Title: Ian's Secret (Tentative title)
Author: Inquisitive1
Email: Inquisitive1⊕angelfire.com
Rating: PG13
Distribution: Sooner or later at my site http://www.angelfire.com/tv/inqstive1sfanfiction
Disclaimer: I own only the characters not on a show. My first Witchblade fic
Summary: Sara Pezzini meets a teenage girl who reminds her of her stalker Ian Nottingham. Semi Crossover with Roswell
Note: // Images // < Anai and Zan's connection >
______________
Chapter 1
New York City: Spring 2002
Detective Sara Pezzini walks down the street bumping into a figure. "Oh sorry" she mutters looking down to see a dark haired teenager staring at her. "Hey" she smiles

The girl moves away almost frightened she runs down the street

Sara looks down to see her bracelet hiss 'Damn thing' she thinks turning to see if she can find the girl.

Sixteen year old Anai runs around the corner away from the cop her inborn instincts knowing who the woman is. 'Weilder.' "Shit" she mutters her mind flashing over images

// A glove with a blade on the end.

The woman dodging bullets.

Arguing with a dark haired man. //

Anai shakes her head "Stop" she mutters trying to end the images.

"Hey kid" Sara calls finding the dark haired teen in the alley

Anai looks at the cop "What?"

"Are you OK?" Pez asks

Anai moves away from the woman "Yeah fine."

"I get this feeling you aren't being honest with me."

"Not fond of cops." Anai says moving past the woman

"Not many people are" Pez smiles "Names Pezzini."

Anai looks at her "I know"

"How do you know?"

Anai takes off disappearing in the crowd. < ZAN > she goes in search of her best friend/lover/protector.


That afternoon
Sara enters her office removing her jacket

"Hello Lady Sara"

Sara jumps at the sound of the familiar voice "Damn it Ian one of these days you're going to give me a heart attack" she says closing the door to her office. "What are you here for? Give me another vague warning?"

"The girl you spoke with... where is she?"

"I didn't get her address." Sara retorts "And stop stalking me!"

"I am protecting you." Ian replies

"Nottingham why are you here?" Sara demands annoyed

Ian bows his head "Find the girl. She can answer
many questions."

Sara stares at him "How am I supposed to find her?"

Ian reaches out touching the bracelet. "The Witchblade will lead her to you." he looks away "I have to go"

"Ian, why would this lead her to me?"

"It will show you." Ian says walking out the door

Sara stares after the enigma 'What am I going to do with him?' she shakes her head turning to her paperwork.


Chapter 2
That Night: Anai and Zan's place
"You OK, babe?" Zan asks finding Anai staring out the window of their bedroom.

Anai tilts her head back to look at him "She knows my father."

"You saw that?"

"Mmm" she nods "I'm scared"

"Of what?"

"I haven't seen my father since I was five or six. Momma always told me he was different. That his work is why we had to stay away from him."

" 'nai its OK."

"Momma said his boss was a jerk who would do anything to take me from her." she shivers involuntarily

" 'nai nothin' will seperate us."

"Promise?"

"I promise" he kisses her temple "how are you feelin'?"

"My stomach and head still hurt from being so close to the Witchblade." She sighs turning she wraps her arms around him rubbing her cheek against his chest.

"Let's get you to bed." Zan picks her up carrying her over to the bed he lays her down pulling the covers up.

As he starts to move away Anai grabs his hand "Stay?"

"For a little while, I have to get to work."

Anai nods "I know" she yawns "I wish you didn't have to work tonight"

"I know but I'm close by if you need me."

"I love you my King" she says sleepily

"And I you my Queen" he smiles kissing her neck.


Just before dawn
Zan enters the bedroom concerned when he doesn't find Anai awake to greet him. 'She usually wakes up.' he shakes his head 'Must be exhausted.' he sits on the edge of the bed leaning down to kiss her forehead. He frowns "She's burning up" he mutters touching her forehead. "Anai come on babe wake up" he says taking her hand he winces his mind receiving images

//A dark haired man watching over a woman sleeping.

The man being beaten by another man with
silver/blond hair//

"FATHER" Anai cries out curling up she clutches her stomach

"Anai come on your dreamin' babe" Zan says worried

Anai opens her eyes looking at him hazily "Zan"

" 'nai I need you to stay awake"

"Zan" she drifts back to sleep

"Anai come on don't do this babe"

//The cop wearing the Witchblade healing Anai//

"The cop," Zan sighs "OK babe I guess we'll give it some time... if need be we'll go to the cop's place" he runs his fingers through his spiked locks.


Early evening: Sara's Apartment
"I'm coming I'm coming" Sara calls sleepily "Nottingham if that's you I swear" Sara trails off as she pulls open the door to find a tall man with piercings and spiked hair protectively cradling the young woman from the day before in his arms "What the...? Who are you?"

"She needs your help... or that things help" Zan nods at the Witchblade "I can't heal her like this."

Sara steps aside letting the man enter "Why don't you just take her to the hospital?"

"Too many questions" Zan answers setting Anai on the couch. "Anai is my life and my responsibility... I ain't gonna take her anywhere that can result in her being taken from me."

Sara nods moving closer she touches the girl's forehead "She's burning up... why do you think this can heal her?" she nods at the Witchblade "How do you know about it?"

"I know what she knows."

"What's your name?"

"Zan"

"Let's see what we can do" Sara allows the Witchblade to activate putting her hand against Anai's forehead. She gasps as the images hit blurring together but the last images sticking out the most

//Anai hugging a man's legs "Daddy"

Sara's eyes move up to see the figure's face 'Ian?!'

Ian's eyes meet Sara's then he looks down at the child//

Sara pulls back staring at the young woman

"You saw it didn't you" Zan says looking at the cop knowingly

"She's... she's his daughter"

"Mmm" Zan nods crouching beside the couch he touches Anai's cheek "do you know where he is?" Zan asks softly

"He's probably outside" Sara replies

Anai blinks hazily through her fever "Zan?"

"Hey 'nai."

She holds her arms out

Zan picks her up settling on the couch with Anai against his chest "Sleep my Queen" he whispers against her hair. After a moment he looks at the cop seeing the faraway expression. "I need to speak with him."

Hearing the tone Sara snaps out of her thoughts "Why?" she asks suspiciously

"Because I need to know somethings... like why she gets the visions of that thing." he nods at the Witchblade.

"She gets visions of the other wielders?"

Zan nods "Its getting harder for me to protect her from them."

"Give me a sec. I'll see if he's out there" she nods at the window. She makes her way to the bedroom opening the window looking down and up she doesn't find Ian sitting on the fire escape. She sighs leaving the window open for him to enter. "He'll show up sooner or later" she says returning to the livingroom.

"Her fever's gone down some" Zan says "thanks"

Sara nods "What did you mean by you couldn't heal her?"

"Its a long story" Zan hedges

"Know the feeling." Sara says warily

"You should keep your window closed Lady Sara."

Sara looks up to see Ian walk down the steps "About time you showed up" she says annoyed

Ian stops in his tracks seeing the teen sleeping on the couch. "Anai" he says softly his voice and eyes showing his surprise and concern

"Zan, that's Ian."

Zan looks at Ian then at Anai "She's pretty much unconscious."

"What happened?" Ian asks

"Ask that thing" Zan says annoyed "lately its caused her numerous nightmares." he nods at the Witchblade

"It hasn't caused any to me" Sara says "other than the normal."

"It's in her blood." Ian says

"How so?"

Ian looks at Sara then at his daughter "Anai born just over nine months after he forced me to wear the Blade."

"So the Witchblade still had some lasting effects on you that ended up in Anai."

"Yes." Ian's eyes narrow looking at the young man holding his daughter. He like Sara, sensing Zan's power. "Who are you?"

Zan looks the older man over also seeing the ruthless power in his dark eyes "Nothing you need to know about right now."

"Why did you seek out Sara?" Ian asks

"Anai was sick... I couldn't take her to the hospital and I saw this place. So here we are."

"Where is Hope?" Ian asks

Zan looks down at Anai cuddled against him "She's dead"

Ian closes his eyes "How did she die?"

"Protecting us." Zan answers "I wasn't strong enough to stop him."

"Who?" Sara asks

"One of my enemies."

"Where is this person?" Ian demands his voice hard

Zan looks at his love's father his royal air beginning to show "Who he is and where doesn't concern you at this time. I will deal with him in my own way when the time comes." he looks at Sara "Beware if that is as powerful as it feels you will find yourself in some trouble... bigger than anything you've ever seen." he looks at Anai "I'm only here for your help... I can't stop the images from appearing... or even slow them down. They are getting worse."

"The Witchblade is showing itself to her." Ian explains "I do not know how it can be stopped or slowed."

"Would Irons?" Sara asks

"He could but I promised Hope that Irons would have no contact with Anai. I am not going back on that promise."

"This is a promise you're going to have to go back on" Zan says "Hope would understand."

"You do not understand what it is like to be under his thumb" Ian says

"I am not going to lose Anai. Either you help me or I take her there" Zan says his eyes hardening "Anai is all I have left and whatever is causing this in the end will result in her death or worse."

