Sharing is Caring
Disclaimer: A fan excitedly walks up to Nozomi to get her autograph, but she could only say sadly, “Sorry, but I don’t actually own these characters.”
*Please read the author’s note at the end* (after you read the story of course)
Chapter 7-Sharing is Caring
Xander closed his eye and tried to erect some kind of shield for his mind. He had felt so helpless and alone. No Scooby’s to go to for help, and he was just too powerless to really do anything. Same old zeppo, now twice as useless. Yet this souled vampire had comforted him while he acted like a baby, and he could still feel the fierce feelings of protectiveness the vampire was emitting. What really got to Xander was the pure sincerity of what Asher was feeling. Xander gave the blonde a small smile and basked in those feelings before painfully dragging his mental shields back up.
“You know that crazy killer on the loose? The werewolf?” Asher nodded. “Well, he took Jeremy, said he was going to t-torture him and then he was going to come for me. He said he’ll know if I go to the police and…and...” the small child’s brown eye had such pain and helplessness that Asher couldn’t help but to scoop the child up and hold Xander on his lap.
“The thing is, I know that while he is all kinds of crazy he’s not bluffing. But…I also know where he’ll take Jeremy and I can’t do anything about it!” Xander clenched his fists so tightly that his knuckles went white. It made him so frustrated to be so helpless that he felt physically ill, and caused a dull rage to burn in his chest.
Asher laid a gentle hand on Xander’s clenched fists, and looked down into his small face filled with frustration and anger. Such an expression did not belong on the face of a child, especially this one who normally had such warmth and cheer. As he opened his mouth to comfort Xander he paused as a detail that had been niggling at the back of his mind finally came into focus.
“Xander, where is your eye patch?”
Asher’s mouth thinned in displeasure as he saw Xander flinch, and a small hand shot up to touch the long bangs covering his left eye.
“I…it was the werewolf. He ripped it off as a trophy and he said it s-smelled of me.” Xander said with only a slight quaver in his voice. He could feel Asher’s deep concern and curiosity about his left eye and smiled a crooked half smile. “Hey. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.”
Xander’s half smile grew to a grin as first surprise then understanding passed across Asher’s face. He wasn’t sure if Asher would show the left side of his face and if he didn’t, so much the better. He wouldn’t have to either. Though he did want a closer look. He had fully seen Asher’s face once, but only in a dark alley at a distance. He didn’t want someone he considered his best friend to have to hide from him. That had happened before.
A flash of pain went through him as he though of Willow hiding her pain and magical addiction. It had been a dark time in both their lives.
Without a word Asher swept back his hair, almost defiantly baring the scars he was sure would horrify his sweet little friend. In an opposite reaction, Xander smiled a gentle, sad smile and slowly reached up and put a delicate hand on the scars. Even staring intently at the small face Asher could detect no disgust or even worse, pity. There was only a painful understanding. Still keeping eye contact, Xander used his other hand to push back his long bangs.
Beyond the slight widening of his eyes, Asher’s face froze completely. His mind however reeled in horror at what his small friend revealed. The eye that was hidden previously by an eye patch and bangs was barred to show that his left eye was in fact gone.
The faint scarring he could see behind the sagging eyelid and the flinching when hands got too close to Xander’s face told Asher that Xander didn’t always have just one eye, and that he had lost it in a traumatic event.
Xander meanwhile looked down, not able to look Asher in the face. He couldn’t read Asher’s empty expression and he was worried. Did it disgust him? Did the vampire feel…pity?
Asher wanted to hold the little face in front of him, so filled with sadness and shame, but he knew that wouldn’t be good in Xander’s current frame of mind. Instead he cupped the back of the small head, stroking it slightly.
“Xander. I am not disgusted or horrified at your missing eye.” Asher said softly. “However, I would be lying if I said I was not sad that one so young should have to suffer so. Yet be assured I do NOT pity you, for I know that pity from others stings worse than the lash of a whip.
