Forever the Hunter Series

Book II, Hunter's Balance Established

Disclaimers/Spoilers/Author's Notes: See Book I

Ratings: Hmm... Sex, Violence and Immortality... Yeah, still just for adults.

Summery: Terrywn has become a creature of myth, set on a destiny that will extend thoughout countless lifetimes, yet impact her existance infrequently. Yet, in all things, there must be balance, even for one such as she. How will that balance be established?

The Astr'ven'ti,

Chosen, Immortal, Demon

The Protector of the Eternal Lines

Reborn with the strength of all sides of her nature, and few of the weaknesses

Only under the most unique of circumstances can an Astr'ven'ti come into being, as the Calling of the Chosen nullifies their possible Immortality, an Immortal can never be Called, and the Quickening of the First Death destroys the Demon within.

Morally ambiguous, an Astr'ven'ti has a soul but no humanity and only a vague remnant of a conscience. Dedicated to the maintaining of the Great Balance, an Astr'ven'ti will kill a Champion or a Human as easily as she will spare a Demon.

Chapter One

Eyes the color of the purest molten silver swept over the village celebration below her. A pink tongue stroked over red lips in unconscious sensuality as Terrwyn closed her eyes to greedily absorb the high levels of energy radiating from the crowd worshipping their love goddess by invoking her blessings with various partners.

"I know that you are there, anwylyd athro." Terrwyn said softly. A soft gust of wind brushed her cheek before Cassandra stepped up beside her.

"You have not fed, my little one." The elder Immortal remarked.

"I did, but the energy is so very strong during the celebrations. It calls to me."

It had been almost a full turn of the seasons since that fateful encounter with the Master Vampire Baultar when she had been Turned. Six moons since she had been discovered by Cassandra and told that she was Immortal. Not only that, but because she was immortal, her demon stood no chance to take control, and instead ended up merging with the part of her that made her a potential Chosen One, somehow activating that as well, and creating something entirely new. A creature of myth, a creation that should not even have been possible.

Astr'ven'ti. A creature of three worlds, yet belonging to none. Dedicated only to the preservation of the Great Balance. When something or someone, whether Demon, Mortal or Champion, threatens the Balance, it is the duty of the Astr'ven'ti to correct the imbalance. Whether that meant to help, to hinder or even to eliminate.

In that time, Andreas had sent word of her death to the Protectorate and her siblings. While she was saddened that she could never see them again, she was relieved to know that they would be cared for no matter where their lives took them.

It turned out that Andreas was not ignorant to the world of the Immortals. While he had been raised to be a Guide for those like her, his older brother had chosen to become a Lorekeeper for the Immortals. Unlike the Guides, who took a passive role in the war against the dark hordes but an active role in the lives of their charges, Lorekeepers of the Immortals did nothing but watch and record. As soon as Andreas informed the Protectorate of what Cassandra had told him, his uncle contacted his sibling, deciding that it would be better to keep the entire affair among people that he could trust unequivocally. Their Oracles were foretelling of dark times in the future of the Protectorate.

Andreas and his brother, Theron, worked tirelessly alongside the Coven to discover what effects her Immortality had made on her Turning, or vice versa. It had been Cassandra, an Immortal Priestess of the Goddess, that had told them exactly what Terrwyn had become. A psychic blood demon, feeding off of living energy, whether it be through the rich land beneath them, or the living blood or intense levels of emotions in humans and even some demons. Sex and violence, it turned out, produced the purest forms of energy for her to feed off of.

Sex had quickly become the preferred method for the new creature, especially given her upbringing and training within the Temple of Bast. Terrwyn had long ago discovered that she really liked sex.

"Do you wish to join them?" Cassandra asked.

Terrwyn smiled and shook her head. "No. Unlike when we first arrived, I am able to resist the pull this time."

Cassandra took a moment to study the beautiful girl next to her. With the smile, Cassandra could see the small prominent canines, fangs that lengthened at will when she drank living blood for the energy she required to function properly. Not feeding would not kill Terrwyn, because she was Immortal, but it would incapacitate her until her body shut down and absorbed the dormant living energy given off by the very land on which they lived. Cassandra had brought the young Immortal to these woods during the last Celebration of Love, when the sexual energy was at its highest. Terrwyn had still been weak from her initial accidental starvation, but after absorbing the rich energy of the celebration for three straight days, her needs had finally been satisfied, and Terrwyn had awakened on the last night at full strength.

