ladydeathfaerie: (Jean Claude)
[personal profile] ladydeathfaerie posting in [community profile] marysuevirus
Title: The Mary Sue Virus: Beyond Death
Chapter Thirty Seven: Choke on This Bitch
Fandom: Anita Blake universe
Rating: 18 and up
Warnings: graphic sex and violence, language, anything else i can toss in.
Disclaimer: the recognizable characters and places contained herein are the property of LKH. i'm merely borrowing for the sake of entertainment. no money is being made from this venture. the Sues are the sole property of their originators, Ginevra, Dazzledfirestar, Nanaea, SilverFoxChan and ladydeathfaerie. the concept and title of The Mary Sue Virus are used with permission from Dazzledfirestar.

Author's Notes: this... went to unexpected places. i'm so sorry.

The Mary Sue Virus: Beyond Death - Index Link

The three of them made their journey in silence. Rhiannon already regretted her rash question and wondered just what had gotten into her? She couldn't imagine what Jean Claude must think of her, practically demanding she be allowed to witness something that was, as far as she knew, a very intimate event. She could only blame her outlandish behavior on a case of the nerves. So much had happened in such a short amount of time. It seemed like everyone she cared about was under threat of attack and she worried that something bad would happen. She wanted to gather them all close and hold them tight, keep them safe from any harm that might come their way.

Her mind was a whirl of thought by the time Jean Claude let them into his personal chambers. She didn't really take notice of particulars, her focus solely on the two men with her as the master vampire pulled them both deeper into the room. They were headed toward that big bed and she was reminded, once again, just how intimate the act of giving and taking blood was supposed to be. There was a part of her who wanted to apologize for inserting herself into the situation then make excuses and flee. But her tongue was thick and heavy behind her teeth, the air vibrating with energy that raced along her skin before prickling its way down to her very bones. She couldn't leave now, because some inner voice told her she had to experience it.

Rhiannon froze when she realized that both Nathaniel and Jean Claude had turned to look at her. She hadn't really thought this far ahead. And then her tongue was running away with her, words spilling from between her lips before she could catch them. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have invited myself into this but I couldn't stop myself and I don't know why I did that. If you want me to go, I'll--"

Nathaniel took pity on her. "Relax, Rhia. Its fine." He sounded so sure. And reassuring. She let her gaze slip to where Jean Claude stood. He was silent, his gaze intent on her while he simply waited.

She took a breath. Jean Claude wouldn't have brought her along if he wasn't okay with this. She was apparently more wound up than she'd realized. "Sorry. Its just... There is so much going on and I worry and I don't want to see anyone hurt and... " Her words trailed off when she realized she was rambling.

"Allow me to put you at ease," Jean Claude said. His voice rubbed across her nerves like velvet, forcing her to hold back the shudder that tried to ripple its way up her spine. He crossed to where she stood and once again offered her his hand. There was no hesitation as she slipped her own hand into his. He escorted her over to the bed and made a motion that saw her climbing up to sit on the mattress neat the pillows. Then he turned his attention to Nathaniel, who had shed his shirt while she'd had her back turned. Together, the two of them joined her on the bed, only they took up position at the opposite end. They were conveniently facing her.

Anticipation rode the air, along with more than one type of hunger. Rhiannon watched, transfixed, as Jean Claude slid a hand around Nathaniel's body so that it rested against the skin of his abdomen. The muscles beneath his skin flexed and jumped at the touch. Based on the look on Nathaniel's face, anticipation was running through him. Rhiannon felt a little of that anticipation herself, breath catching in her throat as she studied the contrast between Nathaniel's tanned flesh and Jean Claude's pale hand.

Said hand shifted upward. Just a tiny bit. Just enough to let Rhia know she'd been staring at that enticing color combination for far too long. So she let her gaze slide up Nathaniel's body, slowly, taking in every single detail she could. The way his chest heaved ever so slightly. The way his muscles held themselves under his skin, coiled tight with both need and excitement. The way his braid trailed over his shoulder to add another layer of contrast to the color scheme. When she finally reached his face, his eyes had darkened and his lips were parted ever so slightly.

If Nathaniel presented a striking and sensuous image, Jean Claude behind him was the epitome of sexual need. She found herself transfixed by the angular lines of his face, the way his mouth pursed just so. The satiny shine of his midnight curls. The intense blue of his eyes as they stared straight at her. There was a forwardness to that stare, a wanton need that felt heavy where it rested against her skin. There was also a promise that Rhia didn't dare take seriously. She'd seen the way he sometimes looked at Aedan, when he felt sure no one else was watching. Aedan captivated him and he wanted her. So that look Jean Claude was giving Rhia... That was a look reserved for a lover.

The moment Jean Claude had her attention, he leaned in and nuzzled Nathaniel's neck. The touch of Jean Claude's lips saw shivers running along every single one of Nathaniel's muscles. The hand on Nathaniel's abdomen shifted, sliding lower to brush against the front of the jeans he was wearing. Rhiannon's eyes followed every movement hungrily. This whole encounter was going to kill her. She just knew it. But at least she'd die happy.

There wasn't really much foreplay. Just those few brushes of Jean Claude's hand and lips. It didn't matter. Rhiannon could tell that Nathaniel was primed and ready simply by reading his body language. And when she'd brought her gaze back up to where Jean Claude pressed soft kisses against Nathaniel's neck, the vampire took that as a sign and very carefully drove his fangs into the large vein just under the surface of the skin.

Nathaniel's reaction was instantaneous. His back arched, hips thrusting forward with the shift in position. His head tipped further to the side, eyes sliding closed as a soft sigh escaped him. One arm ended up lifting so that he could slide it behind Jean Claude's head. Rhia was reminded of the cover art that adorned so many bodice rippers and she might have snickered if not for the look of rapture on Nathaniel's face.

Jean Claude's beautiful blue eyes, however, were pinned on her and Rhia felt her breath catch in her throat. The need and the hunger in them was raw. She was caught in the snare of his gaze, couldn't look away. She was only vaguely aware of the way his throat worked as he drank from Nathaniel. It would be so easy to drown in his gaze. The weight of his power pressed against her skin, slipped beneath the surface a little bit at a time until it felt like she was sinking deeper and deeper into his gaze.

