Scarred Love - Part I

Chapter One

Asher.” Just that one word, escaped my lips before I could help it. I don’t know why he suddenly popped into my head. It’s not like anything I was doing had anything to do with him. But for some unknown reason, my mind was not my own lately. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the marks or if sleeping with him makes it worse. I remember when Richard, JeanClaude and I first married the marks, anytime I slept with them it was worse but why should this be happening with Asher? He’s not part of our triumvirate. He’s JeanClaude’s second in command but what did that have to do with the marks? A question I’ve been meaning to ask JeanClaude but I don’t feel like dealing with his know-it-all attitude. 
“Anita?” Bert’s voice brought me back to Earth. 
“What? Oh, sorry.” I apologized to Bert, did I really just do that? That proves that mind isn’t really there today. Damn.

“I was just asking you why you won’t take this client.”

“Bert, you know why I won’t take cases like this. You ask and I turn them down. I thought we had this down pat.” Greedy bastard that he was.

“Anita, come on, they’re offering $100,000 just to raise him, and another $50,000 per half hour that they talk to him. When was the last time you’ve been offered this kind of money?”

Oh gee, when hadn’t I been offered money to raise someone famous? Like the time when that pervert wanted me to raise Marilyn Monroe for his one night of passion?

“Why do they want to talk to him?”

“You’d have to ask them.”

“You brought this case to me, you don’t know why they want him raised, and the money they’re offering.... why does this sound ominous to me?”

“Anita, everything sounds ominous to you. Just meet with them ok?”

“Absolutely not, no way.” I said as I stood up. I was almost to the door when he said, “Please?”

“Why is this so important to you Bert? What makes this case so different than all the others?”
He wouldn’t look at me; he just sat there staring at his hands. 
“Tell me Bert or I swear that I’ll walk out this door and I won’t come back. I know two other firms that would have me in a heartbeat.” And it was true, I was good enough to go freelance. Being the only one I know of that can raise a 100 year dead corpse without human sacrifice kinda opens doors if you know what I mean.

“One of them is my cousin.”

Chapter Two

Still covered in blood, not mine, not even human, I got in my jeep, another new one. Why can’t I keep a good car? Anyway, I just wanted to get home, take a shower, and go to bed. It was already after 3 in the morning and I still hadn’t fed the arduer. I didn’t feel like I needed to; maybe the night was looking up? Was I learning control like JeanClaude said or was it just that I didn’t need to feed as often? I was betting on the latter of the two. I really needed to quit these late nights. What is a girl to do when she’s lost all her beauty sleep?

So I had an appointment with Bert’s cousin Jeff Vaughn tomorrow. I still don’t know why I did it. I kept thinking about that on the way home. That and Asher. What am I going to do about Asher? I could ask JeanClaude. I could. But did I want to? There was once a time when both thought that my love for Asher was false, only because he rolled my mind. It may have started that way. I have memories that aren’t mine. Of holding a whole Asher in my arms after sex. Of sharing love with him. This love may not have started out as my own but when I thought of Asher, I thought of him as he is now and I still loved him. My cell phone rang bringing my thoughts once again back to the present.


“Anita, it’s Dolph.” That usually meant police business. Dolph just wasn’t into personal phone calls. 
“What’s up?” That last thing I wanted to deal with was a murder scene.

“I’m over hear at Guilty Pleasures, you know the one your boyfriend owns?” Oh this day was just getting better wasn’t it?

“Yes Dolph, I’m aware that JeanClaude owns it. What are you getting at?”

“Well it seems that we have a body here and you need to come look at it.”

“Give me some details.”

“Just get here.”

“Damnit Dolph!” But he was already gone. He never was one to say goodbye. For that matter he never said hello either. It was just “Dolph”.

I arrived at Guilty Pleasures 15 minutes later to see a bunch of squad cars with their lights flashing. This could not be good. Zebrowski met me at the door. Of course, as always his clothes looked like he put them on in the dark. I was seriously going to have a talk with Katie, his wife, about letting him out of the house like that.

“Hey sweetness.”

“Uh oh, sweetness? What did I do?” He’d never called me that before. And he’s called me a lot of things.

“Let’s just get inside and the big man can explain everything.”

