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A Willow In Wolf's Clothing

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Summary: Willow transfers to Washington University at St. Louis to get away from things that go bump in the night. Too bad for her that things go bump in the night in St. Louis too. Willow/Richard

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > Willow-Centered > Pairing: RichardCarolFR153138,754103598,2143 Jan 0328 Jan 03Yes

Crouching Shang-Da, Hidden Willow

Chapter 17

Shang-Da wasn't kidding when he said she would need all the sleep

she could get. He dragged her out of her nice warm, snug bed to the

harsh cold pre-dawn outdoors. He had her doing limbering exercises

to help her warm up and to get her to wake up. This was all without

the aid of coffee. Shang-Da was a closet sadist. Willow believed

this with absolute certainty.


Willow couldn't help but give off a sarcastic quip to this

treatment. "You know, Tweedle Da, if the body guarding gig

doesn't work out for you there is always a future in the Marine

Corp. as a drill sergeant."


Shang-Da didn't rise to the bait. He just calmly arched an

eyebrow. "Less talk, more work."


Willow pondered the reasons why she wasn't safe in her bed

dreaming nice naughty dreams about a certain sexy ulfric that she

happened to know. Oh, yes, that's right, she thought

sarcastically. She let her mouth run off again. She had to show

that Lucy that she wasn't weak. Now, she was reaping what she

had sown. A lesson in the finer details of Lukoi combat being

delivered by the ever-so-talkative Shang-Da. Lucky her!


"Let your beast's instincts guide your movement."

Shang-Da faced her as he spoke. "Your reaction time will be

slower if you consciously think through every reaction to anything

that Lucy will throw at you. Don't think, react. You need to

take her down anyway that you can and as quick as you can. Your

beast knows how. Don't be the human. Be the wolf. Now,

let's begin. I want you to defend against my attack. Don't

worry. I don't think you can do much damage." He smirked at

that last comment.


Willow arched her own eyebrow in reaction to that smirk. I'll

show him, she thought to herself. She crouched lower to the ground

to minimize herself as a target. She then readied herself for the

attack.


"I'm ready."


Willow almost missed his initial movement. He was a blur of lethal

motion and he was coming straight for her. She quickly rolled out

of the way. She was amazed at how quick he was. I guess this was

the reason why he was one of the Ulfric's bodyguards.


Her thoughts were cut off by Shang-Da's body slamming into hers.

She was now eating dirt. Not really what she had in mind for

breakfast. He must be able to stop on a dime. She marveled at how

quickly he could change his direction.


She reared up and slammed her head against his. She quickly crawled

out from under him while he was still dazed. He shook it off and

stood up. He slipped into a ready stance. Willow assumed it was

some sort of martial arts. He reminded her of Buffy for a second

there.


She managed to block his fist from making contact with her jaw. She

didn't manage to block his kick to her gut. That one left her

gasping for breath. This was going to be a long day. She could

already tell.


~~~~~~~~~~~~


The lesson ended hours later with Marianne driving up in her truck.

Willow went off to take a quick shower after the grueling workout.

She had pleasantly surprised Shang-Da by actually taking him down

once or twice. He was still better but he wasn't so cocky about

Willow's lack of abilities. She told him that she used to help

the Slayer back when it was legal to slay all vampires on sight.

She wasn't entirely helpless.


Marianne turned to Willow as Willow climbed into the cab of the

pickup truck. "I've heard something very interesting about

you. Something about an altercation with Lucy. You decided to take

her on, have you?"


Willow gave a little frown. "Who told you? Shang-Da?"


Marianne gave a nod at the name. "You will need to be careful.

Lucy can be very aggressive. Don't let her get you on your back

or any other hard to defend position. She is very ruthless in

challenges. You will need to be as ruthless as her. You are going

to need an extra long tutoring session with me today. The only way

you can win is if you incorporate all that you have towards the goal

of defeating Lucy."


Willow glanced over at Marianne. "You mean that whole thing of

being one with my beast and my magic?"


"Exactly, your beast is a part of you now. It can't be cut

out and it can't be exorcised from you. Think of it akin to your

magical abilities. You can't stop being a wolf anymore than you

can stop being a witch."


Willow gave another frown. "I'm trying. This is all still

new to me."


Marianne gave a reassuring smile. "It will all come together. I

have faith in you. Lucy doesn't know what she has gotten herself

into. I think everyone is in for quite a surprise."


Willow and Marianne drove in silence for a few minutes. Marianne

finally spoke up again. "Willow, why exactly are you taking on

Lucy?"


Willow chewed her bottom lip. She had been pondering her exact

reasons why. "Well, she did insult me and my clan about not

being worthy and such."


Marianne spared a glance in her direction. "Willow, there are

implications to you challenging Lucy. Of course, if you win, you

are dominant to Lucy. If you were in the same clan then you would

outrank her. But this isn't just about who is more dominant to

whom. This is about who is more worthy to be Richard's next

lupa. When Richard was here last time, he dated Lucy. He saw her

as a potential mate. If you best Lucy, you are showing Richard that

you are a potential mate too. Do you understand?"


Willow gave a blush. That thought had occurred to her in the middle

of her restless night as she valiantly tried to get some

sleep. "Yes, I understand. I don't think Richard sees me

that way. He treats me like a kid sister. Heck, all the guys seem

to do that. None of that matters. The only thing that matters is

that I make Lucy eat all her words."


Willow gave Marianne her Resolve Face. She didn't want to

discuss Richard anymore. She just wanted to concentrate in kicking

Lucy's ass all over Oak Tree Clan's lupanar.

Author Note: I appreciate the feedback and everyone that is viewing this story. Next chapter will have the showdown at the Lupanar
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