"The worse is Irons." Ian says

"Not for me. Or for her. The worst is being seperated." Zan says his heart breaking at the thought of losing Anai.

"Ian I don't trust Irons either but I think he's right. I saw some of what she sees. They are what I see. She's a kid... who knows how much her mind can handle."

"I'm going to have to tell him about her." Ian says staring at the floor. "He is not going to be happy." Ian winces inwardly at the thought of his punishment for not telling his Master about Anai's existance.

"No he's not but who cares... he might have answers that can help them." Sara says

Ian reluctantly nods "I will take you there."

Zan nods "Thanks."

"We should go... I have been gone far too long."

Sara touches Ian's arm "Ian your doing what's best... for both of you."

"I hope so... for her sake." he looks at Zan standing with Anai cradled in his arms. "Are you sure about this?"

Zan looks at Anai then back at Ian "It has to be done. I would prefer to not do this but her life and perhaps her sanity is at stake."

Ian nods walking out the door

Zan looks at Sara "Thank you"

"Your welcome. If you or Anai need anything let me know."

Zan nods walking out the door.


Chapter 3
Irons Estate
Ian enters the study with Zan right behind.

"Ian where have you been?" Irons demands before noticing the younger man he walks down the stairs then puts on his most charming smile

Zan's instincts hit high he tightens his arms around Anai.

"Ian why didn't you tell me we were having guests?"

Ian stares at the floor "Anai is connected with the Witchblade... it is having an effect on her."

"Welcome to my home" Irons smiles at the man "I'm Kenneth Irons"

"Zan Antar"

"Welcome Mr Antar. And this is Anai?" he nods at the young woman sleeping in Zan's arms

Zan nods remaining alert and wary of the older man

Irons goes to his desk pushing the intercomm button "Dr Immo I need to speak with you."

A moment later a man enters "Yes Kenneth?"

"We have a guest who needs your attention."

"What happened?" Dr Immo asks looking at the young man

"Fever." Zan replies

"Come this way and I'll check her out."

As the three leave the study Irons lashes out stricking Ian across the face. "What were you thinking bringing strangers here?" he snarls his anger apparent.

Ian barely flinches at the hit his eyes glued to the floor "Anai needs your help"

"Who is she Ian? Why does she need my help?"

Ian lifts his head glances momentarily at Irons "She is my daughter."

Hearing that Irons stares at Ian "WHAT?!" he yells

In the exam room Zan lifts his head hearing the yell

"Ignore that... he's always yelling at Ian over something." Dr Immo says seeing the young man's action. "Now what led to this fever?"

"I'm not sure... I came home from work this morning and she was sick... I had hoped she would be well by this evening but" Zan shakes his head

In the study Ian is on the floor trying to catch his breath

"A child?! You had a child and did not tell me?!" Irons yells

"I am sorry Master."

Irons grabs Ian's hair pulling hard forcing Ian to look at him "Who is the child's mother?"

"Her name was Hope"

"What did you mean she is connected to the Witchblade?"

"Anai was born just nine months after..."

"She carries some of the memories" Irons finishes

Ian nods "Yes. She needs your help"

"Why should I help her?"

Ian lifts his head "She can not stop the memories, the dreams."

"Interesting." Irons looks at Ian thoughtfully "I could help her... to at least understand what is in her mind. Why don't we go see how our guests are doing."

Ian silently follows his Master to the lab. They enter to find Anai sitting up staring at Zan her eyes obviously furious.

< What was I supposed to do 'nai? You were sick... and I couldn't heal you. >

< You brought me here >

< I had no choice. I would do anything for you 'nai. >

"Don't give me that puppydog look" Anai says angrily "I'm still pissed off" she groans "Damn it why do you have to be so hot"

Zan smiles reaches into his pocket pulling out a bag of Skittles "Then I bet you don't want these"

"You know bribery isn't always going to work on me mister"

"You can't resist candy"

Anai groans grabbing the pack

"Nope gotta say it" Zan smirks holding the candy away

"Fine Zan's da man." she reaches around grabbing the candy. "I'm still mad."

"What ever you say dollface"

"Glad to see you are feeling better" Irons says finally speaking

Anai looks at the man immediately knowing who he is her eyes narrow "Well if it isn't the egomaniacal billionaire."

Zan shakes his head "Ignore her she's in one of her moods."

"I have been called worse" Irons chuckles

< Mmm think I should tell him what else Momma called him? >

< Babe he's going to help you don't piss him off >

"Kenneth, Ian, talking will have to wait. She needs some rest." Dr Immo says nodding at Anai.

Irons nods slightly "Ian why don't you show our guests to their rooms. We can talk tomorrow."

Ian gestures to the door.

Zan helps Anai off the table putting his arm around her shoulders "Come on sweets" he gives Irons a thankful nod over Anai's head following Ian out the door.

"Ian make our guests comfortable and then return to the study" Irons orders

"As you wish" Ian nods closing the doors behind them. "This way" he turns on his heel leading them down the hallway.

"So this is what you've been doing all these years" Anai states

Ian nods

< Babe there's something about this place. >

Anai squeezes Zan's hand < I know >

Ian remains silent observing the couples reaction to each other as he leads them upstairs to the guest room. "I take it you would like to share a room."

"Whatevers fine. Its easier for me to keep an eye on her."

Ian nods opening a door he turns on a light "There is some clothing in the closet and dresser you both should be able to find something that fits. The bathroom is over there. Would you like something to eat? I can have someone bring something up."

Zan looks at Anai shaking his head to find her fast asleep on the bed. "No thanks."

Ian nods "If you need something to eat the number for the kitchen is 211. Breakfast is at 8 if you would like to join Mr Irons."

"If she's feeling well enough then we'll join you."

"If you need Dr Immo his number is 711." Ian says moving to the door he glances at Anai

Zan seeing the look on Ian's face speaks "Don't worry man she just needs some sleep and then she'll be ready to talk."

Ian nods "I hope so" he walks out of the room closing the door behind him.

Zan looks at Anai "Better get you comfy babe"


Study
Ian enters the study to find Irons standing before the fireplace

"How are our guests?"

"In their room" Ian replies staring at the floor

Irons turns around looking at Ian "Care to explain why you did not inform me of the girl's existance?"

"Her mother did not want me too."

"You serve me Ian" Irons says striking Ian in the side

Ian flinches "Yes Master"

"What else are you hiding from me?" Irons demands

"Nothing Master" Ian says

"Better not be."


Upstairs
Zan strips down to his boxers crawling in beside Anai kissing her shoulder "I love you my Queen" Zan whispers

"And I you my King" she says sleepily

Chapter 4
Morning
Anai rolls over to see Zan sleeping beside her. She smiles stroking his cheek.

Zan smiles nuzzling into her touch

"Good morning my King" she leans forward kissing him lightly

Zan lifts his brow "That's my good morning kiss?" he pulls her head down swiping his tongue across her lower lip causing her to moan

< I love your tongue ring >

< I know > he kisses her his tongue thrusting into her mouth.

Anai moans pulling Zan atop her digging her fingers in his shoulders "Mmm"


Later
"Babe don't ya think we should go down for breakfast?" Zan asks running his hand down Anai's bare stomach tugging lightly on the silver bar piercing of her navel. "You should speak with your father."

Anai groans "I know"

"Come on 'nai get up."

Anai gets out of bed walking naked across the floor < Gonna join me for a shower? >

"Of course" he smirks following her into the bathroom


20 mins later
"I'm glad you both could join us." Irons says noticing the two enter the diningroom. "I hope you both had a good nights sleep."

"Fine." Anai nods

"Have a seat" Irons gestures to the chairs glancing at Ian who moves out of the room "Anai Ian informed me that you have some of the Witchblade memories."

"Yeah" Anai shrugs watching the man cautiously "Causes major pain. It started going surround sound lately."

A servant sets full plates of food infront of them

"Thanks" Zan grins at the woman "Any chance you have some Tobasco Sauce?"

The woman looks at Irons

"Whatever our guests need" Irons gestures

"I will get it for you" the woman nods walking away

"Thanks" Zan nods

"Zan likes Tobasco just to warn you he puts it on
everything."

< You know I haven't put it on you in a while. >

< Maybe later lover >

"That's a pretty odd like" Irons states

"I'm an odd guy... that's why 'nai adores me" Zan smirks

< Nah its 'cause your killer in bed >

"Here you go sir" the servant hands the Tobasco to Zan

"Thanks a lot."

Anai shakes her head seeing Zan pour the Tobasco
sauce on his food and in his coffee and orange juice. "That is just nasty"

"What can I say..." Zan shrugs

"Anai why don't you tell us about what you see" Irons suggests taking a sip of his coffee

"I don't know who's point I ever see it from... its always different."

"How long has it been going on?" Irons asks

"As long as I can remember." Anai shrugs "Its just lately they've gotten even more vivid."

"It must be happening since the blade is now in use by Detective Pezzini." Irons muses

"That would make sense... the blade needs a person to activate... it interrupts the forces" Zan says

Irons looks at the young man his eyes narrowed "How do you know about the Witchblade?"

