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[Harmonious Beasts: Mike Zacharius]

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136c175655c5d50ebdb53f4e4211151f by FickleThorns


"Correct me if I'm wrong," fingers tenting one eye narrowed a fraction, the vast body of fur beside the chair bristling aggressively "But that's a human." 

Nodding to the male down on his knees a hand came out to keep back the snarling beast at her side. 

Eren glanced back at his quarry, then to {Name}. A nervous fidget making him reach into the collar of his shirt and loosen it. 

"You're correct." Voice losing volume Eren offered a sheepish smile. 

At the confirmation Mike snapped forward, hackles raised the sharp teeth were bared from behind snarling lips. Annoyed {Name} yanked on the back of Mike's neck to keep him at bay. 

Mike lowered his body, whimpering and whining, twisting his large head he laid it on her legs. 

Ears back the golden eyes implored {Name}, his nose pushing at the hand in her lap she raised it, stroking a finger up the broad nose, between the eyes before finding his sweet spot behind the ear. 

A smile covered for {Name}'s aggravation when the large and bushy tail Mike possessed in his Lycan form, swished back and forth happily. 

Returning attention to the pressing issue of the human in their midst {Name}'s brow furrowed, what were they to do with him? 

"Levi is going to have your neck Eren." {Name} made a slicing motion across her neck, a sharp eye turned on the squirming beta. 

The castle was meant to act as a haven for Lycan and Vampire alike. 

Their species long since tired of battling it out with each other for dominance of a metaphorical immortal throne, they'd called peace between their species. 

Their one straightforward rule was no humans. 

Scratching under Mike's neck {Name} almost forgot what she was sat in the room for, and it wasn't for fussing over Mike. 

"Eat him." With a wave of the hand, {Name} decided the unfortunate human's outcome "Or turn him." Giving the second option Eren looked up at {Name} with concern. 

Strictly speaking, they were not allowed to change anyone. It created a lot of work keeping an eye on them, training them and educating them. 

It was bothersome, to say the least. 

{Name} again nearly forgot the purpose of her presence when Mike placed his front paws on the arm of the chair, sniffing eagerly across her face and into her hair. It was hard to believe at times that Mike was an Alpha when he acted like he was. 

"If I may?" The human spoke, bringing attention to him all at once. 

Not put off from presenting his case, even when Mike gave a warning growl the human only smiled.

"You could just let me go. I won't say anything about," the man paused his eyes floating between the two human-looking bodies, and the larger than natural wolf "Whatever this is." Curious but hiding it well in his steady voice the man focused on {Name}. 

A cruel smile twisted {Name}'s lips, partially exposing the sharp point of her canine "I don't think so, you've landed in a lion's den, and we can't risk you getting out." Summing up the situation a half-hearted and one-sided shrug followed up her lack of care for the matter.

"You either die, or you become one with us." Giving the two options, {Name} jutted her chin it Eren. 

"This is your mess, decide what you want to do." Fingers flicking at Eren to hurry up {Name} knocked her head sharply against Mike's to make him back off from the overly affectionate display. 

He whined ears pressed flat to his head as he laid down, head on his paws in a sulk. 

Eren had hummed before his shoulders slumped "Sorry about this." Giving a weak and unfelt apology Eren's body shifted with ease, his control far better than when he was a pup.

Shuddering at the sound of screaming, tearing flesh and crunching of bones {Name} stood up, a hand patting patronisingly on a thigh to bring Mike to heel. 

Mike didn't move, head remaining down he watched Eren make a meal out of the human.

"Suit yourself." {Name} muttered in disappointment and taking care not to stand on his tail as she swept back the curtain behind the chair. 

136c175655c5d50ebdb53f4e4211151f by FickleThorns

Strolling out into the vast corridor behind the council room {Name} inspected her nails. They were in need of a fix-up, the paint starting to chip at the tips. 

Passing over the thought, {Name} pondered on why she'd wasted time in the council room. 

It was by pulling the figurative short straw that {Name} got stuck dealing with the little problem Eren dragged in through the gates in the early hours of the morning.

All the others claimed to be busy when {Name} dropped in and asked them to see to it. 

Only one, however, actually looked busy at the time. 

It was decided when they drew up the peace treaty that the heads of the Covens and Alphas of the packs would act as the governing body when they came together. 

Sharing the workload equally between them to keep things fair. 

There was not a shadow of a doubt that it worked at the start, but over time many begun to shirk their duties and left others to handle the flow of business. 

Irksome as it was, it was better to hold tongue than snipe and create tension. 

With the coming dawn, {Name} watched the sun begin to peek above the mountains that surrounded them. Far away from the human populace, it kept the chances of being stumbled upon to a minimum. 

Sentries placed down the mountain that spread into the thick Forrest acting as double insurance that they would not be disturbed. 

Experiencing four centuries of peace, was blissful. 

No more bloody battles for pride and territory meant that their numbers were flourishing. 

Though the Lycans bred far quicker than the Vampires, there was no fretting over the imbalance it created. 

Especially not when their first half-breed was born eighty years into the truce. The child was a strange thing to start with. 

All the wit and charm of a vampire with the brute strength and sharp senses of a Lycan. 

Everyone was making bets, curious to know if the baby would have a wolf form. 

There was disappointment all round when the first full moon came, and he remained a small gurgling baby rather than becoming a pup. 

Sidestepping a group of fledgelings chasing, and being chased by cubs {Name} watched them for a moment. 

A white cub skidding into a suit of armour he plopped down, ears flopping side to side to shake off the pain a small blonde fledgeling ran up to it. 

Picking it up and carrying it to catch up with the others without reservation. 

136c175655c5d50ebdb53f4e4211151f by FickleThorns

"Still a little strange, isn't it?" 

Facing the speaker briefly {Name} agreed with a hum, in her fledgeling days, she would have been told to rip out the cub's throat. 

A brutal thought, but an honest one.

Unlike the Cubs who were weak and dependent on their packs, fledgeling vampires started to show signs of their strength on reaching their first year. 

"About the human?" Erwin enquired a slight tilt of his head displaying that he was curious about the outcome. 

{Name} rested a hand on her hip as the other jutted over the shoulder "Eren is probably picking his teeth clean as we speak." Detailing the result crudely the hand fell to rest at her side when Erwin straightened. 

Their respective covens long interlinked by marriages and pacts it was a surprise to {Name} on hearing the news that Erwin obtained the head of his coven. 

Unlike {Name} who was born into her position Erwin climbed to the top through political moves and wavering favour away from their original head of the covens family. 

A shock to all when Erwin was appointed, it broke all traditions. Making unsettling waves through the vampire and werewolf populace alike. 

A political upheaval was unheard of among them. 

Lips curling back when the tongue flicked across the teeth {Name} moved around Erwin. 

"Make sure Levi goes easy on the pup." 

Mentioning to keep Levi from beating Eren to a bloody pulp, Erwin's shoulders shook with a laugh. 

"I will do my best." He agreed before stepping off and continuing down the corridor. 

 

136c175655c5d50ebdb53f4e4211151f by FickleThorns


With the full moon waning the number of Lycanthropes decreased as they shifted back to their human bodies. 

Jean, Reiner and Bertholdt found to be sitting on the floor of the banquet hall all stretched out their freshly returned limbs, and waiting for them to do so were Marco, Krista and Annie.

It was worrisome to see how many of the younger ones were quick to strike up relations with the different species rather than stick with their kind. 

Harmonious as they were, many disliked the introduction of the hybrids. One such person was Zackly; his eyes narrowed in contempt for the display of adoration happening in the hall.

"Smile Darius, there are much worse things than hormonal teens wanting to make coitus."

Patting the man's arm to compliment the sarcastic comment {Name}'s head bowed when Darius looked at her, a snarl twisting across his moustached lip. 

"It's utter filth." He argued, a finger pushing up his glasses.

"Says the man who sniffs butts to say hello." Referencing the canine style greeting {Name} arched a brow when Darius's mouth pinched. 

He had no argument. 

 

136c175655c5d50ebdb53f4e4211151f by FickleThorns


Sauntering off with a little skip in her step for the victory {Name} took the winding staircase to the upper floors. Before the interruption of Eren and his human, she was midway through a game of chess with the ever-wily Pixis. 

The aged man showing no signs of slowing mentally, she'd yet to beat him at the game. 

Hitting the corridor in time to catch Marie lash out and push Nile out the window he was leaning on, {Name} winced. 

For though the fall to the ground wouldn't kill Nile, it was undoubtedly going to hurt. 

Coming up to Marie's side to join her in watching Nile's spinning descent, a whistle parted her mouth "What he do this time?" 

Marie huffed as she drew back from the window "Do I need a reason?" Quipping in return Marie's eyes still held remnants of her wolf form, the pupils vertical and slit-like. 

Hot tempered, and a force to be reckoned with on all aspects, Marie was one of few that {Name} would never dream of going toe to toe with. 

"Not really." Choosing not to stoke the fire that blazed in Marie's eyes, {Name} took a step away. 

Nile was braver a man than most to take up Marie as his partner, not even the Alpha's spoke a word out of place to Marie, even though Marie was only a beta. 

Casting another look to the window {Name} pouted at the sunlight that stretched over the mountaintop, the windows closing and shutters coming down to keep the light from touching inside the building, a yawn fell from a passing vampire. 

Suspecting Pixis would be preparing to sleep {Name} headed for her quarters to get some of her own. 

Arms stretching above her head {Name} begrudged the arrival of spring. With the night's much shorter, it left a much smaller window to get anything done.

Chapter Text

The clatter of the shutters rising, broke {Name} out of her sleep.

Wide awake, she didn't get up immediately. Choosing to stay curled up among the sheets and listening to the breathing of the man sprawled out on the mattress behind her.

Mike would spend the best part of the day and night dozing after a full moon.

Something about it made the Lycanthropes extremely lethargic after going through the forced changing of their bodies.

It was these times that {Name} and her kin liked the most.

Quiet in the absence of the boisterous beasts, it allowed them all to share a brief respite.

Shifting carefully to the edge of the bed {Name} peered over one shoulder, as always Mike was on his back, and unclothed.

All across the exposed skin were varying sizes and shades of scars that Mike gained in the time before the peace treaty.

One in particular stuck out like a sore thumb to {Name}'s narrowed gaze.

