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The Stray II Chapter One
Title: The Stray II
Fandom: Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter
Disclaimer: Any rights I am entitled to I freely give back to the copyrighted owners of Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter. I own nothing and make no claims. No profit was made or infringement intended.
Series: The Stray
Archive: My site, Panthermole, and others ask and you shall receive.
Warning: If you are not 18 DON'T read this.
Notes: Mention of underage rape and child abuse. Severe violence.
Summary: Brad's past rears it's ugly head.
Brad had been living with the Pard for about six months when his past came back to haunt him. I had taken him to work with me (so he could `play' with Jean-Claude). I was on a break and Brad had made friends with the bartender and was using the excuse of being terribly thirsty to get me to take him out front into the club itself.
Opening the door that led from the employee area Brad was laughing and pretending to have to drag me along with him. The next thing I knew he went silent and shoved me aside running back the way we had come.
More than a little concerned I followed him and caught up with him just before he could leave by the employee entrance. “Brad, what's wrong?” I questioned, swinging him around to me the look in his eyes was like he'd seen the devil himself.
His eyes were haunted and his face was so pale it was gray. “I've gotta go Nathaniel. They've found me.
Before I could ask the question burning on my tongue Jean-Claude asked it for me. “Who's found you?”
Brad was shaking and the scent of his fear was overpowering. I could barely recognize the cocky, teasing boy he had been just a few minutes ago.
Jean-Claude took Brad to his own apartments posting guards as we went. He didn't speak until we were locked behind the security door on his personal chamber. The only thing he said was, “I want Anita.”
As we waited for Anita I rocked his rigid body in my arms, I whispered soothing nonsense in a futile attempt to get him to relax. I thought he might shatter he was so stiff with fear when Anita knocked on the door.
“Anita! You've got to get me out of here.” He shouted, leaping to his feet the moment she came through the door. He threw himself into her arms.
“Calm down, Brad,” she urged “tell me what's going on. Why do you have to leave?”
“They found me and their gonna kill me if I don't get out of here.” He said, his body shaking.
“Who's going to kill you?” she questioned again. “You have to tell me so I can protect you.”
“The Iron Fist, that's who I ran from and why I was living on the street.” He answered, “you can't protect me from them, they're everywhere.”
“Tell me everything.” She said taking him into her arms.
We listened in horror as Brad told us about his life before the streets. “I can just barely remember what it was like before my uncle found us. I felt safe then my mother used to laugh and sing to us. My father would tell me and my twin brother stories before we went to bed. Then one day I woke up alone hearing my mother crying and voices shouting calling her a whore and a freak. I wasn't in my house I was laying on the floor and I was cold and frightened and alone. I called out to her and a man I'd never seen before slammed open the door and grabbed me by the back of my pajamas and hauled me into the other room and threw me at my mother.“
“I had never seen my mother like this her face was bruised and bleeding and she was shaking as she caught me. She shushed me and protected me with her body as my uncle beat her unconscious. I thought he would never stop I tried to be quiet, but I was so scared. Every time I would cry out or whimper he beat her harder, screaming `shut that kid up.'”
Brad had to stop for a minute and catch his breath. I had lived through my own version of hell, but what came next shocked even me.
“My mom was never the same after that first night. She didn't wake up for almost a week and I'm sure he gave her brain damage to the broken ribs, arm and nose. She was like a kid she would do what she was told but could be distracted by anything, a bird, a door opening, music playing and would forget what she was doing and wander off. Which only made my uncle beat her more and made her worse. I must have been about seven when she made the mistake of spilling coffee on him and he beat her unconscious. She was bleeding from her ears and I fell asleep holding her hand. When I woke up she was gone. I asked him where she was and he beat me bloody, I never saw her again. I know he killed her.”
“That's when my hell began. I took my mom's place as his punching bag and slave. When I `misbehaved' he would hand me around to his friends for punishment and they'd rape me until I was bleeding while he watched and laughed. Then he would scream and call me a faggot and a whore and accuse me of seducing his friends.”
“He hated what he called freaks. As far as I could tell a `freak' was anybody that didn't belong to the Iron Fist. But certain `freaks' were worse than others; he could rant and rave for hours along with his lunatic friends about how they'd make the Inferno look like child's play. About how this time they would kill the lycanthropes and witches as well as the vampires and any body else they could get there hands on. How they were gonna wipe out all of the Fae and other `unnatural' monsters like psychics and sensitives.”
“I think the only reason he didn't kill me was that he liked to have life `prey' when he trained the new recruits to hunt people. He would give them a time limit after he gave me a few minutes head start and if they captured or `killed' me using paintballs depending on what he had told them to do he'd give me to them as a reward. If they didn't get me in the allotted time he wouldn't let them rape me.”
“The sick bastard would tell me how important it was to reward trainees to make them give their best effort. He never let me leave the compound the only people I ever saw were every bit as crazy as he was. I don't know why he taught me to read and shoot every damn gun he had. He had said more than once that when the `time' came they'd have a real hunt and that I would die at the end of it.”
“The funny thing is that his habit of hitting me any time I caught his attention save my life. I learned the hard way how to stay out of site and keep quiet so he wouldn't notice me. I overheard a lot of things that way. That's how I found out that the `time' had come and he was planning on my final time as prey. He was gonna throw in a new rifle for the winner of the hunt, really make a day of it.”
“All that time hiding from his recruits paid off. I left that night as soon as I heard him snore. I ran all that night and half the next day I was so exhausted I was delirious when I ran across a highway. I didn't even know I was in Montana until I got picked up by a trucker and he actually gave me money for letting him fuck me and wonder of wonders he used lube and I didn't get beaten after.”
“That's how I ended up here I hitch hiked selling my ass the whole way. I was tired and it was easier to stay in one place.” Brad just seemed to collapse in Anita's arms after telling his story. There was dead silence for about thirty seconds.
“Oh my god, Brad, oh my god.” Anita kept repeating it as the tears poured down her face. She was hugging him fiercely rocking him in her arms.”
The sight of her tears made me realize that I had been crying as well. I looked around the room there wasn't a dry eye in it. Even Jean-Claude and Asher were crying their blood-tinged tears making light pink tracks down their pale faces.