it was, although the witch had confirmed that it was familiar to her as well.

So then she had moved onto pouring over all of her old college textbooks, and every piece of research material she’d picked up regarding the supernatural over the course of her career.

Two days into her week off, and before she’d found her answer, a third girl was taken.


~


She’d been out to lunch with Nathaniel and the triplets, and they only had the one car, so she was forced to take all four of them to the crime scene. As soon as she pulled up to the curb next to the house swarming with policemen, Liz started to shudder, wrapping her arms around herself and closing her eyes as she shook almost as violently as she had in Anita’s arms that first day.

The other children seemed unaffected, though worried, and Nathaniel leaned back and unbuckled her from the booster seat, pulling her into his lap as he and Anita exchanged concerned glances.

“What’s wrong sweetie?” Anita asked in a gentle voice she hadn’t known she’d possessed until three days ago, when these three had dropped into her life and spent every subsequent hour worming their way into her hard won affections.

Liz’s chocolate eyes opened and revealed a glassy sheen that had nothing to do with tears. “She was so scared. The scary man came in her room and she tried to scream, but she couldn’t, and he hurt her with the knife and she was so afraid.”

Anita blanched and pulled back the hand that had been reaching for the little girl, not wanting to add her own horrors if Liz was extra sensitive at the moment. “Do you know what the scary man wanted?”

Liz shook her head, curling herself deeper into Nathaniel’s embrace, her eyes still hazy and distant, and Anita knew she was seeing things no one else could. “Do you know what he looks like?”

She nodded hesitantly, and Anita felt a tiny surge of hope. “Can you stay right here and wait for me? I need to go see what happened and then I’m going to take you to the station so you can tell a very nice man what you saw, so he can draw a picture of the scary man to help us find him.”

Liz nodded again, her eyes clearing as she focused on Anita and gave her a shaky smile. “I’ll be ok ‘Nita, you go help the police.”

Anita smiled back at her and got out of the car, glancing back one more time to see Liz tucking her head into Nathaniel’s neck as he started speaking to all three children, before jogging towards the front door of the house and being waved through by Detective Clive Perry, who greeted her with his usual polite smile.

She was directed to the second door on the right down the hall where Dolph and Zerbrowski were waiting in a very pink room, and looking as worn and tired as she felt. Before they could speak she held up her hands, having spent the jog working out exactly what to say.

“I have something that might help. One of the kids I found is a sensitive. She’s in the car and she could feel what happened here as soon as we pulled up, and she thinks she can describe what the man looked like. I figure I’ll sit her down with the sketch artist at the station after I’m done here.”

Zerbrowski looked gob smacked, but Dolph just looked thoughtful, he opened his mouth to speak and she shook her head preemptively. “I will not bring her in here to see if she can pick up more. She’s only six and seeing these things gives her seizures if they’re strong enough. She needs protecting just as much as the little girls we’re looking for.”

Dolph nodded, shoulders slumping ever so slightly, and she knew he agreed. If the situation wasn’t what it was, he probably would never have thought to ask. Instead he gestured to the all too familiar blood stain on the carpet. “Is the symbol the same? Tammy still can’t see it; all she sees is a shadow.”

Anita stepped forward and onto the step stool they had ready just for this, and pulled on the cool electricity of her power, pushing aside the greasy haze to see the circle that was so permanently burned into her brain that she’d started dreaming about it.

Sighing she climbed down from the stool and gave them a short nod, asking with a head tilt. “Still no evidence other than the blood?”

Dolph nodded back, his eyes showing the same frustration she felt and she looked away, scanning the room through the lens of her necromancy but seeing nothing else, just the overall aura of death and fear that she had felt in both of the prior crime scenes.

“I’ll meet you at the station; hopefully the sketch will help you find him.”

Dolph nodded and grunted his acceptance, and Zerbrowski gave her an encouraging smile cleverly disguised as a leer, and then she left, eager to be away from the clinging tainted feel of the cotton candy pink bedroom, and the feeling in the pit of her stomach that this was far from over.







A/N2: I actually posted this earlier today but the boards deleted it...grrr....
Last edited by Whimsicality on Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:46 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: Wander into Darkness (Anita Blake XO, MA) Ch 12 ~ 12/14 Pg 8

Postby Whimsicality » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:48 am

garcia88: Thanks for the review! I was super excited to write a new part, lol, and look, here’s another one on time even! :-D
thetvgeneral: Thanks! I love the words great part! Hope you like this one too :-)
Yasmania: That was one of my favorite lines too, lol, and *yay* right back at you. I missed posting on this story and getting everyones reviews so I’m glad my muse is back on track. There will be more explored about how Liz and all the children deal with everything. Hope you like this part too!
cjsl8ne: I’m glad to be back! As for Liz being a target well….;-) we’ll find out next chapter! *muahahaha* Hope you like this chapter to and thank you very much for the feedback!
booktv-girl2310: Thank you! Words like love it make my day! Here’s some more :-)
KiaraAlexisKlay: Now it’s your turn missy! I want more I, Liz!!! I’m glad you liked the meeting, I felt a little bad for not going into it in more detail but knew it could end up being the whole chapter if I did cause Richard just pushes my buttons. And LOL, I love your description of Jean-Claude and I love him too :-D
Liz’s powers were more towards the future in the show, which may or may not be incoporated in this story ;-), but all of their powers were changed and I’ve mentioned them in bits and pieces so I’m doing a little ‘what we know so far’ in the AN below.
Thank you for the review! I love seeing notes on all the different parts, makes me clear up the cobwebs, lol, and I hope RL clears up for you so we can see more of your amazing writing! Enjoy the new chapter!




A/N: So I’ve mentioned their new powers in bits and pieces here and there but to clear it up a bit all three have abilities now but they are not the same as they were in Roswell. For one none of them can use molecular manipulation, not even Tess. Per chapter eleven we know they can communicate with each other telepathically and pick up on each others emotions. They also all have telekinesis in varying strengths.

Liz specifically can also pick up on other people’s thoughts and emotions sometimes as mentioned in chapter eleven, and she can catch glimpses of people’s pasts as mentioned with Anita in chapter six and of course the last chapter. Tess can control fire, to much greater degree than in canon, and Alex has another ability as well but we don’t know what is yet.

There will be more revealed for all of them in the sequel, I’ve got lots of plans, but that’s all we know so far, I hope that clears things up :-)








~Chapter 13~






The triplets sat on the cold plastic chairs in the hallway next to RPIT’s offices, Nathaniel still holding Liz in his lap as they waited for Anita to find the sketch artist.

Once they were away from the crime scene Liz had calmed down and stopped shaking, but she was still obviously feeling the effects of what she’d seen, and despite the reason Nathaniel was reveling in her clinginess, using the comfort of her cuddling to relieve his own worries over the children.

He knew what it was like to be different, to sense things normal people couldn’t. Being a child, especially a child without a family, was hard enough without adding supernatural issues to the mix, and with every inch of his scarred soul he wanted to protect them from the horrors he had seen and experienced.

Anita was his safe haven and he knew she could be theirs as well. That’s why he’d asked her to take them all to lunch to begin with, and done everything he could to make sure she spent time with them these past few days. He knew that underneath her tough exterior, once she let someone in and considered them hers, she never let go, and he desperately wanted her to see the children as hers so he wouldn’t have to let them go either.

The soft squeak of Anita’s sneakers, barely audible to human ears, came towards them, followed by the low click of male dress shoes. Anita knelt down in front of them and took Liz’s small hand in her own, using her free hand to gesture to the slightly overweight middle aged man standing behind her. “This is Mr. Turner, he draws pictures for the police, and he’s going to ask you questions so he can draw the man you saw. Is that okay?”

Liz nodded and let Anita help her off Nathaniel’s lap, following her towards a small conference room after Anita silently asked Nathaniel to stay with the other two.

Once they had disappeared behind the wooden door, Tess crawled into Nathaniel’s lap and peered up at him with wide unblinking blue eyes, Alex scooting one chair down to be closer to them. “Is she going to be okay?”

“Anita will keep her safe.” He said solemnly as he hugged her close, understanding the fear they felt of being separated. It was the same fear he had felt when he lost Nicky and was all alone.