The very first night they'd met {Name} went straight for Mike's heart, missing it by an inch when he'd bitten her throat.

The timely arrival and distraction of his prospective mate at the time allowed {Name} to throw him off.

Their second meeting was at the peace talks.

Arriving with Erwin, there was a flicker of recognition from Mike -for {Name} having not seen his human form until then- she only recognised him when they all stepped forward to create the blood pact.

Slicing their palms open and using it to sign the treaty {Name} had looked up, on recognising the scent.

When the cohabitation started, they finally spoke to each other.

None of it kind, but aiming to clear the air it was forty years later that they entered into their relationship.

Sliding off the edge of the bed a quick walk around brought her to Mike's side.

Tucking back a stray hair {Name} leant down, a quick kiss placed on the corner of his lips a smile drifted lazily across them, Mike was awake.

"Are you going to sleep all night?"

Tracing a single finger down Mike's chest a tilt of the head brought her eyes to align with his, they were sharp and still baring the vertical pupils, he'd not long changed back.

Mike groaned as he stretched. Sheet slipping away to expose his body, {Name} remained focused on Mike's face, the tip of her tongue slithering over her teeth when the need to sate her thirst rose up.

With a pang of hunger burning the back of her throat, she traced the finger back up Mike's body until it settled on his neck, the tip of the nail stabbing at the skin.

Unlike with her kin where it was perfectly acceptable just to take a bite, they had to ask before doing so with the Lycan's.

Mike gave a half smile before pulling {Name} down on the bed, her body laying over his a hand cupped the back of her head.

"You don't need to ask anymore." Mumbling lazily Mike turned his head to further expose his neck.

Instinctively {Name}'s tongue flicked out, sweeping up across the soft skin Mike was offering before she curled back her lips and bit down when Mike brought an arm over her back, rolling them until her back met the mattress.

It was in times like these that {Name} could finally comprehend the possessiveness of the Lycanthropes.

Keeping a firm hold on Mike both legs wrapped at his waist, a hand cupped the side of his neck she wasn't latched too.

It was eye-opening, to say the least when {Name} started her relationship with Mike. For unlike their four-legged friends, vampires did not stick to one sexual partner.

It was commonplace for them to take many lovers, even if they were married. It was only when it came down to feeding that it was strictly kept between the married couple.

To feed off anyone other than their spouse, was the Vampires equivalent of cheating.

It was in the act of feeding that they bonded. Surpassing more than just being another body to lay in bed with, it was a more intimate connection that was created as they could see the memories and hear the innermost thoughts of the person they took blood from.

To feed was literally like baring the soul.

Taking her fill the tongue wound in a quick circle to collect any remnants from her lips, a small kiss placed over the little bite marks {Name} rested her head down on the bed, as Mike laid his on her chest.

Playing with Mike's hair {Name} stroked the other hand over his cheek and jaw, very much aware that he was close to dozing off again, she let him stay where he was.

- - - - - - -

Finger pressed on the king {Name} turned it in a slow circle on the single square of the board, she was losing again, and poorly.

A lingering gaze spared to Armin who was trying to rescue Eren from the nets that Jean threw over him, a smile curved one-half of her mouth.

The more Eren struggled, the more trapped he became.

"Levi didn't string him up then?" Facing Erwin again she pondered her move, a sigh leaving her on seeing the majority of her pieces on his side of the table.

Erwin gave a single breathy laugh "Not for lack of trying." He answered coolly resting back in the chair {Name} could hear him tapping his foot off the leg of the table, waiting patiently for {Name} to make her move.

Again {Name}'s focus went to Eren and Armin.

Eren's irrational impulsiveness making the ordeal all the more painful with his thrashing around, it left Armin at a loss trying to get him free.

Looking closely at Armin it was impossible to tell that {Name} was the one who birthed him, far too much like his father who was sat across from her and studying the board.

A one-time copulation with Erwin and she'd popped Armin out eighteen months later.

It was not planned or even expected, in truth {Name} wasn't sure at the time of carrying Armin who his father was until he was born.

Tiring of the mental strain {Name} flicked over the king, ending the game. Erwin's eyes rolled, but he said nothing about it.

It was a better way to end the game than the time {Name} got frustrated and flipped the board up at Erwin for laughing at her.

Pushing back the chair {Name} met with Erwin's bemused face "It's painful to watch." Head jutting toward the commotion in the corner of the hall they shared a look of agreement.

"I thought I would have to step in." Erwin mentioned gently, a finger tapping on his chin {Name} scoffed "Erwin Smith, you're an awful liar." She breezed knowing full well that he was waiting for {Name} to step in and sort the mess Eren was in.

Approaching the two young men {Name} set hands to hips a heavy exasperated sigh fleeing her mouth when Eren's foot popped out and became twisted in the ropes of the net.

"Stay still Mutley." Chiding sharply {Name} bent down unwinding the net carefully as Armin undone the opposite side.

In less than a minute, Eren was free.

Net tossed aside {Name} shot a look at Armin "Keep him on a short leash if you stumble upon Horse boy." Pointing to the ill-tempered Eren a whimpering laugh was returned from Armin "I will." He assured, Eren pouting at him in response.

"Maybe we should have you wear a muzzle to keep that mouth of yours shut." Deep and musing Zeke appeared at the edge of {Name}'s sight, her mouth curling on one side in irritation.

Being Eren's half-brother, they did not belong to the same pack.

Grisha having been expelled from the one Zeke was born into, he'd been taken in by another, and gotten cosy with one of the females, Carla. A little while later, they had Eren.

"Keep your kinks to yourself, Zeke," turning her back to him a hand waved back and forth as if to physically brush off his presence ", Or I may check you in with our vet to be neutered." Throwing out the warning {Name} made a snipping motion with two fingers a 'snip snip' accompanying it.

Out of the Lycans, Zeke was among the hardest to convince to join the cohabitation.

Their family keeping well away from mixing with the vampires, it often made {Name} uneasy, but also thankful that Zeke was not the Alpha of their group.

If any trouble were to start, {Name} pinned it would be them to start it.

Facing Armin a finger snagged a section of hair "Tie it up, or cut it." She ordered as Armin tried to coax his hair out of her fingers "Mum, get off!" He complained, which only caused her to smile.

Though {Name} was not in any way maternal when Armin was younger, she enjoyed being able to tease and wind him up now that he could argue back.

When Armin was a gurgling bundle blowing raspberries at her, she hated it, and she told him as much when he was old enough to understand.

It was Erwin who was far more caring toward their offspring when he was younger but showing little interest once he was walking and talking.

Letting Armin go {Name} made ready to take up a seat with Erwin again, only stopping when Ian appeared in the doorway, his skin a most incredible white.

"M'lady?" Ian addressed her formally, face stern.

With narrowed eyes {Name} tipped her head to him, it was not going to be good news if her eyes and ears of the castle were looking ready to finally hit his deathbed "What is it?"

Ian adjusted himself before leaning in close, hand cupping to keep anyone from reading his lips "We have a serious problem. One of the hybrids is dead." Delivering the news carefully Ian swallowed "They were found at the foot of the mountain by a sentry," a shaking breath steadied his nerves "It was definitely a Lycan attack."

Mind fogging {Name} swayed on her feet, Ian's hand coming out to steady her "You have to be joking?" In a rushed whisper {Name} searched Ian's face, it was open and honest, hiding nothing.

A hybrid was dead, and all evidence pointed to the Lycan's being responsible.

Casting sight on Zeke warily {Name} bit harshly on her lip, this was not going to be a matter they could smooth over quickly.

"Gather the Coven leaders and Alphas in the council room." Giving Ian the order he stepped back, bowing before leaving the room smartly.

Looking up to where Erwin was watching with a curious eye {Name} clicked fingers at him "Council room, we'll talk on route." Practically ordering him to follow, she turned to Armin.

Scooping him in for a hug, she was not surprised when he stiffened "Be careful of them." Whispering the warning in his ear {Name} pulled away, though unsure Armin showed that he understood "And you." He replied with a firm stare.

Smiling half-heartedly, {Name} pinched his cheek "I can handle myself." Reassuring him a hand ruffled his hair before she moved to meet Erwin in the middle of the room.

Falling into step with each other Erwin focused straight ahead, only looking at her when she spoke in the vampires native tongue.

"A hybrid is dead." She informed quickly, eyes flicking back and forth as they walked "And it was confirmed by Lycan, to be a victim of one."

The graveness of the situation mutually understood by the two, they walked in silence to the council room.

Four hundred years had passed without incident, until that night.

 

Chapter Text

Taking centre stage of the council room, {Name} searched the faces of all in attendance.

None looked particularly guilty, over half looked as though they'd just come from their beds.

"I apologise for calling you all here; I know many of you are tired."

As though to back up {Name}'s opening some yawned, mainly the Lycan parties who looked considerably agitated at being awoken.

"But there is a matter of higher priority than your sleep," giving a glance to the sleepy members they all perked a little at the seriousness of her tone "And we must address it quickly."

Fingers stroking down the palm of the same hand {Name} ushered Ian to step forward, the single item taken from their victim being the only method to identify them.

The chain of the gold locket hooked around the index and middle finger "This was taken from the remains of a hybrid found at the foot of the mountain."

Turning in a circle for all to see {Name} swung it into her palm "As we are all aware due to our inability to be in the sun, the sentries are all Lycan." Choosing her words and tone carefully {Name} watched each of them in turn for reactions.

"It was confirmed by the sentry that the hybrid was the victim of a Lycan attack." Announcing the news {Name} listened to the hissing, gasping and throaty objections made of the statement.

"Are you saying one of our own murdered the hybrid?" Kits spoke for the others, fingers stroking the thick beard his hollowed eyes burned into {Name}'s back.

"Unless I stuttered, that is exactly what I am saying." Eyes rolling at having to explain {Name} gave Ian the locket back; it did not go over well.

"Please remember before you cast aspersions on my motifs, that it was one of your own who confirmed this." Putting out a hand when Nile sat forward suddenly she shot him a warning glare "Specifically, your son Nile."

That made him press back in his seat; chin gripped in hand Nile gave the room a fleeting glance "If that is the case, then let him speak." Haughtily Nile requested the presence of his son to deliver his verdict.

"I thought you would say as much." Giving Ian the signal to bring in the man, {Name} finally took up her seat.