"I know what 'nai knows." Zan shrugs taking a drink of juice

Irons looks back at the girl "What is it you see?"

"Its hard to explain... mostly events. Sometimes its the Wielders death. Other's the Protectors."

"Protector?" Irons says surprised

Anai nods

< 'nai your father is the Protector. >

< Oh yeah. >

"And who is the protector?" Irons demands

"It changes... sometimes its a priest... a few times its been just some guy... I never know who the Protector is until I see the Wielders reaction."

"Reaction?" Ian asks then looks down when Irons glares at him

"If the Wielder dies the Protector usually follows soon after. Its the same if the Protector dies."

"Anai there is something I want to show you." Irons stands at the same time Ian does also

< Zan? >

< Yell if you need me >

"Ian why don't you show Mr Antar around" Irons suggests

Ian nods

"Anai?" Irons gestures to the door

Anai kisses Zan's cheek then stands following Irons out the door as Zan stands.

"I will show you around." Ian says

"Lead the way" Zan says

Ian leads Zan out of the diningroom "The lab is off
limits unless Mr Irons or Dr Immo allows you in there. Mr Irons office above the study is off limits also. If you use the study just stay on the first floor."

"No prob." Zan says
*
Irons leads Anai into the room set aside for Witchblade artifacts "This room has everything to do with the Witchblade."

Anai looks at the pictures her eyes wide 'I've seen them... all of them.'

"You are familiar with them?"

"Joan of Arc... Cleopatra... I've seen them all."

"And you have been there."

"In a way."

"You are quite an interesting young woman." Irons states "The child of the one man to wear the Witchblade with no after-effects." he rubs his hand absently

"You wore it" Anai says

"Yes... it was not fond of me."

"It knows the wearers true intentions. If your intentions weren't pure that is why it rejected you... not just because your a guy"

"So why did it stay with Ian longer?"

"I'm not sure... it probably saw him as pure
because wearing it wasn't his decision but yours. You wanted it out of power nothing more nothing less"

"You seem to be a very blunt person"

Anai shrugs "Mom raised me to tell the truth"

"And Zan?"

"Zan does what he wants... he lives his life the way he wants. He protects me... takes care of me." she moves around looking at the paintings

"And what of your education?"

"I don't go to school... I spend hours at the library reading and looking up things I'm interested in. That's my schooling. Zan works."

"Works?"

"Odd jobs... bouncer, bartending... whatever he wants."

Irons nods

"Mr Irons can I ask you something?"

"What do you want to know?"

Anai looks at him "Why did you want him to wear the blade?"

"I had hoped that Ian would be able to control the Witchblade."

"And weild it for you."

Irons tilts his head in acknowledgement

"If your thinking that you can take if from the cop... your wrong... it has bonded to her. It will not activate for anyone other than her."


Outside
Zan and Ian are standing out on the porch "How long is it going to take your boss to show 'nai whatever he's showing her?"

"He takes whatever time he wants." Ian replies

"You are curious about Anai"

Ian shrugs "She's my daughter"

"You haven't seen her in what 10 years" Zan says

"I guess."

"Fair warning man... mess with 'nai's mind or feelings... you've got yourself an enemy worse than any you've ever had."

Ian and Zan stare each other down

Irons and Anai walk outside Anai shakes her head seeing the look on Zan's face "Zannie what have I said about threatening people."

Zan grins at Anai pulling her into a bear hug "What can I say babe gotta look out for ya."

Anai leans against Zan looking at her father and Irons as they talk quietly. < He's pretty much a prisoner here >

< I know. >

"Anai it was a pleasure speaking with you. I wish to extend my offer of you both staying here while we work on your situation." Irons offers

Anai looks up at Zan < Whatcha think babe? >

< Anything for my Queen. >

"It would be much easier for figuring out a solution to this problem of yours" Irons says

< And you could spend some time with your Pops >

Anai shrugs "Yeah sure" she turns staring out at the gardens below her mind running over the recent events. "It's up to Zan"

"Why not... at least there's more people to keep 'nai out of trouble."

"Good." Irons nods "If you need anything Ian can help you out." Irons gives Ian a sharp look before striding into the mansion.

< Want me to stick around? >

< Nah I'll be fine. >

"Enjoy... I'm off to catch some major z's" Zan kisses Anai's head then walks inside < Yell if you need me >

< I'll be up in a little while > Anai looks at her father seeing him relax as Irons walks inside. "It's been a while" she says softly

Ian nods "I last spoke with your mother... on your 11th birthday... after that I had no idea where you were."

"Around... living with mom's occassional boyfriend. She got married not long after my birthday." she shakes her head "Didn't last though... he hated having me around and when Zan moved in... he hated it more. So he left. Fine with me the guy was a major moron."

"I wish things had been different for you."

Anai shrugs "If they had been I never would have met Zan" she tilts her head thoughtfully 'And you never would have fallen in love with the Weilder.'

"You love him" Ian states

Anai chuckles "What's not to love... Zan grows on ya after a while. He's done a pretty good job making sure I don't get into trouble." she looks out at the garden "Can I ask you something?"

"You want to know what happened"

Anai looks at him "Yeah... I don't really remember much about my sixth birthday... I do remember you two got in a huge argument. Then saying goodbye"

"He was getting suspicious about where I was disappearing too. I wanted to tell him the truth before he found out some other way... lessen the punishment I guess."

"Mom didn't want him to know"

"She made me choose... keep you both alive or tell the truth and risk losing you both."

"So you left."

Ian shrugs "She did not want you to grow up like I did. Next thing I knew you were gone. She called me every so often to let me know everything was going well never told me where you were. She asked me not to look for you and I agreed. Thought you both would be better off."

Anai nods
*
Anai glances at her father from the corner of her eye as they walk back towards the mansion. She suddenly stops in her tracks her head beginning to pound her wrist aching.

Ian sees her act "Are you OK?"

Anai stares at her wrist almost as though she can see the gauntlet appear on the Weilder's arm. She puts her hands over her ears hearing the buzzing and hissing of the Witchblade the anger and pain of those who had died bellowing in her ears. "Stop stop stop" she mutters her legs giving way she falls to the ground < ZAN!!! >

Upstairs Zan bolts out of bed hearing the scream of terror and pain ringing through his head < I'm coming babe. Where are you? >

Out back Ian lifts up the shaking teen hurrying inside just as Zan runs down the stairs.

"What the hell happened?" Zan demands seeing Anai unconscious

Ian looks at the young man "I do not know she just collapsed." he continues on his way to the medlab. He enters to find Dr Immo and Irons speaking

Irons turns around "What happened?"

Ian sets her on the exam table "She said something about stopping then just collapsed."

Irons looks at Ian "The Witchblade is in use go see why."

Ian looks at Anai then after a moment nods hurrying out of the room

Zan touches Anai's arm trying to connect with her < 'nai come on wake up > he jerks back suddenly as though his arm is on fire.

Irons watches the young man's reaction thoughtfully 'They are keeping something from me.'

"Her pulse is skyrocketing" Dr Immo says as she jerks awake her eyes wide

She seeks out Zan's eyes

< 'nai look at me > Zan moves closer not touching her knowing her senses are out of control

"Anai are you OK?" Dr Immo asks reaching out to check her pulse

Zan grabs the man's wrist "Don't"

"Mr. Antar. . ." Irons begins

Zan looks at the Doctor "If you touch her when she's like this she's liable to respond... painfully." he lets the doctor's wrist go "She hasn't yet returned from whatever it was she saw."

"How do you know?" Irons asks

"I can't feel her." Zan replies moving so he's
almost inches from touching her letting her know he's there without touching her. < Come on 'nai. Its OK >

After about 15 minutes the doctor and billionaire watch as Anai's breathing returns to normal her eyes refocusing.

"You OK babe?" After a moment Anai nods holding her arms out to him. Relieved Zan pulls her into a tight hug.

Anai nuzzles into his neck < Zannie hurts >

< I know >

"Anai what happened?" Irons asks

Anai shakes her head

"Give her some time to sort... she'll explain." Zan assures

Irons nods

"I'm goin' to take her upstairs" Zan says lifting
her up


Somewhere
Ian sees Sara fighting with a man seeing her being backed into a corner Ian grabs the man slamming him into the wall.

"Nottingham" she says relieved "what the hell is going on?"

Ian stares at the man on the ground "He was going to corner you and kill you."

"Hey" Sara begins to protest then stops seeing the look on his face "Something wrong?"

"Anai collapsed... I think she felt it."

"Is she OK?"

"I do not know. He sent me here to help you."

"Then go back and see how she is" Sara orders

Ian nods turning around

"Hey Nottingham"

Ian stops looking over his shoulder

"Thanks" she nods at the guy on the ground

"Any time Sara"


Chapter 5
Zan and Anai's room
Zan looks at Anai curled up on her side her head on his lap. He sighs stroking her hair gently "Its OK 'nai"

< I just want it to stop >

"That's why we're here babe. Get some rest we'll talk about it later."

Anai looks up at him taking his hand she kisses his wrist < I love you Zannie >

Zan smiles "I love you too 'nai"
*
Ian knocks on the door lightly. A moment later Zan opens the door stepping out into the hall.

