Soulbound – Book 2: Chapter 22

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Chapter 22

The circle of power grows. Another warrior enters the sphere of our sight. The Fighter: his predestined path now merges with that of our Champion, his Seer and their Watcher. He shall become one with our cause.

Wesley and Cordelia observed their client, David Nabbit, as he wrote out a check. “Ah, this should take care of your expenses to date.”

He held the check out, Cordy grabbing it even though it was closer to Wesley’s hand. “I’m in charge of the—,” looking down at the amount she let out a gasp and showed it to her co-worker.

“Good Lord. There must be some mistake,” Wesley stared at the zeros behind the first figure.

Cordelia couldn’t believe that Wes said that. This was their first— and possibly only— billionaire client and Wesley was trying to turn down the money? In a sing-song voice, “I’m certain that Mr. Nabbit knows how to write a check.”

The wealthy software developer assured them, “No. There is no mistake. I just— believe in rewarding good work.”

“This is amazingly generous, Mr. Nabbit, but we are really not finished with the job. Angel is following up on a lead as we speak.”

Coming up behind his quarry, Angel put a hand on the large man’s shoulder and whirled him around so that he landed against the side of his car.

“What do you want?” the guy demanded.

Having been to Madam Dorian’s demon brothel, Angel discovered where to find Lenny Edwards. Lenny was blackmailing David Nabbit with graphic photos taken during his visits there. Naturally, the billionaire wanted the pictures back and his name kept out of the news.

Angel answered Lenny’s question with a casual spread of his hands in the air. “What do I want? Big question. Love— family— a place on this planet I can call my own. Working on it. You know what?”

“What?” Lenny looked nervous as the strong-armed stranger gave him a dark look.

“Unless the next few minutes go exactly the way I want them, *you’ll* never have any of those things. Or whatever it is blackmailing scum think they want.”

Angel demanded to know, “Where are the pictures of David Nabbit?”

“Never heard of him.”

Giving him a look that suggested he could have done better, Angel suggested he come up with a different answer. “Oh-ho, you only get one lie. I probably should have mentioned that first.”

Standing up straight, Lenny was actually taller than the 6’2” vampire. He patted Angel’s shoulder. “Look pal, you obviously not from around here. Trust me— you do *not* want to see my bad side.”

Observing from the shadows two young black street-fighters listened in. This was their territory and anything that went down here was their business.

“You show me yours,” Angel reacted to the threat by vamping out, “I’ll show you mine.”

Grabbing Lenny, the vampire pushed him up against the car. “Okay, so *now* I’m from around here. In fact, I’m moving in. Taking over, you understand me? I will dog you every night for the rest of your very short life until you bring me what I want.”

Angel shook him a bit for good measure. “Are we clear?”

Nodding frantically, Lenny indicated. Clear as crystal.

“See you tomorrow.” Angel let him go with a final shove.

By the time Lenny unlocked his car and looked back, the vampire was gone. In the dark alley sheltered by a barrier of wood and wire, the two youths looked grim in their discovery.

“Vampire is moving in, huh?”

Charles Gunn stared into the distance where the demon had vanished. “Yeah. Well, he ain’t gonna stay too long.”

Wesley sat at Angel’s desk in the inner office. It was covered in texts from the vampire’s collection and a few he had brought from home. Angel’s books had some rudimentary information on mysticism and magicks. Wesley’s contained information on the vampire himself.

He’d been in here for the past two hours researching for any sign of information on the crystal. If it was truly an heirloom as Angel indicated, there should be some mention of it. However, Wesley had a feeling that description was just a ruse. There was something very strange going on here at Angel Investigations. Whatever it was started in back in Sunnydale. Started there and continued here. Something that was affecting his own memory.

“Find what you’re looking for?” Cordelia sauntered in, wearing a curious smile.

“No, obviously,” Wes replied. “If I had found it, I would no longer be looking.”

Peering at the books on the desk, Cordy read off a few titles.

“The Power of Crystals and Colors, Healing Gems and Crystals, Torvod’s Guide to Crystals and Minerals, Compendium of Earth Magick.”

Wesley sighed as he closed the book he was reading. “I am looking for information on your crystal necklace. Angel said it was an heirloom. I was simply curious about where he acquired it.”

“Is this part of your former-Watcher weirdness?” Cordelia put her hands on her hips. “I think it’s about time you stopped treating Angel like a research specimen and started treating him like a friend.”

