Keeping the Heart by Keya

Summary: A new evil has marked Cassandra as his own, bringing out aspects of her past, which in turn effects Marko, and the Pack as a whole. This story is set in Carla's The Protector Series universe. The Heart Series Story Three
Categories: The Protector Series
Characters: None
Genres: General, Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama
Pairing(s): None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: The Protector Series: Other Authors' Stories, The Heart Series
Chapters: 4 Completed: No Word count: 2538 Read: 7069 Published: 22 Jan 2005 Updated: 22 Jan 2005

1. Chapter One: Deadly Passion by Keya

2. Chapter Two: Deadly Nightmares by Keya

3. Chapter Three: Deadly Love by Keya

4. Conclusion: Deadly Friction by Keya


Chapter One: Deadly Passion by Keya

Waking up was like pushing an angry bullfrog out of his territory. Cassandra groaned, tossed and turned, not wanting to open her eyes and face the day. It felt like a lump of coal had settled itself in the pit of her stomach and her head hammered with an unearthly headache. Remembering little of the night before, the werewolf prayed that she hadn't danced on the tables and stripped for the many guys that seemed to follow Anna, Star and herself around like little lost puppies, or had she? Cassandra couldn't even begin to imagine Marco's anger if she had.

"Cassandra, you promised to take me out shopping for comic books!"

Sam's voice pierced Cassandra's eardrums and made her wish she had closed the door, but too late, Sam was already in her room.

"Oh, go away!" Cassandra mumbled into the pillow, but then gave up as two hands sneaked inside the covers, and managed to attack Cassandra by tickling her all over.

"All right, all right, I'm up, you need not be so pushy about it!"

Sam grinned and set off to finish getting ready, going down the stairs like a herd of elephants. Getting out of bed was hard, getting dressed was pure agony. Selecting a black halter-top borrowed from Anna, and a pair of special jeans that had wolves painted on the legs, Cassandra quietly made her way downstairs, hoping against all hopes that Sam had gone without her.

"Ready?" Sam asked, folding a stack of twenties in his pocket. Grandpa had sold three stuffed animals to Sam's high school teacher in agreement that he would get fifty percent of the profit, and in comic books, eighty dollars could go a long way.

"Yeah, Sammy, let's hit the road."

An hour later Cassandra was running to catch up with Sam when she stopped dead in her tracks at the sight of a red dress in a store. It was enchanting with an open-back, and two tiny straps that would show her shoulders nicely and make Marco's eyes pop open in total awe.

Mesmerized, Cassandra walked towards the store, not noticing the condemned sign across the front, or the aged cedar floor rotting. To her eyes the shop was flawless, the floor recently polished, and the sign surrounded with delightful flowers, including ivy, and climbing yellow roses, her favorite.

"Wow," Cassandra said, feeling the smooth texture of the silky dress. She had to have it; it had to be on her tonight. Looking for an attendant to help her, Cassandra nearly fainted when she saw the man, smiling, holding out the dress in an offer to try it on. He was elegant, wearing dark pants and a ruby shirt that matched the dress perfectly. His eyes were golden, the actual color of the roses outside.

"Would you like to try it on, lass?"

Of course, he was Irish, a highlander perhaps, or was he a laird of his own castle? Laird, definitely laird, Cassandra thought while taking the dress. He pointed to the direction of where she could change and it took all of Cassandra's willpower to walk away from him. His charms were just too powerful to ignore.

Changing took a matter of moments, and the dress fit wonderfully, snug in the front, but fell gracefully down to highlight her figure. Yes, indeed, she would give anything to have the dress. Marco would just go nuts!

"Anything?"

Turning, Cassandra gasped for the attendant stood beside her, his strange eyes glittering. It was uncanny that Cassandra wasn't afraid. She just wanted him to touch her, to make her feel that the dress gave her the power to capture any man she desired, including him.

He gently pulled her closer to him, his touch hot against her bare back. He tilted his head, like a wolf, studying his prey, amused on how quickly she came under his spell.

"Anything?" He repeated, his voice sending shivers down her spine. His eyes seemed to grow larger, more seductive, and quickly as a snake, he captured her lips cruelly, as if he had the right to brand her and he did. Before she could respond, he nipped her lip, making it bleed, and pain and pleasure combined.

He drew away from her slowly, his breath hot against her face. He smiled, enjoying her, knowing she would be his to control.

"Cassandra, come on!"

The voice sounded familiar, but Cassandra couldn't pull herself away. His body was too warm, so comforting that she wanted to fall asleep. Closing her eyes, she leaned against him, seeking for him to wrap his arms around her again.