“I don’t want to find a new home; I want us to stay with you.” Tess said with a small sigh that tugged at his heart, resting her head on his chest as one of her hands stole across his lap to grasp Alex’s.

“I want that too.” Nathaniel whispered softly, closing his eyes and letting himself pretend for a moment that this was forever.


~


That was how Anita found them when she came back fifteen minutes later with Liz, who now had a small smile on her face and was carrying three purple lollipops in her free hand. Dropping Anita’s hand she climbed up next to Alex and started tickling him until the sad expression left his face as he tried not to laugh.

“Stop it Lizzy!”

Liz just grinned, and then leaned forward to whisper in his ear, the two of them cracking identical mischievous grins before turning and starting to tickle Tess and Nathaniel instead.

Anita couldn’t stop her own smile when the four of them dissolved into giggles as they all tickled each other, Nathaniel looking the most carefree she’d ever seen him, and all three children sporting smiles that threatened to split their faces.

It was a rare moment of peace in their lives, even in the midst of the stress of the kidnapping case, and something inside of her winced at the thought of what it was going to do to Nathaniel, to all of them, when the children had to leave.

She knew Nathaniel wanted to keep them, she wasn’t stupid, she’d given thought to it herself especially after learning the extent of their gifts and remembering her own pained childhood surrounded by people who didn’t understand her necromancy and the constant feeling of being considered a freak.

But her life wasn’t safe by even the faintest stretch of imagination, and if one of them got hurt because of the situations she was constantly involved in, well she didn’t think any of them would get over it, and it was a risk she wasn’t prepared to take.

No matter how much Nathaniel’s gorgeous violet eyes pled with her, or Jean-Claude oh so subtly hinted that he wasn’t against the idea of keeping ‘les infants’ around. Of course in his case it was about keeping such powerful potential where he could keep an eye on it, rather than Nathaniel’s genuine affection, but she was doing her best to ignore both of them.

Sighing she scooped up the lollipops from where they had landed on the floor and cleared her throat, causing four blushing and happy faces to turn and look at her as she held the treats out.

Liz and Alex hopped down from the chairs, Liz brushing off her favorite new jean skirt before taking one each from her hand. Nathaniel stood up, swinging Tess onto his hip, and the little blond leaned forward to take the last one.

“Did you help the man draw a picture Lizzy?” Alex asked, linking his free arm through his sister’s after handing Anita their lollipop wrappers.

Liz nodded instead of replying, already sucking on the purple candy, and Alex tilted his face up to look at Anita. “Can we go home now? I’m hungry again!”

Tess and Liz giggled around their suckers and Anita smiled down at him, taking Liz’s free hand so she could lead them out of the station and once again trying to ignore the pang she felt at the word home. “Yes we can.”


~


When they got home Nathaniel made the kids a snack, and then they actually volunteered for a nap, largely Anita believed, because they were still worried about Liz. Less than half an hour after they fell asleep, Marianne showed up.

The witch took one look at Anita and frowned. “What have you been doing to your marks?”

Anita couldn’t help a dry, bitter, chuckle as she made herself another cup of coffee and joined her at the kitchen table. “That’s what I’m hoping you can tell me, but first,” she slipped a hand in her pocket and pulled out the slightly battered piece of paper she’d sketched the crime scene symbol on, and slid it across the table towards the pale blond woman. “I’m hoping you can tell me what this is.”

Marianne paled as soon as her eyes took in the symbol and she looked at Anita in shock. “Where did you see this?”

“At a crime scene.” Anita stated, arching an eyebrow at the vargamor. She wasn’t allowed to mention that it was at the crime scene for the missing girls, Dolph would have her hide if a possible demonic connection was linked to the press.

“This is an evil symbol Anita. Some practitioners believe it can be used, along with the proper ritual, to summon a demon that can grant immortality. But life isn’t free and the cost is the lives of others, no one sane would risk it.”

Anita stood up, already reaching for the phone. “Do you know anything else about the ritual?”

Marianne shook her head and Anita’s hand had just touched the phone when it rang, scaring her almost out of her skin.

It was Dolph. “Get down to the station; we think we have a lead on the sketch.” He hung up before she could tell him what she had found, and she glared impotently at the phone for a moment before turning back to her visitor.

“The children are sleeping and it’s been a kind of stressful day so I don’t want to wake them up. I need to go talk to the police; would you be willing to come with?”

The witch nodded, her eyes straying to the symbol on the table again, and after switching the coffee to a to-go mug and making sure Nathaniel and Cherry, the two leopards currently watching the children, didn’t need anything, they left.

In the car Anita couldn’t help but chuckle again, speaking out loud but more to herself than her companion. “My life’s never going to get less crazy is it?”

Marianne just gave her a knowing glance and Anita sighed, some small part of her, the part of her that wanted to keep the children, wishing it was less true.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:51 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: Wander into Darkness (Anita Blake XO, MA) Ch 13 ~ 12/21 Pg 9

Postby Whimsicality » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:43 pm

garcia88: I am loving writing Nathaniel with the kids. I didn’t really forsee this much Nathaniel/kid bonding time but it seems to write itself and I do think its in character given his own childhood. They are definitely becoming my favorite scenes to write. :-) It’ll be a little bit before we find out Alex’s power but it will be in this fic, not the sequel, and will be a pretty big scene. Thanks for the review and I hope you enjoy this chapter!
Ashita: Thank you! I am having lots of fun writing them as children, especially as they interact with Nathaniel and Anita. I think it would have been a lot harder had I dropped them in as teenagers…Lol, you can definitely harp on Richard. While I can enjoy non Max bashing fics and even still read Dreamer stories, Richard is on my permanent dick list. This chapter will definitly not help that either, lol, I just can’t seem to write him as anything but an ass. We will see Asher in the next chapter I think, I’m still writing it but that’s the plan :-D. Thanks for the feedback, and again the beta services, and I hope you like it!
booktv-girl2310: Thanks for the feedback! I love Nathaniel and the kids too :D. Hope you like this chapter!
KiaraAlexisKlay: They do don’t they? I must admit to being jealous of fictional six year olds though becaue I would love to sit on Nathaniel’s lap :-D, even if he was just a big brother figure. And Anita will come around, once I screw with them all a bit, lol. Definitely a lot going on though that needs to be worked out and Marianne will definitely help although I must admit that I am finding writing her character very difficult, I can’t seem to fit in her skull as well I can Anita’s and I think that says something about my own anger issues…lol. And Yay! For you updating when you get the chance! I loved your feedback as always and I’m looking forward to more for this part ;-)
cjsl8ne: Thank you! And no, Anita can’t rid of them, they’re addicting little buggers, lol. It’s good that I scared you but I must say I don’t think this chapter is going to help with the nail biting. Thank you so much for the feedback and even though it will make it worse I hope you like this chapter!
Yasmania: I hope your Christmas was merry too! Mine was mellow which for me means merry :-D. Anita does have some things to come to term with but she’s got lots on her plate right now and its going to get worse before it gets better. And we will see more about her relationships and how everything Roswellian affects them, partly in this story, and even more in the sequel. Thank you so much for your always loyal feedback, your reviews are always so flattering and never fail to make me grin like a maniac. Also, I’m ridiculously jealous of you for already having Divine Misdemeanors and I need to go buy it myself…hmmm, now I want to write a Liz/Merry Gentry crossover damnit! But I’m writing too many stories as it is so someone out there needs to do that!





A/N: Warning, cliffhanger dead ahead, muahahahaha. :-D Also I didn’t get this to Ashita in time for betaing so any mistakes are all mine!





~Chapter 14~





The station was bustling with activity when they arrived, and she was directed to a larger conference room where Dolph, Zerbrowski, and two other officers she knew by sight but not name, were watching what appeared to be a security video.

Dolph spotted her right away and came to the door to meet her, eyeing Marianne warily.

“She’s a friend of mine Dolph and she recognized the symbol. It’s definitely demonic.”

He nodded shortly. “I appreciate the help ma’am, but I am going to have to ask you to wait in the hall while I speak with Anita.”

“Of course officer.” Marianne said with a winsome smile and squeezed Anita’s arm encouragingly before heading down the hall to the same plastic chairs the children had sat in not long before.

As soon as she was out of hearing distance Dolph turned back to Anita. “Are those little girls still alive?”

