“Why isn’t Pinky with us?” Shemo asked mildly, laying on her back by a stream. Rani, kneeling beside her to wash the blood out of her hair, shot Ara a pacifying glance before answering.
“She actually likes these guys, and her powers haven’t manifested yet.” Shemo nodded and bit back another question with a fleeting look at Ara.
“Just ask already, Critter Caller, I’ve only set one person on fire for saying something about our situation.” A smirk punctuated Ara’s words, but it was not an expression of reassurance.
:Two people.” Rani corrected dryly, running gloved fingers through Shemo’s dark locks idly.
“That doesn’t count; you like the burn.”
“Are you two…together?” It was a question dampened by nervousness, but not a single word was lost to the night. Silence reigned for a moment, then two. The quiet darkness grew thicker and more pungent, until Rani toppled the muted air after a brief eternity.
“We’re partners. Each of us is what the other needs us to be; it’s an adaptive system. She has other lives, as do I.”
“That’s his cliché way of sayng we’re open. It’d kill Rani-boy to be direct when he can sweeten his words with metaphor and analogy until the flowery prose covers the scent of the bullshit and it sounds like he actually knows what he’s talking about.”
“We’re not here to further our own story.” Rani interrupted testily. “We’re here to sink our claws into some shiny sanguine suckers.” Ara’s eyes lit up at his words, crimson orbs flashing in the darkness.
“Claws?” She echoed gleefully. Rani’s eyes shifted to turquoise for an instant as he simply nodded in reply.
“Send the fuzzies swimming, Shemo. The scent of blood should be strong enough to lure them here.” Shemo sat up with a sigh and shook the water from her hair. Shivering slightly and smiling in mild amusement at the way Rani’s now damp cloak clung to him, she muttered something to the rustling night. A moment later, a series of splashes answered her command.
“They’re on their way, the others intercepted the wolves. Bella’s bedazzled is the fastest; he’ll be here first.” Rani announced, shrugging off his cloak and casually removing his belt.
“That fact that you know that makes me wonder how you get girls to stick around while you take that belt off.” Ara commented with a bemused smirk, the crimson glow returning to her gaze as she likewise began to shed her clothing.
“Uh…I don’t think this is a good time for you to-“ Shemo’s words died in her throat as a blur warped the darkness and collided with Rani in a hissing and cursing tumbling of rapidly moving limbs. Blood erupted from Rani’s skull in a terrible foundation under the pressure of a crazed punch from Edward. Eyes alight with frenzy, the Cullen snarled from atop the fiction fighter and his hand tightened around Rani’s throat with the grip of a steel mangling vice.
Pale flesh darkened to green while the youth stared definitely at the vampire. Shemo drew in a panicked breath to summon her minions to her when a second blur drove the air from her in cold mist and a blond figure drove her into a tree trunk. The flaming orb Ara summoned in her palm to aid Rani bought her the warning of precious seconds she needed to evade the vampire leader. Carlisle dropped from the massive bough to find only a fledgling flame struggling to life instead of his target. With feline reflex, he turned in time to see the crimson death that awaited him. Sporting the sapphire and ruby scales of her dragon form, Ara closed her powerful jaws around the doctor’s head and removed it bloodlessly with a vicious twist.
Edward’s bestial hissing and snarling faded to silent confusion as the monster beneath him suddenly lashed out with a muscular, and armed covered in green scales. The force of the blow collapsed the eternal teen’s sternum and sent him crashing noisily into the stream. Dozens of tiny claws latched onto the master of scowls the instant he vanished beneath the dark depths and he did not rise again.
The gargoyle rolled to his feet in time to meet the next wave of the attackers. Jasper and Emmett converged on Rani without fear or hesitation. Alice hung back for the slightest of moments, but that was enough for Ara to descend upon her before she could join the fray. Shemo screamed a warning as she stumbled away from the ice entombed fragments of Rosalie. Annoyed with losing the element of surprise, Esme threw herself from her perch on the massive boulder at Shemo.
“I have ice powers. Yay, I win!” Shemo yelled in sheer delight as she easily avoided the corpse of Esme. Ignoring the carnage taking place around her, the youth drew the dagger from her boot and removed the frozen heart of the Cullen matron. She turned, trophy in the air, in time to see Ara rip Alice in half and consume the upper body of the pseudo prophet. Rani drove the edge tip of his right wing into Emmett’s forehead, impaling it before slamming the undead fiend into the boulder Esme had sprang from. The impact reduced the offending skull to a pale pulp and Rani slung the perma-dead at the last of the Cullen family. Jasper avoided the flung body, but not the flaming bout Ara spat in tandem with her partner. Stunned by the severe burns, the blackened youth halted just long enough to be caught in a tug of war as a gargoyle tail wrapped around his throat at the same time the serpentine length of a dragon’s tail snared his torso. After a brief struggle, the head wrenched free and Ara consumed the charred corpse before Rani could growl an objection.