(A/n) This is a mature fic. There will be some citrus delights in the chapters to come. So please, if you find particular adult situations offensive: Do not read.

Disclaimer: I have no rights to anything that has already been published in regards to these characters. It is a fan fiction. I make no money off of this. I only hope to receive a satisfaction of perhaps bringing some enjoyment to others from the words that emerge from my overstressed mind.

Be forewarned: I have a deep love of OC's, especially those of the self-insert and mary sue category. I have already read a couple of good OC fanfics dedicated to Dr. Bruce Banner aka Hulk of the film and find them delightful. This fic will contain these qualities. I suggest to not read any further if this is not your cup of tea. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy.


Enemy
Familiar friend
My beginning and my end
Knowing truth
Whispering lies
And it hurts again...

~Fight Inside - Red

-o-

-Part 1-

Chapter 1: It was Always Warm

It was always warm in her dream.

She could feel his breath upon the back of her neck and his strong, firm hand holding her in place against him.

"Mine..."

That is all that he would ever say, a deep growl of a word that sent shivers up along her spine. His hand would tighten around her hip as he brushed up against her, his arousal always clear.

"Mine..."

She would say nothing to this. She would only have a breathless anticipation of what was to come. He was big, both in body and spirit, and filled with raw emotion that always set her off. Her own primal urges emerging from depths of her mind in response to him was always surprising, though why she could not say.

She was cursed with her own demon. One that would rise up at the slightest hint of anger or irritation. Her demon responded to him, urging him on, crooning to him in an almost animalistic language that he seemed to understand. He could sense her excitement, her anticipation, and he loved it.

He was used to fear from others as she was. They both understood the demons within them and to embrace that part of themselves, at least with one another, was an outlet that they both craved for. Within each other, they could give into what the primal part of themselves craved for...

"MINE!"

It was at this moment that she would feel his growl grow into a roar against her back, the large muscles of his torso vibrating. He would slam up against her, his hardness urgent and insistent. She would feel a purr emerge from her throat, her heart beating hard against her chest as she willingly gave into the primal urge of this unique mating dance...

-o-

Anamaria gasped as the chirping tone of her disposable phone broke through the remnants of her dream, shattering whatever images that had played through her mind. She took in a shuddering breath, feeling the heat that coursed through her veins slowly receding to the constant dull ache that remained at the base of her neck. She allowed a few minutes for the heat to fade away, allowed her heart to calm in its fast beat.

She couldn't get excited, she couldn't allow herself to feel such a thing. It was getting harder to fight the emotions her dreams brought out in her now. That part of her was craving for something, something she could not allow herself to give into. Ever since that ill-fated trip to Germany...

She pushed those thoughts away, waiting for the moment her body regained its normal temperature and pulse. Once her heart finally began to beat at a steady count of sixty-two per minute, she sat up in her bed and reached over to grab the phone from then night stand.

Ana, meet me at the café down the street. ~Mama

She stared at the text for a few minutes, wondering why her mother had not simply stopped by their apartment. She must have made a few discoveries from her contact last night. Sighing heavily, she tossed the phone back on to the night stand and got up to make her way to the bathroom that was next to her bedroom. Once inside, she glanced at herself in the mirror that spanned the width of the wall to her left, catching her reflection as she went to turn on the shower.

Her normally tan skin seemed slightly pale this morning and the bags under her brown eyes were an indication to a poor night's sleep. Her curly, copper brown hair had undone itself from the braid she done the night before and now looked like a bird's nest. All in all, a typical morning look for her these days.

What made her heart nearly stop was the sight of the prominent red veins on the sides of her neck. They were slowly receding but it was sign of how close she had been to losing control in her sleep. She could not even fathom what might have happened if...

She closed her eyes against her own reflection and stripped herself bare, feeling ill at ease in her own skin. She could not think of it. She had to meet her mother at the café and decide what new course of action was to be taken place now that she had been seen. Her mother had spent all night with a trusted confidant of theirs tin perhaps finding a way to keep them under the radar of the people who had seen her in Germany. She couldn't risk to be seen again...

-o-

"You have had those dreams again, haven't you?" The woman who asked the question bore a thick French accent about her words, the question itself sounding more exotic to the ears of those who were not used to it.

"Hello to you too, Mama..." said Anamaria as she leaned down to kiss the older woman against her cheek.

She took a seat down across from her mother, folding her hands down upon her lap as she glanced around the small café they were sitting in. It was a quaint little place in Midtown Manhattan, not too far from the newly renovated Stark Tower. It was a place where one could pull up a wooden chair or plop down on a plush couch and enjoy a fine cup of coffee or tea. In this particular case, Anamaria found her mother had been enjoying a cup of chamomile tea before her presence had interrupted.

At the age of forty-eight, Sidonie Brandt was still a handsome woman who could turn a few male heads. Her raven black hair, with a few strands of silver striking through, fell in a long silky sheet down around her pale, heart-shaped face and toward the middle of her back. Her pale blue eyes, rimmed with long dark lashes, were a stunning feature that helped to enhance the clear feline grace of her lithe body. How ever it had happened that this woman had become the mother figure in Anamaria's life was something she could not even begin to fathom. Indeed, if one were to look at them they would not have seen any sort of familial relationship in their looks but it was there in the way they interacted.

"Ana," said Sido, switching flawlessly into her native French as her pale blue gaze focused on Anamaria's brown ones. "I see a hint of redness about your neck... These dreams have been getting worse."

"It's nothing Mama," she said dismissively in her own unique accent of French, her Hispanic heritage shining through her words, as she waved her hand to emphasize the point. "Nothing has changed. I haven't had an incident in over two years before what happened in Germany."

