Taking ones place.
“She is Dawn, and Dawn is my mate.” Richard leaned against the doorframe and listened as Dawn found the bathroom. After so many years abroad, the air of St Louis was acrid and unwelcome. The fumes burned his nose and the constant ringing hum of machinery grated on his nerves. It had been so normal before. So much a part of life that he'd been able to overlook it.
“What the hell happened Richard?” Anita snapped. “You disappeared of the face of the planet, no one knew where you went and the alphas are saying you were 'finding yourself'.”
“I was,” Richard agreed. “I also found Dawn, she's the new Lupa.”
“She's not even a lycan,” Anita argued.
“Neither are you. And unlike you, Dawn actually wanted to become one.” The virus hadn't taken, but Loki had been tricked into giving her an amulet to let her change form. Hadn't that been too much fun. The constant battle between his Dawn and the trickster god had pissed off nearly all of Asgard. “Now, if you'll excuse me, I have want of a bath.”
“I'm going to figure this out Richard,” Anita promised from behind him. He could smell the gunpowder on her, the stale blood and the injustice that clung to her soul. The dark magic of Marmee Noir was twisted around Anita so thoroughly and tightly that she didn't even notice.
“You may try,” Richard nodded, walking in and shutting the door behind him.
The shower was running, steam moving lazily down the hall from his bedroom. Dawn had found the master bath. Good. He planned on taking her through every room in the house.
Dawn was aware of something laying by her feet and another something laying in front of her. She knew Richard was behind her, he always lay behind her when they slept, one hand holding her breast while he buried his face in her hair. But something female was laying in front of her. Opening her eyes, she took a moment to realize just who it was. Blonde hair, supermodel looks...it was the bitch she'd sent to 17 earlier. Weird.
The next time she opened her eyes, it was to the scent of cooking food. Bacon and pancakes, tea and something fruity...She was also alone in the bed. But there was the blonde woman sitting on the floor by the door. Waiting quietly and looking at Dawn with respect and some fear.
Keeping the sheet clutched to herself, she rubbed at an eye and looked around for something to wear. She'd slept late, very late. Climbing from the bed, sheet still covering her, she started digging through Richard's drawers for something to wear.
“I can go check the dryer,” the blonde by the door spoke up.
“That would be nice. I'm Dawn, by the way.”
“Paris...” And she left the room to check the dryer.
Life with a pack was different, and yet, very similar to what they'd been going through these past years. Somehow she'd managed to turn one of the most insubordinate wolves into her personal gopher. Well, Dawn knew how, she let a flesh-eating unicorn catch Paris on fire.
And they'd been pretty okay when she used her amulet to shift shape. Some joked about it being cute, and what few decided to sneer, she sent to 17 for a few minutes. Fewer wolves were sneering with every passing day, but many more were teasing about their tiny red riding hood.
They still hadn't met with the Vampires. Richard had told her that St Louis was as much his city as it was Jean Claude's, and he didn't need to ask permission to live there. Nor did Dawn, as a human. They had no reason to go to the circus and when Richard had felt the call -vampires could call on lycans here, which was weird and kept bringing up a cackling Spike with an army bunnies- he used a dose of divine intervention to free his wolves from Jean Claude.
They were expecting the vampire to arrive as soon as the sun set this evening.
“Angel wants me to get a job,” Dawn scowled at the letter in her hand. Lawyers had come by earlier with a message and to reclaim their beaded bag. Dorks didn't figure on a backpack from the Doctor and his pretty blue wife.
“Why?” Richard asked as he looked around their living room. Did they really pick up that many changes of clothes? Yeah, they'd both started collecting by the second stop. And weapons? Well yeah, weapons were useful, and some of them were very interesting! And why did they have seeds? Never mind, silly question. The furniture they'd snagged here and there was waiting patiently on the back lawn and in the garage, it was stacked in the hallway and in the guestroom and some of it was on the front lawn. “We might have to move.”
“Or you could get rid of that ratty couch and half the stuff you picked up,” Dawn raised a brow. “He says I need to build character.”
Richard looked at Dawn like she was joking in both situations, taking the letter and snorting at the words. “Seriously, I think we should move closer to the lupanar. In a bigger house...how much shit do we have?”
“The guest room is full and Paris took some of our stuff to the laundry mat with Cara.” Dawn looked at the massive pile and pursed her lips as Richard hefted a massive trunk onto a bare spot of the carpet. “Gwen and a few others are trying to sort things into piles in the back yard. I think Jamil is renting out a storage unit for us.”
By the time dusk fell, they had several piles throughout the house and backyard. Furniture, clothes -they lost the couch in the massive pile-, weapons, texts, and funding. Funding consisted of various jeweled baubles and coins and crowns and even dishware. More than enough to buy the old manor Richard had been eying since before Dawn kidnapped him. Apparently they were moving.
