With a quick jerk, Angel was able to snap the lock on the door.
The address he had received lead to this hidden building in a less than respectable section in LA. Listening for any heartbeats behind the door, Angel decided it was clear to enter. After double-checking to make sure the area was clean, he motioned for Cordelia to follow.
Moving silently, the pair found a room at the end of a hallway that appeared to be an office. With a twist, Angel had gained access for the both of them.
“Are we sure this is the place?” Cordelia asked quietly.
“No,” Angel answered. “But it’s all we have to go on.” Angel immediately went to the file cabinet in the corner while Cordelia booted up the computer.
“We definitely have the right place,” Angel said. “I don’t know of many places that need to stock this much lubricant.” Angel barely heard Cordelia’s comment about him being a dork when she had her eureka moment.
“I may have something here,” Cordelia said. “I think it’s a client list.” After a moment she cursed. “Damn! All the listings are code names.”
“Makes sense,” Angel observed. “Protects the anonymity of any high profile members.”
“Really?” Cordy asked. “You think famous people maybe come here? Like actors or politicians?”
“With government workers you never know,” Angel said. “But don’t worry. I don’t think Jude Law is into this sort of thing. Can you pull up appointment schedules or something?”
“You want me to find the past victims?” she asked. Angel nodded before turning back to the cabinet. As he was wondering what the hell this place was doing ordering cattle prods, he heard Cordelia printing.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“I’m printing off the client list and all upcoming appointments. It will take some deciphering, but at least it’s something,” Cordy smiled. “Did you find out anything interesting?”
“I found out that humans are some strange creatures. What do you think they can do with a high pressure hose?” the vampire asked.
Any response the Seer might have made was cut off as both demons detected human presence near. Thinking quickly, Angel removed the vent entrance from the corner of the ceiling. After quickly booting down the computer and grabbing the printouts, Cordelia allowed the vampire to boost her up. Angel quickly followed and replaced the grate moments before a night janitor entered the room.
John was sitting behind a massive oak desk signing papers when Mr. Reynolds entered his office. Without looking up he addressed the other man.
“Have you found out who is receiving the visions?” he asked.
“Good day to you, John,” Reynolds began sarcastically. “I slept well, how about you?”
“Cut the crap, who’s receiving them?”
Sometimes Reynolds didn’t know why he bothered. “Some half-breed named Cordelia Chase in LA.”
“She going to be a problem?” John asked.
“Probably not,” Reynolds told him. “Her champion might be a different story. He’s a vampire named Angel. He used to be a royal badass, now he’s the Powers best warrior.”
“That’s just great,” John said disgustedly. “The person investigating these deaths is a damn vampire?” Reynolds gave a small smile. That about summed it up. “Can we kill him?” John asked.
“No!” Reynolds shouted as if talking to a small child. “That’s a great way to cover up the deaths, kill the PTB’s best warrior. You want to go ahead and take measurements for that orange jumpsuit you’ll wear at Marion?” Reynolds sighed. He definitely didn’t know why he bothered sometimes. “Just let me take care of it. We’ll watch, nothing more. Angel won’t be a problem.”
“Come on Angelus,” Darla taunted. “Beg for me.” The blonde vampire tugged on the collar around his neck. “You’re about as much fun as that girl over there.” Darla pointed to the Madridian prostitute the two had ‘played’ with earlier. Nearly drained of blood, the pretty Spanish girl moaned inaudibly.
“You like that my boy?” she asked as she dragged her nails down his back. “I know that you do,” Darla teased. “I can see that you like it.”
In the warmth of a torrid Spanish summer, the two vampires played one of their favorite games: Master and Slave. Darla pulled harder on the collar as Angelus writhed on the silken sheets of the canopy bed.
“You’re such a bad boy,” Darla told her childe. “The way you seduced that poor girl over there. For shame,” she grinned.
“Please,” Angelus moaned. How could be possible to love something so much but hate it at the same time? That’s the way it was with Darla’s teasing. He needed release damn it!
“Say the magic words, Angelus,” Darla continued to taunt.
“Fuck me,” he cried.
Darla grinned at her childe’s impatience. “That’s my boy.”
Angel cooed at his son as he feed his boy the bottle. By the counter, Fred was busily working at her computer. Cordelia was exchanging sword blows with Gunn in the lobby as Wes was reading yet another demon book.
“So what do you have, Fred,” Angel asked the girl.
“I’ve determined which names the four victims went by at The Palace. All seem to have been long time clients. There have also been several appointments since the last murder,” Fred said worried.
“Great,” Gunn said from the lobby. “More chances for more dead bodies.”
“Is there anyway to find out a way to contact these people?” Cordelia asked as she tossed her sword aside. “If we can, then that goes a long way to stopping the next one.”
“No,” Fred said. “If ‘The Palace’ keeps personal records, then they aren’t here. I don’t know of anyway to uncover the identities.”
“Can’t you trace any money transfers from the victims?” Cordy tried again.
“No. All four men made $2,000 cash withdrawals shortly before their deaths. Can’t trace cash transfers.” Fred shrugged. “Well, you can, but not with the information I have.”
Wes came out of his office. The frustration was plain on his face. “I cannot find what the hell we are looking for. My only guess is that it’s from another dimension.”
“Great,” Cordelia groaned. “Our killer is an inter-dimensional refugee and a dominatrix on the side. I’m loving this.”
Angel grinned at his Seer. “Well, we got to keep things interesting around here.”
“Interesting?” she asked incredulously. “Interesting is a new Mel Gibson movie. Interesting is the Gucci spring collection. This is a freaking nightmare!” Suddenly Cordelia’s hands went to her head. “Aw crap.”
“What’s wrong?” Angel asked.
Cordy looked at him with sad eyes. “I just saw number five.”
Reynolds watched as the AI team went up to the apartment of Lilith’s last client. He immediately recognized the infamous ‘vampire with a soul’. He figured the shorthaired brunette must be his Seer.
Reynolds was impressed with both of them. They were quickly becoming legends in the Powers community. Especially the girl. She was a tough cookie from what he read. The vampire was also impressive, if a little misguided. The fool still believed he had a chance to become human.
Reynolds sighed. He didn’t like being involved in this. If the Powers ever found out, it would be his head. But he owed John a favor, and Reynolds didn’t go back on favors. Loyalty was a bitch. So, like it or not, he would protect John and Lilith.
When the gang finally came back out, Reynolds pulled out his cell. “Hey John? It’s me. They found the last one. Yeah. I think we need to do something. How? We divert the vampire’s attention. It’s okay John. I think I know how.” Reynolds shut of the phone. He didn’t like what he was planning to do, but he supposed it was necessary.
Lilah Morgan fingered the small notebook in her hands. Her bosses would love to see some of the names in this book. They could have a field day with it. But Lilah had other plans.
Some might say they were petty, but damn it, revenge was sweet. Afterwards, when the dust settled. she’d tell her people what she had done. And she would be considered a hero for it.
It was much to easy to simply hand over the notebook to the bosses. Instead, she had a better plan. It was often that she would even considered doing this, and even rarer that she would do it. She would help ‘Them’. Just like she had earlier.
Sliding the notebook into the manila envelope, she sealed it and marked the address. Yeah, Lilah thought, this was far more interesting.
‘To Angel Investigations
Los Angeles, CA’