“Angel, Angel what is it?” yelled Wesley, running down the basement stairs.
“Angel,” he called again. Wesley jerked to a stop at the sight of the vampire, his demon face firm, and his gold eyes flashing in some on known horror, crying the word no, over and over again.
“Angel,” Wesley called hesitantly.
The gold eyes connected with the nervous and concerned eyes of Wesley. They closed. When they opened, they were the normal deep brown of the man.
“I can’t wait around here any longer.” Angel strode to the trap door to the sewers, pausing only to gather his sword. He couldn’t tell Wesley about his dream. It didn’t mean anything, it couldn’t.
Wesley jumped out of the way. “Call, if you find anything,” he reminded the retreating vampire.
Angel marched through the dank sewers trying to push aside the terrors of his dream. It was just a dream, a dream manufactured by Bathym; he tried to convince himself. Angel had a soul. A soul that would never harm Cordelia. He could never harm her.
He loved her. Angel stumbled back at his desperate acknowledgement. Angel did love Cordelia. Truly and overwhelmingly. A sense of relief swelled through out Angel. He did love her. That proved the dream false, he thought, trying to push aside his earlier doubts.
Yet, even though he loved Cordelia, he had still hurt her, more than once since he promised to always protect her. Maybe he should have told Wesley about the dream. No, it was just a dream. But, he couldn’t shake the fear that no matter what his feelings for his seer were; he was still a demon, a vampire, and a killer. His uncertainty grew stronger.
Angel growled, forcing his self-doubts down. He could concentrate on only one goal and that was to find Cordelia.
“Master?” Reinfold asked as the demon suddenly materialized before him.
“It was easier than even I had imagined. The vampire will do it. Have you done what I ordered.” The demon demanded.
“Of course, all Oppressive one, but master…I have a question,” the human timidly asked.
“Yes, what is it,” the demon rolled his eyes.
“Um, well, how can the demon help us if you corrupt his soul?”
“Corrupt? I’m not influencing the demon’s soul. I’m only showing him that he has no real choice. I am only helping him realize his true self. His soul will be lost, not corrupted. And I can’t very well influence a soul, if it doesn’t exist anymore now can I?”
“Of course, oh High One, superior plan.” Reinfold said profusely to the demon. He wasn’t at all sure what the demon meant, but he did know that it was the appropriate time to bow and scrap.
“Now, have you done what I have commanded.”
“Yes, Oh Omnipresent One, every demon in the surrounding area now know where the girl is located.”
“Excellent.” The demon cackled.
“Wesley, Gunn,” Angel ordered storming back into the hotel. He had a most informative two hours, not to mention bloody. “Underground warehouse, 5th and Center.” Angel roared, not stopping until he reached the weapon’s cabinet.
“You located Cordelia,” questioned Wesley urgently.
Angel nodded, stuffing every sharp instrument in the cabinet on his body. He picked up a large deadly axe and turned his friend. “Now,” he ordered going towards the door.
“Of course,” Wesley nodded hurriedly. “Gunn.” He threw an axe at the black man who was now standing behind Wesley.
“Right,” Gunn nodded catching the weapon. “Are you coming,” he called to John.
The Indian nodded, still surprised by Angel’s sudden appearance.
“Good,” Wesley answered, tossing the Doctor another axe. “Angel will obviously take the lead, but use this to cause as much or any damage to the demon that you can,” directed Wesley.
John nodded and followed Gunn and Wesley out the door. Angel was waiting impatiently in the car.
Angel drove in silence to 5th and Center. He pulled sharply up into the curb. “The entrance is over there,” he finally spoke.
The others nodded in unison and got out. The group went to the covered entry.
Angel ripped the steel plated door from its hinges. “Down.”
The others followed stealthy.
The group emerged into a dark, damp tunnel. Angel moved ahead with ease, the blackness not preventing him from seeing his way. Wesley switched on his flashlight.
The men traveled for a while, the silence was not reassuring, but deafening in its stillness. Finally, they came upon another doorway. With the same ease as earlier, Angel tore off the barrier. The entrance opened into an underground chamber.
Angel effortlessly dropped to the floor, his sword in hand as he stood up from his leap. Wesley and the others scrambled down, using their hands and feet to descend.
“Which way,” whispered Wesley as he reached the ground. The room had several tunnel openings attached along its sides.
“I’m afraid it’s this way,” boomed Bathym. He loud voice expanded through the empty space.
The group tensed and moved fluidly, arranging themselves back to back, their weapons poised and ready.
“Impressive, but meaningless,” the demon called, his huge body entering the chamber. With a raise of his hands and a flash of light, Wesley, Gunn and John disappeared.
“So, vampire, it’s just you and me.” Bathym called, inching closer to Angel. Angel stood tense, ready for battle.