"She finally fell asleep."

"What happened?" Ian asks

"I'm not sure... she's barely said two words to me."

"Do you want me to have dinner sent up?" Ian asks

Zan looks at the door thoughtfully "I'm pretty sure I can get her back to normal." he looks back at Ian "You have to understand one thing about Anai... the more you push her the more she'll shut you out. She does things on her own time. You might want to warn your boss because any hint of pushing her and I swear we're so out of here."

Ian stares at the younger man "Anai is my daughter I would never hurt her." Ian says

"And she is my responsibility and I'm not about to lose her like I lost the rest of my family."

< ZAN >

Zan glances at the door again < I'm right outside babe... talking with your Pops. I'll be there in a sec. > "If she's up for dinner we'll be down."

Ian nods "I will inform Mr Irons." he says turning on his heel.

Zan watches as Ian walks down the hallway then reenters the room. He finds Anai sitting up resting her chin on her knees. "You feeling better?"

< Zannie will you write it out for me? >

"Sure" he smiles kissing her cheek he goes to the desk in the corner of room he takes out some paper and a pen. He settles beside Anai "Ready?"

Anai nods resting her head on his leg allowing the images to return sending them to Zan so he can write what she saw.


7PM
Irons looks as Zan and Anai enter the room "Glad you could join us." he smiles looking at Anai "I trust you are feeling better"

Anai nods sitting down "Takes a while to process."

"And have you?" Irons asks

"Mmm" Anai nods "The Witchblade is a being... not breathing but a being nonetheless."

"So it feels things" Irons says

"In a way" Anai replies

"Pain?" Irons asks

"Not really pain... more along the idea... it knows what pain is understands it but doesn't feel it the same way." Zan replies

"How do you know that?" Ian asks when Irons glares at him he looks down.

"I feel what 'nai feels" Zan shrugs giving the servant a grin as she sets a bottle of Tobasco sauce before him

"Empathetic?" Irons questions

Anai and Zan look at each other < We can't tell him Zan... who knows what he'll do. He uses my father as a labrat. >

< I know >

Irons and Ian watch the silent exchange with interest. 'Its almost as though they speak to each other.'

Ian notices Irons attention 'I better warn them the first chance I get. I do not want him using either of them.'

"Not really... we just kinda know what each other is feeling." Zan shrugs "There's no way to really explain it."

< Other than the alien half. >

< Like I'm going to tell him that. > "Me and 'nai are just on the same wavelength." Zan says with a tilt of his head "Drives people nuts"

"Drove Mom nuts... she thought we shared a brain from the moment she dragged his sorry ass home."

"Hey I resent that" Zan protests < my ass ain't sorry >

< No... definately not a sorry body part on ya >

< You know if smirking in thoughts was possible I swear you'd have one right now >

< I'm smirking on the inside lover. >

"Freaks people out..."

"...when we finish each other's sentences." Anai finishes snickering at the look on her father and Irons faces.

"We spend so much time together we just picked up each other's traits." Zan shrugs leaning back twirling a strand of Anai's hair absently watching Ian and Irons as if to dare them to seperate them.

"Well I had a thought earlier... and I hope you two will consider it." Irons takes a sip of coffee watching them both.

"What kind of thought?" Zan asks curiously

"Perhaps you two would like to stay here... indefinately. We can work on this little issue with the Witchblade and Ian I'm sure would like to spend time with Anai."

Ian nods remaining silent his eyes on his daughter

"We'll think about it" Zan replies knowing that they need to discuss it.

"Good." Irons smiles


Late that night
Zan looks at Anai laying beside him. "Babe what are you thinking?" he asks trailing his fingers down her spine

"I don't know." she props her head up on her arms "There's good things about staying here."

"You can get to know your Pops."

"Yeah"

"I don't have to worry about you getting into trouble when I'm not around" he chuckles

"Hey"

"We have help in getting this whole thing figured out."

"Why don't we just go see the others... they might be able to help."

"NO" Zan growls sitting up he runs his fingers through his hair

Anai sighs feeling the anger radiating off his body "Zannie you can't run from them forever." she puts her arms around his upper chest kissing his shoulder. "They are apart of you." she puts her hand over his heart "I know you feel it."

"We were the defects 'nai. They are the rightful heirs"

Anai crawls into his lap "You are apart of them like they are part of you."

"I'm a dupe... the wrong one." he says bitterly

"You may be a dupe but you aren't the wrong one..." < You are my king... the other may be the one they will accept on Antar... but you are the king who has my heart. > she strokes his cheek "You are Zan Antar... no matter what they say as is the other you both are. You are the same... just different."

"I love you 'nai" he whispers < My Queen... no matter what they say you are my Queen. >

< And you my King. > "I love you Zan." she kisses him gently

Zan shifts laying her on the bed.


Next morning
Zan looks at Anai as she dresses

< Zan do you think we should stay? >

< For a while at least... as long as you want to. >

Anai looks at him moving into his arms "Well then I guess we're going to stay... for a while at least"


Security room
Ian smiles faintly hearing the words he turns striding to the study he enters standing there waiting for Irons to acknowledge his presence.

"Yes?"

"They are staying for a while."

"Good. Find a suitable car for them."

Ian nods

"Oh and Ian... if they are staying... Anai will be attending school"

"Yes sir. And Zan?"

"I will offer to pay for him to attend school and perhaps work at Vorschlag." Irons muses

"And if he wants to continue what he's doing?"

"He is not my responsibility but if either of us were to protest there is no doubt in my mind they would both disappear."

Ian nods turning on his heel he strides out of the study.
*
Irons looks up to see Zan and Anai enter the dining room "Ahh good morning. Glad you could join us."

"Daylight is evil" Anai mumbles

Irons smiles slightly "So have you thought about what we discussed last night?"

Zan nods as they sit down "We agreed to stick around for a while."

"Good." Irons nods "Ian"

"The car you can use will be here this afternoon." Ian informs them

"Had an idea that we'd stick around huh" Zan says amused

"Hoping that you would" Irons corrects


Midafternoon
Anai groans carrying up the last of the boxes from their apartment "You know I never realized how much crap we have"

Zan enters with Ian right behind both carrying boxes "Babe most of this is your crap."

Ian notices a stuffed dog on the top of a box. "You still have this" he says amazed picking up the stuffed dog

Anai nods opening a box she watches her father from the corner of her eye "yeah"

"You know you never told me where you got Brownie." Zan says thoughtfully

"I gave it to her the last Christmas I saw her." Ian says absently with a faint smile remembering that day.

// "Anai" Hope calls "sweetie look who's here" she opens the door wider

Anai looks up from her coloring and grins seeing the dark haired man "Daddy" she shrieks jumping up she runs over to him

Ian kneels hugging the pigtailed little girl. "I have missed you Anai" he says softly

Hope smiles at the sight then silently backs out of the room giving the father and daughter time to talk.

"I missed you too Daddy." she says looking at him "Daddy why can't you stay 'ere wif me and Momma?"

Ian looks down "Because I have obligations to
someone else"

Sensing his sadness Anai puts her arms around his neck "OK Daddy" she kisses his cheek as she hugs him.

"I have something for you" he says reaching into his overcoat he removes a brown teddy dog. "Merry Christmas
Anai."

Anai grins taking the teddy bear she hugs it tight "Thank you Daddy." she kisses his cheek again//

Ian's brought out of his memory by the slight knock at the door of the room. He turns to find the butler Marcus standing there nervously

"He wants to see you in the lab sir."

Ian closes his eyes almost sensing the pain about to come he nods setting the bear back ontop of the box with a quick look at Anai and Zan "He is having guests over for dinner tonight... the proper clothes are in the closet. Make yourself at home but remember what I said. If you need anything Marcus can help you" he walks out of the room closing the door behind him

Anai looks at Zan her body filling with dread < Zan >

Zan hugs her "How about we go catch some rays" he suggests wanting to get her mind off what's about to occur somewhere in the house.

Anai nods "Give me a sec" she says going through a box she finds a pair of shorts and a tanktop.

"You know we could have gone the short way"

< Zan you shouldn't use your powers here... I have this weird feeling that we're being watched. >

< Wouldn't surprise me >

Anai quickly changes pulling on a pair of tennis shoes < Just promise you'll be extra careful while we're here >

"Always am babe" he says kissing her shoulder he nuzzles her neck "Smell good" he breathes

"Come on lets go outside."


Hour later
Anai reclines in Zan's embrace as they sit pool-side on the recliner. Her fingers trail over the tattoo on his wrist

"What's going on in that head of yours?" Zan asks softly

Anai tilts her head scrunching up her nose "Nothing much."

"There is always something going on in that head of yours" Zan chuckles hugging her

< Love you >

< Love you too >


Later
Zan sees Ian walk over to them wearing sunglasses and limping slightly 'Great... now 'nai's going to be upset.'

"Mr Irons wanted me to remind you that dinner guests will be arriving at 6:30 and that dinner is at 7." Ian glances at Zan "You are working tonight?"

"Yeah... I have to be there at 8:30."

