Hatred only seems to intensify the problems
Rabbit opened her eyes slowly, staring at her dark room without emotion. Outside her window the storm raged, snow sticking to the icy window pane in clumps. A few of the strongest rays of sunshine poked through the cloud cover, but otherwise it may as well have been night. Her eyes drifted to her alarm and she saw that her clock was reading five past seven, ten minutes before she was meant to be up.
There was a gentle knock on her door and she called out croakily for whoever it was to enter. It was her mum.
"Hey baby, I was going to sneak in here and turn your alarm off." she smiled a motherly smile. "Snow day today! School's been cancelled. Record dumping for this time of year; nearly three feet of snow!"
Rabbit raised her eyebrows. "Wow... That is a lot."
"Mhmm, more than any you've seen in your lifetime." Charlotte perched on her daughters bed, noticing the bags beneath Rabbit's eyes. "Something bothering you baby?"
The shifter shrugged. "Just trouble with friends, nothing major."
"You sure? Because of you want to talk about anything.... And I mean anything, I'm here for you."
Rabbit nodded. "Yeah," she whispered, "I know."
The motherly woman leant down and traced her fingers along the cut on her daughter's cheek. "How'd that happen?"
"I was running and a branch got me." she replied truthfully, not seeing the harm in it.
"That was silly of you. Do you want a bandage or something for it?"
"I cleaned it last night. Should be fine."
There was a soft silence, only marred by the pattering of snow on the roof.
"How about I go make you a hot chocolate? You love them, don't you?" Charlotte offered.
Her daughter smiled. "Sounds great."
"Good, now you just stay there in bed and I'll be back in a few minutes."
As Charlotte reached the door Rabbit called out to her. "Hey, mum? Could I have marshmallows too?"
The woman smiled gently "Course you can." and left the room.
Rabbit snugged down under the blankets and sighed. There was nothing she wanted more than to talk to her parents, but it was forbidden by the shifters. She may be treading thin ice by bailing on her people, but exposing them to the humans was unforgivable.
The sound of her mobile going off caused Rabbit to jump slightly. She reached over for it and saw the caller ID displayed on the screen. It was Frank. She screwed up her nose and hit reject, noting that this had been his ninth call since she left last night.
The sound of her mobile going off again made Rabbit frown. She glared at the phone, before realizing that it was an unknown number.
"What the..." she mumbled, then accepted the call. "Hello?"
"Enjoying the gift?" the voice replied, unmistakably Ray's.
Rabbit ground her teeth angrily. "No. I want this fucking thing off. You had no right to use silver against another supe, that's-"
"Cheating? Yeah, we know." he sounded amused. "However it was necessary to get you in a position of vulnerability. Unfortunately though, thing's didn't go as planned...."
"What the fuck are you talking about?" she hissed.
Ray smirked on the other end. "I wanted to have this conversation in my own territory, but no. You had to go hit Sasha on the face with the silver. She's not to happy about that by the way."
"Not to happy about it?" Rabbit cried, "Try having the fucking thing strapped to your wrist! How the hell do I get this thing off, dog!?"
The werewolf rolled his eyes. "Isn't it obvious? That thing aint gonna come off unless you have the reversal spell, which is only known by me. I'll admit that we've always been out to kill you, but the other day I realized you're too valuable to do that."
"Spit it out, dog!" Rabbit snarled angrily.
"Well if you shut up and listen you might be able to." he paused just to irritate her, then continued. "I propose a deal. I'll take the bracelet off, but there's a catch."
The shifter clutched the phone tightly. "I'm listening"
He smirked on the other end. "I'm not telling you now."
"If you want to know what you have to do to be free, come pay my pack a visit. We'll discuss it from there."
Rabbit ground her teeth. "I am NOT walking right up to your front door and straight into whatever trap you're making for me."
"There's no trap, idiot. If we wanted you dead you would be."
Despite his words she still didn't trust him. "I'm not an idiot. There's no way I'm going anywhere near your dog-den."
Ray laughed darkly. "Then enjoy your life as a human."
"Don't worry, the offers still open. See you around, Rabbit."
The phone line went dead. She stared at the mobile in her hand, frustrated and indignant.
There was a knock on her door, then Charlotte walked in with a mug of steaming chocolate. "Here we go... Rabbit, what's wrong?"
Her daughter smiled and shook her head, shoving her damaged wrist under the covers to avoid it being seen. "Nothing mum, just a phone call from a kid at school. We're disagreeing on something, that's all."
