To Protect and Serve Ch. 06byEvil Alpaca©
Proofread by FernieLyn
This story is a bit wordy and fairly long, so if you are looking for immediate gratification, you might want to look elsewhere.
The following story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between these character and events and any real person or events is strictly coincidental . . . and pretty darn impressive seeing as it is a science fiction story. Do not reproduce or copy this story without the consent of the author.
This story is based in an alternative universe, where history took a different course than the one we are used to. In this world, the creatures which we now believe to be legends have walked alongside man for the duration of our existence. Vampires, werewolves, wizards, witches, sorcerers, and a host of other beings share our world.
The following story contains, in one chapter or another, lesbian, homosexual, heterosexual, anal, group, sci-fi/fantasy, non-human, and BDSM sexual activity. There may be some erotic horror in there somewhere as well, but I haven't made up my mind.
Shamira was sitting at a coffee shop near the intersection of I-575 and Highway 92. She had a laptop, the shop had wi-fi and . . . well, coffee. It was a match made in heaven. She probably should have stayed at the house, but she couldn't. She'd had an off night just twelve or so hours earlier. She'd embarrassed herself by ko'ing one her boss's new employees just because he had the ability to turn into a spider. She was terrified of spiders.
Oh, and she'd killed a person. Okay, it was a really nice lady who would be rising again in a few days and become a vampire, but there had been something unnerving about thanking someone, staring into their smiling face and then squeezing off three 9 mm rounds into her chest. Shamira did what she always did when she knew she'd fucked up.
After staring at Tabitha's body for a few moments, shadow jumped back home, grabbed her computer, emailed Shane that things had gone well, and then she vanished. She needed time to think. With all the new people in the house, no one would probably even notice that she wasn't in her room.
And apparently no one did. She'd really didn't need much sleep, so she'd simply wandered around for hours and hours until the sun was up in the sky and the first pot of highly-overpriced hot beverage was being poured. She staked out a corner table, pulled up Mysti-pedia on her laptop and started studying mystical zoology. Nothing was sinking in, but she was studying, damn it.
Her vampire physiology was just beginning to fail her when the call came in. Her head shot back with a jolt as she recovered from dozing off while grabbing for her phone.
"Shamira? Where the hell are you?" came Clara's voice.
'Clara,' Shamira thought. The woman who Shamira's first female sex, first female domme, first friend she'd made after dying . . . the woman who made things make sense for Shamira. Clara apparently acted as a submissive once for all other dominants in the house to make sure they knew their stuff. Shamira couldn't imagine the lean, gorgeous Native American woman bowing to anyone. Clara had the wickedness of the eighteen-year-old girl she had died as, but the experience of an eighty-year-old woman. It was a dangerous combination.
"Hello? Anyone there?"
"Sorry. Yeah, I'm here. What's up?"
There was a pause at the other end of the line, and Shamira could guess that she was about to get yelled at. "What's up?! After last night, you just up and vanish --"
"I emailed Shane," Shamira said quickly.
"You emailed HIM and told him that you'd killed killed Tabitha, then nothing? I had to track him down after I finished up with Sebastian to find out why you aren't in your room? Then we both find out that you aren't even in the house, and no one knows where you are and --"
Shamira's brain kicked in. "Wait, when you were finished with Sebastian?"
"Yeah, I went ahead and subbed for him so I could get it out of the way. Babe, if you can ever get over this fear of yours, he's really quite good. I mean, I never really get comfortable as a bottom, but --"
Shamira hung up the phone. She didn't even know why she did it, but the thought of him . . . and her . . . doing that. 'I shouldn't have hung up on her.' But she couldn't bring herself to call back. She couldn't even stop herself from turning the phone off. She just stared. Not at anything, but at that little area of space that only existed when neither eye was focused correctly. She picked up her laptop and started walking. She didn't go far, finding an abandoned gas station surrounded by some heavy woods. She sat down around back, leaned her head against the worn brick, and simply fell asleep.
Some time later . . .
Shamira was getting nudged in the shoulder. Her back hurt, her ass was sore from the concrete, and she didn't feel particularly rested. 'What the hell am I doing?' she thought. 'And who the hell --'
'Crap,' she thought, 'Clara again. How did she find me? If I just keep my eyes closed --'
"She's awake," came Renata's voice. The werejaguar sounded tired.