“Zebrowski, just tell me one thing. Is it a vamp kill?” I asked this because Dolph was still having problems with me boffing the Master of the City, not to mention his own daughter-in-law was a vamp. He was actually put on leave for a while until he could control himself and not kill any vamps brought in for questioning. That he was back didn’t make a difference, he still felt the same, he just tried not to show it.

“That’s just it, I don’t know. Neither does Dolph.”

“Great, just great. Just what I need, another I-Don’t-Know-What-Did-It-Murder.”

Chapter 3

As crimes scenes go, this was a bad one. I don’t think I’d ever seen this much blood. Oh wait, yes I have, in New Mexico. I was backup for Death. If that tells you had bad it was that Death Himself needed backup? Anyway, that’s another story. 
I stood next to Zebrowski in the womens bathroom, staring down at the dead man. Was it a man? I squatted down trying not to kneel, I just didn’t want to ruin another pair of hose. At first it was hard to tell but I saw one thing that said, “yep it sure is male”. I instantly felt sorry for this guy, whoever he was. His penis lay next to what looked like his arm, definitely detached. Ouch.

“I know Katie gets mad but… damn. I don’t think she’d ever do that to me. At least I hope not.” This coming from Zebrowski. I didn’t even realize he was squatting next to me. 
“Wow. Look at this guy. His legs are over by the sink. His arm is by his ass or what’s left of it. Where’s the other arm?”

“Over there by one of the toilets.” Zebrowski pointed to his left. I looked over and sure enough there it was. One torn off arm. Only it was half in the toilet and half out. It was like the toilet itself was waving. That’ll give me nightmares about using public restrooms for the rest of my life.

“Now that’s just sick.”

“Anita, what I don’t get, they left his head. Why?”

“Damnit, I don’t know. Why’d they tear off his dick? I mean they definitely tore it off.” The torso was remarkably clean, no marks, nothing. His head was still there. His eyes were open and staring up at the lights, but the look on his face. It looked like he enjoyed what they did to him. They? Could one person, or thing, do this?

“Ok, any witnesses?” I asked after thinking about the penis and hand waving toilet trick for a few minutes.

“Yeah, Dolph is talking to them in Dracula’s Office.” I hated it when he called JeanClaude that, but like a child if I gave it attention he’d just keep doing it.

“Anyone I know?”

“Anita, I thought you knew all the monsters?”

“Stud, you’d be surprised.”

I walked out of the bathroom pealing off my gloves. I threw them in the bag that seems to be at every crime scene, must be magic. 
“Marshall Blake?” I turned to see a young man in a St. Louis PD uniform standing there. He was kinda cute too in a dark stranger kind of way.

“That’d be me.” He had short black hair, his eyes were light light blue though. Odd combo.

“Sgt. Storr wants you in the owner’s office right away.”

“Alright Officer……?” 
“Alopopsculious.” I raised my eyebrows at that. How the hell was I supposed to remember that? How did you even spell that?

“I’m not even going to try repeating that.” That earned a big grin.

“That’s ok, everyone else just calls me Al. Right this way ma’am.”

“That’s also ok. I know my way.” Either he didn’t know who I was exactly or he hadn’t heard the stories of the Master of the City and me, because he had a very confused look on his face. “I know the owner, you could say we’re friends.”

When I got to the door of JeanClaude office, I heard yelling. Not nice yelling but the kind that makes you want to scream back. Actually I don’t think any yelling is nice, but this was really really bad. I recognized the voice too. It was Dolph. Why was I not surprised? 
I opened the door and saw two things. Dolph yelling at Asher, and JeanClaude holding Dolph away from Asher. That Dolph didn’t seem to realize that JeanClaude was touching him was somewhat short of a miracle.

“Does someone want to tell me what the fuck is going on?!” I had to yell over Dolph to be heard. Everyone seemed to stop and turn. Geeze, little ol me? That also meant that Dolph realized that JeanClaude was holding him. He batted JeanClaude’s hands away and jumped about 3 steps back.

“Ma petite, I’m glad you are here. It seems that our Asher has witnessed a crime and your Dolph wants to arrest him.” My Dolph? Uh oh.

“Dolph, what’s going on? Why do you want Asher?”

“This, this bloodsucker killed a man and…. and…” I don’t think the therapy sessions were working for him. He still couldn’t get past the fact that I was sleeping with not just one corpse but two.

