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May 29, 2020 4:28 PM
storms & palatinates in the anita blake-verse
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He stares at her, not-long-dead, and terrified.

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She calls to the thing on the stage. "I’ll come up if you don’t force me."

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Monica gasps.

The vampire smiles. "Then by all means, Anita. Come."

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Anita ignores her. Nothing matters but getting through these next few moments.

She walks up to the stage carefully and slowly.

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Aubrey stands in the centre of the stage, assured, calling to Anita.

"Come, come to me." It's not a physical sound, it's inside her head.

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She tries to move back and can't. Her pulse thunders in her throat. She can't breathe. She stands with the force of his mind twisting against her.

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"Don't fight me!" It's a roar, a scream.

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Someone was screaming, wordlessly, and it was her. If she stops fighting, it would be so easy, like drowning after you stop struggling. A peaceful way to die. No, no.

“No.” Her voice sounds strange, even to her.

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"...What did you just say to me?"

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"No," she says again and looks up at him. She meets his eyes with the weight of all those centuries pulsing down. Whatever it is that makes her an animator, that helps her raise the dead, it's here now. She meets his eyes and stands still.

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A smile spreads over his lips. It has the facade of pleasantness, but there's something under it. "Then I will come to you."

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- she tries to step back, but she can't. His mind holds her like velvet steel. It was everything she could do not to move forward. Not to run to meet him.

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He's graceful as he moves, stopping so close that they're almost touching, eyes perfectly brown, and seemingly endless.

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- she looks away. She can feel the sweat trickle down her forehead.

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"You smell of fear." One cool hand trails down her cheek. "How can you bear to face me this way?"

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She's shaking. She can't stop. She can feel his breath on her face, warm as silk. On her neck - his hunger pulsing against her skin. Her stomach cramps with his need.

Terror comes in a blinding rush of adrenaline and she pushes away. She falls to the stage and tries to scramble away from him on her hands and knees.

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An arm grabs around her waist, bindingly tight, lifting her backwards.

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She screams and strikes backwards with her elbow.

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It hits home, and he gasps, but his grip doesn't loosen. Instead, he throws her onto her back-

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She lands hard on the stage, wind and fight completely taken out of her.

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There's nothing human left to the vampire any more, and it comes at her, hissing, spittle dripping from a distended jaw, in a blind rush-

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- a sudden light erupts from her chest - her cross - casting a blinding white light across the stage.

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He reels back, hissing more now and-

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"Enough," Adrienne's voice cuts through everything, sharp, intent, powerful. "Aubrey, let her be."

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"Get him out of here."

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