"Shamira, open your eyes," came a third voice. It was Henry.
Shamira slowly peeled her eyes open. Three faces looked down at her. Clara looked concerned, Henry looked annoyed, and Renata . . . Renata looked exhausted. "Hey," she said meekly. "What are you guys . . . ack!"
Shamira had been cut off by Clara picking her up and shoving her roughly against the wall.
"What the hell is with you?!" Those gray/green eyes were blazing as they met Shamira's gaze. Clara was pissed. "What are you --" Clara actually pounded Shamira against the wall so hard that brick dust came loose. "You just vanish from the house and then you hang up on me and then vanish again and we have to get Pierre to trace down where you were using your computer and have Renata, who hasn't slept much in days by the way, has to come with us to track you down just so we can find you asleep by this fucking station, and you've got the nerve to act surprised?!" Clara dropped Shamira and stormed around the side of the building, muttering some unflattering curses in a language Shamira did not even recognize.
"I just . . . was walking and sat down and fell asleep," Shamira muttered, a little frightened now.
"Bullshit," Renata said, yanking Shamira back to her feet.
"Listen, this whole thing where you freak out is getting a little old," Henry added with a scowl. "Taking offense with anything anyone says, freaking out . . . you knocked out a werespider just for touching you." Henry actually looked a little impressed when he said that last part. "Every time you say you've got it together, you do something stupid." He turned and followed Clara.
Renata sighed and rubbed her eyes. "Shane's put me in charge for tonight," she said. "Said you didn't seem to be in a good frame of mind to deal with politics. I tried to talk him out of it, but since you weren't around to make your case --" She stopped and shrugged.
Shamira's head was swimming. "I didn't mean . . . thanks for sticking up for me."
Renata's eyes turned flinty. "It wasn't for you. I'm not really interested in being the lab rat for this little experiment with the faeries. You got us into this, but I guess I'll have to be the one to get us out."
Something inside Shamira snapped. "Screw you," she hissed. "Screw Shane too."
"Excuse me?" Renata said, getting up in Shamira's face. "You did not just say that."
"Damn right I did. I made a deal with the faeries, so I'll be making good. I'm not going to let you or Shane or anyone else make a liar out of me." She shoved the laptop case into Renata's chest. "I'm going to show up at the faeries' land tonight to do what I said I'd do. I'll get Shane his damn information."
"You don't get to make that call," Renata shot back, growling. The cat in her wanted to get out and fight.
"I just did."
"No member of Shane's house defies him. You'd better learn that if --"
"You're right," Shamira interrupted. "No member of his house should defy him. Since he's got plenty of other people now who are obviously better at all this than I am, I'll move out in the morning. I'll find the damn morning star dealers on my own."
Renata wasn't sure how to handle this. She didn't want Shamira to leave. She was pretty sure no one wanted her to leave, and she was 100% sure that Clara wouldn't want Shamira to leave. "Don't go saying things you might regret," she said, trying to pull the conversation back from the brink. "Talk to me. Please. I hate to use the phrase 'this time,' but what's got you upset this time?"
"I don't know," Shamira said, sliding back down the wall and having a seat. "I mean, we went to plot Tabitha's death and we get attacked by those Dark Pools --"
"Woah!" Renata's eyes went open. "Dark Pools? Why didn't anyone tell me about this?" Renata listened patiently as Shamira dumped everything that had happened over the last several days into her lap, all the way up to that phone call she'd had with Clara earlier that day. Renata made a mental note to kick some peoples' asses for making Shamira be Tabitha's executioner so early. She'd freaked out when she'd had to kill a bad guy, but to kill a friend, however temporarily, was bound to fuck with her mind.
Renata sat down. "Listen, I may not say this right since I can barely remember my own name at the moment and am running on pure black coffee, but I do sometimes think you look for reasons to panic. I'm not saying that you don't get some big drama, but freaking out doesn't seem to be the best way of dealing with it. Just say that you're overwhelmed and ask for help."
"I can't! I've already chickened out too many times and it doesn't seem to be getting better."
"You've had a busy three weeks haven't you?"
Shamira closed her eyes. "Now even Clara's mad at me, and she has every right to be."
