These first 3 chapters were written in May of 2002 then I got stalled on chapter 4. I'm hoping this might kick start the muses again but I can't promise there will be more after this.
Rating: PG18 to be safe (let me know it you don’t agree)
Dislaimer: I own nothing and nothing owns me. Just heart felt thanks to the creators of two incredible worlds. Summary:
Crossover between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Anita Blake books by Laurell K Hamilton (if you haven’t read any of these you ought to give them a try) Yes I suck at summaries. Just read the story. Spoilers: BTVS:
Set a couple or so months after S6 Entropy and will follow cannon up till then, with some minor revisions (Buffy's hair is long 'cause I like it that way and she is in a good place mentally and emotionally) after that it depends (Tara's alive because...well because, and there was NO
B/S bathroom scene *the writers were sniffing glue that day*) and I will borrow elements thru the season finale. Anita Blake
:up thru “Narcissus In Chains”.
Notes: Told in the first person, the POV will switch back and forth between Anita and Buffy. The first two chapters POV’s will overlap a quite bit and so might some others. I’ve also made the two types of vampire’s strength about the same based on how vamps have been portrayed on Angel the Series and how he (Angel) said Buffy was stronger than he was. I’m also making her resistant to the mental abilities of LKH vampires seeing she broke the mind control of the Master and Dracula. They might be able to *mind roll*
her but they’ll have to sweat for it and it won’t happen casually. (would they be able to put the whammy on her before she can stake them??)
First chp: I know very little about police procedure or crime scene investigation so bear with me. I also do not have a beta reader so any grammar or spelling errors are also something to live with. Though I will try to keep them to a minimum.
Reviews: Please let me know what you think. I have written a handful of short fics but this is my first longer story.____________________________________ “La Petite Morte” Or “a little death” By ranlynn Chapter 1 (Anita)
“My feet hurt”
La Petite Morte, St. Louis’s newest and most exclusive restaurant. It’s the grand opening and this *by invitation only* event had attracted the interest of local politicians, celebrities and the press. All of whom were eager to curry the favor of, interview or simply to rub shoulders with the *Master of the City* and his human girl friend. Just the sort of people I like to hang with, yeah right.
Most of them are just using this opportunity to get a closer look at us, because you can be sure they wouldn’t be caught dead at the strip clubs.
This is the latest of Jean-Claude’s business ventures and, despite the name (for those individuals familiar with Jean-Claude and French euphemisms) it is the most mainstream of all of them. Glossy hardwood on the floors artfully shaped black iron and rich burgundy leather for the chairs and tables surrounding a dance area with a temporary stage about 2 to 3 feet high set up for live music. Heavy satin of forest green drape secluded booths and private dining rooms set further back of the main room. Waiters and waitresses in black trousers paired with stark white dress shirts and thin black ties move discreetly about. And the best chef this side the Atlantic is living up to his reputation. Good food and good music in relaxing and elegant surroundings.
And despite nosy reporters, social climbers and
social snobs, the tasteful music and the food (I’m gonna be living off salads for the next few weeks after indulging Jean-Claude’s taste for rich pastries), despite all this there is just one thing I have been dwelling on for the last 30 minutes.
“My feet hurt”, I grumble for the second time.
Earlier today Jason had arrived at my house with a package from Jean-Claude that had contained both an outfit for me, and a tux for Micah. We knew about the tux but I already owned a dress that I had planned on wearing tonight. But it wasn’t new and with the simple note that said, “Please”,
I thought what the hell, he doesn’t say please that often.
So here I am. The bustiea under the strapless black crepe is bad enough (he had, ever
so kindly, included matching underwear), damn thing pinches, but the length meant I needed to wear the 3-inch heeled matching pumps. But at least Jean-Claude knows me well enough to make sure that with the cut and flare to the skirt I could wear the belly-band holster with the Firestar 9mm. It might take me longer than I’d like to get at it, and I’d probably flash the room, but hey I’m armed. Man it’s tough being a girl.