After her mother left she sat in silence, sipping the sweet beverage. The burning sensation had dulled to a constant throbbing, which she was only just able to stand. Rabbit wondered what she was going to do. The shifters were her people, but with silver strapped to her body she could hardly be called supernatural. The most magical thing she could do right now was a card trick. Unless she got it off they'd have no use for her... But getting it off meant locking herself into a contract with the werewolves, a lifetime decision that could only end badly.
Frank fell back on his bed, dropping his mobile and rubbing his temples in frustration. Every time he had tried to call Rabbit she either wouldn't answer or hung up immediately. None of his texts received any response either. It was so unlike her that he was having difficulty accepting the fact that she didn't want to talk to him. Rabbit was the kind of person who was always there for him, often cynical about his decisions, but too shy to do anything about it. No matter what shit they got themselves into, she was always there to pull him out. He could rail at her in front of their peers for being an idiot, but apart from slightly watered eyes and a trembling bottom lip she'd take it like a man. No matter what he said, she'd follow him. No matter what he did, she was there to back him up. So now that Rabbit wasn't, what was he going to do?"
"Frankie boy?" his father said, walking into his room.
"Hey dad, what's going on?"
Iero senior sat next to his son on his bed. "What's happening with the girl? She come back yet?"
Frank sighed, ruffling his fringe absently. "No. Rabbit isn't answering my calls either."
The older man rolled his eyes. "Told you she's no good. At the first sign of trouble she just bails out on us, saving her own skin for-"
"That's not true!" Frank cried unhappily. "Rabbit's always been a dedicated shifter, enough so that she could have been my generations leader if you just gave her a chance. She's just lost her confidence, and now there's this silver bangle bound to her wrist which is only making everything worse." He gave his father an even look. "I don't know what to do without her."
Frank senior clenched his jaw, trying to restrain his temper. He knew that his son didn't want to upset him, but when it came to Rabbit the adult leader was stumped. It wasn't right, having a female, and a tainted one at that, so high in the rankings. "Why don't you just forget about her. Start afresh. Oliver is a fantastic shifter, smart and calm. Make him your second-in-command."
Frankie shook his head. "I wont replace her, dad. Rabbit's my right hand man... woman... whatever. I wouldn't have anyone else backing me up in a fight."
"Then you're a fool." his father growled. "Girls like her aren't built for this. Invest your faith in someone stronger. I'd even prefer you to choose Fox over Rabbit, at least she's got a bit of spark."
As Frank Iero Sneior slammed the door his son curled into a ball. Having all this responsibility thrust upon him was almost too much to bear. How could he even begin to explain that it wasn't how good Rabbit was at shifting or fighting that made her the one, it was the fact that half the time she knew what he was thinking. The others didn't see the side of him she did, the vulnerable, often unsure boy who was being pushed into manhood too soon. And she never judged him for it, only defended him more. So now that he'd lost his support, would he be able to stand alone?
"Where the fuck have you been!" Mikey shouted, dashing to his brother's side as he walked in the door.
Gerard raised an eyebrow at the younger vampire. "Don't swear, you're too pretty for that."
Mikey ground his teeth angrily, trying to restrain the anxiety in him that was coming out as fury. "I'm sorry. It's just you've been gone for longer than normal. It's snowing like crazy outside and we don't know this area at all, so if something happened it would be hard to find you."
The older Way sighed, running his hands through his icy, wet hair. "I'm already dead, a bit of snow isn't life-threatening. Stop worrying so much."
Mikey narrowed his eyes. "Don't be such a smart ass. You know that I'm right. You should have called to tell us where you were and when you were going to be back, not just bailed on us so suddenly. It's not normal you disappearing all the time, what if-"
"Not normal!?" Gerard snarled, pushing his younger sibling against the wall. "What part of being a vampire do you call normal!? And since when do you have the authority to tell me what to do? I am your older brother, your mentor and your maker. Never suggest that I am obliged to answer to you, because I'm not!" He let go of the smaller boy, ignoring the hurt look on his face, and stomped upstairs to his room.
Mikey's rail thin frame was trembling. His large eyes stared straight forward, unblinking. He had never upset his brother that much. Something inside Gerard had just snapped, something that Mikey didn't understand at all. Usually if his older brother was angry, he'd just carefully construct an expressionless mask on his face until the problem was dealt with. However the eruption of so much emotion sparked something in Mikey's memory, something about before they became vampires. Such a display of feeling wasn't right. It was too.... Human.