Just when she swore she was going under for the very last time, Jean Claude lifted his head and broke the spell. Nathaniel sagged against him, chest working as he fought for air. Rhia felt like a pervy intruder and shifted her eyes down. Which turned out to be a very big mistake. Nathaniel was hard. And Rhia was suddenly aware of just how much sexual tension hung on the air. Once again, Jean Claude held his hand out to her. "Come, Rhiannon."

She did.

And when she finally fell back into herself, she crawled across the bed to put her hand in Jean Claude's again. He tugged her into them so that she more or less tumbled into Nathaniel's waiting hold. His mouth against hers was eager and hungry, his hand gliding up and down her back while he kissed her senseless. His kiss was all eager lips and questing tongue, and it filled her with some of the hunger that he and Jean Claude had filled the room with only moments ago. They broke when her lungs burned for air and her brain was little more than a puddle of want that seemed determined to slide out her ear.

She found herself once more looking at Jean Claude. His gaze was intense, the power in it pulling her toward him. His mouth looked so kissable, not a hint of Nathaniel's blood staining his lips. And how she wanted to kiss him. Every cell in her body screamed at her to taste him. She held back, though, afraid Nathaniel would be hurt by her actions.

"Its okay, Rhia," Nathaniel whispered. It was as if he knew what she was thinking. She wanted to know if he'd stepped inside of her head, but decided not to ask such a question. She wasn't sure she wanted to know the answer. Instead, she turned to look at him, a question in her eyes. Was it really okay? Was he really going to be okay with it? Nathaniel leaned in to press a quick kiss to her lips, then shifted to the side just a bit so that she could get closer to Jean Claude. "Go ahead. I won't get jealous or anything. You won't hurt my feelings."

"Are you sure?" she asked softly. His only answer was a smile, then he nudged her closer to Jean Claude with one hand.

"You do not have to do anything you do not wish to do, Rhiannon," Jean Claude assured her. She stared at him for a while before shifting her attention to Nathaniel. They both looked sincere. And Nathaniel had sounded like he'd meant every word he'd told her. That he wouldn't be jealous if she chose to engage in some of her fantasies right then and there. She believed him. But a voice in her head kept her from jumping on Jean Claude and the opportunity he was giving her. Even if Nathaniel wasn't hurt by her actions, she was pretty sure that Aedan would be. Hadn't she and the others discussed more than once that Aedan had it bad for the master vampire?

She was torn. On one hand, she wasn't sure this opportunity would present itself again. And she sure as hell wasn't going to make a habit of just joining in when Nathaniel fed Jean Claude. On the other hand, she worried that her actions would hurt her friend. She did not want to be that person. But gods above, the man was simply too gorgeous for words. And he was right there, more or less offering himself to her. All she had to do was say yes.

Jean Claude stared at her, waiting patiently for her answer. Neither of them attempted to pressure her into giving it to them, simply waited to see what she'd do. Hadn't this secretly what she'd been hoping for when she'd spoken up out in the living area?

"Aedan is lucky to have such a considerate friend," Jean Claude said quietly. As if he knew what she was thinking. As if he'd plucked the thoughts from her head.

"I don't want to hurt her," Rhiannon replied.

"I think you over estimate her interest in me," he returned, a touch of dry humor in his voice. Was it possible he really didn't know how she felt? If that was the case... Wow. It would be interesting to see what happened when he figured out it. "Do you want me to take the decision from your hands? Use my vampire tricks to make it for you? Then you will be able to tell Aedan with all honesty that you were not responsible for your actions."

"No! Goddess, no. That would be worse than saying yes on my own." She shook her head to emphasize her words.

"Will it make you feel better if I tell you that the events of this evening have been trying for everyone in the kiss? I need to feed and I prefer to have someone who is willing to do so. Someone I know and trust." He paused a moment and stared at her. Part of her was disappointed that he saw her only as a food source. But it only lasted a moment or two. Because he turned such an intense look of desire her way. One hand reached up to gently trace the curve of her cheek. "You are a beautiful woman, Rhiannon. One I would love to get to know much more intimately. Unfortunately for me, you have already given your heart to another. I will have to console myself with this one night, should it happen."

There was no power in his voice, no vampire tricks. Nothing of that in his touch as it ghosted over her skin. But that tender caress ignited such a blaze of need inside of her, a blaze that scorched her from the inside out. The dam that had held her back exploded as need rushed through her. Rhia pressed her cheek into his hand, pressing it into the curve of his palm. Gave him his answer with a single nod.

That was all he needed. Nathaniel pulled away from them, giving her complete access to the other man. Rhia was vaguely aware of him moving toward the other end of the bed. The idea that he planned on watching this sent a thrill through her. But it also made her nervous. She'd never been involved in a threesome before. What if Nathaniel felt left out? What if he really did get jealous?

Before she could get carried away by her doubts and fears, Jean Claude brought his other hand up to rest against her cheek. Her face was caught between his hands and she found herself staring at his face, so close to just shifting her gaze up to meet his own. The temptation to do so, to drown in his vampiric powers, was strong. And she might have given in to the urge if he hadn't chosen that exact moment to lean forward and press another kiss to her lips.

The kiss... It was like the finest chocolate, dark and sweet with just a hint of bitter. And rich. So, so rich. She closed the scant distance between them until her body was snug up against his, her breasts pressed to his chest so that she could wind her arms around his neck. His hands slid away from her face, shifted until they had his arms wrapped themselves around her back. Just touching him was an exquisite torture and she moaned, hungry for more.

He deepened the kiss, prodded at her lips with the tip of his tongue to convince her to open up to him. She did, allowed him to slide his tongue into her mouth. Let him map the interior of it as he feasted upon her. There was so much tenderness in his kiss, so much softness and beauty. His many long years of life were easy to find in the expert way he tasted and teased. Rhia felt herself melting into his hold, heat pooling thick and heavy in her belly. If he kept kissing her like this, she was going to die before she could even get naked.

Jean Claude went up on his knees so that his head was above hers. His hands returned to her face, tipped her head back so that he could continue kissing her. It was slow, sweet seduction. Even as she kissed him back, tried to find the taste of him to keep as a memory, his hands were gliding down her back so that he could find the hem of her shirt, so that he could slide his hands under the thin material and lay them against her bare back. So that he could draw them up toward her neck and take her shirt with them. She barely felt him work the hooks on her bra. But she whimpered softly when he drew away from her so that he could pull the shirt up over her head.

