Unlikely Alliances are Made
Ray raised an eyebrow, as if to ask why she could possibly doubt his intentions. "Of course she will."
"Great, I'll call Glitter and get her to come over-"
"Not yet." he growled, rolling his eyes.
"But I thought you said-"
He cut her off again mid-sentence. "I said she will. She hasn't yet, but I have no doubts."
Sasha smirked slightly. "You sure that vamp didn't rub off on you a little? I don't think I've ever seen you so cocky about something before."
Ray shrugged. "I have reason to be confident."
Gerard was perplexed.
He was lying on his stomach on the miniature wharf that ran out into the lake behind their new house. The mirrored surface reflected back his pale face in hues of murky green, and the vampire found it amusing how truthfully the image revealed his inner self. The angular face that was staring back at him looked dead - truly dead, whereas he walked the earth with a deceptive mask that didn't betray his silent heart.
He rolled over, shuffling down so that he could rest his head against the damp planks. The snow that had spiraled in so quickly, was rapidly melting with the rise in temperature. Winter, it seemed, had been held off for a few days longer.
His thoughts turned to earlier than day. Something was bothering Gerard about the werewolf's face when he ordered the removal of that obscene piece of silver. Instead of anger or some kind of retaliation, the supe had just gone with it. In fact, the vampire could have sworn he saw a flicker of amusement behind his eyes.
"What's that supposed to mean?" he questioned the soft rolling clouds overhead.
Although it was Gerard's choice to move to this country, he suddenly understood why none of his kind had earlier. In the short days they had spent in New Jersey there had been more excitement than he had seen for at least the past two centuries; not all of it good. The supes here were divided, snapping between themselves like vultures fighting over the carcass of something dead. The difference was though, that once he and his 'lions' had stepped in, they backed away obediently, but without total fear. In England the other supernaturals didn't dare look at Gerard, and now he was forced to negotiate with them. If he didn't find the situation so enlightening he might have been offended.
The others though, were not handling the transition very well. He could tell that Ruby found it aggravating when the faeries at Bellville High had all but flaunted their unnatural looks in front of her, and Robert was all but ready to rip one of the Witches heads off when she stuck a small wooden cross in his pocket as a nasty joke. Charlie as well was finding the separation from England difficult. He was too young to completely control his emotions, and the amount of activity around him only heightened his bloodlust.
And then there was Mikey.
Gerard groaned and rolled over. After he had lashed out at his younger sibling the night before there was an added layer of tension amongst them - not that they needed any more agitation. His dear brother didn't want to come in the first place, arguing that Gerard was chasing faery tales by trying to forge a new path. He knew that if it wasn't for the bond they shared of a vampire master and his child, Gerard could not have convinced him to come. As it was though, Mikey had no choice. He didn't complain, but there was a bitterness between them that sprung up every other moment. He hated the fact that his little brother was so opposed to change. All Gerard wanted was to experience something new, get away from the rigid formality of the English Vampire Coven.
The organization in question, he knew, would be watching his moves closely from afar. Gerard was too important to loose, being one of the eldest of his kind. They may have let him out on a leash for the moment, but the dark haired immortal knew that at the first sign of danger they'd be reeling him back in, lest he be killed.
Gerard always found it interesting that they showed no interest in Mikey. Their opinion was that the younger boy still had a maker, so he wasn't leadership worthy. Gerard found this ridiculous. Sure the rest of the vampires on the council had long since lost their makers, but that didn't mean anything. Mikey was only two years younger than him, and if Gerard was honest with himself, he'd admit that the younger was the wiser of the Way siblings. It was likely when the older brother finally got elected into the Coven he'd be skipping meetings and wasting his new power on ordering about those he hated. He may have been hundreds of years old, but Gerard still had his immature qualities.
"Master?" a soft voice broke through his thoughts.
He looked up to see Ruby, paused at the end of the jetty. Her deep, wine red fringe whipped in the wind, the shorter strands rippling like waves. Beneath the tendrils of dark colour her azure eyes looked troubled.
He nodded to acknowledge her and let his head fall back onto the wooden boards. If it weren't for his supernatural hearing he wouldn't have heard her footsteps coming up the wharf. Gerard felt the disturbance of the air as she lowered herself lightly onto the planks next to him, legs crossed elegantly.
There was a long pause, weighed down by the questions he knew hung in the air. Finally he decided to end the girl's indecision.
"What is it, my child?" he murmured, English accent adding to the ancient way he addressed her.
Ruby hesitated before touching a hand tentatively to his. Her long fingers slipped around his hand and squeezed very slightly, as though she was afraid of his reaction. "We are all worried that we have done something to detach ourselves from you."
His green flecked eyes didn't flicker as he observed the sky above them. "Now why would you think a silly thing like that?"
She chewed on her lip for a moment before answering. "You spend so much time alone... Not just last night, or even the past few hours that you've spent out here. I'm talking about the past few years..." she seemed reluctant to go on.
"Ruby," he said firmly, but without any trace of annoyance, "stop perfecting the sentences in your head before they leave your mouth. Just speak to me. Tell me what you are thinking."
She took in a steady breath - something uncharacteristically human, and spoke. "I am sure you remember in the fifties when everyone was shocked that Marcus killed himself. He was so strong and such a great leader to us all that his death was almost unbearable for some. He left behind a dozen of his children who were all unsure as to his motive and blamed themselves, because they hadn't foreseen it."
