"Their conveyances are absurdly difficult to operate, Daddy. It failed on me in short order and I had no idea what else to do! I think that you'd have to be Thinker-demon just to get them to go in a straight line." Chamosh sat in what her numerous siblings called The Scolding Chair
, her father Argyle, the 5th Lord of the Drokk, stood in front of her, tapping the hilt of his claymore with his fingers in agitation.
"Did yee take any candy from anyone?" his deep rumbling voice demanded.
"Candy? Daddy, what..."
"Did any strangers give you anything to eat or drink?"
"Papa! I have not been drugged. I arrived in the house and except for the failed attempt of carrying the girl to an Aid Station, I never left the house." Her Da was worried that she was high? Oh my Gods
, she thought, looking at the tall red skinned man with the black ponytail dressed in his normal Highland regalia. She tried hard not to roll her eyes at his fake Scottish accent, even as he sometimes forgot to use it.
"Cammy, the surface be a filthy place. You likely have a disease now. Do ya feel ill? A bit peekid perhaps? You do look a wee bit pale now that I think about it." He walked away from her before her sputtering reply could distract him and opened the door to the grand hallway at Castle Morr Lagan. "Stewart! When the Medicals are done with the surface vermin send them here directly!" At the commands, his demon-servant went running off through the vast black stone fortress.
"Daddy! I'm not sick!" she pleaded as he walked back over to her and put the back of his hand on her forehead. "Angelica seems like a sweet girl and she does not look like vermin at all to me."
"You might have caught cancer, Lassie, or heart disease, that is another of their common plagues, dirty place. Do not fret, child, the Medicals will make sure you havna' been contaminated. You can't be too careful, childhood obesity is another one the vermin are obsessed with now. You don't want that, Lass, I promise you." He sat in his great oaken desk and started drafting her resignation letter to D'Hoffryn. The Pleasure Pits were a fine and respectable place for a young lady to mature in, why his own sainted mother served on her knees for a century before being sold as a bride. Now, the Lord of the Tower sends his favorite child off to the savage wilderness of the surface like she's some sort of expendable operative...Hells No! He'd give the great blue ninny a piece of his mind! Now she probably had AIDS or Hepatitis or Devils forbid, Erectile Dysfunction or some other horrid surface malady.
He poured himself a Scotch as his mind raced on how best to insult the Lord of Arashmaharr without actually...insulting him.
"Dad! If you're writing what I think you are, you can just stop. I have to go back, I'm the first Pleasure-demon female to get a mission like this and anyway, I'll need to bring Angelica home and apologize for the...mayhem." She walked over and sat in his lap. He always melted when she reminded him of her childhood.
"Bah, we'll send the vermin to the pits," he said as he pushed her off of his lap. "It's fine place for her, no cults, no gangs, no drugs, no teenage pregnancy...none of their diseases. She'll learn to be civilized and house-broken and might even be a proper body servant someday."
"Daddy," she moaned, turning on the full power of her famed pouty face. "I'm sure she's house-broken and making her go to the Pleasure pits would seem like torture to her. You always say the surface dwellers are savage barbarians, so how can you do that to some other father's little girl and not be one yourself?"
He downed his Scotch and wondered how the females down here were bootlegging that Oprah-demon's television show. Subversive education was the only explanation for how the young talked to their fathers nowadays.
King Rey's Big BBQ was a small red brick restaurant with a smokehouse added to the rear of the building. The smell of smoked meat destroyed every other scent for at least twenty miles, Willow guessed. They were sitting at a table with King Rey and two other wererats that he hadn't introduced and everyone but her was stuffing their faces with enough food to kill 30 or 40 normal people.
"Eating a lot, especially meat, soothes the beast, Chica," Rey Rey told her, having noticed the girl's expression at the volume of food disappearing.
"Your beast must have needed a lot of soothing then," she replied to the at least four hundred pound man. He had a handsome face, she had to give him that. It was like he was a Mexican soap opera star in his youth but then ate the rest of the cast.