"Cassandra!"

No, this isn't right, Cassandra yelled within herself. She had to answer Sam. Let him know that she was all right, but she wasn't. She felt entombed, his power was submerging her own and making her feel sensations that were staggering to behold.

"Go now, Cassandra, we shall meet again."

Abruptly, everything disappeared, including the man. Dazed, Cassandra stared in disbelief at the crumbling wood and sign that looked ugly with brown branches and thorns covering it.

"Cassandra!"

Sam came up to her, and took her arm, pulling her towards a comic store, but suddenly stopped, looking puzzled.

"Did you buy a new dress? It looks good. Really hot."

Cassandra looked down, shocked that she wore the red dress. Pinned at the waist was a heart-shaped note that read: "You owe me anything that I want and I want you, lass. Enjoy the dress."

It was signed, "Sereno."

Chapter Two: Deadly Nightmares by Keya

A young child screamed, but was silenced by a death grip on her throat.

"Complain, complain, why must my food always complain?" Her attacker asked.

The child whimpered. Laughing, Vera placed her teeth deep within the flesh of the girl's neck, basking in the warmth of the blood and the satisfaction it brought. When she was done, she dropped the body, danced an Irish jig and looked up as her master approached.

Sereno grinned, stroking his daughter's dark hair. Vera stood motionless, sensing that he was in a dangerous mood.

"I've seen Marco," Vera's blue eyes flashed, "He has something I want."

"What does he have?" Vera daringly spoke up.

"A girl, he loves her."

Vera growled, backing up from the demon, wanting to rip the girl apart. All of a sudden power struck Vera hard, forcing her to kneel. Fire blossomed in her chest, burning her from the inside.

"No! The girl's mine. Harm her and Marco dies."

Vera stared at him, her own power crashing with his, but it was useless. Always Sereno was stronger, older, and much more dominant than she could ever hope to be.

"As you wish."

"Good. Did I hurt you?"

"Yes," Vera answered.

"Come here," Sereno commanded, holding out his hand to her. Vera slowly got up; hating what was about to happen next. Sereno changed, his golden eyes becoming dark, his skin like glass, fangs peeking out from underneath his lip.

He was a demon, an eater of souls, no matter how pretty he looked on the outside, Vera reminded herself, but his one weakness was his desire to be loved and cherished by a woman, mortal or immortal, it didn't matter. As Vera opened herself to him, allowing him to feed off her energy, she wondered if ever there would be one that could resist him, and if there was someone out there, how much chaos and absolute terror would Sereno unleash until she finally stumbled to his power. After all, nothing could kill a shadow.

Chapter Three: Deadly Love by Keya

Marco sang softly to himself, adding more mustard to the bread while Sam watched him prepare the sandwich warily.

"Does Cassandra like chicken?"

"I think so," Sam replied, his body tensed, ready to escape at any given moment. Marco nodded, pulling out a plate of cooked chicken from the fridge. Sam shook his head, not believing that a vampire was actually making his girlfriend dinner, a honey-mustard chicken sandwich complete with onion rings on the side.

"Pickles?" Marco asked, his hand posed to invade the jar.

"Yeah."

"Onion."

"Sure."

"Chicken blood?"

"What!" Sam yelled, shocked to the very core.

Marco grinned wickedly, sprinkling pepper and salt onto the sandwich.

"Relax, bro, I'm just kidding. Besides, if Cassandra gets any blood, it's coming from me and not some chicken."

"Oh," Sam said, not knowing what else to say. Of all the brothers, including Michael, Marco was the best in Sam's opinion, given the fact that Marco was the one that convinced David to let him go several times despite his leader's wish to make Sam supper, but him dating his cousin was going a little too far. Deep within Sam's heart he knew that to Marco it wasn't just dating, Cassandra truly was his mate and sooner than later, she would have to cross over and that was what frightened Sam more than anything in the world. Cassandra would change, no longer be the cousin he so loved if she became a vampire.

"Can werewolves become vampires?" Sam asked Marco, afraid of the answer. Marco put down the knife he used to cut the sandwich, his face suddenly turning serious. He looked at the boy, truly looked at him and saw his fear, and felt pity for him for Sam certainly had the rough end of the deal. He would grow old while his brother and cousin remained forever the same. Making him a vampire wasn't an option, although Marco felt that Cassandra would probably go against the pack's wishes and do it, just to keep her cousin with her. Hopefully by then Cassandra would understand that it just wasn't fair to the boy since Sam would hate life as a vampire, no doubt stake himself before his first kill. Marco pulled out a chair and sat down, feeling that Sam deserved the truth.