Anita hesitated, and then nodded. “I think so. She didn’t know the details of the ritual but human sacrifice is almost a given, and judging by how many he’s taken so far, I think there will be two more kidnappings before he’s ready.”

He raised an eyebrow and she clarified. “The five points of a pentagram, common base symbol for rituals. I might be wrong, he might need six, but either way the faster we find him the better.”

He grunted and nodded his understanding. “We put out the sketch and a motel owner called, said he had stayed there a couple nights under the name Nathan Carter.” Gesturing behind him to the TV screen he continued, “We have a video, confirmed that he matches the sketch, but unfortunately haven’t found any trace of him since he checked out yesterday, and there weren’t any shots of his car.”

“Where was the motel?”

“About two blocks from the Blood District.” He replied with a resigned tone. “The room had already been cleaned and we weren’t able to find any trace evidence we could pin on him, too much traffic.”

“So basically we’re nowhere.” Anita said bluntly, and sighed when he nodded. “Well I have some other things to take care of; if my friend remembers anything else about the ritual I’ll give you a call.”

“Just be ready if we find him, you’re the only one whose been able to sense him, or find anything.” Left unspoken was the fact that she was their best shot at taking whoever or whatever he was, down with a minimum of casualties.

She nodded and then turned on her heel to leave, Marianne joining her as they walked back out into the humid summer evening. Hopefully they’d find him soon.

“Would you be willing to meet with the other members of my triumvirate to look at their marks?” She asked the witch as they got back into her car, Anita pulling her cell phone out of her pocket. On Marianne’s nod she quickly dialed Richard, already feeling Jean-Claude start to stir as dusk approached.

“What do you want Anita?” Her once lover asked, his voice somewhere between resigned, tired, and angry.

Out of respect for the vargamor sitting next to her, Anita did her best to keep her own anger out of her voice. “Marianne is here and willing to look at the marks. Can you meet us at the Circus?”

“Why there? Why can’t we meet at your house?” He growled out, anger winning over the rest of his emotions.

“Because my house has three children in it Richard, and I don’t trust you to control your temper.” She snapped, unable to contain her frustration any longer.

Instead of snapping back, he laughed, a low and bitter chuckle. “Can’t trust Richard the monster around the kiddies. Can you trust yourself around them Anita? What about your temper?”

The words were dark and cutting and Anita found herself at a loss, pain stabbing through her at the accusation in his tone, and the memory of what could have been flooding through their bond.

“I’ll be there Anita.” He finally said quietly, a hint of apology in his tone before the line went dead with a soft click.

Tucking her cell phone back in her pocket Anita did her best to blink back the tears as she gripped the steering wheel and pulled out of the parking lot, all the while ignoring Marianne’s concerned and empathetic gaze.

Damn love all to hell.


~


Liz lay in the middle of the bed, Tess and Alex on either side of her, each holding one of her hands as they conversed silently.

‘Why was I the only one who saw it? You guys saw it last time.’

‘I think we blocked it. Seeing things is your power Lizzy, we only saw it with ‘Nita because of this connection.’


There was a brief silence between them as they exchanged feelings rather than words, fear, and uncertainty, and warm affection, intermingling equally.

‘Do you guys remember where we’re from? I try but...it’s all really fuzzy.’ Liz asked hesitantly.

‘I think, I think we were older?’

‘I think so too Alex, but I can’t remember either. I hope no one’s looking for us.’
Tess replied, tilting her head so she could look at the other two.

Liz sat up on the bed, pulling the other two up with her. “I don’t think so; I think it’s just us. We need to stick together.”

A sudden noise from the door startled them and they looked up to see Nathaniel leaning in the doorway, watching them with a soft smile on his face. “It’s not just you, you have us now, me, and Anita, and Zane, and Cherry.” Then his small smile turned into a wider grin. “Now I was thinking of making homemade pizzas for dinner tonight and I need to go to the store. I could use some help picking out ingredients…if only I had three little helpers…?”

The three kids exchanged somewhat shameful grins, before all racing off the bed to tackle Nathaniel’s legs, faces turned up to meet his laughing violet gaze.

“Can we get some Tabasco sauce?” Tess asked, batting her eyelashes pleadingly.

Nathaniel gave her a strange look but nodded, “Sure, we can get whatever toppings you want.”

“Yay!”

The auburn haired shapeshifter laughed softly and bent down to pick up the two girls, heading towards the front door with Alex following close behind.

Cherry had her Mazda back from Anita, but they had gotten a second set of booster seats that just barely fit in the back of the car. Zane pouted at being left behind again, but there wasn’t room in the car for one more adult, so he stayed at the house while Cherry, Nathaniel, and the triplets headed for the grocery store.

Picking out toppings didn’t take as long as he expected, so Nathaniel was coaxed into a detour to the bookstore after Liz made her eyes go bigger than he thought possible.

Liz was practically salivating at the thought of getting some books on the science of this new world, she may have no longer remembered much about her prior life, but the interests and base knowledge had carried over, and her passions were one thing that hadn’t changed.

Tess and Alex were a little more interested in the history, and so Cherry lead them to that section while Nathaniel kept an eye on Liz, worried that she would see something while they were in public and have another attack.

The tiny brunette was completely absorbed by the books she found and quickly carried a stack over to one of the plush chairs to sort out the ones worth keeping. Tess joined her a little while later, mostly bored with the store, while Alex had dragged Cherry over to the computer manuals.

After a few minutes, and just before Nathaniel was getting ready to tell them that it was time to go, Tess poked Liz in the arm. “Come on Lizzie, I need to use the bathroom.”

Liz frowned and looked sadly at her stack of books, but stood up and handed the two she liked to Nathaniel. “Do you want me to get Cherry?” The girls blushed and shook their heads and he led them over towards the bathrooms and waited just outside the door.

Three short minutes later he heard two high pitched screams.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wander into Darkness (Anita Blake XO MA) Ch 14 ~ 12/28 Pg 10

Postby Whimsicality » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:05 pm

Yasmania: Lol, I am evil, and sadly, this chapter ends kind of evilly too ;-) Richard is an ass…although it is kind of fun to write such a jerk, lol, and he will be a little bit redeemed in this chapter. I definitely want to keep the kids the same Roswellians we know and love, just in a different universe with different challenges to face. As for Nathaniel saving them…well you’ll see. Thanks for the review and I hope you like/don’t kill me for writing this chapter!
garcia88: Liz and Tess will be ok, eventually, lol, and yes Richard is just not a nice person grrr. Thanks for the feedback and I hope you enjoy this chapter!
cjsl8ne: Be prepared to keep chewing those fingernails! And no new Alex power yet but we’ll get there :-D. Sorry for the slight delay and please enjoy the chapter! Thanks for the feedback!
Ashita: I love Nathaniel too, I want to get dropped in the Anita verse as a little kid so I can bond with him, lol. As I mentioned in the e-mail he and Liz do have a special relationship, and there will be more about that in the sequel. I couldn’t agree more about Tess, as should be evidence by my siggie and the fact that I write her as good in all of my stories but one and that one has Ava, lol. And you can call Richard Idiot as often as you want to! There’s a scene I’ve written showing the first time Richard interacts with the kids and well, let’s just say Liz calls him some names too ;-). And you’ve already seen it but enjoy the chapter!



A/N: Thanks to Ashita for her fabulous betaing and humble apologies for another cliffhanger :-D





~Chapter 15~





Nathaniel slammed through the bathroom door, uncaring if any other women were in there, and stopped cold when he saw that it was empty. He could smell the faint traces of blood that were speckled on the floor and his heart almost burst from fear, and anger, and guilt. He fell to his knees on the tiled floor, tears burning in his eyes. He never should have let them go in alone.

This was all his fault.

Cherry appeared behind him bare seconds later, carrying an almost hysterical Alex who struggled out of her arms and flung himself past the shifters to pound uselessly on the linoleum in the middle of the horrifyingly red splatters.

“No, no, no! This isn’t supposed to happen! We’re supposed to be safe here!” He wailed, and Nathaniel came out of his own fear induced haze long enough to pull the now sobbing boy into his arms and hold him tight.

“We’ll find them, we will, and Anita will kill whoever did this.” Nathaniel promised through his own tears, feeling an unfamiliar cold rage burn inside him and intermingle with the all too familiar fear.