Hearing those words eased the tension in Xander’s chest. Asher understood. In his home dimension Xander got his fill of horror and pity filled looks. Now that he was pint sized those reactions would be even worse. With the ease of long practice Xander shook his bangs in place, then obviously changed the subject.
“Soo, do you have any silver knives or bullets? Um, that does work right? ‘Cause I gotta tell you, steel pocket knives don’t cut it with werewolves, no pun intended.” Xander put out an exaggerated pout. “Not to mention I lost my only pocket knife that way.”
Asher’s brow furrowed. “Xander, are you saying you stabbed the werewolf with, with a pocket knife?!”
“Uh, you did hear the part where he has my friend Jeremy, right? Like I was going to just stand there and do nothing! Well, actually, I did stand there and do nothing, but then I got over it and did something, and it all turned out okay in the end. Um, not okay as my friend is now in the hands of a psychotic madman, but as in I stand here before you relatively unharmed and now I’m gonna stop babbling.” Xander had to take a deep breath after saying all that. The tension and stress was causing him to fall back on long ingrained habits, like babbling.
Poor Asher was feeling overwhelmed with clashing emotions. He felt horrified at this child’s apparent lack of self preservation, yet at the same time innately proud at his complete loyalty to those he cared for. The rush of words were hard to follow and process because of how swiftly the words followed each other, and how did he manage to say all that and breathe?
With a mental sigh and headshake all he could conclude was that this was just how his little friend Xander was. Such a confusing whirl of emotion and confusion, yet overall he felt such affection and relief to have him there safe and babbling away.
Looking closer at the child Asher noticed that Xander was still slightly pale, and that light trembles shook his too small frame. He grabbed the red decorative blanket on the back of the loveseat they were on and gently wrapped it around undersized shoulders. He smoothly transferred Xander from his lap to the couch.
Xander looked surprised at the action, but he gratefully snuggled into it. “Thanks. I’m not really cold, but I can’t seem to stop shivering.” Asher privately thought that he was going into mild shock.
“Actually, considering what happened tonight it’s probably just shock.” Xander had a mildly disgusted look on his face as he said this. He was sure he used to be tougher than this, but his main excuse was this undeveloped body, on top of the fact that his life now was less peril filled on a daily basis. Well, there was peril, just not life threatening.
Asher however was surprised to hear his diagnosis come from the child before him. How did this child know of shock, and to recognize it in himself? He tore himself away from that line of thought to continue caring for his small friend.
“Are you hungry Xander?”
A brown eye assessed Asher, as Xander debated on whether or not to tell the truth. Asher looked back, not forcing the issue. The silent staring was broken by a small growl coming from Xander’s stomach. A third party seen fit to chime in. Xander flushed as he automatically put his hands over his tummy as if to silence it.
“Well, maybe a little.” Xander said wryly.
Allowing a smile to form, Asher picked up the phone to request one of his assistants to grab some food from one of the break rooms, a bottle of water, and one of the first aid kits they had around. He still needed to see to Xander’s wounds now that he was calmed down more. When he put the phone down, he thought of how to convince Xander that they needed to take this to Jean-Claude.
“Xander, I’m not sure how much you know about vampires, but usually there is a master vampire in charge for each major city, or area. Matters of this level, like a rouge werewolf, should be taken to the attention of the master. Probably the Ulfric, ah, I mean the head of the local werewolf pack as well.”
Xander couldn’t help the automatic shudder of disgust at the mention of master vampires. Most of those were major trouble, not to mention the butt ugly Master. And they had vampires controlling cities? Freakin’ control freaks.
“Umm, can’t we just handle this quietly without talking to head honcho vampires? I don’t…really feel comfortable asking vampires for help.” Xander’s eye grew large at Asher’s raised eyebrow, and he waved his hands about, still holding the blanket. “Not you! You don’t count ‘cause you’ve proved to be a good vampire, and, well, you’re not just a vampire, you’re my friend. I know you.” While this was said in a halting manner, there was no doubting the absolute sincerity from his tone and face.
