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Falling Apart by Carla

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Night was long in coming. Too long for Anna, who spent most of the day walking around the cave, exploring her new reactions to everything. The simplest things amazed her to no end.

Sounds, from far outside, met her ears, and she sat for a long while, just listening to the different ones she could hear, from the wind sighing through the cave to the voices of people on the boardwalk, a hushed mumble, but still audible.

A tiny ant, crawling up the wall of the cave, held her attention for almost half an hour, as she watched the minute details that she had never before been able to appreciate, the rough markings on its small body, the muscles that allowed it to lift so much more than it weighed.

But with time even these things ceased to amuse her, and Anna took to pacing. It was in the middle of one of her treks back across the cave that trouble struck.

With a cry she fell to her knees, one hand slamming against the floor to stop her fall, the other resting on her stomach, her face locked in a painful grimace. As waves of pain wracked her body, Anna cried out again, hearing her own heartbeat in her ears, thudding so loudly she looked down, expecting to see her heart leaving her body.

Dwayne watched her, eyes dark. He should have warned her of what would happen. He hadn't wanted to scare her. He was beginning to doubt the sanity behind that thought.

David lifted the bottle of blood, carrying it to Anna. He knelt before her, lifting her head carefully. Her eyes were glazed over, empty of everything save her hunger, which she knew no name for.

He handed her the bottle silently, watching as she grasped at it, a fine trembling sweeping over her body. She tried to drink, but her hand was shaking so roughly that she almost dropped the bottle.

David's eyes darkened. He pulled the half-vampire to him, cradling her gently to his chest, taking the bottle from her.

"Calm," he whispered, voice low to sooth her. "Drink and you will feel better." With steady hands he held her head still and lifted the bottle to her lips, tilting it just right, so the blood would slide into her mouth and down her throat. She swallowed convulsively, drinking as much as he would give her. David let her drink, remembering in the darkness of the back of his mind what that first hunger felt like, that first pain, the need for blood to live.

But all too soon for Anna's tastes he pulled the bottle from her lips, setting it aside and gently running one gloved hand down her cheek. "Enough," he said, voice still low. "Soon the sun will set, soon we will hunt. Do not over do it now."

The girl nodded, life slowly returning to her eyes, the glazed look fading.

"Thank you, David," Anna said quietly, tongue running quickly around her lips to clean them of any blood left. The vampire nodded down at her, a small smile gracing his lips. He had plans for this one.

When they were rushing to save her, he hadn't spared a second thought for what her addition would mean to his Pack. He had worried more for Dwayne's sanity, knowing that if the female remained dead, his lieutenant would not remain alive, as it were, for much longer. But now, having watched the female for the better part of three hours, he knew that she did indeed hold much potential.

Potential that he, as her leader, planned to make good use of.

Dwayne stared darkly at David and Anna, overwhelmed by such powerful waves of jealousy that he almost could not stay upright. He tried to tell himself that he had nothing to be jealous of. Not more than three hours had passed since Anna had declared her love for him, since he had spoken the words to her. But David was their leader, and, as their leader, had first rights to Anna, no matter where her love lies.

Never before had he expected David to make use of the droit de seigneur, the right of the lord, but suddenly Dwayne feared that his leader would, feared that more than anything, save losing Anna completely.

Paul watched the jealousy play over Dwayne's face, humming quietly to himself. He had known Anna would bring trouble to their Pack. He, for one, was looking forward to the turmoil. He doubted anyone would be seriously hurt, physically or emotionally, and firmly believed that a little trouble now and then was a good thing. Hell, he believed that a lot of trouble a lot of the time was a good thing.

Marko had settled himself in one of the shabby chairs, holding one of the books that had been strewn about on the floor in his lap, trying his hardest to pay attention to it. His eyes flicked from David and Anna, to Dwayne, to Michael and Star. He was less worried about how Anna's addition would effect the Pack than he was about how Michael's addition would effect them.

For Anna, while she would not completely accept David as a leader, Marko expected, would not go out of her way to challenge David's position. She might call him on it, if he was too demanding of her, but she would not openly challenge him.