"There are blood demons heading in this direction." Terrwyn broke through her musing. "I am going to hunt them out. Will you be at the cottage tonight or will you be with the Goddess?"

"I will be at the cottage." The Immortal smiled, smoothing back a lock of the younger girl's hair. "Come to me when you can."

Terrwyn smiled at her again and, before she knew it, Cassandra found herself pressed against and tree and thoroughly kissed. Then, the girl was gone, leaving the Witch to pull herself together and stumble shakily back into the darkness.

~~~ BtVS ~~ AU ~~ Highlander ~~~

Terrwyn stood perched on a branch high over the group of blood demons she was watching. With her position upwind of them, they had no way of detecting her presence as long as she remained perfectly still. The past year had also revealed that she could not be sensed by lower level demons, especially blood demons, and if she concentrated, she could hide her presence from other Immortals as well. Her eyes, their normal light hazel color once again, swept over them, taking every detail.

"I'm telling you, we need to get out of here." One of them said. "There's this rumor that a Witch protects these woods."

"A witch?" Another scoffed. "You're scared of a witch? You're a demon, man. Grow a spine."

"Hey, I grew up in these woods, and I'm telling you, there's something out there."

"If you don't stop whining, I'm going to kill you both. Let's go already. There's a village over there that's just ripe for the picking, and you two are babbling about some stupid superstition."

"You should have listened to him." Terrwyn said, dropping down in their midst and lashing out with her foot to kick the fledgling in the chest, sending him flying back several feet.

Terrwyn looked at the other two as they stared at her in shock. Not only did not not sense her before she appeared, but they still did not sense her.

"I remember you." The Astr'ven'ti said to the taller of the two. "You belong to Baultar. Where is your Master? We have unfinished business."

"I am Angelus, and he is your Master as well, little girl." The dark haired blood demon responded with a malicious smirk as he realized who he was staring at. "He will be most pleased that you have been found. Come, we will return to him."

In a blurring motion that they could barely track, Terrwyn drew her hand sword and beheaded the fledling that had approaching her from behind.

"I have no Master, demon." Terrwyn smiled. "Baultar failed. Can you not hear the beat of my heart, or smell the 'living' blood in my veins?"

Now that she mentioned it, Angelus realized that he could do both of those things. The heartbeat was slower then other humans', but it was beating. That's impossible, he thought in shock, I saw her Turned myself.

"As for returning to Baultar," she continued. "I don't think he needs to know about me just yet."

She attacked before either of them could react, managing to behead one before Angelus managed to shake off his surprise and begin to fight back.

"You will not find me so easy to defeat, bitch." He snarled.

Terrwyn grinned. "Good. It will be more fun that way."

~~~ BtVS ~~ AU ~~ Highlander ~~~

The fight with the blood demon had been hard, but in the end, the minion had managed to get away. Furious, Terrwyn wiped her blade on the grass next to the gray ash of the fledgling. The fight had been pretty evenly matched. The blood demon's age and experience versus the Terrwyn's speed and strength and intense training. It had only been a lucky shot that had impaled the her on a broken tree limb and given the blood demon the opportunity to escape. Snarling in rage as she watched the blood demon run away, Terrwyn had tore herself free to give chase, only to fall to her knees in agony as the wound immediately began to heal, causing her to choke up blood, bone fragments and wood shards. The pain was so intense that she could barely breathe and by the time it subsided, the blood demon was long gone.

She made her way to a nearby creak to wash away the blood from her mouth and body and try to clean what was left of her shirt. Cassandra did not like the sight of her blood. The wounds themselves had already closed, but her shirt was in tatters. Her senses twitched as the animals of the forest came cautiously out of their hiding places, a definite sign that her work for the night was completed, as they had long grown accustomed to her unique presence.

With a sigh, she pulled the shirt back on and turned towards home. She briefly considered returning to the village to soak up more of the energy they were giving off due to the fertility celebration, but then she smiled slyly as the thought of a faster, and much more enjoyable, way to feed. That thought brought to mind soft, pale skin and long legs and suddenly the need to feed wasn't the only need swamping her senses. With a silver sheen shading her eyes, she turned away from the intense sexual energy emanating from the nearby village towards the small, hidden cottage where she had every intention of making some of her own.