Author: moor on / beyondthemoor on LJ
Title: Merits
Part : 27
Genre: Romance/humour/vamp/Modern AU
Fandom: Avatar: TLA
Pairing: Zutara, Jetara
Length: 2000 words, approx.
Rating: M
Disclaimer : "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and all related rights belong to their original creators… I am not among their ranks.
AN: In response to hyperoo' s vampire/Zutara challenge, I present…


Part Twenty seven

"Here you go," she set the useless food down on his nightstand and nudged back his clock to make room for the cold & flu medicine pills she'd taken from her own brand-new first aid kit to share with him.

Fathomless eyes watched her every movement with calculating quietude; Zuko leaned against the doorframe of his room feigning lassitude. Letting her in, allowing her to feel comfortable, safe, trusting in his company. In his trap.

His living meal bustled around the room, finished a ten-second tidy to make it more pleasant for him to sleep in, and finally turned to look at him with a stern, but concerned, look on her face.

Then her eyes softened, and her shoulders relaxed. She was worried about him.

His eyes sparked. How sweet… she would be.

"Is there anything else I can do?" she asked.

"Yes," was all he said.

Then he kicked the door shut behind him, flicked the lock and leapt on her.

"Me."


Katara felt the wind knocked out of her the moment her back hit Zuko's mattress beneath her. His mouth sealed over hers the next, kissing her breathless.

Eyes wide, she stared up at the man who'd pinned her to his bed: his were deep gold, heavy-lidded and overly bright at the same time; his shirt had come loose and gapped open revealing a well-defined chest that she would have surreptitiously ogled had circumstances been different; and he was warm, hot even, and that scorching heat spread from his body down through hers everywhere they touched.

With some embarrassment, she noted the warmth spreading through her body wasn't entirely from sharing Zuko's body heat, though he was in part the cause.

Zuko stared down at her in return with a hungry look transforming his features into something that made her insides twist in a surreal blend of anger, fear… and desire. Something was very wrong with the situation, though. Something was off about the man atop her. For one thing, he was, well, atop her.

But first things first, she realized as her temper started to flare. What was he thinking? She was dating someone else. Physically attracted as she was to Zuko, this was completely inappropriate and had to stop before it turned into something embarrassing for both of them.

"Zuko, what the hell?" she exclaimed, yanking herself away from him and placing her hands behind her to push herself up into a sitting position on the soft bed. "You're not well, get off me, this isn't funny—ZUKO!" she gasped, but he swallowed her protests with another searing kiss. She was loathe to admit it, but he was a helluva kisser. And he didn't stop there.

Stretching out to his full length over her, he grabbed her behind the knees, settled himself between her legs and yanked her back down towards him again. Strong, capable hands then went to her hips to bring her pelvis in line with his and cradle him when he rolled his hips forward, grinding into her. A moan of pleasure escaped Katara's lips in spite of herself. It was humiliating, being so turned on against her will. Great, what a time to discover she had a yen for rough sex. She was so beating the jerk with a shovel when she got free…

… right after this kiss. His lips were the most intoxicating drug she'd ever encountered.

"Look at me," he whispered, finally releasing her lips and lowering his head to nuzzle her, cheek to cheek. He was warm, addictive and his cheek held just a hint of stubble from missing his shave that morning.

"Don't you want this?" he murmured persuasively, trailing slow, languorous kisses down her jaw. He nosed away a lock of hair, giving it a playful tug before tucking it behind her ear. "You like this. You like how this feels." A quick suck on her racing pulse.

"Fuck you," gasped Katara, breathing hard and struggling to inch away from him. Why couldn't she move faster? It was like trying to run through molasses; he was stuck to her.

"Later, I promise," his breath in her ear sent shivers down her spine. Katara bit down hard on her bottom lip to keep from giving herself away. So what if she wanted him? It was entirely physical. It didn't mean anything, plenty of people were attractive and it was natural to want to –OH SWEET SWIZZLE STICKS, WERE HIS HANDS ON HER—

A subtle squeeze and then his hands were cupping her breasts, his thumbs rubbing cheeky circles over her pert nipples.