Offended, Wesley stood up from the desk and began to gather the books into orderly piles. “I am not studying Angel. I’m looking for information on the crystal.”

“Just ask him, doofus!”

“No,” Wes was quick to wave off that idea. Angel had already indicated that he didn’t want him to be ‘concerned’ with his relationship with Cordelia. Nosing in on this little crystal might also be considered as crossing the line. Vampires were so territorial and possessive one had to be careful— especially with this one.

Then he considered the idea, “But *you* might ask Angel about the crystal, Cordelia. I’m certain that it has magick properties.”

Shaking her head, Cordelia refused. “He’ll tell me when he’s ready. That’s the deal.”


“But,” a flash of conspiratorial glee lit her hazel eyes, “you could ask Willow about it. If there is magick involved, she’s probably got the 411.”

Wesley had everything put back in its proper place by the time Angel returned from his mission. The vampire was certain to notice that had had been in the office, but that could easily be explained. “How did it go at Madam Dorian’s?”

“Good. I tracked down Lenny Edwards and encouraged him to cooperate,” Angel gave the short version of the story. “We’ll have the pictures tomorrow night.”

“Hmm.” Wesley doubted that it was that simple. “Good. Good. Well, then. I’m off for home. See you tomorrow.”

“Wes,” Angel held the door open since the Englishman was carting several files and a backpack. “I’ve noticed that you’ve been avoiding me, lately. Ever since the Angelus thing.”

That wasn’t what Wesley called Angel’s little trip to Happyville, but it was close enough. Besides, Angel had just given him a good excuse. “I’m not— well, maybe I am avoiding you a bit. After all, I still have a few bruises in some tender places. Avoidance is just a self-defense mechanism, you know.”

“You made some good moves,” Angel tried to make up for what he had said to Wes at the time. “Knocked me down the elevator shaft. Trust me. You managed to do what most people never did— survive their first encounter with Angelus.”

Wesley felt a little taller on his way out the door. Closing it behind him, Angel turned the lock before heading down to the apartment.

Upon reaching the kitchen, he saw Cordelia’s denim-covered bottom turned up in the air as she bent low to look under the table for a fallen earring. The view was too tempting to resist as he crept up behind her. Reaching out with both hands, Angel palmed both cheeks of her buttocks.

“Wesley! I told you—,” Cordelia was spun up and around into his arms. She laughed merrily at the look on his face and then placed a smooch on his mouth. “I knew it was you, silly vamp.”

“Scared me for a second,” he grinned back at her. “What with your history of kissing every man and demon that walks into the office, I had to worry.”

After smacking his arm, Cordy put her arm around his neck and let him know there was no one else she wanted to kiss. Up close, she noticed, “Uh? You smell like— woodsmoke and, and— cheap perfume.”

With a groan, Angel moved her to a safer distance. “I was at Madam Dorian’s demon brothel, remember? Investigating.”

“How much investigating?” Cordelia gave him a teasing look. “Information gathering or investigating the skanky demons themselves?”

Angel knew she wasn’t that serious, so played along. “Oh, there might have been one curvaceous little trollop that had me in her clutches for a minute. Alluring, really, in a feathered demonic sort of way.”

“Uh huh.” Crossing her arms, Cordelia got the sense that this was actually a real demon he was describing. Not just a made up one.

“And what a tail!” Angel let out a whoop as he turned to take of his jacket and put it on the chair.

“Excuse me?” There was an icy tone in her voice replacing amusement.

The vampire suppressed his laughter before facing her again. Waggling his eyebrows, “Prehensile.”

Cordelia’s eyes narrowed. He wasn’t talking about her butt, she realized. This demon slut actually *had* a tail. “And exactly how did you discover this prehensile tail?”

“Oh, I think it’s safe to say that it did the exploring.”

Mouth agape, Cordelia glanced toward the stairs as if ready to charge out the door. Angel was not certain if it would be to storm Madam Dorian’s in search of the flirtatious demon or to head home to her apartment for the night. Though the first option might be amusing, he definitely did not want to chance the second.

“She thought I was a client,” Angel explained. “I corrected her.”

“Hmm.” Cordelia grabbed him by the hand leading him directly into the bathroom. “You smell like a demon brothel. No more kissing until you’re clean all over.”

“Planning to help?”

“Mmm. What do you think?” There was that impish sparkle in her eyes again.

Angel kicked off his shoes. “Then come here and take off the rest.”

