Crouching Shang-Da, Hidden Willow
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
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
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
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
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