All About Spike

Chapter: Prologue  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12

When Darkness Falls
By L.A. Ward and Sanguine

Chapter Ten: Masters and Minions

Buffy moved out of Giles's arms and said, "Spike's back."

Dawn pulled away from the group hug. "What?!" Her eyes were wide and she looked shocked and angry. "Talk about nerve."

"Dawnie, we still don't -"

"Why didn't you tell me?!"

Buffy blinked. "Why didn't I. . .? Dawnie!"

Dawn crossed her arms and glared in a way that all teens -- but especially female teens with the last name of Summers-could do amazingly well. "I thought we'd worked this out. No more secrets. No treating me like a brain-damaged twelve-year-old."

"I don't treat you like you're brain damaged."

"Why didn't tell me Spike was back?"

Buffy sighed. "I'm telling you now. Besides, until a half hour ago, I didn't know myself."

"And?"

Buffy glanced away from Dawn and looked to Giles. "And I think things could be bad. *Spike* could be bad. Again."

Giles didn't say anything, but he looked grim.

Dawn rolled her eyes. "Like Spike wasn't bad before?"

Buffy squirmed. Her insides clenched. Had Spike been bad? Had he really? Buffy remembered the shock she had felt when Spike had been unwilling to help her in the alley, the stunned disbelief that had coursed through her as she had considered his saying, "It's not Saturday." Was that a threat? Would Spike threaten her? Even last spring--even after...everything--Spike hadn't threatened her. He had been out of his mind, dangerous, and out of control, but there had been no malice in his intent. Even in her hurt and rage Buffy had known Spike hadn't *meant* to hurt her. . .but tonight? This was different.

When exactly had she come to believe that Spike-flaws, amoral value system and all-was on *her* side, that he would always be on her side no matter what? He was the thing that would not leave--stubborn, implacable, unshakable. He'd loved a madwoman for over a hundred years. He'd loved Dru even after she had pushed him away, insulted him, humiliated him, and dropped him, because to Spike. . .love wasn't a fly-by-night thing. Was that it? Was that the way Buffy had become convinced that even if things had gone nuclear in a spectacular way, Spike would still be waiting in the shadows ready to offer whatever help she needed whenever she needed it even if. . .even if. . .

"Things are different now," Buffy said softly.

"Has he gone evil?" Anya was always one to cut straight to the heart of the matter even if she only had a blunt butter knife to do it. "He's been gone a long time. He may have found someone to take out the chip."

Buffy dropped her arms to her side when she realized she was hugging herself. "I don't know."

"I wouldn't be surprised if he came back to kill all of you. You know what humans say."

"No, what do we say?"

"Payback is a bitch. Of course the phrase was originally a reference to me. I *am* the-" Suddenly aware of three pairs of eyes trained on her, Anya amended her statement. "In this case payback is a pissed off vampire. You can't blame him. "

"I can't?" Part curious and part furious, Buffy asked, "And why is that?"

"You turned him into your minion, and you weren't even nice about it. "

"I did *not* turn Spike into a minion."

"Then what was he? He wasn't your partner. He wasn't your employee. And don't say he was your friend. You let Xander bully him while you were having sex with him."

Dawn looked outraged. "That is *so* none of your business!"

"I wouldn't blame Spike if he tortured each and every one of you," Anya said defiantly. "You deserve it."

Dawn's face flushed red. "How can you say that? Is this some 'demons stick together' thing?"

Anya lifted her chin. "Maybe. Why shouldn't I stick up for him? Not like anyone else will stick up for us."

"You're Buffy's friend, that's why not! And. . .and. . .you slept with him!"

Giles glanced at Anya, surprise evident on his face.

Dawn continued to sputter. "You slept with him, and you're Buffy's friend and. . .and that's just *wrong.* And gross. Evil, wrong and gross and-"

"I'm Buffy's friend?" Anya asked in surprise. "Since when? Since when has she been *my* friend?" She faced Buffy. "Name one time you've been my friend. When have you helped me with anything?"

Buffy appeared non-plussed. She looked around the room as if she could find a memory or an answer. "There was that Olaf the Troll thing."

"Slaying doesn't count."

Buffy stepped back. "It does so count. Why doesn't it count?"

"It's Slaying. You would have tried to kill Olaf anyway. I'm talking about me. When have you ever talked to me or even thought about me other than how I could help you?"