She would find them, she had too.


~


The room was tense with silence. Marianne had requested that they all sit close to each other so she could see how their auras interacted, and sitting on the couch in Jean-Claude’s office was the closest physically that the three of them had been, in so long that Anita couldn’t remember the last time.

She’d probably blocked it out she thought with a silent sigh. Usually if they were this close sex or death was a possibility, if not both.

Luckily the witch’s presence had kept the verbal sniping to a minimum, and physical violence had yet to make an appearance, although she wasn’t ruling it out given the self hate pouring out off Richard in waves.

Sometimes she wished that she was big enough to shake him like a rag doll until he got the hell over his stupid issues, neatly ignoring her own place in them.

Most of the time she knew that nothing would ever get him over it, and that she should just accept that the man she had fallen in love with was never going to be hers again, and that she shared the blame for it.

That thought sent her straight from irritation into depression, and she cursed herself for suggesting this meeting. She was so sick of her love life making her miserable.

Marianne hummed under her breath and straightened imperceptibly, gaining an aura of authority that had all three of them shifting uncomfortably on the leather couch. “Your marks are definitely married and your auras blend seamlessly with each other, but there is still a distinct measure of control and separation that each of you maintain, which I believe Jean-Claude,” here she inclined her head towards the vampire, “said is unusual.”

“Is it bad or dangerous?” Anita asked, trying to ignore the conflicting emotions of curiosity and irritation coming from the men on either side of her.

“On the contrary I think in the long run this will be better for the three of you, for a few reasons. The first being that with a blending like this there would normally be a bleed over of your individual powers, that may still occur but not to the degree it would have and you will retain more control.”

At those words there was a surge of calculating glee from her Master of the City lover and Anita fought the urge to roll her eyes, of course he would see this as a gain in his power. Richard sent his agreement through the bond, and for a moment amusement overwhelmed the more negative emotions swirling between them.

“But that is not the most significant effect.” Marianne stated firmly, interrupting their introspection and drawing all eyes back to her. “I do not believe that you would all die at this point if one of you were to perish. You would be seriously affected, and take a long time to recover, but your lives are no longer bound to each other.”

Anita felt the blood drain out of her face as fear and elation surged through her, no longer able to tell who among them originated the emotions. That was big news, and not news they should go spreading around. If other triumvirates learned of this they might try to duplicate it, and she would be hard pressed to protect the children if the Vampire Council was after them.

Not to mention the other ramifications she thought, as she felt a silent surge of hope from Richard, and she knew the Ulfric saw this as a sign that maybe he wouldn’t be tied to them forever. She tried to find it in her to be hurt by his joy and failed, her life would be a lot simpler if Richard was no longer a part of it, and as long as he was tied to her and Jean-Claude, that day would never come.

The shrill ring of her cell phone pierced the dead silence and she jumped, heart thudding against her rib cage. “Damn it,” she swore as she dug it out of her pocket and pressed it to her ear.

“Anita?” It was Nathaniel and he sounded desperately afraid with just the tiniest thread of anger in his voice, something she’d never heard from him before. The sound propelled her to her feet and her heart began to beat faster instead of slowing down, something was wrong, horribly wrong.

“What happened?” She asked flatly, and prayed it wasn’t the children.

Unfortunately her prayers came a little too late.

“It’s the girls, they went into the bathroom and someone took them. I heard them scream and there’s some blood but they’re gone. I can’t even smell where they went.” He was sobbing by the end of his short speech and she could hear Alex crying in the background.

“Where are you?” Someone was going to die today and she knew her voice and her eyes had gone cold and empty, as empty as she thought her soul was sometimes. In this case she was glad of it; killing was so much easier when you didn’t care.

Once she got the location of the book store out of him she promised that she was on her way, and told him that he shouldn’t go anywhere because she was sending the police. Then she hung up without a goodbye and dialed Dolph.

“My girls were taken Dolph, they were at the bookstore downtown across from the botanical gardens and someone snatched them right out of the bathroom. Two of mine are there with Alex; I’m on my way now.”

She barely waited for his grunted reply that the squad would be there, before hanging up and grabbing her jacket from Jean-Claude who was now on his feet, watching her with worried eyes.

“Can you take Marianne back to my place?” She asked Richard, and off his nod turned to go, ignoring the pleading look from Jean-Claude and his pushing at the bond, instead slamming her shields up as high as they could go.

He knew he couldn’t come, the cops wouldn’t like it, and she needed to go. With both Tess and Liz now gone, if the bastard who did this only needed five little girls, then he was done, and he could be starting the ritual right now. There was no time to waste.

Not even for the comfort his embrace might bring. She could break down later, after her kids were safe.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Sat May 22, 2010 2:32 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: Wander into Darkness (Anita Blake XO MA) Ch 15 ~ 01/05 Pg 10

Postby Whimsicality » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:42 pm

thetvgeneral: Thanks for the feedback! And they will find them…eventually ;-)
Ashita: LOL, you did give me in depth feedback in the e-mail and I appreciate it! I know you already enjoyed this so thanks for the review and the betaing! You rock!
garcia88: We’ll definitely see more pissed off Anita in this chapter :-D Another cliffie but with actual hope for resolution this time!
cjsl8ne: We’ll see about Tess and Liz, they are definitely not as helpless as the captor thinks, and she doesn’t find them yet but she’s getting there! Thanks for the feedback and I hope you enjoy this chapter too!
Yasmania: I’m getting awfully regular with these updates aren’t I? Pigs must be flying somewhere…And you’re right it is a rather big coincidence that he just stumbled upon them :-D, we’ll get more on that later ;-) As for the triumvirate what she was saying was that someone doesn’t necessarily need to die for it end, although there would still be a lot of trauma involved, and we will come back to that at some point although probably not this story, I’m thinking the sequel, but yes, Richard is being a very selfish jerk. And we’ll get a little glimpse of the girls in this one . Thank you so much for the feedback and I hope you enjoy this chapter too!


A/N: So I’m officially switching my updates to Tuesday for this and Deaths’ Sweet Caress because Monday is just too busy at work for me. Also thank you to Ashita for her fabulous betaing!




~Chapter 16~






The bookstore was swarming with cops when Anita arrived, and she found the sight gratifying, if terrifying on a level she’d never really felt before. Crime scenes were never personal; they couldn’t be if you wanted to survive this job with your sanity intact.

This sense of fear was entirely new, and entirely unwelcome.

Nathaniel stood by the bathroom, still holding a sobbing Alex and staring blankly into space, while Cherry hovered close behind and shot anxious glances at the nearby police officers.

Dolph approached her before she reached the three of them and she paused, looking at him with a stare she knew was overly challenging but unable to help herself. Anger she could handle, fear not so much.

“I think he knows we’re on to him and it’s making him sloppy because we actually picked up a print this time. They’re running it through the system, but we still have no idea how he got into the bathroom, or out again, without anyone noticing.”

“Tammy already looked the scene over?”

“She didn’t pick up anything concrete, she could tell that power had been used, but she said she has no ‘affinity’ for it.” Dolph’s tone indicated his distaste for such a vague disclaimer, but Anita empathized with the witch – some things you just could not sense unless you had the same power as the person you were looking for.

Anita excused herself from Dolph and poked her head in the bathroom, feeling the cold rush of power sweep over her in waves and raise all the hair on her arms. It was stronger than it had been at the other scenes, and darker, tainted with a feel of evil that she would have confirmed as demonic even without Marianne’s identification.

Nothing felt like that but a demon, or someone drawing on a demon’s power, and the ball of dread that had been growing in her stomach ever since she had heard Nathaniel’s voice over the phone got larger, as she swallowed against the rising feel of bile in her throat.

You couldn’t shoot a demon, and if this person was drawing on a demons power, there was no guarantee bullets would work on him either. Even if they found the girls in time, there was a chance this was one battle she would lose.

Glancing over her shoulder she saw Alex turn his face out from Nathaniel’s chest to look at her, his blue eyes were rimmed with red and there were tears streaking constantly down his pale cheeks. Nathaniel’s hair covered his face and she could see his shoulders shaking, even Cherry looked lost and sad.

Failure wasn’t an option; this was one confrontation she had to win because there simply wasn’t any other choice. Liz and Tess were going to survive and that was all there was to it. Now they just had to find them.

