Saturday ~ 8:06 AM
Once inside the main lobby, Angel tossed the blanket into a corner and began to devise the best course of action. He saw a side door on the west wall of the lobby. He was willing to bet that would give him access to wherever they were keeping Adele. He could just breeze through, grab her, and the three of them could walk out.
“Don’t even think about it, Angel.”
Cordelia slapped a sheet of paper into his palm. It was a program of all the items on the block. Leaning close she murmured, “Look at all the suits.”
Angel frowned a moment and wondered what she meant. Looking about, he quickly discovered her meaning. He detected half a dozen bulky looking bastards wearing cheap suits. They had the look of hired muscle.
“I know you could probably take them, but why chance it? There could be a dozen more in back who could steal all the merchandise away before we could get to Adele. Let’s just take a seat and watch the show. Maybe opportunity will present itself.”
Angel nodded slightly. Cordelia was absolutely right. It was just too risky since they didn’t have a lock on her position. He felt Cordelia wrap her left arm around his right and gently lead him to the double doors that would open into the auction room. An attendant smiled politely and opened them up.
It appeared the proceedings had already started. Up on the stage, the auctioneer was taking bids on a Tuskanee battleaxe. It was a very nice battleaxe, Angel noted. He used to own one, but it got lost around 1874 after he and Darla had a spat.
Actually, Darla hurled it at him as he fled from a Madrid hotel room after seducing a young attendant. Darla didn’t like him seducing young girls when she wasn’t around to watch. He motioned to Cordelia to take a seat on the aisle in the back row. Doing so, they watched the proceedings.
“Now this axe was found outside a Madrid hotel room in the mid 1870’s,” the auctioneer explained. “Rumor says, that during a spat, the legendary vampire Darla attempted to kill her infamous childe Angelus with this very weapon. Apparently, the elder vampire discovered an illicit affair Angelus was conducting with one of the hotel workers named Consuella.
Before that, this axe was rumored to belong to the Russian noble Petre Zhukovski. For you history buffs, Zhukovski was a noted child molester who used this axe to murder his young victims before feasting on their flesh.”
Angel was furious. “That’s my axe!” he hissed at Cordelia. “I won the fucking thing fair and square in a poker game!”
“Angel, shush!” Cordelia admonished. The vampire was still furious, but he settled back in his seat and continued to mutter.
“When we save Adele, I’m taking my God damn axe back.”
Cordelia put a finger to her lips. Putting on her best “Do not fuck with me face”, Cordelia dared him to keep ranting. Angel decided not to. Confident the vampire would stay quiet, she grabbed the program from him. It proclaimed that an actual Seer would go on the block twelfth in line. This axe was second. She was slightly annoyed when Angel elbowed her in the arm.
“Look there,” he pointed. Cordelia followed his gaze and spotted an attractive brunette sitting in the middle row of the next section. She was one of the few in attendance who did appear to be human. And a well off one if the business suit was any indication.
“A future conquest?”
“You already know her name? Good work. But what would Buffy say?”
Angel shot her an annoyed look. “Mind out of the gutter, Cordy. That’s Lilah Morgan. She’s an attorney for Wolfram and Hart. She was also at Jameson’s mansion the afternoon he lost his head.”
Surprise and worry etched across Cordelia’s face. So that probably meant the young lawyer was one of the bad guys. “Why do you think she’s here?”
“I don’t think she’s after a battleaxe,” was the answer.
The pair fell into silence as the auction progressed. Both watched Lilah, and both became increasingly nervous when she failed to bid on any of the first eleven items. The lawyer yawned as the auctioneer rambled about the Tack horn on the block.
“C’mon folks! This is a genuine Kungai Tack horn! It saps the life energy of whatever you stab. Perfect for getting rid of whatever is bothering you. From business opposition to pesky ex-wives, this little jewel can cure what ails you. High bid is twelve thousand. Anyone want to go higher?” No replies. “Ok! Going once. Twice. Sold! To the funky looking dude with the spittoon haircut! Congratulations on that sir! Or is it ma’am? Whatever. Murph! Wheel out the next item!”