The garment was left to float to the floor, obviously unimportant, as his hands once more slid down the length of her back. The caress was feather light, brought goose bumps up in its wake and sent a shiver of anticipation and need down her spine. His eyes moved from her face to her almost completely bared torso, his path slow and intentional as his gaze paused on her throat for a moment or two, then continued downward to the swell of her breasts, held up for his inspection by the lace cups of her bra. His fingers trailed around her waist to the front, came back up so that he could cup her breasts in them. Rhiannon sighed, eyes drifting shut as tingles of sensation came to life under her skin. Her nipples, hard since he'd bitten into Nathaniel's neck, poked at his palms, demanding he pay attention to them.

Her bra came off, almost without her realizing he'd removed it, and followed her shirt to the floor. Jean Claude leaned over her in order to capture one nipple with his mouth, forcing her to arch her back in order to give him full access. Her hands found a hold on his shoulders, slid over his skin in order to trace the curve of muscle in his arm, the flat expanse of his shoulder blades, the column of his spine. His mouth was hot against her skin, each pull of it sending threads of lust and need down to her belly where they tangled together into a giant knot that threatened to strangle her.

A tiny prick of a fang against her skin was a pleasant shock that saw her gasping aloud, arching her back toward him even further. Whimpering again as her body demanded he make good on his mouth's promises. Her hands moved with intent toward his waist, tugged at the ends of the shirt he wore until it pulled free of his jeans. He broke away from her long enough to allow her to give his shirt the same treatment he'd given hers. Then he was back to sucking at her breasts, teeth nipping at the tender flesh, while his hands shifted between fondling the lonely breast and the curves of her ass.

There was something masterful in the way he touched her, the way his mouth feasted on her flesh. But it wasn't meant to be a dominating thing. And she responded to it so easily. Each time his lips moved and found a new place to tease, each time his hands shifted and stroked another expanse of skin, she melted a little more. Somehow, and she really wasn't sure how, he managed to strip her naked. Her jeans and panties were tossed aside in the same manner as her shirt and bra. And he managed to take her down to the bed on her back so that his mouth could explore every last inch of her flesh.

Her head ended up pillowed on Nathaniel's thigh, the familiar vanilla scent of him rising up to tickle her nose while Jean Claude did his damndest to take away every last brain cell she had. The man certainly had a talented tongue and he was so very not afraid to use it. Nathaniel brought one hand up to stroke her hair, fingers gliding through the silky length of it in such a way that it only heightened her need. She managed to bring a hand up, managed to find the length of his cock with it and absently stroke up and down. She was not going to leave him out of this encounter completely.

By the time Jean Claude pulled away from Rhia, she was a writhing mass of need. He'd given her another three orgasms simply by virtue of his amazingly talented mouth and the tiny prick of a fang here and there. She was fairly certain she couldn't handle any more foreplay. The man might kill her if he tried for a fifth orgasm using only his lips and tongue. She watched, eyes heavily lidded and hand only occasionally stroking up and down Nathaniel's cock, as Jean Claude rid himself of his jeans and sent them over the edge of the bed.

Holy shit, the man was beautiful. She was surrounded by beautiful men, so the idea shouldn't have come as a surprise. Even the men she had no interest in were beautiful in their own ways. So she shouldn't be amazed at Jean Claude's own beauty. And yet...

He knelt on the bed between her legs, unabashedly naked. Rhia stared as long as she liked, eyes moving up and down and up again. She made note of the scar that marred the perfection of his chest, deciding that it didn't detract from his beauty at all, only served to enhance it. She took in his long, lean frame and the muscles that moved so effortlessly under his pale skin. She marveled at his cock, flushed with blood and eager for her body. For a moment, she was surprised that she was being given such a wonderful gift.

She was reminded of Nathaniel's presence when his cock twitched in her hand. It was obvious he liked what he saw as much as she did. And that made her realize that he was enjoying watching Jean Claude make love to her as much as she'd enjoyed watching Jean Claude feed from him. She stared at the vampire a moment or two, turning things over in her head. Finally, she made a decision and gave him a look. "I have an idea."

Without waiting for him to ask what it was, she shifted positions. Went up on her hands and knees so she could stare at Nathaniel. For a moment, she considered asking him to straighten out on the bed, but then realized that perhaps his present position allowed him a better view. Since he liked watching so much. She tossed her head, glanced at Jean Claude over her shoulder. Flicked her gaze toward Nathaniel to let the vampire know what she was thinking. The smile he gave her sent heat flooding straight to her belly and let her know that he understood.

She considered getting right to it, but a few moments of consideration saw her crawling across the bed until she was face to face with Nathaniel. He gave her a smile that was equal parts encouragement and seduction. She leaned in, took his lips with her own. Kissed him long and slow. Nathaniel's hands lifted up so that he could stroke down her arms and then up her sides. At the shoulders, they drifted lower until he cupped her breasts in them. Her nipples were hard, poked him in the palms as he kneaded her breasts gently. The heat of his hands soaked into her skin, sent warmth skittering down to her belly.

Rhia kissed Nathaniel for all she was worth, put a world of promise into it. He returned that promise. It was in the way his hands touched her, how they fed heat and desire into the already scorching bonfire burning in the pit of her stomach. It was in the perfect pressure of his lips on hers, in the gentle way his tongue teased at them without demanding she let him in. It was in the pleasure that hummed along his skin so loudly that she swore he was purring. She kissed him until she couldn't breathe, then kissed him a little longer. So that when she pulled away, there would be no doubt in his mind exactly what she wanted from him.

He watched her draw back, eyes dark with passion beneath heavy lids. His fingers trailed along her cheek as she moved, a last caress before she resumed her previous position. She was startled only a little bit when a second set of hands came to rest on her ass briefly before finding their way to her hips to help guide her back into place. She'd been so wrapped up in Nathaniel, she'd forgotten about Jean Claude.

The vampire's touch brought with it a spill of cold magic that was so unlike the heat that poured off Nathaniel. For a moment, the witch in her rose up and took note of the feel of that magic. It was one she'd never really had the opportunity to feel before. At least, not quite so intimately as she was now. She took a moment to savor the feel of it, to bathe in it and memorize what that magic felt like. And then he was moving up behind her, drowning her in his magic, and she was lost.