Gerard's somewhat messy eyebrows - the one thing that wasn't perfect about him - raised slightly. "Go on."
Ruby tightened her hold on his hand, just a fraction. "It was only years later that they began to realize there was something that had changed. He always alternated his time between his children, spending some time with one then moving on to the next. Although they did see him on occasion, no one had noticed him isolating himself every now and then."
Gerard sighed, now understanding where her thoughts were traveling.
"And I don't want to go presuming to know what is in you're head, because no one ever can figure out what you're thinking, but please..." she fought back an uncomfortable tightening in her chest which didn't often happen, "Don't kill yourself. We couldn't bare to loose you!"
At the conclusion of her speech Gerard sat up and placed a gentle hand on her pale cheek. He had always loved Ruby for her passion, something that was a rare trait in their kind. He had come across her on the outskirts of Spain several hundred years ago and couldn't bring himself to leave her behind. It always perplexed him why he never felt the need to change another woman after Ruby, but he had a feeling it was something to do with her strength, for he hadn't yet met another human girl who could match her spirit.
"You are a fool, you know that?" he chastised her gently.
Her thickly lashed eyes blinked rapidly, as though they were expecting tears. "Why is that?"
Gerard let an honest smile play across his lips. "Because by now you should know that I love life far too much to leave it willingly."
She exhaled slightly, smiling back at him. However there were still questions in her eyes. "So why... Why is it that you keep withdrawing from us? I don't understand why you spend so much time alone."
He pursed his lips slightly, forehead furrowing into a little frown. "Ruby, to be honest I'm not sure. Perhaps it's one of those things about getting older; you tend to contemplate life more." he paused before adding with a smirk "Perhaps that's why there's a council of elders; they just wanted to sit around all day and think."
Ruby laughed lightly, then screwed up her nose a little. "But wouldn't that mean that Mikey...?"
He shook his head. "My brother is always thinking, he doesn't need to age for that to happen."
They grinned at each other, sharing a rare moment of bonding.
Gerard eventually broke the comfortable silence by asking for the time.
"It is just reaching 5pm, you've been out here for a while." Ruby replied. She looked out over the tranquil lake, admiring two waterbird drifting next to the ice before adding "Now that I'm out here with you I can understand why."
He nodded, then stood up. "I am honestly sorry to cut this short, but I have an errand to run."
Ruby looked up at him, slightly confused. "You don't run errands... That's our job."
Gerard gave his signature smirk. "We're in America now; the country of the free man. Apparently I can't send my slaves to do my chores for me anymore."
She looked slightly mortified. "But it is our duty to-"
He ruffled her hair in a fatherly way. "I'm teasing you, Ruby. However this is truly a job that I need to do personally. I shouldn't be gone long."
"Oh, I supposed if you insist." she replied, standing up and bowing her head as was custom.
Gerard nodded and walked down the jetty, stopping at the edge and looking back to his only female child. "And Ruby?"
She looked up, ready for an order. "Yes master?"
He smiled softly, black locks drifting across his face in the gentle wind. "Don't be afraid to talk to me next time. If you have a question, ask it. I don't want to be intimidating anymore."
Rabbit picked up the knife and stabbed it into the wooden table, again. It was a small blade, dull from years of use with a streak of rust congregating near the handle. Ray or one of the other wolves must have left it in here. It's tip was now embedded in the flaky surface of the desk, indents scattered around it from previous, half-hearted jabs. She idly twisted it back and forth, widening the scar now running along the grain of the wood.
Truth be told, Rabbit had already made her decision. She'd made it pretty much the moment Ray had announced his somewhat unfair and rigged deal. However she didn't want to seem too eager to betray those that she had shed blood with for so many years. So she was stalling in a typical, grumpy Rabbit style.
Her eyes flickered to the clock. It was ten to four in the afternoon. She made a mental note that her mother was probably beginning to wonder where her moody daughter was, before pulling the knife out of the desk and savagely stabbing it back into the hard surface.
"Do you have to be so destructive?" Sasha grumbled, leaning against the doorframe.
Rabbit didn't bother acknowledging the werewolf, instead yanking out the knife and spearing it into the table repetitively, as if that was a good enough answer.
Sasha growled something about childish shifters, making Rabbit's fists clench into tight balls.
"In case you haven't noticed, I'm not a shifter right now. So lay off, dog!"
The werewolf snarled angrily, eyes gleaming with an animalistic shine. She wanted to slap the doe-eyed girl in front of her, but a heavy hand on her shoulder forced her to lower her hackles.
"I told you to leave our guest alone." Ray reprimanded her.
Rabbit looked up at the frankly intimidating teenager. Even as a human his body rippled with the heavy muscles coating his large bone structure, and as a wolf... She shivered remembering his jaws clamped over her shoulder, hand going protectively to the shredded skin.
Sahsa left the room obediently, casting one last withering glance at the shifter girl, curled on a chair looking like a wide-eyed bunny. Ray shut the door after her, leaning back on the solid frame, folding his arms like an annoyed teacher.
Rabbit raised an eyebrow, picked the knife out of the table and twirled it in her fingers. "What? I still have...." she looked at the clock again, "a hour and ten minutes until I have to decide."
Ray rolled his eyes. "Quit messing around, we both know you've made your choice."
She contemplated arguing her case further, but this room was boring and she felt as though she'd already made her mark on the werewolf's desk. "Fine. You win. Congratulations for ruining my life!"