Sido took a sip of her tea before placing the cup down carefully upon the table. She took in a breath and let it out in a soft huff. "It was my fault I suppose. If I had not been there at that function perhaps you would not have been mixed up with those... people."

Anamaria could feel the anger rising at this and swallowed a few times to calm her rising heart beat. "Mama, do not blame yourself. That... that creature would have harmed you and those people. It was a blessed thing that I was there to help you all."

"But at what cost Ana?" Sido studied her daughter, noting the prominent red veins of her neck peeking out from underneath the loose copper brown hair. "You are constantly on edge now. You can barely sleep much less control yourself. Those people had seen you for what you are! It is only a matter of time before they begin to search for you and then the L.I.F.E Foundation will not be far behind."

"I have better control now Mama, you know that. I had not killed a single innocent during that fight in Stuttgart. The only one who had been harmed had been that inhuman creature who meant you harm. Perhaps those people who had taken me might have been hurt but... I remember very little after the change..." Anamaria sat back against her chair, looking slightly at a loss. She couldn't remember much but there had been his scent that lingered on the plane. He had been there, that feral male that called to the most primal part of her. The only thing she clearly remembered was her demon meeting him for the first time. Oh the sweet tension...

She couldn't remember what had happened between them though. The next thing she could recall was waking up in a heavily forested area somewhere... However, the flashes could not be forgotten. She had seen him fall, disappearing into the clouds from that floating hell... Her Mate...

"It does not matter at this point," said Sido, reverting back to English as she sighed heavily, pulling some bills from her purse and placing it on the table. "We have to keep moving as we have before. We have not survived this long to fail. I have found a place where we can hide for a time. It will be risky but Yann has says that this man is trustworthy."

Anamaria gave a nod in agreement as she rose up from the table with her mother. There was much to plan and much more to think of. Who knew where this path would take them now? She was afraid. Her mother was afraid. They both could admit that. It was only a matter of time before they were discovered again.

Lost in her own thoughts, Anamaria followed her mother outside the café and listened as her mother mumbled in French to herself about what they could and could not leave back in their apartment. She smiled at her mother fondly, glad that she had been blessed with at least one person in her life that had cared for her well being. She stepped out to the curb to hail a cab, raising a hand as well as showing a peak of an abdomen that was all soft curves and caramel flesh from under the hem of a short white sleeveless blouse.

A yellow cab screeched to a halt in front of them, amidst the honking protests of passing cabs and other cars. She held the door open for her mother to enter the cab, watching as the older woman was staring up at the sky with slight disbelief. After a moment, Sido rushed forward and pushed her daughter out of the way. "Ana, move!" She cried out in pain a split second later, a bright blue piercing shaft of light connecting with her back.

The smell of burned cotton and flesh reached Anamaria's nose as she reached out to catch her mother, trying to keep her from colliding with the pavement. Her mother was a skinny woman and her weight did not register with Anamaria as she helped her to lay down to the ground. There was so much blood...

A haze of heat flooded her senses and she could feel the prominent point of that heat at the base of her neck flaring up at the sight of her injured mother. "Mama!"

"Ana, you must keep control. Do not let my injury set you off. Please, mon ange!"

"They hurt you Mama... They have hurt you!"

It was too late.

She could feel the burning as it slowly coursed through her veins with each passing heartbeat. Her anger had risen beyond her control, as it had that night in Stuttgart. However, her mother had merely been threatened then. Now...

"My Ana, please," said Sido, grimacing under the pain of her wound. "If you must lose yourself... Please, do not harm any innocents. Just protect them."

Protect them...

She glanced up and around, catching the sights of inhuman creatures scaling their way down the surrounding buildings, firing their guns which emitted the same blue laser that had harmed her mother. A few more were flying about in hover vehicles, firing at anything and everything that moved. There were even enormous monstrous creatures, flying their way down and slamming into the sides of the tall buildings. They all seemed to be emerging from a portal that had opened up in the sky right above Stark Tower.

The more innocent lives that were taken by these creatures... The worse it would become. These creatures all bore them same intent...

With a scream of agonizing pain, her heart pounding too fast to count, the red veins showing prominently against her caramel skin and flowing down to the very tips of her fingers and toes, Anamaria gave into the demon within her and exploded.

With a sickening, painful crunch that touched every muscle, sinew, tendon and bone in her body, Anamaria began to change. She became leaner and taller, her muscles were all sinewy grace as the red veins remained prominent with every passing moment. Her eyes, once brown, now bore a startling glow to them and her irises could no longer be seen beneath this glow. The red patch of skin, that was a constant feature at the base of her neck, was now glowing a fearsome red as Anamaria's scream turned into a frightful sound.

Her scream had become inhuman, a sound of pure pain, terror and absolute anger. It was a tortured sound that was amplified as she clenched her red veined fists and let go of her pent-up energy. It took only a moment but one after another of the creatures that had made their way down the buildings and on to the street surrounding her within a 20 foot radius began to spontaneously combust into flames.

Their screams of torment were music to her ears as she glanced around her, watching as they ran and fell in their haste to put out the flames. She glanced up at the buildings ahead of her, seeing them as they climbed, flew and simply emerged down from the portal above the Stark Tower.

Protect the innocent... Protect them.

Mother was absolute. She would listen to Mother. She had to protect...

With a growl that rose from the depths of her torso, she stumbled a few feet away from her mother's trembling form. She rubbed her feet against the pavement, her low heeled shoes melting away at the point of heat that emerged from the red veined skin. When she could feel the pavement beneath her flesh, she rubbed her feet once more against the rough surface before the point of contact exploded with a ball of flames, propelling her up into the air and straight into the oncoming path of an alien hover vehicle...