Dolph had followed her to the bathroom, with Zerbrowski wandering over while she was examining it. Both of them almost stepped back at the look on her face, when she turned to face them. “We need to find them. Now.”

“We’ve posted his picture on the news and every patrol is looking for him, we even brought in the dogs but none of them would get close to the bathroom. We’re doing all we can.” He didn’t finish his sentence but she could see the frustration and resignation in his eyes, he didn’t think they would win this one either.

Anita clenched her fists, trying to think. Nathaniel had already said that he couldn’t smell anything other than the blood, but maybe if she got Jason down here….Before she could finish that thought, she felt someone tugging on her pants leg, and looked down to see Alex staring up at her, no longer crying, his eyes cold and hard and empty in a way that no child’s eyes should be.

“I know where they are.”

The words took a moment to penetrate, but when they did, Anita dropped to her knees in front of him, taking his small hand in hers. “How do you know that Alex?”

“I can feel them, up here.” He said firmly, tapping his forehead with his finger. Zerbrowski made a surprised noise behind her, but she ignored him in favor of focusing on the importance of this knowledge.

“If we get in the car, do you think you can lead us there?”

He hesitated, and then nodded. “They’re okay, but they’re afraid, and the bad man, he’s very happy.” His voice was soft at first, suiting his age, but it hardened at the end and he looked up at her again with those cold eyes. “You need to kill him.”

The two hardened policemen standing behind her sucked in their breaths at that shocking statement, but Anita just nodded, meeting his gaze without hesitation. “I will, I promise.”

Standing up she kept his hand in hers and looked at Dolph. “You got the warrant?” He nodded and she smiled grimly. She would have killed him anyways, but it was best to work with the law, at least when you had witnesses.

“Good, then get whoever you want on this and let’s go. Just make sure it’s clear that everyone follows my lead, we do not need someone making a stupid mistake that gets those girls killed. This man is trying to summon a demon and anyone who can’t handle, or believe that, needs to stay far away.”

She barely waited for his nod before turning and heading for the car, Alex almost running beside her with Nathaniel and Cherry close behind.

It was time to end this.


~


Tess clutched Liz’s hand, desperately wishing that she would wake up because she couldn’t handle the crying of the three other little girls, and her own fear, without her.

The man had appeared behind them when they were washing their hands, eyes bloodshot and gleaming manically as he grabbed them before they could move. They had screamed when he pulled out a knife and sliced it across both of their arms.

The room had started to spin, and then suddenly they were somewhere else, somewhere dark that stank of blood, and fear, and other things she didn’t want to think too closely about. He had thrown them onto the ground and Liz had hit her head against a crate, collapsing limply on the floor.

It wasn’t until he left, locking the door behind him and plunging them into darkness, that Tess had realized that they weren’t alone. There were three other girls here, the ones Liz had been helping the police find. She and Alex had both felt edges of the fear and anger Liz had picked up on at that house, and at the police station, but now Tess was the one afraid, and she could feel Alex’s fear through their bond even though it was strangely muted and for some reason she couldn’t speak to him.

The man who had them, he was evil, as evil as a memory she had of a tall man she thought she might have called father. Everything was wrong; her arm was throbbing from the cut, and Liz wouldn’t wake up, and the other girls wouldn’t stop crying, helpless little sobs that grated on her like nails on a chalkboard.

She didn’t want to be a kid anymore; she didn’t want to be helpless, and she didn’t want to die.

‘We’re not going to die. He is.’
Last edited by Whimsicality on Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:21 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: Wander into Darkness (Anita Blake XO MA) Ch 16 1/12 A/N 3/6

Postby Whimsicality » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:44 pm

garcia88: Thank you so much for the feedback and I know it wasn't soon but I am finally back with a new part!
booktv-girl2310: Thanks for the feedback, and they will, eventually :wink: So sorry about the wait!
thetvgeneral: Thank you for the review and I'm so sorry about the wait, and don't worry, his death scene is something I'm looking forward to too :D
Ashita: Thank you so much for your always lengthy feedback and amazing betaing, and I'm sorry to torture you with more cliffhangers. I'm glad you like my characterizations, especially Alex, since I do tend to make him a lot stronger than he was on the show, and yay for catching my Nasedo reference!
cjsl8ne: Definitely go Alex! So sorry about the wait and thank you so much for your always loyal feedback :D
Yasmania: Actually the last line was Liz's though as she woke up, which I couldn't mention before now due to the cliffhangerness of the situation, lol, but yes Tess is definitely strong, all of them are, and so is Anita once she gets used to protecting and caring about the kids. The end is drawing near but I have two sequels planned and started, so there will be more! Thank you so much for the review and sorry about the wait for the chapter, I had been on such a roll there...


A/N: Well it's another cliffhanger but the good news is that the next chapter, which I am working diligently on, will have the bulk of the confrontation so no more waiting after this one. Thank you all for your patience and feedback.


~Chapter Seventeen~





Tess pulled Liz into a sitting position and hugged her without even thinking about it, then blushed faintly, still not quite used being so openly close with someone. ‘Are you okay?’

Liz nodded and squeezed the blonde’s arms encouragingly, while letting her gaze rove over the room before coming to rest on the huddled forms of the other girls she could barely make out in the dark. ‘I’m ok; I wish we could talk to Alex though.’

‘Me too.’
Tess said sadly, but felt some of her fear lessen at her sister’s obvious calm. ‘I can’t start a fire either, I tried. I think the bad man’s doing something to stop us.’

Liz turned to face her, biting her lower lip in concentration. ‘Nita is coming, I can feel it, but she might not get here in time.’ She reached out and took both of Tess’s hands in hers, ‘If we tried together, do you think you could start a fire then?’

The other girl hesitated, and then nodded. ‘I think so; I can still feel you so it should work.’

Liz nodded her understanding, and then stiffened as they heard a noise on the other side of the door. ‘We might only get once chance so wait for me to say, okay?’

Tess squeezed her hand to indicate she understood, and then they both turned to face the slowly opening door, fear and hope warring for control over their emotions, the same two emotions they could feel through the barely-there bond with their brother.


~



Across town, three frantic adults and one terrified child, were packed into a sedan that was moving through traffic at more than legal speeds, followed by several police cars with blazing sirens.

Anita spared a brief thought that it was quite possible people thought she was a suspect in some kind of car chase, but brushed it away when Alex pointed commandingly to the left. It was the most unusual pursuit she’d ever been a part of, all directions given by a six-year-old in a booster seat.

Her mind would not stop picturing the result of the last demon she’d seen summoned, and the thought of that happening to the girls – it was enough to make her scream. Both Jean-Claude, and Richard, had been trying to get through her shields for the past twenty minutes, her fear and anger filtering through the blocks she’d put up.

But she didn’t have time to deal with either of them, not when she was worried about one of the police officers doing something stupid and getting them all killed. Or the fact that in trying to rescue two children from a life threatening situation, she was taking a third in with her, and putting him in just as much danger.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, the bad guys were supposed to come after her, not the innocents she was trying to protect. Was it her fault that he had taken the girls? Did he feel them because she had taken Liz to the crime scene, because she had given the police that sketch?

Alex pointed again and she swerved, tires screeching on the pavement. They were heading into a residential area now, and she had to wonder where Alex was leading them, where the man had taken the girls, and if they were going to be too late.


~



The man had herded all of them up the stairs and into what appeared to be a basement, before disappearing again. The other three little girls were huddled into a corner crying, and Liz and Tess had given up on trying to get them to calm down enough to make an escape attempt.

‘Being six sucks.’ Tess muttered angrily into her sister’s head, and Liz giggled despite the direness of their situation.

‘I wish we knew what was in that chest.’ Liz stated worriedly as she eyed the large iron casket that was in the middle of the basement, at the center of a strange symbol that was carved into the cement floor.

‘I wish we never had to find out what is in that chest.’ Tess replied flatly, her blue eyes cold with fear.

Liz hugged her tight, before pulling away and resuming her scan of the room. As far as she could tell, there was no way out other than the pantry they had been locked in before, and the door the man had disappeared through. There were no windows, no other doors, nothing that could help five tiny little girls get away from a psychopath.

