Paint Me Bitter
A/N: Gotta get this out fast. New bunny! New bunny! Yay. My guess with roundabout fifty still stands, btw.
+Paint Me Bitter
“Tell me again why exactly we are doing this?” Nathaniel asked in an unusual fit of bravery. But then he was grumpy and the left side of his face was covered in white paint so Micah wasn’t as surprised by the grumbling as he might have been.
With a sigh he dumped the brush he was holding on the news paper covered floor and answered, “Because this is supposed to be a sanctuary for shifters, not a whole floor of empty rooms.”
The other leopard nodded. He knew that already. He was just exhausted, despite his enhanced strength and stamina. The two of them had been painting the rooms above the Coalition offices all day long, intent on fixing them up as the sanctuary they’d been meant to become from day one on.
Now however, only minutes before true darkness fell outside, Nathaniel had trouble lifting his right arm. And his head was itching. Still, he couldn’t really fault his alpha for working so hard because he knew the other man was feeling bad about Jay had said.
“This is about Elisabeth and her people, isn’t it?”
Micah nodded, wiping a splatter of paint off his forearm before he asked, “What do you think of her?”
Nathaniel shrugged. “I don’t know her. Anita doesn’t like her though.”
But then, Anita rarely liked anyone at all so that wasn’t too surprising.
The shorter of the two snorted, “They’re too alike if you ask me.”
That was true. Both women were strong, protectors and tiny and damn powerful. Nathaniel still felt like a spastic puddle on the floor every time he remembered the show of power the tiny blonde woman had given them under the Circus. They were used to being obeyed and to getting their way. They never backed down. He had been able to see that in Anita from the first moment and he’d seen it in Elisabeth, too.
“Asher likes her though.”
Micah raised an eyebrow in silent question as he gave up on his painted forearm, sitting down on the floor instead, legs crossed under him.
Following his leader’s example, Nathaniel plopped down on the floor, lying with his head in Micah’s lap. He purred happily as a hand started carding through his long hair. He lived for these quiet moments, moments of contentment that he’d never known before Anita had come along. He loved her for that more than anything else.
“Yeah. She’s been at the Circus a couple of times, talking to him all night. Damien likes her, too. He says he feels safe with her around. I think he’s visiting her at work as well.”
Nathaniel shrugged. “I do, too. Feel safe around her, I mean. I think that’s just how she’s built. She makes the weak feel safe.” Then, ”Do you believe what she said, that she was brought here by God?”
There was a long silence. “I don’t know. But they story’s too crazy to invent, isn’t it? And there’s something about her…I don’t know.”
He nodded. “Anita will like her even less when she realizes that she’s taking Asher and Damien from her.”
“They aren’t toys. Besides, she never wanted either of them, did she? She still won’t allow Damien to sleep at the house.”
At that the submissive leopard rolled so he faced Micah’s stomach, closing his eyes. Anita hadn’t wanted any of them. And sometimes he wondered if she would give them away if the opportunity presented itself. But then he remembered that Micah did want them and that he’d never let Anita give Nathaniel away. He’d keep him safe. Just like Elisabeth kept her people safe. Just like any good leader was supposed to keep their people safe.
And Anita was many things, but she wasn’t a leader.
“No,” he finally answered, sounding less bitter than he thought he would and still more than he knew he was capable of, “She didn’t.”
Micah held him a bit tighter.