The Danse Macabre (a mocking)

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The Danse Macabre (a mocking)

Post by Yaoi Huntress Earth » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:38 pm

I decided to bring this old sporking from my Project A.F.T.E.R. days. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Anita Blake series, it's an urban fantasy where Vampires and werecreatures have recently revealed themselves to the public and live among humans (Vampires are referred to as "undead Americans") and Anita happens to be a special, human enforcer that takes on Vampires. Eventually, this interesting concept will eventually take a backseat to the author living through Anita as she gets more unlikable, gets more stupidly powerful, has a ridiculous harem of men and any interesting stuff is sacrificed for drama and angst (not the good kind). My responses are in the red.

I T WAS THE middle of November. I was supposed to be out jogging, but

She was too much of a fatass to get off the couch without it making a suction noise.

instead I was sitting at my breakfast table talking about men, sex, were-wolves, vampires, and that thing that most unmarried but sexually active women fear most of all—a missed period.

Not if you're the Nostalgia Chick.

Veronica (Ronnie) Sims, best friend and private detective,

And soon-to-be punching bag for all the author's deep-seated issues.

sat across from me at my little four-seater breakfast table. The table sat on a little raised alcove in a bay window. I did breakfast most mornings looking at the view out onto the deck and the trees beyond. Today, the view wasn't pretty, because the inside of my head was too ugly to see it. Panic will do that to you.

No, panic makes you run around the halls, screaming like a maniac and strangling toddlers. Or is that just me when I don't take my happy pills?

"You're sure you missed October? You didn't just count wrong?" Ronnie asked

Anita: Hey! I can count all the way up to H.

I shook my head and stared into my coffee cup. "I'm two weeks overdue."
She reached across the table and patted my hand. "Two weeks—you had me scared. Two weeks could be anything, Anita. Stress will throw you off that much, and Godanymoreou've had enough stress."

With all that sleeping around with your endless harem and rarely doing your job any more.

She squeezed my hand. "That last serial killer case was only about two weeks ago." She squeezed my hand harder. "What I read in the paper and saw on the news was bad." I'd stopped telling Ronnie all my bad stuff years ago,

There's so many hangnail stories you can tell before people stop feeling sorry for you.

when my cases as a legal vampire executioner had gotten so much bloodier than her cases as a private eye. Now I was a federal marshal, along with most of the other legal vamp hunters in the United States. It meant that I had even more access to even more awful shit.

Like Daikari King Mykan's fan letters to Tara Strong.

Things that Ronnie, or any of my female friends, didn't want to know about. I didn't fault them.

Anita: They weak girly-girls. Me big, tough macho manly-man.

I'd rather not have had that many nightmares in my own head. No, I didn't fault Ronnie, but it meant that I couldn't share some of the most awful stuff with her. I was just glad we'd made up a long-standing grumpiness in time to have her here for this particular disaster. I was able to talk about the bad parts of my cases with some of the men in my life, but I couldn't have shared the missed period with any of them. It concerned one of them entirely too much.

She squeezed my hand hard and leaned back. Her gray eyes were all sympathy, and apology. She was still feeling guilty that she'd let her issues about commitment and men rain all over our friendship.

And she's mentioned this in the story so far when?

She'd had a brief, disastrous marriage years before I met her. She'd come here today to cry on my shoulder about the fact that she was moving in with her boyfriend, Louie Fane—Dr. Louis Fane, thank you very much. He had his doctorate in biology and taught at Washington University. He also turned furry once a month

Given that he also gets into cock vore and crotch-tits when that happens, I don't blame her.

, and was a lieutenant of the local wererat rodere— their word for pack.

You mean him and his race have a sacred duty to keep humanity from over-populating though terrorism and germ warfare? Opps, I was mistaking that for a series that is actually cool.

"If Louie wasn't hiding what he was from his colleagues, we'd be going to the big party afterward," she said.

"He teaches people's kids, Ronnie; he can't afford to find out what they'd do if they found out he had lycanthropy."

"College isn't kids, it's definitely grown-up."

*Busts up laughing*

"Parents won't see it that way," I said. I looked at her, and finally said, "Are you changing the subject?"

"It's only two weeks, Anita, after one of the most violent cases you've ever had. I wouldn't even lose sleep over it."

"Yeah, but your period is erratic, mine's not. I've never been two weeks late before."

She pushed a strand of blond hair back behind her ear. The new haircut framed her face nicely, but it didn't stay out of her eyes, and she was always pushing it back. "Never?"

I shook my head, and sipped coffee. It was cold. I got up and went to dump it in the sink.

"What's the latest you've ever been?" she asked.

Five years.

"Two days, I think five once, but I wasn't having sex with anyone, so it wasn't scary. I mean, unless there was a star in the east I was safe, just late." I poured coffee from the French press, which emptied it. I was so going to need more coffee.

Ronnie came to stand next to me while I put more hot water on the stove. She leaned her butt against the cabinets and drank her coffee, but she was watching me.

Which lead to the most awkward lesbian sex scene in all of fiction.

"Let me run this back at you. You've never been two weeks late, ever, and you've never missed a whole month before?"
"Not since this whole mess started when I was fourteen, no."
"I always envied you the regular-as-clockwork schedule," she said.
I started dismantling the French press, taking out the lid with its filter on a stick. "Well, the clock is broken right now."

And the reader's frustration is growing.

"Shit," she said, softly.
"You can say that again."
"You need a pregnancy test," she said.
"No shit." I dumped the grounds into trie trash can, and shook my head. "I can't go shopping for one tonight."

Anita: Because all the employees are sooo mean for not dropping everything and making me the center of their universe.

"Can't you make a quick stop on the way to Jean-Claude's little tete-a-tete tonight? It's not like this is the main event."
Jean-Claude, Master Vampire of die City of St. Louis, and my sweetie, was throwing one of the biggest bashes of the year to welcome to town die first ever mosdythepire dance company.

Now take any potential that would have and brutally crush it under your heel of your shoe.

He was one of their patrons, and when you spend that much money, you apparendy get to spend more to dirow a party to celebrate that the money was helping the dance troupe earn rave reviews in their cross-country tour.
There was going to be national and international media there tomorrow. It was like a Big Deal, and I, as his main squeeze, had to be on his arm, smiling and dressed up.

But that was tomorrow. Tonight's little get-together was sort of a prelim to the main event. Without letting the media know, a couple of the visiting Masters of the City had snuck in early. Jean-Claude had callled them friends. Master vampires did not call other master vampires friends. Allies, partners—but not friends.

"Yeah, Ronnie, I'm riding in with Micah and Nathaniel. Even if I stop, Nathaniel will insist on going in whatever store with me, or wondering why I don't let him go.

What is he, six?

I don't want any of them to know until I've got the test and it's yes or no. Maybe it's just nerves, stress, and the test will say no. Then I won't have to tell anybody."
"Where are your two handsome housemates?"

In her imagination because they don't really exist.

"Jogging. I was supposed to go with them, but I told them you'd called and needed me to hold your hand about moving in with Louie."
"I did," she said, and sipped her coffee. "But suddenly me being nervous about sharing space with a man for the second time in my life doesn't seem like such a big deal. Louie is nothing like the asshole I married when I was young and stupid."

At least someone is being somewhat entertaining.

"Louie sees the real you, Ronnie. He's not looking for some trophy wife. He wants a partner."
"I hope you're right."
"I don't know much today, but I'm sure Louie wants a partner, not a Barbie doll."
She gave me a weak smile, dien frowned. "Thanks, but I'm supposed to be comforting you. Are you going to tell them?"

When they start telling her that she's getting fat, then she will.

I leaned my hands against the sink, and looked at her through a curtain of my long dark hair.

*Gets a literal image of that.* Ew.

It had gotten too long for my tastes, but Micah had made me a deal: If I cut my hair, he'd cut his, because he preferred his hair shorter, too. So my hair was fast approaching my waist for the first time since junior high, and it was really beginning to get on my nerves. Of course, today everything was getting on my nerves.
"Until I know for sure, I don't want them to know."
"Even if it's yes, Anita, you don't have to tell them. I'll close up my agency for a few days. We'll go away on a girls' retreat, and you can come back with-out a problem."
I pushed my hair back so I could see her clearly. I think my face showed what I was thinking, because she said, "What?"

Be prepared for some soapboxing, folks.

"Are you honestly saying that I don't tell any of them? That I just go away for a while and make sure that there's no baby to worry about?"
"It's your body," she said.
"Yeah, and I took my chances by having sex with this many men on a regular basis."
"You're on the pill," she said.
"Yeah, and if I'd wanted to be a hundred percent safe I'd

Only bang virgins of the same gender.

have still used condoms, but I didn't. If I'm . . .pregnant, then I'll deal, but not like that."
"You can't mean you'd keep it."

Think of all the money those poor, broke psychologists will make sorting out her kid's future mommy issues.

I shook my head. "I'm not even sure I'm pregnant, but if I was, I couldn't not tell the father. I'm in a committed relationship with several of them.

You know those hardcore Mormon cults with the harems of sister-wives? Let's just say by the 21st book she'll be in proper competition.