"Yes, it's possible, but it will be painful for her. It would be pure misery while the wolf within her rages against the change, and her creator, but in the end, she will be a vampire despite the wolf's power, I'll make sure of it. That's one of the reasons why werewolves and vampires don't get along, they know that we can change them."

"But what if Cassandra doesn't want to be a vampire?"

Marco stared at Sam.

"Truth?"

Sam nodded.

"Then I'll force her."

The boy swallowed, but didn't do anything else. How could he? He was mortal and sitting before him was a vampire, and truth be told, Cassandra was already a member of the pack, end of discussion.

Sam left, almost running up the stairs. Marco sat there for several minutes, debating to take the sandwich now, or allow his love a couple more minutes of sleep. Unfortunately he never got the chance to decide. Vera had come and she was with Cassandra.

*~*~*~*~*~

Once again Cassandra's sleep was interrupted, but the person in her room wasn't friendly in the least bit. She held the werewolf by the throat, waiting for Marco to show up and when he did, she made the choice for him. She broke his girlfriend's neck.

"No!" Marco screamed, but Vera only smiled.

"Just say no to love, that's my motto. I'm surprised that you know it, Marco, me boy. Get a blanket, a movie and a box of candies, or blood, depending upon your liking, and you'll feel better, I promise."

"Damn you, Vera, I love her!" Marco yelled, his fangs out and ready for the kill.

"Yes, I know, and you can still love her. She's a werewolf, likely to heal if given some of her honey's blood, don't ya think?" Vera asked, mockingly holding Cassandra up, the werewolf's head dangling off to the side.

"You see, I heard you talking to that boy, and me, being an old flame, wanted to help. Turn her, or leave her dead, it's your choice, Marco! Besides, even if you let her die, Sereno will be mad, and kill me, and you know what, that's what I want! I want to die! I want to go to hell! It's surely better than living with Sereno!"

"Your wish is my pleasure. You die!"

Turning, Vera saw a girl that looked as deadly as Sereno. Without even knowing what hit her, Vera was attacked and left disregarded on the carpet. She breathed a thank you to Anna and then died, her body crumbling to ashes. Anna didn't even noticed. All she could think of was that Cassandra was dead and she wasn't in time to save her.

"There's still time, change her, Marco!" Dwayne spoke up, his face filled with worry.

Marco tore into his wrist with his fangs, blood pouring out. He picked up Cassandra's broken neck, feeling sick all over. Opening the girl's mouth, his placed his wrist inside it, knowing that it wasn't going to be enough. The blood wasn't getting inside her.

"Here."

Marco stared at Sam. He was holding a syringe that his grandfather used to put the animals that were to be stuffed asleep. Anna took it, drawing blood from Marco's arm and injecting it into Cassandra.

"Who was that vampire?" Anna asked Marco while working.

"Someone I should have killed a long time ago," Marco answered softly; all love he had for Vera was lost somewhere in the abyss a hundred years ago when she chose Sereno over him. If Anna hadn't killed her, he would have gladly done it.

Suddenly, Marco was holding an angry wolf and the battle between wolf and vampire began at that moment. The others stepped back and watched.

*~*~*~*~*~

Sereno opened his eyes, enraged. He felt Vera's death, knowing that she had betrayed him in some way, and also felt the war going on inside Cassandra, thanks to the red dress she still wore. No matter, he thought, werewolf, or vampire, you'll be mine, Cassandra, you'll be mine, and Marco will lose once again!

Conclusion: Deadly Friction by Keya

The wolf rebelled, baring her teeth. Her yellow eyes held an unearthly power that nothing could control, but Marco was willing to try. He stood firmly rooted to the floor, never taking his eyes off the furious creature. Moments later, the wolf attacked.

Marco had always known that Cassandra was powerful, but as a wolf, she was deadly, her teeth ripping into whatever flesh came closest. Marco tried being gentle, but gave up, now on the offensive. If he hurt her, he'll make it up to Cassandra later, or so he thought. Sereno had other plans. The demon appeared out of nowhere and grabbed the snaring Cassandra and vanished, leaving behind one very pissed off vampire.

"No!" Marco screamed. Anna just stared at the floor, her sense of danger buzzing with warning. A nauseated feeling consumed her and she felt that nothing would ever be the same again.

The End
This story archived at http://www.lostcave.net/fanfic/viewstory.php?sid=226