Asher was deeply touched at this boy’s confidence in him, while at the same surprised, not knowing how well Xander truly saw into him. “Xander, I’m afraid this is not something that we can just handle quietly. Besides,” Asher hesitated unsure how his little friend would react. “I’m the Master of the city’s second in command. It would be remiss of me not to alert him of this situation.”
Biting his lip, Xander was unsure how to feel about this bit of news. Asher hurried on seeing the discomfort on the small face. “I would be able to convince the master to send out a rescue for your friend. Will you trust me Xander?” Asher looked at the pensive face as Xander gave him one of those penetrating looks that felt as if he were searching the vampire’s very soul, if he had one.
“Okay.” Xander slowly replied. “If you say meeting with this Master vampire is necessary, I trust you. But I want to go with the team to get Jeremy, and I want a weapon.”
Eyes wide, Asher was about to reply that there was no way on Earth that Xander was going near that werewolf when a knock came at the door. Calling for the person to enter Asher saw Nathaniel enter carrying the requested items.
“Mr. Kitty!” Xander exclaimed in surprise.
Nathaniel turned his head in surprise to examine the child that called him that odd name. The delicate features and long brown bangs caused him to widen violet eyes in surprise and recognition. It was the mysterious child from the alley he and Anita had met weeks ago!
“Hello. I can’t say I expected to see you again.” Nathaniel smiled at the boy.
Meanwhile Asher was puzzled, looking between the two wondering how Nathaniel knew his young friend. Before he could say anything Xander spoke up. “Hey Asher, what is Mr. Kitty doing here?”
Cocking his head Asher replied, “This is Nathaniel, and he works here. How do you know him? And why are you calling him Mr. Kitty?”
“Oh, well I didn’t know his name and since he reminds me of Wil- uh, a friend’s cat I dubbed him Mr. Kitty. I actually met him the same night I met you. He was with Ms. Death Angel asking questions about the crazy werewolf that has Jeremy.” Xander said, slightly suspicious of the ‘coincidence’ of seeing Mr. Kitty, uh, Nathaniel there. He hoped that the two didn’t notice his hesitation saying Willow’s name, but he was just not up to exposing that emotional wound at this time. One crisis at a time please.
As they both males absorbed that information Nathaniel asked hesitantly, “I reminded you of a cat?”
Xander looked confused as to why this was surprising. “Yeeahh, that’s because I could tell you’re a werelepard. Hence the catness.” Then Xander’s eye widened and gave himself a mental smack in the head. Technically he shouldn’t be able to tell that Nathaniel was anything different. He wasn’t used to having to keep any special abilities under wrap.
Asher was surprised at this new revelation from his small friend, but seeing the upset on his face after sharing it the vampire decided to address that at a later time. “Nathaniel, would you hand the food to Xander? I will take the first aid box.”
Taking the situation in stride, Nathaniel handed off the first aid box to Asher and the food to the child, Xander. Hesitating upon receiving the water Xander looked up at Asher.
“Umm, do you have a sink or something that I can use so I can rinse my mouth out before I eat? My mouth does not taste the best right now.” The food was enough to bring his stomach back to growling, but the lingering taste of vomit and the were’s blood was an effective appetite killer.
“There’s a bathroom through this door.” Asher pointed out a door, wondering what he meant. Nodding his thanks Xander went to the sink and rinsed his mouth as thoroughly as he could. Trying to shake off the memory of why he needed to rinse his mouth Xander sent Asher a questioning look.
“Why do you have a bathroom just off your office?” then his eyes widened. “Do vampires have to go to the bathroom?” He had to bite his lip at the thought of some of the vampires he knew having to suffer the indignity of going to the bathroom.
Nathaniel let out a surprised laugh at the innocent curiosity of the question, and even Asher let out an amused chuckle, his blue eye brimming with laughter. “No little one, vampires do not need to use the bathroom. I believe it was originally part of the design.”
