This story is kind of a mishmash of concepts. You'll see people from the Marvel Universe, and Laurell K Hamilton's vampire/faerie world here. All mentioned characters are copy written by their respective owners. This is likely to have male/male sexual situations. If that offends you, please go read Dr. Seuss.

I'd definitely appreciate any feedback you may have.

Dialogue in italics is thoughts.


"What do you want Willie?" Luke said to the vampire that sat across the desk from him. Luke raised the dead for a living and with the sudden disappearance of Anita Blake. That made Luke the most powerful animators in the world. Luke was (un)lucky enough to have been pulled along with Anita on many of her cases. So Luke was very familiar with the preternatural community of St. Louis. Willie McCoy was a vampire who managed a comedy club called The Laughing Corpse. No matter how much Luke contemplated he could not think of a reason a vampire needed a body raised.

"Jean Claude sent me. Anita is alive, and he wants your help finding her."

"How does he know that? Why me? I raise the dead. I'm not even on retainer for the police like Anita was so my detective work is definitely sub par." Luke responded.

"I'm not allowed to really go into detail here. If Jean Claude didn't actually think you could help I wouldn't be here."

Luke paused, "Anita was my friend and if I thought I would actually be any help I'll do it, I just don't see what he wants from me."

Willie slid an envelope across the desk. "Just come hear him out. That's just a consultation fee. Jean Claude is willing to do or pay whatever it takes to get Anita back."

Luke looked into the envelope and estimated about $5000. With a sigh he pushed the envelope back. Willie looked at him curiously.

"I can't accept the money." Willie was about to interrupt but Luke held up his hand. "When and where?"

"Midnight. Guilty Pleasures."


"Of all the inconvenient allergies to have, why do vampires have to be allergic to sunlight?!" Luke said more to himself as he walked up the stairs into Guilty Pleasures. Being an animator keeps him up to all hours generally anyway, but it's just annoying to have to have a meeting at midnight rather than noon.

Luke was about to enter when a tall vampire bodyguard stops him.

"Its ladies night bud, you'll have to come back some other time." The vampire says to him.

"Buzz every night is ladies night you moron. I'm here to see JC, at his request. So you can let me in or piss off your master for keeping him waiting. Your choice."

"Sorry Luke didn't recognize you. Go ahead in." Buzz said.

What kind of name is Buzz for a vampire anyway? Luke thought to himself as he entered the club.

"Welcome to Guilty Pleasures, please check all weapons and holy items here." Said the hostess as soon as he entered, she appeared to be about 23 and far too happy to be working for vampires.

"I'm here at Jean Claude's request. Please let him know Luke has arrived."

The hostess picked up a phone and made a call. It didn't take long for the call to be done. "Jean Claude will be right with you."

I turned to watch the show. There was a blonde stripper on stage. He was short like me, couldn't have been more than 5'7". His hair was high and tight, very businesslike and he had very creamy smooth skin that covered a very muscular body. Luke knew he wasn't a vampire from looking at him. That's the great thing about being an animator, your powers are in death, and vampires are dead makes it easy to sense them. This stripper however, was very much alive and made Luke remember that he too was by the swelling in his jeans. Jean Claude only employed supes as his strippers. So if this wasn't a vampire, then it was most likely a were.

"Luke thank you for coming on such short notice." Said a velvety voice behind him.

"Jean Claude!" Luke said with a start. Jean Claude was clad in leather pants that laced up the sides of his legs looking more like they had been painted on than anything, they left very little to the imagination. He had on a white flowing shirt that was very frilly and lacy. The top half was open and if you caught him at the right angle you could see the cross shaped scar he had. Vampires can't heal holy damage. He was indeed beautiful and never failed to make Luke stutter a bit. There is certain femininity about Jean Claude, but there is no doubt that he is all male.

Jean Claude smiled slightly. "Please come with me, we have much to discuss."

Luke followed him back to the office and took a seat in the one across from Jean Claude's seat.

"You really need to train the help a little better Jean Claude. I don't know how many times I came here with Anita and Buzz picks tonight to stop me? I know he's just doing his job, but when I'm inconveniencing myself to come here to see you I don't expect your pets to give me shit."

Jean Claude simply raised one eyebrow and gave Luke a nod. "My apologies. I will make sure that Buzz knows that you are allowed here anytime."

"Thank you. I appreciate that." Luke replied to the vampire, after a pause he added "what do you need from me?"

"As Willie no doubt told you ma petite is alive. I need you to help me find her."

"How? I haven't seen her for weeks before the disappearance." Luke replied, slightly forlorn.

"Her blood still runs through your veins. I can smell it still. Do you remember how you came to have ma petite's blood inside you?" Jean Claude said rather pointedly.