"Well. . . I. . .uh-"

Anya looked down at Buffy-really looked down-exploiting every inch of her natural height advantage plus her three inch heels. "Never. that's when," Anya said flatly. "Xander left me on my wedding day."

Buffy rolled her eyes. "This story is getting old, Anya. You're going to have to let it go sometime."

"This isn't about Xander!" Anya protested. It was weird seeing her angry- really angry. "Xander left, and there I stood in room full of people I had to face alone. I had to make all the explanations. I had to talk to the caterer and pay for the limousine that we didn't even use. I had to arrange for the flowers to be thrown away and the decorations taken down and the hall cleaned. I had to pack my dress and sell it on E-bay. I had to do all of it. Alone. Where was my 'good friend' Buffy? Or my friend Dawn or Willow or *anyone*?"

"We offered to help."

"I must have missed that part. Guess I was distracted by the eye rolling and irritated sighs." Anya's lips thinned and her brows drew together as she frowned. "Want to know what emotion I got off you when I my vengeance powers came back? I got that you felt bad because my wedding disaster put a damper on *your* happy day."

Buffy had to grace to blush.

Anya continued in righteous rant mode. "The only person, the *only* one who listened to me, who took my side was Spike."

Buffy opened her mouth.

"Shut up, I'm not finished." Anya sounded exactly like the vengeance demon that she was-powerful and pissed off.

Buffy crossed her arms and waited.

"You stood there, just *stood* there while Xander attacked Spike and said the horrible things to me. Why did you do that, Buffy? Because you were my friend or because you didn't want Xander's sexist, patriarchal, annoying- even-if-I once-thought-it-was-cute self-righteous temper turned on you?"

Dawn protested, "You're not being fair about any of this."

"Fair? Was it 'fair' that Willow destroyed the capital enterprise where I barter goods and services?" There was confusion and a hint of pain in Anya's voice. "I helped you guys. More than once. It was against vengeance code. I shouldn't have done it. D'Hoffryn put it in my yearly report, and now I'm on demon probation. But I helped anyway." She angrily brushed away a tear. "When Willow's world destroying rage was over, when she was gone, I *still* had a mess to clean up. Alone. Again." She looked at Dawn. "Did any of you help? Did you pick up a broom or try to glue together the crystal Zorrbesky sphere? Did you lend a hand to put the chicken feet back in their jars? Did you do anything? Ever?"

Giles coughed.

"Except Giles," Anya corrected. She turned her tear-stained face toward him and said sincerely, "Thank you for the help with the insurance company. I don't know what I would have done without you."

Giles looked a little embarrassed but his gaze steadily held hers. "It was the least I could do."

"And more than anyone else did." Anya's shoulders slumped and her head hung low as she walked toward the front of the shop.

Buffy stood in the middle of the room for a long moment. Her expression remained inscrutable before she turned to walk into the Danger Room. Giles's expression was conflicted. It was clear that he wanted to follow Buffy, but then he glanced at Anya who sat alone weeping. Dawn followed Buffy to the back room.



A few things Spike had learned in his years in Sunnydale. First, if you think you're ahead of the game, you're not. Second, if you think things cannot possibly get worse, they will. And third, being hit in the face hurt--especially if the pummeling was done by a Slayer or a two-by-four. The two-by-four in question had been used to beat him unconscious.

Spike groaned and tried to move. He had no idea how long he had been out but suspected it had been more than a few minutes, because the alley vamp had found time to throw Spike in the boot of a car like he was a corpse on the Sopranos. Did they throw dead bodies in the boot on the Sopranos? It seemed like a mobster thing to do, but Spike wasn't sure whether it was a passé for the Sopranos. The crypt had never had cable.

Spike shifted his weight , trying to find a comfortable position in the cramped space. This wasn't the first time he'd spent time in a boot. Being a vampire and having sunlight issues, camping out in his car had been a necessity on more than one occasion. Of course, that had been the spacious DeSoto and this -- Spike squinted and read the tag on the underside of the boot lid - was a 2001 Volkswagon Beetle.

He'd been kidnapped and thrown into the boot of a bloody *Beetle*?! How humiliating. He'd bow his head in shame if he had room to move.

Spike looked around. There was no way to get to the tire iron; it was stored with the spare tire beneath the floor board. But Spike knew there would be no problem pushing down the back seat and bursting into the driving compartment to show minions what a pissed 120+ year old vampire could do. However, even as Spike contemplated doing just that, he dismissed the idea. It would be the quick and easy way to shoot to hell everything he had done tonight.