Ian nods "I will have the car parked somewhere where you can get it." he looks the two over "And be sure to be dressed appropriately"

"We will" Anai assures giving her father a small smile

Ian smiles slightly then turns on his heel walking away

< Its OK baby. > Zan assures kissing the top of her head

< How can Irons do that to him? He's a grown man who gets abused. >

< I know. >

< Can you heal him? >

Zan sighs < Not without drawing attention to us. >

< But >

< When I get the chance I will > "We should head inside and get cleaned up and do some unpacking." Zan says nudging Anai


6 PM: Zan and Anai's room
< Too bad they've already seen me with these > Zan says looking at his reflection noting the piercings < Otherwise I could dim them. >

< You could remove a couple >

"Hell no... I'd feel like I was naked without 'em."

Anai wraps her arms around his neck "Mmm sounds promising." she smiles

Zan swipes his tongue across her lips "Don't tempt me lover."

< What can I say... I love my alien. >

< And I love my human > he kisses her

Anai moans feeling the stud in his tongue caress the inside of her mouth. "Damn I love that stud."

"Babe I wish you'd reconsider and get your tongue pierced." Zan groans resting his forehead against hers.

"Not my thing Zannie. Besides I have six in my ears and my belly button pierced right now that's enough for me."

< You know what I want to do? >

< What? > Anai walks out of the bathroom wearing her robe she heads to the closet to remove the dress her father had mentioned.

Zan hugs her from behind < Add another tat marking you as mine. >

< I have three already Zan... where would this fourth go? >

Zan licks her ear "With the Z and the crown" he mutters "that marks you as my Queen."

"And this one would be?"

< The five planets... and earth. >

< Still small? >

< Little bigger? >

< A little > she reluctantly agrees < But only if you add earth and the shield to the one that marks you as mine. >

Zan grins "Whatever my girl wants"

"Can I have..." she trails off allowing the picture to come forth

"If we had more time yes... but unfortunately we don't have much time." he reluctantly pulls away grabbing the dress pants and shirt "Ugh I hate wearing these clothes."

"Yeah well we promised Dad." < And I don't want to give Irons a reason to hurt him again so deal with it. I'll make it up to you later. > "Think about poor me... I hate wearing dresses... now put me in a leather skirt" she purrs "and I am happy"

Zan groans visualizing the short skirt "Damn 'nai don't give me that visual... I'll need another shower."

"Mmm I think I'll wear that to the club" Anai muses tossing the skirt on the bed. She puts the dress on the bed heading back into the bathroom to deal with her makeup.

Zan pulls on the dress pants following Anai into the bathroom

"Zannie can you at least switch the eyebrow piercing for the silver bar" Anai requests

< Babe I don't have one. >

< Well pretend you do and use the alien fun to switch them. Make it seem like your switching them. >

"Sure babe." Zan pretends to be trying to look for the silver bar while he manipulates it to look like he's actually switching them.

"Thank you" Anai says kissing his cheek she returns to the bedroom

< The things I do for you. >

< And too me >

Zan finishes with his hair going more subdued then normal on the spikiness. He returns to the bedroom to find Anai slipping into the black calf length silk dress with spaghetti straps "Damn 'nai you look chill"

"Can you..." she requests pulling her hair aside so he can zip her up. "Thanks" she says as he does

Zan watches as she returns to the bathroom he slips on the dark shirt buttoning it up he tucks it in. "I guess I should go without the rings" he says absently rubbing his fingers "Feels weird not wearin' them."

Anai notices the silver ring she had given him sitting on the counter. She smiles picking it up looking at the inscription 'To my King with love A.' she turns walking towards him "Who said you can't wear one"

Zan smiles "Yeah true sweets who said I can't wear one." he takes the ring slipping it onto his right ring finger. "Mmm feels almost normal."

"Why'd you take it off?" she asks lacing their fingers "You rarely ever take that one off."

Zan brings her hand to his lips kissing the ring he had given her "Thought it would be better... sorry" < Jealous that some babe will check me out? >

"Not jealous babe... besides its not like your going to be far from my sight... so no worries about any chick scoping you out." she kisses him


Downstairs: Livingroom
"Ian go make sure Anai and Zan are dressed suitably." Irons orders as the first guests enter the room. "Jonathon glad you could make it" he smiles greeting his business associate

Ian walks out of the room and up the back stairs


Room
Zan groans hearing footsteps coming down the hall he breaks the kiss "Your Pops is on the way."

Anai smiles "Guess we'll have to finish this later." she goes to the closet searching for the heels as she hears the knock on the door "Its open" she calls

Ian enters "Are you two ready?" he asks noting Zan's slightly subdued appearance

"Ugh I hate dressing up" Zan grumbles

Anai rolls her eyes "Deal with it." she slips on her heels as Zan pulls on the dress shoes.


Livingroom
Irons looks over as Zan and Anai enter with Ian. "Ahh good to see you both on time." he says giving them both the once over.

< Get the feeling he's checking us both out? >

< Even so be nice Zan >

< Always am >

"Come I will introduce you both to our guests." Irons says

< Great feel like running? >

< Zan >


30 mins later: diningroom
"So Mr Antar what is it you do for a living?" one of the women asks flirtatiously

< She thinks your hot >

< Yeah well would you argue. > Zan gives the woman a smile "I do whatever I feel like doing. Right now I work a couple nights a week as a bartender or a bouncer at a club... depending on what they want me to do."

"And what grade are you in Ms Nottingham?" inquires one of the men politely

"Technically... I'm a sophmore" Anai admits

"What school do you attend?"

"Uh" Anai looks at her father curiously

"Anai will be attending Horace Mann starting Monday" Irons says

"I will?" Anai says

"Yes... I thought Ian told you."

Anai looks at her father from the corner of her eye seeing his slight nod she shrugs "Yeah sure"

"Horace Mann is a great school" one of the women gushes

"Public schools more my thing." Anai shrugs

"Your mother sent you to public school" Irons says aghast

"Some times... others I was homeschooled. I was enrolled at a private school when I was younger but they kicked me out."

"And why was that?" asks one of the men

Anai gives the man a smile noting he was one of the ones who had been checking her out "Corporal punishment... you hit me I hit back... harder."

"You hit the guy with a baseball bat and fractured his knee cap 'nai" Zan reminds

Anai shrugs "Could have done worse to him."

"You definately do not get the temper from Ian" Irons says amused "even as a child he was calm."

< Calm my ass. He probably put up a fight until Irons beat it out of him. >

Ian glances at Anai sensing her rising anger

< 'nai relax. >

Anai gives Irons her most charming smile "What can I say... Mom always said I got my temper from her and looks and brains from Dad." < And a protective streak a mile long. >

"That you do my dear." Irons smiles

Anai clenches her hand absently almost feeling the glove activate

< You OK? >

Anai stares at her wrist almost seeing the change of the bracelet to the gauntlet.

"Anai?" Ian says softly as Irons speaks with his guests

Anai looks at her father "She's using it right now."

Ian nods standing he goes to Irons side speaking low to his boss.

Irons looks at Anai then nods sending Ian on his way to see what is going on.

"If you will excuse us we need to get going" Zan says standing

"Oh yes you are working tonight" Irons says

Zan nods

"It was nice to meet you all" Anai says standing

"Same here my dear. Mr Antar be careful... she is one great young lady." the eldest man in the room smiles at Anai

Zan grins "Yes sir she is."


Upstairs
"Ugh" Anai groans entering the room she kicks off the heels "Mr Gregory kept staring at me."

"Can you blame him" Zan grins

"No" Anai retorts "but still... I am definately not in the mood to wear that skirt now." she sighs turning so Zan can unzip the dress "What are you going to wear?"

"Camoflague and black shirt."

"Mmm I think I'll wear the leather hip huggers with the white tank." Anai muses taking out the outfit. "I liked Mr Franks though. He seemed like a sweet old guy."

"He took to you pretty quick" Zan chuckles

"What can I say... I can charm all guys." she grins pulling off the panty hose she pulls on the tight leather pants. She grabs a bra from the drawer turning so Zan can hook it. "Thanks" she pulls on the white tank then grabs her boots out of the closet. "Lets get out of here and party."

"Not fair I gotta work" Zan groans tying his own boots

"We can play during break" Anai purrs seductively

"Sounds like fun" he glances at the clock "we have to get going"

Anai nods grabbing her jacket she follows him out of the room.


Downstairs
Ian walks into the foyer as Anai and Zan walk down the stairs laughing. "Cars parked on the side." he informs them

"Night Dad" Anai says over her shoulder as Zan drags her out the door in a hurry.


10PM
Zan looks at the end of the bar at Anai chatting with a group of people. He smiles moving over to the other bartender "I'm goin' to the back to grab a couple bottles of scotch. Keep an eye on her for me" he tilts his head at Anai

"Sure thing man"

Zan nods making his way to the back he finds Ian standing at the door. "Hey man how'd you..."

"Where's Anai?" Ian asks

"Out front why did you come through the back?"

"Strobes... they can cause me to have a seizure." Ian replies with a shrug "I need to speak with you both and away from the mansion is the safest"

"I'll go get her then." Zan says grabbing two
bottles of scotch he heads back. A moment later he returns with Anai.