She was still a little shy about undressing him, but that usually lasted about five seconds. Once she touched him there was nothing more she wanted to do, until he started touching her and that usually led to total loss of inhibition. Cordy didn’t quite understand how it came to be that way so quickly. It was as if they fed off each other’s desires. That he read her needs so completely.

The thought made her smile. Right now she just wanted to touch him. Run her hands all over that body as she stripped off his clothes. And do it again in the shower— when his skin was slick and warm from the water. That would mean she would be in there of course— helping.

“It’s a dirty job considering the demon perfume,” she sighed, “but I suppose someone has to do it.”

By the time Cordelia removed the last of his clothes, Angel was struggling not to rip her own away. She had touched, stroked and titillated most of his skin during the process— with the exception of the one place he wanted her hands. No, she purposefully ignored his rising erection.

Now on her knees having removed his socks, pants and boxers, Cordelia moved slowly to a standing position letting her hands trail along the hard muscle of his thighs. When she reached his groin her head turned outward so that the long strands of her silken hair rasped over his sensitive flesh.

Angel let out a moan, taking Cordelia by the shoulders and pulling her up the rest of the way. “I think you’ve finished. My turn.”

Impatient hands moved quickly to divest Cordelia of her outer clothes. While Angel did not tear them away, they were certainly not folded or placed in a neat pile.

“I love your underthings,” Angel told her staring lustfully. Today she wore apricot lace.

Cordelia let out a giggle. “Amazing how my bra and panty budget skyrocketed when I started dating you.”

The vampire paused with his hands cupping her now bare breasts. Gazing down into her eyes, he asked, “Is that what we’re doing? Dating?”

“I—,” Cordelia’s heart pounded a little faster.

“Shh,” Angel pressed her lips closed with a kiss. “Don’t answer that. It wasn’t a fair question.”

Still confused, she simply reacted to the sensation of his trailing kisses from her neck down to her navel. There, he seemed to stay forever, teasing her with his tongue. God, she was ticklish there. It felt so good.

Angel’s hands slid down from her waist to the edge of her lacy panties. She watched in a haze of yearning as his head came close, breathing in her arousal. Then his mouth moved over the lace. Cordelia’s hand nearly reached out for his head, but she stopped herself. His turn, she reminded herself. Theirs would come soon enough.

With a gentle tug, Angel pulled the lacy panties from her hips sliding them down the long expanse of her smooth legs. Touching her ankles one at a time, she indicated that she should step out. The panties were tossed to the side, but his hands instantly returned to her flesh, moving back up her silken thighs to hold her curving buttocks.

Catching her eyes with a glance, Angel made certain she was looking as he moved forward again, this time to hold a kiss in the midst of the curling triangle between her thighs. With a gasp, she forgot about not touching. Cordelia clutched at his shoulders, calling out his name with a quiver, “A-Angel.”

Rising to his feet, he tempered her need with a soft kiss against her temple. “I’m right here.”

Turning on the shower, Angel had Cordelia check the temperature of the water. They liked it hot, but he wanted to be careful not to scald her skin. As soon as they were under the spray, Cordelia and Angel were wound together in each other’s arms. Kissing with a passion that left her gasping, but wanting more.

Between pants, Cordy reminded him. “No. More. Kissing.”

Angel had forgotten all about the demon perfume excuse she used to get them in the shower. During their time together in Sunnydale and so far here in LA, he had made love to Cordelia in some interesting places. But her favorites seemed to involve water.

They proceeded with the washing, but it was not at all perfunctory. They made it fun and full of feeling. By the time they were completely clean both of them had reached separate climaxes using their hands and mouths to bring the other release.

“You’re still hard,” Cordelia noted gratefully just as a voice in her head made a stray comment on vampire stamina.

Angel lifted her wrapping her legs around his waist and bracing himself against the shower floor. Entering her in one smooth stroke, he let out a deep sound and heard her answering whimper. They clung close, holding tight. Then started a frantic rhythm, an uncoordinated rush that at first brought only growing need and increasing frustration.

Thrusting out of her, Angel pushed open the shower stall door, leading her down onto the fluffy bathroom mat on the floor. She was on her back panting and reaching for him with slick hands. He cupped her moist face, leaning down to kiss her mouth as he entered her again below.

Warm water from the open shower stall splashed across the floor bathing them in mist as it spritzed back into the air. Cordelia felt it coming, knew Angel would get them there. Oh! The increasing rhythm, the texture of him— just the look in his eyes. Then it started. The deep inner cry. More than just desire. Need. The need to have his fangs inside her.