She'd never actually done anything like this before, so she was uncertain as to how she would go about setting herself up. But she needn't have worried. Jean Claude took care of it for her, helping shift her into a position that would prove advantageous for the three of them. When she hesitated, not quite sure she was going about it all the right way, his hands were there to stroke the confusion from her body. He touched her with all the tenderness of a long time lover, hands instinctively seeking out those places that would help ease her into the next part of their evening. Simple touches at her shoulders and along the back of her neck. Down her spine to her waist, then out to her hips. Up the ribs to her arms. And, eventually, his touch turned more sensual, sought out those places that would help bring her the most pleasure.

His fingers teased her nipples while his palms rubbed against the flesh of her breasts. He trailed one hand down over her belly, let it slide between her thighs to simply rest against the swollen folds of her nether lips. The other hand teased at the curves of her ass, brushed along the crack so that his fingers pressed the ring of muscle hidden there. She shivered, her body arching itself into his touch in a silent plea for more.

He sank into her body so easily, the sight of him feeding from Nathaniel earlier having flooding her body with both moisture and need. A soft, strangled sigh left her as he buried his cock to the hilt inside of her. Her eyes slid shut as the pleasure began growing where her muscles clenched down around him tightly before rippling out into the rest of her body to fill her with thickening desire.

For a brief moment, Rhiannon put her head down, forehead against the mattress, and lifted her ass higher in the air. Jean Claude took that as his cue, pulled his hips back a short distance and held there before pushing back into her. Rhia let go a faint moan of pleasure as he sank deep to fill her once again. She could feel the leashed strength in his hands as he held onto her hips. And she could feel, just under the surface of it all, the hunger of thearduer as it begged to be set free. His restraint was remarkable. Hers... Not so much.

Raising her head from the bedding, she lifted her gaze until it met Nathaniel's. He was watching them closely, chest rising and falling a little faster than normal. So far, his hands hadn't strayed anywhere near his erect cock. Not that she'd expected they would. She had no doubt that he was under the impression that this night was for her. Boy, was she about to prove him wrong.

With the next shift of Jean Claude's hips, Rhia took hold of Nathaniel's erection and gave it a stroke up and down. He hissed out a sound of pleasure, hips snapping up into her touch before he brought himself back under control. She smiled and leaned forward, sure that Jean Claude's hands would keep her exactly where he needed her, and wrapped her lips around Nathaniel's cock. He hissed again, muscles going tense as he fought the urge to drive his erection up into her mouth. When she swallowed him down, he lost the fight and his hips snapped up once again.

It was a rush to be caught between two beautiful men, each powerful in their own right. At the moment, with each one buried inside of her, Rhia was the one with all the power. The idea of them being at her mercy, even if for only the time their physical intimacy allowed, filled her with her own kind of power. She took cues from Jean Claude, her mouth following the pace he set. When he thrust slow and deep, she slid down Nathaniel's shaft slowly, until his cock was as deep as she could take it. When Jean Claude sped up and shortened his strokes, Rhia followed suit. She knew he was doing it to keep her off balance, that he would work her up to a fever pitch before slowing down and letting her come back to earth. And she knew that the same pace would test Nathaniel's resolve. She was curious to see which man would last longer.

It was a delicious game of give and take, all of which was ultimately controlled by Jean Claude. Every time he thrust into her, he drove her forward. She would slide her mouth down Nathaniel's length as far as she could go. When Jean Claude pulled back, Rhia lifted up to shift the center of pressure on Nathaniel's erection.

She employed her tongue, let it drag along the underside as she bobbed up and down over it. Let it tease at that spot just behind the head. Nathaniel fought the instinct to buck up into her mouth and his hands fisted into the bedding at his sides in order to keep them from curling into her hair. She wondered if, should Nathaniel push the issue, she'd be able to take all of him. It might be fun to find out, but she was having a hard enough time breathing as it was. Because Jean Claude...

The vampire moved smoothly, his hips rocking against her backside as he worked himself in and out of her body. Muscles clenched down around him when he pressed deep inside, tried to hold him there. That made the friction of his passing as he eased out of her all the more intense. Sent shivers up her spine that translated into a faint hum against the flesh in her mouth. Each time she did it, Nathaniel's hips bucked up of their own volition while he groaned out his pleasure and need.

Each thrust was accompanied with the meaty sound of flesh slapping flesh. There were full on groans and muffled groans. Rhia's entire body was alive with pleasure and need, breasts jostling with every stroke. Nathaniel gasped out her name with each particularly inventive use of her tongue or the scraping of her teeth against such tender, sensitive flesh. Her hands were planted firmly in the bedding, her body burning with the need for orgasm. Wave after wave of sensation spiraled out from where she was joined with both men, radiating along every nerve and through every cell until her synapses exploded and left her little more than a quivering mass of living, breathing sensation.

Tension started building long before Jean Claude's pace picked up. Tension that started low in her belly and then spread to the rest of her body, trailing fingers of need through her until she thought she would explode from it. When he finally did increase his pace, when he started fucking her harder, Rhiannon thought she was going to die from the pleasure of it all. Each thrust saw her need and enjoyment spiking higher and higher. And she put that need and enjoyment into sucking Nathaniel's cock harder. Taking it deeper. Pushing him to the very edge of his endurance.

She nearly came unglued when one of Jean Claude's hands left her hip and crept forward to find its way between her thighs. The touch of a finger against her clit made every muscle in her body clench tight at exactly the same moment. Rhia froze in place for a moment, a minor series of shockwaves rippling through her that let the men with her know she was so terribly close to the edge.

Rhiannon decided that if she was going to go, she was going to try and take both of them with her.

That decision saw her redoubling her efforts on Nathaniel's cock. She sucked harder and took him deeper, used the muscles in her throat to put pressure on the head. Her tongue dragged the underside, her teeth occasionally scraping lightly at the firm flesh to add a hint of pain to his pleasure. Her efforts were rewarded when he let go a soft groan and closed his eyes, his hips rocking into her mouth of their own accord. She knew the tell tale signs, could tell that Nathaniel was moving rapidly toward the edge himself.

Behind her, Jean Claude put a little more force into his thrusts. Gave Rhia her own tiny touch of pain to accompany her pleasure. If her mouth hadn't been full of Nathaniel, she'd have been panting and moaning loudly to accompany each of his strokes. As it was, she gave voice to her enjoyment with actions. Her hips rocked back into his just a little more enthusiastically. Her body clenched around him whenever it could, making an effort to hold him there just a moment or two longer.

