Soulbound – Book 2: Chapter 16


The Connections Trilogy_Soulbound_2


Chapter 16

A hero, an unlikely hero. The sidekick, the seer, the friend. A warrior unaware of his own potential. A half-demon struggling with issues. A woman separated from the past, soon to harken future visions for the Vampire with a Soul, providing the yet another connection between them. A Champion upon his true path unfettered by the crystal’s influence as long as its secrets remain intact.

“Angel!” Following behind him, Cordelia Chase let out a cry of frustration. Broody vamp couldn’t even think about his own business interests. Brood, brood, brood. Funk, funk, funk. “Just because you’re in a funky, broody mood doesn’t mean you can’t listen to my ideas to stir up a little action around here.”

There was only one kind of action that Angel wanted to discuss stirring up with Cordelia. Filming a commercial and calling himself the Dark Avenger was not it. Not by a long-shot. Next, she’d have him wearing a cape and tights. But Cordy kept at the idea until Angel opted for escape. Getting into the elevator, he closed the outer door before she could enter behind him.

Not to be ignored, Cordelia was already headed for the stairs when Doyle stopped her. “I don’t think Angel is gonna go for it, Cordy darlin’. Besides, advertising a superhero that can’t really go out into the daylight might raise vampire suspicions, not to mention our pesky lack of an investigator’s license.

“And who needs a license when we have no clients?”

“We’ll manage, princess,” Doyle knew Cordy always gave 110% and this was nothing different. “We always do.”

Suddenly, Cordelia had another brilliant idea. Grabbing him by the shirtfront she grinned conspiratorially, “You’re perfect.”

“For the Dark Avenger?”

Pfft! “No, no. Angel is all wrong for this commercial. Too broody. Too Braveheart. We need something that appeals to Joe-Couch Potato. Someone who’s— average, run of the mill, ordinary.”

Doyle sent her a look. “Gee, thanks. I appreciate the compliment.”

“Don’t be a dork!” Cordelia told him as she looked him up and down taking in the sight of his clothes, “Might not be so bad if you let me into your closet once in a while.”

“According to Buffy, the things you like to do in closets— well, that might be a workable deal.”

“You wish, sleezebag!” Laughing, Cordelia pulled Doyle back into the inner office where she had set up a video camera. “Come on— we need to work on your lines.”

“Hey! I thought that was a good one.”

“For the commercial, dork.”

Later, after Cordelia and Doyle both agreed that he would never make it as an actor, the idea for the commercial was discarded. While Cordelia attended to putting her things away, the seer decided to head down to Angel’s apartment. Hopefully, the vampire would not rip his head off for interrupting his bad mood. Upon finding Angel working out with the punching bag, furiously pounding it with his fists, Doyle figured he was at least trying to release some of the tension mounting from the last couple of days.

“Hey,” Doyle greeted him. “Is this a private catharsis or can anyone watch?”

Continuing to punch at the bag, Angel returned, “What do you want?”

“Well there’s a girl upstairs who’s not quite sad enough to cry in my arms, but keep up the dark cloud. I might just get lucky.”

Punching hard, the heavy bag swung widely. His tone edged on dangerous, “Be careful what you say, Doyle. When I’m like this, it’s sometimes hard to tell when you’re kidding. I just need some time— just need to stop thinking about her.”

“Believe me, I know.” Doyle understood. “Last time my ex came to town, I was a wreck. That might have had something to do her fiancé’s plan to eat my brain, but yeah— I get it. Amazing how just seeing them again can do that to you.”

Angel stepped back from the punching bag, turning slightly to face Doyle with a deep shrug of his muscled shoulders. “I’m not talking about Buffy. You don’t know. You don’t know what happened.”

Not about Buffy? Well that only left—, “Cordelia? What happened?”

“I went to the Oracles, Doyle,” he revealed. “They took it back. They took everything. I lost it all. Lost Cordy. Lost her and my humanity.”

“Whoa! Back up a second, man.” Doyle tried to take it in, but his head was swimming. “I think one of us has been drinking and I’m sad to say, it’s not me.”

“Just who are these Oracles?” Angel asked him. They didn’t exactly present a business card, although they were obviously fully aware of him and his. “Why didn’t you tell me about them before?”

Gasping, Doyle asked, “Who told you about the Oracles?”

Pointing at the seer brought another look of confusion. Angel told him, “The first time the Mohra demon attacked, it got away.”

“The first time?” That demon had jumped through the window only to be bashed across the head with Angel’s antique clock seconds later.

