Cordelia couldn’t put her finger on it yet but there was a sensation, not of wrongness, but more that something wasn’t exactly right. It wasn’t a feeling of danger, more a vague awareness that things weren’t quite as familiar as they should be.
At first she thought it might be the small but lingering aching of her head that was mildly reminiscent of the way she felt when she was 13. She’d pilfered the last of the brandy from the crystal decanter in her father’s study, while her parents were off in Europe for a few weeks. Of course that headache had been accompanied by the continual need to vomit for the next 3 hours. Noting the general lack of barfiness she abandoned the idea of a bender.
Although if anyone deserved to drink it was the people who were forced to live in this god-forsaken town.
Coming fast to the conclusion that she was going to have to open her eyes if she wanted any real idea of what was happening, Cordelia sighed and bit the bullet. The one thing she knew for sure was that if Giles and a stupid demon hunting plan had landed her in the hospital this town was gonna be short one librarian…not that anyone would necessarily notice.
Opening her eyes in a half-hearted attempt at consciousness, she was surprised to find gray stone walls, awash in the dancing shadows of what could only be candlelight- when she had been so sure that the sterile white of a hospital room would greet her.
Well, Cordelia could now say with certainty why she had such a persistent sense of unfamiliarity; because she didn’t know where the hell she was.
But as she tried to sit up memories roared through her mind like a crashing wave and she remembered where she’d been.
With the haziness of any decent traumatic memory she recalled being assigned the job of bait tonight. That was pretty much the standard every time they needed to attract a demon. She preferred not to think of herself as a demon magnet, but more that she was obviously so attractive that it effected more than just the human race.
That was much better for her self esteem. And she’d needed the boost since her break up with Xander. Facing that he’d cheated on her when she’d cared for him so much, she could hardly wrap her mind around it. Although the rebar certainly helped clear up any indecision she may have had about giving him a second chance.
They had all been at the cemetery. She knew that for sure. She’d lured the demon out into the open and the chase had been on. The others taking off without her in pursuit of the demon. Geez, they wanted her to be bait but never took into account that that limited her to some extent with the whole fleeing thing. And they thought she was self-involved.
She remembered hearing the snap of her heel breaking and cringed at the true tragedy of the evening. Her black leather, knee high, Italian boots deserved so much better then to be sacrificed to protect a bunch of people who thought that all the town’s troubles could be chalked up to the evils of PCP gangs.
Heaving a heavy sigh at both the loss of her shoes and the utter stupidity of the populace at large Cordelia’s hand rose to run through her hair in an automatic, soothing gesture. Before it made contact with her mahogany locks she jerked it back. Getting a clear picture in her mind of being tackled by the whosiwhatsit demon she remembered grabbing hold of for balance. No matter what kind of head trauma you sustain you never forget slime like that. Ewww; she didn’t want that in her hair!
And yet, as she checked her hand it looked suspiciously mucus free. Looking down at the rest of her she realized that all of her was clean…and naked.
Sitting up she quickly began scanning the room for her clothing. While a small part of her brain tried to point out that wherever she was someone had obviously gone out of their way to save her from the demon, bring her back to a safer location, tend to her minor wounds, and leave her relatively gunk free, so it might not be that bad; the much larger and more prone to live through the night part of her brain screamed – “You’re naked in a creepy Hellmouth house – RUN!!!”
Unable to make out much in the darkness that blanketed most of the room she moved to leave the bed and begin a closer search for anything that she could wear to speed up getting out while the getting was still good; which was generally a temporary state of affairs in Sunnydale.
Unfortunately her attempts to rise were halted almost before they’d begun. Glancing down at what was impeding her progress she saw that a long piece of crimson silk was bound to both her ankle and the iron bed rail.
It was bad enough waking up naked in a strange place in Sunnydale, but waking up naked and tied to someone’s bed was never of the good. Her hands shot down to frantically tug at the elaborately knotted fabric, but her previous movements and her desperate pulling were having the opposite effect and actually drawing the knots tighter.
In a minute she was going to have to upgrade to serious profanity. Could things possibly get any worse?
And of course they did.