When the cage containing Adele was wheeled out, Cordelia had to wrap a hand around Angel’s arm to keep him from bolting on stage. It wasn’t the time yet. But they needed to act soon. Despite the cool exterior Adele tried to put on, both could tell that she was worried.
“Ladies and Gentleman! This is the marquis item on the block! This exquisite looking creature before you is a genuine, I shit you not, a genuine Seer!” The audience began to murmur in excitement. “That’s right, folks! This girl before you has a direct line to The Powers That Be! Just think of the power you obtain by having a Seer at your disposal!
“You can have the eyes removed if you like! Or you can keep her whole! You win either way! Frankly, who wouldn’t want to keep this dark haired beauty in one piece? C’mon guys, you know what I mean! Think outside the box! Just because she can sense danger and has a link to a supernatural force doesn’t mean this beautiful young lady has no other…applications.”
Adele began to make some noise in her cage. “Damn right! I give mean blowjobs! Can’t have those if you remove my eyes!”
Murphy was about to shock her with his cattle prod when Hal, the auctioneer, waved him off. It looked like the BJ comment drew some interest.
“We will start the bidding at twenty thousand dollars!” Hal proclaimed. “Do I have any takers?” Lilah immediately raised a hand. “Ah! Twenty grand for the lawyer from Wolfram and Hart!”
In the cage, Adele’s jaw dropped. “A chick? Maybe this won’t be so bad after all.”
“Anyone want to go to 25?” A hand. “We got 25! 30! 35? Fabulous! 40? Very good sir! 45?”
“C’mon guys! Fucking buy me! I turn a mean ass trick! I’ll even pierce my tongue if you want! Into anal sex? I’ll try anything once! Just let me keep my fucking eyeballs, okay?”
“One hundred thousand!”
The room fell silent as Lilah snapped shut her cell phone. It seemed Wolfram and Hart gave her bunches of money to play with.
“We have one hundred thousand dollars! Is there anyone willing to go higher?”
“A hundred kay? Shit, I can do cunnilingus. Can I keep my eyes?”
“No more takers on this fine specimen? Going once? Going twice?”
“Just be gentle with me. I’m a virgin.” Hal stopped in mid sentence, and like everyone else in the room, looked at Adele in disbelief. She shrugged and tried to look offended. “What? I am!”
The male Trixlux demon sitting next to Lilah, for some reason believing Adele, shouted, “One hundred and fifty!”
Before the demon could utter another word, Lilah whipped out a blade and buried it deep into his chest. “Two hundred,” she stated calmly.
Hal cried out “Sold!” as the Trixlux slid from his metal folding chair into the floor to die in a pool of his own blue blood. All but Angel and Cordelia politely clapped as the crowd congratulated Lilah on the purchase. The cage with Adele was wheeled back to the storeroom. An usher handed Lilah a receipt to collect her purchase. Lilah accepted and followed the young man to the access door so she could collect her Seer.
“We need to do something now, Cordy,” Angel whispered.
“Agreed. Want a distraction?”
“It might help. Got something in mind?”
“I think I do. Just make a dash for the backroom when I start convulsing.”
“Convulsing?” Angel frowned.
His question was interrupted when Cordelia let loose with a single ear piercing scream. Angel jumped in his seat at the noise. The young woman then began to go into a fit of convulsions and tipped back in her chair. If the scream didn’t have everyone’s attention, the crash of the metal chair on the tile floor got it.
Not knowing what else to do, Angel obediently followed the command he had received and made a dash for the storeroom. As curious onlookers began to move towards and gape at Cordelia, Angel pressed past them to the access door just off the stage.
Spotting a fireman’s axe hanging next to the door, he shattered the protective glass and removed it. Throwing open the door, Angel charged in, intent on rescuing his friend.