“Look, I tracked it, I killed it, some of its blood mixed with mine. It made me mortal. Made me human. That’s when you took me to see the Oracles to find out what it meant.”

“No, no, no. See, I’d remember a trip to the netherworld of eternal watching. I wouldn’t forget that— not something that just happens everyday.”

When Doyle got over the idea of Angel knowing about the Oracles, those higher beings who kept watch for the PTB and acted as conduits for his visions, he suddenly realized what Angel said about the demon blood. “You were human?”

Tossing a towel around his neck, Angel sat down in a chair. “The Oracles told me that I was released from my duty. After they let me go, I-I went to Cordelia.”

“Went to her?” Doyle sank onto the couch as the vampire’s meaning became clear. “You mean that you two were—?”

“Together,” Angel’s heart was in his eyes, miserable and lonely. “We were together and in love again. She was mine again— for a day.”

“What day was this? Where was I? Where did it go?”

Angel’s lips twisted with dark irony. “This isn’t another memory spell. The day never happened. They took it back, but made me remember it all. They wanted their Champion, Doyle, and were more than willing to do as I asked.”

The vampire managed to confuse him again. “You mean that you asked for this? That you had the one thing in your unnaturally long life that brings you joy— and you gave it up? You gave up Cordelia to be a vampire again?”

Even after listening to the apocalyptic auguries and making the only decision he thought he could, Angel clung to that nagging doubt. “Maybe I was wrong?”

With a sigh, Doyle knew that there was a reason. It had to be one helluva reason, or no power on earth or in the heavens above would be able to drag Angel out of Cordelia’s arms. “The Oracles— they said something, didn’t they. Opened their big mouths and predicted something bad to make you think you had no other choice in the matter.”

Angel fell silent.

“I think Cordy was right about you being the real deal in the hero department, Angel, Dark Avenger or not. See— I would have chosen the pleasures of the flesh over duty and honor any day of the week. I just don’t have that strength.”

“You never know your strength until you’re tested,” Angel countered.

Rolling his eyes, Doyle huffed. “Come on, you lived and loved and lost and fought and vanquished inside a day. I’m still trying to work up the courage to tell Cordy that I’m half demon.”

“Well, the Oracles did say something about soldiers of darkness ushering the End of Days kind of bad.”

“So this Mohra demon had something to do with it all?”

Angel gripped the ends of the towel as he told Doyle, “I feel something coming. I don’t know what, but I feel that we’re a part of it.”

Not pleased at the idea, the seer commented, “Can’t they give that fight to someone else? It seems unfair. You gotta save all the helpless types around here and now you have to fight the apocalypse as well?”

Rising from the chair, Angel recognized the fact that Doyle had let him vent. It didn’t make his feelings any better or the loss of Cordelia any less acute, but he accepted the reasons he chose this path.

“It’s all the same thing,” Angel looked down at Doyle. “Fight the good fight— whichever way you can.

“Tell you what,” Doyle offered. “You fight— and I’ll keep score.”

Angel left to shower, so Doyle slowly made his way back upstairs. No wonder Angel was broody. He had a right to be after what happened. If Doyle hadn’t gone down there, the vampire would have kept it all to himself. Just like the deal with the memory spell. Doyle had to weasel it out of him.

Finding Cordelia sitting on the steps near the front lobby, Doyle noticed that she was lost in thought. Looking a little broody herself and that was not something to be associated with Cordelia Chase. She perked up at the sight of him, sending him a bright grin that caused his heart to flip-flop.

“I’m in the mood for food,” she grabbed for his hand as he helped her to her feet. “Deli sandwiches?”

Groaning, Doyle reminded her, “I’ve sworn off deli. Can’t go back there again after your little romp with me as your whipping boy!”

“Aw! Poor poodle!” Cordy grinned laughing at him. “That was all your own fault, Doyle. You wanted me to dress up in that leather outfit when I lost our bet. Can’t blame me if I gave you what you wanted.”

“I didn’t want public humiliation at the deli counter,” Doyle groaned. “I just wanted to leer at your— well, I just wanted to leer, that’s all.”

“Serves you right.” She stuck out her tongue.

Doyle realized what Cordy was doing. She was throwing him off the scent. Trying to make him think she was carefree and happy. He’d seen her face when he came upstairs, so he knew better.

“Look, Cordy,” he cleared his throat. Doyle sat down upon the top step and pulled her down again to sit beside him. “Angel isn’t mad at you, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

Cordelia flashed him a little look of uncertainty.