He chuckled slightly. "Trust me, I may not be a shifter, but any supe or mundane can tell that you're life was ruined years ago." he paused, and flashed a wide smile, "You never know, maybe now you'll find things a bit more interesting..."
Rabbit's lips curled back in a snarl. "Fuck you."
He shrugged off her insult and thumped a meaty fist on the door twice. There was amusement in his deep, brown eyes and Rabbit wondered what the boy could possibly find funny at a time like this. However when the door swung open she suddenly realized why the werewolf was so entertained.
"You fucking traitor!" Rabbit shouted, grabbing the knife out of the table and pointing it at the faery before her.
Glitter raised one eyebrow delicately and stared down at the pathetically small blade like it was a dead mouse or something else rancid. "Like you can talk, shifter. Besides," she said airily, flipping her long blonde tresses to one side, "I had no choice."
Rabbit tossed the knife over her shoulder, hearing the satisfying thud as it sunk into the wall. She'd prefer her hands for this one. "Oh, like I have a choice!? You've screwed us all over you plastic piece of shit!" she lunged at the faery, hands latching onto the supe's throat, "Just you wait! You've become the death of your own kind! One day you'll see what the werewolves are planning-" her words were cut off as Ray's massive hands covered her mouth and dragged her off the shrieking fey.
"She tried to strangle me!" Glitter screamed, huddling in the corner. "Like hell I'm taking the curse off now!"
Ray fought to hold the struggling shifter still, tightening his grip on her until he was sure he'd hear a bone snap. "Rabbit!" he shouted, "Calm the fuck down!"
She squirmed in his grip, flinging her frail wrist bound by the silver bangle up and over her head so that it connected with the werewolf's cheek. Ray howled and released the smaller supe who dropped to the floor and glared at her adversaries.
Ray clutched at his singed face furiously. "You burnt me you little c-"
"No need for bad language, doggy boy." Glitter cut in. "I swear your kind has mouths as dirty as Jersey sewers."
The werewolf leader snarled at the faery and then stared down at the shifter at his feet. He wanted desperately to kick her, but then again, he needed her. "Whatever Tinker-bell, just get the removal spell started."
Glitter was offended at being likened to the goody-two-shoes, mundane children's cartoon character, but with Ray's threats hanging over her head she had little choice but to do what he said. The dog had gotten a hold of her families spell book, an heirloom from centuries past, and loosing it was not an option. Until it was back in her hands, the faery had no leeway to argue.
Rabbit got up off the floor, casting hateful looks at Glitter as she began preparing some sort of potion in the corner. The shifter girl's arms hurt from where Ray had held her back, but the anger she was feeling towards the other supes far outweighed any physical discomfort. She turned and watched as Ray opened a black, leather-bound folder and plucked a knife from a draw in the desk. She eyed the piece of paper inside the folder which was covered in small print. At the bottom there were two, dotted lines.
"Come here." Ray growled, still annoyed that she had hurt him.
Rabbit obeyed and slunk towards the muscled boy, eyeing the knife and paper speculatively.
"Read." he ordered and watched as the shifter scanned the document.
The paper was essentially a contract, blinding the individual to the deal maker through blood. The document stated that she was to perform the task assigned to her before she could be released, and that during her time spent in servitude she could make no move to harm or kill those who controlled her.
Rabbit skimmed through the majority of the text, not really paying attention to the details. Once she was done she turned to Ray and nodded. "So, what next?"
He smirked and grabbed her unbound wrist, slashing it with the sharpened blade so suddenly she barely had time to cry out. Rabbit snatched her bleeding arm back and looked up at the werewolf with wide eyes. "What was that for?"
Ray rolled his eyes and yanked her dripping arm over the page. She stared in amazement as the blood that spilt on it seemed to absorb completely into the paper, leaving no trace of the red liquid behind. After a decent amount had sunk into the pristine, white surface he let her arm go. Rabbit held her stinging wrist close to her chest and waited. Slowly, bright red marks began to form on one of the dotted lines. It curled over in fluid, spidery loops that mimicked what she realized was her own hand writing. However the real shock for Rabbit was seeing her full name spelt out across the contract, something that only her parents knew.
Ray began to read the title out loud, but a swift jab from Rabbit's elbow made him swallow the name. She stared at him, a silent plea to keep his mouth shut. The werewolf shrugged non-comittedly and lazily cut his own wrist. A dribble of blood splattered onto the contract, and after a pause his full name showed up on the other dotted line in scratchy, somewhat aggressive handwriting.
There was a drawn out interlude between the two, the only sound coming from Glitter tinkering around on the other side of the room. Rabbit didn't know if she was supposed to feel any different. In overrated Hollywood blockbusters usually the character who signed the "magical contract" went into fits and suddenly underwent transformations that changed them for life. The shifter on the other hand shrugged and looked up at the werewolf.
"How do we know if it worked or not?"
He smirked slightly. "Pick up the knife."
She raised an eyebrow. "Pick up the knife? Why would I-" she broke off mid-sentence. There was a sudden sickening sensation as her mind lost control of her arm. It reached over on it's own accord and plucked the blade off the table. The hilt was sticky beneath her fingers and she dropped it the instant power returned to her limb. Rabbit stared at the viscous liquid smeared across her palm, tears threatening to form. "I didn't..." she swallowed thickly. "I didn't think that you could... I can't... You control me!' she wailed the last sentence, glaring at Ray with ferocious intensity. "You said I just had to do your dirty work, nothing more!"
