The days turned into weeks, the weeks turned then the weeks had turned into six months. The vampires’ lives had altered drastically with the arrival of the little girl. No longer was the mansion used for bringing people home to torture or eat, sex on the first three floors had been banned and Darla was hardly ever seen at the mansion. But she was there today, in her bedroom putting some make-up on and humming softly to herself.
Cordelia skipped along the hallway, holding a doll Spike had gotten for her at the funfair the week before. Her brown hair was hanging down her shoulders, ice cream making the ends stick together after she and her mommy had a little food fight. Now she was on her way to get changed when she walked past Darla’s open door.
Remembering what she had been told about knocking, Cordelia timidly knocked on the door and waited patiently to be invited in. Darla turned at the sound of the knocking, the little heartbeat and the pitter-patter of the footsteps she tried to ignore. “What do you want?” she asked and turned back to her make-up.
“I just wanted to say I think you’re very pretty Miss” she had been told to call that lady miss and not by her name which Cordelia thought was rude. Even the grumpy man, Angelus, allowed her to call him Mister Angel now.
“Oh?” Darla replied only mildly intrigued by the little girl’s words, she felt obliged to respond if only to get that knowing look off the brat’s face. “I think you’re very pretty too, now run along and go play in your room”
“You remind me of my old mommy” Cordelia stated after a few second of silent debate, “She was pretty too. Had long brown hair like me”
“That’s nice honey” the blonde replied, now no longer listening to the kid and her ramblings, Darla picked up a wooden handled brush and studied it with admiration. The handle was nicely carved with intricate details and the bristles were a soft, natural material.
“I always wanted to be like my old mommy, I wanted to be prettier than she was and be nicer than she was because my old daddy only looked at women prettier than my mommy. If I was prettier than my mommy, he’d look at me and know I was there”
“Maybe he thought you talked too much” Darla pointed out as she turned to fully face the little girl, her blue eyes locking onto the pulsing vein under her skin. “Little girls are meant to be seen and not heard, didn’t your old mommy ever teach you that? Daddy’s don’t like it when their little girl’s talk to them. I’m very surprised your new Daddy has kept you this long… After all you do talk a lot”
“My daddy likes it when I talk and so does my mommy and Mister Angel” Cordelia pointed out in response. She shuffled on her feet, the sneakers she wore making little treads in the hallway carpet and the sky blue denim ruffling with the nervous movement. This lady couldn’t be right could she? If little girl’s weren’t supposed to talk then her mommy and daddy didn’t really love her. But she knew that they did and this lady was only lying to her. “Why are you lying to me?” she asked as hurt made her pout.
“Oh deary” Darla chuckled behind her hand “Did your mommy and daddy tell you that they liked listening to your squeaky voice? That’s bad of them; parents don’t like their children, especially six year old girls, to talk as much as you do. Do you want to know why I don’t come here very much?”
“Why?” Cordelia asked in a shaky voice, she had listened to everything the lady had said to her and began thinking what if she was right? What if her parents didn’t like the way she talked? If they didn’t like the way she talked then they didn’t love her and only kept her around because they had too. She knew Spike and Drusilla weren’t her real parents, she wasn’t stupid or dense and she knew her parents were probably looking for her. But she loved being here with them, even Darla because she was part of her mommy and daddy’s family and she wore some really pretty dresses.
“Because I don’t like the way they lie to you” the vampiress replied in feigned honesty with a sigh. “I try not to say anything, heaven knows I want too but you see, I simply can’t do anything because you’re not my little girl”
“They don’t lie to me, they love me and I know they do” Cordelia refused to let anything Darla said hurt her or ruin her life with a few stupid lies. “You’re the one lying. You’re lying because you’re jealous of me!” she shot at the vampire now glaring at her and staring at her neck, that wasn’t unusual but it was making her nervous. “You’re jealous because… Because your boyfriend lets me call him Mister Angel and not you, you’re jealous because my mommy doesn’t listen to you anymore. And daddy told me that you’re nothing but a stuck up, whiny woman who’s brains are in her boobies!”