“Oh.” Xander said in a disappointed tone. What? It was another dimension, it could happen. And it would have been so funny too. Just thinking of Angel or Spike dancing around needing to use the toilet made him let out a quiet giggle. Thanks to the superior hearing of both the older males in the room they could hear the soft giggle from the child.
Xander sat down and took a bite one of the sandwiches. Nathaniel was interested in this small boy, and when Asher didn’t dismiss him he settled down on the arm of the other end of the couch.
Once Asher crouched down with hydrogen peroxide and cotton balls Xander hesitantly said, “I can do that. You don’t have to.”
“Please, allow me. It’ll help me to feel useful.” Asher was aware of the child’s pride, and lack of self esteem and wasn’t above harmlessly manipulating Xander to allow him to care for his friend.
With a small half smile that hinted that he understood that he was being played, Xander offered a leg that had a ripped knee with abrasions on it. Taking another bite, he savored the taste of the different meats, cheeses, and mayo. He spoke up into the silence.
“You know, I thought it was like a universal rule that the food that strippers eat has to be healthy.” He looked at Nathaniel’s trim form perched on the couch. “Though, I don’t know if it counts if you’re a were animal. Do you know any fat were people?”
Nathaniel once again smiled at this child’s comment. “No.” He replied thoughtfully. “I can honestly say I’ve never met a were that was overweight, or even plump. Mostly we don’t crave as much junk food, and our metabolism tends to burn up all the foods that we eat. That being said, we strippers here do still try to watch what foods we eat.” He was a little hesitant talking about his job as a stripper with this kid, even if he did live on the streets. Therefore he was intrigued by the grin that Xander gave.
“You are so lucky. There were some strippers that I knew, and they were all about the boring foods like salad, vegetable trays, and healthy shakes. I know that some of them would have killed to have a metabolism like yours.” Nathaniel gave a happy smile at Xander’s comment. There was no judgment in Xander’s tone, and it felt like he was trying to reassure the werelepard.
Asher, trying to distract Xander from the sting of having his minor cuts cleaned asked his own question. “When did you meet these strippers, and how do you know what they eat?”
With a mischievous twinkle in his eye Xander said, “Oh no. I swore that the story of Oxnard and strippers would never be revealed. Wild vampires couldn’t drag that tale out of me.”
Nathaniel once again let out a small laugh at both the child’s tone and interesting turn of phrase. “Isn’t it supposed to be ‘wild horses couldn’t drag it out of me?’”
“Please, when showing a determination not to talk which would show a greater unwillingness? Having wild horses pull it out, or wild vampires?” Xander scoffed.
Asher smiled fondly at Xander’s explanation. The mix of strange logic and slightly disturbing depiction was completely Xander. Finishing with the child’s legs, Asher reached for the right arm that was where the strongest smell of blood was coming from. “May I see your arm now?”
Xander hesitated to bring his arm forward which immediately made Asher concerned. “Umm, I was thinking, if there was any were’s they might be able to get a fairly good scent from my arm if we left it alone.”
“Why would you think there would be a scent that could be used?” Asher asked in a controlled voice, desperately trying to contain any rising homicidal anger.
“He, he licked the wound. There was a good amount of licking going on, and I imagine there's enough saliva to get a good scent off of it.” Xander explained softly, his face complexly blank.
While Asher imitated an ice statue, Nathaniel drew in a small breath of distress. Whether or not the wound on Xander’s arm was made by claws, licking it would insure it to be infected with werewolf DNA. It was also disturbing how logically this small boy was discussing using a wound that had been licked as a tool.
Seeing that Asher was still in lockdown mode and feeling the dark and turbulent emotions going through his vampire friend, Xander turned to Nathaniel. “Um, would you mind checking to see if you can get a scent off of my arm?”
“Sure.” Nathaniel carefully slid next to Xander and gently brought his arm to smell. The smell of the were was clear, with enough to be able to track by. Yet was another even stronger smell of it on Xander. Leaning closer to the child he smelled a splatter of dried blood on his shirt. “Xander, does this blood belong to the werewolf?”