"What's going on?" Anai asks

"You two have to be careful at the house... he has cameras and microphones all over the place. I convinced him to turn them off when you two need privacy."

"Why are you telling us?" Zan asks

"You two speak to each other... telepathically"

"We only do when we know we shouldn't say certain things we're thinking" Anai replies

"Like my being Sara's Protector?" Ian asks curiously

Anai nods

"How is it he hasn't figured that one out?" Zan asks

"He does not know that I have some memories of the past." Ian replies

"Like he doesn't know your in love with her." Anai says softly

Ian looks down

Zan kisses her cheek "I better get out there before he gets swamped"

Anai nods once he walks out the room she looks at her father "You love her that's why your being pretty sedate with Irons."

"Why do you say that?"

Anai sits on the couch "Because you want to help her and stayings the one way you know you can help her."

Ian looks at his daughter thoughtfully "Yes there are times I find myself loving her. I should not love her"

"Why not? Love is a normal human feeling."

"I am not free to love." Ian says sadly

"Your feelings are your own Dad... got to realize that Irons can't rule everything in your life. Feelings and thoughts are different from actions and reactions which are taught."

"I wish I could believe that" Ian says moving towards the door "The number to my phone is already programmed in the phone in the car. Call me if you need anything."

"Going to see the Weilder?"

Ian pauses "It is my job to watch out for her."

"Good night Dad"

"Good night" Ian says walking out of the building.


Dawn
"Good night" Zan calls as he and Anai walk out the back door.

Anai yawns

"Tired babe?"

"A little."

"We're goin' ta have ta get ya on a normal schedule
since you start school on Monday." he smirks

"Kiss my ass" Anai snarls

"Mmm I will."

"Pervert"

"Of course" he smirks


20 mins later
Zan pulls the car to a stop infront of the mansion glancing over he finds Anai fast asleep in her seat. Zan smiles turning off the engine he gets out of the car going around he opens the passenger door unbuckling Anai he picks her up. As he walks up the stairs the door is opened by Ian. "Your up early." he remarks softly

"If I had been to bed" Ian replies

"I'll move the car after I put her down."

"I will move you both need to get some sleep."

"You sure? I can do it"

Ian tilts his head towards the stairs

"Thanks." Zan carries Anai up the stairs to the bedroom.

Chapter 7
Month later
Anai shoves the book off the bed with a growl
"What's wrong babe?" Zan asks
Anai groans rubbing the back of her neck "Bad feelings"
"What kind?"
Anai crawls onto his lap snuggling close "Not really sure... just this feeling that everything is about to change."
"How so?"
"Not sure." she shakes her head "Lets go do something"
"What do you want to do?"
"I'm not sure... I'm bored with studying I need to get out for a while."
"Sure."
"Let me change and we'll go" she kisses him then crawls off his lap going to the closet.
Zan sits on the bed trying to come up with an idea of what they can do he grins. 'I know.'

20 mins later
"So where do you want to go?" Zan asks
"Anywhere as long as your there."
"Not goin' anywhere babe." he assures squeezing her thigh
"Good." she says relieved

20 mins later
Zan pulls the car into a parking lot
"Where are we going?"
"You'll see. Come on"
Anai gets out of the car following him down the street "Zan?" she looks around as they near a building on the waterfront.
"Come on climb up" Zan pulls the ladder down
"Where too?"
"The roof keep goin'"
Anai climbs up stepping onto the roof she looks around as Zan follows her "So?"
Zan smiles "The stars are bright up this high"
"Yes" they settle on the rooftop snuggled in each other's arms. "Zan are we always going to be OK"
"Why are you thinking about this babe?" he asks
Anai turns kissing his jaw then settles back staring at stars "So many things have changed so fast" she chews on her lip "I don't want things between us to change."
"Why would they?"
"I don't know." she sighs "I just don't want to loose you Zan."
" 'nai turn around."
Anai shifts so she's facing him "I'm scared Zan"
"Of what?"
"I just have this feeling that everything is going to crash down around me. Like I'm about to lose everything that matters to me."
"Don't worry 'bout it sweets. We'll be fine. I love you Anai. You are the most important person in my life." he trails his fingers over her inner thigh where the tattoo he had placed is. "This is my mark... you are my mate, my life... my Queen." he takes her face between his hands kissing her forehead "Nothing will seperate us 'nai. I promise we'll be fine."
Anai lifts her hand to his face "I love you Zan." she rests her head on his shoulder
"Everything will be fine my sweet, I promise" he hugs her tight
"Don't leave me Zan"
"I won't."

A month later
Zan watches Anai from the door of the study as she sits on the couch reading. 'She seems so tired... lost.'
"Zan?" Ian asks softly
Zan glances at Ian then back at Anai "There are few times I have ever seen her so... lost... so sad. When Hope died I had to drag her away. She has that look."
"Why?"
"I don't know. She hasn't been sleeping."
"Nightmares?"
Zan nods "But they have nothing to do with the Witchblade." he sighs "I wish Lonnie was here."
"Lonnie?"
"My sister" he says bitterly "this is her type of thing."
"Where is she?" Ian asks curiously
"I don't care where she is. All I know is she is not going anywhere near 'nai... not without killing me... for real."
Anai slams the book shut closing her eyes she takes a deep breath
< You OK babe? >
< Just takin' a break >
"Dinner's ready Anai" Ian calls
Anai looks over to see her father and Zan standing in the doorway watching her. "What's with the look?"
"Nothing sweets" Zan grins "you hungry?"
"Yeah sure" she stands joining them they head into the dinner room.

20 mins later
Zan starts
"You OK?" Anai asks seeing the look on his face
"I'm not sure... I have this weird feeling that..." he shakes his head "That's impossible." he mutters
"Mr Irons Detective Pezzini is here" Marcus says entering the room
"Send her in." Irons says
Marcus nods moving out of the room
A moment later Sara Pezzini enters looking annoyed.
"Ah Detective Pezzini what a pleasure what can I do for you this time? I know it does not concern Ian's... activities."
"No this has to do with Zan." she looks at the younger man her eyes boring into his "What are you?" she asks
"What do you mean?" Zan replies
"I met someone today... someone you know."
"Yeah so I know a lot of people." Zan shrugs
"Why did I see two of you?" Sara demands
Zan stands watching the cop warily "Don't know what your talking about."
"You can come in" Sara says over her shoulder
Zan stands there watching as a small blond enter the diningroom "Ava?"
"Zan" the blond says her eyes wide she grins
Zan laughs sweeping the small blond into a hug "Good to see you Ava"
"I thought you were dead Zan" Ava says steps back looking up at him with a grin
"You didn't stick around to find out." Zan shrugs he frowns "Ava what's wrong with you?"
"Nothin' Zan. I'm fine."
"Zan?" Anai says lifting her brow
Zan turns around "This is Ava."
Anai grins "Good to meet you. Zan's told me a lot about you." she stands the two shake hands
Ava stares at her then looks at Zan "You're like the other one"
Zan shrugs "What can I say... never was like you and the others."
Ava smiles "No Zan you never were."
"No bad feelins'?" Zan asks
"Never Zan. After all we're here not there. We always looked out for each other Zan. We live our own lives... destiny always can be changed"
"Yeah we have." he smiles
"What is going on?" Sara demands "When I touched her I saw things"
"It was an accident Zan" Ava says panicked "I didn't know."
"Its fine."
"What did you see?" Irons asks
"Four kids... then four more... identical."
Zan looks at Ava concerned "Ava something wrong?" he asks concerned
Ava looks at the floor "Nothing Zan"
< Zan you OK? >
< Somethings wrong with Ava. I can feel it. >
"Why don't you and Ava join us for dinner" Irons suggests
"Ava don't lie to me." Zan says his voice taking on a new tone a tone no one in the room had ever heard. "You aren't telling me something."
Ava stares at the floor "I'm fine Zan just a little wired."
Zan rubs the back of his neck "Fine we'll discuss it later."
Ava nods
"Want to tell me what I saw?" Sara demands
"Doesn't concern you." Zan replies his voice holding no room for argument
Ava and Anai look at each other knowing the tone knowing that anyone who argues with 'the King' tone will piss him off.
Irons eyes narrow at the tone 'Interesting'
"Know where to find me when you want to explain." Sara walks out
Anai glances at Zan's watch "Your gonna be late." she remarks
"Damn" he mutters "Ava" he tilts his head towards the door "We'll talk while I'm workin'"
"Sure" Ava replies "nice to meet you." she says to the others following Zan out the door
"Not going with them?" Irons asks tilting his head at Anai
"Can't. Too much homework." Anai heads towards the door "Besides Zan and Ava have a lot to catch up on."
'I bet' Irons looks at Ian "Go keep an eye on Detective Pezzini."
Ian nods walking out of the room

Few hours later: Club
Zan and Ava find themselves in the back room talking during his break "Ava you OK?" Zan asks
Ava nods glancing at him "You love her"
"Yeah I do." he smiles fondly
"She knows... about what we are"
"Yeah."
"So who're the people you live with?" Ava asks curiously
"Ian is her father. He works for Irons as his bodyguard."
"Do they know?"
Zan shakes his head "I think they have a hint something is different about me but I haven't told them. I don't trust Irons."
"And Ian?"
Zan shrugs "Haven't figured him out yet but I think I do. I don't think he'd do anything to hurt Anai."
"He seems... sad." Ava frowns "and hurting."
"You have a place to stay Ava? I'd say you could stay at the mansion but I think its safer if you stay somewhere else."
"I'll find a place don't worry."
"Let me know where you are. And be careful."
"Don't worry about me Zan. I've been on my own for a while."
"I have to worry about you Ava. I'm the King."
Ava rolls her eyes "So tell me about Anai"
Zan smiles at his loves name "She's herself."