Standing to attention as question after question was fired off, all receiving the unwanted answers that one of their four-legged friends, was responsible.

Ordering his son to leave, Nile pinched the bridge of his nose "This doesn't leave you leeches out of the equation as of yet."

Firing off the quip the others hummed agreement, the vampires making noises of objection.

Sitting straight {Name} knew where Nile was angling the conversation "It is plausible that with our species intermingled one of ours could have coerced a Lycan into doing it."

Accepting that they were not entirely in the clear, all eyes turned on {Name}.

"Are you saying we're to blame in this?" Kenny sneered from across the room; the hat once tipped low pushed up to reveal his face "Just 'cause you abandoned your loyalty to get in bed with a mongrel, doesn't mean we're accountable."

Tongue flicking off a canine {Name} sneered in return "To think you have the audacity to question my loyalty Ackerman is nothing short of an insult." Dryly {Name} responded: "Lest we forget you are only head of your house by cutting down your own brethren and casting out your nephew."

Reiterating the facts of how Kenny came to power {Name} smiled sweetly when Kenny gave a careless shrug, his eyes, however, showed the dislike of her words.

With a cursory look towards Mike who was lounged on the arm of his seat, {Name} turned back to Kenny "My loyalty has always been first and foremost with my house, regardless of who I take to my bed." Locking eyes icily with Kenny the smirk that suddenly travelled his mouth made her stomach twist.

A clearing of a throat brought everyone to focus on Erwin "Personal matters aside; we need to concentrate on the real issue here." Hands knitted together and resting in his lap, Erwin appeared bored.

"A young life has been taken, regardless of which of our kind is responsible we need to ensure that there is no repeat, or that our centuries of hard work does not go to waste." Bringing the focus back to the matter at hand, they all fell quiet.

Raising a hand, Djel sighed lazily "I believe this matter should be handled by you." Nodding to {Name} a lopsided smirk made its way over his mouth "It is only a hybrid, there is little importance in its life being gone."

Fingers curling tight on the rests of the chair {Name}'s teeth gritted "It is for that precise reason we should take this seriously."

Arguing the lacklustre response to just who was murdered, {Name} stood up again.

"None of you are concerned that it is a hybrid who has died. Be it they are neither wholly Vampire nor Lycan, they are a mix of us both, and should be the concern of us both."

Watching the room, they all shifted uncomfortably "We removed the restrictions on interspecies relations, for this very purpose. To secure a reason for us not to start tearing each other's throats out again."

Reminding them all {Name} pulled up the hem of her dress to move back into the centre "If we cast this incident aside, and act like it never happened we're enforcing the idea that the Hybrids are nothing more than walking targets. That anyone on either side can pick them off as they please."

It was a long time since {Name} had to speak politically and sway an audience. It was at least, one of her stronger points.

"All of us, have a relation to one of them, they are as much our blood and kin as the litters and fledgelings born to same species parents."

That caused a stir. All of them shifting uncomfortably again Darius raised a hand, though suspicious {Name} allowed him to speak.

"Quite frankly I don't care a darn for a filthy half-blood being chewed on," Darius was blunt and unapologetic for his opinion "However I don't wish to see us all descend back into the hell of the blood wars. Neither side gained anything other than losses."

Surprised at the turnaround in attitude {Name}'s head snapped back.

"I agree with Zackly for once." Pixis finally entered the conversation, eyes closed he nodded along slowly "What would you suggest as a course of action m'dear?" Turning a charming smile on {Name}, it came with a small wink.

Thankful for Dot's assistance {Name} was ready to make a suggestion, but it fell short when Kits cut across.

"You expect us to take orders in the requirement of logic, from a woman who can't even win a game of chess?" Snidely Kits eyed {Name} with some cockiness, a few sniggers from others joining in, Dot included.

"I do believe she had your packs putting their tails between their legs and rolling on their backs on more than one occasion." Calmly Pixis stroked his moustache with a finger and thumb his eyes somewhere focused on the ceiling.

All at once the Alpha's of the packs Dot made reference to became sour facially. Some staring down at their feet.

In truth, though {Name} was awful at the strategy game, she packed a punch when it came to tactics on a battlefront.

Though it seemed many forgot that quickly, and only ever recalled her epically flawed way of playing chess.

Eyes narrowing {Name} gave a side glance to Erwin when he coughed to hide his laughter, a hand out as if to say sorry.

Biting the tip of her tongue {Name} brushed off the small jibe.

"I won't tell you how to manage your packs or covens," she brushed back a strand of hair, turning to glance at Ian who nodded once for her to continue "However I would appreciate if you investigated internally and we meet again in a month."

Everyone agreed with a silent show of hands that they would come together again at the next appointed meeting. All of them giving orders to their seconds in command, to start looking into the death of the hybrid.

With the room emptying {Name} didn't need to speak with Ian for him to know what he was expected to do.

Already acting as eyes and ears for {Name}, he would only be a little more intrusive.

Slowly, the room dwindled down to only two.

Mike remained seated for a short time, head tipped back and scratching under his chin before he stood "So your loyalty is first and foremost with your house?" Though it was spoken casually, his eyes looked wounded by the comment.

Arms folding {Name} made a small gesture of her head "Of course it is. Are you saying you'd abandon your pack?"

Shooting back {Name} blanched when Mike answered without a hint of hesitation.

"For you, I would."

Chapter Text


Another snag and pull on the hem of {Name}'s dress gained her attention entirely. Deep eyes of amber staring up with fiery determination; the pointed grey ears laid flat against the Cubs head.

It was one of Marie's litter, though which of them it was in their current form, was hard to tell.

Reaching down {Name} scooped up the playful pup by his scruff, all four legs curled close to the fluffy body the small pink tongue flicked out when she brought him close to her face.

"To think I would have stepped on you many years ago." Sighing when the cub whined {Name} set it back down, a gentle pat on his head it ran off across the room, stumbled, then ran again.

Eyes rolling at the young things unsteady feet {Name} returned to her work.

Even though they were all under one roof, there were still matters that could only be dealt with by the heads of each house or pack.

Such as the cold-blooded murder of the hybrid.

Fingers skimming aside page after page of reports Ian brought in at the start of the night {Name} smiled, he was articulate and efficient in all aspects.

Laying on the sofa Mike tucked both arms under his head, one knee bent up he looked to still be in a sour mood from their earlier exchange.

"If you're going to be sulking all night, you can leave." Calling over to Mike a brow shot up when he pulled himself into a sitting position "I'm not sulking."

Stretching Mike sighed happily when each shoulder cracked and popped "I haven't really slept yet." Like the statement needed backing up, he yawned.

Eyes rolling {Name} set both hands on the edge of the desk ready to push back the chair she paused when Armin entered the office.

"What is it?" Taking back the hands {Name} folded them on the desk, leaning forward she returned to reading the reports.

"Uh, mum?" Armin took a step into the room, {Name}'s attention coming up just as Armin gave a nervous look towards Mike.

Sitting back {Name} clicked her fingers, Armin was too obvious in his speculative glance "Remember your mother tongue."

Addressing sharply in the Vampire's first language {Name} clucked her tongue disapprovingly when Armin appeared to struggle in understanding.

"I have heard rumours that one of them, killed a hybrid." Finding his voice, Armin sat down on the chair opposite {Name}'s, brow furrowing deeply when she confirmed that it was correct.

"What is being done?" Curious and a little nervous Armin held the edge of the desk as {Name} shifted in her seat "We've agreed to investigate internally."

Tapping a finger on the arm of the chair {Name} smiled when Armin's head angled to the side "You know it will just be covered up if they find anything."

Armin was sharp, there was no doubting that. However, where his mind was wondrous, his facial expressions were not so much.

Unlike Erwin who was a master at the poker face, Armin was yet to achieve it.

"Go and tell your dad to keep his nose out of my affairs," a lip splitting smirk tore across her mouth when Armin stuttered, his eyes swivelling around the room "I will speak with him if I need to."

Waving a hand to hurry Armin along {Name} put her chin in the palm of her hand "And Armin?" Catching him before he left the room {Name}'s head tilted "Please be cautious."

Delivering the concern for his well being, it was received with a smile "I will." He assured softly before closing the door.

Sitting back {Name} ran a hand through her hair, neck angling to bring Mike within her sights he appeared thoughtful, long fingers stroking his chin their eyes finally met.

"Already your lot are throwing caution to the wind." He sounded annoyed, no doubt due to Armin and {Name} blatantly excluding Mike from their conversation.

"It can't be helped." Lamenting the sudden tension and wariness going between their two kinds {Name} rose out of the chair, moving towards Mike she captured his face in her hands "You would do the same if the shoe were on the other foot."


Sliding both hands up Mike's face until the fingers were lost in his hair she smiled serenely "Don't take it to heart."

Pecking the tip of Mike's nose his eyes closed a fraction.

Hands running up the sides of her thighs they traced the curves of {Name}'s body until finding her waist "It's not that I'm taking it to heart," with his hands circling round to her back he pulled {Name} toward him.

"I just don't see why you have the sudden need to cut me out of conversations." A brow crooked upwards Mike was not remedied by {Name}'s smile alone.

Ultimately understanding of Mike's dislike to what occurred, being forcibly kept out of the short talk {Name} shared with Armin, it was not done with malicious intent.

Climbing on Mike's lap {Name} poked a finger to his chest, making circles and swirling patterns over the simple t-shirt he was wearing.

"If you must know Armin came to ask if the rumours were true." Digging at the centre of Mike's chest {Name}'s lips formed a pout when his head tipped to rest on his shoulder.

"That, and he wanted to know how we were going to be looking into it." Mimicking the movement of Mike's head, she felt warmth flood her chest when he smiled back at her.

It was -ironically- wolfish the way his lips would curl on one side, half smirk half smile, and most undoubtedly coy.

"I sometimes wish your libido would tire out." Mumbling a weak excuse when his, mouth found hers it was hungry and needy in the way Mike's tongue skimmed her bottom lip, waiting for them to part their tongues met in the middle.

There was no ascertaining for dominance, Mike very simply always took the lead and {Name} never complained.

In one quick sweeping movement, Mike was behind {Name}, her knees balanced on the sofa Mike kept her in place with one arm slipped around to her front, it stretched up so that the hand closed loosely around her neck.

