Disclaimer: Joss Whedon owns Angel and its characters. This story will likely be rated R for various reasons.
Feedback: I’d love to get feedback. I’d also love to hear other comments and suggestions to my email.
Summary: When several people are found dead, the Fang Gang makes a connection that could lead to disturbing consequences. Because of the great response to my ‘Retrospective’ trilogy, I decided to write this. Buckle up, because I plan on making this a dark fic.
Dedication: (Part 2) To psychofilly, whose idea of praise is to threaten to send two UberEvil Vampires after me.
The whip made a resounding crack as the tip made contact with the fleshy skin above Robert Wells’ thigh.
The forty-two year old investment banker was fully exposed to the harsh treatment he was receiving. His hands were bound as he hung spread eagle from the ceiling. Another crack of the whip on his naked form sent the man whimpering in pain.
“Do you like that?” a beautiful brunette whispered into his ear as she stroked his red and welted skin. “Do you like the pain I give you?”
“Yes,” the man said softly. God help him, but he did like it.
“Yes what?” the brunette demanded as she lifted his chin with the whip.
“Yes mistress,” Robert said between his tears. The woman’s harsh features melted into a softer, more angelic face. She gently wiped the tears from his face as she placed light kisses on his lips.
“You’re my favorite you know,” the woman said to her client. “I don’t love them, but I love you.” Another crack of the whip had the man writhing in pain and pleasure once more. “You know that I love you, right?” she asked.
“Yes mistress,” the man answered. His body was sore from the abuse he had taken, but it also felt so good to him.
“I know you’re hurting,” the dominatrix said. “I can make that pain stop,” she breathed into his ear. “Let me make the pain stop. I love you,” she pleaded.
“Yes!” Robert answered with a sudden burst of fervor. “Make it stop,” he said weakly.
The woman smiled and gently stroked his cheek. Stepping behind Robert, she kissed his shoulder one final time. Her beautiful face began to contort: her head elongated and her jaw unhinged. A long proboscis rose from her throat. With a quick strike, the proboscis broke through Robert’s skull. As quickly as it entered, it was retracted back into her throat.
Smiling, the woman wiped her lips clean of any blood. Putting her trench coat on over her leather jumpsuit, she blew a kiss at Robert Wells’ slumping form. Deciding to leave him hanging, the woman opened the door to the apartment and left.
Cordelia ducked beneath the police tape blocking the door to the luxurious upscale apartment that used to belong to Robert Wells. Angel followed suit as he glanced around the fancy apartment.
“There was a demon here recently.” Cordelia said. Angel’s vampire smell also detected the traces of a non-human presence. Cordy pulled out a video camera and began filming around the apartment.
“Wes is supposed to meet us here right?” Angel asked his Seer. Angel fingered the manacles that still hung from the ceiling as Cordelia answered in the affirmative. He sidestepped the dried pool of blood as he walked to the large oak desk in the corner.
Pulling open drawers on the desk, Angel finally found a stack of opened mail. Finding one that looked familiar, he pulled the card out of the envelope. It was marked the same as the other three they’d found on previous victims.
Your appointment is tonight
Be ready for the pain
And the pleasure
“Why would a guy let someone torture them like this?” Cordelia wondered.
“Some people like pain with their pleasure,” Angel answered vaguely.
“Talking from experience?” Cordelia teased.
Angel gave his Seer an amused smirk. “I spent 150 years as a soulless demon. What do you think?”
Cordelia shook her head as she continued to film the crime scene. “I mean really, what kind of man gets his ya-ya’s off by coming to a whatchamacallit?”
“Dominatrix,” Angel supplied as he continued to flip through the mail. “Some guys just want attention. Some just want to feel something other than loneliness.”
“But this?” Cordelia emphasized by waving her arms.
“What I’m wondering is why the Powers are sending this information days after the murders occur,” Wes interjected as he entered the building.
“Good point,” Cordy admitted. “Maybe their mystical brain channels are blocked or something.” Everyone was silent a moment as they pondered all the possible reasons. Angel was the first to break the reverie.
“Same as the others?” he asked the watcher.
Wes nodded and handed the vampire the folder he carried. “A sharp blow to the back of the head. The pituitary gland precisely removed and the victim dies immediately from the trauma.”
Angel glanced at the photos. A hole about an inch wide was punctured into the back of the head. Flipping past the coroner’s reports, he found the conclusion of the autopsy.