She was so lost in her desire that she almost missed it. There was a slight shift in the air around her. Not much, almost not enough to really catch. But she caught it. And she barely had time to wonder what Jean Claude thought he was doing before those tiny wisps of the arduer wrapped themselves around her and jacked her pleasure up to a million. And it broke Nathaniel's control.

His hands, which had remained on the bed almost their entire encounter, slid into her hair to curl around her head and guide her actions. His hips thrust himself up into her mouth. With Nathaniel before her and Jean Claude behind, each man holding on to her as they thrust harder and deeper, Rhia was practically pinned in place. Had it been anyone else, she might have been worried about what would happen. But she trusted Nathaniel and instinct told her she could trust Jean Claude. And that trust allowed her to give up what control she'd had, allowed her to simply experience.

Every once in a while, she'd feel Jean Claude stroke their need higher with a faint touch of the arduer. Each time he did so, it saw the ball of raw need in the pit of Rhia's belly tightening up, getting bigger and thicker. And Nathaniel's hips would surge almost past the point of comfortable. The few bits of her brain that were not flooded with desire and the need to come knew he was trying to bring Nathaniel's orgasm to the surface. She hoped it would happen soon.

Almost as if Jean Claude had heard her thoughts, his hips stilled with his cock buried fully inside of her. His voice, rich and luxurious and graced with a touch of his vampiric power, flowed over her back. "Let go, Nathaniel. Come for us."

Rhia's body spasmed at the sound of that voice. Nathaniel's body... It exploded. Only a moment after the last word was spoken, his hands tightened around Rhia's head and held her in place while his hips made one, two, three more thrusts. The last one saw his cock all the way down her throat, saw it swelling up before it spilled his come into her. Rhia swallowed as best she could, tried hard not to choke. Nathaniel held there a moment or two longer before pulling back. He slid free of her mouth, his entire body going limp into the mattress, and watched her with a sleepy stare.

Jean Claude's hands took hold of her hips as he drew back. Rhia turned to glance at him over her shoulder. His eyes were a deep, deep blue that caught her gaze before she could remind herself to turn away. The smile he gave her sent shivers down her spine, saw her muscles tightening down over him until a gasp rolled up out of her throat. He moved then, shoved himself forward and into her body. The gasp became a full moan and her hands curled into the bedding.

He stroked in, stroked out, each one faster and harder than the one before. Rhia was left gasping for breath, left shaking and teetering on the edge. His hands left her hips, reached for her shoulders. She thought he meant to hold them, to anchor her in place with them. Instead, he slowly, carefully drew her up until she was on her knees, her back pressed against his chest. His hands spread her thighs to give himself more access, his hips never stopping their movements.

One hand crept between her legs again, fingers flicking almost absently against her clit. The pressure built, the pleasure expanding until it filled every last inch of her. His free arm slid around her body, came to rest just under her breasts, as his mouth left a kiss on the curve of her shoulder. He worked inward, each kiss accompanied by a flick of his fingers, until his mouth was against her throat and her head was tipped sideways. He pressed her clit hard, dragged his fingers across it. There was a sharp stab of pain as his fangs broke skin and slipped into her throat.

And then her orgasm burst over her, drawing a silent scream from her. His cock slid deep and stayed there while he came. The world shifted and shattered, shards or rainbow glitter raining down upon her head. The shards put themselves back together and Rhia found herself limp against Jean Claude's chest, her body heavy and floating all at the same time.

"Wow," she managed to whisper.

Nathaniel smiled, managed a faint laugh. Jean Claude pressed a kiss to her throat where he'd just broken skin. "Wow, indeed."


Aedan stared at the door, illuminated by a single bare bulb, and seriously considered cranking her car's engine back over and just... going somewhere else. She wasn't sure where, but anywhere other than here had to be good. Someplace where people wouldn't know who she was and she could lead a normal, quiet life. Where she wouldn't ever be in the shadow of Anita Blake's ghost ever again. She was so damned tired. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. She kind of wished that she could stop the ride and get off. Before it got any faster or crazier.

Or deadlier.

That thought saw her brain turning back to the events of the past twenty four hours. Specifically to the first murder scene she'd visited. No matter how she tried, she couldn't get the image of that little girl out of her head.

There'd been no reason to kill the child. No reason at all. Except to send a message. The murder of that family had been personal. Maybe it fit into the pattern the killers had already set. Maybe the tests from the medical examiner would come back positive for lycanthropy. Didn't matter. That would mean that the killers only deviated slightly from their regular pattern. That didn't do any good for poor little Katherine Harris, didn't make her death any less tragic or senseless.

That whole afternoon played back in her head. Over and over again. Each little detail taking up time and space in her brain until she couldn't see anything through the tears. That murder had been planned, right down to the very last detail. The whole scene had been one giant message. But what, exactly, was the message? Why? What did it have to do with the other murders? And who would think to send such a message?

Tears came hot and hard, rolling down her cheeks. The whole day had been nothing but shit. First the Harris' murders. Then the announcement that she had to play nice with the rest of the fucking vampire world because the Council felt it was in her best interests to do so. Then there'd been the second crime scene. Not as horrible as the others, but a woman had still lost her life. The only good part of it was she'd been able to leave a clue. A good part that had been negated by the news that someone had tried to kill a large group of vampires by bombing The Church of Eternal Life. More people could have died, people she was responsible for. No one had. No one had even gotten hurt. But it could have happened. And no one had thought to tell her.

She was tired of being on this never ending cycle of death and murder. Tired of having to be strong for everyone else. Just once, she'd love to be the one who got to fall apart. Just once, she'd love to have someone there to hold her while she railed away about the unfairness of it all. But there was no one. Minette was curled up between Micah and Jason, already asleep and blissfully unaware. A quick check through the links had shown her that. And Jean Claude...

She hoped he choked on Rhiannon's blood.

No. There was no one for her. No one to hold her close and tell her things would be okay. There'd never been anyone to do that for her before. Her entire life had been spent holding her own hand when things got tough. Why should she think that things would change, that there'd be someone to do it now?

The urge to go, to run, rose up again. She entertained it for a moment, considered giving in and going as far away as she could. But there was no where on the planet that she could hide from Jean Claude. His marks saw to it that he'd always be able to find her. And her own sense of duty and honor wouldn't allow her to run from her responsibilities. Not anymore.