“Angel!” Cordelia recognized it with surprise. Knew what she wanted, but still had to have it. Asking. Begging to be taken. “Please, please.”

At the turn of her throat, Angel pressed his mouth to her recent scar. Kissing the pulse there. “Not tonight, Cordy. Not every time.”

Cordelia let out a strangled sound, like he was denying her something vital, but Angel feared that they could quickly reach the same point when he forced himself to leave Sunnydale. Turning her head so that she could see him, Angel whispered words of reassurance even as he kept up the hard rhythm that was bringing them to the edge.

“Just this, love,” Angel told her. “You and me— the old fashioned way.”

Though Cordy found she could barely speak without crying out her pleasure, she managed to let out snort and roll her eyes. Soon they were calling out each other’s names as their mutual climax came like rapids thundering over a cliff.

Angel was still inside her, pressing soft kisses along her jaw when Cordelia returned to her own sense of the here and now. Her breathing and heart rate slowing to normal. She felt the warm splash of water from beneath and the lighter mist on her face. Glancing up, Cordelia curled her mouth into a grin.

Laughing aloud, she told the vampire, “You are so cleaning this up.”

“Tonight’s the night,” Angel told Wesley and Cordelia the next day. Cordy and Wesley were both on the couch while Angel stood in the doorway to his private office. “Lenny had better come up with those photos. I’ll be leaving shortly for—”

Wesley’s cell phone rang in his back pocket. As he reached for the phone, he apologized for the interruption. “Sorry.”

Then answering, “Wyndam-Price here.”

A sharp click sounded on the other end of the phone. “Well, I do say. That was rude. The party simply hung up.”

“It was a wrong number,” Cordelia rolled her eyes at Wesley. “Not Miss Manners on the other end of the line.”

Putting his phone down on the coffee table, Wesley turned his attention back to his boss. “I suppose Cordelia showed you Mr. Nabbit’s check?”

With a wry smile Angel informed him that he had seen the check several times. Then he joked, “It was only when she wanted to bring it to bed that I told her to put it away.”

Cordy stuck her tongue out.

Reminded that they were *sharing* a bed these days, Wesley really didn’t want to talk about it. He was decidedly grateful when a ringing sound came from the general vicinity of Cordelia’s desk. “My agent! He always calls me on my cell phone.”

Reaching down into her purse in the left-hand drawer of her desk, Cordelia flipped open the small silver phone. “Hello! Hello?”

A strangled gasp sounded. Click.

“Hey! That was rude. I even heard breathing on the other end.” Cordelia walked back over to the couch and tossed her phone into her lap.

“Obscene caller?” Angel asked with a frown.

Cordelia never had a chance to answer because a ringing started from inside Angel’s office. It was coming from the cell phone in his jacket pocket. Striding over, he pulled out the phone and barked, “Don’t hang up!”

“A-Angel?” A timid voice sounded in response on the other end. “It’s Willow.”

Startled, Angel stared down at the phone for a second and then glanced back to where Cordy and Wes were peeking through the window. “Hang on. I have something to say to you.”

Before the onlookers could inquire who was calling, Angel firmly shut the office door. “Sorry about that. Why didn’t you just use the main office number?”

“Oh. Well— I didn’t want to chance having Cordelia answer the phone or have to leave a message on the office voice mail. So I found all of the cell phones listed for AI and called them.”

“Found the numbers?” Angel asked.

Willow gave a little laugh on the other end of the line. “After a little surfing and hacking, maybe. They were just lying around.”

“Why the need for such secrecy?”

“I had to tell you what happened last night.” Willow gulped loudly. “Wesley called me to ask about the memory crystal. I-I didn’t know that he was working for you.”

What?! Angel began to pace. “Wes called you in Sunnydale?”

Willow nodded answering, “Yes.”

“He suspects something, obviously,” Angel growled at the thought and knew the former Watcher was not likely to let go of the issue until he found some answers.

“More than just suspects, Angel. I think he *remembers* things,” Willow warned. “He knew that I tweaked the curse when I brought you back. He knew that you and Cordelia share a connection— that you’re soulmates, but he didn’t seem to know anything that happened after that.”

Angel glowered in silence, trying to figure out how he was going to explain this to Wes without it getting back to Cordelia.

Willow couldn’t stand the silence. She asked, “How did he know about the crystal?”

“Cordelia is wearing it— as a necklace,” Angel sighed.