Renata smirked. She'd anticipated this little issue. "Clara's not mad because of any mistake you made. You scared the crap out of her, and she doesn't like being scared. She told you she subs for the new doms, right? She told you why she chose Sebastian for last night?"
"I kinda hung up on her before we got to the 'why' of it."
"She knew that he's the one you're going to have the most problems getting comfortable with. She wanted to start in right away to make sure that he'll be safe for you."
"Why her? I mean, why not let me do it or another sub? You LIKE being s submissive sometimes, but she --"
"An actual sub is much more likely to let things get carried away before calling a halt to it, even if they're experienced. From what I heard, there were some guys who have tried to hook up with the house a ways back who didn't pass muster because they weren't good at being dominants. And you're right, she isn't that fond of doing it, but she did it and the first thing she wanted to do afterward was go talk to you about it. You, her best friend after only being here three weeks. Remember how you felt when you first started going through all this and you couldn't talk to your sister?"
"I felt . . . lost," Shamira replied. "I couldn't get oriented. But Clara --"
"Clara isn't perfect any more than the rest of us, and she's had to adapt to some changes too. Imagine doing something you really didn't want to do for someone else and then have that person not around to tell. How would you feel?"
"Angry," Shamira said tiredly. "Or just plain frustrated."
Renata helped Shamira to her feet. "Shane said that I'm in charge tonight, and my first official act is to tell you that you're going to be in the ceremony. This way, Shane will have punished you, but you'll still get to do what you promised. You should probably apologize to Shane, Sebastian, and definitely Clara."
"What about Henry? Or you?"
"Screw Henry. You can apologize to me by letting me get some sleep." Renata smiled and looked over the girl's body. "You could even join me, seeing as I doubt that you've gotten much rest here."
"Uhm, we are actually talking about 'sleep,' right?"
"Sure. That too. Assuming it's okay with Clara."
"Because you're rooming with her until we come up with a more permanent housing solution. We're getting eight new people and we were one bedroom short. Putting you in with Clara just made sense since you're in there all the time anyway." Renata's grin was wide enough to scare small children by this point.
This was another moment when Shamira was glad that vampires didn't blush.
The two of them walked around to the car, where Henry and Clara were sitting on the hood. Henry glanced at Clara, who had a flash of concern before it was forcibly replaced with snootiness. Or it tried.
Shamira sucked it up, walking up to Clara and meeting that glare. "I'm sorry for behaving stupidly. I got freaked out . . . again . . . by what happened with Sebastian, and then having to put a bullet through Tabitha's heart . . . that I won't feel less weird about until we've dug her and she's standing in front of me. You know, so I know it's okay." She saw Clara's gaze soften a bit. "I was embarrassed and I didn't want to go home." Shamira chewed her bottom lip a little bit and tried to convey a to-be-continued apology. She saw the tiniest bit of a smile play at the corners of Clara's mouth.
Henry rolled his eyes. "Yeah, that's sticking by your guns, Clara," he told his comrade.
"I just can't stay mad at her!" Clara said in a teenager girl's voice. "She's so cute!"
"Now I feel like a puppy," Shamira replied.
The car ride back up to the house wasn't quite as uncomfortable as Shamira would have expected. It was quiet, but mostly because no one knew what if anything needed to be said. As soon as the arrived, Shamira found herself on her way to see Shane. She walked in and saw her boss sitting behind his desk and --
"Calm down," Shane told her, glancing out of the corner of his eye at Sebastian. The hunky new enforcer looked like he had been woken up just for this meeting. Both men had stern looks on their faces, one sitting behind the desk and one leaning against a bookshelf nearby.
While Shamira's skin started to crawl the second she saw Sebastian, there was something about the scene that tickled her. She was plastered to the wall, trying to imagine the man instead of the arachnid inside when the weird sense of déjà vu cleared up and . . . Shamira started to laugh. It was a gasping, painful laugh at first as amusement warred with fear, but eventually she just toppled over laughing.
Shane was shocked. He looked at Sebastian and said, "I take everything back. She's completely mad."
Sebastian just looked baffled. "She scared me less when she was kicking my ass."
It took almost a full minute for Shamira to compose herself enough to gasp, "I've been sent to the principal's office! Again!"