Nothing except the two of them, and their ability to float candles or set something on fire, assuming they could get past whatever power blanketed the place. They could feel it pressing against their skin, as if the air itself was weighted with evil.

Liz shivered as something else impinged on her senses, “He’s coming.” She whispered, and Tess clutched her hand as the door swung open and cold air swirled around them, revealing the grinning, mask-like face of their captor.


~



They had left the inhabited areas behind and turned into the winding streets of a new sub-development, full of half completed houses and construction equipment, and completely deserted this late in the evening.

“Stop!” Alex cried out suddenly, “They’re in that house, and he’s doing something, something bad. You have to save them!”

Anita hit the brakes so hard that all four of them slammed against their seat belts, as she halted in the middle of the street in front of an almost finished house that looked deceivingly innocent; pale blue with a wrap around porch and a large green yard.

“You three stay here.” She said firmly, holding Alex’s protesting gaze for a long moment, “I’ll get them out.”

Dolph and Zerbrowski were already out of their car when she stepped onto the pavement, three squad cars full of police officers pulling up behind them. Before she even closed the car door, Anita could feel the waves of evil coming off of the house, and wasn’t surprised to see that several of the police officers were looking decidedly uncomfortable.

Whatever power the kidnapper had tapped into was strong enough, that even someone with the barest touch of sensitivity should pick up on it. A lot of those men would find out if they could hack the supernatural beat that night, and quite a few of them likely would want to turn in their badges for good before it was over.

“He’s in there with all five girls.” Anita said grimly, “I think he’s alone but he doesn’t need backup with that kind of power. Whatever ritual he’s planning, Alex said he’s already started, so we need to get in now.

Dolph nodded and Anita raised her voice so that all of the cops standing around them could hear. “No one does anything without my say so. He’s messing with enough power to do a hell of a lot of damage, and the wrong move could unleash something you do not want to meet.”

A few of them didn’t look happy to be taking orders from her, but Dolph glared around the circle, preventing any protests from being voiced. “Do what Blake says and maybe we’ll all go home alive, understood?”

They all nodded and Anita pulled her browning from under her coat, approaching the house with Dolph and Zerbrowski several steps behind. Reaching for the doorknob she said a prayer under her breath for the safety of the girls.

One way or another she was getting them out, and she was going to kill the son of a bitch who dared to touch them.
Last edited by Whimsicality on Sat May 22, 2010 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wander into Darkness (Anita Blake XO MA) Ch 17 3/14 Pg 12

Postby Whimsicality » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:16 pm

barbara87413: Well I am so glad you enjoyed the story and thank you for the review!
garcia88: They will be, eventually ;-) I solemnly swear not to kill anyone important! Lol, thanks for the review and enjoy the next part!
cjsl8ne: This one’s a worse cliffhanger although the action is taken care of. Thank you so much for the feedback and please enjoy this chapter!
booktv-girl2310: The girls will be ok! I promise! Thanks for the feedback!
thetvgeneral: Thanks! Hope you like this part too!
jojotheorange I love your username, made me giggle. And I am so glad you’re enjoying the story! Thank you for the review!
Ashita: Awww, thank you as always for the fantabulous reviewing, and betaing, and I am almost done with Hunted to send you, just wanted to get this update in before someone really did get a voodoo doll :-D


A/N: So, first of all, thank you for all of the reviews and I am so sorry for the delay, but the good news is that I have the next chapter done, and I’m working on the one after that which is the…wait for it…last chapter!!! I’ve also already started the sequel and, because it picks up seven years later, have a series of drabbles showing the intervening years almost ready for you (On that note please see the AN after the chapter). Oh, and this one is action packed, but has the worst cliff-hanger yet so yeah…fair warning you’ll probably want to stick pins in your author voodoo-doll after this. :-D




~Chapter Eighteen~





Liz wrapped her arms around Tess and held on tight as the man tried to pull her away, growling under his breath as they both struggled against him. The other little girls were already bound and set at their points in the symbol, and Liz and Tess both knew that they could not let him complete it.

If they did, they might not be able to stop him from bringing the demon forth, or killing every last one of them and anyone else who got in his way.

Liz tensed as she felt the cold thrum of Anita’s power outside the house, and knew that they had bare moments before the man sensed it too. ‘Now Tess!’ She cried, shunting all of her own power into her sister as the blond’s hands lit up with hungry golden flames.

The skeletal man dropped them both back onto the cement floor and spat “Hell spawn!” as he frantically beat at the flames that were consuming his tattered black robes.

“Furcas servo! Repleo mihi per vestri everto vox!” His voice changed as he called out the incomprehensible words; it was deeper, darker, evil, and both girls flinched back from the tainted sound. The ground rumbled and his mad eyes darkened, tinting black as a shadow seemed to rise from within him until his foul presence filled the room from end to end.

The door to the basement blasted open before the policemen on the other side could bring in the battering ram, revealing Anita’s shocked face, and the frightened visages of all the cops behind her.

Liz grabbed her sister’s arms and pulled her along as she scrambled away from the bad man until they were pressed against the metal chest, unable to move farther through the ever-thickening air. They were already struggling to breathe and the smell of sulphur had a sudden new fear for the brunette.

A cold wind swept through the room and the flames on his robes snuffed out, sending icy chills of terror down the girls’ spines. ‘Oh shit.’ Tess exclaimed silently, a flicker of her older persona drawn out by the situation.

Liz just nodded her agreement as she clutched the blond’s hand, praying with every fiber of her being that somehow, they would all get out of this alive.


~


Anita led the men through the house, careful to keep at least a five-foot lead between her and Dolph, when she felt the rising shock of power that stank of death and evil so strong that one of the sensitives in the force had to stop and retch.

They had just started down the stairs towards the iron basement door, when it came flying towards them with a clang and a rush of pure power, Anita barely ducking in time to prevent her head from being sliced off.

She straightened and sprinted down the rest of the steps, dread tightening her gut as she saw the stringy-haired man pull a gleaming knife from inside his robes. She slammed against the air with a jarring thud, a thick but invisible barrier preventing her from entering the basement.

The man laughed, a high sound with an underlying growl that made her skin crawl, and he stepped inside the symbol, approaching the first girl and slicing the knife across both of her forearms with vicious brutality. “Permissum insons insontis cruor nutritor vos quod addo vos continuo onto is plagiarius.” He intoned, and Anita felt a frustrated shriek well in her throat as he flung the blood onto the chest in the center of symbol.

‘Help me!’ She cried out desperately, dropping the wall between her and the rest of the triumvirate. Their energy came rushing to her call, filling her body until she felt she might explode between Richard’s primal surge of life and violence and Jean-Claude’s cold sweep of death and power.

Her cross was blazing against her skin, burning like acid as she pressed forward, taking one agonizingly slow step after another as she approached the circle that was already swirling with visible streaks of dark demonic energy.

“Ego dico vos vinco ut recipero meus vitualamen, vita pro vita.” He had finished with the third bound child and was moving towards her girls, menace in every line of his body as a gleeful smile lit his face.

Anita grasped the burning silver cross resting on her chest, ignoring the searing pain in her hand, and ripped it from her throat, flinging it at the man with every bit of strength she had. It arced through the air like a flaming comet, thudding against his back as his shriek filled the room, the sonic tones driving Anita to her knees with her hands clapped over her ears.

She had just sacrificed her best weapon; she could only pray that it had been worth it.


~


Alex fought against Nathaniel’s iron hold, struggling to get away, to get to his sisters. They needed him! He could feel their fear but he could not get through, could not help them from the car, could not do anything but rail helplessly against the strongest force of evil he had ever sensed in either life.

“It’s not safe Alex, Anita will save them.” Nathaniel stated, his voice only wavering slightly, but Alex just shook his head, tears streaming down his face as he bit his lip hard enough to draw blood.

Anita was strong, she wanted to protect them, but it wouldn’t be enough. His sisters needed him, they needed him now!

Suddenly something shifted, the oppressive essence of darkness flickering, and his closed bond flared to sudden life. Finally, he could do something!


~


The bond with their brother that had been blocked was suddenly smashed wide open and the two girls struggled to their feet with renewed strength. Liz grasped Tess’s hand with silent accord and they began to walk towards the man who was convulsing on the floor, still shrieking as the holy symbol burned into his flesh.

