LbN: The first of the "5 or less" challenges. The challenge was an E/S fic with the same characters as Time of Dying. Happy reading!

Selene jerked away as the sound of wheels on gravel came closer. She'd been sitting up in her office for hours, wishing she'd let Erika stay. The younger vampire had offered to keep her company while she waited for Michael to return, but Selene had sent her to bed. She looked out of the window as the truck pulled into the carport and groaned when Michael stepped out. He was bloody. She left the office in a hurry and headed him off before he got to his room. "Tell me there are going to be some angry farmers without cows in the morning," she said.

"Move."

"No. Not until you tell me you didn't kill anyone this time."

"Just a bum. And I dumped the body so no one'll know."

"Michael, you've got to stop!"

"You're not my girlfriend anymore, Selene. You can't tell me what to do."

"You're killing people!"

"Yeah, people no one cares about anyway."

"You have got to control your cravings better."

"Maybe I can't. You're not like me; you don't know what it feels like when—"

"You are not playing you nature against mine. We're Immortals, both of us are Hybrids now, thanks to Corvinus. You can stay away from humans just like I can, so don't start."

"Go to bed, Selene." Michael shoved her aside and went into his room, locking the door behind him.

*

"How far do you think they went?" Selene whispered to Clayton. For a young Immortal, he was terribly good his job. Since he was the newest Death Dealer, he had to stay with Selene at all times. The fact was, though, she liked having him on her team.

"I can smell them," Clayton told her. "They can't be that far ah—ahh!" he yelled as he was tackled from the side.

The group began morphing and firing bullets. Selene noted, with some satisfaction, that the Renegades only had one Lycan on their side, and he seemed to be the leader. "Bring him in!" she called.

The team regrouped, focusing their fighting on isolating the Lycan. Selene shot at him as she moved closer. She tried to sidestep the paw he swung, but she wasn't fast enough. She fell to the ground, but stood again, holding her side. Something moved beside her. "Michael! No!"

The hybrid decapitated the Lycan quickly, and morphed back to human form. The rest of the Renegades scattered when their leader fell.

"God DAMN IT MICHAEL!" Selene yelled. "What the hell?"

"Fuck you! I just saved your ass!"

"We would've been fine," she growled. "But thanks to you, the group of Renegades we've been tracking for two years, the largest group we would've ever taken down, has disappeared again. And, also thanks to you, we have no way of finding them, or any of the others, since you killed their leader."

"You needed me."

"The hell we did!" Clayton snapped. "If we had, we would've told you to come on the mission."

"Shut your mouth, new kid. I'm the best fighter you've got."

"You may be the strongest, but you only think about yourself," Selene hissed, holding her side. It was a deeper wound than she had thought. "You don't know how to be part of a team, Michael. Come on, we've got to get back to the mansion."

*

Selene grimaced as Markus tossed a globe at the wall in frustration. "I'm sorry, my lord."

"Yes, yes I know. Can't you control him?" Markus growled.

"I've tried, but he doesn't listen to me!"

"I suggest you find someone who can, and quickly. We're at war, Selene, and as my best Death Dealer, I can't afford to have you losing missions like this."

"Yes, my lord."

"What are your plans now?"

"Khan, Raize and I are going to reorganize the teams and go back to recon. It's all we can do really."

Markus nodded. "Appraise me of your plans when you have the details worked out."

"Yes, my lord." Selene stood to go, still holding her side.

"And Selene?"

"Yes?"

"Get Erika to look at that cut, and try to get some rest tonight."

"Of course, lord." Selene left the office smiling. Her master's gentleness always caught her off guard. Ignoring the stares of the rest of the coven, she motioned for Erika to follow her and made her way to her room.