“Wh—,” Willow found that her brain had frozen up for a second. Then she started talking all at once. “So you found it? I’m off the hook? The Oracles gave it to you?”

After a beat, Angel asked her, “How do *you* know about the Oracles?”

“Oh. Did I say Oracles?” Willow backpedaled, but there was no escaping the question. “I guess I did.”


“They wanted the crystal,” she gave a little whine pleading understanding. “To protect it— even from you. Wanted to keep the memories hidden.”

Angel rubbed the back of his head, leaving the hair in a spiky mess. “Why? They gave it to me knowing what I intended— to break it.”

A gasp sounded from Willow. “Oh. But you didn’t?”

“No. I didn’t.”

Obviously not, thought Willow. There would be a storm in Sunnydale called Hurricane Buffy when that happened.

“I made a deal with the Oracles,” Angel explained. “They took it. Gave me what I asked for.”

“Wow. They were pretty adamant about keeping it away from you. Must have been some deal,” Willow had awe in her voice. “They were scared. If higher beings can get scared that’s what they were. For things to work out according to plan, Cordelia needed to become the person that she’s supposed to be.”

“My seer.”

Willow indicated that he had it right. “Yeah. Has it happened?”


“So what are you gonna do with Wesley?”

The hushed question made Angel let out a brief laugh. “Thought I’d start with branding irons and work my way up from there.”

“Angel?” Willow gasped. “Was that a joke?”

Completing his call with Willow, Angel put on his jacket, tucked his cell phone into his pocket and stepped into the outer office. Wesley and Cordelia were waiting expectantly for the details, but the vampire had a dark look on his face. Early brood mode, recognized Cordelia.

“Spill it, Broody Boy.”

Angel would not bring this up in front of Cordelia. When he talked to Wesley it would be one on one. “Wrong number.”

“Long conversation for a wrong number,” she pointed out.

“It was— a prankster. Gave him a lecture,” explained the vampire sternly. “Won’t bother anyone again.”


It was a lame excuse, but the only one he could come up with at the time. “It’s time for me to meet Lenny about those pictures.”

Angel promptly departed.

Wesley commented, “I feel that we’ve just been bushwhacked. Too bad we can’t tell who called.”

“We can and we will,” Cordelia told him. Picking up her cell phone, she punched in a code that activated the number from the last incoming call.

“Rosenberg/Summers Residence. Willow speaking.”

Grmph! Cordelia immediately knew what had Angel being so secretive. The Slayer was making secret calls to *her* boyfriend.

“Let me talk to Buffy.”

Now recognizing the voice on the other end, Willow let out a nervous sound. “Cordelia?”

“Yes,” she answered. “Let me talk to Buffy. Now.”

That seemed to be a strange request, Willow thought. After the spell took effect, those two never called each other. “She’s not here, Cordy. Can I— take a message?”

Cordelia huffed in disbelief. “I know that she’s there. She just called Angel.”


The little sound clued her in. “Wait. It was you?”


“Why are you being so sneaky about calling Angel? You know the main number.”

Willow fell back on her oldest defense mechanism. She started babbling. “Oh! Just the usual Sunnydale Update. You know! How’re classes. Who’s the latest Big Bad. Spike’s helping the Scoobies out. Oh! And I’m a lesbian now. My girlfriend’s name is Tara.”

“Uh— congratulations?” Cordelia’s head was spinning.

“Yeah. Well— hey, look at the time! Gotta go. Emergency Scooby meeting tonight.”

Then Willow hung up the phone.

Cordelia stares down at the phone, feeling like she just took a non-stop ride on a merry-go-round. “Spike is helping Buffy and pals. What is the world coming to?”

Suddenly, Cordy had to close her eyes as the room seemed to sway. Coming back into focus, she noticed that she was on the Summers’ front porch back in Sunnydale. Spike was inches from her face and his hands palmed her bare breasts beneath her shirt.

Screaming aloud, Cordelia fell off the couch she was so startled by the image in her head. Wesley crouched down on the floor, tending to her. “Is it a vision?”

“I-I don’t think so. I hope that’s not the future.” Cordy allowed him to help her back up to the couch. “Wes, I’ve been having these dreams. Some of them more than once. Always the same. It happens when I’m awake, too.”

Recurring dreams? Visions? Hallucinations? Wesley suspected that whatever this was it was related to the crystal. He didn’t want to scare Cordelia. Certainly not before he had collected enough data to support his hypothesis.

“Cordelia, I have a few ideas. I promise you, we’ll get to the bottom of this.”