Anita flung up her hand as if to stop them but they ignored her, their joined hands beginning to glow as their conscious minds surrendered control to primal instincts. Flames appeared in the air above their palms, the fire so hot it was white instead of yellow, bathing the whole room with blinding light. They reached down towards his face and his eyes snapped open, fear filtering into their abyss-like depths.

“Haud! Vos vadum non subsisto mihi!”

Their child faces were cold and implacable and they placed their hands against his forehead as he began to writhe, the flames not spreading across his skin but seeming to go beneath it until he was glowing from within.

They did not notice his hand lifting the knife back into the air, but Anita did, and she lunged forward, her hand grasping Tess’s shirt and yanking the two girls away from the dying man.

His back bowed in a painful arch and he screamed one last time, ashes floating out of his mouth as the ground shuddered and groaned, knocking everyone still standing to the floor. He collapsed, the smoldering remains barely resembling a corpse, and cold air swept through the room with one final, piercing shriek, before the feel of evil faded.

Anita gasped, a stuttering intake of breath as relief and disbelief swept through her. What the hell had just happened?

“No!” Tess’s distressed voice brought her crashing back to reality and her gaze snapped back to the girls, her heart seizing in her chest as she saw the red staining Liz’s side, and the hilt of a knife sticking out of her too small body, right underneath her ribs.






A/N: Latin Translations for this chapter per a website I’m not sure I trust: “Furcas servo! Repleo mihi per vestri everto vox!” – “Furcas save me! Fill me with your demonic power!” “Permissum insons insontis cruor nutritor vos quod addo vos continuo onto is plagiarius.” – “Let this innocent blood feed you and bring you forth onto this plane.” “Ego dico vos vinco ut recipero meus vitualamen, vita pro vita.” – “I ask that you accept my sacrifice, life for life.” “Haud! Vos vadum non subsisto mihi!” – “No! You shall not stop me!”

A/N2: Ok, so as I mentioned above the chapter the sequel picks up when the kids are thirteen, which means all of the books have happened by then. I have written I think 12 drabbles so far showing scenes between now and then including ones I couldn’t include in this fic but I was hoping you guys would have some requests/suggestion for drabbles you would like to see. So if you could just post in your comments any characters you’d like to see the triplets(or just one of them) interact with, or any particular scenes from the books and such that you would like me to include and alter for this verse, just let me know! Thank you very much!
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Re: Wander into Darkness (Anita Blake XO MA) Ch 18 4/05 Pg 13

Postby Whimsicality » Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:00 pm

A/N: I know I've been horrible, but sadly its with good reason. Work has been crazy lately with new schedules and new departments and people shifting job positions and stuff and things were finally settling down a bit, or I was getting used to them anyways, when a coworker passed away, actually at work, just this last week. It's been a rough week and I haven't been up for much. Thank you all for your patience and reviews, and especially to Ashita for her betaing, and *fingers crossed* the last chapter should be posted soon and then we'll move on to those drabbles while I work on the sequel, oh, and on that note, more suggestions for the drabbles please!!!







~Chapter Nineteen~






The air still stank of sulphur, tainted with the copper smell of blood. The room was icy cold and the broken whimpers of the three other little girls grated on her nerves.

Tess could not stop crying, racking sobs shaking her tiny body. Liz was dying, Liz was dying and she couldn’t heal her, she couldn’t do anything. She was stuck in this stupid body, stuck being helpless. They never should have come here.

Anita was pressing her hands against the wound and shouting towards the cops, but Tess couldn’t hear her, could hear nothing but the faint rhythm of Liz’s heartbeat pounding in her ears. This wasn’t right; this wasn’t supposed to happen, not like this.


~


Alex could feel Liz fading through their bond and screamed, the sudden sound so loud it shocked Nathaniel into releasing him. Wrenching open the car door he streaked for the house, ignoring the shapeshifter’s frantic calls as he stumbled over the front step, skinning his knee on the hardwood floor.

Ignoring the small, stinging pain, he scrambled back to his feet and ran as fast as his annoyingly, short legs would carry him. He had to get to her; he had too. Liz couldn’t die. She was his best friend, his sister, one-third of his being, and without her, the other two-thirds would not survive.

He almost fell down the stairs, managing to avoid the grasping hands of several shocked police officers as he made his way to the two girls lying sprawled on the cement floor. Liz was unconscious, the rising of her chest so faint he almost couldn’t see it as Anita held her hand against the wound, fear and anger flickering over the woman’s face as she called for help.

Tess was crying, the pain filled sounds sending lances of hurt through him as she grasped Liz’s hand. ‘Don’t leave me Liz, don’t leave us, we need you!’ She was repeating it over and over again and he fell to his knees at her side, one hand taking hers as the other rested over Anita’s.

“She’s not going to leave us.” He stated, his high, piping voice cold and hard with un-childlike determination.

Tess’s tear-filled blue eyes rose to meet his and he tilted his forehead against hers. ‘I need you to concentrate Tess; I need all of your power.’

She nodded, hesitantly at first before her features firmed with renewed confidence. They both closed their eyes, taking deep breaths as they settled deeper into the bond, the connection widening until they were one person and not three, their hearts beating in time with Liz’s faltering thuds, and their breathing falling into the same struggling pattern.

Alex’s hands started to glow and Anita pulled away in shock, desperately afraid that she was going to lose all three, but unable to stop herself from hoping that these three children, these three powerful but loveable children, would be able to achieve one more miracle.

The glow spread up Alex’s hand until it infused Liz’s body, her skin taking on a gleaming golden pallor. ‘Now Tess!’ He commanded, and the blond yanked out the knife.

Anita’s heart stopped beating for one jarring moment.

Alex’s tiny hands covered the seeping red wound instantly and the glow intensified, almost blinding the Animator, although she refused to look away. The glow disappeared just as quickly and Alex and Tess both slumped, their eyes barely open, both children having just enough energy to smile triumphantly as the boy pulled his hands away to reveal his sister’s unmarred skin.

Liz inhaled and then coughed slightly; her eyes sliding open to stare at all three of them. A smile spread across her face, one of those adult smiles that Anita was becoming used to on all three of them, and she asked, “So did we kill the bad guy?”

Anita made a sound that was half-laugh, half-sob, and in an uncharacteristic show of emotion, she pulled all three into her arms, barely managing to squeeze Alex in there too. Hugging them tight, she didn’t care that almost a dozen police officers had filtered into the room and were staring at them with wide, disbelieving eyes.

Dolph was the first to approach, with Zerbrowski following close behind. “Aww, look at mommy Anita.” The shorter cop said with a smirk, and Anita flipped him off behind the children’s backs.

“Is it safe to enter the circle?” Dolph asked, his voice deep and rumbling, and she nodded wearily. “Come on people; get those girls to the ambulance.” Dolph said loudly, gesturing to the other officers who moved quickly; glad to have something to do.

The tall, dark-skinned man bent down in a surprising display of athleticism, raising an eyebrow as he caught her gaze. “You four okay?”

Anita nodded again; glancing down at the three children in her lap who were edging towards sleep, before looking back up at him with a genuine smile. “We’re just fine Dolph, just fine.”

He grunted, “You will tell me exactly what happened here, later.”

Her smile dimmed slightly but she nodded for a third time and he stood up, heading towards the body. Zerbrowski gave her two thumbs up before following and Anita chuckled softly, glad that at least the two of them wouldn’t look at her differently after this. Judging by the looks from the other cops, her reputation just took another turn, and she only hoped the children managed to stay out of the press.

Lifting her head she called out, “Hey Dolph? Think you could let Nathaniel in here so I can have some help getting these three to the car?”

Dolph opened his mouth, most likely to suggest that one of the other police officers help, when he noticed for the first time the glances the children were getting that were just one step short of fear. He nodded resignedly and sent a plain clothes out to get him, while Anita rested her head against the cement wall, finally allowing herself to wonder how exactly the children had accomplished what they did.

They knew Tess could control fire, but they hadn’t set the man on fire, they had burned him up from the inside out. And then what Alex did to Liz…that was one gift that could not get out, because even your average human would not be able to resist the pull to see what else he could heal.