Gerard slammed his door and leant back against it heavily. His eyes were shut, but he could tell that there were people in his room. "Get out." he hissed.
"But..." Ruby replied, holding onto the arm of a drugged human. "Aren't you-"
"I said get out!" Gerard shouted, fangs bared in anger at his child.
Ruby flattened herself against the wall, cringing away from her creator. Hazel irises burned green, shockingly colourful against his black, sunken eyelids and waxen cheeks. His appearance was inhuman enough to jolt her with fear. "Yes, I'm sorry. I'll go." she whispered, grabbing the limp arm of the human and tugging them towards the door.
Gerard strode over to the window, staring out into the snowy landscape. "Wait." he growled.
Ruby paused in the act of departing. "Yes?"
"Leave the human." his voice was low and deadly.
The vampire girl cast an almost pitying glance at the woman she had picked up in a bar. Usually they'd make half an effort to keep the humans alive, but with the way Gerard was acting, Ruby knew that this one had little hope. She pushed the woman back inside and slipped out of the room hastily.
The human in question swayed slightly on her high-heeled feet, eyes unfocused from the drug Ruby had slipped her. It didn't come as much of a shock then when she was pushed down onto the bed, her mind was far too fogged up to register much.
Gerard looked down at the pathetic creature beneath him, inhaling the intoxicating aroma of blood it was exuding. The sting of cheap perfume didn't deter him as he buried his nose against the soft skin of it's neck. He could feel the mouthwatering pulsation of a vein against his lips and he licked it gently. Sadly the thumping didn't increase, a side effect of the drug.
"It's so much more fun when my food knows what's about to happen." he sighed, then bit deeply into the unprotected flesh.
The warmth that spurted from the wound was eagerly lapped up by the vampire and he reveled at how it made him feel. His lifeless body tingled with the heat that poured into him. Each of his frozen limbs reanimated with the sensation of life, temporarily rejuvenating it's deteriorating magic. The dark, supernatural force that kept Gerard and his people frozen in timeless perfection needed the regular lifeblood of others to maintain it's power. Even though it was satisfied after the third liter of blood, it's host was too far gone in his own head to stop.
Gerard drained the woman dry, breaking his mouth away from her neck only after her veins were completely parched. He licked his lips, finding them saturated with the liquid and looked down to see himself covered in red.
"What a mess." he mumbled, pulling off his shirt and wiping away the excess from his marble chest. "Johnny!"
Within five second's his trusted progeny was by his side. "Yes Gerard?"
The older vampire pointed in the direction of the recently deceased. "Get rid of it. And run me a bath."
John Mortimer nodded, slinging the lifeless body over his shoulder. "Anything else?"
Gerard toyed with an idea in his head for a moment before replying. "Yes, after my bath I need you to ring the werewolf pack. I want Ray Toro here for a bit of a chat. Tell him he can bring a friend or two if it makes him feel better, but other than that he'd better be unarmed."
Johnny raised an eyebrow questioningly. "Armed... Meaning?"
"Silver." Gerard spat. "Tell the dog if he brings any silver with him I'll be sure to send his severed head back to his parents with a thankyou note for the blood."
"Good morning ma'am." Frank said as Rabbit's mother opened the door.
"Oh Frank don't be so formal, call me Charlotte!" the woman smiled, ushering the teenage boy inside. "Here, I'll take your coat."
He smiled, passing her the snow covered hoodie gratefully.
"Rabbit's upstairs, probably still in bed. I'm sure she'll be glad to see you."
Frank nodded. "Thanks Charlotte, I hope she's happy to see me too." He skipped up the stairs and stood on the landing, looking at the door to his companions room warily. 'Friend,' he corrected himself mentally, 'she's my friend. Not my companion.'
He rapped on the door politely, inked knuckles contrasting with the white wood. A muffled voice came from inside and he opened the door cautiously.
Rabbit was sitting at her desk, pots of paint and pieces of paper scattered around her. The snow falling outside curtained her window and the only light was the lamp on her desk. Usually Rabbit had her hair down, but while she painting it was twisted into a tangled bun on top of her head.
"Hey mum, I think I'm going to duck round to the store in a minute. I'm running low on red paint. And I need to go see this kid in my year too, in case I'm gone for a bit." she murmured, not pausing in her work.