Dawn: Anai and Zan's room
Zan enters the bedroom to find Anai curled up fast asleep in the middle of their bed. He strips down to his boxers sitting on the edge of the bed he smoothes her hair back.
"Zan" she sighs in her sleep with a small smile
Zan kisses her cheek then curls his body around hers drifting off to sleep with his love in his arms.

Couple hours later
Anai yawns walking out of the bathroom to find Zan sprawled on his stomach. She smiles sitting on the edge of the bed she kisses his cheek "Zan" she says softly
"Mmm" Zan groans "too early come back to bed." he snakes his arm around her waist
"I can't I have school."
"Want me to take you?"
"Dad said he'd drop me off. Pick me up?"
"Mmm" he nods sleepily.
"Where's Ava?"
"Crashin' with a friend."
"What did she tell you?"
"Not much. I'm going to see her later."
Anai nods kissing his cheek "I gotta go."
"I'll pick you up after school." Zan promises
"What are you doing today?"
"I asked Irons if I could help the gardner out. Give me some exercise and something to do when I'm not working."
"M'kay. Just be careful" she stands grabbing her backpack off the floor "Later" she says walking out of the room

2 hours later: Anai's locker
"Hey" Celeste greets "how's it going?"
"Good. You?"
"Ugh don't go there. So how's Zan?"
"An old friend of his showed up."
"Ex-girlfriend?"
"Kinda. More like his childhood sweetheart."
"Jealous?" Celeste asks
"No. He loves me."
"I'd be jealous. Zan is gorgeous." Celeste says blushing
"Yeah he is. Won't argue with that. We better get to class." Anai picks up her backpack and grabs her books.

Afternoon
Anai grins seeing Zan leaning against her locker. "Zan" she says happily throwing her arms around his neck
Zan grins kissing her "I missed you" he says smoothing her hair out of her face
"I missed you too. Where's Ava?"
"I came to pick you up. Thought we could go hang out with Ava for a while."
"Sounds good. But first I have to get my books for homework." she starts to spin the combination when Zan grabs her hand. "Zan"
Zan looks around not seeing anyone watching he waves his hand over the lock. "Takes too long." he shrugs
"Thanks" Anai grins opening the locker she scans through her books. "How was your day?"
"Fine." Zan replies leaning down he kisses her neck.
"Zan stop. I'll get into trouble." she chastises squirming
"You used to like trouble."
"Oh I do. I'm just trying to be good." she says grinning at him over her shoulder. She grabs a couple books shoving them in her backpack
"Miss Nottingham"
'Great.' Anai turns around to find a teacher staring at her disapprovingly "Yes Mr Jones?"
"You know the school rules on public affections."
"Sorry sir its my fault" Zan says apologetically
"You don't go to school here." the teacher remarks looking Zan over
"No sir. I came to pick Anai up."
"Very well. We do not allow people other than family members on campus."
"Zan picks me up after school. My Dad and Mr Irons both know about it." Anai assures "You can call them if you like"
Mr Jones flinches at the idea of speaking to the dark haired man he had briefly met during parent teacher conferences. "Uh that is all right. Just do not spend school hours on campus."
"I don't sir. I just drop her off sometimes and pick her up. Its easier to come wait for Anai at her locker than have her look for me."
"Fine. Just tone the public displays down" the man says turning on his heel he walks away
Anai snickers "Did you see the look on his face when I suggested he call Dad and ask him about you."
Zan chuckles "He looked kinda freaked."
"I wish people weren't so scared of Dad."
"Yeah well your Pops can scare people."
"Not his fault."
"I know that, you know that but the rest of the world doesn't." Zan leads her out of the school "There's nothing we can do to change that."
"I know." she sighs as they near the car she tosses her backpack in the backseat her arms going to his neck she pulls his head down for a passionate kiss biting on his lower lip.
Zan growls "Babe"
Anai grins "You know we could go play."
"Told Ava we'd stop by."
"Oh fine."
"I'll make it up to you tonight." he promises
"You better."
"Oh I will" he assures

Late that night
Anai runs her fingernails down Zan's neck < I hate not being together. It hurts >
Zan lifts his head from her shoulder < I know the feeling. > he kisses her forehead. "I love you 'nai."
Anai smiles her fingers trailing over his face "I love you too Zan"
"Anai are you OK with Ava being back?"
"I'm fine with it. I know how important she is to you."
Zan lifts his brow "Not jealous? Normally you get jealous when I talk to women."
Anai glares at him "Should I be?"
"No. I'm just sayin' normally you get pissed off."
"I'm fine with Ava. I like her."
"So your cool with me an' Ava hangin' out?"
"Yes" she assures kissing his forehead. < I love you my King. >
Zan grins < And I you my Queen. >
Anai pulls his head down kissing him bruisingly.

Chapter 8
4 months later
'Zan's been gone for almost three months. He went back to Antar. God I miss him so much. He promised me that he'd return. I can still feel him in the back of my head at times. Maybe its because his double is still here.
My life is so empty without him. Its like I can feel myself dying every second I can't feel him.
Recap time: Brody otherwise known as Larek Zan's childhood friend from Antar appeared. Said there was a Summit planned in Roswell. Zan wasn't too thrilled on going but he agreed after he learned that Max was planning on bringing the boy home.
The boy... we don't know his name. Tess... Ava's double had to return to Antar not long after she got pregnant by Max- Zan's double. The boy was dying here so the other four were going to return home but they found out Tess had betrayed them not once but twice. She had mindwarped one of their human friends and pretty much fried his brain killing him.
The second betrayal was when she admitted that the reason other then the baby dying that they had to return to Antar was because her protector Nascedo had made a deal with the rebel faction of Khivar... the Royal Four plus the King's heir and she'd be saved the others killed. Max sent her home rather than keep her on Earth for punishment ending their son's life. He didn't want that so he sent Tess home to explain how she screwed up.
Zan agreed to return to Antar to help Tess and the boy. I agreed with him. The other three are more situated in Roswell then Zan is anywhere. As much as I didn't want Zan to leave I knew it had to be done.
I didn't even bother to stay and see him leave. I could feel him leave. I returned to New York and my Daddy.
Zan's disappearance though caused a reaction within my body. Ava and Max came up with the reasoning that my body and mind had become so use to Zan that I was going through withdrawl. Its been two months since that episode'
Anai stares out the window of the bedroom remembering the first few weeks after Zan's disappearance.
//Dr Immo looking over the pale and feverish teen. "If I didn't know any better I would say these symptoms are withdrawal."
"But?" Irons demands
"Her blood is clean... there are no drugs in her system."
"Then sedate her until you can figure it out." Irons orders
Dr Immo glances at Ian as the younger man tries to calm the teen down. "Fine."//
Anai winces at the memory of the needles being inserted in her skin. She shakes her head looking back at her journal she begins to write
'Dad sometimes checks on me at night. Irons hit him a few times for it but after a while he just let Dad alone. He doesn't know I can sense him but I do. He doesn't say he's worried but I can tell he is.'
Anai hears a knock at the door "What?"
The door opens and Ian enters "You are going to be late for school again." he reminds
Anai groans closing her journal she tosses it in her backpack "Where are the car keys?"
Ian holds them out "Here you left them downstairs again."
Anai grabs her uniform blazer making her way out the door she stops to kiss her father's cheek. "Bye"
Ian shakes his head as she rushes down the hallway.

