A/N: *pokes head in* Umm... hi *waves* Here comes a new chapter and I hope you like it, even though it has once again taken me a lot longer than I wanted to post it *sigh* And as things look right now, the story will be a few chapters longer than I originally thought and I really hope you don't mind *smiles sheepishly*
I really hope you have fun reading the new chapter and comments would be most appreciated *puppy dog eyes*
Thank you of course to SivanShemesh, Jesco123, BetahimeTsukiko, AB Feta, msdarque, dh2930, Quiet Ryter and IObichamYaoi for all your kind words *hugs you*
Warnings: SLASH, OOCness, Vampires and Werewolves, Character Death
Disclaimer: None of the Leverage characters belong to me and I just borrowed them for this little story... this story doesn't mean to offend anybody… this is just for fun… and not for money either...
"You will pay for this."
Nathan watched in horror but also kind of morbidly fascinated as Eliot charged the werewolf. Moreau seemed equally surprised at the attack, but he had the common sense to realize that this Eliot, charged with a strength that seemed to come from deep within him, was dangerous to him and he took the attack seriously. But he still couldn't stop the Hitter from slamming him into the wall hard. Eliot simply roared again, a sound that was completely inhuman and made wolf and vampire freeze in place.
"Eliot," Nathan whispered, afraid that his lover was going to get hurt, but no matter how much he tried, he didn't have the strength to move a muscle. But neither had Damien it seemed. The wolf simply stood, pressed against the wall, eyes wide with fear, but he still tried to taunt Eliot.
"You will have to kill me, Eli, because otherwise I'll never leave you alone. You're supposed to be mine," he threatened. Eliot snarled, voice different from anything Nate had heard before from his lover and it sent shivers down his spine.
"After everything you have done, have made me do, death is too good and too quick for you. What I have in store is a fate much much worse," he whispered, so that only Moreau could hear and the wolf's eyes widened in surprise and this time in real fear, even though he had no idea what exactly Eliot meant by his words, if it was even Eliot he was talking to, because right now the Hitter seemed like a totally different person. Eliot simply smiled and then he pressed a hand flat against Moreau's chest, right over his heart, fingers spread wide. An eerie glow transferred from Eliot's hand into Damien's chest, spreading wide until it spanned the whole torso and suddenly the werewolf howled in agony, before slumping down, obviously unconscious... and to Nate's horror Eliot did the same...
The Hitter suddenly went boneless, falling backwards without moving a muscle. And that was when Nate could move again, the same moment the doors to the room burst open, revealing the rest of team Leverage, who had followed the vampire guards that now stormed the room. But Nate barely spared them a glance, he rushed forward, catching his mate before he hit the ground, gently lowering him down. He felt for a pulse frantically, relieved when he felt a steady pulse underneath Eliot's skin.
"Thank god," he murmured, cradling Eliot close, while wondering what had happened only seconds before and what Eliot had done to Moreau. His thoughts were interrupted when one of the guards asked carefully: "My Prince, what do you want us to do with the wolves?"
Nate looked at the young man and then motioned towards Moreau, who was still unconscious.
"Put him in a cell. I'll deal with him later," he snapped, gently pulling Eliot closer against his chest, needing to hold his lover. Then he looked at Sterling's still form.
"Make him comfortable here and then us alone. The only one's I wanna see in the next minutes are a healer and Elder William".
"But Mr. Sterling is...," the guard started, but quickly stopped when Nate snarled, eyes flashing red for a second. The young guard thought it better not to argue with his Prince right now. So he only barked instructions at the others and then ushered everyone out of the room. Hardison and Parker were reluctant to leave, clearly worried about Eliot and about Nate, but Sophie took their elbows, gently pulling them out too, after she had said: "We want an explanation later."
Nathan looked at her for a second, but nodded. He knew that they all deserved an explanation, but right now all he cared about was Eliot's health and to a lesser degree Sterling. He watched as two of the guards put a small cot into the room where they gently laid Sterling down, placing a sheet over him, so that only his face remained seen, giving him the appearance that he was just sleeping. Nathan felt a pang in his chest at the thought that Jim Sterling was really dead, that he had died protecting Eliot. Nate would never have thought that Sterling was capable of doing that and now Nate couldn't even thank him for that.
He rubbed his temple and tried to push his thoughts away as the Healer entered the room and together they gently put Eliot on the bed and then Nathan watched quietly while the Healer checked Eliot over.
For the last hour Nathan had watched Eliot, his eyes never leaving his mate's still body. And he had only kept calm, because the Healer had assured him that Eliot was just exhausted and needed his sleep to regain some strength. He should probably wake up soon and then Nate would be able to breath a little easier. Elder William had promised him that he'd be back as soon as Eliot had awoken and then they'd be able to talk about what had happened.
Right now the Elder had gone to see that Damien Moreau was secured until he could be put on trial. Nathan would have loved nothing less than to rip the werewolf to pieces, but he knew that that wouldn't help the already shaky and strained relationship between wolves and vampires. Besides, Eliot was more important right now anyway. So he sat watch over his mate, holding one hand gently, stroking his thumb over the pulse point to assure himself.
And Nathan was also still haunted by Eliot's words to Moreau, words he probably hadn't been meant to hear, but with his vampire senses had heard them anyway.
/What could he possibly have meant by "a fate worse than death"?/ Nate wondered.