“Dolph, what did Asher do?” I spoke in a low, calm voice. Hooray for me. But Dolph wouldn’t answer me. He just kept looking at Asher like he was the last man on earth and just turned out to be the Devil. Fine.


“Yes, ma cherie?” That sent shivers up my spine. He didn’t have the nifty voice trick that JeanClaude had but it still had its effects on me.

"What did you see? I was told that Dolph was, questioning a witness?" I added sarcasm to the last of it.

"It is simple. I was walking by the restroom and heard a noise. Like wet cloth being ripped. I also heard crying. I knocked on the door but there was no answer." He gave a gallic shrug that means nothing but everything.

"Ok that isn’t so bad. What else?" There just had to be more.

"I knocked again but more strongly and a woman came running out and went straight out the door. I walked into the bathroom and there it was." He was shaking his head slowly and wouldn’t look at me. I knew why. The blood. He’s a vampire. You do the math.

Chapter 4

Spending the rest of the night at the police station didn’t do much for my mood. I still had to get JeanClaude and Asher home before sunrise and that was only an hour away. Asher was sitting in the back of my jeep, not talking. He hadn’t said much since we left Guilty Pleasures. 
Now I had to make the decision; do I take them to the circus? Or do I take them to my house? Well the Circus is closer but I really wanted to get home. Might as well go to the Circus. They’d be more comfortable there without a houseful of shifters.

I barely had the Jeep stopped in the parking lot when Asher threw the door open and stormed towards the back door. JeanClaude looked at me. I couldn’t read his face, it was that cool, calm mask that he wore when he didn’t want me to know what he was thinking. Another mystery man. 
“What’s wrong with Asher?”

“Ma petite, I think that is something that you had better ask him.” Of course, he couldn’t just tell me. That would be too easy. Why do the men in my life always have to play this game with me?
So I got out of the car and started after Asher. JeanClaude followed my lead. Great, so we were waiting to see what I was going to do huh? 
When we were inside JeanClaude’s apartments, I followed Asher into the bedroom, JeanClaude’s bedroom. He flopped onto the bed, laying on his stomach. Asher actually flopped. For some reason, JeanClaude didn’t follow me. That was weird too. 
“Asher, what’s bothering you?” I really had to know. I know it was a bad scene, but this was getting a little out of hand. He was acting like a hurt child. 
He looked beautiful. He always did. His head was atop crossed arms but the rest of his body was just lying there. Not quite relaxed, like there was a taught string from his head to his toes. 
“Ma cherie, do not come closer. I fear what would happen if you do.” He said softly, his voice muffled by his wonderful hair.

“Asher, I could never be afraid of you. Never. I love you.” Saying that to someone I wasn’t monogamous with was still hard for me but I was learning.

“You can always be afraid of the ones you love, never forget that.” It didn’t matter what he said. I still moved closer to him. I sat down on the bed and started running my fingers through his hair. He sighed and started to relax. I leaned down, pulled up his shirt, and started to kiss his back lightly, using lips, tongue and teeth. I found a really rigid scar on his right side. I rolled my tongue over it again and again. He made a small noise that I could only take as encouragement.

I straddled his hips and moved his hair out of the way. Nibbling my way up to his ears and back down to his shoulder blades. I bit his neck gently at first but then harder. He struggled and moaned.
Suddenly, he flipped over with that vampire speed and gracefulness that always makes me jealous. He had my arms and hips pinned to the bed with his, before I knew what was happening. 
"Anita." He almost growled, his voice filled with anger and excitement. Why anger? Was he mad at me? What did I do? I wish I could see the look on his face but his face was buried in my hair.
I tried to say "Asher, what's wrong?" but just then he pressed himself tight against me, almost hurting me. All I got out was "Asher.." and it ended in a moan.