“You vicious little brat” Darla hissed, getting up from the vanity table and stalking over to the doorway, fully intent on killing the big mouthed kid. “I did lie. I don’t come here anymore because of you and your talking. I hate the sight of you, I hate the sound of you and so does everybody else. Vampires do eat little girls, but everybody hates you so much that we don’t want to eat you. You want to know why we hate you? It’s the same reason your real parents hated you”
Cordelia’s pupils dilated to twice their normal size and her eyes filled with tears. Darla smiled at the flash of hurt across the kid’s face and knelt down to look her directly in the eyes. “I found your parents, Cordelia” the vampire lied “They didn’t want you back, they were much better off without you because they didn’t have your squeaky voice to listen too”
“Stop it” the words came out in a forced whisper as Darla told her everything she feared, that she wasn’t loved or wanted, that she was a mistake and that nobody liked her. She was on her own and nobody loved her.
Drusilla had gone upstairs to find Cordelia after she had been gone for more than twenty minutes, Miss Edith firmly held in one hand and a bar of the little girl’s half-eaten chocolate in the other. Darla’s spiteful, hateful words swept around her head, making some kind of sense to the vampiress as she glided towards the now closed bedroom door.
Game face sliding on instantly when she heard muffled sobs and more hateful words from her grandmummy. Drusilla’s amber eyes glinted with madness and rare anger as she dropped both the bar of chocolate and the doll to the ground. Nobody hurt her little princess, not even grandmummy. The door was calmly pushed open as she glided inside, horrified to find Cordelia cowering in a corner with Darla running a dagger along the little girl’s cheek threatening to make her ugly forever.
Puffy, red and fear-filled eyes saw Drusilla “Mommy” Cordelia cried in relief, taking Darla’s distraction to get up and run for the open door. “She was gonna make me a Dracula and scar me forever to keep me ugly so no-one would ever love me” she told straight away, her words interrupted by hiccups and a hoarse voice.
“Hush Princess” Drusilla pressed finger to her lips and kept her eyes on Darla, “Grandmummy was very naughty to scare my pet like that, I’m very cross” the vampire ochre gaze sparkled with merriment and the promise of vengeance. “Tut tut. Naughty grandmummy broke the rules she did and now she has to be punished like a bad girl”
“Come Dru, I was only playing with your little girl” Darla waved off the other vampire’s threat like it was nothing to be wary of. “Weren’t we?” she looked at Cordelia, daring her to go against her words and say otherwise.
“No! You were gonna kill me you ugly old bag!” Cordelia shot back instantly, wiping her eyes with her sleeve she no longer felt intimidated by the horrible lady now that her mommy was here and she could see her mommy was angry. She had that face, the ‘Mommy’ face with the pretty, canary yellow eyes and the Dracula fangs, even she knew not to mess with mommy when she looked like that. She was much scarier than either her daddy or Mister Angel!
“You little brat, I will kill you” Darla hissed, also in game face, the snarled warning made the girl run out of the room and hide around the corner of the door. “Dru, you can not be serious about keeping that thing around here any longer. It’s destroying our way of life”
“The stars are singing grandmummy” Drusilla trailed her fingernails down her throat, making little welts in her porcelain skin. “Such a sad, little tune. They won’t dance to the sad song, all crying soft, pretty tears full of beautiful pain. But you laughed to the sad song grandmummy” she laughed a little and pointed at Darla. “You laughed like a happy little bird… Tweet-tweet tweet-tweet… But not anymore you won’t”
Cordelia peeked round the corner just in time to see the wooden brush slammed straight through Darla’s chest and the vampire turn to dust right before her eyes. She stopped breathing, her hazel eyes wide enough to swallow her face and her mouth dropped open in surprise as the ashy remains floated to the floor.