“Silver,” Paris hissed, dropping the dish. Some of the dishes were silver in color, but made from various metals.
Dawn nodded and marked another tick in the column. Richard had lost his weakness to silver after becoming a god and was of little use when sorting through their treasure; he was helping Jamil get dinner. Dawn felt bad, to be sure, but Paris insisted on helping to sort their life out. “How far is that restaurant?”
“A few minutes,” Paris used a glove to pick the plate up and threw it into the suitcase of like items before she and Gwen paused, both looking to the side gate. “Dawn, he's here.”
Dawn let out a sigh and asked Gwen how many gold coins she'd counted up thus far. Business as usual in the kingdom of the wolf, never expose unease. The girls didn't seem comfortable with that idea, but they continued on their work, glancing back every so often. The whole time, Master Van Damme and his broody human were waiting and watching them.
“Fourteen pounds,” Paris finally spoke as she took the bag from the scale. It was the copper bag.
“Good. Pack it up and put it with the rest,” Dawn nodded, rising from the cool grass and looking at her guests. Holding the clipboard to her chest, she smiled warmly at them. “I'm afraid my ulfric isn't with us at the moment. May I offer you some tea while you wait?”
“Thank you,” The vampire bowed lightly.
“Feel free to rest until I return,” Dawn waved at the many tables and chairs.
Richard arrived during the second session of tea-making. He could tell from the look on Dawn's face that Anita had been wearing away at her nerves.
“You are a god and a king,” Dawn reminded him, putting a hand on his arm after he put the bags of food on the table. “But in their eyes you are still Richard the Werewolf. Remember that.” Remember that they don't know any better. Remember that they are only mortal.
“Of course,” Richard nodded. “Bring the tea when it's ready?” Paris and Gwen came from the guest room and acknowledged him. “And find out about that house, please.”
“As my lord commands,” Dawn grinned, standing on tip toe to kiss him on the cheek. “Now go. Lord over people.”
She joined them a few minutes later, carrying the tea on a silver tray. She'd won said tea service in a game of Texas hold 'em against H.G. Wells; lovely woman. The china as well had been a gift from said woman, green bone china with hand painted cranes. There was a lot of free time before Facebook.
“-Understand, we can not hold St Louis without you.” Jean Claude fell silent when Dawn came out. “Mademoiselle Summers, I notice you did not present yourself.”
“My wife has no reason to present herself,” Richard argued. From the sound of things he'd been arguing that point while she was inside.
“Is this her opinion or yours?” The vampire asked.
“It is ours,” Dawn answered before Richard could respond, pouring tea for her guests. He was about to say something a bit stupid and angry and he did whisper thanks into her mind when she took over. “And surely one of your age should know better than to assume a woman can be ordered to do anything.”
“Forgive me,” Jean Claude bowed his head.
“Enough of this, Richard, you need to reform the triumvirate with us,” Anita scowled. Dawn wondered if she knew she was going to get wrinkles from scowling so much. “We can't hold the city on our own.”
“You can't hold,” Richard corrected. “You, Anita, don't try and put your crimes onto Jean Claude.” He set his teacup down. “I'm not joining you again. Find someone else, like Jason. He enjoys running favors for you two.”
Dawn could see the displeasure on all three of them. Jason was being excluded from the alpha meetings and reduced back to the general pack meets. Now Jean Claude and Anita didn't want Jason because the younger wolf couldn't tell them what they wanted to know about the new pack dynamic. Anita was the first to try and argue, baiting Richard into an argument with little result. Back and forth, they argued, bantered, reasoned, leaving Dawn to speak with the vampire seated to her right.
“You are not human,” Jean Claude spoke as the two continued fighting. Richard knew they were speaking, but Dawn had proven time and again that she could manage a vampire.
“I was, once.” The goddess added another lump of sugar to her tea and stirred. “You might say I woke up from a deep sleep.”
“You love him?”
“I was in tears when I found him dying,” Dawn told the vampire honestly. “I knew the minute I saw him, in all his gingersnap glory, that I would be lost if he died. With my sister's help, we managed to bring him back from the edge...I spent every waking moment with him from then on.”
The vampire fell silent, contemplating. “I am told lycanthropy does not take to you.”
“No. Not for lack of trying and accidental scratches.” Dawn pulled out her pendant. “It's not true shifting, but I can run with him and the others.”
“Would you feast with them?”
“They call it 'long pork' in the Congo,” Dawn fixed the vampire with a look. “Richard is not the first monster I have dated. But he is the one I married and the most honest about what he is.”
Jean Claude seemed satisfied with the answer and closed his eyes as Anita took a drink. They were still at it. “You have calmed his beast. In just five short weeks.” He didn't believe that for a second. “Where were you again?”
“That's really not any of your business, is it?”
Why is this so dialogue heavy? I need to work on more showing less telling...