The whole point of arguing with Buffy in front of witnesses had been to attract the attention of the evil influences currently causing trouble in Sunnydale. He'd done that. Now he needed to lay back and wait. . .which would have been easier if the barmy vampires in the front of the car would shut up and stop arguing over the radio!

The vamp called Jake wanted the alternative rock station while Dexter insisted on easy listening. Bloody hell, they were playing Air Supply. How fucking evil was that?

After a half hour of eardrum torture involving Barry Manilow's "Copa Cabana" and Debbie Boone's "You Light Up My Life," the car came to a halt and the radio was mercifully turned off. Spike heard the minions talking as they walked around the care. There was a long pause.

"What's that?" Jake asked.

"What's it look like?" asked Dexter. "It's a gun. Cool, huh? I figure if he rushes at us when we open the trunk, we shoot him."

"He's a vampire, you dipwad."

"Well, it would hurt! Slow him down long enough that he couldn't rip our heads off. Did you see him rip Larry's head off?"

"Larry was a dick."

"That's beside the point, isn't it? I'm sayin' he's dangerous. Even the Slayer looked scared."

"The slayer looked pissed," Jake protested.

"Whatever."

The car's rear lights flashed as the boot was electronically unlatched and Jake opened the lid. Spike didn't open his eyes or move.

"See," Jake said. "He's still out cold. Haul him out."

The minions pulled Spike's apparently unconscious body out of the car, banging his head against the boot's lid.

=Clumsy bastards are gonna pay for that,= Spike thought as his arms were thrown over the minions' shoulders and he was dragged through the parking deck.

Spike hoped this wasn't some monumental waste of time. If he wound up dumped at Sharkey's flat because the demon was running short of yellow tabbies, Spike didn't think he could hold his temper - souled or not - in check.

Once inside the building, Jake and Dexter hauled him into the elevator where Muzak played and Dexter began singing, "Up and away in my beautiful balloon." Spike contemplated the satisfaction he would feel when ripping Dexter's tongue out at the first opportunity that presented itself. Then his mind drifted to Dru.

Was the Watcher Wanker right and Dru was behind all of this? Spike couldn't see how. For 142 years Dru had hit upon one scheme or another to destroy the world, but not one had to pass (as evidenced by the world still existing). She had also always needed help. There had been himself - though with hindsight Spike saw that he'd never truly been on board with world endage. Consciously or subconsciously he had always seemed to sabotage Dru's efforts. A little anarchy had seemed like a grand old time to him, but as Spike had told Buffy years ago, he liked the world. Then there had been the time Dru had Angelus's help.

Trapped in a wheelchair and dependent on the dubious mercies of Angelus and Dru, Spike had experienced the first bit of true self awareness in nearly one hundred years.

"I want to save the world," he had told Buffy, and the irony of the situation had not been lost on him. Whatever his reasons and rationalizations-no matter how properly selfish and self-motivated-he had been aware that he was doing what he should not do. He had gone against his own kind to fight by the side of a Slayer who loathed him.

The bell rang as the elevator reached their chosen floor. So much time and distance traveled, Spike realized, only to find himself in the same place as before...still going against his own kind to fight on the side of a Slayer who loathed him.

Dexter and Jake carried Spike from the elevator but not down a hall or through any doors. Spike didn't have to open his eyes to figure out that whoever they were dealing with must have taken over the entire floor of a high rise.

Deciding it was time to fake coming out of a stupor, Spike groaned and opened his eyes. The first thing he noticed was a pair of exceptionally well-shaped legs attached to perfectly pedicured feet in strappy stiletto sandals. A multi-year association with Buffy and over a century of showering Dru with gifts told Spike those shoes cost a small fortune.

Spike raised his head and focused on the woman's lovely, angular features. She vaguely reminded him of the model Paulina Poraskova. She definitely was *not* Dru.

Dexter said, "Look who we found."

The dark haired woman gave a chilling smile. "William the Bloody."

Spike frowned and his gaze narrowed. "I know you, luv?" He thought he would remember a creature such as her.

"No reason you should." She offered her hand. "I'm Lilah Morgan."

Spike arched a brow then looked first at Dexter then at Jake who still had his arms draped over their shoulders. Spike returned his attention to Lilah. "In a bit of a bind here, luv."

"I can see." Lilah dropped her hand and looked at the minions. "You can let him go."

Dexter shook his head. "I don't think so. You should have seen what he did to Larry."

