Sunday, October 3, 2010

Night of the Hunter

Same 'verse as Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting) and Ain't No Rest For the Wicked; sequel to Howl


"What the bloody fuck are you doing just sitting there?" demanded Paul as he stormed into the apartment he and Sarah had shared for nearly four years. She was just sitting cross-legged on a cushioned footstool with her head tilted back, eyes closed, and her fingers clasped around the cross she'd worn since he'd met her so many years before.

Sarah's serene expression didn't flicker as she calmly responded, "Praying."

"Praying," repeated Paul coolly. He snarled and a burst of wild magic caused the flour and sugar containers on the kitchen counter to explode to puffs of white. "You're praying while Devin is out there?! The hell are you praying for that's more bloody important than your brother?"

"Revenge," answered Sarah, her voice dropping into a cooler octave that signaled she was getting angry. "He's gone and that woman has to pay."

Paul scowled then stormed across the room, gripping her face in both hands and hissing, "Look at me, Sarah. Look at me." When her eyes - the pretty blue eyes he'd fallen in love with, the eyes that had given it away that she wasn't related to Devin with his amber gaze and their parents matching blues - opened to meet his, he was torn between screaming and crying. He gathered himself though, settled into calm, and spoke in an even voice.

"He's not gone," he insisted in a rough voice. "Not yet. Maybe he's gotten lost but he's not out of our reach yet and you know that. There's nothing to avenge yet."

"How do you know?" asked Sarah as she stared up at him. Tears stared to well in her eyes as she continued, "You didn't fall asleep every night when he was little and started crying because he wanted to kill something. Or see him that first time!"

Paul shook his head and answered, "No." He was aware of the first time Devin had let what he called the Wild take over though and he completely understood wanting to protect Sarah when some fucking bully was trying to rape her. "But I think I know my best friend since grade school."

Then his hands slipped from her face to fall to her hands where they rested in her lap. He could feel the chain that held her cross pressing against his skin as he folded his larger fingers around hers and added, "And this isn't something you need to pray for."

Sarah stiffened and Paul lifted his head to meet eyes now glaring at him angrily. She tried to pull her hands away from his as she snarled, "So what am I supposed to pray for?"

"Getting Devin back. For Niamh to get her dues. But not for revenge."

As she continued to glare, he shook his head and said, "Sarah, the reason I fell in love with you, the reason why Dev wants to protect you so badly, is because you're the gentlest person we know. You're what kept him sane all those years when he didn't know what he was and thought he would be rejected by his family." Paul paused then finished, "And you're what kept me from going off the magical deep end a few times."

She just frowned at him and he sighed, looking for a better way to explain it.

"Love, Dev's a werewolf and the general consensus is that's a bad thing. Most people would rather see his head mounted on their wall than on his shoulders." Paul paused to see if she had gotten it but judging by her frown she still hadn't yet so he continued. "Much as we might pretend otherwise, we all know the proper term for me is warlock and that doesn't tend bring up happy feelings. I'm a little too willing to walk the darker paths to be a wizard."

"You're what holds us together," he kept on, tightening his grip on her hands as he prayed that she saw what he was trying to say. He didn't believe in God like she did but he hoped that whatever answered her prayers and gave her her power might lend an ear to a warlock just once. "Dev would have lost himself to the Wild a lot time ago if it weren't for you. And I'd probably be worse than dead from going too far into the Black. You're our connection to what's good, Sarah. It's you and only you that keeps us steady and let's us fight against our own nature."

Sarah's frown deepened at that and she intoned softly, "Everyone can fight against their own nature."

Paul sighed at that and shook his head. "They need a reason to though. Trust me, love, I know what I'm saying. I've given in to the darkness before and it doesn't let go once you've gotten a taste. I can pull back because of you."

"And you think Devin can fight off the Wild because of me."

I hope so, thought Paul but he didn't want to say that. Instead he squeezed her hands and said, "If anyone can bring him back, it's you. Niamh may have opened the door but you can close it...maybe not all the way but back near to where it was before."

She nodded slightly then asked, "And how does this all add up to why I shouldn't pray for revenge?"

He laughed at that and leaned forward to kiss the side of her mouth before he breathed, "Because you're all that's good in the world to us and we don't want you to walk the dark paths we do."

"What if I want to?"

"You don't," assured Paul as he rubbed his fingers against the back of her hands. "I've been in love with you since I was fourteen, Sarah, and I know that isn't the place for you. You're be there."

Sarah frowned and leaned her head against his as she breathed harshly, "Then who will hurt that bitch for what she did to my little brother?"

Paul felt anger swell in his chest and heard the containers rattle in the kitchen again. He moved one hand to grip her chin and tilted her head up so he could catch her lips with his own before he promised, "I will. And I swear to you on my magic, my life, and my love for you that she will pay dearly for what she's done."

Sarah's lips crashed against his then in a kiss that mingled need, thanks, and relief all into one giant ball of emotion. He could feel his skin tingling when it ended and smiled as he gently tugged her hands apart and pressed his fingers down on her cross.

"Pray for him back," he whispered. "Pray for Dev home and safe."

She nodded slightly then her eyes met his as she growled viciously, "Let's go find my little brother. And kick the ass of anybody that thinks they can take him for a trophy."

Paul grinned and began quietly going over every spell he'd ever come across or created in his head as he lifted one of Sarah's hand still holding the cross and pressed a kiss against her knuckles.

"That's my girl," he murmured before he pulled them both to their feet.

They had work to do.

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