Glancing down in surprise at the blood, Xander gave him a feral smile. “It must be when I stabbed that bastard in the heart with my pocket knife. It sucks that it wasn’t silver.”
That finally snapped Asher back to reality as he almost absently said, “Language, Xander.”
Xander, trying to lighten the mood, turned mock betrayed eyes to Asher. “What?! First Jeremy picks on me for cussing, and now you too?” At Asher’s upraised eyebrow Xander muttered under his breath about people turning him into a pansy and swearing to learn how to do the ‘eyebrow thing.’ Naturally both men heard this and smiled, as was intended.
“There will be enough to scent from the blood on your shirt, so may I clean and bandage your arm?” Xander nodded. “Would you rather take your shirt off have me cut off your sleeve?” Asher was making sure to ask permission before taking any action with Xander.
“Um, I think I’ll forgo the shirtless thing for now, so cut away.” Xander replied. “Hey Nathaniel, I have another question. How long does it take you to brush out your hair? ‘Cause let me tell you, I have never met anyone girl or guy with hair as long as yours.”
As Xander kept up an amusing discussion with Nathaniel, Asher cut away two thirds of Xander’s sleeves to reveal four parallel cuts on a small forearm. The vicious rips were made by claws. While Asher thoroughly cleaned the wounds and the area surrounding it as gently as possible the vampire noticed something disturbing. Beyond a few winces, and a few jerks of his arm, Xander didn’t really react to the pain that the disinfecting must be causing. Even an adult would be more vocal about this, and the fact that this child wasn’t spoke of a high tolerance for pain. This only turned Asher’s mood darker. He would definitely be in the group hunting this scum down, he needed to tear something apart.
As Asher loosely wrapped up Xander’s arm, he hesitated and spoke in the lull in the conversation.
“Xander? You do realize that with the werewolf licking your wound, and the fact that it appears to have been made by claws means that you are almost definitely infected?”
Looking at his arm with an indecipherable expression, Xander just nodded.
“Yeah, I also managed to swallow some of his blood so I figured I’m pretty much screwed.” Xander said matter of factly.
“How did you end up swallowing his blood?” Nathaniel asked hesitantly. “You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.” he quickly added.
“Oh, I don’t mind answering that. I got his blood in my mouth when I bit his hand to get him to let go of my friend Jeremy.” Xander once again smiled a slightly bloodthirsty smile. “I bit to the bone. Of course it was kinda nasty to accidentally swallow his blood, but it was so worth it.”
Nathaniel half smiled in admiration at the fierceness in this small child. Biting and stabbing a werewolf with a pocket knife! It could only be half a smile because he agreed with Xander, that in a couple of days he was very likely to be werewolf. Most people didn’t vaccinate lycanthropy after incidents with bad batches that caused infection instead of inoculation, like with what happened with Richard. It was even more unlikely that a child that lived on the streets had gotten such an inoculation.
Asher had finished cleaning all wounds…except on the scratches on Xander’s face. He hesitated with indecision, knowing that touching Xander’s face was not a good idea at all. Catching onto Asher’s indecision Xander looked at him with a knowing brown eye. The child seemed to be deciding something, when he took a deep breath and looked into Asher’s eyes.
“Will you clean the cuts on my face Asher?” Xander requested, fear and trust warring for place on his face.
Asher once again stilled in surprise. If he still needed to breath he would have stopped in that moment. He examined the delicate face in front of him.
“Are you sure?” the question was asking many things.
Nathaniel, unsure what the significance of what was going on, could feel the tension and undercurrents and kept quiet.
“I trust you.” Xander said with a quiet confidence, gazing directly into Asher’s eyes. Those words went straight to Asher’s heart and affected him deeply.
Xander knew he couldn’t allow his phobia of hands near his face to continue to affect him so deeply. His adult mind knew that it was a weakness to exploited by enemies. He also wanted to Asher to know how much he trusted and appreciated him.
With slow, careful movements, Asher used a cotton ball to gently cleanse the scratches and traces of blood off of Xander’s face. Though the child almost went vampiricly still, both Asher and Nathaniel could hear his heart speeding up.