Lilah didn't look curious. In fact, she looked bored. "I'm sure it was quite spectacular. And, given that Larry isn't here, I'll assume his absence is permanent. Now, let our guest go."

Dexter and Jake reluctantly complied as a slender man of Asian heritage shouldered his way by Lilah. "Mr. Bloody, our firm has authorized me to make you an offer-"

"Who authorized you to do what?" Lilah demanded, her brows drawing together as she frowned. "Gavin, you have no authority here."

"Linwood gave me authority."

Spike smirked and slouched in the bad ass way he had perfected well over a century ago as he scanned the room's contents. He was in a penthouse of a highrise overlooking Sunnydale. He could see the familiar city lights through the wide expanse of glass. He wondered if he could see Buffy's home from here.

This wasn't Glory's penthouse. He recognized that right off. It wasn't as gaudy. This was sleek and in some ways reminded Spike of Deco décor in New York in the nineteen thirties and forties. Had he just been dumped into a modern vampire-filled Film Noir?

There were two minions in addition to Dexter and Jake. They stood near the elevator doors. A hooded demon of some sort stood by a table in the corner of the room while an ordinary human man stared into a gas fueled fireplace. Then there was Lilah and her squabble partner, Gavin, and finally, there was the figure shrouded in the shadows in the far corner of the room. A man whose back was turned to the others as he stared down at the city below.

Spike remained highly aware of the silent figure on the far side of the room even as he spoke to Lilah and Gavin. "When you two kiddies are through kicking sand, you might like to actually make your offer."

Lilah shot Gavin a dismissive glare before returning her attention to Spike. "*I* have been given the authority to offer you the chance to play a pivotal role in-"

"Ending history as we know it," Gavin hurriedly finished Lilah's sentence.

Spike arched a brow and longed for a cigarette. Nothing was better at stalling for time while looking coolly dangerous than lighting a fag. He strove to sound bored. "Ending the world? That what this is about?" He smiled in his most seductive manner as he approached Lilah. "Couldn't be more original than that?"

"Originality is overrated," said the figure in the shadows. "Tradition is something we should be proud to uphold, William. But then, you would know little about that. You always wanted to break the rules."

Spike took a step toward the darkness. "And who might you be?"

"Who I am is of no importance," the figure answered. "What is important is who I was and who I will become."

Silence.

"And?" Spike pressed with impatience.

Still no answer. Bastard didn't even turn around to face him. Becoming pissed, Spike took another step into the shadows. "What's this got to do with me? Who the bloody hell are you?"

"Why, William, don't you know?" The man turned around and. . .

Spike had no idea who the man was. Not one bloody clue. Blond hair, sharp features, blue eyes, but Spike didn't know him, had never set eyes on the man before.

The stranger stepped into the light and smiled coldly. "Admittedly, our acquaintance was brief...and unpleasant. You really are lacking in manners, William."

"So I've been told. Now who the fuck are you?"

The man ignored Spike and spoke in a preoccupied manner as though he was only speaking to himself. "Darla was always aware of tradition. It always called to her. She always returned to it, to me, despite the centuries she wasted on that Irish dog Angelus. She was purebred and wasted time with mongrels such as yourself. But she always remembered to drag her puppies home to meet their master."

Their...?

The stranger nodded at the minions, who rushed Spike. Derek, Jake, the two minions by the door, all came at him at once. Spike turned and - damn it! All the furniture in the room was chrome, steel, glass and leather, nothing stake worthy anywhere in sight. He fought bare handed. Catching one of the nameless minions off guard, Spike's roundhouse kick propelled the younger vampire into the spandrel glass. There was a horrified look on the minion's face as the glass cracked and came crashing down as the vampire fell out the window. Spike could hear the minion scream as it plummeted to the ground twenty stories below. Spike caught Jake, and with a quick twist, ripped his kidnapper's head off.

Dust scattered across the black and white marble floor as a sharp pain dug into Spike's back. He looked over his shoulder in confusion and stared into a face that was no face. The demon he had noticed earlier had nothing but a black void beneath its hood. . .at least Spike thought so. It was hard to tell. His vision was becoming blurry and his extremities numb. As Spike fell paralyzed to the floor, he saw the demon holding a large, ugly looking hypodermic needle in its gnarled hand. Drugs? He'd been drugged?

Spike lay on the floor staring up at the blond man.