In fact, for the first time in her life, she was half-tempted to ask Jean-Claude to take those memories from the police, just to protect her kids. With that thought she realized that Jean-Claude and Richard were both clamoring for her attention and so she closed her eyes, reaching for the marks with what little energy she could muster.

‘I’m fine, the kids are fine, Liz and Tess killed the man before he could finish summoning the demon.’ Their shock at her last words almost overwhelmed their relief at her first, but both could sense her exhaustion and surprisingly, it was Richard who pulled away first, without any of his usual acrimony.

Jean-Claude kept the connection open long enough to send a warm mental caress that made her smile despite herself.

She managed to drag her eyes open again when she felt Nathaniel’s light touch on her arm, and then handed him Tess and Alex, keeping one arm curled under Liz’s slight frame as she staggered to her feet.

“Let’s go home.”
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Re: Wander into Darkness (Anita Blake XO MA) Ch 19 4/18 Pg 14

Postby Whimsicality » Mon May 24, 2010 5:04 pm

barbara87413: First feedbacker, woohoo! Lol, thanks for the review and I'm glad you enjoyed the story!
cjsl8ne: You are one of the most loyal feedbackers, and bumpers, ever and I so love seeing your comments every time I post. And I have to agree Alex's power is definitely a good one :wink: The triplets are bound together kind of like the triumverate, more of which will be explored in the sequel. Thanks for all of your support and reviews, I hope you enjoy the last chapter!
booktv-gril2310: Thank you!!! I appreciate the feedback and I'm sorry it took forever but I hope you love this chapter too :D
Ashita: You are the best beta, and you always find time to review, plus sending me all of your fabulous stories, what can I say? You're the best! :lol: I'm glad you've enjoyed this story and hopefully you'll continue to enjoy the series as you help me make the rest of it better :wink:
garcia88: You are the other most loyal feedbacker ever and I so appreciate seeing your reviews when I manage to post, even when I take forever you always give feedback and I so appreciate it. Thank you very much and I hope you enjoy this last chapter!
KiaraAlexisKlay: I think I should have threatened to withold this unless you give us more I, Liz....maybe I'll just have to offer to send you the first part of the sequel if you post :lol:
Synera: Wow, thank you so much, that is such a compliment! I definitely recommend reading the books, they can be hard to get into but they are definitely worth it. I am so glad you've enjoyed this even though half the universe was unfamiliar to you and thank you so very much for the feedback. :D





A/N: I apologize in advance for the sap, but there will be plenty of angst in the sequel. Thank you all so much for your continued feedback and support, even when I took months to update, and I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I will start posting my drabble series soon, and hope to have the sequel up within 2-3 months, maybe less depending on how the muse flows.



~Chapter Twenty~






The children were curled up in a puppy pile on the living room floor with Zane, Cherry, and Nathaniel, all six fast asleep. Staring down at them with a faint smile on her face, Anita realized that things had changed.

Her logic for not keeping them no longer applied. The girls were taken because of who they were; at least that was what Liz insisted after her brief foray into the man’s diseased mind. They were not taken because of their connection to her and, in fact, if anyone but her had been their guardian, things might not have ended so well.

Someone else might not have given credence to Alex knowing he could find them. Someone else wouldn’t have had her experience or resources in rescuing them. And someone else definitely would not have handled the triplets’ very effective way of removing the threat, and dealing with the aftermath, without freaking out.

There was no way she could turn them over to social services, no way she could trust anyone but herself to keep such unique children safe. It was time to accept that, once again, her life had changed. Her responsibilities had grown, and that just like with the leopards, there was no way she could let them fend for themselves because in this world, children with their abilities would be ruthlessly exploited.

And she could not allow that, that just wasn’t who she was.

“Non, it is not ma petite.” Jean-Claude stated, appearing suddenly behind her with all the graceful stealth he could command.

“Stay out of my head.” She said with a touch of annoyance, her sharp words contradicted by the way she leaned into his embrace.

He chuckled softly, fingers brushing against her arms in a way that sent sensual shivers curling down her spine. “But your head is such a fascinating place ma petite, I cannot stay away.”

Anita shot him a glare but didn’t pull away, too exhausted to refuse the peace and comfort his presence made her feel. Her life had been crazy before the three children dropped in her lap, and the past few days had made her life before look like a lazy Sunday. Hopefully trouble didn’t follow them around like it did her or she’d never sleep again.

“So you are keeping them ma petite?” Jean-Claude asked carefully, concealing his own feelings from her.

She hesitated for a moment before nodding, realizing the futility of denying a decision she had already made, however much said decision might make her question her sanity. Mommy Anita, the very idea was laughable in a sick kind of way, but it seemed that she had one more title to add to her impressive list. “Yes, no one else can keep them safe like I can.”

“Like we can.” Her lover replied, letting her catch a glimpse of how pleased he was with her decision before he walled his emotions away again. “However I will leave it to you to tell Richard, I doubt he will be as happy with this turn of events.”

Anita’s gut twisted and she winced at the thought of the coming confrontation. Richard still hadn’t let go of his picket fence dreams starring her; dreams that if she was honest, she still had a hard time letting go off, and this was guaranteed to push all of his buttons. A sudden flare of anger at just how much pain and drama he added to her life washed over her and she turned in Jean-Claude’s arms so she could look up into his dazzling blue eyes. “Screw him and his stupid prejudices.” She stated baldly, and watched as his lips curled into a smile.

“Most of his prejudices involve screwing ma petite.”

Before she could stop it a chuckle slipped out and then she was laughing helplessly into Jean-Claude’s chest, the tension from the day easing out of her in waves of near-hysteric hilarity as his arms cradled her close.

When she had calmed she tilted her chin up so she could see him, “Stay with me until morning?”

His smile was blinding and when he kissed her the room spun. “As you wish ma petite, as you wish.”


~


Liz woke up slowly, drifting to the surface of conscious like a swimmer rising to the top of the water, and found that she was strangely warm. When she managed to open her eyes she saw that she was cuddled up to Nathaniel’s chest, his long hair draped over both of them. Smiling happily, she peeked over his shoulder and saw Tess and Alex similarly curled up with Cherry and Zane, all of them in one big pile on the living room floor.

She didn’t think she had ever felt this safe and loved, definitely not in the few dim memories she still had of wherever they had been before. If she reached out with the tingly part of her brain she could feel Anita and Jean-Claude down the hall, both of them radiating peace and contentment. The reason they were content made her blush, but she wanted to bask in the tangible love and protection she felt.

Sudden motion caught her eyes and she tilted her head to see Alex’s blue eyes staring at her. ‘Are you ok? Did I heal everything?’ His mental voice sounded faintly panicked and she sent him a short burst of reassurance.

‘I’m fine Alex, I promise. Are you ok? You brought me back to life, that’s kind of amazing.’

He blushed and nodded. ‘I’m fine, I’m just glad I finally figured out what my power was.’

‘You definitely have good timing.’
Liz agreed with a giggle, making him flush again, this time with pride.

‘Would you two keep it down? Some of us are trying to sleep here…’ A third voice grumbled in their heads and Liz giggled again.

‘It wouldn’t be the same without you Tessie!’ She exclaimed, exchanging a mischievous glance with Alex before they joined their telekinetic ability together and reached out with phantom fingers, tickling their sister’s ribs.

Tess let out a muffled shriek of laughter before burrowing deeper into Cherry’s arms, trying to get away from the invisible torment. ‘Stop it! Stop it! I’m awake! Don’t wake Cherry up!’

The two withdrew their power and grinned triumphantly, all three settling into a comfortable silence as thoughts and emotions flowed freely between them. ‘Anita’s going to keep us.’ Liz said finally, breaking the silence when she couldn’t keep the good news to herself anymore.

Two excited and shocked gasps echoed through the living room before her siblings remembered to keep their expressions of happiness silent. ‘So we really are home?’ Tess asked hesitantly, old fears coloring her mental tone as the others saw brief flashes of her old memories, none involving something as wonderful as a family.

‘We’re home, and we will all be a family forever, I saw it.’ Liz promised, letting her unshakeable confidence bleed into her brother and sister until they all were reveling in a newfound sense of security and unadulterated joy.

It had taken them two, and in one case three, lives to find it, though none of them remembered that yet, but Liz was right, all three of them really had come home, and across the universe, a being known to some as the Granolith, smiled.
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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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