Frank shuffled from foot to foot, closing the door gently behind him. "Hey Rabbit, um I'm not your mum."
She twisted in her seat, seeing her shifter leader standing midway in her room. Her eyes narrowed. "What are you doing here?"
He sighed, twisting the tip of his fringe between his fingers nervously. "Um... Well I wanted to talk to you, and you aren't exactly answering my calls so I decided to drop by instead."
Rabbit got up out of her chair and stood before him, arms crossed over her body in resistance. Frank tried to ignore the fact that she was only wearing a dressing gown and focused on her blank eyes. There was a tense silence.
"Rabbit," he began, wanting to reach out and hold her horribly lacerated wrist, "I know that you feel like we don't need you, but you're wrong. Everyone freaked out last night when you just upped and left. For heaven's sake you walked home in a fucking blizzard with no protection! How stupid do you-"
"If you came here to insult me, you can go right ahead and leave." she growled, grabbing a handful of clothes and slipping into the adjoining bathroom.
Frank leant his head against the locked door. "I didn't mean it like that. Rabbit, I just worry about you. If anything happened to you I.. We... The whole shifter community would never forgive ourselves."
The door was yanked open and she pushed past him forcefully, perching on the end of her bed to tug on her boots as she replied. "Well, your claims would be appreciated Frank if I didn't already know just how hollow they are." She fixed him with a level glare. "You left me with that wolf. I could have been killed. And although I was willing to look past it, now that I know I'm of no further use to you, there's no point playing friendly." Rabbit grabbed a thick scarf and wound it around her neck. "Because let's face it, you and I have never been friends."
"That's not true!" Frank exclaimed. "We're all friends!'
She snorted, tugging the elastic band out of her hair so that it sprang back into it's usual wild shape. "Yeah, because Fox and I get along so well. Go preach it to someone who gives a shit. I've got better things to be doing."
He stumbled after her as she stalked out of her room and down the stairs. "Where ARE you going? You said that you were visiting someone's house, someone from our year. It isn't a supe is-"
"Who I visit is my own business. Now that I'm human I see no reason why I should act like one." she raised her voice slightly. "Off to buy paint and see some people mum!"
"Okay, just be back before dinner. Nice seeing you Frank!" her mother called out.
"You too!" he replied, then went back to drilling Rabbit for answers. "You didn't answer my question; who are you going to see?"
Her top lip curled slightly in annoyance. They stepped outside and were greeted by an intense blast of bitter cold. Rabbit wiped a few snow flakes from her eyelashes before skipping down the front steps and crunching to the cleared pathway. "Like I said Frank, that doesn't concern you. Now go back to your pompous house on that god-damn hill where your fan club is waiting for you." she smirked to herself. 'I've always wanted to say that.'
The young Iero watched her walk away through the snow for the second time, and he got the distinct impression that this wouldn't be the last one either.
Ray Toro stared up at the contemporary building. The sandstone blocks contrasted tastefully against the heavily tinted glass and iron trimmings. It would have been nice if it weren't so.... Perfect. Being a canine he really wasn't into spotless houses with astronomically perfect structure.
"This place reeks of vamps." Harry growled, cringing back from the imposing building.
Sasha rolled her eyes and slapped him over the head. "Don't be such a whelp. They ain't nothing but human's with pointy teeth in need of a suntan."
The front door creaked open slightly before swinging back quickly. Two tall figures glided down the front steps towards the three werewolves. Ray recognized one of them from school. He had a small, polite smile playing across his lips. The other one he didn't know.
"Good morning. Gerard thanks you for accepting his rather sudden invitation. My name is Robbie, and this," he gestured towards the unsmiling vampire, "is Johnny."
"Robby and Johnny, eh?" Ray grumbled, smirking at their non-threatening names. "Why doesn't Gerard just thank us himself when we see him?"
The smiling vampire's eyes flashed with something, amusement perhaps?
"I can already see why Gerard feels the need to speak with you." Robby murmured, sharing a glance with the other vampire. "You aren't... Afraid of us, are you?"
Sasha sneered at the slim boy. "Why should we be afraid of little bats like you?"
"Silence." Ray barked at her.
Robby's smiled widened, however this time it was Johnny who spoke.
"Because, little dog," he replied smoothly, mimicking her insult, "in our homeland, you are my lunch."
Sasha blanched a little, sliding closer to her pack leader.
Robby chuckled, casting a sly glance at his friend. "Don't worry, he's only joking."
Ray didn't bother to mention that no one was laughing.