I'm not married, but we live together. We share a life. I couldn't just make this kind of choice without talking to them first."
She shook her head. "No man ever wants you to get an abortion if you're in a relationship. They always want you barefoot and pregnant."
"That's your mother's issues talking, not yours. Or at least not mine."
She looked away, wouldn't meet my eyes. "I can tell you what I'd do, and it wouldn't involve telling Louie."
I sighed and stared out the little window above the sink. A lot of things to say went through my head, none of them helpful. I finally settled for,

Anita: You're right, now help me get a coat hanger.

"Well, it isn't you and Louie having this particular problem. It's me, and ..."
"And who?" she said. "Who got you knocked up?"

Why it's her Uncle-Grandpa.

"Thanks for putting it that way."
"I could ask, who's the father, but that's just creepy. If you are, then it's this little tiny, microscopic lump of cells. It's not a baby. It's not a person, not yet."
I shook my head. "We'll agree to disagree on that one."
"You're pro-choice," she said.
I nodded. "Yep, I am, but I also believe that abortion is taking a life. I agree women have the right to choose, but I also think that it's still taking a life."
"That's like saying you're pro-choice and pro-life. You can't be both."
"I'm pro-choice because I've never been a fourteen-year-old incest victim pregnant by her father, or a woman who's going to die if the pregnancy continues, or a rape victim, or even a teenager who made a mistake. I want women to have choices, but I also believe that it's a life, especially once it's big enough to live outside the womb."

Can we get back to the story please?

"Once a Catholic, always a Catholic," she said.
"Maybe, but you'd think being excommunicated would've cured me." The Pope had declared that all animators—zombie raisers—were excom-municated until they repented their evil ways and stopped doing it. What His Holiness didn't seem to grasp is that raising the dead was a psychic ability, and if we didn't raise zombies for money on a regular basis, we'd eventually raise the dead by accident. I had accidentally raised a deceased pet as a child, and a suicidal teacher in college. I'd always wondered if there had been others that never found me. Maybe some of the accidental zombies that occasionally show up are the result of someone's psychic abilities gone wrong, or untrained. All I knew was that if the Pope had ever woken up as a child with his dead dog curled up in bed with him, he'd want the power controlled. Or maybe he wouldn't. Maybe he'd believe that it was evil and he'd pray it into submission. My prayers just didn't have that kind of punch to them.

The last time I checked, the Christian god's first name isn't Satan so you might want to start with that.

"You can't mean you'd actually have this . . . thing, baby, whatever."
I sighed. "I don't know, but I do know that I could never just go away, get an abortion, and never tell my boyfriends. Never tell them that one of them might have made a child with me. I just couldn't do it."
She was shaking her head so hard that her hair fell around her face, covered the upper half of it. She ran her hands through it sharply, like she was pulling on it. "I've tried to understand that you're happy living with not one, but two men. I've tried to understand that you love that vampire son of a bitch, somehow. I've tried, but if you actually breed . . . actually have a baby, I just don't get that. I won't be able to understand that."
"Then don't, then go. If you can't deal, then go."

Ronnie: About time you said that. *Runs off and doesn't look back.*

"I didn't mean that. I just meant that I can't understand why you would complicate your life this way."
"Complicate, yeah, I guess that's one way of putting it."
She crossed her arms tight over her chest. She was tall, slender and leggy,and blond. Everything I'd wanted to be as a child.

Take notes, love-slaves, because this will be a constant issue for Anita through out the series.

She was small-chested enough that she could fold her arms over her breasts instead of under them, something I couldn't have done. But her legs went on forever in a skirt, and mine did not. Oh, well.

Anita: I'm just a poor little white and Hispanic half-breed. Despite my luxurious black hair, huge breasts, "natural beauty", lovely pale skin and the fact that lots of men want to bang me, I'm such an ugly outcast. Pity me, damn it!

"Okay, then if you're going to tell them, tell Micah and Nathaniel and get a test and test yourself."
"I told you, I don't want anyone to know until I know for sure."

Which makes me wonder, why doesn't she go to the store's bathroom after buying the thing, take the test there and no one will be the wiser?
"Lying: It's the responsible thing to do."-Louie, Ducktales (2017)

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Yaoi Huntress Earth
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Re: The Danse Macabre (a mocking)

Post by Yaoi Huntress Earth » Fri Dec 07, 2018 6:48 pm

She looked up at the ceiling, closed her eyes, and sighed.

Ronnie: Only a few more pages, Ronnie, only a few more pages...

"Anita, you live with two of them. You sleep over with two more of them. You are never alone. When are you going to have time to run in and get a test, let alone have the privacy to use it?"
"I can pick one up at work on Monday."
She stared at me. "Monday! It's Thursday. I'd go fucking crazy if I had to wait that long. You'll go crazy.

And you'll take it out of the other eight members of your harem.

You can't wait nearly four days."
"Maybe my period will start. Maybe by Monday I won't need it."
"Anita, you wouldn't have told me if you weren't pretty sure you needed a pregnancy test."
"When Nathaniel and Micah get back, they'll jump in the shower, we'll get dressed up, and go straight to Jean-Claude's. There won't be time tonight."
"Friday, promise me that Friday you'll get one."
"I'll try, but. . ."
"Besides, when you start asking your lovers to use condoms, won't they figure something out?"
"Jesus," I said.
"Yeah, I heard you say if you'd used condoms you'd be safe. Don't tell me that you're not going to want to use them for a while. Could you really have unprotected sex right now, and enjoy it?"

Could this not sound like a Lifetime Movie?

I shook my head. "No."
"Then what are you going to tell the boys about this sudden need for condoms? Hell, Micah had a vasectomy before you even met him. He's like super-safe."
I sighed again. "You're right, damn it, but you are."
"So pick up the test on the way to the thing tonight."
"No. I'm not going to rain all over Jean-Claude's meeting. He's planned this for months."
"You didn't mention it to me."
"I didn't plan it, he did. The ballet isn't really my thing." Truthfully, he hadn't mentioned it to me until they were coming to St. Louis, but I kept that part to myself. It would just give Ronnie another reason to say that Jean-Claude was keeping secrets from me. He'd finally admitted that the Masters of the City all coming here had been something he hadn't planned, at least not from the beginning. He'd just negotiated it so the vampire dancers could cross many different vamp territories without problems. Jean-Claude agreed the meet was a good idea, but he was also nervous about it. It would be the largest gathering of Masters of the City in American history.
And you don't bring that many big fish together without worrying about shark attacks.
"And how will Mr. Fang-Face feel about being a father?"
"Don't call him that."
"Sorry, how will Jean-Claude feel about being a daddy?"
"It's probably not his."
She looked at me. "You're having sex with him, a lot. Why isn't it his?"
"Because he's more dian four hundred years old and when vampires get that old, they aren't very fertile. That goes for Asher and Damian, too."
"Oh, God," she said. "I'd forgotten that you had sex with Damian."

Maury Povitch would so totally kill to have these guys on his show.

"Yeah," I said.
She covered her eyes with her hands. "I'm sorry, Anita. I'm sorry that it's weirding me out that my uptight monogamous friend is suddenly sleeping with not one, but three vampires."
"I didn't plan it that way."
"I know that." She hugged me, and I stayed stiff against her. She wasn't being comforting enough for me to relax in her arms.

Anita: Damn it, Ronnie, your arms are too limp! Squeeze harder, harder!

She hugged me tighter. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm being a jerk. But if it's not the vampires then who else but your houseboys."
I pulled away from her. "Don't call them my houseboys. They have names,and just because I like living with someone, and you don't, don't make that my problem."
"Fine, that leaves Micah and Nathaniel."
"Micah is fixed, remember? So it can't be him."
Her eyes went wide. "That leaves Nathaniel. Jesus, Anita, Nathaniel as the father-to-be."
A moment ago I might have agreed with her, but now it pissed me off. It wasn't her place to disparage my boyfriends. "What's wrong with Nathaniel?" I said, and my voice was not entirely happy.

Where do I begin? A were-lepord who was a drug-addicted teenage prostitute that was so brutally tortured throughout his life that he can not longer say no to any abuse proposed to him. Then later was forced to perform in brutal porn films where he had to rape and abuse werewolves. Though he's clean now, he clings on to Anita for protection and is only improving himself to please her. He's also been marked as Anita's personal animal servant and plays maid at her apartment. Yeah, a guy with this much baggage isn't exactly going to be father of the year material.

She put her hands on her hips and gave me a look. "He's twenty and a stripper. Twenty-year-old strippers are the entertainment at your bache-lorette party. You don't have babies with them."

I let the anger seep into my eyes. "Nathaniel told me you didn't see him as real, as a person. I told him he was wrong. I told him you were my friend, and you wouldn't disrespect him like that. I guess was wrong."
She didn't back down or apologize. She was angry and staying that way. "Last time I checked Nathaniel was supposed to be food, just food, not the love of your life."

For your information, Anita has a condition where she has to feed off people by having sex with them.

