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Chapter Two
2 /?
Title: The Stray II
Author: mishap
Rating: NC17
Feedback: mishap00@mchsi.com
Website:  http://mishap00.tripod.com               
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.
Pairing: N/A
Status: WIP
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.

Chapter Two

After spending more than an hour calming Brad down enough to drop into an exhausted sleep Anita signaled me to follow her. As we left the room Zane and Cherry moved to Brad's side to comfort and protect him where he lay huddled on Jean-Claude's bed.

     The small army of vampires and were animals guarding the door caught me off guard as the aura of anger and protectiveness was almost a palpable force in the air.

     Jean-Claude led the way to his office explaining that he had called Richard and filled him in on the situation.

     The air of rage that Richard was putting off immediately sent me into a submissive posture as Anita rushed to his side. Seeing his face flicker back and forth from normal to part wolf scared me even more as Richard's control of his beast was legendary.

     To see him on the verge of losing that control was intimidating to say the least. As I watched Anita take him in her arms and saw the shudders that wracked his body as she whispered in his ear too softly for me to hear brought the reality of the situation home.

     I began to tremble myself in reaction, flinching when Jean-Claude's hand clasped my shoulder. I dragged my eyes away from Richard and Anita and almost passed out when the master of the city opened his arms and offered me comfort. That didn't stop me from taking him up on his offer, however.

     Cradled in his embrace I began to understand why Anita felt safe there. It was the sense of rock solid reliability juxtaposed with the agelessness that is embodied by vampires that have survived centuries possess.

The trembling of my body slowed and ceased as I felt the Ulfric's rage subside. Jean-Claude's embrace loosened as I gained enough courage to pull back and look around.

     Anita had managed to calm Richard and was sitting on the white sofa in Jean-Claude's office softly conversing with him.

     I drew back to allow as much privacy to the members of the triumvirate as possible. Brad's addition to our lives had brought the three of them back to speaking terms and it looked like his trouble would only strengthen their bonds.

     Anita raised her voice a bit. “Come here Nathaniel this concerns you too. You are as close it gets to being his family without being born into it. So you need to hear this.

     “I am going to call in a friend of mine you may remember me talking about him when I had to go to Albuquerque. He is the only person that I know of who has the contacts to help us.” Anita stopped and stood abruptly wearing the grimmest look on her face I'd ever seen. She crossed the room in a determined stride reaching for the phone on Jean-Claude's desk.

     As she lifted the receiver, Jean-Claude placed his hand over hers and asked. “Ma petite are you sure this is wise?”

     “No, I'm not sure. In fact it is probably very unwise, but he has the expertise and contacts to deal with this and he owes me.” She replied.

     While Anita made her phone call I switched my attention to Richard. He had calmed down considerably, but a fine tremor still ran through his body, his fists where clenched so tightly that the knuckles appeared ready to be on the verge of bursting through the skin. His red rimmed eyes where slightly unfocused and contained enough barely banked rage to send a shudder of apprehension through me as I felt my own anger rising to match it.

     “He's on his way.” Anita spoke startling me out of my thoughts. “He'll be here tonight and he said that there is no charge or favor involved.”

     “They die, all of them.” Richard growled his eyes flashing gold.

     The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them. “I agree.” I said with a small growl of my own.
     Jean-Claude merely nodded and Anita spoke. “It's unanimous then. The people who did this to him die like the vile things they are.”

     I could see what Anita calls her inner Sociopath take its place as her eyes became as cold and still as death itself. I heard it in the two words she spoke. “No Mercy.”

     While Anita and the other members of the triumvirate made plans and discussed strategy, I made my way back to the room where Brad slept exhausted. I threaded my way past the various groups of Weres and vampires that guarded his door and let my self into the room. Zane and Cherry still cuddled close to him, but I could tell by the way he twitched restlessly that this would, unsurprisingly be one of the nights that he could not bear human touch even while unconscious.

     I stepped into the bathroom and removed my clothes and stood in the tub and let my beast burst forth and watched the clear liquid from the change run down the drain. Staying still I waited for the familiar disorientation to subside and made my way back to the bed nudging Zane out of my way I curled up against Brad's back and let the familiar sound of my purr and the feel of my fur lull him into a more restful sleep.

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