“Love the hostility. We’re alike you and I. I’m more powerful, of course, but the core of evil is the same. Come join me,” the demon beckoned, in a burst of light they were transported from the large chamber to a small cell.
“See, anything you like,” taunted the demon.
“Angel,” a small voice called from the darkness.
“Cordelia,” Angel rushed to the sound of the weak sound. He fell down his hands grasping at the frail body. His eyes blinked back the fear and rage he felt as she studied her. There were no signs of physical injuries, but the form in his arms felt weak and fragile.
Her once dark, luscious hair was limp and dull. Cordelia’s eyes reflected the numerous terrors and pains she had experienced over the last couple of days.
“Cordy,” he whispered drawing her gently into his strong protecting arms.
“I knew you would come, I did,” she cried burrowing her head into his broad chest.
“Sweet, but not real,” Bathym commented. “Come demon, you must realize it, this is a dream of a dream. A dream of what you can never have. You are a demon.” He taunted, extending his powerful arm out to reach for the vampire.
Bathym jerked the vampire from Cordelia’s embrace holding him up in the air by the cuff of his neck.
“Resistance, is futile,” the demon chuckled. He slowly brought his other hand against the struggling vampire’s chest. “Feel your power,” he beckoned. “Embrace it.”
Angel tensed as the demon’s touch drew out and strengthened the evil in his soul. The darkness expanded, encroaching over all the goodness that rested there. Angel winced as the battle for his soul began.
Cordelia braced herself against the wall, pushing herself to her feet. “Angel,” she whispered as watched his demon face flicker on and off.
“What are you doing to him?” she demanded of the demon.
“Nothing, just re-introducing the demon to his real self, that’s all,” Bathym chuckled.
“No, you can’t, he has his soul, you can’t take it away. What you are doing is in no way the big joyful experience.”
“Joy,” Bathym puzzled. “What’s joy got to do with it? It what’s he is.”
“Angel can’t lose his soul, not without the big happy” she demanded, looking worriedly at the struggling vampire.
“Lose? To lose surmises that he has something to mislay or something he failed to maintain. He never had a soul not really, just a dream, a hope. A hope that I’m showing him doesn’t exist.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about and I don’t care. Angel,” she called running towards him. “Angel, fight it, whatever is happening, fight.”
Angel could hear Cordelia’s plea. He wanted to yell to her everything would be okay, that he would save her, but his voice wouldn’t answer. The darkness was filling his soul, the evil growing upon itself. Angel tried to concentrate on Cordelia.
He tried to picture the dream of their power animals playing together in a loving game, on the peace that imagine granted him, the strength it gave him to believe. But a sardonic laugh pounded through his skull. It was Angelus.
‘Hope,’ Angelus laughed. ‘Remember the rest, remember me,’ the evil smirked. Suddenly, Angel saw his spirit animal attacking, mutilating Cordelia’s spirit guides. ‘This is you, me…this is what we are,” Angelus raved. ‘Feel the glory of the kill, taste the blood, accept who we are.”
Angel’s scream of no, strangled into a scream of pain. Bathym laughed in triumphant, tossing the vampire to the side.
“What have you done,” Cordelia screamed rushing to Angel. Her hands reaching to clutch at his chest. With a sudden burst of thought and love, she willed the healing energy into the still vampire.
Tears ran down her face as she felt the evil and darkness swarming and taking over Angel’s soul. She pressed in harder. She visualized the white light forcing back the darkness. Her tears fell harder as agony filled her being at the onslaught.
Cordelia fought the pain willingly, as the white light started to conquer the damage that Bathym had invoked.
Without warning, Cordelia gasped in pain, as her wrists were forced backwards. Angelus pushed harder on the joints, as his eyes shot open.
“Sorry, little girl, not enough juice,” he smirked pulling Cordelia towards his body by her strained wrists. “God, you’re beautiful. The pain, the fear on your lovely, lovely face is intoxicating.”
“No,” whimpered Cordelia, struggling against the vampire’s hold. “Angel,” she cried.
“Sorry. Gone, gone and nevermore.” Angelus shot to his feet never letting go of Cordelia.
Angelus contemplated the other demon. “Why?”
“Why not?” chortled Bathym. “I can’t kill her, but you can.”
“Why should I? I don’t follow you. You may have been able to release me, but I’m not yours.”
“No, and I don’t want you.” Acknowledged the larger demon. “But, just as easy as I brought you forth, I can destroy you.”
“I doubt it.”
“Vampire, in the grand scheme of evil, you are nothing. A speck, but a useful speck. I have a bargain for you. You want to remain loose, I want the necklace. You can get that for me and I can let you exist.”
Angelus growled at the demon’s arrogant words. No one threatened him. Angelus tossed Cordelia to the ground and charged at the demon. Bathym deflected his blows easily.