"I didn't say he was the love of my life, and yeah, he started out as my pomme de sang, but that doesn't..."
But she interrupted me. "Your apple of blood, right, that's what pomme de sang means?"
I nodded.
"If you were a vampire you'd be taking blood from your little stripper, but thanks to that bloodsucking son of a bitch you have to feed off sex.
"Sex, for God's sake! First that bastard made you his blood whore, and now you're just a—" She stopped abruptly, a startled, almost-frightened look on her face, as if she knew she'd gone too far.
I gave her a flat, cold look. The look that says

Any threat that is made will be blocked by the author so she can keep talking about Anita's penguin collection.

my anger has moved from hot to cold. It's never a good sign. "Go on, Ronnie, say it."
"I didn't mean it," she whispered.
"Yeah," I said, "you did. Now I'm just a whore." My voice sounded as cold as my eyes felt. Too angry and too hurt to be anything but cold. Hot anger can feel good, but the cold will protect you better.

Say what?

She started to cry. I just stared at her, speechless. What the hell was going on? We were fighting—she wasn't allowed to cry in the middle of it. Especially not when she was the one being a cruel bastard. I could count on one hand the times I'd seen Ronnie cry and still have fingers left over.
I was still angry, but I was puzzled, too, and that took a little of the edge off. "Shouldn't I be the one in tears here?" I asked, because I couldn't think of what else to say.

Oh Anita, must you always be the center of attention?

I was mad at her and I'd be damned if I would comfort her right now.
She spoke in that breathless, hiccuping voice that serious crying can give you. "I'm sorry, oh, God, Anita, I'm sorry.

Ronnie: That I'm just filling in one of the oldest Mary-Sue traits where all members of the same sex must be absolutely jealous of you.

I'm just so jealous."
I raised my eyebrows at her. "What are you talking about? Jealous of what?"
"The men," she said in that shivering, uncertain voice. It was like she was someone else for a moment, or maybe this was just part of Ronnie that she didn't let people see. "All the damned men.

* rapidly sticks two fingers in mouth and makes a gagging sound *

I'm about to give up everybody. Everybody but Louie, and he's great, but damn it I've had lovers. I hit triple digits."
I wasn't sure that being able to number your lovers at over a hundred was a good thing, but it was something that Ronnie and I had agreed to disagree over a long time ago. I did not say, Look who's the whore, or other hurtful remarks I could have made. I let all the cheap shots I could have made go. She was the one crying.

See folks, if you make the other person look bad, you're pardoned from any reckless things you're doing.

"And now I'm giving it all up, all of it, for just one man." She leaned her hands against the cabinet as if she needed the support.
"You said sex with Louie was great. I think you've used words like fantastic and mind-blowing."
She nodded, her hair spilling around her face so that I couldn't see her eyes for a moment. "It is, he is, but he's just one man. What if I get bored, or he gets bored with me? How can just one be enough? The ast time we were both cheating a month after the wedding." She looked up at that last remark, her gray eyes wide and frightened.

I guess she means the wedding she was a bridesmaid at in the second book. Otherwise this story would come off a lot differently.

I made a small helpless gesture, and said, "You're asking the wrong person, Ronnie. I'd planned on monogamy. It seemed like a good idea to me."
"That's exactly what I mean." She wiped at the tears on her face in harsh, angry motions, as if the touch of them made her even more upset. "How is it that you, my girlfriend who had only three men in her entire life, ends up dating and fucking five men?"
I didn't know what to say to that, so I tried to concentrate on the hard facts. "Six men," I said.
She frowned at me, her eyes taking on that look that meant she was counting in her head. "I only count five."
"You're leaving someone out, Ronnie."

Ronnie: You mean reincarnated Hilter?

"No"—and she started counting on her fingers—"Jean-Claude, Asher, Damian, Nathaniel, and Micah. That's it."
I shook my head, again. "I had unprotected sex with one more man last month." I could have said it differently, but maybe if we got back to my personal disaster, we could stop talking about Ronnie's penis envy.

Somewhere Sigmund Freud is spinning in his grave.

She needed more therapy than I knew how to give lately.
She frowned harder, then she got it. "Oh, no, no," she said.
I nodded. Happy to see from her expression that she got the full awfulness of it.

Anita: I like making my friends feel bad.

"You just had sex with him once, right?"
I shook my head no, over and over again. "Not just once."
She was looking at me so hard that I couldn't hold her gaze. Even with the tear tracks drying on her face, she was suddenly Ronnie again.

Where the words, "Punching Bag", appeared on her forehead.

Ronnie had a good hard stare. I couldn't meet it, and was left looking at the cabinets. "How much more than 'not just once'?" she asked.
I started to blush and couldn't stop it. Damn it.
"You're blushing—

You've pretty casual about your major sexcapades; you lost the right to play Little Miss Modest here.

that's not a good sign," she said.
I stared down at the countertop, using my long hair to hide my face.
Her voice was gentler when she said, "How many times, Anita? How many times in the month you've been back together?"
"Seven," I said, still not looking up. I hated admitting it, because the number alone said louder than any words just how much I enjoyed being in Richard's bed.
"Seven times in a month," she said. "Wow, that's . . ."
I looked up, and the look was enough "Sorry, sorry, just..." She looked as if she wasn't sure whether she was going to laugh, or be sad about it. She controlled herself, and finally sounded sad when she said, "Oh, my God, Richard."
I nodded again.
"Richard." She whispered his name, and looked suitably horrified. It was worth a little horror.

Because basing any character off your spouse is a bigger kiss of death and ticket to bitterness than having their name tattooed on you.

Richard Zeeman and I had been off-again, on-again, for years. Mostly off. We'd been engaged briefly until I saw him eat someone. Richard was the leader—Ulfric—of the local werewolf pack. He was also a junior high science teacher, and an all-around Boy Scout. If Boy Scouts were six foot one, muscled, amazingly handsome, and had an amazing ability to be self-destructive. He hated being a monster, and he hated me for being more comfortable with the monsters than he was.

Then why did you dump him for eating someone? Having your job, you should be used to this stuff.

He hated a lot of things, but we'd made up just enough to have fallen into bed in the last few weeks. But as my Grandma Blake told me,

"Anita, you are a total disappointment."

once was enough. Of all the men in my life, the worst possible choice to be the father would be Richard, because he of all of them would try for the white picket fence and a normal life.

Because special little snowflakes melt in that type of environment.

Normal wasn't possible for me, or him, but I knew that and he didn't, not really, not yet. Even if I was pregnant, even if I kept being pregnant, I wasn't going to marry anyone. I wasn't going to change my living arrangements. My life worked the way it was, and Richard's idea of do-mestic bliss was not mine.

She has the right to stick to her guns, but she's going to have to sacrifice a lot more if she wants to create a stable life for that kid. Even if she shoved him/her with a live-in nanny.

Ronnie gave an abrupt laugh, then swallowed it. I was glaring at her. "Come on, Anita, I'm allowed to be impressed that you've managed to have sex with him seven times in the space of a month. I mean, you don't even live together, and you're having more sex than some of our married friends."
I kept giving her the look that makes bad guys run for cover,but Ronnie was my friend, and it's harder to impress your friends with the scary look. They know you won't really hurt them. The fight was dying under the weight of friendship, and of my problem being more immediate than her years of issues unresolved.
Ronnie touched my arm. "Oh, it wouldn't be Richard's. You're having sex with Nathaniel at least every other day."
"Sometimes twice a day," I said.
She smiled. "Well, my, my..."
Then waved her hand as if to keep from distracting herself. "But the odds are that it's Nathaniel's, right?"
I smiled at her. "You sound happy about that now."

Given that it's a choice between the majorly psychologically-scarred wereleopard and the ex-fiance where the only things you have in common are sex and bitter feelings, it's not an easy one to make.

She shrugged. "Well, a choice of evils, ya know."
"Thanks a lot, Ronnie."
"You know what I meant," she said.
"No, I don't think I do."

Ronnie: Come on! Author is trying to make me the bad guy here. Now shut-up and play along.

I think I was ready to be angry about her thinking the men in my life were a choice of evils, but I didn't get a chance to be angry, because two of the men in my life were coming through the front door.
I heard them unlocking the door before it opened, and their voices came raised and a little breathless from the run. They'd been able to run faster, and farther, without me along. I was, after all, still human, and they were not. Standing between the island and the cabinets we couldn't see the door, but only heard them laughing as they came toward the doorway to the kitchen.

Nathaniel: Wow, that Ron Paul guy is so funny. Wait a minute...what do you mean it's not all an act?

"How can you do that?" Ronnie asked, voice soft.
"What?" I asked, frowning.
"You were smiling."
I looked at her.
"You smiled just at the sound of their voices, even with everything . . ."
I stopped her with a hand on her arm. One way I knew I didn't want them to find out about the maybe-baby was by overhearing a conversation. Their hearing was a little too keen to risk it. And here they came, my two live-in sweeties.
Micah was in front, looking back over his shoulder, still laughing, talking. He was my height, short, slender, and muscular in that swimmer sort of way. He had to have his suits tailored because he needed an extra-small athletic cut. You didn't get that off the rack.

All aboard the sue-trait train everyone.

