Prelude to the Beast

BY : snakecharms
Category: Anita Blake > General
Dragon prints: 4794
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.



Author’s Note:


This is a brand new character I’m introducing to the Anitaverse. At the moment I won’t have her meeting up with any one from St. Louie, but my ideas area always changing. Let me know what you think of her. Reviews are always welcome!


Disclaimer:


In no way do I own the Anita Blake Universe or characters…they aren’t mine folks!


Chapter 1


The Phone Call


The rain was coming down hard, making the view outside distorted and abstract. Even the widow washers weren’t helping. I finally decided to go the speed limit, which is a good sign that the rain was close to a severe down poor. If its one thing I hate its going the speed limit. Who has time to go 50 when they can 60 or better yet, 70. Of course that’s also another reason why my glove compartment is chock full of tickets. Some weren’t even paid for yet. Yeah I know, bad little me.


The sound of my cell phone started it all that night. I should have taken the rain as a sign, but it was that one call that began the confusion that would become my life. A life I would soon question.


Though it was a hazard I took a shot at driving one handed and answered the phone. “Hello?”


Silence.


“Hello?” Silence again. Another one of my pet peeves is repeating myself. Though it had only been two seconds my patience was gone. Whoa a whole two seconds. I think that might be a new record for me.


“Look who ever the hell this is, I’m driving in a frick’in rainstorm so if you have any thing to say you’d better…” My words were cut short by a familiar voice.


“Alicia! Alicia wait. Awe hell. I’m so sorry I…” It was my turn to cut in.


“David?! Uh uh its my night off so what ever the hell you want, go tell it to someone else!” I pulled the phone away from my ear and was about to hit the END button.


“Wait wait! Just here me out, Alicia. I’m begging you!” David’s loud pleading rang through out the Land Rover. It was so tempting. With one click he would disappear and I wouldn’t be stuck with another job on my day off. Shit.


I pulled over onto the side of the road. I wasn’t going to take a chance at getting into an argument with him and getting my butt in an accident. Better safe than sorry. With a long sigh I put the phone back to my ear.


“Make it quick…” I made sure he knew I was annoyed.


“God, thank you so much Alicia. You know you’re my fav-“


“I didn’t say I was going to take the job I just said I was going to listen. So shoot.”


“All right,” Magically David was back to his normal low tone. A tone that could say ‘you’re fired’ without so much as a quiver. Guess he had enough of the ass-kissing routine and was switching back to the real David. The David I knew. “There’s a grizzly bear…” At that moment I opened my mouth to quickly protest but shut it. I told him to talk so I could at least wait till he was finished tell him no. “…they say he hasn’t eaten in over a week. The vets say he’s in tip top shape and they don’t know what in the world could be bothering him.” He paused and I stared to wonder if he was finished. “The owner has tried everything from changing its food to moving its pen. He’s out of ideas and figured it was time to call us.


I didn’t care if he was finished or not I was going to say something. “A grizzly bear, David? Tell me you’re joking.” The last time I had worked on something that big it had been a leopard last winter.


“I’m not. It’s a grizzly all right, 100%. And the owner is willing to pay top dollar.”


“Can’t the Zoo wait till morning, when it’s not my day off. And if it is an emergency why not call Betty. I’m sure the old geezer would be more than willing to help.” Betty reminded me of the sweet old lady next door. A neighbor everyone had at one point in their lives. One that would bring over baked cookies and occasionally asks for her lawn to be mowed. She was defiantly sweet all right. But too much sweets can be sickening after a while.


“Well this isn’t the Zoo. And they asked for you personally.”


I leaned further back in the seat so I could get comfortable and take in all I’d heard. The Zoo had always been our most popular calls. But someone owning his or her own Grizzly Bear? Sounded illegal to me. And the fact that they wanted me personally didn’t sound likely.


“Let me get this straight. Someone here in Baltimore owns their own Grizzly Bear…and wants only me. Now tell me David what doesn’t sound right about this.”


“I know I know. It sounds almost crazy but they are letting us name our price.” I could almost see David’s greedy smile over the phone. Money hungry bastard. If I di do do this job tonight he was most likely going to give me some horrible jobs tomorrow. Horrible as in going on house calls all across Baltimore. “So will you take it? Pretty please.”


I looked down at my clothes. My workout shorts were drenched in sweat and so was my tank top and sports bra. I had just been leaving the gym before David had called. I usually had off on nights so I could teach Kick boxing at the gym. My class was already growing to a whopping six. So what, it was just the slow season. The night was the one chance I had at getting away from the troubles of the day. By night I was a kickboxer and by day I was a…


“Alicia, I need to know what your answer is. This person says he needs you ASAP.”


I’m a psycic pure and simple. But my “power” doesn’t work on humans, only animals. So you can see why I spend most of my time at the local zoos and what talking to coyotes and peacocks, or what ever animal of the day is. Whoever said my days were ordinary lied.


“Fine, David. I’ll do it. But I have to go home and change first. As you know I go to the Gym every Sunday night.”


“That’s fine. He won’t be expecting you until one anyway. You have two hours yet.” I didn’t like the sound of that.


“You already told ‘him’ I’d be there? With out asking me first? Anyone ever tell you-“


“What a nice guy I am for allowing you off on almost every night. Yup, they do.” He was a smartass too. Perhaps I was rubbing off on him after all.


“Fine just give me the address.” I sifted through the pile of papers on the passenger seat for a pen and pad. After he had given it too me I noticed something. The address sounded familiar but I couldn’t say that I had ever been there.


“Oh by the way aren’t you supposed to have college or something tomorrow?”


I had to hand it to him, I had no idea he remembered that I was taking college classes. Twenty-four and still taking college classes. So what if I still had no clue as to what to do with my life. The thought put me in a bad mood and forced me to say something witty back at him.


“Its what us normal people call summer, David. Maybe you can try and enjoy it once in your life.” There was a soft click. I was going to take a wild guess and say he hung up.





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