“It’s just that—,” Doyle struggled to find the words to tell her this. He knew that Angel would say nothing. So maybe he should do it. Why should Cordy be the only one who did not know? “—Angel is hurting.”

“What?! What happened?” Cordelia broke in before he had a chance to clarify his words.

Doyle explained that the Mohra demon made Angel human, but only for a day. Then the Powers that Be stepped in and wiped the day out in order to make him a vampire again. They did not want a human Champion. They needed their Vampire with a Soul. Everything in that twenty-four hour period was wiped away as if it never happened.

“Angel was human?” Cordelia’s voice was barely above a whisper.

He could see it in her eyes— the same wonder that must have been there on that lost day. That, and something else. Longing. Doyle had to admit it, though it made his heart break every time he acknowledged that Cordelia Chase could never be his.

“Buffy arrived,” Doyle started to explain again. “She didn’t leave. She—”

Cordelia saw where this was going. Doyle was trying to break it to her gently, but it was all too obvious what he was going to say. “Buffy stayed. She stayed with Angel. They got groiny again, didn’t they?”

“No!” That wasn’t what he wanted her to think. Not at all. Now she looked miserable. “It didn’t happen that way. Angel didn’t— look, Cordy, Buffy stayed to help kill the Mohra demon after it escaped.”

“Yeah. Like that fight took more than two seconds. What were they doing the rest of the time?”

Cordy was getting this all mixed up and making Doyle more confused in the process. “It wasn’t like that, princess. I promise you. Buffy left after the demon was killed— though that was temporary, both the leaving and the killing.”

Then Doyle took a deep breath, “Angel spent the day— with you.”
“Me? What happened, Doyle?” She was a picture of mixed emotions. “What happened to Buffy?”

“Probably the same kind of chat that we remember you two having,” guessed the seer. “Angel didn’t give me all the details.”

A quirk of a smile appeared at the corners of her mouth. “Angel was human. Wow! Can you imagine?”

Doyle nodded. “A little too well.”

“And he spent his day— with me?” A spark of glee lit her eyes. “Not Buffy? Huh! Angel a human. What would I do with a human Angel for a day?”

Did she really expect him to answer that question? Surely she had an idea. What did she want— proof in the form of high-quality photo-booth prints? Come to think of it, he still had those.

“Food, he’d want food,” she guessed. “No more yucky blood stuff. And time in the sun— that’s gotta be a big priority. Hey! He likes the beach.”

Cordelia was either a very good guesser, Doyle realized, or there was something strange about the way she sensed things. It was either the magic surrounding the link with Angel or a mild precursor to a supracognitive state. Like people who frequently experienced déjà vu or sensed trouble coming without knowing why.

“I’m certain it was fun,” Doyle told her. “Angel seems pretty down about the fact that it’s over.”

“Well, duh! Not human anymore. Back to being fangy and cursed.” Cordelia couldn’t believe that Doyle would think it was anymore complicated than that.

As for the seer, he was a little surprised that she hadn’t gotten the hint. Maybe he should have come right out and said that Angel wasn’t getting groiny with Buffy because he was getting it on with her. No, no, no. Just couldn’t do that. Didn’t want to think about it too much. His imagination was already filling his head with naked images.

Doyle asked her, “Do you ever think that we could have had a fun day like that?”

“Fun in the sun?” Cordy grinned, then wondered why he was talking in the past tense. “I think we can do that anytime. Picnic on the beach. Sounds fun.” Then she tagged on, “Are you asking me out?”

“No.” Doyle was quick to respond.

“Really?” She looked hurt. “Why not?”

“Angel would kill me.”

“Don’t be a doofus, Doyle,” she waved the thought aside. “You’re our friend. Angel only threatens strangers— like Pierce. That overprotective vamp practically interrogated him and chased him away. Just as well since Pierce turned out to be such a cowardly wimp.”

Cordy seemed to be missing the point.

“Angel just likes to play big brother,” Cordelia added with a shrug.

A soft snort followed as Doyle tried to keep from laughing aloud.

“But Angel doesn’t own me,” Cordy pointed a finger at her breastbone. “I can have fun with my friends. I don’t have to ask him for permission. Besides, he had his day in the sun. Maybe its your turn.”

Clueless Cordy. Doyle wished that it could be true, but he knew too much to take her up on that offer. Looking up from the floor where his attention had been focused on a small nick in the tile, Doyle found Cordelia’s face only inches from his own.