Cordelia concentrated on the pain in her wrists, trying to ignore the battle around her. She tested their movement. Once she was able to move them with only an intense, but bearable pain, she crawled to the open doorway. She stalled at the entrance, glancing to the empty hallway beyond and back at the fighting demons.
Angelus was taking the worst of the beatings, but the vampire was still standing, attacking the demon viscously. Escape, her mind screamed. Stay, her heart begged. She had to try to reach Angelus; she knew that she could restore Angel’s soul. She just had to touch him and maintain that touch. She couldn’t leave him.
“Enough,” Bathym roared. He unsuccessfully tried to hide that the pain that the vampire had caused to his body.
“Not likely, I’m having a grand time,” retorted Angelus limping towards the demon.
“I said enough,” the demon bellowed. His tail shot out behind him capturing Cordelia and swinging her body in front of his.
“Vampire, you do have power, I’ll give you that, but I have her,” Bathym called. His tail tightening around Cordelia’s body, squeezing the breath from her body. “A trade that’s all I want. I’ll give you her, your so-called whatever soul seemed to cherish this girl…all I want in return is the necklace around her neck. Once the exchange is made, I won’t bother you and you won’t bother me. This town, these humans will be yours to play with. I have mine own.”
Angelus growled, staring at the limp girl in the other demon’s grip. Cordelia Chase, Angel’s love. Angelus did want her, what fun he could have with her. Doing all things that Angel denied himself from doing, and more. “The necklace can’t be removed,” he stated his eyes never leaving Cordelia’s form.
“No, not while the girl is alive, but you can kill her. You have no allegiance to me. Take your time, enjoy yourself, but when it’s done the necklace is mine.”
“And what if I don’t want to give you the necklace.”
“There is no reason for you to keep it. It will do you no good.”
“I don’t know a quick healing tool could come in handy,” Angel smirked.
“The power of the necklace will never work for you. It won’t work for me either, but I can destroy it, once she now longer has it. Deal?”
Angelus stood back and contemplated the larger demon. Deal? Angelus first reaction was to charge at the demon, again. Resume the battle that had already been started.
But? Could he win? Angelus thought so, but he wasn’t sure. Bathym was powerful, very powerful. And it hadn’t escaped Angelus’ notice that the demon had the ability to move people around in a poof.
So, what were his options? Fight the demon and maybe lose, thereby never having a chance to play with Angel’s love. Refuse the deal and fight. Who knew, maybe the other demon was telling the truth? But did it matter?
Angelus’ philosophy was to live and live for the moment. And the moment and acceptance of the deal gave him Cordelia and a chance in the future to kill the demon. Now? And he could possibly lose. Or later and still possibly lose, but in the middle he could play. “Deal.”
“Good, a wise decision. Then I’ll let you alone with your toy of choice,” Bathym laughed and uncurled his tail. Cordelia went spinning, smacking against the concrete wall. “Oh, and demon,” he started.
“The name is Angelus,” the vampire corrected.
“Catchy. But, Angelus, stay here until the transaction is complete. Will you? Because if you don’t, I will have to exert some energy to find you. And we don’t want that. Because I’ll find you. See I have been in your dreams. Once there, I’m only a hop, skip and jump away. So, don’t take the prize and run. There’s no point in it. Trust me.”
Angelus raised his brows. “Like hell.”
“Point taken, but realistically speaking, I don’t want what you want. You want the girl and the humans around her. I only want the necklace and my humans. So, there is no need to kill each other.” Bathym acknowledged.
Angelus slowly nodded. Whatever, the vampire thought. Angelus looked around the dark cell. He could get out of there when and if it became necessary. He would take the easy way out for now.
Wesley groaned as he lifted his body off the ground. “Gunn, John,” he called weakly.
“Here,” answered a groggy John.
A moan raised from the corner.
“Gunn?’ Wesley cried in concern. He rushed to the sound. “Gunn,” he called again, gently shaking the body he found crumpled to the side.
‘Ow, whoa, yeah,” Gunn struggled to get up, grabbing at Wesley’s hands. “English, I’m okay. What happened?” Gunn scooted up to a seated position.
“Bathym has the ability to transport beings. We were transported,” explained John.
“Yes, the demon has the ability to transport men from one place to another,” confirmed Wesley. “He must have done that to us.” Wesley looked around, studying their surroundings. “But, we are still underground. And I’d wager not far from where we originally were. Either he can’t control it, or he wasn’t concentrating, or he didn’t think we were much of a threat. I’d like to think it was the first.” Wesley added.
“So now what?” asked Gunn.
“We start moving back,” Wesley replied. “I think it was that way. I think I recognize that stain on the wall.”
“Is that blood?” Gunn asked.
“Could be, but it isn’t ours, so?” Wesley responded.
“Nothing, just trying to get a grip on my surroundings. Lead the way, Bugs, we have family to rescue,” answered Gunn.