"Asher, look at me. Please." I think it was the please, I never say please, but he looked up at me. His light blue eyes drowning out the pupil until they were glowing globes of ice. I knew that if I kept looking in those beautiful eyes that I'd be lost, drowning in all that was Asher. I didn't want to look away but I had to. 
"Anita, look at me. Just look at me." He said softly, so softly that I couldn't resist him. I looked from his full lips, to his perfect nose, to his glowing eyes. He was beautiful. Breathtakingly beautiful. It was almost too painful to keep looking at him. Through JeanClaude, I'd seen glimpses of an Asher before his human servant died, before he was scarred by holy water, but I loved this Asher. The Asher that was before me was MY Asher. I let that knowledge fill my eyes.
"I love the way you look at me. As if the scars mean nothing. I can see beauty in your eyes and I know that is how you see me. It hurts my heart and fills my heart with happiness. That is what you do to me Anita. Tu me fais craquer, ma cherie." A single tear slipped down his cheek. I kissed it away. I kissed his nose, his cheek, his chin, his eyes, and finally his mouth. I kissed his mouth like he was air and I couldn't breathe. He lifted his body away from me only to grip my shirt in both hands and pull. It ripped away from my body. As soon as it was gone he was kissing me again, running his hands over my breasts and stomach, sending twinges of pleasure up my spine.
"Oh yes, Asher, yes!"

Chapter 5

I loved his hands. They were firm but gentle. I slid my hands between us and pulled his shirt over his head, then started working on his pants. I couldn't get the button undone fast enough. Soon though, they were down around his thighs. I had to look, I always had to look. I loved looking at him and how the scars dribbled from his thigh towards his groin, but they stopped a few inches short of the groin, and he lay thick and long, and straight and perfect. Just how I loved him.

While I was looking, he threw up my skirt and tore my panties. At the rate things were going I was going to have to start buying crotchless panties or ones with velcro straps. This was just getting too expensive.
All thoughts ceased when he lay his body back atop mine. His thickness was pressed against me, not yet inside, just pressing. He began grinding his hips against mine, bringing soft whimpers from my mouth. Kissing his way across each breast, he made his way to my neck and nibbled it, kissing, licking. I wanted his lips, I wanted to kiss him, but in one moment, three things happen at once. He enters me, fast and hard, I reach my first peak, and he bites down, sinking fang into my neck. Wave after wave of pleasure hit me, bowing my spine, digging my nails into his back. His body moves faster on top of mine. Bringing a fast rhythm. I can feel another orgasm building. Asher tenses as if he can sense it too. There's something different, something wrong. It feels good, incredibly good, but different at the same time. Asher bites down harder as he spills his seed inside me, I come and suddenly I'm inside Asher, my aura touches his, mingles with his, meshes with his. I'm not inside my own body and yet I'm not inside his. We're together, intertwined, bound. My vision turns gray, then black......

Chapter 6
I smelled roses. I opened my eyes and looked around. I was in a large room with dark, high ceilings. Dark crimson silk draped the walls and the only light was a few lit candles. On the opposite side of the room, a woman sat at a desk, with her back turned to me. Her long black hair fell in ringlets down the back of her red lace dressing gown. Her pale hands clipping the stems off blood red roses; letting the buds fall into an enormous crystal bowl filled with water.

"Ma petite, I've been waiting for you." Her voice was like warm velvet touching the most intimate places of the human body. It was Belle, Belle Morte, Beautiful Death, JeanClaude's fountainhead.

. . . . . . . . . .