He seemed slightly amused. "You obviously didn't read the fine print."
Rabbit wanted to slap the smirk off his face. She wanted to kick him in the shins and other sensitive places where males deemed sacred. However every time she formed the will for her hand to ball into a fist, or her foot to jerk upwards, something snuffed out her ability. She was left making outrageous faces as her body thwarted her will time and time again.
"Give it up bunny-wabbit," he jeered, "the contract's signed. There's nothing you can do about it."
She felt the fight go out of her and her shoulders slumped. "Fine. Just... Get this thing off me." she mumbled.
"Only if you say please." Glitter smirked. The fey's eyes appeared to be solid gold, gleaming brightly as she wove her magic into the potion before her.
Rabbit rolled her eyes. "I reserve my manners for those who deserve it, not scum like you."
Ray cleared his throat. "Ask the faery nicely, shifter."
She went to protest but in stead her mouth formed words that weren't hers. "Please Glitter, remove the spell."
The blonde grinned, an evil twist in her lips. "Did I hear a 'pretty please'?"
Rabbit replied through gritted teeth. "Pretty, pretty please faery."
Glitter placed a hand over her ear theatrically. "Pretty pretty please with what on top?"
"With horse-shit on top you obnoxious twat!" Rabbit spat angrily.
Glitter gaped, shooting a glare at Ray as though it was his fault.
The werewolf only shrugged. "What can I say, she did ask nicely. The contract has loopholes like that. Now do as I told you and remove the spell."
A series of grumbles followed from the fey, who poured a thick sludge into a glass. The dark substance had streaks of red, blue and one thread of shining silver mixed throughout. "Here," Glitter growled, shoving the potion at Rabbit, "Drink."
She stared down at the vile concoction, a silent retch working its way up her throat. "Nu-uh, not until you tell me what's in that shit first!"
Glitter smirked. "The silver is bound to your wrist by a sunshine spell. To reverse it, the spell needs to be cancelled out using night-syrup." Her long fingers gestured at the toxic liquid. "Three cups of Deadly Nightshade tea, the minced tongue of a zombie, two tablespoons of babies blood, a pickled eyeball, crushed blueberries, a teaspoon of demon water and one hair from a unicorn's mane."
Rabbit paled. "Zombie tongue?"
"And pickled eyeballs?"
Glitter nodded. "That's what I said."
Ray arched an eyebrow. "Isn't Deadly Nightshade poisonous?"
The fey shrugged. "No one that I've ever heard of has died from night-syrup. She should be fine."
Rabbit paused over one of the ingredients. She could see it suspended halfway down the glass. "Why a unicorn hair?"
Glitter's face seemed to darken slightly. "Unicorn's aren't the cuddly ponies mundanes make them out to be. They're evil; the manifestation of numerous dark spirits. It's that hair that makes the potion what it is. Without it, the other ingredients have no power."
"Make sure you drink the hair." Glitter summed up.
Ray was sick of analyzing the noxious contents of Glitter's potion. He nudged Rabbit. "Drink it."
Without a chance to protest, the shifter picked up the glass and threw back the contents automatically. Her throat closed around the slimy soup of dead artifacts and swallowed. Once the potion was down, Rabbit began the gag and cough. Her mouth felt like it had been rinsed out with some kind of mucus that tasted like moldy oranges.
"Ugh!" she cried, wiping at her mouth, "God that's terrible! I can't... Ugh.... Fuck it tastes like... Argh!"
The other two supes watched her bemusedly. Glitter made no move to help the shifter, but Ray handed her a cup of water which she swished around her mouth and spat back into the cup. It came out murky. In between splutters, Rabbit heard the others talking animatedly. She gulped back her coughs and took notice of what was happening.
The band enclosed around her wrist began to glow, then it was submerged by a dark shadow. It flickered for a moment before slivers of the metal began peeling away from the bracelet. All three watched in amazement as the particles fell to the floor like snow, until there was nothing left.
Rabbit gazed at her freed wrist. It was red and blotchy purple, black in some spots. The skin had been rubbed almost all away, leaving raw bands of muscle. It stung, but the burning sensation that had been present for so many hours was now gone. She flexed her wrist slowly, wincing at the pain that shot up her arm.
"You should recover quickly. The babies blood and crushed blueberries help activate the healing process." Glitter announced.
She was right. Rabbit looked closely and saw that the tissue was magically beginning to knit itself together, strand by strand. It would take a while, but not as long as a natural recovery.
"Now," Glitter prompted, giving Ray and even glare, "give me back my spell book!"
The werewolf nodded, casting a wary eyes towards Rabbit. "Stay here, I'll be back soon."
She watched as the other two left the room and contemplated the hole she was digging for herself. Her fingers twitched at the spasms of pain that shot up her arm every now and then and the glared at the silver flakes scattered on the floor.
A vibration in her pocket alerted Rabbit to a text and she plucked the mobile from her pocket. Her eyes scanned the message, mixture of annoyance, frustration and sadness welling up inside her.
"I'm really sorry about everything... Please just don't walk away from me anymore. I don't want to loose you. Call me?" - Frank
Rabbit clenched her jaw, feeling sorrow flooding through her. Even if she wanted to it was too late to go back on her deal with the werewolves. She has signed the blood contract, which was magically binding until she had completed her end of the bargain. Her trembling fingers typed a reply and she hit 'send' with a heavy heart.