"Ah well, come this way."
The werewolves followed the two vampires up the stairs. Harry hesitated at the door, but Ray pushed him over the threshold into the house. The first thing they noticed was the temperature of the building. In most houses at this time of year there were heaters and fire's going to keep it warm, however there was no temperature change upon entering this house.
"Gerard will meet with you in the main parlor." Robby stated, standing beside a frosted, glass door which matched the pallor of his skin. "He will be down shortly."
Ray nodded and walked through into the tastefully decorated room. Everything was in pallors of white and blue. The minimalist furniture looked comfortable, however the cold colour scheme made the supes wish they had never sat down. It was positively freezing, possibly because of the seamless window that completely took up one wall. Sasha padded across the chilled, marble floor and looked out at the lake beyond. The view was of the back of the property, adorned with towering pines and a hedge maze. The lake itself was glassy smooth, iced over that the edges. There was a lone pier that went quite far out into the water. Snow lay in small piles upon the dark wood and the werewolf girl couldn't stop the shiver of fear that tinged across her skin. There was something sinister about the view, although she couldn't put her finger on what it was exactly that struck such agitation inside her.
"Pretty, isn't it?" a smooth voice cut through the silent room.
Each werewolf flinched, taken by surprise at the lithe man standing beside the deep blue piano. They hadn't heard him enter.
He placed artful fingers on the highest keys, leaving high-pitched notes ringing in the air, which then deepened as he travelled further down the scale. He had only gone six or so keys when he suddenly stopped and turned to face his guests.
Ray had seen the vampire leader at school, where he had been composed. Of course every supe had to act as human as possible in an attempt to blend in, however, here there was nothing human about Gerard Way at all. He moved with alien smoothness across the floor to the decanter on a table. As he walked, Harry noticed that his feet only just touched the ground, and on some steps he didn't think they came into contact with the polished marble at all.
"Drink?" the vampire offered.
Ray shook his head. "It's... It's ten in the morning."
Gerard's neutral face broke into a wide grin. His white teeth flashed menacingly under almost painfully white lips. "Oh, I guess it is." he chuckled, moving towards the high-backed chair opposite Ray and Harry. Sasha hadn't moved from her spot at the window the whole time. "Mundane schedules don't seem to matter when you're suspended in time."
Ray eyed the exquisitely cut glass in the vampire's hand. "I thought you're kind couldn't consume... Human food and drink."
Gerard looked down at the drink and smiled. "No, you're right. We can't. However that doesn't stop the habit of pouring it."
The werewolves didn't respond to this strange piece of information.
"So, why have you called me here?" Ray asked.
The vampire's face darkened and the smile slipped away from his lips. He stood swiftly, placing the glass down on the coffee table. "As you probably know my people have never felt the need to inhabit America. Your country is... Well it's nice, but it lacks depth and meaning. Or at least, compared to England it does. However this is the notion of the common vampire, not I." He swept across the room, locating a black, leather glove and slipping it on. "I have always been curious about this place, New Jersey especially because of it's strong music scene. I knew that there were many supes here, and although I expected them to differ from England's magical creatures... Well you especially, Ray Toro, exceeded my expectations." He drifted across the floor towards a glass cabinet. "In England it is forbidden to use what we call the 'unfair advantage' against the other supes, purely because it gives them an excuse to use it against us. This is a notion which we were positive would exist in America as well, regardless of how eccentric you may be." Gerard opened the cabinet door, pulling out something that winked in the light, which he obscured from their vision as he spoke. "And yet, last night I was horrified to see that you have no regard for the 'unfair advantage.'"
Ray leant forward, puzzled. "I'm sorry, I don't see where this is going, I-"
"Silver you idiot!" Gerard exclaimed, moving with lightening speed over to the werewolf leader and pressing a shining dagger against his throat. "You used silver against a fellow supernatural creature so that you could stop her shifting!"
Sasha and Harry made to protect their alpha, but Gerard snapped at them to stay back. "This is not your fight dogs. You're leader has done something shame worthy and you should not be so quick to defend his corrupt skin."
Ray was trembling slightly beneath the silver blade, but the vampire was interested to note that he wasn't a complete coward.
"Yes, I used silver against the girl. You can kick as much of a fuss about it as you like, but it was necessary."
Gerard sneered down at him. "Necessary for what?"