When Cordelia finished her diatribe, she reminded herself that whatever happened when Angel was a human— it did not matter. Angel was once again a vampire, albeit with a soul. That put them back on their same platonic protocol. Boss— secretary. Vampire— human. Got it? Got it.

Maybe Doyle had the right idea about spending time together. He was a human guy, even if he was her friend and not rich or outrageously hot. He was a cutie and sweet and kind. That stood for something. Proving it to herself that this might be a possibility, Cordelia leaned in close and watched as Doyle lifted his head. He looked surprised when Cordelia moved in to kiss him.

More than surprised. Mortified. Utterly terrified to death, Doyle noticed Angel walk into the outer office just as Cordy’s soft lips touched the edge of his mouth.

No, no, no, no, no!

Then a miracle happened. Doyle received a vision that sent him writhing across the floor. It was one of those powerful, fully emotional and sensation-packed visions that indicated really, really bad things were about to happen.

“Doyle!” Both Cordy and Angel were at his side. Normally, he could handle the visions with little more than a headache afterward, but this one racked his entire body with pain.

Forgetting about the almost-kiss, Doyle’s two friends were attentive and concerned, but anxiously awaiting details about his vision. Finally, Doyle recovered enough to tell them, “Th-there’s a little demon girl. Tonight— it happens tonight. She’s running down the street. Scared. She’s so scared, Angel! There are soldiers. Demon soldiers. An army of them.”

Angel made the connection to the Oracles’ prediction. As soon as Doyle could get up, they moved him to the couch where he sat looking suddenly exhausted. The vampire told him to stay put while he started getting some things together.

“We need to find the victims,” Angel looked determined. “Then I’m going to stop this before it gets started.

They found the demons— actually half human demons— huddled in a mass in a brick tenement house. It looked like an entire clan from elders to infants.

“Pretty low rent,” Doyle had noted the place was otherwise deserted and really run down, “even by demon standards.”

Explaining their presence, one of the elders agreed to speak to them. “We gave all our money of a man who promised to get us safe passage on a ship.”

“Going where?” Doyle wanted to know. He felt a strange and sudden kinship with this group.

“Briole,” the elder answered. “It’s a small island off the coast of Equador. Others of our kind have found sanctuary there.”

Angel asked, “Sanctuary from whom?”

“The Scourge.” It was Doyle who answered. “They are Death itself.”

Was that information from his vision, or just knowledge off the street? Then Doyle left Angel to finish his conversation with the elder alone while he found himself chatting with one of the other demons. That was when the shocker came. The fact that he felt some connection with this group made sense. They were all half human. Many of these people were Bracken demons— or part Bracken demons— just like Doyle.

As Cordy might say— that gave him the wiggins.

“I’m not asking you to fight,” argued the other man, Lucas. “Just help us hide until we get out of town.”

“You got the wrong guy, pal.” Doyle hedged back toward the door. “You want to set up a little off-track betting then I’ve got the know-how. But demon-hiding? It’s not my line.”

Lucus argued, “You’re one of us.”

“No, I’m not,” countered Doyle. “I was raised human. I’m not lookin’ to explore me roots.”

Angry now, Lucas told the seer, “If you don’t believe that we share a common family, believe that we share a common enemy. The Scourge is an army of pureblood demons. They have a big hate-on for us mixed heritage types.”

“So I’ve heard.” The rumors were apparently not just demon campfire tales.

Angel met up with Doyle after the elder told him the full story. They compared notes. “You can’t fight the Scourge, Angel. These people are going to need more than their mythic promised one.”

“It won’t come to that,” the vampire said. “We’re going to get them out of here.”

An eighteen-wheeler pulled up outside the tenement, the passenger door swinging open to reveal Cordelia. She instructed the driver to stay put. Climbing down to the ground, she brushed off her hands and looked with nose-scrunching reaction to the sight of the building. This place made her original L.A. apartment look like paradise.

Cautiously moving down the gloomy corridor, Cordelia called out for her friends. Angel had contacted her using Doyle’s cell phone and given instructions on where to arrange pickup of the truck. He had been brief and to the point with directions, not giving her any of the details she wanted— just because she was curious as to why Angel needed a Mack truck.

“Angel? Doyle? Hello?”

A gasp escaped her throat as several demons stepped into the hall. Reaching into the pocket of her pants, Cordy pulled out a little sprayer device. Holding it up to their faces, she provided a stern warning.