"Stop it, Zuko. I'm seeing someone." She was looking everywhere but at him, trying to break whatever spell he'd cast over her, but the vampire was relentless. She couldn't lift a hand to stop him.

"Look at me now," he commanded, and against her will she felt her eyes drawn up to his. The moment their gazes met, the young woman felt her grip on her control slowly slipping away. She was still aware, conscious, but unable to control or move her body. Panic seeped in around the edges of her temper, and fear followed in its footsteps as her heart beat pounded in her ears. Something was very wrong.

"Zuko?..." her voice rose high with concern before she felt him dip his head lower, lower, from her mouth to her chin to her neck. Zuko!? she thought in panic, her thoughts falling into disarray. She'd lost her ability to speak.

As his hair brushed over the side of her face, she felt his mouth stop at her throat.

His warm, wet tongue gently licked at her pulse again, caressing her skin lovingly before he breathed in her scent.

"Katara," he sighed, almost apologetically, before his control snapped and he sank his teeth into her.

He didn't bother to stifle his moan of pleasure, rocking his hips into her as he arched her neck back to drink more deeply, the weight of their bodies sinking further into the bed's mattress to cushion them.

Inside her mind, Katara screamed.


Something wasn't right, he could feel it.

He looked up drowsily from his paws, his jaw cracking as he let out a yawn. But he saw Katara still hadn't returned from serving Zuko his lunch. Lumbering to his feet, Fluffy-Jet whined once curiously. No reply.

Pacing impatiently around the living room and kitchen areas, Jet wondered what was taking Katara so long. They'd left a while ago; Zuko should have gone to sleep by now; so where was she? Usually she'd call for him when Zuko wasn't around, and then cuddle up to his furry side as she worked. It relaxed her to pet him and for him to nuzzle her back. She didn't lounge around or spend time with Zuko in his room, ever. It was the only reason he hadn't followed her when she'd gone to deliver his meal to him in the first place.

He paused a moment to sniff the air.

It hit him then, faint but unmistakable: fear. A woman's fear.

Then he heard a door slam shut; his sharp hearing caught the sounds from the other side of the house, where the bedrooms were. Ears pricking attentively, Jet swiveled and paused, focusing on the direction the pair had gone in.

Then there was crashing, quickly followed by Katara's muffled cries, and then to Jet's mounting concern, absolute silence.

And then the scent of freshly spilled blood permeated the air.

Large paws were already rapidly eating up the distance between the living room and Zuko's bedroom as Jet bounded down the halls, teeth bared, claws scratching and clattering on the floor and he hunched forward to drive himself faster.

If Zuko had touched a hair on her head, Jet wouldn't stop until he'd made him pay pound for pound.


Katara's clothes were tossed carelessly on the floor around Zuko's bed as he continued to imbibe.

They'd been fairly easy to remove as he'd gone about his first proper meal in days. As she'd still had some of his blood coursing through her veins, it hadn't taken too much energy to control her and subdue her. Not a course of action he took often, but he was desperate and she was available and had proved, at least physically, willing. If she'd been completely resistant to him, he'd never have been able to coax her into submission.

It had been too long since he'd had such a pleasant, relaxing banquet; the fullness had rushed to his head and made him dizzy at times, and he'd forced himself to slow down to enjoy every moment. It bordered on a sexual peak at times, how frustrated he'd been and how sated he felt, lapping at her thigh at the latest puncture-point.

The past years had been difficult on the vampire prince; he'd had to move around so often and feed most frequently within the confines of his car, or occasionally a companion's unclean abode. Rarely was he safe enough to risk bringing a meal home to enjoy. It was a bit like eating out at a fast-food restaurant, he found: eating out, hastily, was fine and would keep him alive, but being able to take his time and feast in the safety and warmth of his own home, his own bed at that, was truly the most satisfying.