Marko held no such expectations for Michael. He could almost see it inside his head now, Michael's rebellion, his lack of desire for a leader, his lack of respect. Perhaps killing had changed the willful male. Perhaps not.

Star sat, still holding Michael in the exact same position they had been in since he realized he had killed Anna. His tears had stopped when the female had woken up, vampire blood pumping through her veins, and had seemed to relax even more when she had teased him about hurting him the next time he killed her, but now the vampire was silent, brooding. Star didn't know what was wrong, and she didn't know what to do for him. So she settled on holding him, brushing his hair back every so often, offering as much comfort as she could.

Michael lay against Star, letting the girl hold him, try to sooth him. But he didn't know exactly why he needed to be soothed. His eyes drooped now and then, and in the back of his gut, a deep hunger had begun, but he was content to sit with Star. His mind whirled in a million directions, none of which he could follow his thoughts in. They spun out of control, leaving their owner far behind, taking on their own mind, their own decisions. Yet still Michael lay in Star's arms, not wanting to move, not wanting to face what he had become, what he would now do.

Laddie could feel the tension invade the room, slowly at first, then faster, until the air was thick with it. Tension and jealousy from Dwayne. Tension and anticipation from David. Tension and hunger from Anna. Tension and fear from Marko. Tension plain and simple from Paul. Tension and worry from Star. Tension and confusion from Michael. And tension and knowledge from himself.

Laddie knew that the Pack was in trouble. He knew the trouble would be coming from all sides, from Anna, David and Dwayne, from Michael, and from some outside source. His instincts told him all that.

What they didn't tell him was what to do about it. The boy vampire was confused, his heart tearing for Dwayne, whom he considered a big brother, and for Star, who was like a sister to him.

Yet he also pitied Anna and Michael, neither of whom knew what they had really done. So much had happened so fast, and only now would the repercussions begin.

Laddie crossed the room to Dwayne slowly, leaning against the vampire's back, small hands resting on his shoulders. Dwayne half-turned to look at him, a sad smile touching his lips for a moment. At least here Laddie wasn't confused. Dwayne was upset. That wasn't right.

Laddie may have looked like a child, but his intelligence was immense. He would speak to Anna of this pain she was causing his almost brother. Later he would speak to her.

As the sun sank into the water, lighting the sky with its final rays, the vampires felt the release wash over them, the freedom from their captivity, from what should have been a deep sleep. Their heads came up, a soft sigh escaping each of their lips. No matter what mood they were in, the release of the sunset brought pleasure to any vampire.

Anna stood, fluidly, already more graceful than she had been as a human, not that she had been clumsy then. David looked up at her, a smirk touching the corners of his lips as she hurried to the entrance to the cave, body aching to feel the night air.

"Patience child," he admonished her gently. "The night is long."

She nodded, eyes bright, still wanting to leave, but waiting for the others.

Dwayne frowned, standing in one fluid motion, drawing Laddie with him, firmly keeping his eyes away from David. It would not do to let his leader see the discontent that shone in them.

Anna turned then, and the light in her eyes took his breath away.

"I can smell so much, the sea and the air, and the boardwalk, and the birds and so many things," she whispered, awe filling her voice. She sniffed the air delicately again. "I want to go out and see and feel everything I can, oh please, can we go?" she asked, anticipation causing her to stumble over her words.

"Come here," Dwayne growled, suddenly needing to reassure himself before anything else happened. She crossed to him immediately, looking up at him, a small, confused frown on her face.

"I smell. . ." she trailed off, unable to explain what she could sense. Dwayne's eyes darkened even more when he realized she was smelling his fear. If she was this sensitive already. . . but he stopped the thought where it was. No thinking right now.

Instead he caught the back of her head with one hand, no longer worried about his strength hurting her. Dragging her against his body, he kissed her, tongue invading her mouth roughly, hands clutching her to him.

Anna reacted immediately, pressing against him, hands sliding up to tangle in his hair and pull his lips tighter against her own.

Even without her enhanced sensations, she would have been extremely effected by the kiss.

But with the enhanced sensations, her world began to spin out of control. Everything spiraled out in flashes of color, the only thing staying clear and focused was his body against hers, his lips and tongue dominating the kiss.