Midafternoon: Vorschlag Industries
Irons grabs the phone as it rings a third time "Yes?"
Ian stands in the corner head bowed
"I will inform him. Thank you for calling." Irons hangs up standing he goes to the window "It seems as though Anai's temper has gotten the better of her."
Ian lifts his head slightly "How so?"
"She beat up one of the seniors at the school. The Headmaster wants to speak with you."
Ian nods
"Go and take care of the situation. Then go keep an eye on fair Sara."
Ian walks out of the room

Headmaster's office
Anai sits on the floor her back against the wall
"Miss Nottingham are you sure you wouldn't rather sit in a chair?" asks the Headmaster concerned by the teen's lack of response. "Miss Nottingham would you like to discuss what's wrong?"
"Mr Nottingham is here" the secretary announces entering the room
"Send him in."
Ian enters the office
"I'll leave you two alone."
As the door closes Ian crouches before Anai "Anai what happened?"
Anai shrugs
Ian sighs "I will go speak to the Headmaster and take you back to the estate."
Anai nods
Ian stands walking out of the office he finds the Headmaster talking with the redheaded friend of Anai's.
"Mr Nottingham Miss Banner was just telling me about what occured."
"Anai and I were walking down the hall and Scott made some remark about Zan and she just turned and decked him."
"So it was not unprovoked." Ian says
"No sir it was totally provoked. Scott and the others have been hassling her all year."
"Hasseling her how?" asks the Headmaster
"Making remarks. Few times touching her."
Ian's eyes narrow at the mention of someone touching his daughter
"Why was this not reported?" demands the Headmaster
"Because Anai had a handle on it. He just went too far with the smart remarks." Celeste answers
Ian looks at the Headmaster "Do you need to speak to her?"
"No. Lets give her a few days. Mr Nottingham your daughter might benefit from some counseling. She's on three day suspension though."
Ian nods turning on his heel he returns to the Headmaster's office "Anai come on."
Anai looks at her father and stands "How much trouble am I in?"
"Three days suspension." Ian replies
Anai nods "I need to grab my books from my locker." she follows her father out to the outer office

2 hours later
Anai curls up on the bed wearing a pair of Zan's boxers and a T-shirt her mind drifting to her love. Silent tears falling as she drifts off to sleep.

Evening
Ian knocks on Anai's door not getting an answer he enters the room to find Anai curled up on the bed. He smiles slightly at the sight
Sensing her father's presence "Hi Daddy" Anai yawns opens her eyes "What time is it?" she asks groggily
Ian sits on the edge of the bed "It is 6. I came up to see if you were coming down for dinner."
Anai sits up "Thought Irons has a dinner meeting."
"It was cancelled. Mr Franks had to go out of town last minute."
"Oh."
"Are you OK Anai?" Ian asks concerned smoothing a loose strand of hair off her forehead
Anai blinks back tears "I'm fine"
"You have been acting... off lately" Ian agrees
"Miss Zan"
Ian nods "I know you do." he looks at the clock "Dinners in ten." he informs her
"I'll be down in five."
Ian nods walking out of the bedroom

Hour later
"So Anai what are you plans during your suspension?" Irons asks as the three sit in the diningroom
Anai shrugs looking up from her food "Homework mostly. Don't wanna get too far behind."
"You need to control your anger."
"I control my anger fine." Anai retorts "After all I've put up with the jocks and their annoying jokes since I started school. Big deal I decked one. I could have done worse." she grabs a roll standing "See ya. Don't do anything I would do" she calls hurrying out the door.
"You do realize she does not have her drivers license Ian."
Ian nods "Neither do I." he reminds
"Yes but the way she drives she'll get pulled over."
"I will speak with her about it later."

After midnight
Ava looks at Anai "I don't understand why people drink."
Anai shrugs taking a swig of whiskey "I just do."
"Anai I know you miss him but he'll be back." Ava assures "Zan loves you. I've never seen him smile like he does when your around."
"This isn't about Zan."
"Then why are you on your way to getting totally blasted?"
"Feel like it." Anai replies taking another drink. "Hell I even like the hangover."
"Your Pops isn't going to be happy about this." Ava remarks
"Doesn't know where I am."
"Zan said he lojacked the car."
"Parked the car then walked here." Anai replies "Even if he does find me he most likely won't say anything."
"Ain't much for talking is he."
"No. Probably why we get along so well" she laughs "Besides he's probably keeping an eye on Pezzini."
"Think they'll ever hook up?"
"I wish. I like her. He seems happy after he sees her."
"But it never lasts." Ava says sadly
"No. Irons doesn't like it when anyone's happy. Let alone Dad." Anai swallows another mouthful of whiskey "I wish I could help him."
"He has a destiny Anai. Just like you. Everyone has a destiny. Some good some bad."
"I just don't want Dad's destiny to be destroyed by him."
Ava nods "I know. Like someone once told me 'things turn out the way their meant to.' He'll find his way."
Anai sighs "I know I just hope Irons won't kill him on the way."

Dawn
Ian awakens to the sound of his cellphone ringing. "Yes?"
"This is Ava sorry for calling so early Mr Nottingham but I thought you'd want to know Anai is at my place. You might want to come pick her up she is totally out."
Ian sighs "I will come and get her." he hangs up the phone

30 mins later
Ava opens the door to find Ian standing there "She's on the couch."
Ian enters to find Anai unconscious on the couch "How much did she have to drink?"
"Half a bottle of whiskey. Tried talking her out of it but..." Ava shrugs "She is stubborn."
Ian nods picking Anai up. "Thank you for calling me."
"Thought you'd be worried when you found out she didn't sleep in her bed." Ava says
"Thank you for keeping an eye on her for me."
"She's Zan's girl. I promised him I'd keep an eye on her."
Ian nods
"Tell her I'll call her later."
"I will." Ian replies carrying Anai down to the car

20 mins later
Ian carries Anai up to her bedroom laying her on the bed
Anai stirs awake as she feels her shoes being removed. She sees her father looming over her "Hi Daddy." she slurs
At her childish tone Ian smiles "Go back to sleep." he grabs her stuffed dog off the couch handing it to her.
"Brownie" she says happily hugging the dog "thank you Daddy."
"Go to sleep." he says after a moment he sees Anai fast asleep. 'Sleep my sweet girl.' he kisses her forehead.

Later that morning
Sara hears a knock on her bedroom window. She turns to find Ian standing there going to the window she opens it "You know that's the first time you've knocked." she says moving aside to let Ian in.
"Hello Sara."
"Social call or does Irons want to see me for some obscure reason."
Ian just stands there
When he doesn't reply Sara looks at him seeing the look on his face "What's with the 'my dogs been shot' look?" she asks
"Other than Anai you are the only person I trust." Ian admits
Hearing his tone Sara frowns "What's wrong?"
"He wants to send her away to school."
Sara's about to reply when the tea-kettle whistles. Sara heads into the kitchen knowing Ian's following "And you don't want to send her away to school."
"No."
"Why does he want to send her away to school?" Sara asks pouring two mugs of tea. She looks at Ian sitting across from her.
"She has been out of control since Zan left."
"They break up?"
Ian shakes his head
"What ever Anai's done can't be as bad as what both of us probably did as teenagers."
"I do not remember much about what I did then."
"She's your typical teenager Ian... no matter the memories she gets from this." she gestures at the Witchblade.
"The school suspended her."
"For what?"
"Beating up one of the seniors."
"Why'd she do it?"
"Her friend Celeste said that since Anai started school some of the boys have been bothering her. Since Zan left she's been..."
"Emotional."
Ian shrugs "Lost her temper a few times. Threw a plate at Mr Irons"
"Oh really" Sara says amused
"She's been drinking almost every night that she goes out. She has gotten into a few fights at night."
"She's your daughter Ian not Irons. If you don't want to send her away to school then tell him."
Ian stares into the mug his mind hit with the thoughts of possible punishments he could receive for saying no.
'He's scared of saying no.' "Ian where is Zan? Last time I saw those two they were pretty much attached at the lips."
"Zan had to go home thought it better if Anai stayed here."
"She isn't taking it too well is she."
Ian shakes his head "No. She spends most her time alone or with Ava."
"Ian you have to do what you think is best for Anai. If you think its best for her to go away to school then send her."
"I think I would miss her too much." Ian says his voice soft
Sara takes a sip of tea "How long were you apart?"
"Ten years. Last time I had seen her was on her sixth birthday."
"Well what are you going to do when she goes away to college?" Sara asks with a grin
"Large phone bill and a lot of air miles." Ian says with a faint smile
"I bet." Sara chuckles "Where is Anai?"
"Sleeping through her hangover. I never understood why people drink" Ian says thoughtfully
"Never been drunk?"
Ian shakes his head "Punishment would have been worse then the hangover."
"Well the hangovers a bitch so you lucked out."
Ian notices the clock on the microwave "I better return." he stands giving Sara a small smile "Thank you."
"Any time Nottingham." Sara smiles watching as Ian walks out of the apartment. "Good luck" she whispers

That afternoon: Vorschlag Industries
"Ian have you thought about what we discussed?" Irons asks without looking up from his work.
Ian stands before the desk his head bowed "I did."
"Have you told her yet?"
"I do not want to send her away to school." Ian says dreading his Master's reaction.
Irons stands going around to stand beside Ian "And why is that?"
"She is my daughter and I do not believe it is in her best interest to go away to school."
Irons grabs Ian by his hair "And how do you know what is in her best interest?"
"I kept her away from you for 16 years." Ian retorts wincing as Irons backhands him
"You have been getting quite insolent over the last few months Ian."
Ian stares at the floor "You want to keep track of Anai. Sending her away to school will only result in her running away."
"Then you will just find her." Irons retorts
"I spent ten years looking for her... I never found her."
"She's just a kid Ian she would have a hard time hiding on her own."
"She has the same intelligence I did at her age plus her street skills she could hide out anywhere."
"So you are going to defy me over a child?!"
Ian meets Irons gaze "Over my child... yes." he looks back down waiting for the next blow to come. When it doesn't he continues "I would do anything for Anai... even go against you."
"Go." Irons orders
Ian walks out of the office


[ edited 2 time(s), last at 28-May-2002 2:13:49 PM ]