"We were doing a raising, the corpse had to be over five hundred years old. Neither of us could do it by ourselves without a human sacrifice, but together we could. After we killed the goat, we had to cut our forearms and press them together as we walked. Shared blood, shared power. That night Anita and I secured our positions as the top animators in the world. The only reason I know she was stronger is because she was a necromancer; she's controlled all types of dead. I haven't had the opportunity to attempt to raise a vampire. It's not high on my to-do list."

"I need some of your blood Luke. I've found a witch who can help me find her. I need your blood, because it's her blood."

Luke sighed and put his head in his hands. "So I just open a vein and that's all I have to do?"

"Lukas, I wish it were only that simple. The witch will be here to guide you; you'll need to perform the magiks. As it is your blood, you must cast. The concept is that you and ma petite have shared blood and magik, so blood and magik will return her to us."

"If it will help bring her back, I'll do it. When do you want me to do this?"

"Would now be too soon?"

"No, it's as good a time as any. We're going to do it in your office?"

"No, your power is in death. We go to the cemetery."



Luke and Jean Claude walked up a small hill towards the woman on top. This must be the witch. Luke thought.

"Ms Copeland, thank you for coming on such short notice." Jean Claude said in his velvety voice.

"When the Master of the City calls, you answer." She said simply.

Jean Claude smiled, "Luke is ready for you to guide him through the spell."

"Hello Luke, my name is Charlotte. I'll need you to walk the graveyard first, and when you find a place that feels right stop. We'll start the spell there."

Luke nodded in acknowledgement. He closed his eyes and concentrated. Picturing tendrils of energy moving out from him, he started to walk the cemetery. Moving through the graves he could sense the dead, a body directly under him; another to his left. Cemeteries make raising the dead so much easier. You have a good idea of where everyone is. As he walked slowly, feeling the dead he could feel a ghost or two behind him. Anita taught him to ignore them. They're noncorporeal and can't do anything to you until you pay attention to them. That is what gives ghosts power. He felt a tug to his left and followed it. As he closed in on the grave it felt like he walked through a wall of ice. Looking down he read the headstone, "Larwrence Kirkland".

"Anita's old protégé." Luke said softly before calling to the others. "We'll do it here, Larry wants to help."

Jean Claude read the tombstone, "Lawrence..."

"Ok Luke. We're going to make a circle with the candles and we'll light them. Stay within the circle. You'll read the first part of the spell and when it calls for blood you'll need to cut yourself. You don't need to actually open a vein, just bleed a little."

Luke read the paper to himself a couple times. "I can do this." He said and walked into the circle of candles Charlotte setup as he read.

Charlotte and Jean Claude stepped back. Once they were about 10 feet from the circle Charlotte held out her hand. "Incendero!" She said, and all the candles ignited.

"Jean Claude, no matter what you see, you CANNOT enter that circle. Do you understand?"

Jean Claude nodded in acknowledgement. "Go ahead Luke, it's all you." Charlotte said to him.

Luke closed his eyes and reached out with his power. Like a web it moved across the cemetery. He could feel it going out from corpse to corpse. He could even feel Jean Claude. Luke began to recite the spell:

"Power of the animators rise,
Course unseen across the skies,

Come to me who calls you near,
Come to me and settle here."

As he said this the wind began to blow, creating a tempest around the circle. He recited again.

"Power of the animators rise,

Course unseen across the skies,

Come to me who calls you near,

Come to me and settle here.

Luke took out his knife and cut his wrist quickly and the blood poured down upon Larry's tombstone.

"Blood to blood, I summon thee,

Blood to blood, return to me!"

The tempest around Luke raged harder, he kept his power secure in the graves around him, like an anchor. Lightning struck around him. Suddenly the air was filled with the scent of jasmine and rain.

"No!" Jean Claude yelled as he ran to the edge of the circle, but not crossing it.

"Blood to blood, I summon thee,

Blood to blood, return to me!"

In the center of the storm that raged feet appeared and slowly lowered towards the ground. The smell of jasmine and rain overpowered all other scents. Luke looked up and watched as Anita was lowered to the ground. Anita was not the only being there though. A Vampire so old that the mere sight of her almost knocked her unconscious, the vampire slept despite it being night. She seemed to be fighting to keep Anita.

"What is she Jean?!" Charlotte said, just on this side of hysterics. She hadn't expected the spell to react like this.

"Blood to blood, I summon thee,

Blood to blood, return to me!"

With that last chant Anita fell completely through the portal onto the ground. Luke retracted his power and the portal closed and the wind stopped. The night as calm as though there had been no storm.

Luke too fell to the ground beside Anita, weak from the exertion and the blood loss. He looked to her.

"Marmee Noir..." Anita said softly before they both sank into unconsciousness.