“Would you just go barrow a cleaver from the chef and cut them off”, I_am_not_whining. Really.
“You did not have to wear the dress you know”
Turning I snap “I know I didn’t Micah”
Yeah, I know I’m not being fair but, damn it, I’m starting to loose the feeling in my toes.
Micah damn him, just chuckles at me. Micah Callahan about my height, rare in a man, dark eyes, dark curly hair with a face and body of a slender, delicate build. Deceptive when you weren’t familiar with the muscle hidden beneath the classic black tux, or aware of the fact that he’s a were-leopard, Nimir-raj to my Nimir-ra. My true mate
if, you believe in the legends of the were-leopards. We’re in the “getting to know each other stage”. Yeah, we’re doing things kind of backwards. Sue me.
The other man in my life, better make that One
of the other men. My friend Ronnie tells me I need to keep a scorecard. My love life is…. complicated.
“Relax ma Petite, it will be over soon. Most of our guests have already taken their leave”
A voice like warm velvet sends a thrill through me and I can feel my body tighten at the memories it invokes. Turning I face the person to blame for my discomfort. No Anita, be honest with yourself, it was your choice. Damn, I really want to blame somebody.
Enter Jean-Claude, entrepreneur, master vampire, incubus, Master of the City and sometimes-royal pain in the ass, pants of black bias cut linen cling to his legs and tuck into buttery soft nubuck ankle boots, with a matching jacket and a ruffly silk shirt, and his hair falls in soft waves to his waist. All of which just serves as a frame for his pale, beautiful face and the dark midnight blue of his eyes.
“Her feet are bothering her”, says Micah with a complete lack of sympathy.
I shoot a glare in his direction then jump as I hear a crash. Looking around I see some hapless waiter has dropped a tray of wine glasses by the stage. One of Jean-Claude’s people is already hurrying over with a broom and dustpan.
“Come Petite, let us say adieu to some of our quests” and, with a hand at the small of my back Jean-Claude urges me toward the lobby.
“Since when did they become our
I jerk to a stop, the hair on the back of my neck standing up. There’s a tingling along my bare skin and then I feel a sort of pressure in the air. Both Micah and Jean-Claude have stopped with me and are looking around suspiciously. I see some other people doing the same.
Suddenly there’s an explosion of light, sun bright, then a roaring sound like a freight train and I’m knocked off my feet. I end up on my hands and knees, blinking furiously. With the rooms *mood* lighting that flash had been doubly blinding.
“ma petite” “Anita” Micah and Jean-Claude “are you alright”
Eyes clearing I look over and see that they’ve been knocked over to.
“oooh, I’m just peachy” I respond. Sarcasm? me? nyaah.
Then someone, a woman starts to scream.
“EEE!!! get it off, get it off, aaahhh.”
“Shit, help me up” and grabbing hold of my hands the boys help me to my feet. How I manage not to trip over my skirt only God knows.
Rising we look around.
We see other people struggling to their feet but we see bodies as well.
Bodies, pale, still and crumpled on the floor, the stage, even that screaming woman has one pinning her legs, desperately trying to push it off herself. Then I get a real good look and those neck hairs start standing up again. Dressed in dirty and torn street clothes, none of these bodies belong to any of the event’s attendees or the restaurant employees.
“Petite, they do not have a heartbeat” Jean-Claude whispers softly and I sigh.
“OK, no one touch anything” I call out, stepping forward.
The screaming woman stops like someone clicked a switch and stares at my in disbelief. Bet she thinks I mean to leave her there with a corpse for a throw rug. Sorta tempting actually.
Shaking my head I send a look Micah’s way and he goes over, pushes the body off her than helps her to her feet. Not even stopping to thank him, she run’s from the room.
“Please, everyone, I want you to go out to the lobby_ don’t_leave. Wait there for the police to arrive” then I turn to jean-Claude.
