It wasn't the first time, and she knew it wouldn't be the last, not with the phases of the moon suddenly coinciding with the monthly predicament of her human half—she could feel the moon waxing, and various cramps, aches, and urges to rip men's throats out signaled the curse of the female body. It didn't usually happen, but when it did, she did turn into a complete bitch.
Gods damnit. And she couldn't blame it on him, not when it had all been her doing…
She had just wanted to see him jealous. She had only been a little tipsy, it had been a hard day, and she was fed up with Carrot being Carrot.
So she had pushed buttons. And some buttons, she knew, were not meant to be pushed, but what the hell? Bad fucking hair day. Bad week. And it had all come back and bit her on the arse—she knew it would, but it wasn't meant to be like this—he had explained, calmly and quietly, that it'd be best if they stayed in separate rooms for the night. One night could turn into three, a week, a month. It was all by his rules, his feelings—so Angua took up board once again at Mrs. Cake's. The walls were stained and scratched, the bed probably hosted a colony of bedbugs, and a splinter had lodged in her foot as soon as she'd taken her shoes off, but Angua didn't care. She dropped into a chair and hid her face in her hands.
A persistent scratching lifted her head. She wiped damp eyes and peered blearily at the half-boarded glass slab that somehow served as a window. Darkness looked inside, tapping insistently.
Angua sighed and padded to the window, pushing it open and swiftly standing aside, unable to hide a gasp as a number of bats squeaked, fluttered, and pushed their way in, three of them clutching a red dress.
"Good grief," she managed, looking at the wall while a young vampire moulded herself into her usual form and dressed. "Can't vampires turn themselves into mist? And you know I've seen you naked already."
"It'd be rude to seep in without knocking first. And yes, you have. But that was in the line of duty. More acceptable. You can look now." Sally was unusually breathless. Angua gave her a half-questioning, half-suspicious look. She looked fantastic, even if her perfect white skin was flushed. Faultless.
The vampire waved a slender, pale hand. "Nightdress, window, heaving chest," she said. "Never mind that. I felt your heart."
"And how did you know it was mine? There must be a great number of tortured souls here."
"I know your heart."
"Yes, yes. Haven't you gotten used to my smell?" She had a good point, damn her.
"Why're you here?" Angua snarled.
Whispers. There were whispers about the watch house, and there was salt in tears, wasn't there? A sister to blood. Left on the cobblestones and in the air, right into the Shades, a perfect path only for a werewolf… or a vampire.
"I wanted to see how you were doing," Sally replied meekly. "All that business, you know… never good to be alone."
"You're not my friend."
"Of course not." Angua felt the dog inside her calm at the vampire's tone. Damn creatures could control any animal. She slumped back into the chair, looked up, and laughed at Sally. "He had it coming. I mean, I had it coming. Such an idiot," she said softly, dragging a hand through her hair.
"Yes. He may have seemed unruffled, but his heartbeat must've doubled. Why did you do it?" There was genuine curiosity in the vampire's voice.
"Oh… I don't know. Nerves. Annoyance. Anger. The blood's coming," she snorted. "And… he's Carrot," she finished vaguely.
Sally nodded. "It is probably unwise to toy with the thing you most hold dear," she said gravely.
Angua leapt up. "I know! Don't you think I know that, you little…" She calmed herself as the dark eyes went wide. "Sorry, sorry…"
Sally looked away. Angua looked down.
"Oh, er…" She adjusted herself awkwardly. "You've seen me before."
"Yes, but it's the nightdress that does it. Vampire thing."
"But you're…" the phrase hung in the air. "Oh."
Sally stood up and walked about the room, heels making no noise on the dusty floor. She stopped at the window. "You're angry. The blood, you said. I felt that too," she seemed uncomfortable. "Being near you is not really helping my purpose. I found myself humming the song, making myself wish for a cup of tea."
Angua nodded. The League of Temperance. Sally kept a black ribbon on her watch uniform.
