no worse than the books. There is mention of violence, a hunt for the offending nasty vampire, and more violence and some sexuality during and after the confrontation.
Main Characters: Kendra, Jamail
Disclaimer: I do not own anyone from BtVS or Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake novels.
Distribution: Twisting the Hellmouth, The Next Level, Paula. Anyone else must ask.
Summary: AU at Becoming for BtVS, We shall say that the Hellmouth denial extends to blanking out ‘vampires are real’, and that they were legalized about season 4. This would take place three years after Kendra was Called as a Slayer. Takes place during a slightly AU ‘Blue Moon’ for the AB universe, AU in that Jamail didn’t go with Anita to deal with Richard and his problems.
Her lip gloss was pink and smelled like strawberries. He could smell it from across the bus station, almost taste the too sweet flavor as she licked her lips. Soft lips, lips that almost begged for someone to kiss them even as she sat on a bench at the bus stop, carefully inspecting a trunk. She must have just got into town. She should have blended in with the crowd, a slender woman on the tall side of average, with rich chocolaty skin and her dark hair pulled back into dozens of tiny braids. Nothing remarkable about her clothing beyond the fact that she just looked so good in them, worn jeans, a purple shirt, and a long leather coat.
Frowning, he looked again at the woman as she stood up, one hand gripping the handle of the wheeled trunk. The way her coat fell over her… was she armed? She moved like an alpha, assertive, confident, dangerous – everything that he liked in a woman. But he wasn’t here to pick up a beautiful woman, not unless he was lucky enough that this was the visitor from Miami.
To his dismay, the alpha from Miami proved to be a short, stocky man with a swagger to his walk and wild hair that almost looked as if it had never quite come back from his wolf. By the time they’d found his luggage and sorted out their relative statuses – Jamail acknowledged that he was of high status but refused to give the visiting wolf any authority over him, the woman with the strawberry lips was gone.
That left him in a bad mood for the rest of the day, although he couldn’t quite explain why. He didn’t even know her name, or what had brought her to St. Louis. Maybe she was a tourist, or checking out the local colleges, or meeting a lover… he was growling. Perhaps he was fortunate that the rest of the pack just dismissed his temper as a side effect of their Ulfric going elsewhere and getting into trouble.
He still wanted to know who she was. He still wanted to kiss those strawberry lips. But the odds of having an opportunity to do that were pretty slim.
Slim until some stupid vampire decided to challenge Jean Claude’s authority by starting a killing spree. Bodies, practically ripped apart, with remarkably little blood. Of course, the media went into a demented frenzy of speculation and accusation.
Jean Claude’s public statements were short and to the point. “ These dismaying actions are a breach not only of the law but of the public trust. None of my people would do such a thing, and should we find the one responsible, we will ensure that he or she is stopped. Permanently.”
Jason first mentioned the obvious point – that with Anita out of town, someone else would have to serve the Writ of Execution. But the question became who? The normal police would be easy prey, and if this rogue vampire could call wolves… Few of the pack were willing to take that risk.
Snarling yet again, Jamail made his way to the police station, knowing precisely who to talk to. Officers Storr or Zebrowski – both names that he’d heard Anita mention often. He was feeling annoyed, and angry at his Ulfric and whoever had dragged him into trouble, with Anita and her games with the vampire and the Ulfric, and at how frustrated he was at the disappearance of the woman with the strawberry lips.
There was a bit of a run around with the idiot at the front desk, someone who couldn’t have even been out of police training for very long. Eventually, he was permitted to go back and speak ‘with the officers of the Regional Preturnatural Investigations Team.’ He was growling again as he made his way back, glad that his sunglasses would hide his eyes, sure to have changed to wolf-yellow. Finally, he stalked through the open door, reminding himself not to growl at the police officers, especially not the ones who might be carrying silver bullets.
“I just don’t know if you’re the right person to handle a rogue vampire like this. You aren’t a trained investigator, you’re….” The frustrated sounding officer stopped, turning to frown at Jamail. “Something you wanted?”
For a moment, he was stunned into silence, just looking at the woman that had been waiting as the officer had lectured. She wasn’t wearing the jacket today, but it was her, the woman with the lip gloss. She looked just as good, and… why was the officer talking to her about vampires anyhow?
Shaking his head, he reminded himself of why he was here. “I want to try to help with catching this vampire.”
“Absolutely not! I am not letting a pair of civilians get ripped apart because I let them go hunting a vampire!” The officer was scowling, his entire demeanor screaming angry alpha.
Jamail was reminding himself of all the reasons not to shift when the woman walked towards him, apparently on her way out. She brushed against him in the doorway, and only his shifter hearing enabled him to catch her words. “Come with me, we shall hunt the vampire together.”
He followed her, only part of it because of her offer to hunt together. His wolf liked the idea, considering that hunting together could be wolf foreplay, and wondering if this woman knew that. She didn’t smell like a wolf, but there was something about her… something not quite normal. The sway of her hips, her braids sliding over her shoulders, the subtle allure of her scent and the hint of strawberries…
When they were away from the station, he decide to ask a few of his questions. The ones that wouldn’t ruin the chance of anything more than a brief moment of being in the same room. “What makes you think you can deal with the rogue? Why ask me to hunt with you?”