“I need to call Dolph” and he just looks at me.
“Come on, you felt it, so did Micah, hell it looked like a good portion of your guests felt it to. Magic, and you can bet someone has already called the cops and the reporters are already calling in preliminary stories. Dolph finds out I was here, and I can’t see him not
hearing about it. If I don’t call him, well…..” and I trail off.
Raising one eyebrow he reaches into his jacket then hands me a cell phone.
I stare down at if for a moment then look up into his face. Jean-Claude and something so mundane as a cellular phone…. well that just kinda boggles your mind. Shaking my head I turn away and start to dial.____________________________________
After making the call and then herding guests and employees out to the lobby to wait, the only people remaining in the main room are Jean-Claude, Asher, Micah, Jason and I.
“Ok campers, we’re going to try not to disturb anything but we need to see if anyone of these people are alive” yeah I know, the boys should be able to hear anyone that still has a heartbeat but I need to make sure. I also want check the rest of the building.
“Jason, you take the booth area, see if any of them ended up back there” I tell him.
“Mam! Yes Mam!”, he quips, snapping off a half decent salute.
“Oh shut up, go”, I growl, making a shewing motion with my hand.
Grinning he moves off. I just shake my head. One of these days someone is going to thump him hard on account of that mouth of his.
“Asher, why don’t you and Micah take the kitchen and storerooms while Jean-Claude and I check out the private dining rooms” I say.
“Cherie, do you have any idea what happened”, he asks, curious.
“Haven’t got a clue, but whatever it was….”
“was powerful” he finishes.
Asher, Jean-Claude’s second-in-command and a master vampire in his own right. He’s also dressed in linen but in a shade of claret. Cutting as striking a figure as Jean-Claude but for very different reasons. Watching him and Micah walk towards the kitchens not for the first time I half wish that I didn’t have some of the hang-ups that I do. But, what is it they say, “if wishes were horses” so we make do the best that we can.
“Hey! I’ve got a live one”, shouts Jason, cutting across my thoughts.
“What…” Asher and Micah hesitate and I turn to see Jason back amongst the booths, looking at something on the floor.
I go over to him with the others following and, at Jason’s feet lies a young girl. Girl? Woman? Young woman.
She’s small, my height maybe a bit shorter. Long, blonde hair pulled into a scraggly ponytail and a bit on the thin side, delicate looking, dressed in a chunky white sweater, smudged with dirt and black pants that are ripped in a few places. She’s maybe late teens, early twenties, not any older than Jason at least, and unconscious.
“Mom, can I keep her, huh, huh can I” from Jason.
Reaching out my hand I give him a smack on the head.
“Hey!!” and he rubs the back of his head.
“Stop being a smartass” I say, but he just grins at me.
“She looks like she’s been in a fight”, says Micah, going to one knee beside her.
Yeah, he’s right. Her lower lip is cut and there’s a matching one on her forehead and scrapes along her right cheek. Plus the knuckles of her hand look scraped and bruised.
“They all appear to have been in a fight recently” says Jean-Claude, joining us “but no injury is severe enough to be fatal. And they are cold, but the blood in the wounds has not coagulated”.
Oh Joy! One more thing to worry about. Have I said yet that I hate mysteries?
“Another question might then be is why she
is alive when these others are not” suggests Asher. This just keeps getting better and better, Dolph is sure going to have fun tonight.
Taking a deep breath I let it out slowly.
“Jason, stay with the girl in case she wakes up” I tell him then turn to the others.
“Come on, let’s get this done” and we move off to finish checking the building.____________________________________
I stand off to the side and watch as a pair of technicians from the medical examiners, start laying out bags next to bodies that have already been tagged for transport. It’s hours later and after the police have arrived. We’ve got patrolmen controlling the lookie-loos outside, crime scene techs, people from the coroners’ office plus a couple of paramedics for the girl, she was the only one we found alive. The CSI techs are going over the room tallying the body count, taking dust and fiber samples, measurements and photos. Like any of that’ll tell them what really happened here tonight.