Being his usual rough self, Mike kept a firm grip on {Name}'s waist before laying his weight on her back "You've never complained about it before."


In a breathy pant, he pressed his mouth against her ear, before nipping lightly on the lobe and trailing hot kisses down her neck and onto the shoulder.

It was true, it was one of the few aspects she could never find fault or complaint with when it came to Mike, even if at times he was close to insatiable.

Arm stretched back {Name}'s fingers closed in Mike's hair, their mouths meeting when she laid her head back on his shoulder, their wanton sounds became trapped between their lips.

With a gasp, {Name} broke away when Mike removed the hand from her hip to slide between her thighs.

Wanting to curl forward {Name} was kept back by Mike's hold as {Name} sought for something to hold onto when the heat in her lower half intensified. A hand clamped down on Mike's forearm, his name was coerced from her lips when she felt him tense.

With his mouth hot against her neck {Name}'s face buried in against her risen shoulder. Both nearing their peak Mike relinquished his hold to bring both hands to her hips.

{Name}'s arms were thrown forward and over the back of the sofa to create a rest for her head when Mike removed his weight from her back and gave a firm and shuddering push before a throaty moan announced his climax.

A few more given and {Name} met with hers.

Carefully Mike brought his arms around {Name}, easing her back to rest against him they shared small kisses. One arm resting on Mike's the other stretched up, the fingers stroking along his jaw when he rested his chin on a shoulder.

Tenderly Mike stroked his fingers down over {Name}'s stomach until they met with her hand and slid together "Are you feeling better now?"

Nudging against Mike's side a smile drifted over {Name}'s mouth when he slid his eyes to hers.

"I'm not sure," he returned with a frown, though it didn't hide the mirth in his eyes "Maybe we should have another quick one."

Sounding serious about the matter, he squeezed {Name}'s side as he leant across to put a kiss on her lips.

Grinning {Name} twisted out of Mike's hold, placing her feet back on the floor letting the dress ripple down from where Mike bunched it up.

"How about you save that energy for later, and we can see if you can beat your own record, hm?" Purring against Mike's ear, {Name} walked two fingers up his chest before lifting them off to stroke down the curve of his neck.

"Is that a challenge?" Musing gently Mike stroked back {Name}'s hair to tuck behind an ear.

"It is." With a wink, {Name} withdrew from Mike, her fingers ghosting down his firm torso they traced inward where his muscles were defined over his hips.

"You better not disappoint." Playful and almost singing it, {Name} blew Mike a kiss as she waltzed towards the door, the small smirk still tugging at his lips.

Chapter Text


Moments like the one unfolding in the courtyard below not only reminded {Name} of just how volatile the Lycan's were, but how rapidly things could sway to an undesirable path.

An Alpha being challenged was not uncommon, but it was by no means a joyous occasion.

Power changing hands in times of unease as they were in, was not always for the better.


Especially not when the challenger was Zeke.

With apprehension and unease {Name} watched from the balcony above as the stone was painted in the battling wolves blood.

Their snarling and growling vibrating unpleasantly in {Name}'s ears she didn't take focus from them when Armin approached her side.

"They've been at this for hours." Armin mumbled, acting like some kind of commentator who was merely stating the obvious "How come you took over as the head of the coven?" Out of the blue, Armin tipped his head towards {Name} when she snapped around to look at him.

Perplexed by the unexpected question, {Name} was lost for words for a brief moment.

They'd never actually discussed it as Armin was born a half-century after {Name} took over "It was my birthright." Returning to observing {Name} kept Armin in the corner of her eye.

On the other side of Armin, a little sidewards glance came from Mike, curiosity peaked by the question also.

"My parents were literally torn limb from limb," reliving the memory {Name} could still hear the sounds of their bones popping apart, she'd watched the whole thing.

"I ascended after that." Wrapping up the regaling quickly {Name}'s mouth became a taut line.

Awkward and somewhat uncomfortable Armin scratched idly at his cheek "So there is nothing like the Lycan's have to take leadership by force?" He queried gently, eyes flicking back and forth from the fight to {Name}.

A slow shake of the head {Name} gave a humourless laugh "Not officially." Blunt and with some caution {Name} flicked her tongue over her bottom lip "If a member wants to contest, they can, but most likely will be put to death, or expelled."

Giving a quick abbreviation a hand waved in a circle "Or you can do as Kenny did and just slaughter those in your way."

Peering down at Armin a small smile flicked across her mouth "As you belong to two houses, you could very well be the first to become head of two covenants."

Pointing out Armin's shared parentage she bowed her head when he appeared confused.

"As your mother and I are not married, we don't belong to one house," Erwin's sudden interjection made all of them turn.

"Which means you have dual residence of both our houses." Explaining softly Erwin approached their small group, bending partially to rest his arms on the railing beside Mike.

Poking at Armin's cheek, {Name} laughed when he veered away sharply.

"So if I challenged one of you, I could take leadership?" Armin clarified with a nod "Not saying I would of course." Hands up and waving a nervous fluttering laugh tried to brush off any insinuation that he would.

Bemused Erwin looked away as {Name}'s eyes rolled "Unfortunately Armin, physically you're no match for either of us."

"True," Armin agreed with a nod, a finger flicking out to point at {Name} "But in a battle of wits I would certainly have the advantage over you."

Scowling {Name} pinched and twisted the tip of Armin's ear "You may be knocking on your fifth century, but you're not too old to have your head put through a wall."

Watching Armin try and wriggle free of the grip on his ear {Name} swept the other hand up to grip and squash his cheeks.

"I've done it once, I will happily do it again." Reminding Armin of the last time, he got cheeky {Name} grinned when he gulped.

It was never intentional, but when Armin became smart-mouthed and embarrassed {Name} in front of her advisors, the backhand she'd given him, was a little too powered up.

Letting Armin go, he stood in a cowed silence massaging the ear.

Focus thrown back to the sparring wolves {Name} bit down on her lip "I don't like it." mumbling her discontent both hands ran in circles over her sides.

"I don't trust Zeke for as far as I can throw him," near whispering she frowned "And I got some good distance on him." Shoulders sagging {Name} looked across when Mike straightened.

"You threw Zeke?" Head tilting Mike's mouth dipped down on one side.

Making ready to respond {Name} was cut across by Armin "Is that why the garden wall at home is a pile of rubble?"

At the question, {Name}'s head tipped back as she racked her memory for the answer to Armin's question "No." bringing her head back down a hand came up to point at Erwin "That was your father who got put through that wall."

Erwin sighed heavily, pinching the bridge of his nose "Twice I might add."

"It was deserved." Retorting quickly {Name} gave Erwin a challenging stare.

Head tilting Erwin's mouth moved a fraction, close to invisible the smile barely turned up the edges of his lips "It was." Musing he set focus back on the fight, hands sliding together.

Returning to Mike's original question {Name} gave a small shrug "He attacked me, I sent him a good hundred yards back the way he came."

Making a spinning motion with her hand the fingers spread out to replicate a throwing action.

Brow crooked Mike folded his arms, balancing on the railing with his hip "I get the feeling there is a little more to that." Eyes narrowed Mike curved on brow in a silent question.

"Armin nearly wasn't born, because of Zeke." Running a hand over Armin's hair, {Name} replaced focus back on the fight.

It was an unspoken rule between the two species that they were not to harm an expectant mother.

A rule Zeke in his youth decided to pay no attention to when he bared his teeth at {Name}.

Though heavily pregnant and nearing full term, {Name} was by no means easy pickings for the beta, and she'd shown as much by hurtling him an ample distance.

Walking behind Armin to join {Name} the sinewy arms stretched forward, encompassing her frame before his chin settled atop her head.

Knocking up against Mike's chin, a small smile fleeted across her mouth "I feel like I've only seen the mellow side of you." His breath tickled across the top of her head, a small laugh woven in with his words {Name} gave a single half-hearted laugh in return "Are you saying I'm old and boring now?"

Tipping her head out from under Mike's chin it rested on his shoulder so she could peer up at him.

Mike looked to be contemplating how to answer, his brows sloping into the middle of his forehead "Boring maybe," a smile unravelled his mouth from its thoughtful pinch "Old positively."

Using both arms to keep {Name}'s pinned down Mike turned a teasing grin on her "But you're my old and boring girl, so it's ok."

Trying to put a kiss on {Name} small nipping bites were made to keep him from getting the kiss that he hoped would quell her displeasure at his words.

Sulking {Name} gave a small huff "I think you need to be neutered." Passing the comment under breath {Name} bit back a smile when Mike laid a kiss on the back of her neck.

"Believe me, you want them staying where they are." Grumbling he brought {Name} closer before dropping his chin on her head again.

Below the two beasts locked in battle were tiring, their jowls open and panting, dripping bloody saliva.

Zeke was missing a large segment of his tail, it hung low and curled protectively into his body.

As for his Alpha, and most alarmingly, he was limping. Front left paw unable to be put down the skin was shredded down to the bone.

"Their gonna do this to the death." Mike stated cautiously "Zeke will win." Giving his verdict all of them on the balcony visually displayed their displeasure with the hardened stares. Zeke becoming Alpha was something none of them wanted, he couldn't be trusted.

Especially not with them all looking and wondering about each other with suspicion over who was responsible for the Hybrids death.

A death that from what {Name} was told via Ian's snooping around, that no one cared a darn about.

Though it was being looked into by all, none of them was really fussed to find out who was responsible. All just happy to stoke the fire of doubt that was spreading among them.

The young ones didn't intermingle as much anymore, they looked nervous to be around each other. It was still only subtle, but already a divide was starting.

It was necessary to find the individual responsible, and remove them before the damage became irreparable.

A pain filled howl brought {Name} back to the fight underway.

It was over.

Zeke made sure that it was, by ripping out his Alpha's throat.

"I think this is going to be the start of a rapid downwards decline," Erwin announced as he retreated inside, the small glitter of sunlight appearing on the horizon being cause for his departure.

Armin gave one last lingering gaze to the bloody remains of the battle below, before running back inside.

Watching the sun paint the sky in splatterings of oranges and reds {Name} was sure that if her heart could beat, it would be erratic and consumed in fear of the unwanted outcome.

Withdrawing from the balcony, Mike acted as a shield when the sunlight speared across the courtyard, both of them moving quickly before the door became a steel fortress.