Heaving a sigh, Aedan climbed from the car and shut the door. Had anyone been paying attention, they'd have noticed that she was without a rodere body guard. At the moment, she couldn't be assed to care. In fact, given the mood she was in, she'd welcome the fight that would no doubt take place were someone to actually notice. Bring it on. Maybe it would be a way to deal with the building anger and horror. Maybe getting into a fight would give her the ability to actually sleep without having nightmares. Maybe it would give her the sense that she had some control over her own life.

Oddly, there was no one guarding the back door when she let herself in. Aedan thought it strange, given the state of things lately. It wasn't like Jean Claude to leave the door unguarded. He and his people had too much to lose if someone were to come in that back door. Maybe they were on a potty break or something. Putting the lack of guard from her mind, she started down the stairs. If she could make it to her room and climb into bed without meeting anyone, she'd count herself lucky. She wasn't in the mood to answer questions.

She found herself in luck. The area that served as Jean Claude's make shift living room was curiously lacking in warm bodies. If she really concentrated, she could feel tiny pockets of energy here and there that signified vampires who hadn't yet settled down for the sunrise. The lycanthropes were harder to pinpoint, but logic said they were all hidden away in their rooms for a nap or the day's sleep. So many of them had set their schedule to that of the vampire's that sunrise or shortly after was their bedtime.

She should sleep, too. It had been a very long, very shitty day. Sleep would help fix some of that for her. She should snack before bed, too. Keep her hungers in line. Keep herself from becoming a danger. She just couldn't convince herself to head toward the chamber Jean Claude had assigned her.

If she was being honest, she wasn't really in the mood to sleep, either. There was too much in her head and in her heart. Sleeping would only free it so that it could make her life hell. She knew that sleep was important, that she needed rest to keep her powers in perfect working condition and to keep the less savory bits of her life from coming undone at the worst possible moment. Nothing like losing control of the arduer and nailing a client in the middle of a zombie raising to really fuck one's day up.

A chuckle left her at that thought. Which suggested she was much more tired than she should have been. Or maybe she had seen so much violence over the course of the day that her brain had slid offline and had left her hovering somewhere near shock. If she was being smart about everything, she'd find some food and then find someone to talk to.

Her body, traitorous thing that it was, told her exactly what it wanted to do. It wanted to find Jean Claude and, complications be damned, get naked with him. The images that popped up saw her heart pitter-pattering in full agreement to that line of thinking. Too bad the images presently in her head did not have her in them. He looked to be a very thorough, very enthusiastic lover. She hoped that Rhiannon was well sated when it was all said and done.

Aedan shoved the images away, forced herself to think of something else. Anything else. Anything that would help keep her heart from shattering in her chest. Because damn it, she'd gone and done something utterly stupid. She'd fallen for the goddamn vampire. Rationally, she knew he didn't owe her any affection at all, that she was lucky he treated her so kindly. There were masters out there who treated their human servants as property, who used them as they saw fit. But that didn't stop the hurt when she thought about him with Isis the night Augustine had shown up. It didn't stop the hurt when she thought of him with Rhiannon. It didn't stop the hurt when she thought of him with Janika after Damian's fight for Rex. It didn't stop the pain when she thought about his love for a dead woman.

That thought died as another rose to take its place. The night he'd been with Janika. That was the night Janika had been shot. They'd caught the man responsible, the same crazy homeless person who had nearly killed Asher. Jean Claude had ushered the foul man away before Aedan had been able to show him what happened to people who fucked with her family. Somehow, she'd forgotten the piece of shit was somewhere under the Circus of the Damned.

It felt to her like a perfect time to go pay the piece of shit a visit.

It took a while to find the room Jean Claude had left the man in. His underground lair was vast and cavernous, so there was a good deal of real estate to search. In the course of her search, she came across the room that the church bomber had been left in. She knew he was in there because she could hear him through the door, voice low and quiet as he spoke to himself.

She listened for just a little bit. No. He wasn't talking to himself to himself. He was talking to God. In fact, the asshole was praying to God. Fucking wonderful. A religious fanatic. Just what the undead community needed.

She considered peeking in, considered taking a few shots at that asshole, as well. It was the least he deserved after trying to destroy a community of people who, for the most part, only wanted to live their lives without fear of people trying to fucking burn them alive. It was her job to deal with people like this guy. But it was obvious Jean Claude had locked him away without telling her about him for a reason. So she put the idea aside and continued on. She'd save his pathetic ass for another day, for another time when everything was upended and she needed to step away from her life for a while.

Aedan finally came to a stop before the door she knew kept Janika's stalker hidden from the rest of the world. How she could be sure, she didn't know. She just knew that the dirty little man was behind that door. She took a breath and opened the door. That it was unlocked didn't come as a surprise. That the guy was in chains didn't come as a surprise, either. That he was naked and bore quite a few bite marks... That came as a surprise. He didn't stir when she let herself into the room.

It smelled bad. Not of bodily waste, but of wasting. The man was not well. Aedan couldn't be sure if it was because of the blood loss or if it was something that had come into the Circus with the man. She didn't care. She should have felt bad for the scrawny excuse for a human being. She didn't. All she could see was the crazed look in his eyes as he'd yelled and screamed about angels and demons and God. All she could think about was that this man was the one who was responsible for bringing harm to two people she cared about. People she was sworn to protect.

It would be so easy to draw her gun and shoot the pathetic bag of flesh here and now.

She didn't do it. Because it would be too easy to end his life with a single bullet. His suffering would be over too fast. And she wanted him to suffer. More than he'd already suffered. Jean Claude had promised to kill him, to end his life for attacking Janika and Asher. Liar. Looked like she'd kill him herself. And she had the perfect death in mind.

She was thankful that he wasn't secured with traditional handcuffs. Instead, he was bound by shackles that were secured with pins. It was easy work to disengage the pins and open the shackles. The little man dropped to his knees, his chin resting on his chest. Aedan found a robe and threw it at him. "Put that on," she ordered.

It took him a while to comply. His strength was low, his limbs stiff with disuse. But slowly, so very slowly, he managed to get the robe on. Belted it shut with clumsy hands. Rose to his feet to stare at her. There was no recognition when his eyes landed on her. That was okay. She was going to remind him of exactly who she was. And, when the time was right. she was going to remind him why she'd come to see him.