Xander could feel his stomach twist sickly as he held himself as still as possible, and tried to control his breathing. He was intensely aware of the hand moving over his face, and sometimes out of his limited vision. He firmly reminded himself that Asher would never hurt him, and caught the feeling of deep care for him emanating from the vampire. Xander also distracted himself with pondering over the strangeness of how close a friend he was with this vampire.
Even with the love he felt for Jeremy, in a funny way he was still closer to Asher. It might have been the fact that mentally Xander was older than Jeremy, and Asher was clearly older than both. Yet it was mainly that indefinable quality that bound friends together. There was just something in Asher that drew him to the vampire, questionable living status aside.
Truthfully, the only time he’d ever felt this intensely about someone was his Willow. It could possibly be why he always compared the two together. Not his parents, his lovers, or any of his other friends pulled on his loyalty and love in such a way. And when Xander gave someone his complete loyalty, it was for life and beyond.
So with a combination of logic, and mental distraction Xander was able to sit with out flinching as Asher finished taking care of his face. Though when Asher finally sat back on his heels and softly said, “Finished” Xander limply slumped down against the back of the couch. He was wrung out from the tension and stress of the evening.
Asher stared down at the exhausted form of his small friend. He was admired the sheer bravery of the boy allowing him to clean the scrapes on his face. The vampire had seen both the reactions to hands touching Xander’s face, and seen the lost eye. This child was absolutely amazing, and he felt such love and protectiveness swell in him that he couldn’t quite ever remember feeling before. An odd smile formed on Xander’s face at that moment.
“Xander, while you rest here I will make arrangements for us to see Jean-Claude, the Master of the City.” seeing Xander’s sleepy nod Asher turned to Nathaniel. “Please see if you can find a shirt to replace Xander’s.” Asher looked up from the phone he was reaching for as he noticed Nathaniel hesitating in the doorway.
Nathaniel fidgeted slightly as he looked from the now sleeping boy on the couch to Asher. He didn’t like asserting himself, but he felt an affinity for the bright child on the couch who retained that brightness despite the harshness of his life.
“I go on stage soon, and I only have one set tonight, so would you mind if I came with you to the circus?” Nathaniel requested softly.
Though surprised at the request Asher simply said “I see no problem with that.” At that Nathaniel smiled his thanks and left the room.
“Ah Xander, you do seem to draw the good and the bad to you.” Asher mused aloud while observing the sleeping child. He looked so much more relaxed and innocent in slumber.
With a small sigh, Asher sat down to call Jean-Claude, Anita, and Richard to alert them of the emergency meeting that was going to take place at the circus. There was sure to be arguments, unpleasantness, and short tempers. He couldn’t wait to speak to them.
“The Master Vampire in control of the city lives at the circus?!” Xander asked in an incredulous voice as the car pulled up to The Circus of the Damned.
Asher and Nathaniel exchanged looks of amusement at the sheer disbelief in the small boy’s voice. Asher merely said, “No. He lives under it, as do I.”
Xander shook his head again in incredulity. In a twisted way it made an ironic sense. If you could find a hellmouth under an evil like high school, you could find a Master vampire controlling an entire city living under the evil that was the circus. Then Xander spotted an abomination that made his eye grow round.
“That’s just sick.” Xander breathed aloud.
“What is?” Asher questioned curiously, ducking his head in an attempt to see what Xander was so fascinated by.
“Who the heck thought it would be a good idea to put fangs on a clown?” Xander questioned, pointing at the sign with the large vampire fanged clown. “I mean, don’t you think clowns are inherently evil enough without adding more to them? That’s enough to traumatize children for life!”
“Why Xander, do you perhaps dislike clowns?” Asher asked in an innocent voice.
Xander shot him a dirty look. “Clowns are evil, and not a laughing matter. You better keep them away from me.” Then, because he could see the smiles on both adults’ faces, he poked his lip out in a pout.