Frank was lying on his bed, efficiently wasting away the day by moping. Everything had gone wrong. His relationship with Rabbit was fucked up beyond belief, and when he was honest with himself he'd admit that the majority of it was his fault. He felt guilt tugging at him and he began to wonder how differently her life would have panned out if she was this generations leader like she was supposed to be.
His ringtone made him flinch and he reached over to pick up his phone. Frank was amazed to see that the text was from Rabbit. He hadn't expected her to respond to his last-ditch effort at making some kind of communication with her. Sure she hadn't called him, but this was a good sign... Right?
However his heart dropped as he read the message.
"Apologies don't change anything now. I can't turn back time, as much as I'd like to. Pretty soon it will be me asking for your forgiveness, although I wont reproach you for denying me it. You'll understand what I mean when you see me next..."
Frank slumped back onto the bed, hand falling limp by his side so that his mobile slipped from his fingers. He reached over and yanked open his bedside draw, fishing around for the bottle inside that he knew would be there. The lid came off easily and he gulped down the burning, mind-numbing liquid like it was water. After he had drained a third of the bottle he drew in a long, shuddering breath.
It was childish to cry, but for once in his teenage life, Frank wanted to be a little boy again. He had faced problems before, serious ones that demanded leadership, but he had never faced them alone. So how was he going to cope now?
Gerard lifted his hand to knock on the door of the werewolf coven, and was momentarily surprised when it opened beneath his touch. He was met by a set of very wide, dark brown eyes that stared into his own, frozen with fear. The constantly tense shoulders of the shifter girl shook and he took note of her pulse, beating frantically against the thin skin of her neck.
They remained motionless for a tense pause, both staring at each other intensely, Rabbit in shock and Gerard in an uncharacteristic moment of speechlessness. He wasn't sure what to say to the girl, considering that the last time she saw him he was taunting her. And then there was last night in the park... But she wouldn't have known it was him anyway. Regardless the vampire was attempting to make a wrong right, something that he had never done before, but his eloquent use of the English language had escaped him.
His eyes flickered to her wrist, but he was unable to see if the werewolf had removed the silver as instructed because of the ridiculously baggy sweater she was wearing. It obscured her arm all the way down to the tips of her fingers. He tried to form a question in his mind that didn't sound predatory, but there was nothing but static going on in his head.
Eventually Rabbit's eyes dropped to the ground and she slipped around his imposing figure, outside. He cursed himself for not saying something, watching as she scurried across the patchy snow onto the pathway. The shifter girl cast one glance back over her shoulder and when she saw the vampire watching her, started running away.
"Well that went well." he grumbled to himself.
"Leach?" a calm voice issued from inside.
Gerard spun around, a threatening hiss escaping his lips in retaliation. "No one mocks me and gets away with it, dog!'
Ray cringed inside, but he remained composed in the face of the immortal. "You don't scare me."
The vampire grinned, displaying a mouthful of icy-white teeth. He may have been shorter than the werewolf, but the pack leader felt as though he was the one being stared down at. Gerard's hand shot out and gripped Ray's throat tightly. "What about now? Are you scared yet?" he punctuated each question with a sharp squeeze of the supe's neck.
Ray choked slightly, eyes watering. He gritted his teeth and spat out an answer "I do not fear you because I do not fear Death."
Gerard chuckled darkly, frozen breath leaving particles of frost across the werewolf's cheeks. "One cannot fear what one has not seen. For the day you do meet with Death, then you will understand what true terror feels like." He let go of Ray's neck abruptly. "I can summon Death, but I am not her."
The taller boy's eyes widened slightly. "Her?"
The vampire's lips quirked in amusement. "My kind and I have already suffered the sacrifice of our living lives to Death. And one day so will you. Only then you will see."
Ray shivered slightly in dreadful anticipation. "Why are you here?"
Gerard shrugged lightly. "I am here to confirm that you upheld your promise to me." His golden-green eyes flickered. "So?"
The werewolf nodded, a small smile playing across his lips. "The silver has been removed, as you requested."
Instead of feeling satisfied, Gerard was perplexed. He observed the cheeky grin Ray wore and related it to a child who had gotten away with something naughty. "Do not lie to me, dog."
Ray shook his head, smirking. "I'm not lying. You can chase after the girl and see for yourself. There is no silver."
"Then why do you look so pleased with yourself?" he growled, frustrated.
The pack leader laughed at the vampire, eyes twinkling with amusement. "Just because you told me to get rid of the silver, didn't mean I had to do it for free."
Gerard felt his jaw clench and his fists ball. "What did you do?" he ground out.
Ray shook his head. "I don't owe you any information, especially since it has nothing to do with you." he placed a hand firmly on the door. "You want to know so bad, go ask the girl. Then again, from the way she looked at you before I doubt Rabbit will be very keen on sharing her problems with a leach like you."
Gerard wanted to lunge at the insolent werewolf and tear his throat out, but instead he was met with a door slammed in his face. His eyes narrowed at the wooden surface and he tried to calm his flaring temper. In the homeland he would have quite happily torn the door off it's hinges and ripped the boy to shreds, but this was America, which had an entirely different ball game.