"You wanna get out of here?" she asked him, already moving toward the door.

"Are... are you taking me to see my angel?" he asked, voice hoarse and raw. No doubt he'd done his fair share of screaming down here in this room. She wondered briefly who Jean Claude had used to torture the man. In the end, she realized it didn't really matter.

"Yes. But you have to be quiet. We don't want anyone to know where you're going. Do you understand me?"

He was silent for a while, as if he hadn't heard her. It left Aedan wondering if she was going to be able to get him out of there without problems. There was no telling what the vampires had done to him. She suspected that his mind, which had already been messed up when they'd caught him, was fractured well beyond repair. Finally, he nodded. "No talking. Don't want to bring the demons back to torment me more."

"No. We don't." The only one who was going to torment him was her.

Aedan gave him a few moments to steady himself, her thoughts spinning away from her. Finally, he moved to stand behind her, his eyes a little clearer. She glanced at him a moment, then tugged the door open ever so slightly so she could check the hallway. There was no one there. She shot the man a look, reminding him with one finger pressed to her lips, that he should be quiet, then stepped out into the hall and waved him out after her.

She felt him there, at her back, following her with steps that slapped softly against the stone floor. Her senses were constantly on alert, scanning for any hint that someone was coming their way. She knew where all of the vampires who were awake were located. She would be able to tell if a shifter was coming their way. But humans were harder to track. Each sound she heard made her stop and consider and hope.

"Are you his whore?" the man asked behind her. His voice was pitched normally, only a faint touch of his normal insanity coloring his words. The question stopped her in her tracks and she turned to face him, only vaguely aware that the murmuring from the other side of the door they were passing had stopped.

"Excuse me?"

"I remember you. I saw you go to the demon. Are you his whore?"

"I am no man's whore. And there are no demons here." Then she drew her weapon and pointed it at him. "There's me. And my itchy trigger finger. So I suggest you close your mouth and keep your thoughts to yourself. What the hell kind of question is that? You don't call someone a whore."

"The man said he wanted the demon's whore. He's looking for the demon's whore. If you're the demon's whore, I can give you to the man and he'll ensure a place in Heaven for me and my angel."

Jesus Christ, the guy was gone. Aedan put the muzzle of her weapon right in his face and cocked back the hammer. "Say another word and I will find out how long it takes you to bleed out from a gut wound. I've heard they're really fucking painful. Now shut up and move."

Her companion didn't seem put out by her abrupt manner or her threats. But he did as she'd told him, closed his mouth and started forward up the long hallway. Aedan stayed with him, gun in hand in case she needed it. Her senses were going a mile a minute, trying to pick up any sign that they were about to have company. It was a strain, keeping that kind of vigil as they made their way up the maze of corridors that had been carved out under the Circus. They finally came to the living area after several long minutes of walking. Aedan made sure they were alone before she motioned the guy through and pointed toward the door that could be found on the other side of the cavernous room.

Going up the stairs were a little slower. The little man's strength was waning, his body much abused after spending so much time chained in that room. Aedan had a fairly good idea what had been going on in there. The marks on the man's body suggested that someone had decided death was too good for him. Maybe they'd decided to try and turn him. But if that was so, why hadn't it happened already? It only took three bites to turn someone. They'd had plenty of time. Why had they kept the man around?

She could only speculate as to why Jean Claude hadn't kept his word and killed the man that first night, right after Janika's attack. She didn't want to believe that he'd deliberately deceived her about his plans for the man in order to stop her from killing him herself. But the man was still alive. Felt like a lie to her. Aedan absolutely refused to pay attention to the pain that shafted through her with the thought that Jean Claude had intentionally lied.

When they finally reached the top of the stairs, slow going after everything the man had suffered at the hands of the vampires, it was to find that the little access room was still very much empty. She wondered at that, but not for long. She wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth. She dug her keys out of her pocket before pushing the door open. The sun was starting to climb high into the sky, the darkness slipping away with its light. That was a good thing. That meant no one was going to come looking for her for some time. The hand with the gun pointed to her car. "Over there. We're going for a ride."

The ground was unkind to his bare feet, and the man hissed in pain time and again as he tried to cross the parking lot. She didn't care. Whenever he gave her a look that suggested he was about to complain about the pain, she shot him a look and pointed the gun at the car before pointing it at him. After much hobbling and whining and complaining, they reached her car. She debated locking him in the trunk, but decided against it because she didn't want to put up with the noise he'd make. So she put him in the backseat. And she buckled his seatbelt, ensuring that his hands were under the belt so that he couldn't attempt anything while she was driving. Because they had a long drive ahead of them.

Of course he cursed her as she drove. Of course he bellowed about being let free. Of course he tried to drive her up the wall. But Aedan was resolute in her decision and that made it easy for her to ignore his rambling tirade. Made it all so much easier.

The sun was high in the sky by the time she turned the car's engine off. They'd arrived at their destination without trouble, her annoying passenger having fallen asleep only five minutes after they'd gotten on the road because he'd worn himself out. She pulled the keys from the ignition and tucked them into her pocket, then got out of the car and stretched the stiffness from her limbs. She stretched her senses, too, seeking out the best place to do this.

There. The back corner. It was calling to her. She opened her passenger's door and shoved him with one hand. He sputtered awake, picking up where he'd left off in his tirade when he'd fallen asleep earlier. "You're going to go to Hell, whore! You and the demon you've given yourself to. You're going to burn in Hell for all eternity. I am going to sit at God's side, my angel with me. The man promised me."

"Shut up and walk," she snarled, temper frayed. If she didn't get him over to the corner, and soon, she was going to just shoot him and leave his corpse for the wildlife. She pointed to the corner with her gun before leaning in to unhook the seatbelt. The little man scurried out of the car and tried to run. Aedan's foot shot out and caught him at the ankle, tripping him over so that he landed on his face. She put her foot on his back, between his shoulders, and aimed her gun at the back of his head. "I am not going to tell you again. Shut up. Stand up. Walk to that back corner. Try to run again and I'll kneecap you."

She lifted her foot and watched as he slowly came to his feet. The wild look she remembered from that night was in his eyes and he watched her with a dawning horror that would have been comical if she hadn't been so deadly serious. She motioned to the corner once more, pleased to note that he did as she'd instructed. Something told her that the reality of his situation had just sunk in and he knew. He knew his time was drawing to a close.