“The blow was made by an object of unknown origin,” he read aloud. “The force of the impact cause instantaneous death.” Angel sighed as he tossed the folder back to the watcher. “We have any idea what’s doing this?”
Wesley shrugged. “I’m leaning towards a demon with possibly a serrated tongue or a proboscis. However, the ones in my in my books that match that are quite hideous beasts. I can’t imagine this clientele coming to someone like that. Whatever it is, I imagine it has a human form.”
“This would be a lot easier if we could locate this ‘Palace’.” Cordelia said.
“True,” Wes answered. “But so far Fred has yet to find any businesses by that name which would cater to these services.” After a few more minutes it was decided to pack up. Downloading some files from the computer and taking some more recent mail, the gang headed back to the Hyperion hoping to find a clue.
“That’s my girl,” the gray haired man smiled as the brunette demon kissed his belly. “Did you have fun with that Wells fellow?”
“Yes,” she purred as she continued her ministrations.
“Good,” the man said. “Perhaps you should lay low for a few more days,” he suggested. “I wouldn’t want somebody to find out what naughty things you’ve been doing.” The man moaned as the demon’s attention went progressively lower than his belly.
“Oh,” the demon pouted. “But I want to have fun.”
“But you can have fun with me,” the man offered. The demon gave a mock sigh and then a grin as she continued to play. Knocking at the bedroom’s large oak doors interrupted anything further.
“What?” the man shouted. A moment later a young black man poked his head into the room.
“Sir?” the boy asked. “I’m sorry to interrupt, but Mister Reynolds is here to see you. He says it’s important.”
Exasperated, the man told the boy he’d meet Reynolds in his office. Excusing himself from the arms of the lovely demon, he tossed a robe on and followed the boy to his office.
“Said that the Powers wouldn’t be able to broadcast the visions to any of their Seers,” the man shouted at Reynolds. The handsome man tried to soothe his friend.
“Relax John,” Reynolds said. “I know perfectly well what I told you. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. From what I gather, the Powers aren’t sending the visions out until several days after the fact. By then, the trail goes cold.”
John glared at Reynolds. “Relax? How can I relax? Do you know what would happen if it were found out that I’m harboring her?”
“I know what would happen John, but like I said, don’t worry about it. I’m going to make sure that you’re taken care of. I promised I would, right?”
John took a breath to calm down. “Fine,” he huffed. “So do we know who’s receiving the visions?”
“Not yet,” Reynolds admitted. “But whoever it is shouldn’t be hard to track. They must be in the LA area.” Reynolds straightened his jacket. “Just trust me.”
Cordelia bounced a drooling Connor on her hip as she searched the bookshelves for a volume Wes needed. The case was aggravating everyone at Angel Investigations. No one more so than her. What was the point of the visions if they came after the damn murders?
“But Uncle Wes should be able to find something in his books,” Cordy told the child as she found the desired volume. “Being a bookworm may make him a dork, but it also makes him a very smart man.” Connor giggled at the words he didn’t understand.
“And whenever we find out what’s doing this, then your Daddy will go out and stop it, because that’s what he does. Because we can’t have a proboscis wielding demon going around killing people, even if they happen to be perverts.”
Taking the book into the office, Cordelia dropped in on Wes’ desk before heading back into the lobby. She saw Gunn coming in through the courtyard.
“Any luck?” she asked him.
“Nope,” he answered frustrated. “I talked to four of our informants and none of them have heard anything about ‘The Palace’.”
The gang had met with over a dozen informants in the past two weeks, and none had provided any information. It seemed that they would never get a break in the case.
“Where’s Angel?” Gunn asked the lovely Seer.
“He’s off meeting someone. Maybe he’ll have some better luck.” She kissed the top of Connor’s head and hoped that perhaps Angel would.
Angel had been waiting for over an hour for his informant to arrive. But with each passing minute, the vampire’s anger grew. From behind him, he heard the sound of a pay phone ringing on the street corner. He tried to ignore it, but after a minute of incessant ringing he finally went to pick it up.
As soon as he entered the booth the ringing stopped. His irritation would have grown more had it not been for the envelope taped to the receiver. Looking around for any intruders, Angel grabbed it.
It was a short note, but it was one that gave him some hope. Maybe they had finally gotten a break.
“I can make the pain stop,” the brunette demon whispered into the man’s ear. “I love you. Please, let me make your pain stop,” she pleaded.
“Yes,” the young man cried. “Make it stop.”
The demon smiled and kissed the young man’s cheek. “I love you,” she said again. “I’ll make it stop hurting.”