"You wanna play dirty? Fine then, let's play dirty." he hissed to himself and stalked away, back to his coven. "You may have gotten the better of me in this round, Ray Toro, but I will beat you in the end."
Rabbit dragged herself out of bed and into the bathroom. She flopped against the counter as the shower water heated up and inspected her wrist. There was no raw flesh left, just a silvery ring of scarred skin left to remind her of what had happened.
She glanced in the mirror and observed her pinched face. The skin of her cheeks was pulled taught over the bones and the bags under her eyes were blotchy. Her full lips that once drew old ladies to her as a child were chapped horribly. A trickle of blood seeped from the corner of her mouth as she gnawed on them nervously. The metallic tang of the red liquid touched her tongue and she shuddered. Thankfully the hot water began to run and the foggy mirror masked her depressing reflection.
Rabbit slipped under the calming stream, feeling it massage her tense shoulders and wash away the dried tears. She had gotten home last night and cried herself to sleep for yet another night. No matter how hard she tried to stop herself, the hole she was digging kept getting deeper. Ray had commanded her to retrieve the first heart by the end of this week. He wasn't specific as to the type of supe, but the thought of murdering any living creature weighed heavily on her conscience. The end of the week was only a few short days away and she wondered how she could bring herself to do as he asked. However, with the control that he had over her body, Rabbit knew that it would come to pass no matter how hard she struggled.
Rather than stand under the running water and continue to review her hopeless situation, Rabbit shut off the shower and wrapped a towel around her bony frame. She stood in front of her wardrobe and contemplated clothing. When nothing jumped out at her she sighed heavily.
"How do I feel?" she mumbled to herself. "Dark."
In response to her mood, Rabbit tugged on a pair of black skinnies and a baggy, long sleeve shirt. The grey material hung from her bony shoulders, disguising her lack of curves. There was very little that was feminine about Rabbit. Her body was a plane of vertical and horizontal lines. There was nothing to her, no muscle, no fat, no beauty. She shied away from the full length mirror and sat in front of the vanity. The view from there wasn't much better so she straightened her fringe over her eyes to hide how she felt. Her hand hovered over the vibrant red lipstick which she always wore. It never made sense for her to wear it, considering she avoided attention. However, Rabbit had a feeling it was because of her grandmother, who always encouraged her to be more confident within herself. Her grandmother always wore red.
The shifter's hand closed over the stick of colour and shoved it in her pocket. She didn't have the heart to try today, but at least she could carry the confidence with her. She pulled on her black Docs and wrapped a white scarf around her neck, before picking up her bag and heading out. Her mother called to her from the kitchen, saying something about breakfast, but Rabbit walked straight through the front door. She couldn't face her mum, not now.
There was only a small amount of snow left, encrusting the edge of the footpath. The dying grass sprang up from underneath the ice in shades of brown, yellow and green. Her heavily booted feet scraped on the concrete, half-drowned out by her earphones. However the rumble of an engine reach her ears through the music and she turned her head slightly to see a familiar, black convertible crawling next to her.
"Rabbit!" Frank cried, "Hop in!"
She ignored him and kept walking, eyes purposefully fixed on the ground. He continued to call to her, but she refused to respond.
The car seemed to drop back for a while, but then she felt a hand on her shoulder, spinning her forcefully around. She was met face to face with Frank, who yanked her earphones out.
"You told me that I'd understand what you meant today." he growled, hands clamped over her wrists to stop her moving. "But I don't understand a thing, so you'd better start explaining!"
Rabbit tried to tug her hands away, but he tightened his grip until the point that it bruised. "Frank, stop!" she cried, "You're hurting me!"
"Yeah!?" he shouted, "Well you're hurting me too!"
She heard the tears in his voice and looked away, ashamed that she had gone back on her vow to protect him. Her nose picked up the smell of old alcohol and she cringed from the knowledge that this was her fault. "Then forget about me." she mumbled. "Forget about me and the pain I cause you."
Frank felt a tear slide down his cheek as he pulled her into his arms. Her body remained stiff against his, but he stroked her hair like he didn't notice. "I can't... I could never forget about you." he whimpered, tightening his hold on her like she might disappear. "Please don't go. You're my strength, Rabbit." he pressed his face against the top of her head, inhaling the scent that was uniquely hers. "I can't do this without you."
Gently, but firmly, she placed her hands against his chest and pushed away from him. This time he let her go, arms falling by his sides. His large eyes blinked back tears as she stepped backwards. "If you go," he whispered, "we wont recognize you. You wont have any protection against the other supes..."
Rabbit nodded. "I know. It doesn't matter, I have my own protection."
"What..." he croaked, "What do I tell the others? Oliver... He'll want to know. They all will."
"Tell them the truth." she whispered, voice failing her.
Frank shook his head. "The truth? But what is the truth?"
She turned around so that she wouldn't have to see his face when she spoke her next words. "The truth that I have betrayed you all."
Gerard walked into first class with Ruby and perched in his assigned chair. He noted that Frank Iero also entered the classroom and went up to the teacher, asking her for a seat change. The vampire's inhuman hearing picked up their conversation, pondering on this newfound information.
"Iero isn't sitting next to Rabbit anymore." he mused to Ruby.
The striking vampire girl raised a shapely eyebrow. "Oh? But I thought they were inseparable."
Gerard gritted his teeth. "They were, until Ray Toro stuck his nose where it should be. I'm betting this is his doing."
