wonderland

BY : zai
Category: Anita Blake > General
Dragon prints: 2674
Disclaimer: I do not own the Anita Blake series, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

I was dreaming a black and white dream; the contrast between skin and sheets and soft, soft black hair which felt like spun night between my fingers. I was dreaming of Jean Claude, who would be going about his business in the Circus, right on the other side of St Louis. I knew enough about him to suspect that it wasn’t entirely incidental that I was dreaming about sex with Jean Claude on one of the nights that I was spending away from him. He likes to…assert his presence, especially when he knows that I’m with Micah.

“Anita?” It took me a minute to realise that someone was calling my name. I came awake slowly; maybe I was reluctant to leave Jean Claude behind. Slowly, I became aware of Nathaniel, pressed close against the front of my body, the scent of vanilla lringring in his hair. Behind me, Micah was already awake, propped up on his elbow, all those curls tumbling carelessly around his heart shaped face. Blearily, I glanced at the clock. 4.00am in neon numerals in the gloom. Three hours sleep, which always feels worse than nothing at all.

Cherry was standing in the doorway, naked and tousled. She startled me, for a moment…I can cope with casual nudity most of the time, but not when you just pulled me from a sleep, if not entirely dreamless sleep.

“Cherry? What is it?” She tilted her sleep-mussed blonde head.
“Its Jason…he’s…doing it again…”
“Doing WHAT again?” The words were out of my mouth before I realised that I already knew what was wrong with Jason. He’d grown up a lot in the three years since I’d met him, gone from nineteen to nearly twenty two, but he still had nightmares, sometimes, and I can could understand that. I’d got first hand experience of the things which had Jason so damn SPOOKED. I’d stood by a couple of times and watched vamps turn to slick rot as they caressed his skin. I’d watched him convulse and panic, weeping that he couldn’t get clean. He was usually such a happy person, but underneath it all, underneath the jokes and the teasing, there is a part of Jason which which never gets clean

“Where is he?” I said, reluctantly leaving behind my warm place in the bed, between Nathaniel, awake now with wide, startled violet eyes, and Micah, lying back against the pillows, watching me in a way that made me blush. I caught sight of myself in the mirror as I cinched the belt of my emerald silk robe tight, and I wondered. I wondered how on earth Micah could wake up with all those curls aesthetically tousled just *so*, and I still looked like a surprised haystack?

“Bathroom.” Said Cherry, turning away, back to Zane, I guessed, and I nice warm bed of their own. Lucky for some, huh?

--

“Jason?”

If I listened very carefully, I could just about hear the sound of sobbing over the rush of the shower.it. it. We had been here before. Tennessee. The Lupanar of Verne’s pack, which should have been a safe place, but wasn’t.

He hadn’t wanted to see me then either.

“Jason?”
“Go away, Anita.”
“Easy or hard, Jason, but I’m coming in.nSilnSilence.

“Please, Jason?” Maybe it was the fact that I never really say please unless I’m desperate?

“Okay…”

The m inm in the bathroom was so thick that I almost instinctively took a step back. The tiles were running with condensed water, the air was unbelievably humid. Jason was huddled in the corner of the bath, directly under the shower, shaking…shivering despite the heat in the room.

He looked up, and those summer blue eyes were impossibly wide. He was trembling visibly, and, suddenly, he seemed very young, with yellow hair slicked back, and features unmade by tears. Suddenly, twenty one wasn’t so very old.

“I can’t get it off, Anita…I can’t…I can’t…I can’t get clean…” I moved a little closer, and I was very aware of the fact that Jason was naked. We were friends; he was on the list, but, somehow, things had been different since the start of the ardeur, when Jason had touched me; had known how to touch me like he’d been dreaming about it for YEARS. Somehow, it made me wonder if I’d always been right about Jason being nothing but a tease. My love-life was complicated enough, so I pretended that I hadn’t happened. To my intense surprise, so did Jason.

I felt it like a wave; the horror, when I actually made myself look at him. He’d scrubbed his body so hard that he’d actually skinned himself; rubbed himself red-raw at hips and knees. If he’d have been human, I’d probably have been looking at bone. And it had been a dream; there’d been nothing there to scrub away.

“Oh, Jason…” He looked so…undone.

“I couldn’t get it off…” he said, his eyes drowning blue. I tried, and I tried but…” No jokes. No wisecracks. Shit. Jason was dangerously close to the edge, but it was only a nightmare. Like being afraid of shadows…

“Its gone now, Jason…” He swallowed.
“I know that, Anita…I know, but…it was so hard to wake up.”

It was as close as I ever came to my heart bleeding. He looked so young that I almost wanted to cry. I reached out to him, touched his shoulder, and I FELT the atmosphere change, as Jason became aware of being naked, and became aware of me. He looked at me, a spark of the Jason that we knew and loved sparkling in summer eyes, and I knew that we were safe, for then.

“Anita, I…”
“Anita?” I turned, suddenly. Micah standing in the doorway wearing jeans and a black t-shirt, something…unreadable in green-gold eyes as he looked at Jason and me. “You have a phonecall…”

Why is it always me in an emergency?

whether its Lukoi or Pard, there is something healing about closeness. Something that we can’t share. I guess that’s why I understood why Nathaniel took Jason’s hand, and gently led him away from sight. Why their mouths met n a wet, tangled kiss, Nathaniel’s body hot and dry against the wet slickness of Jason’s skin. Hands slipping and sliding in the darkness, as the kissing became more intense, as Jason’s hands slid down between their bodies, grasping Nathaniel and working him, sliding back and forth until the slighter man gasped and groaned and bucked between Jason’s clever hands.

A way of healing the pain, and forgetting.
And yes, I understood that, I think.

--



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