"Yes, she's lost it all right." Shane had wanted this to be a more serious event, but it was hard not to smile when Shamira was so completely lost in her mirth. She needed to laugh more. "Shamira, please stop laughing and . . . Shamira!"
The woman in question set off on another peal of laughter. Shane sounded like her high school principal Mr. Keason when he was yelling at her that she almost died. Maybe Shane was right. Maybe she'd finally just snapped. But eventually she was able to get herself together, stand up straight and face them both with only an occasional snicker. A bit of the fear returned with her control, but it was diminished somewhat.
"Sir," she said, directing her voice towards Shane, "I'm sorry for my outburst here. I'm . . . I'm a little out of sorts. And I'm sorry for ruining your party yesterday." She looked at Sebastian, trying to quell the lump in her throat. "Suh- . . . Sebastian, I need to apologize to you as well. You see, I'm a bit scared, and by scared I mean terrified, of spiders. It is difficult for me to separate the creature from the man in this case, and . . . and you surprised me."
"Surprised you? Miss Shamira, I haven't been beaten around like that since my first trip into an African revolution. And quite honestly, the combatants there were a bit gentler." He smiled at that part. It was a disarming smile.
"My behavior was unforgivable," she said.
"Actually, it rather is forgivable," Sebastian said. "Yes, you were . . . shall we say overzealous? Yes, that's a good word. You were overzealous in you administration of physical harm, but Renata had told me that you were afraid of spiders. I should have been more careful."
"Sebastian, you don't need to apologize," Shane said.
"But I'd like to," the man replied smoothly. "Her punishment is up to you of course, but I hold no ill will towards her. Shamira, do you think that your fear is going to be a problem with us working together?"
"I think that I can control myself better," she said. She paused, and then, "But at this time, I think that working together is all I'm comfortable with. I . . . I don't think I could be . . . physical . . . with you. Not comfortably."
Shane nodded. "I find that reasonable. No submissive in this house should ever experience fear during the course of fulfilling their duties. I expect you to continue working with Banshee as well as Sebastian on overcoming your phobia. And I've put Renata in charge of tonight's dealings with the faeries."
"I know, sir. She told me."
"And you don't have a problem with this?"
Shamira shrugged. "I would like it to still be my operation, but I'll respect your decision."
Shane didn't trust her compliance for a minute, but he'd let Renata deal with it. "I may assign further punishment later. Now go get some sleep, and I mean 'sleep.' Don't let Clara or anyone else start anything else. You look like you need the rest."
'Why does everyone think that Clara and I can't be in the same room without getting it on?' Shamira thought. She actually liked just being around her friend sometimes. Being naked and sweaty was just a bonus. "Yes sir. And sir?"
"I know I shouldn't be asking for favors, but could I be there to help exhume Tabitha? I . . . I really need to see her . . . to be sure."
Shane nodded. He'd wondered how Shamira was going to react to that. "Absolutely. The funeral will be on Monday so the grave-robbing will occur on Monday night while the ground is still soft. We'll make that a mandatory safe day for you as well. Now be off. You'll be staying with Clara until living arrangements are finalized."
Shamira nodded first to Shane and then Sebastian. He had been such a good sport about what Shamira had done to him that she felt even worse for having done it. She got to Clara's room to find Renata asleep in the bed and Clara sitting at her laptop.
"How'd it go?"
"They were both very nice about it. Shane was disappointed, Sebastian was understanding, and I broke down laughing because it reminded me of the times I got sent to the principal's office."
"Yup. And Clara, I'm sorry to you too."
Clara took her friend and lover's hands. "What was it about me being with Sebastian that made you hang up on me?"
Shamira struggled with the words. "Since I got brought over, I've been trying to figure out how this world works. One of the rules is that you're a dominant. The idea of you having sex and . . . and not really enjoying it weirded me out. And it being him, Sebastian I mean, just . . . it just made me really creeped out."
Clara smiled warmly. "Shamira, were you jealous?"
Shamira wanted to deny it, but she couldn't. "Yeah, I guess I was. I guess I always am. I mean, it isn't as bad when it's one of the other subs, but . . . let's just say I'll be a lot happier when you've 'tested' all the new doms and get back to being you."