A moment later Rabbit walked in. Her shoulders were hunched over her body like she had taken a physical blow and the way that her fringe swept over her eyes disguised her thoughts to the world. Gerard observed her out of the corner of his eye as she slumped into her chair next to him, not even bothering to get out her books. He was surprised, until now the girl seemed completely on edge around him, but today she barely even glanced his way.
The lesson passed slowly, Gerard desperately wanting to know what kind of bargain Ray had struck with the girl. It was obvious that she wasn't happy. He found himself constantly looking at her, observing her bowed head as she fiddled with the hem of her shirt. Her long sleeves still hid her wrists from anyone and he couldn't help but wonder if the werewolf had lied to him. His eyes watched intently as her spindly fingers plucked threads from the grey fabric, rolled them into small balls and tossed them onto the floor. By the time the bell went her shirt was successfully frayed along the bottom and there was a noticeable pile of string on the floor.
At the sound of the bell Rabbit looked up, her fringe falling away from her eyes for a moment which locked with his. She stared at him for all of five seconds before standing and walking out of the room as though she had seen straight through him.
"Well that was... Unusual." Ruby speculated, eyes trained on the retreating figure. "So much for your scary image."
The next classes passed without any developments and then it was lunch. Gerard followed the masses of human, laced through with the odd supe, out into the main courtyard. He automatically headed towards his vampire children, but something caught his eye. He turned and saw Rabbit walking out onto the football oval, alone.
"Gerard!" Mikey called.
He turned and smiled at his brother, but made a waving gesture and headed in the same direction as the shifter girl. He knew the others would think he was getting too involved, but he had made this silver business a personal matter, one which he intended to see all the way through.
His long strides quickened as he reached the edge of the grassy expanse. His increased his pace when he saw that Rabbit was headed for the trees. Not wanting to loose sight of her he began to run and hoped that no human was watching him, or else they may notice the inhuman pace he was keeping. Gerard reached the other side only a few seconds after the shifter had passed through the trees. He pushed through the foliage and found himself in a small copse that edged the lake. There, sitting by the water's edge was the girl.
"Rabbit..." he spoke.
She jumped slightly, turning with wide eyes to stare at the intruder. Her heart sped up when she recognized the dark, ruffled hair and angular face and she leapt to her feet.
Gerard identified her stance as defensive and put his hands up in a gesture of submission. "I... I wont hurt you."
Rabbit raised her top lip in a snarl. "Then why are you here, bloodsucker?"
He took a small step forwards, like one might do when approaching an injured animal. "I just want to talk."
Rabbit took a step backwards. "Talk?" she snorted, laughing humorlessly. "Is that some codeword for 'eat'?"
He shook his head, taking another step forward, hands still raised. "No, I honestly want to ask you something. I have no intention of harming you."
She looked from his intense eyes to his hands to his feet, trying to gauge the threat he was presenting. "Well sorry if I don't believe you."
Gerard sighed and ran one hand through his messy hair. "Just trust me." he pleaded, taking two steps towards her.
Rabbit took one step back then realised she was backed right up against the lake. Her accusing eyes focused on him. "Don't take another step further, vampire!"
"But I'm not going to hurt you!" he cried, genuinely frustrated.
"I d-don't b-believe you!" she stuttered, adrenaline kicking in. Her hands began to shake with the oncoming shift. She envisioned feathers, wings and claws, flying away through clear skies.
Gerard saw the tell-tale tremors that signified the shifters morph and made a split second decision. He leapt towards the girl with inhuman speed, capturing her in his arms and drawing her away from the edge of the lake.
Rabbit screamed, thrashing about fruitlessly in the vampires marble arms. She clawed at his exposed skin, but her nails ran harmlessly over the smooth surface. Even when her booted feet connected with his shins her captor didn't so much as flinch.
"Let me go!" she screamed, holding her scarf in place as though it might protect her neck from his teeth. "I wont let you bite me!"
Gerard held the struggling shifter as gently as he could, until her shrieks turned to subdued panting. "I told you," he murmured in her ear, "I wont hurt you."
Rabbit shuddered at the waves of cold that streamed from his body onto hers. Being held in his arms was akin to being locked in a freezer and her teeth chattered loudly. "P-P-Please let-t me g-go!" she moaned, pushing against his chest weakly.
Gerard sighed and released the shifter, who sunk to the ground as her legs gave out. She huddled there, tremors wracking her thin frame. He slipped his jacket off his shoulders and placed in over hers, hoping to make some kind of friendly connection with the girl.
Rabbit shuddered slightly from the sickening, sweet scent that clung to his jacket, but the thick material was already warming her and she hugged it around her body gratefully. She took a few moments to find her voice before growling "You said you weren't going to harm me."
"I'm sorry, but you were going to run away." he mumbled, crouching next to her. "I am being truthful when I say all I want is to talk to you."
Rabbit's shivers subsided and she looked up at the shadowed face across from her, unnerved by his close proximity. "You promise you're not going to eat me?" she whispered.
Gerard smiled slightly, careful not to show any teeth. "I promise."
She nodded, not completely at ease, but she wasn't running away screaming either. "So, what do you want to know?"
His eyes darkened and he slowly held out his hand. "May I see your wrist?"
Rabbit stared at his outstretched hand like it was something dangerous, which it was. She hesitated, reasoning with herself that if he wanted to kill her he would have already done so. Rather than refuse, she forced herself to place her hand in his.