Nathaniel shook his head with amusement at a child that would attack a murderous werewolf complain about clowns.
“Xander, don’t take this the wrong way, but you are a strange kid.”
Xander huffed and slumped in his seat so he didn’t have to see the disturbing clown sign any more, and tugged at the shirt he was wearing. It was a plain black shirt that was baggy on him, but not too bad. Though he suspected it belonged to one of the waitresses. Due to all his female friends he knew more about clothing than a straight male should. Who knew that No Boundaries was an interdimensional store?
At least Xander was feeling a little more balanced since he got some quality snooze time on Asher’s very comfy couch. He had vaguely heard Asher talk to some people on the phone, and the next thing he knew he was being handed a shirt, and buckled in a black car. The funny thing was that they had a driver! He was going to ask why, but he suspected that both older males didn’t know how to drive. From what he had seen when he was soul gazing the two Asher was pretty old, and Nathaniel had a rough life, neither condusive to driving skills.
Xander was happy to notice that they didn’t actually pull into the circus, but around the back where there was a smaller parking lot and one unobtrusive door. As they were piling out, Xander leaned forward to leave a parting message, just to mess with the driver.
“Thanks for the ride Mr. Wererat. Congratulations on the new baby!” With the driver gaping at him astonishedly, Xander happily hopped out of the car. Sure it wasn’t subtle at all, but he figured that he was going to have to explain at some point to Asher, and he’d already been indiscreet. Besides, as he’d realized earlier, he completely trusted Asher to not hurt him.
“You know you’ll have to explain to me later how you do things like that.” Asher said with a smile. He held out his hand for Xander’s and the boy cheerfully took it.
“So you’re sure John will help Jeremy? Like tonight? I don’t want him to stay too long with that psycho, and, and, I don’t know how long he’s planning on keeping Jeremy alive.” Xander asked in a rush of words.
“Jean-Claude,” Asher emphasized, “is obligated to do something about the werewolf terrorizing the city. Just as the Ulfric is required to discipline any werewolf in his territory.” Asher didn’t want to promise whether or not they’d be able to get to his friend in time to save him. He hoped for Xander’s sake that they did.
Xander had a funny look on his face. “John Clod? Why does he have two first names? Or does he go by his first and last name?” Xander was just rambling because of nerves.
When Asher knocked on the door, it was unlocked from the inside and they were let in by a vampire. Still unsure about how he felt toward these souled vampires Xander moved closer toward Asher as they went in. Putting himself on high alert he lowered mental shields and eyed the vampire as they went by. It was a relatively new one, and he was obviously bored with his job and had no immediate hostile intentions.
“You have vampire doormen? Wouldn’t that job get boring?”
Asher smiled at the question, while Nathaniel let out a chuckle. The vampire in question rolled his eyes (he was new, under 20 years a vampire) but didn’t say anything to the child holding the hand of the second in command of the city. Asher continued to covertly keep an eye on the child as he helped a grumbling Xander down the oddly spaced steps. While the boy was lightly complaining about whoever made the stairs, Asher could tell that the child was nervous and worried. He hid it very well, but the vampire had been in courts for years, needing to interpret every word and gesture. He could read the signs.
Nathaniel was likewise worried about the kid. He could smell the nervousness from the boy, and he didn’t blame him. Then with his enhanced hearing Nathaniel could hear the arguing voices ahead and allowed a small sigh to escape. Smiling reassuringly at Xander’s questioning look, Nathaniel mentally shook his head. Really it was only to be expected when you put a certain three people in a room. Reaching forward the werelepard pulled back the heavy drapery covering the entryway, while Asher opened the door.
Walking in Xander was about to make a comment on the dramatics of the decorators when he saw the three people in the room looking like they were having a Mexican standoff. Letting out a small yelp he quickly covered his eye and stumbled back into Asher. He could barely see the features of the three for all the mystical things whirling around them.