He'd come to me tanned, and stayed that way from jogging outside, mostly shirtless, all summer and autumn. He'd added a T-shirt to the short-shorts today. His hair was that deep, rich brown that some people get after starting life as very blond. His dark hair was tied back in a low ponytail that couldn't hide how curly it was, almost as curly as mine. He'd taken off his sunglasses, so when I moved into his arms I could look up into his chartreuse eyes.
Yellow-green leopard eyes in his delicate face. A very bad man had once forced him to stay in leopard form until, when he came back to human, he couldn't come all the way back.
We kissed and our arms just seemed to automatically glide around each other, to press our bodies as close together as we could with clothes on. He'd affected me this way almost from the moment we had seen each other. Lust at first sight. They say it doesn't last, but we were six months and counting.
I melted against his body and

And pretended Ronnie's bored yawn meant that steam was practically coming out of her ears.

kissed him fiercely, deeply. Partly it was what I always wanted to do when I saw him. Partly I was scared, and touching and being touched made me feel better. Not long ago I'd have been more discreet in front of company, but my nerves just weren't good enough to pretend today.
He didn't get embarrassed, or tell me, "Not in front of Ronnie," the way Richard would have done. He kissed me back with the same drowning intensity. His hands holding me like he'd never let me go. We drew back, breathless and laughing.
"Was that for my benefit?" Ronnie asked, and her voice was not happy.

Are you white, blond-haired and blue eyed? Then yes.

I turned around, still half in Micah's arms. I looked at her angry eyes and suddenly was ready to be angry back. "Not everything is about you, Ronnie."
"Are you telling me you kiss him like that every time he comes home?" The anger was back, and she used it. "He's been gone, what, an hour? I've seen you greet him after a day's work, and it was never like that."
"Like what?" I asked, voice

Sounding like it was being taken over by a bitchy teenager.

sliding down. If she wanted to fight, we could fight.
"Like he was air and you couldn't breathe him in fast enough."
Micah's voice was mild, placating, trying to talk us both down. "Did we interrupt something?"
I turned to face Ronnie, squarely. "I'm allowed to kiss my boyfriend the way I want to kiss him without getting your permission, Ronnie."
"Don't try and tell me you weren't rubbing my face in it, just now, with the show."
"Go get some therapy, Ronnie, because I am fucking tired of your issues raining all over me."

I would say, "our heroine ladies and gentlemen", but I'm waiting for her to do something even worse.

"I confided in you," she said, voice strangled with some emotion I didn't understand,

Because God thought that creating a few people without empathy would "make things more interesting."

"and you put on a show like that in front of me. How could you?"
"Oh, that wasn't a show," Nathaniel said from just inside the doorway, "but if it's a show you want, we can do that, too." He glided into the kitchen on the balls of his feet, showing both the grace of his dance training and that otherworldly grace of the wereleopard. He pulled his tank top off in one smooth gesture and let it fall to the floor. I actually backed up a step before I caught myself. I hadn't realized until that moment that he was angry with Ronnie.

Whose done nothing wrong to him in person other than be disgusted at her showing off.

What little cutting remarks had she been making to him, that I hadn't heard?

That short shorts on men went out in the 80's and even then most of them couldn't pull it off.

When he told me she didn't see him as real, he'd been trying to tell me more than I had heard. That I'd missed something big was there in his angry eyes.
He tore the tie from his ponytail and let his ankle-length auburn hair fall around his nearly naked body. The jogging short-shorts just didn't cover that much.
I had time to say, "Nathaniel—" and he was in front of me. That other-worldly energy that all lycanthropes could give off shivered off his skin and along my body. He was five-six, just tall enough for me to have to look up to meet his eyes. His anger had turned them from lavender to the deeper color of lilacs, if flowers could burn with anger and force of personality.

Wow, even her boytoys look like Mary-Sues.

Nathaniel was in those eyes and with that one look he dared me, challenged me, to turn him down.

I didn't want to turn him down. I wanted to wrap his body and that skin-crawling energy around me like a coat. Lately almost any stress seemed to feed into sex. Scared? Sex would make me feel better. Angry? Sex would calm me. Sad? Sex would make me happy. Was I addicted to sex? Maybe. But Nathaniel wasn't offering actual sex. He just wanted as much attention as I'd given Micah. Seemed fair to me.

Nathaniel: Come on, I wanna make Ronnie cry, too.

I closed the distance between us with my hands, my mouth, my body. The energy of his beast spilled around us like being plunged into a warm bath that had a mild electric charge. He'd been one of the least of my leopards until a metaphysical accident had taken him from pomme de sang to my animal to call. I was the first human servant to a vampire to gain the vampire ability to call an animal. All leopards were mine to call, but Nathaniel was my special pet. We'd both gained from the magical bonding, but he'd gained more.

Like a weird growth on his neck.

He lifted me up, using just his hands on my thighs. Even through my jeans he made sure I knew he was happy to be pressed against my body. So happy that it forced a small sound from me.
Ronnie's voice came harsh, ugly, like she was choking on her anger. "And when the baby comes, are you going to fuck in front of it, too?"
Nathaniel froze against me. Micah's voice came from behind us. "Baby?"

"Lying: It's the responsible thing to do."-Louie, Ducktales (2017)

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Re: The Danse Macabre (a mocking)

Post by Yaoi Huntress Earth » Sat Dec 08, 2018 4:25 pm

Alright, that episode of Ink Master where the constants are yelling each other is on. What you mean that wasn't the end of that story? Fine, I'll continue the mock.

THAT ONE WORD fell into the room like a thunderbolt, except that afterward the room was quiet. So quiet that I could hear the blood pounding in my head. Nathaniel's body was so still against mine that if I hadn't felt his pulse against my hand, it would have been like he wasn't there.

Your massive ego pretty much covers everything so I don't blame you on that one.

I was afraid to move, afraid to breathe. It was like a moment before a gunfight, when you know it's going to happen, that anything, any movement, will set it off, and you don't want to be the one that makes that happen.

Nathaniel looked down at me, and the look was enough. It broke the unnatural silence, and sound spilled around us. Micah said, "Did Ronnie say baby?"
"Yeah, I said baby." Her voice was ugly with anger.
Nathaniel let me slide to the floor, his hands going to my shoulders. His eyes were so serious that I had to fight to keep meeting them. I did it, though my eyes flinched as if the force of his questions were a light too bright to meet.

Anita: Wahhh! Ronnie brought up some good points and said things I didn't want to hear for no reason!

"Are you pregnant?" he asked, voice soft.
"I'm not sure," I said, and I gave Ronnie the glare she deserved. "I was going to wait until I was sure before I told any of you guys. But I had to tell someone. I thought, hey, I'll tell my best friend,

Who was too busy trying to flee town so the author bribed this blond lady to fill in.

but I guess I was wrong."

"The kiss with Micah may not have been for my benefit," Ronnie said in that ugly voice that I didn't recognize as hers, "but your pet stripper and you, that was for my benefit."
I turned so that I was facing her, Nathaniel at my back. "You're jealous of the men in my life, yeah, I get that now."
She opened her mouth, closed it, and said, "I guess that's fair. I tell your secret, you tell mine."

That she writes hardcore grimdark Smurfs fanfics?

I shook my head. "Me telling Nathaniel and Micah that you are jealous of how many men are in my bed, that isn't the same as you telling them that I may be pregnant." I had a mean idea, so I said it. "But it might be close if I told Louie that you were jealous of my boyfriends. Does he know that you can number your old lovers in triple digits?"

I figured that was just an exaggeration like anyone else.

Yeah, it was mean, but she'd earned it.

For being so blond, leggy and reminding the author that there are people who don't like what she's doing with the series.

Only family can fight as dirty as best friends.
She paled a little, and that was enough to answer the question. "He doesn't know," I said, and made it a statement.
"I think he deserves to know," Nathaniel said, and again there was that tone in his anger that said it was more personal than it should have been between them.

I know Ronnie said some bad things and let a very big cat out of the bag, but she's the one that's coming out better here.

"I'd planned on telling him," she said.
"When?" he asked, and he moved around me, so that he was facing her
I glanced at Micah, and he shook his head, as if he didn't know what was going on either. Good to know we were both confused.
"When you'd moved in together, married him, or never?"
"We're not getting married," she said in a voice that was just a little desperate, as if her fear was washing her anger away. She rallied then.

Ronnie: His wife wouldn't like that.

"You did that little show with Anita to rub my face in the fact that I'm about to become monogamous. You're always doing shit like that."
"And how many times have you said, 'Oh, it's Anita's little stripper,' or 'pet stripper,' or 'how's tricks,' or my personal favorite, 'you're damned cute for a walking, talking, beefsteak,' or is that 'beefcake'?"
"Jesus, Nathaniel." I looked at Ronnie. "Did you say all that to him?"
The anger faded around the edges as she finally looked uncomfortable. "Maybe, but not like he makes it sound."
"Then why didn't you say it in front of me?" I asked. "If there was nothing wrong with saying it, why not in front of me?"

Because you'd start stalking her family again.

"Or me," Micah said, "I would have told you if she'd been saying things like that to Nathaniel."
"Why didn't you tell me, Nathaniel?" I asked.

Nathaniel: Because none of us can fight our own battles.

"I know why you call me names," he said, and he moved in closer, not touching, but invading the hell out of her personal space.
"I see the way you watch me. You want me, but not like Anita does.
You just want me for anight,

Of endless crotch-kicking?

or a weekend,

Of Gilbert Gottfried reading "Fallout Equestia" and it's Spin-offs.

or a month,

Of blindfolded geezer back-shaving.

then you'd be done like you're always done with everybody. I know why you don't want to commit to Louie."