"You are of my Order," the man said. "You are of my line. I wasn't particularly impressed with you a hundred and twenty years ago but my options are limited." His self satisfied smile was ghastly. "William, once again you've met your Master."



Reggie lay with his arms folded under his head as he napped at the

library table. Willow ignored the drool that made a stretchy string from his lip to the highly polished mahogany. Lydia sat at the other end of the table quietly reviewing her notes while Willow sat on the floor in the corner with books scattered around her as she stared at the prophecy for ...like... the *millionth* time.

There had to be an answer. There had to be *something.* But no matter how many times she had read the parchment Willow could find nothing new. It was just the same words over and over again. She traced the ragged edge of the paper and wished she knew where the rest of it was. When had it been lost? A hundred years ago? Longer than that? If she had the rest of the paper would she find some way to avert disaster?

A thought teased her. More than a thought, actually. It was a memory. She remembered walking into the Magic Box and throwing open texts. She remembered absorbing the words, *feeling* them and the histories behind them. It had been exhilarating and terrifying. In her grief and rage, her power had driven her over the edge. She knew now that the power inside her could lead her to horrible things. It could overtake her conscience... her humanity...but...

But this was different. This wasn't rage. This wasn't grief and torment. This wasn't vengeance. *This* was desperation. She had to do *something* or the world would end, so Willow lightly, hesitantly touched the paper while reaching out with her senses-with *all* of her senses. She could feel the darkness behind them. It hovered just around the edge of her consciousness. She turned her minds eye away from it. She would not go there. She would never go there again... Please, never let her go there again because if she did, Willow knew she would never make it back.

She tried to stay controlled and calm. She tried to remain at peace as Tara had always tried to teach her to be, as the Council had coached her to be. She could do this without losing herself. She had to.

She felt the words and she felt. . .

Damn it! That son of a bitch Quentin Travers!

Willow realized she had said the words aloud when Lydia suddenly looked at Willow, and Reggie fell out of his chair. He wiped drool off his chin as Willow waved the parchment. "Mr. Travers tore off the rest of the prophecy!" she told them.

Lydia asked, "Are you certain?"

"Pretty darn certain."

"Bastard," Reggie growled then looked embarrassed that he had said the word. "Uh... that is..." Reggie climbed to his feet. "Mr. Travers must be concealing something important."

"Oh, I bet it's important alright." Willow mustered her resolve face. "And we're going to find out what it is."



The room was no operating room. It hadn't been designed as a place for medical procedures ... though Lilah had to admit there was something cold, stark, and antiseptic about the room with its dead white walls, black leather chaise, and chrome tables. The minions had dragged a paralyzed but mostly conscious William from the living room to the room Dr. Melman had appropriated earlier in the evening. Now, a bare-chested William the Bloody lay strapped to the black leather van der Rohe Barcelona chaise, and perhaps she should feel sympathy at seeing such a proud, wild creature in restraints...but her mind kept wandering to kinkier places.

Lilah's pleasant musings were interrupted by Gavin asking, "Isn't being vamped a bit like being pregnant? Either you are or you aren't."

Lilah stepped away from the chaise and returned her attention to the odd menagerie of occupants in the room. Dr. Melman and his demonic medical assistant were handling several vials of blood extracted from the vampire laying on the chaise while Gavin pestered them with questions. Standing silently to one side was Gabriel, who in a previous life had been known as The Master.

She was still confused by the specifics of the Master's situation. Having witnessed Darla's resurrection a few years earlier, Lilah could only assume that when magic was used to resurrect a vampire, they returned not as the vampire but as a human. That was what had happened to Darla and that was what had happened to the Master as well. He was human. At least she was relatively certain he was human. Lilah found it strange that both Darla and the Master had returned from their dusty graves with their memories of their vampire lives intact.

Dr. Melman nodded in response to Gavin's question. "You are correct. Infected with the demon *is* infected with the demon. But there are varying degrees within the condition. After all, two months pregnant and nine months pregnant do not completely resemble one another."

Lilah cast a doubtful look at the physician. "There are different stages of infection?" This did not resemble the way that vampirism had been explained to her.

"Not precisely," Dr. Melman amended. "But just as there are differences in hormone levels and genetics unique to individual human progeny, vampires have different bloodlines and different degrees of demonic presence related to infection levels."

"But both are forms of reproduction..." Gavin ventured, desperately trying to sound assured though Lilah heard the hesitancy in his voice.