Saturday ~ 9:29 AM
Lilah pinched the bridge of her nose to relieve the stress. It didn’t work. Doug was simply being a little prick. She wanted to bitch slap the little punk, but the big dude behind him named Murphy probably wouldn’t stand for it.
“Doug is a little prick, ain’t he?” Adele echoed from her cage.
“He is,” Lilah agreed. She then realized she was speaking to Wolfram and Hart property and chided herself. To Doug she said, “I’ve already paid two hundred thousand for that Seer. That is fifty thousand more than the next bidder. I will not, do you understand me, I will not pay more to have her eyes removed. I expect it to be done.”
“Well, you expect wrong,” Doug answered. “Twenty grand or you take her as she is.”
“He’s trying to rip you off. Don’t pay.”
“Shut up, girl!” Lilah and Doug shouted.
“Tell you what. How about I take the girl off your hands for free?”
“Angel! About fucking time!” Adele cried.
“Angel? Well son of a bitch,” Lilah muttered.
“Who the fuck is Angel?” Doug asked.
The body of a security guard landed in a heap before the haggling duo. The vampire calmly leaned against the doorframe of the short hallway connecting the auction room and storeroom. Peering past him, Doug could spot two other unconscious bodies of his security staff.
“Lilah? Would you be a sweetheart and excuse us for a moment?” Lilah spat on one of Doug’s sneakers before turning and heading towards Angel. “You should probably call your bosses and tell them that the Seer is off the market.” Lilah spared him a scathing look as she shouldered past.
“We should do lunch sometime. It might be fun,” Angel called to her retreating form.
Lilah waved a dismissive hand. “I’ll have my people call your people.”
“Fabulous. As for you,” Angel pointed to Doug, “fetch me a switch boy, because it’s time for an ass whipping.”
“Don’t hurt him too bad. I want him to struggle when I snap his neck.”
“Sure thing, love.”
As Angel predicted, Doug stepped back so that the big hulking man named Murphy could protect him. Angel vamped out and ducked the swinging sequoia that was the big man’s arm. Bringing the axe down in a quick arc, Angel cracked open the lock on Adele’s cage. Her gaze directly on Doug, Adele murmured…
The purple demon visage slipped onto Adele’s face as she furiously flew from the cage and lunged at her prey. Doug tried to turn and run, but ended up tripping on his shoelaces. Adele was on him in moments. She was poised to snap his neck when a boot crashed into her face.
“Hey love,” Hal smirked. “Miss me?” The humor was short lived when a Tuskanee battleaxe bluntly crashed into the back of his head. When he dropped like a rock, Adele found Cordelia standing above him looking pleased.
“Thanks,” Cordelia grinned. “Angel! I found that stupid axe!”
Angel ducked yet another clubbing blow from the big man. He deftly delivered a one-two combination to the gut, but Murphy was barely stunned. He lucked out when Murph tried to high kick. With his size, Murph couldn’t get his foot up into Angel’s face.
Instead, it was directed at the vampire’s chest and Angel was able to easily grab the ankle and give a sharp twist. He tossed Murphy back and sent the man crashing to the floor, sobbing and cursing as he nursed a broken ankle.
“We ready to go?” Angel asked breathlessly. His eyes widened when he saw Doug rush Adele from behind with what looked to be a knife. “Adele! Behind you!”
That knife was actually the Kungai Tack horn. Adele was barely able to intercept the deadly arc and redirect the horn right into Doug’s chest. The small man gasped in pain. A few moments later, when the horn sucked out all his life force, he no longer had to worry about pain. Adele shoved the shriveled carcass away in disgust.
“That is just…ew,” Adele stated. She then squeaked in surprise when Angel spun her around and enveloped her in a bear hug. “Nice to see you, too. But oxygen is becoming an issue.”
Angel softened his hold on Adele, but still held her. Nearby, a voice asked, “Can I be in the hug too? I helped with this little operation.” Angel and Adele smiled and opened up to invite Cordelia into the fold. As the group shared a tender moment, Angel began to wonder.
“What happened to the rest of the security people?”