“You brought the photographs?” Angel questioned Lenny Edwards who was waiting for him in the same spot as the night before.

Holding up a manila envelope, Lenny revealed, “Of course I brought them— and a little something extra.”

Then a gray skinned demon was standing at Angel’s side, hitting him with such force that he flew backwards to the other side of the street.

Lenny loved it. He watched the vampire and the demon fight, confident that his hired muscle would do the trick. The demon was easily a match for the vampire’s strength, even if the guy was rather muscle-bound himself.

“What ever Nabbit’s paying you, it isn’t enough!” Lenny hackled from the sideline.

Angel crashed into Lenny as the demon made another swipe at him. The blackmailer dropped the envelope to the ground and the vampire instantly took advantage of the fact. Angel used his speed to snatch up the envelope and place it in his coat. But the demon was on him again, pounding Angel into the ground.

Jumping back to his feet, Angel moved swiftly and swung himself around a lightpost to kick the demon in the chest. It buckled back, giving Angel the advantage. Finally, he broke its neck. Lenny instantly ran off.

Watching him run, Angel figured it was just as well. Had he stuck around the big goon might have managed to beat him. That demon took a lot out of him and Angel was still on the street, coughing and trying to recover from the fight.

Without warning, a stake catapulted through the air impaling Angel in the left shoulder. Reaching to pull in out, the vampire caught sight of a pickup truck with a mounted stake-launching mechanism built in. On the defensive, Angel had no choice but to run. He yanked out the stake and dropped it to the ground.

“Get him!” Charles Gunn let out a battle cry.

The deeper into the neighborhood, the more trouble Angel found. It quickly came to him that this was an organized attack. He was the target. Considering Lenny’s confidence in his hired demon, Angel doubted that this was his plan. No, these guys were experienced in chasing down vampires— to a point.

They drove him onward until the only option left was to seek safety in an adjacent building, but Angel quickly discovered it to be a maze of boobytraps. Only his own self-awareness, his speed and skill allowed him to dodge the devices designed to kill him.

Surviving the maze, Angel found himself surrounded— by teenagers. Only swift reflexes and an unselfish act saved him. They let him go. Curiosity as well as concern made Angel determined to learn more about them.

The rest of the day was an enlightening one for Angel who discovered that their leader, Charles Gunn, was a street-wise, smart-mouthed vampire hunter. Every kid in the gang had reason to hate his kind. Everyone of them lost to the streets where Gunn provided a small hope of revenge. It was a fight he started alone, helped by his sister Alonna. Others joined the cause.

Angel was impressed despite some of the foolish stunts that these kids would try. A nest of vampires in the area was their target, but the kids ended up in a trap. Gunn’s sister was vamped and he was forced to stake her. Only Angel’s timely arrival, having tracked the kids back to the nest, saved the rest of them.

High on a rooftop overlooking downtown LA, Angel found Gunn staring out at the glittering city lights. From up here, things looked serene and simple. Not like the streets. Things looked bright from above, not dark or dangerous. Not deadly.

“What are you doing here?” Gunn demanded.

“Skulking,” Angel told him, “professionally.”

The last thing Gunn needed was a lecture from a vampire. “Look, I’m glad for what you did today, okay? But I don’t need no Guardian Angel, and I don’t need no talking to. It’s not gonna change the way things are down here, man.”

Angel listened.

Gunn went on, “They’re gonna keep coming and we’re gonna keep fighting.”

“I know,” the vampire acknowledged his words as the truth.

“That’s it?” Gunn reacted with surprise. He was expecting more. “You ain’t gonna talk *at* me, be all daddy-figure?”

Quietly, Angel asked, “What am I going to tell you that you haven’t already learned?”

“I killed her,” Gunn’s throat tightened at the words.

“You didn’t.” He had killed the demon, not his sister.

Gunn ground out, “Near enough. She was the reason, man. The reason that I fight this fight. How come you do it? How come you’re out here?”

“What else are we gonna do?” Angel shrugged. Telling him, “I’ll be around.”

“I don’t need no help,” Gunn rejected the idea.

Angel met his determined stare. “I might.”

The Powers above give warning, Lower Beings, as the end draws near. Another test must our Champion make, another battle to win. Neither beast nor demon nor those who bend man’s law shall be his foe. The past itself shall rise up against him as troubles draw nigh and the shroud of hidden memory becomes the thinnest veil.


Book Two Chapter 21                    Book Two Home                    Book Two Chapter 23

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