The doctor nodded. "Oh yes. Of course, human reproduction and vampire reproduction are very different things. Vampirism is more than science or biology. It's magic." He indicated the faceless demon who was constantly at his side. "This is the reason for my unique medical assistant. There are many factors unique to nosferatu. For instance, in the case of vampires, the first offspring are the strongest."

Lilah nodded. This she did know. "The first are masters."

The doctor shrugged. "If you wish to use such a superstitious and antiquated classification system." His pinched features looked infuriatingly pompous. Lilah hoped the doctor messed up in some way so that the senior partners would okay her having him killed when this was done. "It's a rather trite term."

She would definitely have him killed.

"If you say so," Lilah told him before falling silent and adopting a secretive smile as she contemplated whether his death should be at the hands of Lilliard demons or Zorads.

The doctor appeared to be oblivious to anything but the sound of his own voice. "A vampire's first offspring is superior in every way to any later offspring. For reasons unknown, a sire's first progeny bonds more readily and more intimately with its human host. It functions at the highest mental capacity, and is more capable of passing unnoticed among human society."

Gavin nodded as if he had in someway known all of this. He was an inveterate poseur. "You mean they resort to game face less often."

"Usually, yes. Later offspring--" the doctor indicated the thuggish vampire named Dexter standing near the door "-are more demon than human." Melman looked at Lilah and asked in a patronizing tone. "Have you ever seen the demonic species from which our earth-bound vampires originate? Those demons are dumb as rocks."

"So being first offspring is important?" Gavin asked.

"To fully utilize the gifts of the human host? Yes, it is very important." Melman laid the vile of blood down on the table and indicated Spike. "And not a problem in this case. This vampire has never sired." He looked into the microscope he had set up on this table. "He is also quite definitely of the Line of Aurelius. There is no problem there, either."

Gavin drew close to the doctor. "You say that as though you believe there is a problem *somewhere.*"

"Problem? No. Complication? Maybe." Dr. Melman hit a button on his laptop computer and the microscope image of blood cells filled the LCD screen. "Our blood donor is of the correct bloodline and therefore has the particular strain of demonic infection that we seek. It's-" he laughed. "Well, for vampires it is the equivalent of a very robust strain. But remember what I said about concentration levels?"

"Varying degrees within the condition?" Lilah inquired.

"Yes. Our donor has the evil equivalent of a low sperm count."

"That is, if demonic infection were sperm," Lilah drawled. "Which it isn't."

"True, but, as a rough analogy it works fairly well. Of course, the implications of William the Bloody's condition are far more startling than a low sperm count. "

"And by that you mean...?"

"This is his blood. It is what is in him." The doctor pointed to the computer screen image. "Note the lack of the darker, demonic molecules. This creature would barely test positive for vampiric activity. He is more man than monster."

Lilah glanced over at Gabriel. She could tell by the expression on his face that he disliked what he was hearing. Straightening her shoulders and narrowing her eyes, she asked in a stern, authoritative voice. "And how do you propose to fix this?"

It was best to sound as commanding as possible.

The doctor's latex gloves snapped as he pulled them on. "Most sirings take only a minimal amount of blood from the sire. In this case, I suggest we drain the vampire entirely and centrifuge the blood for an artificial siring procedure."

Gavin grinned. "We're making vampire concentrate."

Lilah glanced at the blond figure the doctor had pronounced more man than monster and admitted a truth to herself that she would admit to no one else. They were proposing to bring this creature great pain, to drain the life from him. There were violating him in an intimate and horrible way. They were forcing William to sire against his will. Lilah knew she should be disgusted. A normal person would horrified, but for her it was just another day at the office. She worked for Wolfram and Hart.

Lilah watched Dr. Melman approach William with medical instruments that appeared to have been used during the Spanish Inquisition. In contrast, the immaculately appointed room also boasted a very technical looking device. It appeared to be a heart/lung machine. Only from what the doctor had described, Lilah was fairly certain no blood was going to be fed back into the vampire donor. He was being drained to turn Gabriel into the Master of Aurelius once again.

Lilah followed Gabriel, Gavin, Dr. Melman and his demonic medical assistant across the room. She stood over the Barcelona chaise and looked down into the paralyzed William's clear blue eyes. She saw many things written in that cerulean gaze-anger, contempt, and resignation. She also saw incipient fear which made her wonder...what must it be like to face having life drained from you drop by drop for the *second* time...?



Continued in Chapter Eleven: Telling Secrets

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