I'd never seen him like this, relentless. I actually made a small move, as if I'd stop him, but Micah caught my eye, and shook his head. His face was serious, almost grim. I guess he was right. Nathaniel had earned this, and Ronnie had, too. But it wasn't going to end anywhere I wanted to be.
He said again, "I know why you don't want to commit to Louie."

Because he'll blow all your money on My Little Pony merchandise.

She said in a small, weak voice, "Why?"
"Because it torments you to know that you will never know how I am in bed."
"Oh," she said in a voice that was almost her own, "so I'm not wanting Louie because you're such a stud?"
"Not me, Ronnie, but the next me. The next guy you get obsessed about. Not love obsessed, but I-wonder-what-he'd-be-like-in-bed obsessed. And you've always been beautiful enough, hot enough, to get anyone you've ever wanted, right?"

Ha, ha. Blondies have no souls. Ha, ha.

She stared at him as if he were something horrible. He prompted her, "Right?"
She nodded, and whispered, "Yes."

"You knew Anita wasn't fucking me, so you thought if she didn't want me maybe it would be okay, but I didn't pick up on any of it.
I ignored the hints, so you started to get mean about it. Maybe you didn't even know why you were doing it."

Why does this feel like when Vercua Salt was screaming about how everyone was jealous of her when the factory workers couldn't find that golden ticket fast enough?

He leaned in so close that she moved back until her butt hit die cabinet, and she had nowhere else to go. "You kept belittling me in front of Anita, and worse behind her back, as if you'd convince her she didn't want to keep me. That I wasn't good enough to keep. Real enough to keep.

Except we don't get the satisfaction of watching him fall down a garbage chute.

Have you ever set your sights on anyone and not fucked them, at least once?"

There was that fleet of sailors...

She gave a little trembling shake of her head. She was biting her lower lip, and tears gleamed unshed in her eyes.
"Then suddenly, Anita is going to keep me, and you don't poach your friends' guys. That is a rule. You tJhought I was just food,

And her maid and her ego-booster and her attempts at domination play by author that doesn't have the proper knowledge...

and you could have me, at least once. Suddenly I'm a boyfriend, and it's against your rules to try for me, but you still wanted me. Just once. Just once to feel me inside you . . ."

I know he's good looking, but this is making me feel repulsed at the very thought.

I called it then. "Enough, Nathaniel, enough." My voice was shaky. This had gotten so ugly, so fast. How had I missed it? Natlianiel moved back from her slowly, and said, "I used to believe

Nathaniel: That the moon is the back of the sun.

in women like you, Ronnie. I used to think that anyone who wanted me that badly must love me, at least a little." He shook his head. "But people like you don't love anyone, not even themselves."

And I want it to be the trash chute in the 70's version of the film where there was a possibility that he could get incinerated.

"Natlianiel," Micah said, as if he'd been shocked by that one, too.
Nathaniel ignored him. "You need to find out what you're running from, Ronnie, before it ruins the best thing you've ever found."

The Oancitizen and Blockbuster Buster sex tape?

She spoke in a harsh whisper, "You mean Louie."
He nodded. "Yeah, I mean Louie. He loves you. He really, truly loves you, not just for a night, or a month, but for years. Part of you wants that or you wouldn't still be with him."
She swallowed hard enough that it sounded like it hurt. "I'm scared."

Ronnie: That you'll keep talking down to me like I'm some dumb kid.

He nodded, again. "What if you love him? What if you give him your whole heart and then he dumps you the way you dumped so many others?"
She gave that trembling nod of hers again. "Yes."
"You need help, Ronnie, professional help. I can recommend someone."

I'm now reminded of that episode of Spongebob called, "Boat Smarts", where Spongebob's constant recklessness causes Squidward to get into a terrible accident. Then he condescendingly tells Squidward that he "wasn't using his boat smarts."

I knew Nathaniel saw a therapist, but I'd never heard him talk about it with anyone before, not like this.
"I've been with her for a few years. She's good. She's helped me a lot."

By telling him that everything is his fault and prescribing sugar pills.

His face was gentler than it had been.
Ronnie looked at him as if he were the snake and she were the helpless little bird.
He went to the corkboard above the phone. There were business cards pinned to it; important numbers, notes. He took one of the cards down. He walked back over to Ronnie and held it out to her. "If she can't take you, she'll know someone good who can."
Ronnie took the card carefully, just by the corner as if she were afraid it would bite. She gave him wide, frightened eyes, but she put the card in her jeans pocket. She let out a deep breath, and turned to me.

Ronnie: I still hate you, Anita.

"I'm sorry, Anita. I'm sorry about everything." She looked at Nathaniel, then back at me. "And now I'm going to leave the mess behind and let you guys clean it up like I've always done. I am sorry." And she walked out. We all waited until we heard the door close behind her.
The three of us stood for a few seconds in silence, waiting for the shock waves to settle. But of course there were other problems than just Ronnie's issues.
Micah turned to me, and said, "Are we in a mess?"
"I'm not sure yet," I said.
"But you think you're pregnant?" he said.
I nodded. "I missed last month. I'd planned on finding out for sure before I told anyone." I sighed and crossed my arms under my breasts. "I haven't bought a pregnancy test, because I wasn't sure how to take it without one of you finding out."
Nathaniel came to stand beside me, but to one side so he wouldn't block my view of Micah. "Anita, you shouldn't have to go through this alone. At least one of us should be holding your hand while you wait for the little strip to turn colors."
looked up at him. "You sound like you've done this before."
"Once; she wasn't sure it was mine, but I was the only friend she had to hold her hand."
"I thought I was your first girlfriend."

Great now, Anita is going to get her vengeance upon her.

"She found out I'd never been with a girl, so she took care of it." His voice made it seem utterly matter-of-fact. "I wasn't very good at it, but she came up pregnant. It was probably one of her customers, but it could have been mine."
"Customers?" Micah made it a question.
"She was in the game, like I was then."
I knew "the game" meant she'd been a prostitute, but "the game" usually meant when he was on the street. He'd been off the street by sixteen. "How old were you?" I asked.

Durrr, 56.

"Thirteen," he said.
The look on my face made him laugh. "Anita, I'd never been with a girl, but I'd seen a lot of men. She thought I should know what it's like to be with a girl. She was my friend, protected me sometimes, when she could."
"How old was she?" Micah asked.
"Jesus," I said.
He smiled, that gentle, almost condescending smile that always let me know what a sheltered life I'd led.

Full of angst and step-mommy issues.

"And she got pregnant," Micah said, softly.
Nathaniel nodded. "The odds were that it wasn't mine. We had sex twice. Once so I could see if I liked it. The second time so I could get better at it." His face softened in a way I'd never seen before.
"You loved her," I said, voice as gentle as I could make it.
He nodded. "My first crush."
"What was her name?" Micah asked.

Valerie Solanas. Man, that explains a lot.

"Jeanie, her name was Jeanie."
I almost didn't ask, but it was the most he'd ever talked about that part of his life, so I asked. "What happened?"
"I held her hand while the test turned positive. Her pimp paid for an abortion. I went with her. Me, and another girl." He shrugged, and the soft light faded in his eyes. "She couldn't have kept it. I knew that. We all knew it." He looked suddenly sad, lost.
I wanted to take that lost look out of his eyes, so I hugged him, and he let me, and he hugged me back.

This might be touching if I felt any emotion for these characters other than hate.

"What happened to Jeanie?" Micah asked.
He stiffened in my arms, and I knew then it would not be a good answer. "She died. She got into the wrong car one night, and the date killed her."
I hugged him tighter. "I am so sorry, Nathaniel."
He hugged me, one fierce, tight hug, then he moved back enough to see my face. "I was thirteen and she was fifteen. We were street hookers. We were both drug addicts. There wasn't going to be a baby." His eyes were so serious. "I'm twenty, and you're twenty-seven. We both have good jobs, money, a house. I've been clean for three, almost four years."
I pulled back from him. "What are you saying?"

That he thinks the string theory is pure bullshit.

"I'm saying we have choices, Anita. Choices that I didn't have the last time."
My pulse was in my throat, threatening to choke me. "Even if I am—" and it took me two tries to say—"pregnant, I'm not sure I'm keeping it. You understand that, right?" My chest was so tight I could barely breathe.
"It's your body," he said. "I respect that. I'm just saying that we have more than one way to go here, that's all. It has to be mostly your choice."

Damn it, Laurel K Hamilton, get off your soapbox and get back to writing this story.

"Yes," Micah said, "you're the woman, and like it or not, the final choice has to be yours."
"Your body, your choice," Nathaniel said, "but we need a pregnancy test.
We need to know."
"We're running late now," I said. "You guys need to shower and we have to go to Jean-Claude's place."
"Can you really just go to the cocktail party with this hanging over us?" Nathaniel asked.
"I have to."

Anita: Other wise, all the other women will not know who to be jealous meanies to.

