Jacques ushered Lazarus over to the piano at the bar as they walked into the lobby. Lazarus kissed Melissa on the cheek before walking to the piano. She stood at the back and watched as he settled on the stool, beginning to play his old compositions.
As the music filled the room, the silver haired man at the bar looked around and his eyes widened as he saw Lazarus at the piano, glancing at the back of the room with a smile. His hand tightened involuntarily around his glass as he grit his teeth, resisting the urge to kill the dog on the spot. He was so close...
The night wore on and the hunter found it harder and harder to contain himself until he had to walk out of the room. He returned to his bedroom and punched the wall, growling.
Melissa watched the hunter go, and without a word to Lazarus, she left the bar behind, following the hunter to his room. When Lazarus looked up and saw Melissa was gone, he ended his piece gracefully and stood, bowed and left quickly.
He chased Melissa up the stairs, catching up with her only metres from the hunter's door.
"What're you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same thing," he muttered, arching an eyebrow.
"I'm fulfilling a promise I made, you should be working."
"I clocked off early," he shrugged, "is the hunter here, then?" he frowned; he should have noticed.
"Yeah, he is, you know you're not a fighter in your human form, Lazarus."
"I can't just let you walk off and face him alone," he murmured, his frown not lifting. "I can wake Bane up and use his strength." It was, after all, Bane's job to protect his human form.
"Doubt he'd like you for that one, just stay back okay? I won't have you hurt."
"I'm not going to stand back and let you get hurt either," Lazarus said, his and Bane's voices mingling into one. He didn't have time to contemplate how strange it sounded as the hunter stalked out of his room, slamming the door behind him. The hunter looked up and smiled.
"Oh good, you saved me from making a scene downstairs," he laughed coldly, tightening his hand around his knife. The silver blade flashed threateningly, but Lazarus didn't shy away from it.
"No scene needed if you just roll over and die," Melissa snarled.
"That's his job," the hunter muttered, pointing his knife at Lazarus.
"Yeah well, not while I'm here." She growled, snapping her arms round his neck. His eyes widened and he punched her in the stomach, lifting the tip of the knife to her throat, poking her skin with it sharply.
"Let go of me leech," he hissed.
She snarled, tipping her head away from the knife. "No." She grinned, biting into his neck. He gritted his teeth and moved the knife against her skin again, pushing it in. She snarled, pulling back, tearing at his neck. He shuddered slightly at the pain, but continued to push the knife into her flesh. Lazarus scowled; he knew Melissa had been the one left to deal with the hunter, but he couldn't help as instinct took over. He launched himself at the hunter, tearing him away from Melissa. They landed with a crash on the floor a couple of meters down the hallway, Lazarus on top, punching the hunter's face.
She touched her neck gingerly; the silver that was used to slice her flesh made it sting and she knew it would take a long while to heal. But still she limped forward, attempting to wrestle the silver knife out of the hunter's hand. But the hunter was determined - half his life had been leading up to the moment when he would finally get his revenge. And that knowledge combined with the adrenaline coursing through his veins like wildfire gave him strength enough to pull against her grip. Even as Lazarus' hands tightened around his throat, he somehow managed to keep hold of the knife.
He jerked his knee up in to Lazarus' groin sharply, making him yelp, a sound half human, half animal. He let go and rolled off the human, wincing.
"Tell me, hunter, do you have any bear traps?" The man laughed, rubbing his throat with a grimace, trying to shake the feeling of having his windpipe crushed.
"Bear's aren't what I'm interested in catching," he snapped, rolling over abruptly, pulling free of Melissa's grip and sinking his blade into Lazarus' leg. Lazarus howled and jerked away from the burning silver embedded in his muscle.
"Too bad." She growled, changing in a shroud of shadow before jumping at the hunter again. Bane whined, baying at the pain in Lazarus' body. He shuddered, feeling sick as it began to heal. The hunter roared wordlessly under the creature, doing his best to push it off.
"I just want the dog!" he cried, "I want justice for what he did!" he screamed. They were beginning to attract attention, even on the top floor as they were.
"Well, you won't get justice, you just want him, but if you take him, you'll be destroying my life. You gonna take him away from me?"
"You have no life, you're a leech," he spat.
"Technically, I'm now a bear."
"You're a vampire, and that's all that matters," he growled, poking her in the belly with the knife, "now get off me and let me put the dog to sleep."
She clawed his stomach and he wailed, dropping the knife, "you'd have to give me my final-death first." Lazarus pushed himself up, and watched for a moment as Melissa tore into the man. He couldn't help but feel bad that his life had ended this way, being mauled by a vampire bear in a hotel away from his home country.
"I'm sorry," he whispered, putting his hands on the man's head, ignoring his thrashing around as he twisted sharply, snapping his neck. Melissa changed back, falling away from them man's body, the hole still in her neck as she coughed up the hunter's blood.
Lazarus sat with his back against the wall, his eyes closed, feeling sick still. "I'm sorry," he murmured again, not entirely sure who he was apologising to as he pushed Bane back into the back of his mind.
"Stop apologising." She coughed, wiping her mouth. "Please, stop apologising." He opened his eyes again, looking at Melissa.
"How's your neck?"
"Stinging to hell. It'll keep bleeding for a while to come I should think." He nodded, his hand covering the wound on his leg, still not healed as he tried to avoid looking at the blank eyes of the hunter.
"C'mon," he pushed himself up, wincing, "we should get him out of here. The alpha will want to see, I guess."
She nodded, "Yeah, let's go." He bent and picked up the limp, bloodied body and slung it over his shoulder, walking to the window at the end of the corridor. With one hand, he opened the window and hauled himself out of it, dropping to the ground. She sighed and reluctantly followed. "I feel sick," She mumbled to Lazarus as she reached the floor.
"The silver?" he asked, as they walked away. He was doing his best not to limp, but putting weight on his injured leg was stupidly painful.
"Or too much blood, I dunno. I just feel..." She coughed again, "really sick." He cast her a concerned glance as they walked back towards the edge of the park.
"At least it's over with the hunter," he murmured, looking back up to see a towering figure waiting in the trees for them, arms crossed. The man was nearly invisible in the shade, wearing a tight black t-shirt over his dark skin, and black jeans.
"Yeah, really don't like being a bear though," she muttered back, taking her hand from her neck to look at it, to see if it was still bleeding.
"Such a gentleman, outsider," the alpha said, gesturing to the hunter over his shoulder, staining him with his blood. Lazarus scowled and threw the body on the floor at the alpha's feet.