Downstairs, Spike and Angelus were sitting playing cards when both felt the death of Darla, the tingle raced through them almost as fast as they raced up the stairs. Angelus got their first, intent on finding out how and who had the nerve to kill his sire. Spike got a feeling of dread the closer her got, he could smell salty, childish tears and the fear was enough to claw at him.
After Darla had tried, and almost succeeded, in killing her Cordelia, was a shaking mess of skin and bones, trembling and crying in Drusilla’s cooing protective embrace. The little girl clung to the vampire as though she were her lifeline, tiny hands locked around her neck and face buried in her shoulder. “There-there my sweet, no more monsters under the bed”
Angelus strode purposely into the bedroom, taking a look at the dusty remains on the floor and then looked at the crying, little girl; his eyebrow rose in amusement. “Who killed Darla?” he asked with a smirk, he figured if it was the kid then he’d laugh his socks off and if it was Drusilla he’d drop down dead of a heart attack!
“Mommy did, she wanted to make me ugly so no-one would love me” Cordelia hiccupped and turned her red, puffy eyes to Mister Angel. “That ugly, old hag told me my mommy and daddy didn’t love me and that she was gonna kill me because I was bad”
“Grandmummy was laughing at the sad song Daddy” Drusilla told him over the messy, sticky head of brown hair. “The stars were all sad and my Princess was crying tears of blood and grandmummy was happy when the sad song played”
“You killed my sire?” Angelus asked, not sure if he should go nuts at her or just give up. Sure the kid was annoying but she never really did anything so bad to be killed over it. Normally, she stayed away from him and Darla, what was she doing? “Kid, what happened?” he asked Cordelia, his face and voice showing she should tell the truth.
“I was going to my room to get changed because of the food fight with mommy” she explained, wiping her eyes some more with the back of her hand. “I saw Miss Darla brushing her hair and putting on some make-up, I told her I thought she was pretty and she made me think of my old mommy. A-and then she told me my mommy and daddy didn’t love me and thought I was horrible because I talk to much. Then I told her she was lying, that they did love me and then she tried to k-kill me. I’m not lying Mister Angel, I know she was your girlfriend and everything but she was a mean, old lady”
“Dru” Spike held his hands out to take the little girl, “Hello pet, Daddy’s ‘ere now. Let’s get you tucked into bed eh? I’ll even look under the bloody bed to make sure there are no monsters under it”
“Miss Darla was wrong right?” Cordelia searched his face to see if he lied to her, “You and mommy do love me and want me around right? I mean, I’m not horrible am I? A-and mister Angel doesn’t hate me and want to kill me anymore so I can’t be all bad right?”
“Course she was wrong Pixie” Spike patted her on the back gently, stopping his eyes from rolling the more she spoke. “You know me n mommy love you to pieces pet, we would have eaten you for breakfast if we didn’t”
“Miss Darla also said that if you really loved me you would want to eat me and I told her that she was lying about that too” Cordelia pointed out as her little girl strength came back to her with the help of her father’s protective cuddle and his assuring words.
“Spike, take the kid to bed I want to talk with Drusilla” Angelus told his grandsire, this would have to be dealt with. The only person who had a right to kill Darla was him and not Spike or Drusilla.
“Come on Dru, let’s go out into the garden where we can look at the flowers”
“I wanna go with mommy” Cordelia really didn’t like Mister Angel, he looked funny at her mommy and she wanted to be with her mommy. “I’m not tired, I wanna go play in the garden with mommy and Mister Angel”
“Not tonight Pix” Spike told her firmly as he walked out of the bedroom, “Peaches isn’t going to hurt your mum luv, don’t worry your little head” he was a good liar when he wanted to be though he wasn’t sure if he was lying. He knew Angelus was furious at Drusilla for the dusting of Darla but yet he also knew how the elder vampire had grown somewhat attached to the 4 foot piece of skinny nothing he was taking to bed.