Everyone fell silent, waiting for Rey's reaction to her comment. Bobby Lee sighed and looked at her, raising his eyebrow and shaking his head.
"He called me chica. That's like whore or something. He doesn't know me well enough yet to call me that."
Rey Rey laughed, huge braying peals of laughter before he waved his hand at her. "No..no, chica is ...girl or maybe sweetie, something nice. Puta is more like what you thinking. I never call a woman no names until AFTER I make sweet love with them." He started laughing again and waved off her hesitant apology.
Willow excused herself and went to the restroom, as if she ever had to use the bathroom anymore. She walked down the hall, looking at the family themed decor. She stopped at the door to the kitchen and watched as two identical twin girls, both rats, shredded a pork shoulder. They had light complexions and long dark hair, both of them wearing identical black boy shorts and white half tee-shirts that were cut so their breasts were exposed every time they reached or stretched for something. She watched them and felt her mouth water, literally felt like she was salivating. They reacted to her presence at the exact same moment and one of them walked over to her. The voluptuous Latina couldn't be any older than her early twenties Willow guessed.
"Can I help...you?" she asked and then looked at her sister, who was staring at the vampire.
Willow could feel them, feel their beasts, feel their heartbeats and she wanted nothing more than to take both of them to the ground, tear all of their clothes off, her own included, and just roll around naked with them. She had skin hunger like she never knew what the word hunger really meant before in her entire life. "I'm..Willow, I..."
"Willow!" Bobby Lee said sharply, startling her as she hadn't noticed him walk up from behind. The vamp looked like she got caught with her hand in the cookie jar and he was going to make a joke about it when her eyes, engorged with desire and power hit his. The full force of her body slammed into him and he fell back against the wall as she wrapped her legs around his waist after climbing up and putting her arms around his head. He was still trying to talk when her mouth crushed onto his and he couldn't resist her taste and power any longer. He kissed her deeply as they slid to the floor. He noticed Rey Rey and Juanito standing over them and tried to slow it down but her hand slid into his jeans and the chill of her skin chased any civilized thoughts out of his mind.
He had the thought that she wanted him forever, and the only coherent answer he could form was, "Yes, Ma'am."
They both lay on the floor afterwards, tangled in each others clothes. She stared into his brilliant blue eyes and was extremely, warmly happy and horribly scared at the same time. Somewhere around the time they actually finished the dance, her power had flowed through his mind and his beast had jumped to her subconscious call. She could see his memories and feel the rhythms of his body. His heart sounded somewhere deep in her psyche and she had the terrible thought that she had just gotten them both killed.
"Rafael's gonna be pissed," he said, still staring into her beautiful green eyes, his hand resting on her hip and the other cradling the back of her head.
"I've got money, we could run," she answered in a hurried whisper, forgetting that the rats who even now were making a living wall to block the normal customers from seeing what had happened, would hear them anyway.
"Sweet thing," he murmured as he touched her face softly, "He wont be thrilled 'bout this, but he wont kill us neither. We just gonna have to work it out."
"What about you? Are you mad at me?" she asked with concern. Not sure how she wanted him to answer.
He looked at her for a moment and then smiled and leaned in to kiss her nose. "No, I wouldn't have agreed if you'd asked and I'm not sure exactly how I feel yet, but it don't feel that bad to me now. Like I said, we'll have to work it out. I never been a Beast to Call before and you never had one to call before so we'll just have to see what happens. I do know that the bonding is two ways, my beast chose you and gave himself up before I even knew what was goin' on."
"You're taking it awfully well," she said, expecting him to not be so calm about being tied to a vampire for ever unless there was some way that she didn't know about to break the connection.