And I turn to face the man who gets to be in charge of this circus.
“Hey Dolph” I respond.
Sergeant Rudolph Storr, head of the Regional Preternatural Investigation Team or RPIT. Imagine a small mountain with legs and dark short-cropped hair and you have a good idea of what he looks like.
“Zerbrowski and Renolds done taking statements yet” I say.
“Not yet. What do you think happened here”, he asks me.
“Don’t know, some kind of magic, something I’ve never seen or felt before or even heard of before. Powerful. But I’m not a witch, Renolds might have a working theory or know someone that can come out and do a reading or divination for you” I suggest.
Detective Tammy Renolds is a witch and perky enough to make my teeth ache. We’re not buddies by any definition, she’d tried real
hard to be my friend when we first met, it didn’t take, but she should be able to get someone out to take a look.
Turning away from the stage we see the paramedics finish securing the girl to a gurney. She still hasn’t regained consciousness and they’re taking her to the hospital. Following behind them is Det. Clive Perry, another one of Dolph’s team, and he sends a nod our way as they pass us. He’s going along in the hope that she’ll wakes up soon and if not, to hear what the doctors think of her condition.
Turning back around, Dolph and I continue to watch the show.
“Why is she the only one still alive? Could she be the one that caused all this?” I’m thinking out loud “ It’s a possibility but….” And I trail off.
“Your instincts are telling you no, why” from Dolph.
“Don’t know why, but yeah”, I say then frown, rubbing my hands along my bare arms. I’ve had this itchy feeling since this all started. Hope it stops soon but I assume it’s a side effect from the magics that were used tonight.
We both fall silent and I focus my attention on the stage in front of us as a couple of the techs finish putting one of the bodies in a bag. One of them, a woman I’ve seen before but never really spoke to, is zipping it up when a hand shoots out and latches onto her throat.
Letting out a yelp of surprise I stumble back a few steps and even Dolph grunts and steps back.
I hear shouts and screams from around the room, as what we thought was a corpse sits up, then; still holding the woman, rise to its feet. Her partner rushes the thing only to get slapped down for his trouble. Then wrapping its free arm around her waist it turns to face us.
Dolph has his service revolver out and, though I don’t remember doing it, I’ve got the Firestar out as well. Fear is a great motivator.
Male, young looking, Dolph’s height but only about half as wide with dark blonde hair, thin face and blue-gray eyes, he looks at us. What the hell is this thing? Not a zombie. I’d know if it was a zombie.
“Well_well_well, what do we have here” a slight accent, vaguely familiar.
“Let the woman go” from Dolph.
Listening to Dolph try to reason with this thing I do a quick scan of the room and my blood runs cold. All around us the *dead bodies* are rising to their feet. Cops and techs are scrambling to get clear but a few aren’t fast enough and end up like the first woman. Everyone with a gun has got his or hers out and aimed at these things but the hostages make taking any action near impossible at the moment.
An even dozen, not counting *Blondie*, and like him, they are blonde and range from average to tall in height.
“Now why would I want to do that” brings my attention back to Dolph and Blondie “she’s so soft and warm”.
Then Blondie licks her from the base of her throat to her temple and she gives a soft whimper. Which seems to get his juices going judging by his laugh. God, I’ve got a really bad feeling about this.
“What do you want”, asks Dolph while taking a step closer to the stage “perhaps we can come to an arrangement but first you and your…friends need to let her and the others go.”
Blondie raises and eyebrow “ an arrangement…. come to think of it, I am
feeling a bit hungry” then he smiles. Oh, Fuck!
Skin and bone slide and rearrange themselves. Brow becoming ridged, jagged fangs descend and his eyes change to a luminous yellow. And there’s nothing human in those eyes. I’ve never seen a change so fast or smooth.