The shutters descending felt louder somehow, their noise grating on {Name}'s nerves she felt compelled to expel her displeasure physically.

Fist clenching it unfurled quickly before the fingers curled around the neck of a vase.

The timely arrival of Ian in the doorway, it was hurled at him "M'lady?!" He barked, diving out of its trajectory.

Vase smashing into the corridor it didn't entirely satisfy {Name} "What?" Quipping both hands sharply settled on her hips.

"I dread to think what it is that's stoked your ire," Ian started, eyes warily flitting back and forth "But please remember we're not somewhere where you can just aim it at any passerby this time." Reprimanding with a sharp stare, Ian brushed down the front of his attire when {Name} looked away.

Cheeks partially hollowed as she sucked them in {Name} turned a smile on Ian "I knew it was you."

Contrite and entirely objected to the statement Ian's eyes narrowed "That may be the case, but I'm in no mood to pander to your tantrums this time." Returning a smile of his own {Name} sucked on her teeth.

"You're here for a reason I presume?" Skirting over the matter of her riled temper {Name} felt all her anger wash away, hands dropping to hang limply at her sides when Ian announced the reason for his presence.

"I have uncovered our rogue Lycan, m'lady," carefully turning an eye on Mike who was hovering behind, Ian placed him under a persecuting stare "It was one of Mike's pack."

Chapter Text

Word of the culprit being found spread fast.

Arresting the beta they were to be held in the old dungeon of the castle until the heads and Alphas agreed on a suitable punishment.

Eight long days and nights of deliberating brought them all to an impasse. Lycan's wanting exile, the Vampires wanted death.

Arguing that exile to a pack animal was punishment enough, the vampires countered that the beta could not be trusted among the human population.

The risk of exposure being a factor that swayed them all towards putting the Lycan to death, lingering doubt lay in the possibility that one of the Lycan's pack would seek retribution.

"This whole matter is a headache," Darius announced to the room. Solemn nods showed that all were in agreement.

Chin resting in the palm of a hand {Name} swallowed back the yawn that tried to force its way out so that she could speak unobstructed "We're getting nowhere, just going in circles." Exasperated by the lengthy ordeal many gave small sounds of distress and exhaustion.

A sharp clearing of a throat everyone looked to the man standing in the centre of the room.

"Let's bring them in, and deliver a verdict by a show of hands." Nile suggested, and no one objected.

The council doors opened as Nile returned to his seat, everyone sitting straight and covering their lethargy with stony faces they watched the young beta walk in behind his Alpha, Mike.

As Judiciary of the court, {Name} trod into the centre of the room, hands folded at her front she stood straight "After much deliberation, the court is in disagreement as to how to mete adequate punishment," using her formal voice {Name} didn't flinch under Mike's gaze.

"Therefore it will be put to the vote."

Casting a glance around the room to ensure all were ready {Name} focused back on Mike "Those in favour of exile, raise your hands." Only six arms raised up, surprisingly, Darius and the newly appointed Alpha Zeke kept their hands down.

"Six." A brow quirked up {Name}'s head tilted carefully "Those in favour of execution, raise your hands." At once six hands came up.

They were in a tie of votes.

Kenny cackled hand falling on his hat he took it off "Well well, as it's a tie it falls to the Judiciary's swaying vote." Sharp eyes settling on {Name} his lip curled savagely at the corner "What will it be, Princess." He cooed cruelly.

The room felt oddly silent, all eyes on {Name} as they awaited the outcome of her vote, she kept focusing on Mike.

They'd not spoken much since the identity was revealed.

The trial starting almost immediately {Name} was cooped up in the council room for just over a week, and Mike was not permitted entry. Knowing it balanced on her to decide the fate of the young beta at Mike's side {Name} kept a dead-on stare with Mike.

"Execution." The verdict delivered the other members made noises of surprise, Mike giving one of objection his lips parted to speak, but {Name} cut across him.

"You would abandon your pack, remember." Pointing out that Mike readily stated he would turn tail on them for {Name}, a quiet smile wound across her mouth.

"The date shall be set at midnight tomorrow." Scheduling the time of execution {Name} was pleased to see that no one was openly in disagreement with the outcome other than Mike.

Preparing to return to the seat {Name} halted when the beta made a strange claim.

"There is more to this than you can see!" His voice quivered with excitement, eyes fixed rabidly on {Name} "Take a bite, I dare you."

Head tilted to expose the neck but still keep eye contact with {Name} the beta sneered "Oh, but you already have, haven't you." With a snicker, he rattled the chains that kept his hands tightly fixed together.

Everyone in the room made small inhales and shared glances before looking at {Name}.

Speculating and wondering painted on most of their faces, Kenny clapped a hand on his thigh "This is an extreme method to remove a lover if that is the case." Though sounding bored a glitter of interest was ignited in his cold eyes.

The focus was thrown suddenly on {Name} a rapid click of fingers brought her attention to Zackly "Explain this. Have you a more personal reason to want him dead." Gruffly asking the question it was the subtle smile of Dot Pixis at his side that made {Name} laugh.

-----

Legs crossed {Name} pushed back in the comfort of the armchair watching Pixis stroke at his beard and contemplate on the news she brought.

Making a half turn from the window, Pixis rested both hands at the base of his back ", And we're confident that Mike didn't know." Trying to clarify the events of the last few hours Dot returned to facing the window when {Name} nodded "So he says." {Name} answered, with agitation latent in her voice.

When Ian departed -ordered to keep the information to himself until {Name} said otherwise- {Name} turned on Mike.

Temper already present it was fuelled by the news that it was one of Mike's who caused the mess they were all facing. Without a second for hesitating, Mike denied all knowledge of it but acted oddly when {Name} asked to take a sip of him.

It was in the small denial of something he'd never refused {Name}, that increased her suspicion. If there were nothing to hide, then there would be no issue with {Name} seeing his memories of the past few days or even listening in on his thoughts.

Pixis rocked on his feet, boot and heel clicking on the floor he swept a hand out from his back, a finger pointed it wagged as he spoke: "I find it interesting that he would refuse to let you see."

Pixis spoke with calm confidence, quiet but powerful the words ticked at {Name}'s ears "Find the Lycan in question," with a sharp turn Dot faced {Name} "Bite him. Find out why they're acting as they are." Pixis's eyes crinkled at the edges when {Name} scoffed at the suggestion.

Carefully taking a seat in the armchair adjacent Pixis's fingers tented "Mike is not one of us, your only obstacle is yourself." He mused when {Name}'s head went to shake but stopped "You and I both know something more is going on under the surface, and we need to know what it is." Subtly coercing {Name}'s curious nature Dot succeeded effortlessly.

Examining the nails, {Name} wiggled them back and forth "It may be hard, as far as I'm aware, he was arrested a short while before I got here." Explaining the potential difficulty of the matter {Name} licked her lips coyly when Dot pressed a finger to his temple "Your assets will suffice in getting you past the guards." He stated tiredly.

-----

Unruffled by the accusation, {Name} smiled at the young beta "Where are my marks?" The tip of her tongue flicking between the sharp pointed canines her mouth fell closed when the beta touched at his neck "There are none." She stated bluntly, one arm raised the hand fell over her stomach.

"Are the guards who escorted you up here, not the very same ones who watched over you in the cell?" Sights locking briefly with the two guards by the doors, small nods were given to {Name}.

"At any point did I enter the cell?" Aiming the question at the guards, she returned a bored stare on the beta who was still frantically searching his neck.

Both of the guards answered individually, both refuting the claim {Name} was in the cells.

It was easy to buy their silence, as was it to keep from leaving any bite mark on the beta.


Sighing {Name} shook back her hair "Trying to stall, will not change the outcome."

Soothingly she spoke to the young beta, a sympathetic smile given to him.

Brushing hands with Mike it was noticeable that he tried to push her hand away. There was no doubt that Mike could probably smell the beta on her, the little sniff made when she moved to retake her seat not gone amiss.

"Unless there is anything else, I think we're done," Nile spoke carefully, a handout and waving away the beta who was still searching his body.

Jaw fixing firm Mike switched between watching a member of his family be dragged away, to looking at {Name} as if she was a total stranger to him. It made {Name}'s stomach flutter nervously, thankful that the trial was now at an end there would be time to explain things in a clearer light.

------

Draped over the young beta's shoulders, {Name} danced and swirled her fingers up his arms.

For a young thing, he was well built.

"Just a little bite, it won't hurt."

Pleading at the lobe of his ear {Name} managed to hide her want to cringe and squirm.

Swayed to {Name}'s supposed wanton desires a quick movement and she was lapping at the cut on his neck.

------

Bloodletting allowed a vampire to take from another being without it being classed as adultery. At times cutting open a part of the body and allowing another to drink was necessary in cases where they'd come from a skirmish with a Lycan.

Blood was vital to maintaining their bodies, and if the reason were deemed acceptable, the misdemeanour would often be forgiven.

It was under this principle {Name} made two small incisions on the beta's neck.
Drawing the blood out {Name} focused on the memories, the blurry and rippling images showing very little at the start, it picked up midway.

The beta was forced to attack the hybrid.

The threat made by the shadowy figure on the outskirts of the memory made it clear that if he didn't do it, his pack would be killed off.

The crime {Name} was putting the beta to death for, was out of an act of love and loyalty to his kin. It would have made {Name} feel guilty, if not for the fact there was too much risk keeping the beta alive if he was so easily twisted to do another's bidding.

In time the room was empty of all but Mike and {Name}, near reminiscent of the night he told her that he'd abandon his loyalty for her.

"I am not sorry for the decision I've made." Finger and thumb rubbing together {Name} managed a faint smile when Mike's lip curled back on one side "I am hardly surprised."

Oddly sarcastic Mike was soon latched to the arms of {Name}'s chair sniffing wildly around her person "I can smell him all over you." Eyes narrowed Mike met with her open expression "Did you?"

"Fuck him? No." {Name} shuffled forward until they were nose to nose with each other "I took enough blood from him to find out why he did it." Head angling with a warning eye and pout {Name} relaxed her posture when Mike showed that he would not interrupt.

"Bloodletting is not the same as feeding. So calm your shit, cause this is necessary for you to know."