The werewolf boy looked up at the face of death calmly. "To put an end to this dictatorship by the shifters. They have been in control of this region for too long, and they press their advantage against my people mercilessly. I do not know about his son, but Frank Iero senior has slaughtered too many of my own pack for no good reason, and I wont stand by and let him murder us one by one any longer."
Gerard paused, thoughts mulling this over. He could see the motivation and understand the justification behind the use of the hated metal, but he still didn't think it was ethical. "You are to take the silver off the girl today." he hissed.
Ray frowned. "But-"
"Today. I don't care how, but you get rid of it." Gerard ordered, then stepped back and placed the dagger on the table. He slipped off his glove and ran a hand through his hair. "You may take your leave."
Harry and Sasha flocked to their leader's side, who turned to the vampire one last time. "And what happens if I don't take it off?"
Gerard rolled his eyes "Use your imagination, dog."
Frank was about to walk through the front door of his home when Fox came bounding up to him.
"Hey!" she cried, leaping up the stairs to stand next to him. "How are you?"
He stared at her for a moment, not comprehending how she could be so enthusiastic at a time like this. "Pretty shit actually, but thanks for asking." he replied and walked inside.
Fox followed him, running her fingers through her hair self-consciously. From her disheveled appearance it was obvious she had been training with the others in the woods on their estate. "So have you spoken to Rabbit?"
"What did she say?" Fox continued to ask him.
Frank detected a note of jealousy in her voice and he sighed. "Rabbit isn't coming back, at least not any time soon."
"Oh, that's a shame." she murmured, following him into his room.
Frank didn't answer this, instead sitting on the edge of his bed and tugging off his boots.
"So what are you doing for the rest of the day?" Fox asked, perching next to him.
He sighed, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his hands. "I dunno. I don't think I have any plans... Should probably do some study at some point."
The shifter girl placed a hand on his leg. "Or, you could spend some time with me?"
Frank stared at her hand, not comprehending. "Um... What? Sorry I don't get-"
Fox pushed him back down on the bed and straddled his waist, leaning over him with a smirk playing across her lips. "Don't get what, Frankie?"
He stared up at her with mixed emotions. She was undoubtedly the prettiest shifter his age, with dark 'come to bed' eyes and a mane of deep, auburn hair the exact colour of her namesake. He could feel the muscle of her shapely legs fitted against the sides of his hips and the soft swell of her breasts pressed against his chest.
"Umm Fox, where did this come from?" he asked, slightly breathless.
She bit her lip, colour pooling across the marked skin. He watched, somewhat entranced as she leant down and pressed her warm mouth against his. At first he resisted, but the sensation of her tongue merging with his was undeniably good. He groaned in the back of his throat and arched upwards underneath her. Fox chuckled against his lips, knowing how she was making him feel.
His hands found her waist, sliding up underneath her shirt to touch the soft skin of her back. She broke the kiss apart and rolled over so that he was on top of her. Frank blindly followed her, pressing down against her sinuous body that stretched like a cat beneath him happily as he found her lips once more.
Fox placed her hands against his muscled chest, running them over the thin material of his shirt until she reached his stomach. She paused for a moment, before hooking her fingers into the loops on his jeans and dragging his hips down to meet hers. He moaned into her mouth once more as she moved against him, amazed at the adrenaline pumping sensation. He felt like he was flying, like he didn't have a care in the world. That was until Fox's hand slipped into his jeans and cupped his growing erection.
"No!" Frank blurted out, pushing away from the girl beneath him. He shot up off the bed, feeling the hot skin of his kissed mouth cooling against the cool air. It was only now that he noticed his unzipped jeans and felt the uncomfortable tightness of the restrictive material. "I don't want this." he stated, trying to steady his trembling voice.
Fox sat up on the bed, hair tangled about her pretty face in an unnervingly attractive way. "Why? What's wrong with the idea of you and me being together?"
Frank looked down at her, annoyance written on his face. "It's not the idea of 'you and me' that bothers me, Fox. What I want to know is why you waited for Rabbit to be gone to make your move."
The curvy shift shrugged. "I thought you two were together. After all you spend so much time with each other... Everyone thinks it. And now that she's gone I assumed you were-"
"Rabbit and I have never been 'together.' We never will be either. We share a strictly 'no strings' relationship, one based on mutual trust in terms of fighting. She is my second in command, Fox. That doesn't mean we're sleeping together. In fact, I doubt that thought's even crossed Rabbit's mind."