Wesley nodded. “John, you still with us? I think the exit is that way.” Wesley pointed to the opposite direction that he and Gunn were heading.
“I’m with you,” John stated simply.
All three men nodded and headed onward into the dark tunnel.
“Master, should we leave them alone together,” questioned Reinfold, fidgeting all over, waiting for the demon’s reply.
“No harm,” the demon affirmed. “The girl is almost dead or soon will be and the vampire, Angelus, well, if he leaves without giving me the necklace, he will die.”
“Well, if you are sure.” The human bowed and scraped.
Angelus moved around gazing at the crumpled body of the girl. He let out a disappointed sigh. It was no fun if she was unconscious, he growled.
The vampire leaned down next to Cordelia gently cradling her body in his arms. He slowly caressed her cheek, whispering words of encouragement into her hair.
Cordelia start to stir. Angel, her mind cried out. She could feel his touch and gentle words. Her eyes flickered opened expecting to see her vampire’s warm brown eyes. “Angel,” she gasped, clutching his strong body closer.
“Shh,’ Angelus whispered. “It’s okay, darlin’”
Cordelia’s eyes shot open. “You, oh god no,” Cordelia struggled against the vampire’s hold.
“Oh, darlin’ it’s me,” he grinned winningly. Angelus pulled and pushed her body up against the wall. He licked his lips as he stared Cordelia up and down. “Oh, the soul-boy was an idiot,” Angelus declared, running his hands across her body.
Cordelia flinched. She closed her eyes. She could do this, she proclaimed. She waited, ordering her body to stay still as Angelus got closer, pressing his body and hands along hers. She took obvious breaths and pants as she allowed him to caress her. Angelus hands reached into her torn and dirty blouse.
“Oh, little girl, did poor clueless Angel know how you wanted me,” the vampire taunted.
“MMmm,” Cordelia whimpered, reaching her sprained hands to the vampire’s chest. “Please,” she whimpered, wiggling her hips under Angelus’. The vampire groaned and moved closer. Cordelia sighed, and thrust her hands directly against his chest, willing, wishing, and loving as much as her heart could stand. The energy flowed quickly into the vampire’s chest. But not quick enough. Angelus grabbed at her wrist and threw her back against the wall.
“Try that again and I’ll snap your wrist in two. For what I want from you I don’t need your hands,” Angelus growled.
“Angel,” she started.
The vampire swung a forceful backhand to her mouth. “The souled wimp is gone, get the picture,” Angelus growled.
“No,” Cordelia cried as blood dripped from her lip.
“Yes,” Angelus said as he swooped down and captured the red drops as they fell.
Angelus suckled and bit at Cordelia’s lip, drawing more blood. He jerked his head up forcing himself away from the inciting fluid. Angelus showed his fangs.
“I’ll will admit that I’m in a slight dilemma. Do I suck you dry or do I fuck you first. It’s a hard decision.” His yellow eyes pierced Cordelia.
“What?” Angelus grabbed at the struggling young woman. “Come now, isn’t this what you wanted. Oh, that’s right, you wanted the wuss, but darlin’” Angelus bent down and placed a gentle kiss on Cordelia’s forehead. “Angel, Angelus, we are the same. Want one, want us both. And now, glory be, you have me” he laughed, plunging his lips over Cordelia’s. His tongue raping her mouth, his teeth piercing her delicate flesh.
Cordelia struggled even harder, her legs and arms striking out at the overpowering vampire. She didn’t want this; she never wanted this. She wanted Angel and only Angel. Yeah, so he was a vampire, somewhere down the line she had gotten over that bad aspect. But Angelus, no…. she never wanted that evil demon.
Knowing that Angel had it in him was enough. She accepted that but was she able to put up with it. No.
Angelus felt all of Cordelia’s desires and emotions. The girl was lost and more importantly she was hot. Angelus figured he should just kill her, but… She was so hot and her blood so intoxicating. Angelus wanted not only to taste her until she breathed her last breath, but also he wanted her. And if he just partook from her rich thick offerings she would be dead in the absolute sense of the word.
But there was something about the young girl. Her courage, when in this particular instance was foolish, he grunted. But still, Cordelia whined, yelled, and was dangerous, powerful even, in her resistance. But in this once instance he would agree with Angel.
Cordelia was pure fire. Angelus began to think that Angel had the right idea. Not the lovely, dovey.,, mushy stuff, but the other stuff. Cordelia was unique, passionate, loyal, and beautiful. All and all, excellent vampire material, an excellent mate.
“You are mine,” he stated, his decision made.
“What? No,” Cordelia let out the loudest scream of her life as Angelus’s fangs traveled towards her neck.
“Sounds like the vampire is having some fun,” yawned Bathym.
“Which way?” asked John. The dark corridors all looked the same to him.
“This way,” Wesley cried urgently as the sound of Cordelia’s scream filtered through the space.