"It is time for you and I to have our tete-a-tete. There are a few things needing to be discussed, now is the time ma petite." She spoke with her back still turned but I felt as if she were looking me dead in the eye.
"Come closer ma petite." I hesitated and she said, "I promise not to bite." I'd never had any reason to believe her, nor would I ever but curiosity won out. I moved closer to her but not close enough to be within reaching distance. I knew it was ridiculous, she could reach me without physically touching me from anywhere in the room. I'd felt her power before and I could feel it now. Like a sensuous kiss from the grave. You knew it could kill you but you still wanted it. Craved it to envelope you completely. Needed it.
"Is that any way to greet your master?" I fought the urge to kneel. I would not let her control me. I had to try twice before I found my voice.
"You are NOT my master. JeanClaude is my master." My voice wasn't quite steady but I was trying.
"Ma petite, ma petite, when will you understand? You are mine as he is mine. Even your Ulfric is mine because he is bound to my child. But you are especially mine. Though you do not shift, you are a cat. All cats are mine to call." She turned to face me and her eyes were brown honeyed fire. I felt the weight of her gaze like something physical pushing against my body, raising the hairs on my arms.
"No." It was all I could get out. It was getting hard to breathe. Her power filled the room.
"Oui, ma petite. You know what I am, do you not?" Belle asked, tilting her head to the side. A memory flashed in my mind. I was driving my Jeep when Belle attacked me, she'd had more than one shape that day. A vampire and a large cat. "Oh yes, Anita, you know what I am."
She stood in one fluid, graceful movement. I couldn't move. I couldn't stop staring in those warm fiery eyes. I was falling, drowning in a pool of warm honey and it felt wondrously good. The room disappeared in a haze of liquid brown flame.
"Kiss me Anita." I heard her words in my mind and my lips tingled.
"Kiss me, ma cherie." I felt the slight pressure of her lips touching mine, soft and delicate. Her tongue caressed my lips, opening them slightly. The arduer rose within me, overwhelmed me. It poured out my lips and into hers.
"Mon Dieu, Anita, Mon Dieu!" Her mouth crushed mine. I could feel the press of fang and then her tongue was dancing with mine. Hands were on my body and they were her's. Everywhere she touched, small fires of pleasure enveloped my skin.
Her mouth found the bite wound on my neck that Asher had left. She licked it slowly, letting her breath caress it and my knees gave out. She caught me and held me easily. Her teeth sunk into the wound and she started to drink. Things low in my body began to get warm. Each time she swallowed tugged an invisible string that went straight to my groin. It was as if she fed the arduer. With every movement of her hands, lips, her body, the arduer worsened, turning me into a burning thing of need.
She drew away from my neck. I opened my eyes enough to see my blood on her lips. I wanted to lick it off, savor the taste.
She kept her eyes on my face and bit down on her lower lip. She left her breath out in a hiss as blood, her blood, started to flow from her lip to her chin.
Her hand gripped the back of my head and she leaned down, hovering over my lips. My eyes stayed on her mouth. Watching the blood flow, hoping to get a taste of it.
She kissed me and I licked the blood, her's and mine, from her mouth. The sweet coppery taste filled my mouth, going down my throat like a fine wine. I suckled her lip like a hungry greedy child. Nibbling and licking, swallowing what blood I could. I not only was suffering from the arduer but from the beast's hunger. I wanted to feed. Every lick, bite, every kiss brought noises. I couldn't tell if they were her's or mine, I didn't care. I just knew that I couldn't get enough. The arduer and the beast, both agreed with me. They filled me until I thought I would burst or go mad.
A burning painful sensation started in my stomach and spread like wildfire through the rest of my body. I tore my mouth from her's and the last thing I heard before I started screaming was Belle in my head saying, "At last, you will understand ma petite."

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

My wordless scream tore the dream to shreds. My stomach was still on fire but the pain was slowly fading and I was strangely calm. Or at least I was until I felt blood dripping down from my chin and the coppery taste of blood in my mouth. I opened my eyes and looked down my body. Panic started to set in.
My naked chest was covered in blood. I reached up to touch my neck and my hand came away slick with wet sticky blood. It wasn't a dream. It wasn't a dream. I looked down my body again and there was Asher, dead to the world, and there was dried blood on his back. I did that, I remembered doing that, but it was still too much. All this blood and a sleeping Asher, all dead weight, on top of me. The panic took over and I screamed one wordless scream after another.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Micah was suddenly there shaking me and calling my name, "Anita! My God, what did he do to you?! Anita!" I instantly stopped screaming, opened my eyes and looked up at him.
"Asher didn't do it, she did, I mean Belle did.... I'm okay, I think."
"But the blood......... you're bleeding." He gasped and dropped his hands. "Your eyes....." My hands flew up to my face.
"I've seen those eyes before." Jason said, surprising me. He must have come in when I was screaming. I knew what eyes Jason was talking about. I bet if I looked in the mirror I'd see that glowing honey brown fire.
Micah's nostrils flared. He looked at Jason. "Do you smell roses?"

