Disclaimer – I claim no rights to copyrighted materials. I Do Not own any of the characters, mythology, etc.. of Buffy the Vampire slayer or Anita Blake. Anita and all her friends were given to us by the lovely Laurell K. Hamilton. Buffy and her friends belong to Joss Whedon and any of the many networks that broadcast it (i.e. Mutant Enemy, the WB, etc) I write this for fun and receive no financial gain for it.
A/N – Alright so a quick run down of where this story will be set before we begin. For the characters of the Anita-verse this will take place just after Incubus Dreams but before Micah (sort of in those grey in between months that we have between nearly every novel). With that said, the story its self should fill in any other blanks, enjoy!
Anita sat in her office at Animator Inc. and tried to understand how her life had gotten so complicated. She’d been doing just fine before when she’d had nothing but her work and her stuffed penguins for company, she really had been, swear. Then came Jean-Claude bursting into her life in all his sexy glory, but like a good little Christian girl she’d resisted his temptation, it took every ounce of her will power to do it but she’d done it. It wasn’t until she’d stopped running from him and started running towards him that her life had truly become something worth living. She’d been existing before him, and now she was experiencing so much more than she ever had before. Only problem with experiencing life, was that it seemed that there was such a thing as experiencing too much, and boy was she experiencing more than her fair share.
In an effort to over look Mr. tall dark and sexy she’d run head long into Richard, the equally sexy and unfortunately equally infuriating werewolf. Thus her complicated love life had begun, and right on its heels her complicated rest of her life. She’d thought that she and Richard could be together, just the two of them, in wedded suburban bliss. Richard would have been right at home in the 1950’s, he believed in all those good old American values, unfortunately their lives didn’t really have room in them for any values much less the good old American ones. He didn’t believe in sharing (or at least he hadn’t), and now that she had the aurdeu riding her every waking hour of the day, monogamy just wasn’t an option anymore. If it ever was one to begin with. Looking back on it now she winced at her own naivety, to think that she and Richard would have ever worked out as a unit together. They just didn’t work well as a single set of two, they would always need someone else in the mix to play referee if not more. Now that they were tentatively back together, if not as they were before, she didn’t know if she really wanted it to work or not. With Richard came baggage and guilt and she was already weighted down enough as it is.
The two of them had been more than enough complication for her, they were it, she was done. Then had come Nathaniel, and he’d been a whole new level of complicated all his own. She still remembered how she’d felt about him when they’d first met. He’d been such a victim that she’d seen helping him as more of her good deed for the century than anything else. He was a sort of karmic counter balance to all the wickedness she’d caused in the rest of her life. Her blood soaked career as the Executioner was enough to put her in the devil’s good books. She’d seen helping Nathaniel become more independent as her sort of penance, and it had worked, unfortunately with his independence came his desires for a different sort of relationship between them. Adding another level to the hell that is her life. She still couldn’t figure out exactly how she’d let herself be persuaded to take her relationship with Nathaniel to the next step, she was pleading temporary insanity, but for now it seemed to be working. She wouldn’t rock the boat without a damn good reason, she’d promised.
Somewhere between Nathaniel and Richard had come Micah. Her saving grace, the yen to her yang. He was everything she wasn’t. Calm, patient, understanding, he balanced her in the way that she balanced everyone else. He was someone who after his initial problems with his pard when he first came to town didn’t need her to be the strong one in the equation. Micah could take care of himself, and unlike Richard he didn’t expect her to do all the dirty work so his own hands could remain lilly white in the process; and unlike Jean-Claude he didn’t match her ruthlessness and push her to new depths of her own inner hell. He was just there for her without expectations and without pushing for more than she could give him, but with him came more complication.
Unfortunately the list didn’t stop there for the complications in her life, it went on and on seemingly endless. Damian, Asher, the increasing number of new vampires flocking into town, the Leopard Pard, the Wolf Pack, the Shifter Coalition, Malcolms unbonded vampires, her issues with RPIT (or more specifically its sergeant)…
The ringing of her office phone cut off her train of thought before she could go too deeply down the rabbit hole. Silently thanking whoever it was on the other end she snatched it up like the lifeline that it was.
“Anita, we got a body we need you to come down and look at.” Good old Dolph, they’d been good friends once upon a time, before he began to hate the monsters and she began to become one of them. She thought about asking questions, of trying to get more information about the scene, but decided against it. That route would only lead to frustration and anger, with no new answers at the end of it.
“Where?” That question at least she knew he’d answer.
“The old abandoned salt refinery off the highway.” The dial tone sounded in her ear before she could even think to respond, what was it with men and their lack of phone etiquette. Was it genetic? A gender thing? Or just the men she knew? Maybe she brought it out in them, either way it seems she was needed. Grabbing her things she headed out from one job to the next, all thoughts of her home life forgotten.
A/N – So that’s the prologue, drop me a line and tell me what you think. We’ll see the crime scene and get some more details in the next chapter. Faith won’t show up until chapter 6 (if everything goes as planned), but I’m still not sure about which Faith I want to use (season 3 wild child, post chosen adult faith, or somewhere in between) feel free to weigh in with your opinion, I could use all the help I can get.