Mike looked appeased to some extent, but it didn't stop him knocking his head sharply against {Name}'s "At least stop staring at me like I'm some animal before you divulge anything."

Arms thrown to wrap around Mike's shoulders {Name} brought him flush against her in the chair "You're an animal Mike," nipping lightly at his neck and chin "But you're my animal."


With a gentle laugh, Mike brought a hand to {Name}'s waist, neck crooked to expose the skin when her teeth skimmed the near permanent marks she'd left on him.

"Go on." Whispering the permission, Mike cupped the back of {Name}'s head, his fingers combing lightly through her hair. Closing both legs tight at Mike's waist {Name}'s body ached for contact with him, a quiet and subtle moan and an eager roll of her hips Mike took the hint.

The matter of what {Name} witnessed in the memories of the Beta, would be set aside for later point.

Chapter Text


The night was filled with the sounds of howling.

Their anguish carried in the warbling notes through the castle it left all of them with a sense of loss.

The execution was complete, and the pack was crying out for their fallen one.

Cruel but justified the beta was put to rest at the foot of the mountain, only the pack he belonged to, and a handful of witnesses were permitted to watch.

Standing by the gates {Name} turned her head when a more distinct howl echoed across the mountain, it was Mike's.

Sighing, {Name} crossed her arms, hands cupping each elbow as the sound died down, leaving only the night breeze to whistle up through the trees.

The abrupt silence was haunting and left a dark cloud that loomed over all of them.

From behind a small tutting sound taunted {Name}'s ears and made her shoulders roll in discomfort "What do you want Zeke?"  Without turning, {Name} addressed the newly appointed Alpha with contempt, his presence nothing short of aggravating on her.

Carefully Zeke came to stand beside {Name} focus on the partially open gates he scratched at his beard "Your son?" He started, a slow smile etching across his mouth when {Name}'s head snapped in his direction "You better get to him, quickly." Advising {Name} that something was wrong, Zeke caught her arm before she could run off "Go to the tower."

Wary of Zeke's hidden agenda {Name} nodded, it could very well be a setup, but she was not about to risk Armin's safety over her own.

Breaking into a run {Name} took the quickest route via the outer courtyards, her senses alert when she scaled the small wall, and the hot metallic sting of blood rushed up to her nose.

It was mixed, but {Name} knew precisely who it belonged too.

Breaking out into full speed {Name} felt an overbearing sense of panic fill her chest, Armin was her only child and the idea that he was hurt or worse, sent her thoughts into an irrational whirl.

Finally, the tower came into view. Its black stone illuminated by the moonlight the grounds were lit up brightly, except for one small shady patch where an old willow tree bent and hugged the side of the tower.

Beneath its branches and soft leaves, it was painted a profound and unsettling black, which only highlighted the single hand that reached out.

"Armin!"

Before {Name} could reach the proximity of the tree she was forcibly stopped, a firm grip taking hold and keeping her back {Name}'s head shook in its denial.

Only hours before was {Name} talking with Armin, the two having a gentle conversation about the turn of events. Nothing, not even in the memories she'd seen from the beta forewarned that there was a risk to them, or to Armin.

Akin to the Lycan's who howled at the loss of one of their own {Name} screamed hers.

The noise much louder and interwoven with {Name}'s torment it ripped across the castle grounds.

Armin was {Name}'s first and only child, her baby, her pride and joy.

For the first time in {Name}'s lengthy span of life, she felt weak.

Not even on witnessing her parents demise did {Name} feel such a pain that burnt through her insides, ravaging her chest.

Trying to beat off the person holding her, their arm swung round to pin the flailing arms back against her "Please, calm down m'lady." Ian whispered, his voice wobbling against her ear she continued to fight against him until her body bowed forward.

Released from Ian's arms {Name} sunk down to her hands and knees, no longer caring of her position or the matter of pride she crawled the small distance to where Armin lay among the grass.

Seeing Armin laid out as he was, made it all the worse.

Skin ashen and sunken it was undeniable that Armin was gone, and there was nothing {Name} could do to reverse it, they'd made sure of it.

Trembling {Name} brushed her fingers through Armin's hair, it was sticky and thick with the blood that caked over his body "I'm sorry." Bending down so that their foreheads touched she whimpered, the tang of his essence burning in the back of her throat.

Somewhere beyond them more arrived in the area, their questions drifting in and out of {Name}'s ears she paid them no attention, only turning to call forward the man standing stiff as a board beside Ian.

"Erwin," wet and thick with tears she implored him to come closer "He's dead." Choking on the words a hand cupped her mouth. To say it out loud was painful, and her chest heaved with the strain of not descending into a scream again.

With hesitance Erwin stepped forward of the crowd, stone-faced he didn't blink at all on reaching them. Coming down on one knee Erwin didn't say anything until he slid his arms under Armin's body, lifting him to his chest.

With some difficulty, {Name} stood up, keeping close to Erwin's side a hand brushed back Armin's hair "We found him too late," strained and cracking at the edges Erwin secured Armin tightly against him "We won't be able to see who did this." Flicking his gaze to {Name} she bit fiercely on the inside of her mouth.

Armin was already in the stages of decomposition which meant the memories stored in his blood, were gone.

Jaw wobbling {Name} shook her head "Zeke knew," she whispered, "He knew where Armin was and that he was in danger."

At the information, Erwin's head came up to look back at the crowd of onlookers.

Zeke was not among them. Joining Erwin in searching the sea of faces {Name} paused on one, in particular, Mike was at the front midway between the busybodies and them, standing beside Ian who was trying to get the others to clear away.

Mike stayed where he was, but his mouth moved.

Though the words were not spoken {Name} quickly read what Mike was trying to say, it was simple, just two small words.

"I'm here."

Chapter Text


Overlooking the mountains, a wind whipped around them, their hair dancing with it as the small particles of dust glittered under the full moon.

Still laid in Erwin's arms Armin's skin cracked as the time passed, his body breaking down and turning to dust that caught in the wind.

None of them said a word, not that any of them would hold meaning at that moment.

At {Name}'s feet Eren whimpered and whined, head down on his paws Jean laid over him, the two usually fighting were now each other's comfort.

Beside Erwin, Annie, Mikasa and Marco held each other's hands, their gazes following the dancing particles that drifted off of Armin.

Beside {Name} and holding tight on her shaking hand Mike inhaled deeply when Erwin's arms became empty.

Jean and Eren turned up their heads, long and painful howls parting them Erwin's arms seemed stuck in position as if he was still holding Armin.

A single tear slid down {Name}'s cheek, her hand falling over Erwin's their palms pressed tightly together over the small lingering ash pile. It was all they had left of Armin physically; the rest was now just memories.

Each taking a small handful Erwin and {Name} pressed it over their chests, where their hearts remained dead and unbeating but now more hollow and aching than they'd ever been.

With reluctance they put their hands forward, the fingers curling back and shaking the wind tickled and played with their hands like it felt their pain and did not want to sweep away the last pieces of their child.

In time the wind plucked up the ashes, throwing them back together before carrying them to join the rest that still travelled the star-splattered sky.

"I want to go home."

All at once they looked at {Name} in surprise, their tears halted, as was the howling of the two betas at her feet.

Turning away {Name} walked, the fingers twisted with hers tightening briefly Mike put out his other hand to wrap around it "This is your home." He called quietly, a small breath coming when {Name} snatched her hand out of his.

"This is not my home, but a hollow pit of memories I don't want to have."

Wiping the hand Mike held on her dress {Name} pulled herself straight "I only ever joined this place for Armin's sake," her voice quivered over his name "Now I have no reason to stay."

The sharp inhale told {Name} the words wounded Mike, but she didn't care. Not at that moment.

Mike's hurt was selfish in {Name}'s eyes; he had no right to be stood in front of her and looking as though she'd ripped out his heart and laid it at his feet.

Not when hers was out in the wind and ash with Armin.

"Please, stay?" Mike implored, hands out and reaching for {Name} a swipe of her arm knocked them away. In one look alone, {Name} never once witnessed so much hurt and longing, it would have crumbled her will at one point, but not anymore.

"Goodbye, Mike."

Moving around {Name} took every step with certainty, head straight and determined not to buckle she stopped beside where Ian lingered at the doors of the courtyard.

"Send the word that we're leaving." Sharp and contrite, just like she'd been before the cohabitation, Ian met her with a startled eye.

"M'lady?" He whispered in uncertainty.

Meeting Ian's confused eyes, he eventually nodded, a swift bow given he stepped back "Your will is my command, m'lady." He uttered formally before standing straight and retreating across the courtyard.

It left {Name} to stare up at the castle she'd resided in for over four hundred years.

There were many a good memory attached to it, but now all it was, was a carcass of wants and dreams that would never be.

Head down {Name} wiped at each eye; it was time to go home and stop living in the farce they'd created.

From the shadow of the hedges a small man stepped forward, his face sorrowful Levi gave {Name} a polite nod "Erwin has also sent word that we're to return." He informed carefully "He was waiting to see how you would proceed." Quietly Levi let {Name} know that she was not the only one to make the decision.

"My uncle too has given orders, as has Pixis." Levi mentioned sombrely, staring out across the land they'd all at one stage called home he sighed "I am sorry for your loss, m'lady." Turning away Levi disappeared inside the castle, head bowed.

The news that {Name} was not the only one to depart was a shock but somehow expected. They could no longer reside in harmony anymore.

Within an hour the covens were packed and ready to leave, their cars waiting at the bottom of the mountain their faces showed fear, uncertainty and sorrow.

No one knew what was going to happen.

More pressingly many of them had partners that were Lycan, their children hybrids.

The one act of Armin's death had a more profound effect, on all of them. Families were being forced to separate, lovers, torn apart by some cruel twist of fate.

Further up the mountain Jean and Marco were holding tight to each other, a little way apart was Levi and Eren, their parting a little more aggressive in that Eren was trying to argue that Levi should stay.

Further up still {Name} found the eyes of the man she'd loved for over half her life, mouth downturned at the corners his silence said it all.

Mike wanted {Name} to stay, remain in the place where they'd built a home.

"M'lady, the car is ready," Ian announced quietly.

Turning slowly {Name} ducked inside the car, it was empty except for her. The night she'd arrived Armin was sat opposite, chatting excitedly about the new life they were about to start.

Curling forward {Name} cupped her mouth as the tears started again, the door closed quickly Ian tapped the top of the car to send it on its way.