"It's not my first rodeo, Sugarpie, and crying over spilt milk never solved anything. If you want ta know the truth, I've been feeling the draw to you since we met. I've felt other vamps that called rats and this was different from the start, so I had a clue that this might be possible. Anyway, it's not that bad of a deal. My vampire is a fine, green eyed, fire haired, little fox, and if we make a full triumvirate, I could likely live as long as you do, unless someone takes me out directly. And that, is why we're gonna work on your image. You are a great deal more powerful than anyone realizes and that could be good in some regards, but it also means no one is afraid of challenging us. I didn't see myself ever doin' anything like this but it really don't feel bad, so maybe we aught'a think of gettin' a human servant for you and tying it all together. That's for the future though, what's important now is getting Rafael to give us more rats, especially if you plan on keeping the house. When everyone sees how much a player you are, living out in the open might not be the best idea." He laughed at himself. "I must be nervous, 'cause now I'm ramblin' like a sixteen year old girl."
"As great as you two doing this in my hallway was, I would still be much happier if you both got up and at least went in the back," Rey Rey's voice announced with sarcasm, startling them into action. "My customers need to use the bathrooms."
"Sorry 'bout this, Rey, riding the power can be a bit crazy," Bobby Lee explained as he pieced his outfit back together. Willow was getting herself dressed until she noticed the twins. She stared at them until Reylando reached over and shut the kitchen door. Bobby Lee took her hand and ignored Juanito's questioning look as he said to Rey on their way to the front door, "We'll head on over to the campground and see about the reason we came here. If everything goes easy, I'll call before we leave town."
"Alright mis amigos, be careful. Take Octaviano and Henry with you. Good to met you, PUTA." He waved at them and started apologizing to his customers.
Bobby Lee stiffened but she saw that Rey was just being sarcastic so she smiled at him and said "Adios, hombre gordo."
"What's the deal with the twins?" she asked Bobby Lee as the five of them walked from the vehicles down a slight hill towards the campsite.
"Inez and Izel, they're Rey Rey's nieces," he answered. "He's raised 'em since they was babies."
"How did they both become rats?"
"Rey infected them and when you ask why, I'm gonna say you need to ask Reylando that, I don't know."
She rolled her eyes and looked at the camp for the first time. There appeared to be around twenty bikers and almost that many women lounged around a campfire and a handful of picnic tables. One of the bikers was standing at the edge of the camp, watching them approach. "Did we bring enough guys?"
Bobby Lee glanced at her for a moment, "Hopefully, all we do is talk. If the flags go up then we got you. Try not to kill anyone unless they're trying to kill us."
She snorted, regrowing human-like emotions left her in the clouds, but kicking ass was old hat for her. Vamps in the old world may not have mind juice but they came out of the grave halfway between Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee. She smiled back at him and nodded.
All of the bikers began to walk up to met them so Bobby Lee stopped and waited for them to gather. He looked at his reinforcements, Henry was an older thick bodied tough guy, no real training but not afraid to get bloody, not in the least. Octaviano was new, he didn't know the tall dark man personally but Rafael had recruited him for Reylando and he was supposed to know what he was doing.
"Welcome to the territory of the Harley Wolves." A muscular balding man with small round glasses said to them as he stepped out front of the crowd, his tattooed arms bare as he wore a leather vest with a Wolf's-head emblem on the pocket.
Bobby Lee stepped forward and said, "Thank you, I come as representative of the Dark Crown Clan in St. Louis.
"My name's Conner, what can I do for you so far away from your home." The wolf slid in the man's eyes as he talked to them.
"I'm Bobby Lee, my clan sponsors Reylando and his rats. He wants to make sure no misunderstandings make a problem bigger than either of us want."
"Well, Mr. Bobby Lee, were not looking for a problem either. Just have Big Rey pay ten percent like every other business we 'protect' in town and hook up some of those little Mexi-sluts in tribute once in awhile and no ones feelings have to get hurt." The bikers started to spread out, slowly encircling the group.
"Senoritas," Bobby Lee responded, not reacting to their movements.
"What?" Conner stared at him.