“While this may look like— a popular brand of breath freshener,” Cordy realized that’s exactly what it looked like. Just what it was. “It’s really a cunningly disguised demon repellent.”

She sprayed the air in front of them. Spritz! Spritz!

The demon sniffed, “Mmm! Wintergreen.”

Pushing his way through the demons, Doyle appeared. “Cordy, it’s okay. We’re here to help them.”

Recapping her spray, Cordy put it away. Placing a bright grin on her face, she waved at them. “Oh. Oh, hi!”

In an aside to Doyle, she asked, “Where’s Angel?”

“He’s trying to secure documents to get them out of the country. Did you get the truck?”

“Yeah. It’s out front.” Then she glanced back at the onlookers. “Doyle— uh, you noticed these guys were demons, right?”

Feeling the weight of their stares on his shoulders, Doyle told her, “Yeah. Doesn’t make them bad people.”

Sending the demons another charming smile, her head tilted, Cordelia asked, “Excuse us a sec?”

Pulling Doyle into a corner, she had to get to the bottom of this. “Mission statement check: aren’t we supposed to be battling the forces of darkness?”

“They’re not forces of darkness,” Doyle defended. They were just like him. “They’re half human and they’re in trouble. Now, we don’t have a lot of time. Angel wants you to go down to the LA harbor, pier 12, slip 4, the Quintessa. Use Angel’s name. He knows the captain.”

“So we’re booking them on a cruise?”

“Basically.”

Cordelia didn’t know whether to be more upset about the fact that their job description just expanded to include demon-saving or the fact that this freighter captain apparently owed Angel money which they had not collected.

“Bad things are coming aren’t they?” She asked Doyle.

“Very bad things.”

“I’m on it.”

Cordelia and Doyle organized the transport of the demons to the harbor once the ship was ready to take them. Then Doyle met Angel who had decided to ensure that the Scourge did not interfere by keeping an eye on them— as one of them. Proving himself worthy of their cause by ‘killing’ the half-human Doyle in front of them, Angel was accepted into their group.

When it was safe to move, Doyle headed back to the pier, only to learn that one of the teenage demons had taken off. He’d had some interaction with the boy and felt he could convince him to come back. One of the adult demons approached Cordelia who just finished issuing orders to the freighter captain about finding blankets.

“I can’t thank you and your friends enough,” the demon gave her a warm and grateful smile. “I’m sure Reiff is in safe hands.”

“Doyle will get him here,” she sounded confident even while tampering down the gut-wrenching nervousness of gazing into his demon face. This was a good demon, she reminded herself. Doyle said so. “He’s a good guy.”

“Yeah, he is a good one. He understands our suffering.”

“We both do.” Cordy nodded, trying to get over that lump of fear. She did feel sorry for them.

The demon quickly offered an apology. “I am sorry. I did not mean to imply that you did not understand us. It’s just more familiar to Doyle. He has to live with a certain amount of persecution. You always do when you’re half demon.”

Cordelia felt a little light headed all of a sudden. Did she really hear that? “Demon?”

There was no further time for discussion, for the Scourge was suddenly at the harbor, Angel making his way forward as fast as he could. He knew what the demons were planning and it was not good. They had a machine, a beacon of light that destroyed anyone within its reach who possessed human blood. One it reached critical mass, that sphere of influence would reach a quarter mile in radius.

“Doyle, you’re alive!” Cordelia’s voice carried across the distance between them.

He slowed down as he reached her. There was a strange tone to her words. “You don’t sound happy about it.”

“We were worried.”

“Now that I found Reiff, the ship can take off. Everything is going to be okay,” Doyle assured her.

Reaching up with a suddenness that allowed no escape, Cordelia slapped him.

“What was that for?” Doyle demanded.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were half demon?”

Holding a hand to his stinging cheek, Doyle told her, “Because I was afraid you might react badly— like hitting me.”

“That was for lying to me, doofus!” Cordelia couldn’t believe that he never told her. “I work for a vampire! Hello!”

“But you’re scared of demons, Cordy. You said so! It shows in your eyes.”

Cordelia felt silent for a second. “I-I can’t deny that. Maybe it is a little superficial, but that doesn’t stop me from having you as my friend.”

Angel appeared, issuing orders to the captain to shove off. The Scourge were here and already fighting. Doyle ran up to help, but the vampire told him. “Get below. Lock down the doors.”

“What?”

“Move! Now! Stay with the others.”