He shook his head. "It's fashionable to be late, and once he knows why, Jean-Claude won't mind."
"But. . .," I said.
"He's right," Micah said, "or am I the only one that thinks I would go crazy smiling and nodding tonight, and not knowing?"
I hugged myself tighter. "But what if it's positive, what if..."I couldn't even finish it.
"Then we'll deal with it," Micah said.
"Whatever happens, Anita, it will be okay. I promise," Nathaniel said.
It was my turn to look into his face and realize how young he was. We were only seven years apart in age, but they could be an important seven years. He promised it would be all right, but some promises you can't keep no matter how hard you try.
That tight feeling climbed up my throat and spilled out my eyes. I started to cry, and couldn't stop it. Nathaniel wrapped his arms around me, held me against his body, and a moment later Micah moved in behind me. They both held me, while I cried my fear and confusion and anger at myself. Self-loathing didn't even begin to cover it.
When the crying slowed, and I could breathe without hiccuping, Nathaniel said, "I'll go out and get the test. Micah can shower while I'm gone. I should be back in time to clean up and we'll only be a little late."
I pushed myself away, enough to see his face. "But what if it's a yes, I mean how can I go to the party if it's a yes?"

Easily, just get really liquored up first.

Micah leaned over my shoulder, putting his face next to mine. "You don't want to know," he said, "because you'll find it easier to pretend tonight, if you don't know."
I nodded, my cheek sliding against his.
"I'll get the test," Nathaniel said, "and we'll use it later tonight, after the party. But we are getting one, or two, to take with us." For someone who was supposed to be a submissive his voice held no compromise. It was simple fact.
"What if someone finds it in our stuff?" I asked.

Tell him it's none of his business and go on your way.

"Anita, you're going to have to tell Jean-Claude and Asher sometime," Nathaniel said.
"Only if it's positive," I said.
He gave me a look, but nodded. "Okay, only if it's positive."
Positive. It seemed like such the wrong word. If I was pregnant it was definitely a negative. A really big, scary negative.

"Lying: It's the responsible thing to do."-Louie, Ducktales (2017)

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Re: The Danse Macabre (a mocking)

Post by Yaoi Huntress Earth » Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:01 am

AN HOUR AND a half later we were parked in the employee lot behind the Circus of the Damned.

So don't expect something cool like a botched Beholder-taming act where the monster breaks free during the party, kills a bunch of master vampires and starts a war between all the undead groups in the tri-state area.

Nathaniel had helped me with my eye shadow.

Nataniel: See, you have to cake it on. If there are drag queens telling you to tone it down, you're on the right path.

He could blend about a dozen different colors and make it look like I wasn't wearing anything, yet make my eyes look amazing. He did his own eyes for the stage, so he had the practice. My dress was actually a skirt outfit. Black, stiff material, so that the gun in its holster at the small of my back didn't show through the dark cloth. Nor did the knife in its spine sheath. My hair hid the hilt. I'd left my cross in the glove compartment, because the chances of no one "accidentally" using vamp powers on me tonight were between zero and nothing. Yeah, they were our "friends" but they were still Masters of the City, and I was

The character we're supposed to like, but instead wish would get a really bad case of Montezuma's Revenge.

the Executioner. Someone wouldn't be able to resist trying me out, just a little. Like someone who shakes your hand too hard. But this "handshake" could make the cross burn against my skin. I did not want another cross-shaped burn scar.
Both the men were in Italian-cut suits, tailored to their bodies. Nathaniel was in black with a lavender shirt shades paler than his eyes. His tie was rich, purple silk. He'd braided his hair, so that it gave the illusion that his hair was short, until you saw the braid waving around his ankles. His black leather shoes gleamed, the cuffed pants long enough to hide the fact that he wore no socks.

For he believed that wearing them would automatically turn him into a greasy, annoying guy named Elmer who likes to eat his own ear wax.

Micah was in charcoal gray with a thin black pinstripe. His shirt was a green with yellow undertones, almost the same shade as his eyes. Depending on how the light hit the shirt it brought out either the green or the yellow of his eyes, so that the color of his eyes changed with almost every breath. It was a nice effect. I was wearing jogging shoes, but there was a pair of four-inch black heels in the overnight bag. Four-inch spikes, with open heels, and laces that wrapped around my ankles. When Jean-Claude couldn't persuade me into a skimpier outfit for the night, we'd compromised with the totally impractical shoes. Though strangely, they weren't uncomfortable. They looked like they should have been, but they weren't. Either that, or I was getting better at walking in high heels. Jean-Claude's fault. I'd put the shoes on when we reached the bottom of the stairs, before we saw our guests.
I had a key to the new back door of the Circus of the Damned. No more waiting around for someone to let us inside.

Because she's that damn special.

Yea! I'd actually turned the key and felt the lock click over, when the door started opening inward. Security was pretty good at the Circus of late, since we'd made a deal with the local wererats.

To never mention them in this series ever again, so far the promise has not been kept.

But it wasn't a wererat that opened the door; it was a werewolf.
Graham was tall enough and muscular enough to make it impossible to move through the door without brushing him. He stood for a moment looking down at me, at us, I guess, though it felt more personal than that. His perfectly straight black hair managed to fall decoratively over his brown eyes, and still be very, very short on the bottom, so the strong line of his neck was left bare and strangely tempting.

Anita: Mmmmm. Unpopped zits.

His eyes tilted up at the edges, and I now knew that he had his Japanese mother's eyes and hair, but the rest of him seemed to have been copied from his ex-navy and very Nordic-looking father.
Graham was the only one of the lycanthropes I'd ever known to have his parents visit his place of work. Since his usual job was security at Guilty Pleasures, a vampire and furry strip club, that had been an interesting night.
I thought for a moment Graham would stay in the doorway and make me push past him.

She's the Mary-Sue, damn it!

I think for a moment, so did he. I was almost sure he would have moved, given us room, but Micah stepped up, just a little in front of me. "Give us some room, Graham." He didn't say it mean, or even call any of that otherworldly energy. He even made it a little bit of a request, but Graham's face darkened just the same.
I watched Graham think about it. Think about not moving. He was already dressed in what all die security would be wearing tonight;

Short-shorts and lacy poet shirts.

black slacks, black T-shirt, though the shirt should probably have been a size larger. The one he was wearing looked like it was having trouble holding on, as if one flex too many and it would shred. Micah looked fragile beside him.
Micah let down some of his careful control. He let just a whisper of the power that lived inside him breathe rfirough the night. My skin shivered with it. His voice came lower, deeper, an edge of growl to it.
"We are Nimir-Raj and Nimir-Ra and you are not. Move."

Graham: We already have a Mary-Sue in here, anymore would cause the entire building to spontaneously combust.

"I am wolf and not leopard; you have no audiority over me." He actually tensed, as if he were bracing for the fight.
I'd had enough. "But I have authority over you, Graham," I said.
His eyes did not move from Micah, as if I weren't a threat. There were so many reasons Graham had not made the leap from bodyguard to breakfast snack for me.

He wasn't a bishie with no life outside of Anita.

His ignoring me pissed me off, and the first thread of anger brought my own version of the beast. That warm, prickling thread of power breathed over my skin and danced around the men around me.

I was not a true shapeshifter, because I couldn't shift, but I carried four different strains of ly-canthropy in my bloodstream. If you catch one type of lycanthropy, it pro-tects you from any other strain. You can't carry more than one disease at a time, but I did.

All aboard the Sue-Train everyone. Whoo-whoo!

A medical impossibility, but blood tests don't lie. I carried wolf, leopard, lion, and one mystery strain that the doctors couldn't identify running through my veins.

I know which strain it is, but here's a hint: it is not werecockroach, wererat, wereboar or anything that isn't traditionally pretty or romantic.

That, and some metaphysical impossibilities, meant I had power to call. Power to use, up to a point.
Nathaniel rubbed his arms and said, "Easy, Anita."
He was right. Because I couldn't shift, it was possible to call the beast, but impossible to finish the call, so it was like having a seizure.

At least that's something for a weakness. *shrugs shoulders*

Not pleasant, and I'd ruin the dress. But I was tired of Graham. Tired of him in so many ways. The energy had made him look at me, and for trie first time I saw him remember that I was something besides a piece of ass he wanted, and hadn't had, yet.
"I am the lupa of your pack, Graham, until Richard picks another mate." I stepped up, and Micah moved back so I could do it. I kept moving, pushing my power into that tall, muscular body, so that it was Graham who moved out of my way.

How cute, she's trying to be macho.

"But I will always be Bolverk of the Thronnos Rokke Clan, Graham. I will always be the doer of evil deeds for your Ulfric, your wolf king. I am the executioner of bad little werewolves who don't remem-ber their place. I think you've forgotten that."

Graham, I will totally put out for you if you punch this little bitch in the face.

I'd backed him up among the boxes in the storeroom. His head actually hit the lone light that hung from the ceiling. The light swung and filled the room with shadows, and darkness. I could feel that part of me that had begun life as Richard's beast, but now, somehow, was mine, pacing just below the surface of my mind. It was as if my body were a cage in the zoo, and my beast paced the narrow confines of its prison. Paced, and did not like it. Trapped, so trapped, and so wanting to break free.

In a way, was this whole scene really necessary? (Other than to show how "tough" Anita is.) Come on, you'd think Jean-Claude would've told him ahead of time to let her in.

