A/N: Not spell checked. Blame my head. I'll go and find a nice corner to have a migraine in now. Thanks for the reviews and encouragement. Ouch.
Anita was slowly walking toward the main entrance of the Circus of the Damned, intentionally dragging her feet. But she’d never admit that. She was merely enjoying the night. Yeah, right. I had taken her more than a week to work up the nerve to show up here. Not that she intended to apologize. At least not yet. First she’d see if the old act-like-it-never-happened strategy would work. She doubted it but really, really didn’t want to apologize.
She hated apologies. And she hated having to give them to people who were potentially right even more. Because that meant she was wrong. Anita didn’t like being wrong. Richard said she made life a lot harder than it had to be with all her hang ups and some days she was tempted to agree but she was Anita Blake, the Executioner. She played with the monsters everyday, she spent time with them, hell, she lived with some of them. If she let go of all the things that made her Anita, she was afraid she’d get lost among things much bigger and badder than her. Without her gun and her hang ups, who was she?
So she dragged her feet. Sue her.
She was almost at the door when a flash of white caught her eye. She knew of only one person in all of St. Louis who ran around with hair that white. Although, upon closer inspection, the red streaks Elisabeth had worn the first time the two women had met had meanwhile turned an electric shade of blue. Which didn’t change the fact that the very source of Anita’s recent problems was suddenly standing in front of her, wearing that funny half smile she always sported.
For a rather long moment, blonde and brunette stared at each other, not speaking or moving. Then Anita decided to hell with it, and barged in head first.
“Why don’t I like you?” She asked, half wishing for an answer, half for the girl to give her something to justify turning around and not apologizing to Jean-Claude after all.
Elisabeth shrugged and suggested, “You don’t like it when you don’t know everything about someone?”
Anita frowned. That was one of the reasons. Probably. But the blonde went on before she could say anything. “Or maybe because I’m more powerful than you and you know it. Or because I refuse to fight you.”
Okay, now her trigger finger was itching. “You seem awfully sure of yourself.”
The other woman snorted. “Believe me, Miss Blake, you’re not the first of your kind that I’ve met. In fact, I had a sister that was a lot like you.”
Suddenly she seemed to think of something because she tapped the side of her nose and pointed at Anita. “You don’t like me because I take everyone’s attention off of you.”
The response was automatic, “I don’t like everyone’s attention on me anyway.”
Again that blasted smile. Not even Jean-Claude could look so condescending and the man was over five hundred years old, damn it. “You seem to not like a lot of things.”
With the she turned and walked toward the parking lot without so much as a goodbye. For a moment Anita fantasised about pulling her gun and shooting the annoying brat in the back. But then she sighed, carefully removed her hand from the butt of her Browning and took a deep breath.
She let Elisabeth leave before turning on her heel and marching back to her car. There was no way she was going under the Circus now. Not after she’d just had an encounter with the one person in the world who seemed to look at her and see right through.
Elisabeth saw through the guns and knives, the big words and sharp threats down to the very bottom, the place where Anita sat and wondered who she was if she stopped fighting. Only, unlike Anita herself, the other woman seemed to know the answer already.
And she didn’t see anything in Anita that made her want to prove herself. The animator was used to people seeing who and what she was and trying to show her that they were good enough to stick around. Elisabeth gave her the impression thatshe
was the one who needed to prove herself. Like she was no-one important.
And that hurt.