He could nip any part of her he wished, and had: her neck at first, to calm his craving; then a nibble down her shoulder; after relieving her of her shirt, he'd continued downward to sip at her breast, and now, from her upper thigh. She was physically beautiful, and tasted divine.

Unfortunately, it seemed like she was starting to suffer from his ministrations, he noted as she seemed somewhat pale and wan. A pity, he thought, smoothing one hand over her hip and eyeing the tempting undergarments she wore. It had been even longer since he'd partaken in other pleasures…

Almost unconsciously, he had loosened his belt and the top of his pants and slid his other hand inside. He grasped his member gave a few slow, deep strokes to bring himself to full attention, the growing bulge no longer confined.

A new hunger started humming through his firm, hard body, from his loins to every part of him.

Though he preferred his women actively participating when he was in them, if she was already there… The vampire's gaze darkened as he took in Katara's dark hair and silken skin, toned body and enticing scent as they all called to him. His fingers tightened and he stroked himself harder, his breathing becoming harsher.

He was contemplating what to do next, his mouth inches from the lace she wore, when he felt the hair on the back of his neck prickle and stand on end.

Zuko's eyes moved from where Katara lay splayed to sweep his locked bedroom for signs of an intruder; all was silent, still.

He didn't trust it for a moment.

A vampire was most vulnerable when feeding; any otherworldly creature knew this was the most dangerous time of their day. Every creature knew to keep its wits about them when their flank was exposed, which was why Zuko didn't dismiss his instincts.

It was then that his senses started to come back to him.

He blinked, and shook the satisfied haze from his head, glancing down at the warm, soft body before him. And he suddenly realized what he'd done, and worse, been about to do.

Zuko felt a spear of horror and disgust at his own actions lance through him, and he stiffened up in a flash, breathing hard and eyes wide. His cock twitched in his grasp, and he yanked his hands away guiltily before stumbling back away from her, fists clenched.

Spirits, what had he done?

Another sharp sound caught his attention and distracted him, definitely from outside his room this time.

He raised his head to listen closer—

--just as his bedroom door crashed open, cracking and splintering before it collapsed under the crushing weight of a snarling beast.

The wild animal's gaze trained in on, and met, Zuko's incredulous one, panting hard and growling low in its throat. Zuko stared right back, tense, rising up over Katara to get a better angle to attack and defend her from whatever had just decimated his bedroom door.

Ah, it was Fluffy. Her cute, cuddly, 200-pound domesticated wild timber wolf. Fantastic.

The wolf who had just nearly caught him with his hands down his pants while he hovered over its master.

The wolf who was now looking at him like he wanted nothing more than to rip his throat out and chew out his liver.

…Shit.

Jet noticed first Katara's still form and undress.

The wolf's narrowed eyes shot back to Zuko, noting second the vampire's loose, open-front trousers and exposed business. The wolf's growl was nothing short of savage. No punishment would be too severe for the one who'd taken advantage of his mate.

Lips pulled back to reveal long, sharp canines.

Feral howling filled the room as Jet leapt at Zuko's pale, exposed throat.

Their shared intention towards the prey that lay helplessly between them on the bed was clear: Mine.


TBC.

AN: This chapter first posted 25th August, 2009. (Er, yes, nearly 9 months since the last update – sorry!) For those who asked how I was doing and why this chapter is so late: I'm fine now but was in a car accident back in January, and then had my son in June; he was over 9 lbs, ouch!

AN2: Many, many thanks to Hyperoo for kicking my ass in gear & beta'ing this for me. Four times. (It needed the swift fist of concrit justice!) All errors are of course my own. Please let me know if you spot any! Also drop me a line if you have suggestions for future chapters – I kind of owe you guys for sticking with this fic so long!

AN3: To those who left comments, concrit & encouragement over the past few months: Thank you. You have no idea how much it meant when I'd get home from work or the hospital and see your notes to cheer me up. I appreciate and treasure every one.

I hope you enjoyed the chapter!