Angel moved with strength, swiftness and muscular grace, fighting his way through the pureblood Lister demons attacking the ship. It was too late. Already, it was too late. They had locked the cargo doors from the outside and were lowering their destructive beacon into the hold from above.

“It’s going to detonate,” Angel called out. “Get out! Everybody out!”

But there was nowhere to go. Angel struggled with the demon commander trying to choke him. “Welcome to a cleaner world, vampire. Soon only the pure bloods will be left standing.”

“Actually, pure boy,” Angel quipped as he broke free from the demon’s grip. “You’ll be on your ass.”

With a burst of speed and power, Angel grabbed him by the head and broke his neck. The demon fell down dead.

Doyle and Cordelia climbed up a ladder to Angel’s level meeting him at the center of the platform. It was level with the beacon which now began to glow with white light. “What does that thing do?” Doyle asked getting worried. Even if they stopped the demons, how did they stop it?

“Its light kills anything with human blood,” Angel said looking at Doyle and then letting his gaze linger on Cordelia.

“Well its getting brighter,” Doyle pointed out. “It’s fully armed, isn’t it?”

“Almost,” Angel figured based upon what he saw at the demon base camp. “I figure if I pull the cable, it might shut off.”

Doyle looked puzzled. “How’re you gonna do that without touching the light?”

Stepping forward past Doyle, Cordelia nudged against his shoulder while looking at the vampire with a frightened expression. “Angel, that’s suicide.”

“There’s got to be another way,” Doyle begged for a miracle.

Angel saw the tears gathering on Cordelia’s cheek. Reaching out, he brushed them away with his thumb. “It’s all right.”

“No!” Flinging herself into Angel’s arms, Cordelia cried out against it. This plan sucked!

Doyle watched as Angel pulled her close for what would obviously be the last time he held his mate in his arms. Even he felt his eyes moisten as the vampire took her face in his hands, staring into her eyes with love and regret. Then he was kissing her and Doyle got the up-close and personal version of their kiss from the beach, albeit very brief this time.

“Please, Angel!” Cordelia begged him as she pulled away. “Please don’t do this.”

“I have to, baby,” he looked determined. Then, still touching her chin, he told her, “There is something that belongs to you in my desk drawer. Take it— and remember.”

Cordy held onto the railing, trying to prevent herself from sinking to the grated platform. As Doyle watched, realizing that the Powers that Be had done everything to get Angel to this moment and fight their battle for them— but were going to let him die in the process. And what of Cordelia? What of the wrong that had been done to her— mostly by Angel himself in spite of the love that connected them? She would never hear the words from his lips telling her the truth, Doyle realizes, just the cryptic message he’d just given.

In an instant, Doyle knew what had to be done. The vampire had been put in his charge by the Powers that Be. Angel and Cordelia were his friends. He loved them both and would not let them suffer through a death without the other.

“Angel,” he caught the vampire’s attention. “So this is the good fight, huh? What was that you said— you never know until you’re tested?”

The vampire gave him a puzzled look, and then moved closer to say their last goodbyes when out of the blue, Doyle’s fist connected with his jaw. Placing his full demon strength behind him, the seer knocked Angel over the railing and down into the cargo hold below.

Cordy leaned over, calling out to Angel who was now tangled in a mass of cargo nets. She looked to Doyle then, still in shock and wondering what he was planning. Then her friend leaned in close telling her with a twisted smile, “There’s no time to ask his permission.”

Doyle pressed a kiss upon Cordelia’s startled lips, soft and then firm, expressing the love he always had for his special girl. As they parted, Cordy drew a gasping breath as a glow passed between their open mouths.

Then morphing into his demon visage, Doyle stepped back. “Looks like we’ll never know if this is a face you could get used to. Not all of us demons are bad, Cordy. Some of us even love you.”

Breaking free of the cargo nets, Angel was on his feet and racing toward the ladder. He was calling out his friend’s name as he ran, seeing him at the edge of the platform facing the beacon. “Doyle. Doyle. Doyle, wait! Doyle. No!”

The demons and crew watched spellbound at the scene. Their fate, their very lives hung in the balance. Doyle focused on the beacon. Checking the distance. Looking for a place to land. Noting the position of the cable he would have to pull before the energy started to eat away at his flesh.

With no further goodbyes and no regrets, Doyle leapt into the light.


SOULBOUND – BOOK TWO – THE NEXT CONNECTION: CHAPTER LINKS

Book Two Chapter 15                    Book Two Home                    Book Two Chapter 17


 

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