I staggered. Micah and Nathaniel caught me before Graham could reach me. Micah growled, "Don't touch her!"
Nathaniel said, "She's called wolf; if another wolf touches her right now, it will make it harder to control."
I clung to them, my two cats. I put my face against the warmth of Micah's neck, and drew in a deep breath of his scent.

Anita: Goddamnit, Micah, you promised you'd starting bathing more than once a month!

But underneath the warm scent of him, the sweetness of his cologne, was the nose-wrinkling musk of leopard. It helped chase back the wolf, helped me fight free before things got out of hand.
Graham dropped to his knees, head bowed. "Forgive me, lupa, I forgot myself."

Graham: That you pretty much metaphorically castrated every attractive man in this series.

"Size doesn't make you dominant, Graham, power does. You are submissive to me in our pack. You are always submissive to Micah, because he is the leader of another people that has a treaty with the wolves. You will treat him accordingly or it will not be as lupa that I talk to you next, but as Bolverk."
He looked up, startled, as if he hadn't expected me to say that last.

Yep, totally written to satisfy the author's mix of ego and insecurity.

He'd been playing, and I'd upped the stakes so high he didn't like the game anymore. Maybe if I hadn't been so tense about the maybe-baby I wouldn't have invoked Bolverk, or maybe I was just tired of Graham.
Once Nathaniel moved from pomme de sang to my animal to call, then I'd needed a new pomme de sang. As my animal to call he was bound metaphysically too close to be just food. Jean-Claude and some of the other vamps had put their heads together and finally realized that there was a reason that an animal to call, human servant, and pomme de sang are three separate jobs.

One fights your battles for you when author is trying to make you less bitchy, another is tied to a guy who dresses like an Army of Lovers reject and the third is something that doesn't get perfectly explained.

The first two are so closely bound to you metaphysically that though they can feed you, it's a little like eating your own arm. You can do it, but it has a price. It fills your belly, but it also takes energy from other places. It was actually Elinore, one of the vamps we invited in from England to join our vampire kiss,

That is such a lame term for a group of vampires.

who figured out why I was having to feed so often from all my men. Because almost all the men I was feeding the ardeur from were bound to me metaphysically—Jean-Claude as my master, Richard as my Ulfric and Jean-Claude's animal to call. We were a triumvirate of power, but we needed fuel from outside that triumvirate sometimes. I'd accidentally made another triumvirate of power with Nathaniel as my animal to call, and Damian as my vampire servant (another impossibility), and again they weren't a complete meal. So no matter how much I "fed" off any of them, I just didn't stay filled up.

Asher, Jean-Claude's second-in-command, and our sweetie, was a full meal. Requiem would probably have been a full meal if I'd allowed myself to have full-blown intercourse with him. Byron had been emergency food, and frankly just wasn't enough my type to be a permanent part of my bedroom. He enjoyed sex with me, but he liked boys better. I don't mind not being someone's main squeeze, but being the wrong sex, that just made my head hurt.
Jason, Jean-Claude's pomme de sang, was great, but he couldn't feed both me and Jean-Claude every day. I needed to find someone else to fill the spot, or maybe a couple of someones, until I got more control of the ardeur.

That's four extra guys which means she's got about two hands worth of guys she's banging.

Graham had been one of the local men that Jean-Claude had encouraged me to "interview" as my new pomme de sang. Jean-Claude thought that if I'd "interview" them a little more intimately, I'd have a new pomme by now. He'd called me stubborn. Asher had called me foolish, to refuse to sample such bounty.

Come on, Anita's a "nice girl", not like that slut, Ronnie. *busts up laughing*

Maybe it was foolish. I hadn't told Ronnie that all the men in my life had given me a short list of other men to try out. She'd have freaked even worse than she already had, because if Louie had been that generous with her, she'd have been a happy camper. But Ronnie wasn't me, and what might have made her happy just seemed to confuse me.

Of all the men who had come to my bed, to sleep and cuddle, Graham had been the most pushy. He'd made it clear he wanted more from me than I wanted to give. Of course, if I hadn't been so stubborn, he'd be in the running for would-be daddy. The thought made me cold down to my toes.

Anita: Someone who might not totally suck at being a father? Nooooooooooo!

Let's hear it for not fucking everyone who bunks over.
"I beg forgiveness, lupa." His face still showed the shock of hearing me invoke Bolverk, but the words were not begging words.

After all, he failed Groveling 101 at that Mary-Sue University.

Not really. To beg forgiveness among the wolves meant only one thing—

You're a bigger wuss than Shinji Ikari.

something closer and more intimate than I wanted from Graham—but if I refused the gesture, then it would be a breach between us, one that could grow and eventually harm Richard's pack. Shit.
"Then beg, Graham."

Anita: And tell me that I'm nothing like those Barbie-bitches in my high school who looked down on me because I had so much more "inner beauty" than they did.

My words didn't come out uncomfortable, they came out angry. Anger was always my shield. I was trying to learn other things to hide behind, but anger was still my tried and true, and for that moment, it worked.
He stood, and standing he towered over me. So broad, so muscled, so big, but there was fear in his face.

I take that back, he'd be a suck father, too.

Finally, he believed that I might, if he pissed me off enough, hurt him. That I might have the right to hurt him. It was not a bad thing to see fear on his face. He was overdue for it. We'd tried being nice,

Silly Ms. Hamilton, that's not how you spell "bully".

Micah, Nathaniel, and me, but some people won't take nice treatment. If a person won't take nice, there are always alternatives. He could have used the submissive gesture to take me in his arms, but he did it the way it had been shown to me. He touched my face lightly with his fingers,

Graham: Damn, you still exist.

just enough to steady himself. If we'd been in public he would have laid a very light kiss against my lips, but we weren't in public so it got to be more interesting. He leaned over me, and the prelude was too like a kiss for my comfort.
It made me want to back up, but I was dominant to him. A dominant does not back away from a submissive, no matter how much bigger he is. It's not about size and strength. It's about

Who can get to the mafia to rough the other guy up first.

who's tougher, and no matter how big he was, Graham was not the toughest person in the room. Not even close.
He bent down, and down, his mouth hovering over mine so that I could feel his breath warm against my lips. I think even at the last second he thought about stealing the kiss I'd never allowed him, but he thought better of it. He did what he was supposed to do, though frankly the kiss would have been less embarrassing. In some ways, at least.
He was supposed to lick across my lower lip. It was a version of the gesture a submissive wolf uses toward a dominant.

Can't we just have the spanking machine instead?

It's based on the food-begging behavior of wolf pups. But saying all that didn't change the fact that his fingers were gentle against my face, and his breath was warm against my mouth.
The tip of his tongue touched my lip, and slid across it. Wet, glid-ing, sensual, wetter than the first real kiss should be. Wet, as if I'd taken a drink of wine and spilled just a little across my lower lip. Just enough so that I had to lick across my lip in an echo of what he had just done to me. As if I were drinking down the touch of his mouth.
He shivered, his breath trembling on the air. "That was nice."
"It was supposed to be you begging the forgiveness of your pack's lupa," I said, but my voice was a little shaky, and not nearly firm enough.
He gave a quick smile, the one that ruined the hip-tough-guy image, and made him look his age. Graham had yet to see twenty-five.

Because guys over 30 are icky.

"I do ask forgiveness, but it's still the most you've ever let me touch you."
I shook my head and pushed past him. Micah and Nathaniel followed me. Nathaniel was carrying the overnight bag that held, among other things, the pregnancy tests. I knew when he came out of the store with them why I'd put off buying them. It made the whole problem more real. Stupid, but it did.
"You've slept in the same bed with me, Graham," I called back over my shoulder as I headed for the big door that led underground.
"Sleeping's not what I want," he said.
I stopped at the door, and just turned and stared at him. The other men moved to either side to let me see him better.
Graham looked at me, his eyes peeking through the silky fringe of his overly long bangs. It always made me think of an animal peering at me through the grass. The upper layer hadn't been this long when I met him.
"I do not need your shit tonight, Graham."
"Why are you always mad at me?"

Anita: Because you voted for Jill Stein.

"I am not always mad at you, Graham."
"If you're not mad at me, then why don't you like me better?"
"I don't dislike you, Graham, I just don't want to fuck you.

Which is what I say to every guy I friendzone. (And yes, every single one of them was also named Graham.)

I'm allowed not to fuck you, even though you want to fuck me."
"Don't fuck me then, just feed the ardeur off me. Feed it the way you fed off Nathaniel for months without intercourse."
I shook my head. "I don't want to introduce the passion of the ardeur to someone I'm not keeping. It's cruel."
"The ardeur is the greatest orgasmic experience that any of the vampire lines can give to a mortal."

Thus people in the Anitaverse only have value when it comes to sex and sucking up. (Unless they're other women.)

Graham's face was full of such eagerness, his hands reaching out to the air as if he could draw the ardeur out of it, and hug it to him. "I just want to know what it feels like. The real deal, not the little tastes I've had by accident. Why is that wrong, Anita? Why is it wrong to want that?"
"She's afraid you'll become addicted," Micah said, voice soft.
Graham shook his head. "I've never been addicted to anything in my life."

Except for Fruit Roll-Ups and cheap cigars.