She smiled, looking at him without quite locking eyes. “I am Kendra, the Vampire Slayer. I also have the legal permissions to kill rogue vampires in many areas, including this one. As for you… I know a shape changer when I see one. You are a wolf, yes?”
“Yes, but how… never mind. Do you have a plan?” He looked at her, noticing the sleek muscles and the faint scars. “And I am Jamail, of the Thronnos Roake pack.”
“Good. My plan… it is not a very finished plan, still very rough. I have looked at the maps of the city, and marked the locations of each body. I have also marked the places that I could learn were owned by the city’s… law-abiding vampires. The last words emerged slowly, as if she found the concept troublesome. Logically, the one we hunt should be in a place close to where the bodies were found, but not too close to the properties and lairs of the other vampires. There are only so many places that would be suitable for the solitary hunter to lair. If we go to the most recent crime scene, will you be able to find the scent of the vampire? Enough to know if they are at any of the possible lair sites?”
“Hopefully. If they didn’t do something to mask their scent. If the trail hasn’t been trampled over and away.” He shook his head, his own braids moving over his shoulders. “I will definitely know if there is a vampire at the lair sites. What if they aren’t the rogue?”
“Is there such a thing as a safe vampire?” She didn’t precisely answer his question in words, but there was this predatory spark in her eyes, and this almost defiant smile that spoke quite well.
He smiled back, feeling his inner wolf howl in preparation for the hunt. She was right, the only good vampire was a dead vampire – more dead than they usually were. And if nobody knew that they were doing this… “Let’s go.”
There was little left at the site, chalk outlines and splashes of blood, and a pervasive reek of fear mixed with pleasure. There were traces of the vampire’s scent, not enough to identify entirely, but enough that he should be able to piece a few things together. Enough that he knew it was not one of Jean Claude’s vampires. “He enjoyed this… enjoyed killing her, filling her with fear and pain before her death.”
“They are killers. No matter how well preserved they are, or how nicely they can play the political games, they are monsters on the inside. This one merely does not care who knows that.” She shook her head, looking around the alley. “Shall we begin looking at the possible lairs?”
“Yeah… before I start growling and scaring the tourists.” Glancing at the way people seemed to be moving in a wide circle around them as they walked along the narrow street, he sighed. “Or the locals.”
“Then growl more quietly. The people here… they do not realize that there are other things that they should fear. To jump at a wolf when they flock to stare at the walking dead…” She shook her head, hands clenching into fists. “People can be so stupid sometimes.”
“But we’re still supposed to play nicely.” He tugged at one braid, a reminder that he wore the shape of a man, not a wolf. “This is why I try to avoid getting involved with humans…”
“You are not that different. Not in comparison to some things.” She reached back, letting the back of her hand brush against his hand. “We will find this vampire, and we will kill him.”
“You sound pretty sure about that.” Jamail’s eyes were scanning the area, even as he tried to catch the scent of their quarry.
“I have been hunting vampires for several years now. It is my destiny.” She shrugged, as if the idea of fighting creatures with more strength and speed than a human didn’t bother her. “I am very good at what I do.”
“Good enough to take down a vamp? I didn’t smell any guns on you.” Part of him wondered why he was pushing so hard. A wolf would take his actions as a challenge, how could he know that she wouldn’t?
“I am not the average vampire hunter, I am a Slayer.” She sounded almost amused, though he couldn’t see her face. “I do not think that you understand what that means.”
The scent was faint, but he knew it was the same vampire. The growl vibrated in his chest, emerging as a deep rumble. Following it, he pushed ahead of her, moving down the street. “This way…”
The scent led to a small building, with mismatching bricks and fading and scrapped layers of graffiti over parts of the walls. He could also smell several humans, blood, fear and death. Snarling, he kicked the door inwards, his wolf demanding that he attack and destroy this other predator.
“So much for stealth.” Kendra didn’t sound particularly upset. There was a faint metallic hissing, as she drew a sword.
There was a sort of shuffling, and then a pair of vampires lunged towards them, reeking of death, fear, confusion and hunger. Most likely, they had been more of this rogue’s victims, only they had risen. One lunged towards Jamail, the other towards Kendra, both clearly intending to attack and feed.
He felt himself shifting, and tried not to change completely, needing to keep more of his human intellect and reasoning. He felt his bones reshape themselves with a familiar burning, and his clothing tore, falling to the ground in useless rags. But the newly risen vampire was no match for him, especially not when he’d partially shifted.
One taloned paw swatted at the vampire’s head, sending it to the ground. He then ripped at it, his instincts urging for disembowelment, his reason saying that he should remove the heart. He compromised by removing everything. Glancing over, he looked to see how the woman who did NOT smell like prey was, only to see her standing with her sword over the fallen vampire, the body slowly crumbling.