Gerard looked at the girl, smiling warmly. He had never tried to communicate with other supes on this level, and making progress with one concerning trust was encouraging. It warmed his frozen heart to know that this girl trusted him enough to let him hold her hand. "Thank you." he murmured.
Rabbit raised an eyebrow. "For what."
He ducked his head so she couldn't see his humbled expression. "For trusting me not to kill you."
She pursed her lips. "Whatever, just do what you're going to do."
Gerard nodded and pushed up her sleeve. The delicate skin of her wrist was exposed and he felt relieved to see that the silver had been removed. The only sign it had been there was an ugly scar. "I am glad." he announced.
"About what?" she grumbled, retrieving her hand and holding it to her chest.
His eyes met hers. "That the werewolf let you go."
With their gazes locked Gerard noticed the water welling up around Rabbit's eyes, which she blinked away rapidly.
"Let me go?" she choked. "You think that bastard just let me go?"
He frowned. So Ray hadn't been joking the previous night. The werewolf had been playing dirty on his deal. Gerard took in a lungful of air, something that calmed him even though he was dead. "What," he said exhaling, "did he do to you?"
Rabbit was confused by the almost protective aggression in the vampire's voice. Her heart sped up a little seeing his eyes darken dangerously.
Gerard could hear the shifter's heartbeat quicken and he forced himself to relax. "It's not you that I'm angry with. I promised I wouldn't hurt you." he whispered, clenching his fists.
She nodded and spoke. "Ray struck a deal with me. I can't tell you the exact details but...."
"But?" he prodded.
She bit her lip. "I am his. He controls me now. Ray told me that if I didn't sign the contract he would never take the silver off, so I agreed."
Gerard leapt to his feet, spun around and punched the nearest tree. The wood splintered under his fist and he shouted angrily. "That bastard dog!"
Rabbit cringed on the ground seeing the violent display of the vampire's anger. He had promised her that he wouldn't harm her, but she was having difficulty finding the courage to stay.
"That worthless, deceiving scum!" he cried, howling angrily. Never in his immortal life had Gerard let someone get away with tricking him, and that wasn't about to change. He refused to let the werewolf win.
He spun around to see Rabbit shrinking back against the grass. She flinched at the sight of his extended fangs and raging, black eyes. He imagined what he looked like from her perspective and closed his eyes, forcing himself to calm. "I'm sorry." he ground out. "Toro has ripped us both off."
Rabbit watched warily as the vampire paced up and down, body language expressing anger. "What do you mean?" she asked.
Gerard closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. "I told him to remove the silver from your wrist. I gave him until sunset. He promised me he would, and he did. But he obviously did not relay the good news to you." He opened his eyes and looked sympathetically into hers. "And for that I am sorry."
Rabbit gasped. "So he.... Ray was going to remove the spell and the silver anyway!?"
He nodded. "Yes."
This time it was Rabbit's turn to scream and yell. She jumped to her feet circled the copse, shouting obscenities directed at the werewolf. Gerard watched as her face morphed into numerous different animals, her power ripping through her body without control now that her emotions were let loose. When she began to beat her fists against the hard surface of a tree he stepped in and pulled her back.
"No!" Rabbit shouted, "Let me be! I want to be angry!"
Gerard held her bloody fists in his and forced her to look at him. "Yes, be angry. But don't take it out on yourself."
Rabbit stared at his hauntingly beautiful face before bursting into tears and dropping onto her knees. "But he's taken everything from me! They are my family, the shifters are my family! And now I am forever banished from them!"
Her heart wrenching sobs stirred ancient emotions in Gerard and he found himself soothing her. "Shhh, it's okay. It's okay..."
"I want my home, I want my people!" she cried, filled with anguish. "I want Frank! I want him back! I don't care if he doesn't need me, I need him!" Her body was wracked with tremors that shook her violently. She dug her nails into the grass, drawing dirt up from beneath the green. "I need... I can't... Oh God help me!"
Gerard assumed that loosing Frank and the others needlessly was somewhat akin to him loosing Mikey and his children. The thought of such loss bought a searing pain into his heart. He pulled the girl against his body and held her until her sobs turned to hiccups and then to shivers. Once she was half coherent he let her go and she rocked back against the base of a tree.
"Are you..." he didn't know what to ask her. "Are you going to be okay?"
"No." was her flat reply.
He bit his lip and came up with another question. "Is there anything I can do?"
"Kill me?" she asked without hesitation.
Gerard's eyes widened with surprise. "No, I won't kill you."
"Then there is nothing anyone can do. It is a magically binding contract. Once they have been made, they cannot be unmade." Her head fell forward against her drawn up knees.
He placed a hand tentatively on her shoulder. "What will you do then?"
She lifted her head and looked into his eyes, wishing that somehow she could be like him, immortal and free. "I will bear it." she stated. "Just as I always have, I will put up with that which upsets me."
There was a long pause before she asked "So, now that you know Ray played us both, what will you do?"
Gerard reached down and pulled Rabbit up so that she was standing. He fixed her with a level stare. "I will get even."
She raised an eyebrow wearily. "And how will you do that?"
"By playing dirty and freeing you in the process." he answered simply.
Rabbit felt her heart lurch slightly in vain hope. "Free me? That's impossible."
Gerard shook his head, voice filled with conviction. "I am a vampire. Nothing is impossible if I want it badly enough."
pretty please :D *