Moving and swaying with the car as it descended the rough path {Name} stopped when a loud howl echoed across the mountain.

Eyes closing tightly {Name} took a steadying breath; she needed to remain strong and firm in her decision, even if the sound of Mike's mournful howl made her want to stop the car.

{Name} could not go back.

Not now, not ever.

Chapter Text

Six weeks was all it took for cohabitation and truce to collapse entirely.

Their interlinked bloodlines keeping some of the hostility at bay for some, others were obviously out for the blood of their renewed enemies.

Overall, for the time being, the small spats were on a low scale and mainly fought between the smaller packs and Covens.

"Was it wise to agree to this." Ian cut through {Name}'s silent train of thought, his face hardened but not entirely covering for his worry for that evening.

Letting the hand fall from the ledge of the window {Name} smiled soothingly "I trust Pixis, you should too." Trying to sway Ian's worry a small sigh parted her mouth when he looked less than convinced.

True that Ian's concern was well-placed {Name} considered the possibilities of the night in a more positive light.

Arranging the evening to bring back together the Coven leaders and Alpha's to discuss the threat posed by Zeke and his growing pack, it was assured that the security would be at its highest.

Unlike before when they met under the blood moon, this was by no means talk of peace, but one of a concerted attack on a Lycan pack.

Understandably, their Lycan cousins were reserved at first to the idea until Zeke set his teeth on Djel and his pack.

The events caused a significant uproar and ceased the petty squabbles between the Vampires and Lycan's.

Less than a week later Zeke made a foolish attempt on Moblit, totally unaware that Moblit was that night's host for the ball Zeke entered the fray heavily outnumbered.

Chasing the Alpha and his rogue pack away, word was sent to the other Alpha's that they needed to convene and speak of how best to deal with Zeke; that would not result in unnecessary bloodshed.

Taking Ian's hand in hers, it was squeezed tightly "I need your support tonight Ian, please at least have faith in my decision to attend." Imploring the man who'd been her second in command for centuries a small, but tight smile lifted the corners of his mouth.

"My faith in you has never wavered M'lady, I'm more concerned with your decision to bring her."

Nodding to the small baby sleeping soundly in the curve of {Name}'s arm Ian gave a returning squeeze of the hand "He still doesn't know about her, is it really a good idea to just spring her on him?"

Retrieving the hand {Name} smoothed down the wispy hair on the small girls head.

"I haven't had any other chance to tell him, tonight is going to be my only opportunity." Speaking of the matter softly {Name} smiled when the small girl kicked up a leg, her mouth open in a yawn.

"She is so sleepy." Cooing {Name} raised up the arm she slept in to place a gentle kiss on the soft forehead.

Ian grumbled under breath, arms folding tight he turned to focus on the window "Ah, we're here." Finally taking notice that the car was stopped Ian slid forward in his seat "Are you ready?"


Meeting {Name}'s eyes they shared a brief silence before both nodded.

With Ian stepping out first a hand entered the car for {Name} to take.

Securing the small bundle of blankets against her chest {Name} followed after Ian.

As promised Erwin was waiting at the bottom of the steps, a half turn made a small smile crossed his mouth when his eyes landed on the little baby fussing in {Name}'s arms.

The look in Erwin's eyes was bittersweet, and his jaw seemed to tense enviably as he looked down at the small girl "So your the reason your mother was a miserable grump for months." He murmured softly, a finger rubbing on the chubby cheek a small smile was gifted to {Name} when she scowled.

"Let's be honest. You don't handle pregnancy well." Almost chiding when {Name} made to argue Erwin's brows knitted, he looked unsure for a moment his mouth parting as though to speak, before closing tightly.

Erwin didn't need to say anything {Name} knew what words lingered on his tongue, and the feeling was mutual "I know." She whispered, giving Erwin's arm a comforting squeeze "I know." She repeated with a watery-eyed smile.

Inhaling deeply Erwin's chest puffed out, a hand running across his mouth he turned to the building looming behind them "We should probably get inside." Quiet and the closest to weak sounding Erwin had ever been he guided an arm around {Name}'s back, ushering her forward.

Carefully moving her daughter from the cradle of her arm to lay on her chest {Name} cupped the back of her head gently.

Doorway open two servants bowed on their entry, the grand entrance hall felt smaller with the presence of the heavily armed guards Pixis posted around the area, it put {Name} at some ease with being at the manor.

"You've arrived, with the little one too?" Pixis skipped greetings, his small beady eyes settle on the bundle on {Name}'s shoulder.

"Splendid, it will be nice to see a youthful face in place of this wrinkled and miserable bastard." Pixis laughed heartily his hands rubbing together as Kenny slunk out of the door on Dot's left.

"Speak for yourself old man, or I'll feed you to the mutts." Annoyed Kenny turned the focus on the small baby girl.

"So you brought the precious little thing. Cute." Laced heavy in sarcasm Kenny couldn't hide his curiosity as he leant back to try and catch a peek of her face.

A newborn was always cause for commotion among them as it took eighteen long months for the child to be born.

It was the reason Vampires broods were often small, it was a two-year cycle for them.

Eighteen months to carry the child, then a further six months before the mother could fall pregnant again.

Eyes rolling {Name} turned for Kenny "Admit it, Ackerman, you're a sucker for babies." {Name} teased to which he scoffed "Piss off!" With no argument for her statement, Kenny disappeared back the way he'd appeared.

Sharing knowing looks {Name} faced Dot when he made an odd clearing of his throat.

"We have some time yet, Darius is yet to arrive." Speaking smartly Pixis rocked on his heels a nod over {Name}'s shoulder she turned, Erwin stepping aside to clear her view of the doorway.

Dressed casually Mike met with {Name}'s nervous gaze.

Narrowed eyes Mike focused on the small bundle at {Name}'s shoulder, before sniffing at the air.

Snorting suddenly Mike clapped a hand to his mouth fretfully, his Adam's apple bobbing with his excessive swallowing both eyes became wide and confused.

Standing a short distance from Mike a small smile edged across {Name}'s mouth.

They'd not seen each other since the night she'd made the decision to leave, and essentially told Mike that what they'd had, meant nothing.

Impossible now to retract the words {Name} guessed the weight of her grief blindsided {Name}.

It also rendered her incapable of sensing the small life growing inside her. It did in part -on looking back with a calm and rational mind- explain her sudden increased thirst.

"Is that?" Mike's voice was muffled from behind his hand "Is she mine?"

Taking away the hand when {Name} gave a slow nod and brought their daughter off her shoulder, Mike's shoulders sagged as his hands reached out.

Passing the small baby over into Mike's arms it made her look that much smaller when cradled in her father's arms "I'm sorry I wasn't able to tell you sooner." Keeping a hand on their daughter, {Name} apologised sincerely.

Mike shook his head, a hand coming around to cup the back of {Name}'s head, bringing her in carefully to his chest "She's beautiful."

Chapter Text


Settled around the long dining table all were in attendance except for Zeke.

Atmosphere tense each leader eyed another with varying levels of intolerance and distrust.

Unlike the first time they met, this was not called for under a mutual truce.

Each and every one of them could attack should they choose to do so.

It was for this very reason Moblit kept his second, Hange, back at home.

Zoe was heavily pregnant with Erwin's twins, and though Hange was more than capable of defending herself, both Moblit and Erwin were insistent she stay behind.

It was why Ian was not so inclined to the idea when {Name} brought her daughter.

In truth neither was {Name} happy at bringing her, but it was the only opportunity presented for Mike to finally meet his child.

"Now I know most of you want to get back to trying to rip each other apart," Pixis begun with a chuckle "But we must be in agreement that we have a common enemy in Zeke and his pack." Breaking the tension Dot set both hands on the table, his peevish humour evaporated.

Down the other end of the table, Djel snorted disgustedly "We are more than capable of dealing with it on our own." He quipped sharply, eyes narrowed at the person sitting across from him.

A hand on the table {Name} tapped her fingers "So capable that you needed the assistance of my house to chase Zeke back?" They'd kept that fact quiet in the report.

The night Zeke attacked Djel they'd practically been in her back garden. If not for being too close to home for {Name}'s liking, she would not have given the order to assist Djel and his pack.

Aggravated Djel shot a fiery look up the table at {Name}, a small careless look given in reply to the man's wounded pride she looked back up the table when Pixis cleared his throat.

"How embarrassing, needing to be saved by a nesting mother," Kenny commented snidely before Dot could open his mouth to interject.

Throwing an eye on Kenny his hand came up, a grin still playing on his lips.

They were not there to cajole each other, all {Name} done was state fact.

Dot gave a nod to {Name} before turning back to the table "Pride aside, we must come to some agreement on how best to deal with him." Speaking carefully Pixis gave a small sigh.

"He is gathering the rogue wolves, and his numbers are growing exponentially." Laying out the warning that Zeke's pack was becoming a small army there were sharp inhales from around the table.

From the last report, Zeke's numbers went from a humble twenty to an alarming seventy.

"From the Intel, I have conducted Zeke is changing humans to increase his numbers also."

Erwin added in calmly, one arm on the rest of the chair he set his chin on his curled back fingers "The original number of seventy is now more in the realm of hundreds," he continued "Zeke isn't just a threat to us, he risks exposing us to the humans."

With the grave news, everyone fell into an uneasy silence. They'd managed to avoid human detection since they came into existence.
Cleverly hiding in the shadows of society. Now Zeke was putting that all at risk.

Darius dropped a meaty hand on the table, making the drink glasses rattle and in turn Piper gurgle a complaint, a small foot kicking up to add to her dislike of being disturbed.

Securing Piper tighter to her body {Name} jiggled a leg soothingly when Mike's head snapped to gaze up the table at them.

Making ready to pass a suggestion {Name} paused when Ian stepped forward, bending to whisper in her ear.

Head tilting in thought {Name} caught both Pixis and Erwin's eye, a tight smile was given to the two men before she carefully handed Piper into Ian's waiting arms.

Giving Ian a sharp eye {Name} watched him retreat from the room.

The guards closing and locking the door a second was given before {Name} turned back to the table "Gentleman," holding the edge of the armrests {Name}'s lips contorted in a bitter twist.

"We are surrounded."