Before we can recover from the shock he tilts the tech’s head to one side and sinks those fangs into her neck. With no clear line of fire all we can do is watch her eyes grow wide in pain and her mouth open on a silent scream.
He raises his head and throws her away. She lands in a boneless heap like some rag doll, skin pale, lifeless eyes fixed and staring. Part of my brain knows what just happened but another is screaming you can’t drain a human body that fast.
Then that terrible face grins and he takes a step toward us. The Firestar bucks in my hand and I hear Dolph’s service revolver firing as well. Our rounds hit him, class book perfect, center-torso. Knocked back by the impact he twists to land on his hands and knees.
Time seems to stand still and I swear I’ve forgotten how to breathe. Then that blonde head rises to stare at us again with those inhuman eyes.
“Ouch” now crouched on his on the balls of his feet, hand rubbing at his chest, his tone of voice mocks us.
As if that had been a signal they had waited for the others like him attack. Those with hostages already just start to feed while the rest wade into the surrounding officers. Gunfire and the screams of the dying fill the room. God these things are as fast and a strong as a vampire or a lycanthrope. But silver bullets barely even slow them down. I wonder if they could be some breed of Fey but regular bullets doesn’t have any more affect than silver does.
Then in a blur Blondie is at the edge of the stage and reaching down while Dolph empties his revolver into him. Grabbing Dolph’s gun hand by the wrist he lifts and twists it and I hear a sharp popping sound as he breaks or dislocates Dolph’s arm.
Then he’s got Dolph by the throat, dangling him over the side of the stage as if he weighed no more than a child.
“Mien herr, I don’t like it when people shoot me,” Blondie growls then he bares his fangs and starts to pull Dolph closer.
“DOLPH!!!” I scream. My fear and anger wash over me and down through the Marks and I get an image of Jean-Claude trying to get through the crowd outside.
Oh god, Dolph. I know I can’t save him but I’ve got to try and I start forward when suddenly Dolph is falling and I’m scrambling back to keep from getting squashed. With Dolph no longer in my line of fire I look toward Blondie but the last thing I expect to see is him down again or the slight figure on the stage standing between us.
What the hell….the girl?? It’s the girl. What is going on here?
She glances at Dolph and me from hazel eyes. A voice with a hint of sand in it tells us “Run”
Then she turns back around.
“Sooo…. is this a private dance or is everybody invited” tone cocky, she’s bouncing on her feet.
Blondie is on his feet and his face looks human again. Gone is the smirk and attitude and he’s backing away from her. Taking their cue from him, his buddies have stopped as well, either dropping bodies and people where they stand or throwing them across the room like rag-dolls. Then they gather around him, fanning out on either side. All their attention is focused on the girl.
“Kill her”, Blondie orders, eyes flashing yellow and his people start to move forward.
“Now, now guys you don’t need to rush things. There’s plenty of room on my dance card” that cocky almost teasing voice again. Is_she_nuts.
Then the two that are the closest to her, rush forward in a blur of speed. I hear Dolph take a sharp breath, we expect to see her go down, broken and torn like so many others tonight. The first, a male with a scar on his chin, reaches for her when she kicks him. Nothing fancy, just a forward snap kick that catches him in the gut. What happens next has my jaw dropping…. he’s not only lifted off his feet by the impact but he’s sent cart-wheeling head over heals to slam into the ones behind him and they go down in a heap.
Turning, she catches in her hand a fist that’s rocketing towards her head. The thing has time for a look of surprise before she hits it. A series of lightning quick punches to its face ending in a side kick that sends it flying the length of the stage. Then the main group closes on her.
Dolph and I stand in shock, amazed at what we see. Kicking and punching, executing leaps and flips; it looks like she’s using every fight style I’ve ever seen. Everything from Tai Kwon Do to jailhouse rock, and she’s hurting these things like our bullets couldn’t.
“Holy Moly” I snap to the right and start to bring up my gun when I see who spoke.