"If I'm so bad for you, why're you even here?"
Sally glanced down at the werewolf, and Angua tried to read her eyes. Because you may be his… but you're also mine.
For gods' sakes… Vampires and their bloody ownership complexes. Ha. Must be the Uberwald thing, and that whole vampire-werewolf drama… they were rivals, they were friends… they smelled each other, listened to each other's heartbeats, and, as Angua recalled, would have once wrestled naked in the mud. Over a man, yes, but there was that temptation…
"It's a fine line, sergeant Angua—"
"Don't call me that when we're both in our nightdresses."
"Angua, then? Yes… it's a fine line, but I'm not sure what it separates."
Sally's eyes drifted down to linger on the slipping nightdress, and Angua knew her heart was speeding up when she smelled something strong, something that no human could catch from so far away—
Two pairs of eyes widened. The night's darkness became velvet, the ragged sheets became silk, and Angua, through the haze of it all, wondered if she would have to stick something in both of their mouths before the night was over.
Sally bared her teeth and Angua growled low in her throat. Bitch. Complete control. But she didn't use it. She never used it.
The nightdress was ripped off of Angua's shoulders. Nice touch. The vampire had amazing strength for such a delicate-looking woman. Sally's eyes blazed… red.
Angua gasped and backed away, hand fumbling around at the windowsill for a piece—ouch—of wood, and shoved it between Sally's jaws. The menacing glow sparked and died.
"Ungf—" Sally removed the wood. "Thanks."
"Does it always do that? Every time you—you know…"
The look Sally gave her burned almost as much as the previous. "No," she said quietly. "No, it doesn't. Just once before."
An awkward silence seeped into the room.
"Maybe… we should take it slowly."
Angua looked up. Sally had tucked her short hair behind her ears and now looked nervously exposed. An act, sneered that stubborn voice inside her head. She stifled it. Drawing closer, she trailed a fingernail up the pale torso, stopping under a nicely rounded breast.
The vampire shuddered, now looking completely vulnerable. Angua stepped in and licked the other woman's neck. "We're the same, you know," Sally breathed. "Neither of us will ever be completely accepted." She grasped Angua's waist.
Angua slipped a hand downward, and with a soft moan, the vampire accepted her.
A slender arm on a slender shoulder, a slender neck that led to—Angua blinked in the sunlight that had somehow fought its way into the Shades and into this particular room. Yes, where were we again?
Right. A curved waist and smooth, pale skin, er… best look up at the face now.
Ah. Angua shivered. Waking up with a vampire was, at best, an eerie experience. For once, Angua thanked the gods she wasn't fully human.
A graceful arm slid up the werewolf's side and curled possessively around her waist.
"Didn't bite you last night, did I?" Sally murmured.
"No…" Wouldn't have done much harm if you had. Angua found herself contemplating sharp teeth in her neck.
How the tables would turn. She lifted her head and lightly nipped pale flesh. The vampire gasped.
"Again?" Angua smirked.
"Don't worry. I can't hurt you."
"I'm not worried about that."
Angua sighed. "I'm not a vampire, I'm a werewolf, and you, my dear, are the vampire… there's no bloody League of Temperance for us, and I'm not asking you to break any bloody vow. Do the Black Ribboners have anything against being bitten?"
"Not—not that I'm aware of."
"Well then." Angua pressed an open bite against Sally's collarbone, and another, harder. She licked the mark, ignoring the evident shakes of laughter at the canine gesture.
A soft sigh came from above at another bite. Sally's hand drew up to her breast and softly kneaded it. Her other hand rested upon Angua's head, and gently pushed…
Angua obediently moved under the soft pressure, and focused her attention on a pair of perfect breasts. Perfect. Of course. At the first nip, Sally's breath caught in her throat, but her slender hand paused not in its own tender ministrations. Angua licked around the nipple, and caught it so gently between her teeth.
A gasp. Control.