She looked at him, carefully, measuringly. It was not a challenge or a threat. Then, she tilted her head, and motioned for him to follow her as she moved softly towards the back of the room. Her entire behavior screamed to him – join in my hunt. Eagerly, he followed her.
The back held two rooms, one of them silent, the other the source of whimpers and faint metallic rattlings. That room smelled of blood, and fear, and humans. The part of his mind that was still Jamail and not the wolf reminded himself that humans were not supposed to be food. The other room stank of vampire. His lips pulled back as he faced the vampire’s door, and he fought the urge to growl.
The door opened outwards, actually hitting him with enough force to throw him back, as the vampire emerged, snarling his own threats. Kendra was ready, with the sword in one hand, and an oddly spiraling wooden stake in the other. There was no fear in her scent.
Kendra showed no difficulty dodging the vampire’s lunge, and her sword slashed out at his arm, drawing a thin line of blood. Snarling, the vampire slashed with his claws, trying to catch her with his eyes. Jamail pounced at him, angry that this vampire would dare attack his Kendra.
His Kendra? Since when had she become his? And in what way… No. Now was not the time to unravel that. Now was the time to kill this vampire. He bit at the shoulder, trying to rip as much of the muscle as possible. Screaming, the vampire reached back, grabbing hold of the back of his neck and dragging him away, heedless of the chunk of shoulder that came away in Jamail’s teeth, and flung him at Kendra and her sharp sword.
Somehow, she not only managed to not slice him open with the sword, but to move so that instead of his body slamming into her, he was able to twist and rebound off the wall, lunging again at the vampire, who was too busy trying to dodge yet another sword stroke from Kendra, who also stabbed out with the stake, catching his stomach with the point. He shrieked again, trying to pull away, which only made the spiraling stake bite deeper.
Jamail pulled the vampire down, claws ripping at the muscles of the vampire’s thighs and stomach, the stake being torn out. The vampire was trying to batter at him, fists impacting hard enough hat there would definitely be bruises, possibly even broken ribs. Then, the sword flicked out, and one of the arms was severed, rolling away with the impact. He heard Kendra vault over him, and the other flailing arm was removed.
He was barely able to make sense of her words, his beast having such a hold over him. “Pull your head back, so that I do not hit you.”
Perhaps it wasn’t the words, but the sight of her blood smeared blade, ready to slash forward again that caught his attention, but he reared his head back just in time. A sweeping arc of red and silver, and the fanged head was severed, rolling into a wall. He stepped back, trying to regain control over himself, trying to come back from the blood lust of his beast.
Kendra split open the vampire’s exposing the heart. She then found the stake, and slammed it into the still organ, which promptly began to crumble. Quickly, she removed the stake, and searched for something to wipe the stake and sword clean with. She wasn’t looking him in the eyes, but she didn’t seem to be afraid of him, and that seemed to bring the attention of Jamail-the-man back, and helped him return to his human shape.
His muscles were quivering, and his bones felt… odd. Almost as if they weren’t quite certain if the shape was right. The air felt cool over his moist skin, and his braids flowed over his bare shoulders. He could still hear the whimpers of the prisoners, and to his relief, the no longer sounded like prey. Glancing at the center of the mess of blood and chunks of muscle, he could see the vampire’s corpse, decaying rapidly.
“Perhaps I should release the prisoners, since you are now… underdressed?” One of her eyebrows had raised a little, and she seemed to be looking at his chest.
Jamail wasn’t quite certain if he should feel embarrassed or not, but he definitely felt awkward. Slowly, he rose to his feet, reminding himself that he had a damn impressive body, and nothing what so ever to be ashamed of. “I went casual.”
“Very casual.” She was smiling as she turned towards the door holding the prisoners. “I think I like it.”
The four prisoners, all of the bruised and bitten, were barely conscious. Jamail didn’t think they’d even realized that one of their rescuers was naked. They certainly didn’t pause for any questions before staggering rapidly down the street, although one did murmur a soft ‘Thank you – God bless.’ as he staggered away.
“That seems to have gone well enough.” Kendra was smiling, despite a growing bruise on her left cheekbone, and the fact that she wasn’t quite putting an even amount of weight on her right leg. “We fought well together.”
Jamail smiled at her, wiping at the blood on his face. “Yeah, we did. So… did you have a place to stay while you’re in St. Louis?”
“Not a particularly good one.” She shook her head, looking as if she was trying not to grimace. “Did you have a suggestion?”
“Stay with me.” He smiled at her, feeling all sorts of hopes and possibilities surging. And his wolf wanted her to be his Kendra.
For a few moments, she looked at him, as if measuring him against some standard, or trying to read his soul. Slowly, she began to smile, and reached out, taking hold of his hand. “That sounds like a welcome offer. What sort of place do you have?”
Oh yes, life was good. Jamail grinned as he started to describe his apartment, entirely glad that he’d relocated to this pack for the first time in… well, the first time.
End Hunt with Me.