The two males radiated opposing powers. One was the cold chill of the grave, a pretty strong vampire. The other was burning hot, a strong alpha werewolf. Then there was a woman who seemed to incorporate the hot and the cold. The woman was stranger than the other two, seeming to have a taste of death, while having two ghostly shifter forms. The power emanating was so strong, and a cable shot through the three, binding them together in some mystical way.
It was overwhelming, like suddenly having someone turn on their headlights in your eyes after complete darkness. And like a bright light it was killing his eye and making him feel light headed.
“Gahh!! Could you three tone that down, put up shields or something?! You’re burning my eye out here!” Xander complained. He had his eye shielded with his hand which helped a little.
“Xander, what’s wrong?” Asher asked worriedly. The vampire crouched down so he could support the child leaning on him, and better see what was wrong. Xander could feel Asher’s concern wrap around him almost like an insulator and let out a small sigh of relief. When he could feel the three erect shields around themselves and the intensity go down in the room, he cautiously lowered his hand. What he saw was three people staring intently at him.
Anita was already annoyed at having to meet at the circus for an emergency meeting. Add in the fact that this was about the werewolf causing trouble in the city, and that she had to deal with her ex boyfriend Richard, and her current boyfriend Jean-Claude (one of them anyways) and she was already at the point where she wanted to shoot something. The meeting hadn’t even started yet because Asher was on the way with someone who had vital information for them.
Richard had made some rude comment, Jean-Claude had made a sly comeback, and off they went. It had dissolved into the petty comments and sniping that inevitably happened to the three whenever they were in the same room. The testosterone in the room was rising, and unconsciously, power as well.
Anita turned her attention from glaring at the two men in front of her when she heard a small yelp behind her. Turning she was taken aback to see a child leaning on Asher while covering one of his eyes with his hand.
“Gahh!! Could you three tone that down, put up shields or something?! You’re burning my eye out here!” the child yelped.
Anita could feel the surprise in Jean-Claude and Richard at the child’s request. Obviously the kid was some kind of sensitive. Anita pulled back in power she hadn’t realized she was leaking and could tell the other two were doing the same. Meanwhile she was staring at the child, while noting that Nathaniel was there as well, also looking concerned. When the kid (a boy, she was 75% sure) lowered his hand slowly she narrowed her eyes. There was something tickling her memory about the boy…
“Hey, Ms. Death Angel! I thought I recognized that particular cocktail of weirdness! Fancy meeting you here. First Mr. Kitty and now you, there really is no such thing as coincidences.”
Anita’s eyes widened as that strange name triggered where she had seen the boy before. It was that kid from the alley, the one that knew more than he should. Jean-Claude and Richard were both thoroughly confused. Asher was torn between worry for what ever had affected his small friend, and exasperation for his talent for bewildering others. Nathaniel grinned at the confusion that Xander was causing.
Xander just straightened up and announced, “Well, hi everyone! My names Xander.” he turned to directly address Jean-Claude “and since you’re the only other vampire in here, and you’re pretty powerful, I assume you must be Jean-Claude. Can you help me get my friend Jeremy back from the psycho werewolf?”
Author’s Note: Smooth move Xander, way to make an entrance. I couldn’t bring myself to finish this whole confrontation/explanation scene, so I’ll save it for next time. Jeremy’s fate will be revealed next chapter, promise! Though I’m still undecided as to whether he lives or dies. On the one hand I like him, yet it would have a dramatic affect on Xander if he were to be killed. Plus I don’t really like OC’s to have big roles in stories, even if it’s my OC, unless they’re well written. So what do you guys think?
Sorry this note is so long, but I wanted to ask those that comment to note any pesky errors noted, and where. Also, upon reading did I get too monology? Was there too much thinking and not enough doing? I don’t want this story to get boring or to have the characters over analyze.
One last thing, I don’t know when Simon will die, but I do know who to do it and how. *chortle of glee* I’ll give you a clue, it’s not Asher, but it will be one of Xander’s conquests, an unexpected one. And it will be violent. He has it coming! I created him so good, even I hate him.
Thanks guys, hope this was long enough. I’ll try to update soon! My muse is upon me!