"Lucky you," Nathaniel said.
"Please, Anita, don't go to strangers to feed the ardeur. Don't go to strangers when there are people right here who would do almost anything to feed your need."

Anita: But strangers don't know about my emotional baggage and are easier to manipulate!

I made an exasperated sound, almost a scream of frustration, and went for the door. I opened it and we headed down the stone steps that led down, down, to the actual home of the Master of the City.
The steps were too wide, too something, as if they'd been carved for something that didn't walk on two feet. The stairs were always awkward, which was why I was still in jogging shoes. Micah took my hand anyway, and I let him. If it looked to Graham like I was needing help down the stairs, fuck him, or rather don't. I needed the comfort of touch tonight. Nathaniel stayed on my other side,

Where she pushed him down the stairs and laughed when he snapped his neck.

but didn't try to take my right hand in his. I'd need that hand for the gun or the blade. Yeah, these vamps were supposed to be Jean-Claude's friends. But they weren't my friends, not yet.
We were at the landing just before the stairs took a turn. It was a blind turn, but if you hugged the far wall, you didn't stay blind for long.
"Wait," Graham said, "please, wait. I should go first."

Man, this guy is pathetic.

We all turned and watched him walk the few steps down to us. He gave a smile that was almost nervous. "I am the bodyguard, remember?"
I looked him up and down, and said, "Are you carrying?"
He sighed. "No. Richard says

There should be no action because the author personally "promised Anita she'd never kill someone she loved ever again."

we're dangerous enough without guns."
I shook my head. "Not if everyone else has them, Graham. Silver bullets don't let you get close."
He shrugged those massive shoulders. "Richard is Ulfric; if you want to change policy, take it up with him. I'm just doing what I'm told."
I sighed. I loved Richard, really I did, but we had some serious differences of opinion.
Graham eased past us, but stopped on the step below the landing. He looked up, but not like he was happy. "I was hoping that Jean-Claude would have joined us by now."

Nah, he's too busy making himself look even more ridiculous than he already does.

I gave him a look. "What do you mean, joined us? Jean-Claude is waiting downstairs with our guests, right?"
He shook his head. "There was an emergency upstairs."
"Asher is managing the Circus; he should be able to take care of any emergencies."
Graham licked his lips.

No, Graham, Anita is not filled with delicious marshmallow fluff.

"I don't know the details, because I was left down here to wait for you, but Meng Die did something. Something that made Asher call for Jean-Claude to help him."
Meng Die was a petite Chinese doll, or that's what she looked like. But she, like me, didn't really match the packaging. She'd been the second-in-command in San Francisco, before Jean-Claude called in all the vamps he'd made in this country to help bolster his defenses. Her master had been happy to let her go, because

She wouldn't perform "the Alabama Hot Pocket."

she'd been nights away from a palace revolt that would have left him dead and her in charge. In fact, he wouldn't take her back, though Jean-Claude had offered.
Meng Die wanted to be Jean-Claude's second-in-command, but that was Asher's job. Then all the vamps had come from London after their master went crazy and had to be killed. Suddenly Meng Die was just another master vampire in a kiss that was lousy with master vamps.

Because she's a silly woman; only Anita can do anything right.

She was powerful enough to be third, or maybe even second, but temperamentally, she wasn't suited to be that close to any throne. Too dangerous. Too ambitious.
"What the hell did she do now?" I asked.
Graham shrugged. "I don't know."
"I thought you were almost her pomme de sang" Nathaniel said.
"I was," he said.
"You don't seem too worried about her."

Graham: Even I'm not that much of a doormat.

He shrugged those big shoulders. "She keeps promising to make me, or Clay, her pomme de sang, but she never makes the decision. She was still fucking Requiem, too, until he started turning her down."
"Requiem isn't sharing Meng Die's bed anymore?" I asked.
I frowned. "Did he find a new girlfriend?"
Graham licked his lips again. "Sort of."
"I know that look, Graham, that's your I-have-more-bad-news-and-I-don't-want-to-tell-it look. Spill it, all of it."
He sighed again. "Damn it, if you're not my girlfriend you shouldn't be able to read me that easily."
It was my turn to shrug. "Just tell me."
"Requiem thinks that the reason you've turned him down as your new pomme de sang is because he was fucking Meng Die. He said you're not a woman who shares your men."

Yet she's allowed to bang any guy she wants without question. I think it's time to take off your hypocrite panties, Anita.

I didn't know whether to scream, or curse, or laugh. "Did he tell Meng Die that?" I asked.
"I don't know. He told me. He told Clay."
"Did you tell Meng Die?" I asked.
He shook his head. "I am not that stupid. She takes bad news a hell of a lot worse than you do."
"Is Clay that stupid?" I asked.

Is everyone in this chapter totally unlikable?

"Requiem told her," Micah said, voice soft.
We all looked at him. "You know that?" I asked.
He shook his head. "But it would be something he would do, not to cause trouble, but to be honest with her."
I thought about it, then had to agree. "Damn, he would. I wonder if he told her recently?"
"Did you turn her down?" Nathaniel asked Graham.
He gave the quick grin again. "No. She may not hold the ardeur, but the sex is still amazing. I've done vamps before, but never Belle Morte's blood-line. If Meng Die is an example of what they have to offer in bed, then my new goal in life is to be one of their pommes de sang."
"I thought you wanted to be Anita's pomme," Nathaniel said.

Graham: But she's a big meanie.

Graham looked a little startled, as if he'd said more than he'd meant to say. "If Anita would feed the ardeur off me, just once, I might never look at another woman, but until she does..." He let the sentence fade, but it summed up why Graham was not a strong contender for me. He didn't really want me, he wanted the ardeur.
If any of the other female vamps from London had held the ardeur, he'd have chased them instead of me, or as well as me. Not very flattering—to him, or to me.
"Until I do, you're keeping your options open," I said.
He shrugged. "I gave all my options up for Meng Die, and she kept Clay and Requiem

Why does that sound like a name that a 90's goth kid would name their OC?

on her string. I shared her with Clay in a way I've never shared anyone." He looked sad for a moment, then it passed. I wasn't sure if it passed because his sorrow was that shallow, or he had pushed it away. "Anita isn't going to give up all of you guys for me. Why should I give up everyone else just for a chance to be in her bed? I mean, just for a chance, not even the certainty of it."
"I didn't ask Requiem to sacrifice his libido to me."

Can we just get to the party and the ever bigger amounts of ass-kissing Anita's going to get?

"You never ask anyone to give up other people for you, but if they don't, you don't sleep with them," Graham said.
And that was a little closer to the truth than I wanted to hear. I hadn't asked Requiem to give up Meng Die, but the fact that he was fucking her had been a point against him. Why? One, because I simply did not like her. Two, Graham was right, I didn't share my men. Not with other women.

They might give those guys cooties.

The fact that I then expected them to share me with about half a dozen other men, well. . . Not fair. Not fair at all."

Chapter 4 is next; wish me luck.
"Lying: It's the responsible thing to do."-Louie, Ducktales (2017)

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Re: The Danse Macabre (a mocking)

Post by StabbyKobold » Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:14 pm

Chapter 1:
Pregnancy scare followed by the titular character comparing bedpost notches with her friend, who in a bout of jealousy insinuates Anita is a whore for sleeping around while having succubus syndrome. Anita's boy toys arrive and cucks Ronnie until she let's the 'baby' issue slip.

Chapter 2:
Ronnie gets chewed out for objectifying Nathaniel, when Anita herself calls him her 'special pet'. Nathaniel then browbeats Ronnie into confessing to being a weak slave to her urges, until the literal sex addict pulls on his leash to call him off. Ronnie is sent away, and they get sidetracked into backstory about sordid pasts of underage prostitution and drug addiction.

Chapter 3:
Three consecutive paragraphs describing Anita and her male escorts, another one to eyefuck the bouncer. Anita then explains how she has four incompatible strains of lycanthropy, and these moon affected STDs makes her powerful enough to cower the bouncer. She then excuses away why she gets to sleep around with other men than her live-in beefcakes, because metaphysical sex food from two feedback loops is somehow insufficient.
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Re: The Danse Macabre (a mocking)

Post by ConcernedGamer » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:55 pm

I have many questions, but these are the most grating ones.

Is there going to be any part of this that will not revolve around sex and how it pertains to the protagonist?

Will every new eye-candy get an elaborate or alluded backstory info-dump, to pretend they are not only there to be drooled at for being buff and in suits or lack thereof?

Will the author realize My Immortal had less wardrobe porn?

Anita certainly deserves her multi-strain lycanthropy because I've seen her be nothing but a bitch to everyone around her, including a complete lack of respect for her boy-toys, when it comes to involving them in something that will affect their lives with her. For all the wedged-in exposition, dumped like vampires and were-people fed off of gossip, meant to guide whatever poor sap who'd pick this up as the first read, I see no attempt to mention a redeemable trait for Anita.

I know ten times more details on the requirements to connect with this flat, distasteful character's genitals than anything else about her combined. If it wasn't because this piece of cardboard was a nymphomaniac, I wouldn't know her likes and dislikes at this point.

Nice job on the mocking. I find that your style maybe should inspire me to try and make more casual jokes in my own mocks.

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