Chapter Seven

I wanted a shower but I was going to get a bath. While the bathtub was filling I washed up at the sink. I looked up in the mirror. My eyes looked huge against the shocked paleness of my skin. the contrast was remarkable. At least they were back to normal.
Anger build inside me. I grabbed on to it. I could handle anger. Being mad was better than being scared. Besides being mad was the one thing I was really good at.
How dare Belle assume that we belonged to her? It was just like her too. But how did she do that? The sun was up. She was supposedly 'sleeping'. I was back to being scared again. I hated being scared, it made me feel helpless and that was the one thing I really feared. That I was helpless.
The door opened and I jumped. I reached for a gun that wasn't there. Nervous, me? It was Micah. Him and Jason must have gotten Asher cleaned up and in his coffin already.
"Are you going to be ok?" There was real concern in his voice. He was scared too, but I think it was scared for my safety. I don't think he fully understood the situation yet, but that was about to change.
"Well my eyes are back to normal. At least I don't have to walk around scaring people."
"Anita, I'm serious. When I came in you were covered in blood." He touched my mouth gently. "You've even still have some here."
"Micah, you don't know how serious this is. You have no idea. That she was able to do that during the day? With the sun high in the sky? Not to mention what happened with Asher." I looked down at the floor. I really didn't want to tell him that Asher and I shared auras. It was something that until today I had only done with two others. Micah and Richard. And that was totally different, yet the same. With them it was our beasts that we shared. I wasn't sure what it was with Asher but it was damn close.
"What did happen with Asher? I saw blood on his back but it was old blood. The blood you were covered in was new. How is that possible? Was it your blood? Did you hurt yourself? I don't see any marks but the bite on your neck." He touched the bite mark softly as if he was afraid to hurt me. Did I really look that shaken?
"No, I didn't hurt myself. It wasn't only my blood, it was her's." How do I explain this to him? Just then there was a knock on the door. "Who is it?"
"It's Jason. Anita, what happened? Why did you scream?" Great I had to tell him too. I liked Jason, don't get me wrong but sometimes I just didn't want to share my sexual escapades. I walked over and shut off the faucet to the tub, it was full enough.
"Ok, you two will get the story when I'm done." I looked at Micah. "You. Out."
"No, not right now. If you hug me I'll cry, if you stay I'll cry and I don't want to. So... out." He shrugged and left the room. I crawled in the tub and scrubbed myself til I was red. Drying blood does not come out of hair that easy. I had to wash my hair twice just to make sure it was clean. Not only that but I had to refill the tub once too. Pink water was not clean water.

When I left the bathroom, my clothes and weapons were sitting on clean sheets. Someone had made the bed and brought me my stuff. Nathaniel once told me that the first thing I do is get dressed and armed. He also said that he wasn't sure which one I wanted first. My reply had been, "I'm not sure either." So I had my clothes and guns. I got dressed as quickly as I could because I'm sure they didn't want to wait longer. I knew they would but I don't like to keep shifters waiting. They tend to get testy.

Micah and Jason were in JeanClaude's sitting room. That's the only thing I could call it. The walls were done in some sort of silver satin. The pillows on the couch were dark blue, almost midnight blue, satin. They matched JeanClaude's eyes perfectly. I saw the pillows and had made him buy them. The picture above the fireplace was still the same though. Three faces looked out from the painting. Young faces. Happy faces. It was a painting of JeanClaude, Asher, and Julianna, Asher's human servant. The painting was made before Julianna died and before Asher received his scars. It was beautiful.

I sat on the couch while Micah and Jason sat in the chairs. I felt like I was sitting in Interview with Dolph. I knew they were waiting for me to start. I started telling them the story, blushing and watching Micah's face when I told him of Asher. If it bothered him, he hid it well.

I got to the part about the dream. Surprise showed on both of their faces. 
"Unless you've changed in the last 24 hours, I didn't know you liked women that much. You should've told me. I could've arranged something." Jason said with a sexy smile and a wink.

"Jason. I'm not into girls. I never had been but this was different." I continued telling my story until I was finished.

"I see what you mean. Belle never should have been able to do that. That any Master Vampire could do that...... " This from Micah, he'd definitely gotten my point.

"Exactly. JeanClaude can't do anything like that and we can't tell him anything about it." Just then my cell phone rang. Better not be a telemarketer, I hate those. They always call just when you don't want them to.

"Blake here."

"Anita, it's Zebrowski." Wow, that was unusual. Normally Dolph would call me with police stuff.
"To what do I owe this honor?"

"We've got another one, only this time there's a note left." Oooh, suspense.

"Ok what does it say?"

"Well, Anita, we just don't know, we haven't read it yet. It's addressed to you."


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