Disclaimer: Shocking, but none of the characters are mine. I know y'all were confused there for a second. None. Nada. Zip. Zero. That Joss Whedon guy owns them along with WB, David Greenwalt, Mutant Enemy Productions, UPN and 20th Century Fox. No copyright infringement intended. No profit is gained. Anita Blake and her buddies belong to Laurell K. Hamilton.
Under his breath, Jason mumbles, “We should have gone with Marianne.”
The forest moves around them, trees swaying as wind rushes through leaves. An all too human man is facedown—dead. Perfectly good blood is going to waste, seeping into the earth around the body. The other man screams for his arm. Off to the side, the arm is silent.
Jason cares for none of that, except maybe he wishes the armless man would stop screaming. Buffy is at his side, pulling his head into her lap. It hurts. Everything hurts. For a moment, Jason envies the dead man, but then Buffy’s fingers slide through his hair and she whispers words of encouragement in his ear.
Shapes appear out of the darkness and a familiar scent wafts closer—Lucy. Ignoring Buffy, she shines a penlight in his eyes. Her hands wander over his body, and he can’t hold in sharp gasps when she finds his broken parts. Buffy’s hands, though, they soothe his forehead and he shivers from the pain.
There’s a dip in the earth besides him when Anita drops to her knees. She doesn’t touch him, hands hovering over his arm when Lucy tells her, “He’ll heal, but it’ll take a couple of days.”
He can smell it on her. Thick, salty…the words leave his mouth before he can stop them, “Let me lick the blood.”
“What?” It amazes him how much shock and disgust she can put into one word. He takes a beating for her, and that’s the thanks he gets. For a second, he can’t stand her.
Verne’s voice breaks the silence, “It’s fresh blood, Anita. Pack blood, it’ll help him heal.”
And then, Anita’s fingers are in his mouth. Soft, sweet skin covered in blood. His tongue slides over her hand licking it clean. For a second, he relaxes into the pain. Eyes closed; there is a moment of peace in all this horror. Lupa—mother—home. Lips opening, he wants to somehow thank her.
He meets her gaze and chokes on the words.
One second. That’s all it takes for Raina to come. The She-Bitch slides into Anita turning her midnight black eyes honey-brown. Heart in his throat, he shudders when she smiles down at him.
Breathing pain and fear, his vision goes black for what seems like a second. But it must have been longer. Buffy is gone, and he trembles watching Anita loom above him. Skin breaking into gooseflesh, he gulps back horror when she climbs over him on all fours.
“What are you doing?” He chokes out, but all he can think is, God, please God…don’t let her touch me.
“Marianne says if I embrace the Munin, it’s all power and no memories.”
That doesn’t sound right to him, but Anita looks like she believes it. And, right now, he’d give anything to make the pain go away.
“So…kiss it and make it better?”
Anita nods and leans down until her lips brush his. It starts with a prickling of the skin. Like a soft, electrical charge, it slides over him. Then, it starts to burn. He makes helpless noises as it jolts through flesh and bone to his very marrow. Rolling until he’s on top of Anita, it moves faster, hotter until his arms are around her and he’s pressing his lower body against her—rocking back and forth. Lust charges, flashing until his stiff with it. When he comes, there’s no sore spot left in him.
“Get off me.” Anita sounds pissed, but he feels too good to care.
With a grin, Jason rolls off. In a haze of post orgasmic glow, nothing matters. Not the dead man, not the bloodshed and certainly not the beating he’s just healed from. Words are being batted around and he doesn’t realize what’s happening until Anita is in front of Richard. Her knife curves through the night before he can scream stop.
It’s too late. God, it is too late. Richard bleeds, sounding so vulnerable when he whispers, “Anita don’t!”
She doesn’t listen. Instead, she draws the knife slowly down her own chest.
“Your heart to mine, mine to yours. Lupa to your Ulfric. But not to your bed, nor you to mine.”
She throws the knife to the ground blade first; the hilt of it quivers in the air. Body shivering, he feels the force of her intent burst over him. Like a bitch in heat, Anita is any wolf’s for the taking.