Fox smirked, suddenly amused by something. "Mutual trust? You're relationship is based on mutual trust that you watch each other's back in combat?"
Frank nodded. "Yes. What could you possibly find funny about that?"
She laughed outright, hopping off the bed and headed for the door. "Oh you're a funny one, Frank. Because there is no 'mutual' in that relationship at all. I don't think you've ever covered her back in a fight. In fact, if I think about it, I can come up with multiple times we've come home from a fight with you looking positively healthy while Rabbit's been beaten black and blue." she opened the door and stepped partially out into the doorway, only to look back at Frank's broken expression. "I may not particularly like the girl, but you know, I'm almost proud of her right now for standing up to you. Because if you think for one moment that you deserve her forgiveness, you'd be sorely mistaken."
As soon as they were away from the house, Sasha cursed under her breath. "Fucking leach butting into business that ain't his!"
Ray shrugged. "He's right actually. Silver should be a completely contraband item. However in our case I had no other choice."
"Yeah well now the plan is fucked." Harry growled.
The curly haired boy laughed darkly. "No, it's not. In fact, this changes nothing."
"What do you mean it changes nothing?" Sasha asked, "Now that we have to take the silver off the girl she wont have any reason to fight for us!'
"The silver may have to come off, but she doesn't know that." Ray stated, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "We just give her a call and tell her she either makes the deal today or we leave it on forever."
"But what if she chooses to keep it on?" Harry asked.
Sasha rolled her eyes. "What makes you so sure?"
He grinned wickedly. "Because no supe, no matter what species, is prepared to live their life as a mundane, no matter what the catch is." he motioned at Sasha. "Call the shifter."
The werewolf girl shook her head. "Don't have to, she's already here."
The three supes looked up to see that Rabbit was indeed at their den already, fidgeting from side to side like she might bolt at any time.
"So you came." Ray called out, drawing closer.
The wild-haired girl jumped a little, then saw the approaching werewolves. From where they were they could see how close she was to running away.
"Don't be so worried, we're not going to bite."
Rabbit frowned, the cut on her cheek tugging slightly. "Sorry if I have a hard time believing that. After all, I have a lovely set of holes in my back the size of your doggie teeth after last night."
Ray shrugged. "Battle scars, I'm sure in a few years you'll be able to spin a good story to go along with it."
The shifter looked mournfully away from the wolves. "There is no story I wish to tell."
"Well, be that as it may, I am sick of being cold." Harry grumbled, heading towards the warehouse that the werewolves congregated in. Like the shifters, each had their own house elsewhere but this was the centre of their activity.
Ray gestured to Rabbit. "After you."
She followed the first werewolf boy inside, somewhat appreciative of the warm air that greeted her, even though it stank of dog drool.
"Follow me." Ray ordered her, and she did.
They made their way through the dingy building into a somewhat respectable room. At the werewolf leader's gesture she sat on one of the chairs and fiddled with her overly long sleeves.
"So, you want the bracelet off?" he asked, quick and to the point.
Rabbit didn't look up at him, but stared into her hands. "Why else would I be here?"
He just grunted. "Deal's changed though, I don't have time to wait. If you want it off, you agree to my terms today. After that, you're stuck as the human with the singed wrist for the rest of your miserable life."
The shifter girl nodded. "Tell me what I have to do."
Ray grinned, picking up an apple and biting into it with relish. He offered one to Rabbit, but she refused politely.
There was a strained pause before he broke her the deal.
"Bring me the hearts of one hundred supes, at least one from each species."
This time Rabbit looked up at him. Her already alarmingly large eyes widened impossibly and Ray could have sworn he saw tears filming them. "One.... Hundred supes?"
He bit into the apple again with a satisfying crunch. "Yep."
Rabbit's bony frame shook. "But... Why?"
Ray shook his head. "You don't need to know the details that don't concern you. All you need to understand is that this is my offer. Take it or leave it. And just so you know, if you leave it, I'll just get someone else to do my dirty work. So to be realistic, by nobly giving up your supernatural life as a shifter to save all of those people... Well you aren't because someone else will get them anyway."
Rabbit sat, shell shocked in her chair. She couldn't imagine killing one person without reason, let alone a hundred. "I need a moment to think."
Ray hopped off the table he was perched on and headed to the door. "Sure, take all the time you need.... That is, all the time you want within the next eight hours." And with that he left her, locking the door behind him as he went.
Thanks, I haven't had many reviews on this story and I'm starting to think it isn't worth it :(