"Stop thinking so loudly, Nate, you're giving me a headache," a raspy voice complained and Nate's eyes snapped open, even though he hadn't really realized that he had closed them at all. Eliot blinked sluggishly at him and he even smiled a little.
"You're awake," Nate exclaimed and pressed a chaste, careful kiss to Eliot's lips. The Hitter blinked again, some color finally returning to his unnaturally pale cheeks, making him look more normal, more like the Eliot Nathan was used to. He tried not to let his eyes stray to the strange red mark that had appeared on Eliot's chest just underneath his heart, a mark that the Healer hadn't been able to explain where it came from. He could worry about that later, now he was just glad that his mate was awake and seemed coherent, even if tired.
"How long was I out?" Eliot wanted to know, voice still a little unsteady, but getting stronger with every word, which probably was a good sign and seemed to confirm the Healer's theory that Eliot had simply exhausted himself, even though why still remained a mystery.
"About an hour," Nathan answered with a slight smile. Then he turned serious and studied Eliot.
"How much do you remember from before you passed out?" he questioned gently. It wouldn't surprise him if Eliot's subconscious had repressed some of the memories. And somehow the vampire hoped that he had. But Eliot's face immediately turned grim, a sure sign that he remembered.
"Everything, even though most of it feels like kind of an out of body experience. I didn't really have control over my actions, let alone know what I was doing, why I was doing it and how I was doing it. I was sort of acting on instinct, but then again it was more than that," he explained. The Hitter sounded frustrated with his attempt at an explanation, while Nate only looked at his mate with wide eyes.
"What do you mean?" he asked, not really able to make sense of Eliot's words. The other man simply sighed.
"Honestly, I have no real idea what I mean..."
Whatever else Eliot might have wanted to add, would have to wait, because after a sharp, short knock on the door, Elder William entered the room, his timing perfect as always and Nate had given up wondering how he did it and simply accepted it as a fact and talent of the Elder Vampire. The vampire was followed by two guards and two priests. They bowed respectfully and then walked over to where Sterling's body was lying, covered by the sheet. Eliot followed their movements with his eyes and he swallowed harshly, because he clearly remembered how the werewolf had given his life for him. He still felt guilty about that and so he was glad for the soothing hand Nate placed on his arm after he had obviously sensed his mate's distress, felt his wish to be alone with Sterling to grieve for him and to say goodbye properly.
Elder William watched the two priests, who were gently cleaning Sterling's face from the blood, before he turned back towards Nate and Eliot.
"I'm sorry for the sudden interruption, my Prince. But there are werewolf representatives outside, who have made the request to collect the body of their alpha for a proper, honorable funeral."
It was a formal procedure to inform the dead alpha's clan of his passing and then grant him access to the body, especially after he had died an honorable death, which Sterling obviously had. So Nate nodded immediately.
"Permission granted, as long as they allow Eliot to see him before the funeral," he said without hesitation. Elder William nodded first towards Nate and then towards the priests.
"You heard Prince Nathan's request, make sure that it is granted before you allow them to take the body," he instructed. The two priests nodded and the two guards then took the gurney with Sterling's body on it and they left the room. Eliot was grateful for Nathan's request, because that stopped him from having to demand a few minutes alone with Jim on his own and he was pretty sure that Nate's request would be granted more easily than Eliot's demand.
And for now Eliot was kind of glad that the decision was out of his hands, because as a Hitter Eliot had learned that dwelling on the death of people he cared about didn't bring them back and there were better ways to remember and honor them than to mourn over their dead bodies, at least in his opinion, even though grief was obviously different for everybody involved. Of course it helped to say a proper goodbye and to see the loved one one last time, able to touch them. But since he would probably get his wish granted to see Sterling once again, he didn't have to worry about it right now and could concentrate on more important things.
Elder William had waited until the doors had closed behind the little group and then he returned his attention once again to Nathan and Eliot. He answered an unspoken question clearly painted on Nate's face.
"Of course Damien Moreau isn't going anywhere," he assured, because of course there had been the demand to let him go, but the vampire's had refused, since they had the right to do so after the wolf had tried to kill their prince. Sure, there would be a trial, but until then Damien Moreau would remain in their custody.
"Good," Nate said in approval, giving the Elder a relieved smile, which William returned. Then the old vampire turned serious again.
"But there is an important question I need an answer to before we can proceed with anything", he explained and looked pointedly at Eliot, making the Hitter shift a little uneasily under the piercing eyes. He waited silently for the Elder to continue, which he did.
"What exactly did you do to Damien Moreau?"
Eliot stiffened and then he looked to Nate then to Elder William and then back to Nathan. He shifted a little in the bed to sit up, so that he didn't feel too vulnerable under the twin stares. He knew he needed to answer Elder William and Nate probably wanted to hear that answer too. The Hitter, however, didn't really know how to answer it. So he simply gave his honest point of view of things.
"I can't really tell you how I've done it and I can't tell you why I've done it, let alone how I knew that I could do it at all," he started, rubbing the red mark on his chest unconsciously, because he didn't really know it was there, he simply felt the skin there itch and tried to sooth the irritated flesh.
Nathan and Elder William looked at him expectantly, both impatient for him to finish his explanation. So Eliot took a deep breath and finally said the words they wanted to hear.
"All I can tell you is, that I have somehow banned Damien Moreau's wolf."
to be continued...