When they made it to the corner, he swung around to turn those wide, wild eyes her way. There was fear in them now, real fear that sent a dark thrill through her. She holstered the gun and stared at him. "Run now and I will shoot you. So I suggest you don't move."

He nodded, swallowing hard, and watched as she holstered her gun. One eye on her companion, Aedan knelt and put a hand against the ground. Logic and everything she'd learned said that it couldn't be done, that she couldn't raise a zombie without a circle or a sacrifice. But she knew better. Memories fluttered through her mind, like the pages of a book being turned rapidly, until the one she needed rose to the surface. And the memories told her that not only could it be done, but that she could do it.

Aedan thrust her power deep into the earth.

She felt the corpse stir under, felt it shifting beneath the soil. Her power told her it was climbing toward the surface, that it was coming to her call. She kept her eyes on the man while she poured her power into the corpse, fed it until it was whole again. Just before it broke the surface, she lifted her hand and stood. A young man climbed from the ground and stood staring at her with muddy brown eyes. "God will protect me..." the little man whispered.

"There is no God here," Aedan replied quietly. "There's me. And our new friend. Our new friend, who happens to be hungry."

Aedan walked around to stand beside the little man. The zombie followed her movements. His gaze landed on the little man and stayed there. "What do you mean, hungry?"

"Exactly what I said. He's hungry. He wants something to eat," Aedan replied. She paused a moment and stared at the little man. "I plan on letting him eat you."

"You're evil!" the little man hissed.

"You shot my friend. You stabbed another friend in the chest. He could have died. If I hadn't been there, he would have. You should be dead already." Her voice was empty when she spoke and the little man took a step back reflexively. "So now, you're going to pay for your crimes."

She turned her attention to her zombie. It was waiting patiently for an order, gaze still locked on the little man. Aedan motioned to the homeless guy with one hand. "He's yours. Tear him apart. Eat him. Do whatever you want with him. Just don't leave any of him behind."

"You can't do this!" the little man bellowed, even as the zombie headed for him.

"Well, technically, it is illegal," she got out before the zombie was on the man. "But no one is going to find your body. No one is going to know you're even missing. And I'll sleep just fine when this is all said and done."

The little man tried to run. He really did. But the zombie moved faster than he could and it was on him before he'd even gotten a handful of steps away. To be honest, Aedan didn't know why he hadn't tried to run before. Not that she was knocking it at all. It was just really weird.

The screaming started almost immediately. The little man's gaze was locked to her face, his eyes begging her to help him. She watched, face blank, as the zombie dragged the man down to the ground. It got its mouth on one shoulder and bit down, hard enough that she heard bone crunch under the screams of pain. She smelled the fresh blood when it hit the air.

Aedan let it go on for a little while, the man's screams weakening as the seconds ticked by. When he was a bloody, whimpering mess, she knelt down and put her hand on the ground. Looked him in the eye. "And now, I'm going to be rid of you. Permanently." She shifted her focus to the zombie. "Return to your grave and sleep. Take your new friend with you. Hold him in your arms for all eternity."

She thrust her power into the earth, sent it down to the empty void where the zombie had come from. His grave called to him, called him home. The soil bubbled up and frothed around the two men before they slowly sank down into the darkness of the earth. The little man's screams, renewed when he'd realized what she was going to do, choked off as dirt filled his throat and covered them both over. When she stood for the last time, the ground looked undisturbed and there were no screams to be heard.

Aedan slowly made her way back to her car.

She had just settled in the driver's seat when her cell rang. Muttering a curse under her breath, she dragged it from her pocket and glanced at it, then heaved a sigh and took the call. "Good morning, Edward."

"Not from what I hear," he replied. "Word is someone tried to set The Church of Eternal Life on fire last night."

"Tried being the operative word. No one was hurt. Fire bug was caught."

"Know who it is?"

"Nope. Jean Claude is handling it."

He paused a moment. "You okay? You sound weird."

"I'm fine, Edward. Just hungry. Its been a long day and I need to put some food in my belly before I sleep. I was just going to go get myself some breakfast. Did you need anything else?" She knew she was being short with him. She didn't care.

"No." His tone was mildly clipped. Then he was silent for a while, long enough that she thought he might have disconnected. "Are you sure you're okay?"

"Positive. I'm fine. Good night, Edward." Aedan hung up the phone and then powered it down. She slipped the keys into the ignition and turned the engine over, then started for the exit. She'd stop and get some cheap breakfast on the way back to the Circus.

Wouldn't want Death to find out she'd been lying to him.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-08 04:45 am (UTC)
cathryne: (Jean Claude 1)
From: [personal profile] cathryne
Oh my....where do I begin?

Let's just say Rhia is one lucky woman! I'm incredibly jealous. (Is it normal to be so jealous about a fictional character? LOL) I didn't need my brain anyway....;)

And Aedan...really love how that whole encounter played out! I'm kinda anxious and kinda scared to see what Edward will do, WHEN he finds out she lied to him. Not smart, Aed. ;)

Damn, I so wish I could write like you! *sighs wistfully* Hate you. ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-10 10:22 pm (UTC)
nanaeanaven: Dolls of all my sues (animated) (rhiannon)
From: [personal profile] nanaeanaven
Holy hell, woman. I honestly did not expect things with Rhia, Nathaniel, and JC to go like. If it had been ME, I would never have done that for fear of hurting Aedan. Yes, I would've turned Jean-Claude down (and probably regretted it for the rest of my life). But, I'm not Rhia. Obviously. Damn that was hot! *fans self*

Poor Aedan. That comment about hoping JC choked on Rhia's blood ... she just needs to give in dammit. Then she won't have to be jealous. And the rest was, well, a tad bit disturbing. lol

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-11 02:56 am (UTC)
nanaeanaven: Dolls of all my sues (animated) (rhiannon)
From: [personal profile] nanaeanaven
Ah, yes. I forgot about that. Been too long I guess (can't be due to my crappy memory, nope). I'm rationalizing it as Rhia is bit off kilter because of everything and also Jean-Claude is just that irresistible plus the arduer. ;)

Oh, I got that. Believe me, I got that. And I think she has every right to be pissed at him. That line about choking on Rhia's blood made me literally LOL. But I have a suspicion that Rhia would still feel guilty.

I think it was disturbing because it was Aedan going there.
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