"Mexi-sluts isn't very nice, I'd be thankful if you'd call them Senoritas, if you had to call them anything at all," he said calmly and with a small smile.
The wolf king stared at him and then looked at the rest of the group. He looked Willow up from head to toe before saying, "Why is it you have a vampire with you?"
Bobby Lee smiled wider. "Security."
"Well then you should have brought a bigger bloodsucker or better yet, you should have brought some of them Mexi.." Willow's speed enhanced punch leveled him.
She grabbed the closest wolf and headbutted him to the ground. She kicked the next one in the stomach and leaped up to roundhouse kick another before landing and grabbing Conner as he stood up and threw him into the crowd of his own wolves.
Chaos erupted as everyone finally reacted and Bobby Lee held his rats back and just watched the graceful destruction that she was capable of. He knew she was a fighter from their bond but he had no idea that she knew how to use leverage like a shifter AND the magical strength that vamps had.
He finally let everyone join in when she started to get surrounded. He charged to her side and blocked a knife attack with his forearm. Drawing his own blade he squared with the bearded knife wielder and did a Muay Thai side leg kick as soon as the wolf stepped forward. It caused him to turn sideways and Bobby Lee swung in, slashing the man's stomach open and driving him from the fight.
Willow was having fun. It was hard not to rip their throats out like her and Xander used to do to the crowds of humans they waded through but Bobby didn't want her to kill and after the surprise wore off, the wolves started gaining on her, she wasn't that much faster than them as she thought. A blow landed in the small of her back and she launched forward from it. She spun around but the partially changed wolf slammed into her and took her to the ground. She snarled at him and held his muzzle away from her as he clawed at her chest. She thought it might have been Octaviano's foot that connected with the wolf's face, sending him off of her with a yelp. She sprung to her feet and charged after. The wolf barely had time to react as she slammed into him and drove him to the ground. She held her forearm across his throat as several fast punches to his chest sapped his will to fight. She snarled again and sunk her fangs into him and fed.
Bobby Lee's first shot hit the black-haired biker that was about to use a broken baseball bat on Willow's back, right in the shoulder, spinning him around. The next four shots knocked him backwards and to the ground. He casually walked up to the sputtering tattooed wolf and put the gun to his head.
"STOP!" Conner's voice, gravel deep from his beast being at the surface, yelled out. He let Henry up from the ground and walked closer to Bobby Lee. "We got the message. Why can't we all just get along?" He said with a smile as blood dripped from a cut on his nose.
"Terms?" Bobby Lee asked, still aiming the gun at the wolf on the ground.
"Rey Rey gets a pass."
"We can't have any hard feelin's. How about Rey supplies the food when you're in town...within reason, and you keep an eye out for anyone messing with any of his rats over there?" Bobby Lee proposed as he finally lowered the pistol and let the wolf get up and retreat.
"Well Hell, why didn't we all say that from the start. Big Rey makes a mean brisket. We have a deal. Send for some BBQ now and it all becomes water under the bridge." Conner walked over and offered his hand to Bobby Lee. The Rat shook it and got on his cell phone.
Willow watched in amazement as the men that were moments ago trying to maim each other, now practically walked hand in hand together as the wolves showed the rats their custom bikes. "I don't get it," she said to no one in particular.
"Men make friends by kicking each others asses, it's the women that hold a grudge forever," the big chested blond wolf said as she walked over and held her hand out to Willow. "My name's Shayla and Conner's my man, I'm the Lupa here."
"Willow, Bobby Lee is my guy I guess and umm..it still seems weird to me that we're all just being friends now," she said as she shook the attractive woman's hand and felt more uncomfortable when Shayla didn't let her hand go.
"Let me see what I can do about that," Shayla said as she pulled the vampire into an embrace and made a pretty good effort at sucking the tongue out of her mouth.
"I do have my own Harley," Willow replied, as her beast to call smiled at her and she wondered why she had butterflies in her stomach because of it.