Ian's sudden intrusion was to deliver the warning, but also to take Piper away to safety.
From around the table, there were mixed responses.

Voices rising loudly accusations were thrown up and down.

Eyes flicking up and down {Name} took a grip on the underside of the table.

With as little effort as it took to pick up a glass, the table was flipped up and sent over the heads of those sitting opposite.

Silence fell quickly, until the table crashed down on the far wall "This is not the time to be fighting among ourselves," sharp and reprimanding {Name} twisted a hand in the dress she wore, pulling up the hem as she secured the sides tight against her thighs "Zeke has already ripped through the watch posted outside. Prepare yourselves."

Sidestepping out of the chair {Name} moved towards the door, just as Annie and Bertholdt burst through "We're under attack!"

As though the shout of the two youngsters was the push the others needed, they finally moved to establish command and prepare for the fight Zeke was bringing to their doors.

From the floors below the fight was already underway.

Howls, shouts and things breaking touched sharply on their acute hearing.

Pixis laughed heartily from the top of the room "Jolly good. Been a long time since I've jousted with a bitch or two." Sounding oddly pleased his voice soon lost its jovial edge "Tear them apart." Dark and sharp the order was given to the guards posted in the room.

Placing a hand on Annie's shoulder, {Name} met with her stern face "You know what to do," {Name} spoke softly "But don't get yourself killed."

Annie nodded as Bertholdt shifted, his large head brushing at {Name}'s hand in some form of assurance they were soon running back down the long corridor.

Side glancing up the hallway {Name} smiled when Erd, Gunther and Levi pushed off their rests of the wall.

"You guys take the front," Erwin ordered as he joined {Name}'s side "Except you Levi." Keeping the short man back there was a sharp eye thrown by the man "Join Ian." Erwin ordered with a small nod to {Name}.

Understanding Levi nodded before walking towards the meeting room "Of course."

"It has been some time since we've done this," {Name} piped up calmly "Fought side by side."

Erwin hummed thoughtfully "Brings back memories, doesn't it?"

{Name} laughed, but it was a bitter sound that parted her mouth "But not good ones." Barely reaching a whisper {Name} swept back her hair, tying it up.

It was a similar situation to the one they were in that resulted in the death of {Name}'s parents.

Sighing {Name} gave Erwin a small glance "Don't get yourself killed."

Erwin met her gaze blankly before a small smile turned the corner of his mouth "Likewise."

Nodding, {Name} took a step toward the back stairs where her coven her already engaged in fighting at the bottom, pausing only when a soft body of fur brushed against her side.

Setting a hand on Mike's head {Name} gave a scratch behind his ear, his head nudging at her stomach in reply.

"Shall we."

Stepping off first {Name} rushed forward, her senses burning and alive with the pungent and coppery taste of the blood being spilt from below.

Chapter Text


 

Fifteen Years Later

Nails tapping on the door {Name} didn't need to press an ear to it to know that the adolescent girl inside was crying.

"Pip," {Name} called gently, trying to rouse her daughter from her weeping "Open the door."

Using a soothing voice {Name} waited, a hand on the handle she turned it slowly, but it was locked.

From the other side, a thump followed by another broke up the crying "You lied to me! My whole life has been one big fat lie!" Piper shouted through the hiccuping sobs.

Inhaling deeply {Name} pressed her head to the door, Piper was correct, she'd been lied to from day one. However, it was all in Piper's best interest, to keep her safe and away from the war that was still ongoing.

{Name} knew Piper eventually would realise that she was not like the other teenagers, that she was different.

Honestly, {Name} wished they'd had the conversation a lot sooner, but seeing Piper happy and carefree only made her want to let her stay so.

"We just wanted to keep you safe, Pip." {Name} attempted to explain but knew it would not suffice an answer.

Staying in place as short and stomping steps approached the locked door {Name} met with the wet but fiery amber eyes of her daughter as the bedroom door swung open.

Piper gripped the doorframe tight, the wood splintering under her painted nails "Safe, mother." Adopting a cutting and sarcastic tone Piper sneered "You kept me safe from nothing you lying, whore!" Stepping out of her room to scream the words in {Name}'s face.

Piper's body veered to the side, falling down when {Name} slapped a hand across her cheek.

It was not the first time {Name} had slapped her daughter, but it was a first for not holding back in her strength.

In a myriad of emotions over what she'd done, {Name} turned her hand to stare at her palm, in the very corner of her eye Piper sobered from her crying, replacing it with contempt and shock.

"We did keep you safe, Piper." Lowering the hand to her side {Name} turned slowly, gazing down as Piper sat up on the landing floor "You have no idea how privileged you're for the fact you're still alive."

Chest puffed up as if she was about to argue Piper fell silent when the steps beside her creaked.

The red welted print of {Name}'s hand on her cheek fading rapidly as the person who brought the walls around Piper crashing down, appeared on the steps.

The recognition was instant the second {Name} laid eyes on the young man. With hair the colour and as wild as his mother, it was the eyes that clued {Name} into who the teenager's father was.

It was Heath, one of Erwin and Hange's twin sons.

"Lady {Name}," Heath spoke formally, politely, his head bowing as he addressed her "I am sorry for the upset I have caused you and your family. Had I of known," looking sadly toward Piper who was sniffing quietly, Heath's shoulders slumped "I would not have said anything."

Eyeing Heath with a slight curve in one brow {Name} smiled "Your dad seems to have passed down more than those eyes," raising a hand to keep Heath from continuing the facade {Name} shook her head "You intended this to happen, so let's not pretend otherwise."

As {Name} finished speaking, Heath smiled. It was slow and conniving. Nothing like Erwin's, as it was more open, but still managed to be almost reminiscent of the man who fathered Heath.

Piper got on her feet, one arm swinging forward it caught Heath across the jaw, staggering him from the step and forcing him to retreat down a few more.

Livid and betrayed was the only way to describe Piper's face. Lit up with many emotions they collided together until her face crumpled again and the tears were flowing.

Pinching the bridge of her nose {Name} soon had both arms out, the hands beckoning forward her daughter, Piper ran into {Name}'s arms.

Hushing and rocking Piper, {Name} turned to Heath "Let your father know the damage was done." {Name} spoke calmly, her tone becoming bitter for her following statement "Now go before there is nothing left of you to return to your parents."

Heading the warning, Heath bowed again, before taking the steps in two's and disappearing from sight.

Rubbing gentle circles over Piper's back {Name} eventually took a hold on her shoulders, holding her at arm's length to view her face.

Eyes red and puffy Piper's lips trembled as she used the palms of her hands to wipe the tear stains on her cheeks "Why didn't you just tell me?" Whispering the question Piper implored {Name} for an answer with her eyes.

Piper's eyes were the exact of Mike's, it was a typical feature of Vampire offspring to inherit the eyes of the one who fathered them. Though for it to carry over for a hybrid as Piper was, was not as common.

Thinking on how best to answer Piper's question {Name} looked away briefly. How was {Name} supposed to even begin explaining?

Ideally {Name} wanted Mike to be home so they could explain it together, but Mike was out and had been since the late afternoon.

With the full moon in the sky, Mike would not be back until the early hours of the morning.

"Piper, we didn't want you to have to know any of this. We wanted you as far away from it as possible." {Name} spoke gently and with some reluctance.

Still, the head of her coven, {Name} remained in the shadow, using Ian as her vessel to relay orders and handle the nightly runnings of the coven.

Chapter Text


 

Fifty Years Later

The battle was lost.

Fire, smoke and bloody bodies carpeted what had truly become their final battleground.

The Vampires had lost to their Lycan cousins. Their defeat was no brave or gracious fall, it was carnage from the beginning.

On their knees, the few who remained met the eyes of the victors and awaited their final breath to be taken by the bloody jowls.

"At least I can sleep in peace now." Pixis smiled, still able to remain happy even in the face of his defeat, and of his imminent death.

Mutually the sentiment was felt.

They were exhausted, tired and more than just physically defeated. Living for as long as they all had it was mentally tiring, and eventually, their long lives became, hollow.

Loss after love, love after loss.

It was a continuous cycle of their existence. Becoming too attached was dangerous, but inevitable.

Many of them had been in love as many times as they'd lost the ones they loved.

Only to pick another to replace the voids the person created.

Over and over they followed the same patterns, their lives becoming one long battle with not only the Lycan's but with themselves.

The age of the Vampire was finally at its end, and none of them held any regret.

It was a curse, it had never been a gift.

Their only gifts were the children they'd bared, but even they were no more.

Only mere feet to {Name}'s right Piper lay, still held in the embrace of the man who tried valiantly to keep her from harm.

Behind Erwin were his twins, and beside them lay their mother, Hange.
Pixis's lineage lay scattered around him. Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all dead.

"May you find your peace, Dot." {Name} whispered as the large Alpha Lycan set on the old man, savaging his throat.

Dot Pixis didn't cry out, the old bastard remained smiling even as he was torn apart.

Next came Erwin. Like Pixis his pride was still in high regard, and he stayed silent as the Lycanthrope lunged forward.

Meeting the amber eyes of the Lycan, {Name} inhaled deeply as it stepped forward. Breath hot and stagnant with the scent of torn skin and blood flooded {Name}'s nose as the Lycan closed its jaws on her face.

It hurt immensely, the teeth scoring her flesh and piercing down to the bone. Even more so when another took to her limbs, pulling and shaking their heads to break apart the bones.

{Name} felt everything. Every bite, every tug and pull.

Eyes closed she embraced her death with open arms. Let them eat her skin and muscle, and make a feast of her useless organs.

{Name}'s teeth shattered under the pressure of her jaw, mouth clenched to keep from screaming out and giving them the final pleasure of hearing her beg them to stop.

They didn't stop, even as her consciousness slipped away, they were still feasting on her body.

They kept on, and on. Until nothing was left.

The age of the Vampire was over their reign over the immortal no more.

Finally, the Lycan's proved to be the supreme race and had clenched their victory in one night.

Eradicating the bloodsucking beings from all of the continents had been their goal, and they succeeded.


 

 

Or so they believed.

A child, newly born was spared unknowingly.

Passing through the Lycan dominated territories in a bid to keep the child safe, the chosen guardian navigated carefully and warily to whisk the baby to safety.

And to safety the small girl was taken in the arms of a beast, to be raised in the knowledge of her birth, and to await her time of return.