“Auction room,” Cordelia supplied. “I instigated a fight between a couple weird looking demons. They’re trying to break it up. One of them looked like a reptilian Don Knotts.” She then handed the axe to Angel. “Here you go.”
He took the axe and grinned. “There’s my baby. Daddy missed you.” Angel kissed the blade before tucking the weapon into his duster. He noticed Adele and Cordelia staring at him. “What?”
Adele rolled her eyes. “Boys and their toys.” She and Cordelia strolled out of the storeroom leaving a very confused Angel behind. After knocking out Murphy, whose moans were annoying him, and pocketing a 17th century ceremonial dagger, block item nine if Angel remembered correctly, the vampire hustled after the girls.
Saturday ~ 11:42 AM
Back at Adele’s apartment, or more accurately her kitchen, Cordelia and Adele sipped on cups of coffee as Angel scrambled some eggs and fried some bacon. The girls lightly chatted about some dress Cordelia had sold the day before. Angel remarked on how fashions had changed in a couple centuries. And when he finished the meal preparation, Angel served up three plates.
“You’ll make a great wife someday,” Adele mused as a plate was placed before her.
“Yeah,” Cordelia agreed. “Do you vacuum? If so, I’ll marry you.”
Angel shot a mock warning glare to them both as he sat down between them at the island counter. “Laugh it up, the both of you. Just remember who it is that saves your asses whenever a new big bad shows up.” The vampire speared a piece of egg and pouted as he chewed.
“Don’t be like that,” Adele consoled. “We love you bunches.”
“Yeah!” Cordelia added. “You’re our most favorite vampire in the whole wide world.”
The girls each wrapped around one of Angel’s arms and snuggled a shoulder. Despite his best efforts, a warm tingly feeling was overtaking him. Love was nice. But then a thought came to him.
“Do you two really love me, or are you just after my food?”
“A little of both,” Cordelia admitted. Angel sighed and backed away from his plate. Adele grabbed the bacon, Cordelia the eggs. For his sacrifice, Cordelia rewarded him with a peck on the check. He swore the thermostat was turned up a notch afterwards. “Our hero.”
Angel observed both their smiling faces and came to a conclusion. “You both are full of shit, but I’ll go with it. I guess I love you girls, too.”
“Was that so hard to admit?”
“Not really. But it doesn’t change the fact Buffy will castrate me for ditching her again.”
“Who needs Buffy when you got us?” Adele asked.
“Yeah, whose company would you rather have, ours or Buffy’s?”
“That’s a loaded question, isn’t it?”
“Shut up, Vampirella.”
“You know, Cordy, I actually like that name.”
“Really? Good, because Cordy sounds nice coming from you. Now go make some toast.”
Angel pretended to be irritated when he obediently followed orders. And as Cordelia continued to talk about dresses, Adele watched them both with curiosity. She was quietly amused by how easily a ferocious vampire catered to a teenage girl.
Being around these two might provide her with some entertainment.
Wolfram and Hart Building
Office of Holland Manners ~ 1:44 PM
Holland leaned back in his plush leather chair and sighed. Across from him, standing before his desk, was Lilah Morgan. The news she presented was less than pleasing.
“So, the Seer we hoped to obtain is lost, correct?”
“Not exactly lost, sir. More like seized. It seems that a previous unresolved problem in Sunnydale reemerged in force.”
“Angel. The Vampire with a Soul.”
“That is quite unfortunate, Lilah. His interference in company matters is quickly becoming a habit.”
“I agree, sir. Which is why I present to you a rough outline on how to remove the Angel problem.”
Holland displayed the thin folder momentarily. “So I see. But please, save me the trouble of reading. What does this solution entail?”
A slow and sinister smile spread over Lilah’s face. “It involves utilizes a freelancer. You see, sir, the town of Sunnydale currently has a problem. And I think their problem might be our solution.” Reaching into her briefcase, Lilah produced a black and white photo of a young woman.
“I’d like to introduce you to a interesting woman named Faith…”