Zerbrowski. I let out a sigh of relief. Suit torn and bloodied, one eye already swelling closed but at least he’s alive. Next to him stands Perry holding up a barely standing Renolds.
To my left stand Jean-Claude and Asher, having finally gotten past the crowd. And for once I can read their every expression. Surprise, shock and amazement, welcome to the club guys.
“To many” from Asher, his eyes fixed on the fight.
And he’s right. Though it looks like she’s a bit stronger and faster than they are, whatever
they are, she’s only one person and sooner or later that’s going to make a difference. A fact Blondie seems well aware of as he barks out orders to surround her. Trying to avoid their maneuverings she has retreated to the far side of the stage and does a back flip off the side.
She stumbles upon landing but recovers in time to catch a female as she tries a flying tackle. Twisting the girl sends her slamming into a support column and we can hear the dull cracking thud it makes on impact. Whipping back around she glances down, frowns and bends to pick up…..a broom?
Then she smiles. Not a little *Mona Lisa* smile, but a great big *kid in a candy store* smile.
Breaking off the brush part she the snaps the handle in half, ending up with two pieces each about 2ft long with jagged ends.
She has time to make a few practice swings with them when the female she sent flying rushes her from behind. She side steps, avoiding the charge and slams one stick deep into its chest in a quick in and out motion.
When the thing explodes in a cloud of dust I understand why she grinned. She knows how to kill these things.
“My God” Dolph in amazement. I hear the others issue exclamations of surprise and shock.
We watch as she faces the main group again still grinning. But now it’s the type of grin the Wolf must have given Little Red Riding Hood. Hopping back onto the stage she advances on the once confident group. A few start to back away, fear in their yellow eyes.
“What’s your hurry, don’t you wanna dance” again that cocky tone and attitude. Then she attacks.
Two more are quickly reduced to clouds of dust and she moves onto the others and amid blows and kicks they are soon reduced to only seven in number. This includes Blondie who has been standing back, watching his people become chow for a dust buster. His face may look
human but the rage in his eyes has nothing human in them.
Stepping forward he glares at the girl while his remaining six gather loosely around him.
“oooo…Is the Big Bad gonna join the dance now,” she smirks, rocking on her feet.
“Not yet Slayer”
“Not tonight, but soon I’ll kill you” gritted out between clenched teeth.
“Oh, Puh_leese, if I had a buck for every time
someone said they were going to kill me”
“I wouldn’t have to work at the Double Meat Palace,” she scoffs.
They had all been moving while they talked, circling so now she faced forward and their backs were toward us. We see them go tense and the girl crouches slightly, getting ready to meet the next attack, sticks still held firmly in her hands.
In a fury of motion, four of the creatures leap towards the girl, but Blondie and two others surprise me and the others and even my vampires by turning and leaping in our direction. As we flinch and duck they land on the other side and, displaying a preternatural speed, are out the doorway before we can react. Hearing screams and cries from outside Zerbowski and Perry rush out, my vampires close behind them.
Back on the stage all but one of the creatures is now dust but the girl has lost her fighting sticks. And now these last two combatants are engaged in a deadly dance. Trading kicks and punches neither of them seem to be able to get the upper hand on the other. Suddenly the girl drops under a kick, sweeping out her leg to knock his out from under him. Unprepared for the move he lands on his face. In a flash she’s on him. Planting one knee firmly in his back, she grabs his head in both hands and with a wrenching cry tears it off.
I hear Renold’s give a small choke and Dolph grunts as we witness this latest act of raw strength.
With a small thud her knees hit the floor as he turns to dust under her. Tense, twisting back and forth, she looks around for the next attack. When she realizes that Blondie and the rest are gone she takes a deep breath then exhales.
Getting to her feet, she bends at the waist and pulls a rubber band off her hair and begins to shake and fluff it. For a second Dolph and I trade puzzled looks till it dawns on us what she’s doing. She’s shaking creature dust out of it.
Standing straight again she looks around and sees us and the other survivors in the room staring at her.