Friday seemed to be the one day in the week when Summers got picked up by her friends, and Richard was using the word ‘friend’ in the loosest of terms. Monday through Thursday she made a habit of slipping away before anyone could notice where she went.
Anita was, slowly but surely, getting annoyed after giving up two afternoons (Monday and Tuesday) to try and confront the elusive teenager.
Therefore, Richard stood, for the third time in as many weeks, on the lawn in front of his high school, watching Elisabeth Summers. The only difference was that this time, he had the Executioner with him.
Anita watched the girl Richard had pointed out through the thinning crowds. She looked like any other rebellious teenager, except for her strange hair. It was almost perfectly white, except for some colourfully streaked strands scattered all over her head. Her eyes were, even at the distance, a startling shade of green. If Richard hadn’t assured her that he didn’t even feel a blip from her, Anita would have been sure the girl’s eyes were that of a cat. She was too pale for someone living in St. Louis. At least someone with a heartbeat.
Even at first glance, everything about the girl seemed strange. Wrong. Alien. She looked out of place among her peers. It wasn’t hard to figure out why the other teenagers kept away from her. She had the same…feeling about her that predators had. A feeling that told humans - prey despite all their accomplishments and inventions - to stay away. To stay safe.
The girl watched through mildly interested eyes as the other teenagers paraded past her, not noticing anything. Anita had seen shapeshifters watching crowds like that, on days before the full moon.
She was startled out of her musings as Richard gently touched her arm, careful to keep away from bare skin. The power of the triumvirate still had a tendency to do funny things. Together, they made their way over to the lone teenager.
“I still maintain that you’re stalking me.”
It was an interesting way of starting a conversation with a teacher, Anita decided.
“I am not, Elisabeth.”
She raised an eyebrow. The animator could suddenly see the resemblance to Jean-Claude. “I didn’t know we were on a first name basis?”
Instead of reacting, Richard waved an arm toward Anita, introducing her. “This is a friend of mine, Anita Blake.”
“You’re the one who’s banging the Master of the City.”
Richard stiffened and Anita frowned. If the girl called her coffin bait, all bets were off. “I prefer to not call it that.”
The blonde’s smile was acidic. “Must be true love then.”
Calm, Anita told herself. She was here to help this girl. Shooting her in a public place was a bad idea. Really bad.
Instead she decided to dig a bit. “Got any experience with that?” She was proud of herself. She didn’t sound sarcastic at all.
Again a flicker of that smile before she cocked her head to one side. “Are you trying to go shrink on me?” She turned to Richard, “Did you bring your friend to shrink me?”
The Ulfric did a good impression of a fish on land for a moment at her accusing look. Then he offered weakly, “No.”
“You did,” she stated, not buying his denial for a second, her face strangely empty. “You know, I was actually starting to think you were different.”
Then she turned toward Anita. “So, what do you think is wrong with me?”
The Executioner stared at the defiant little…girl, torn between laughing and shooting her. She couldn’t come up with anything to say, though. Instead, she just looked the other girl in the eye for a long moment.
“Yeah,” Elisabeth said finally, bending to grab her backpack from the ground. “I thought so.”
She slung her pack over her shoulder and turned to face her teacher, “Leave me the hell alone. I don’t need your pity, or whatever else it is you’re doing this for.”
Anita found it peculiar that the girl didn’t glare as she delivered her demand. She just said
. As if she thought that was enough. Or as if she wasn’t really angry at all.
She tried to duck past Richard who deftly stepped into her path, blocking her. “El…Miss Summers….”
Whatever he wanted to say, he didn’t get the chance as she feinted left and then slipped past him with practiced ease. A second later she was past them and halfway down the stairs.
As Richard had predicted, a battered convertible was waiting on the curb. She jumped over the side and said something to the driver in a low voice. He took of immediately, leaving Ulfric and Lupa to stare silently after them.