When he finally pulled away Anna was breathless, heart pounding, the blood she had so recently drank tearing through her veins.

But she still had the sense of mind to speak.

"More," she whispered, voice barely audible. Her hands tightened in Dwayne's hair, dragging his lips against hers once again.

David had by this time crossed to the entrance, waiting impatiently for the two to stop groping each other. Marko joined him, a small smile on his face. He approved of Dwayne and Anna. Paul walked to them, humming, walking to the music he was creating, laughter in his eyes. The three turned, eyes locked onto Dwayne and Anna, waiting for them to notice.

Michael stood, helping Star up. He kept one arm tight around her waist as they walked towards her leader, their leader now. He still felt the confusion, but pushed it aside. Deep inside him, a new feeling was welling up, one of belonging. In his very basest reactions, he knew he belonged here, with the lost boys. And tonight was his first night as a full vampire. His eyes took on a darker sheen as he began to picture what it might be like. His pulse picked up speed as the thoughts slid over him.

Dwayne and Anna pulled apart gently this time, soft smiles on both of their faces. Dwayne was amazed. Two kisses, and suddenly he looked upon his earlier fears with disdain. How could he fear losing her? She was his.

But when they turned, and found the original Pack watching them, Dwayne felt another sharp flash of fear. Anna flushed, then lifted her head, forcing the color in her cheeks away.

"Can we go?" David asked, voice dry. "You were in such a hurry to leave moments ago."

She nodded eagerly, heading for the entrance, one hand catching Dwayne's as she walked by, pulling the taller vampire along with her. He laughed, letting the female drag him along.

David stepped aside, as did Paul and Marko, letting the new half-vampire step outside first.

Anna stopped suddenly, causing Dwayne to slam into her back, his free hand catching her arm to keep her from being knocked down. He looked down at her questioningly.

"It's. . .so. . ." but words failed the girl. She simply turned to look at him, then spun away, twirling in the narrow space between the wall and the drop to the ocean. "It's so much."

Paul, stepping out next to Dwayne, laughed, the sound filling the air. "Perhaps we should not let her drive tonight," he said, brushing past Dwayne and then Anna, heading up the narrow stairs. "It might not be safe." His laugher continued to surround them as he climbed up to the bikes.

Marko came out next, with a smile for the still twirling girl. "Do you remember that enthusiasm?" he asked Dwayne quietly, squeezing the vampire's arm as he passed. "The feelings that come when you're first turned?" He smiled at Anna again as he passed her, following Paul up the steps.

Dwayne suddenly found life amusing again, walking forward and catching Anna in a gentle hug. "It is so much, isn't it," he whispered into her ear, kissing the skin of her neck lightly. "But come, there's more tonight."

She gazed up at him, eyes shining, and then let him walk her up the stairs, his arms still loosely around her waist. He stopped at his bike, pulling her against him, resting his chin on her head, brushing a kiss across her hair. Anna sighed happily, rubbing her cheek against his chest, arms resting around his waist lightly, fingers running over the leather of his jacket in a soft caress.

David came up the stairs quickly, leading Michael, Star and Laddie. He cast a quick, half-uninterested look around his Pack. "Michael, do you wish to get your bike?" he asked briefly.

Michael nodded.

"Fly, get your bike, meet us on the boardwalk," the words were a command, not to be questioned. "Star stays with us."

Michael almost protested that, but Star shook her head, motioning him away. The vampire glowered, then disappeared into the air. David settled himself on his bike, leaving Star to climb on by herself.

Laddie slid onto Marko's bike with a small smile. Marko grinned at the boy, revving his engine suddenly. Paul echoed the act, still laughing.

Dwayne slid onto his bike, turning to look questioningly at Anna. She smiled at him, and slipped on, arms tight around his waist.

"We ride boys," David said, then turned to Anna. "You're impressed by your senses now, just wait till I'm done with you tonight."

Dwayne snarled almost silently, causing Anna to tighten her arms around him. But either David didn't hear the sound, or he chose to ignore it, for he revved his own engine, then peeled out, kicking up dirt and rocks.

And so the Pack, the Lost Boys, headed into the night, living now on Anna's sacrifice.

They had no idea what it would cost them. Their payment had barely begun.
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