Part 7 of 7
Part 7 of 7
Jason had driven her back to her hotel room after the breakfast. The wolf-boy still seemed somewhat intimidated by her presence, but not as much as he’d been last night. At the end there he’d started flirting with her, which she assumed was his normal behaviour around hot chicks.
Faith had a lot of stuff to think about, but she figured she’d done more than enough deep thinking for one day. Rich was a good guy and she wanted to help him like Angel had helped her, but there was only so much deep talk and holding hands a girl could take.
Also, the whole rush of power last night had left her wound up but good. Hunting game as a wolf was... interesting, but it didn’t help with the old H&H problem. The hungry part was taken care of, but the other...? There’d been some possibilities among the pack, but after last night most of them had been a little too much in awe of her, so she’d shelved that idea.
Besides, she remembered, she still had a date with the police for today. And figuring that those car keys she’d found in her room probably meant she also had a car around here someplace, she might just as well take care of that right away.
Finding the car wasn’t easy, as she did not know what it looked like, or where it was parked, but a little trial & error with the remote finally paid off in the hotel’s parking lot. A nice-looking hummer was standing there, all black and shiny. Faith was instantly in love.
Even better, the beautiful car also included a navigation system, so she wouldn’t need anyone to give her directions. Taking out the card Detective Zebrowski had given her, she punched in the address and allowed the sexy male voice of the nav-system to guide her through St. Louis’ noon traffic.
Making her statement to the police took the rest of the day. Paperwork and more paperwork, it seemed. She’d worried quite a bit, considering her history with the police, but this was not the police back home, thankfully.
Oh, she had to wing it a bit when asked about her activities just prior to coming here, but thankfully a lot of things had cleared themselves up already. There had indeed been a price on the Eater’s head. Faith figured that - how had her god pal put it - the forest had made a trail for him, too. A trail of dead vampires and vengeful relatives, it seemed. And since she’d been the one to kill the Eater, she’d get the bounty, too. There was a nice cheque waiting for her.
Some final signatures and one pay-out later she was on her way out of the station. The sun had gone down about twenty minutes ago and she met a familiar face on the steps.
“Damian,” she greeted the vampire, for whom she still needed a good nickname. “How are things in the land of the undead?”
The blood-haired vampire gave her what might have been considered a smile if he hadn’t looked so miserable. “Not very good, I’m afraid.”
Faith sobered, remembering how many of his friends and comrades had died fighting the Eater two nights ago. And if she remembered right his boss had also been a part of this triumvirate thing that had hurt Rich so badly. Odds were he wasn’t in great shape, either.
“How’s your boss?” she asked, still feeling bad for not having stopped the Eater sooner.
“The master survives, but his wounds are deep. I fear it is not a good time for the vampires of St. Louis.”
Faith sighed. “Look, Damien. How about we talk some after you’ve done your bit with the police, okay? Maybe I can help out.”
He walked up to her and placed a hand on her shoulder. “You have done a lot for us already, Faith. Without you the monster would have killed us all.”
“Maybe, but... let’s just say I have this thing for vampires with souls, okay?”
He frowned. “Whether or not creatures such as us have souls is a matter of great debate, Faith.”
“Not for me, big guy,” she told him, smiling. “Believe me; I know the difference between soul and soulless fiend.”
Taking out the cheque she’d been given, she waved it in front of his nose. “Besides, half of this sweet thing here is yours, seeing as you were the one to chop off the thing’s head. I figure the least I can do is spring for dinner.”
Now Damian smirked. “You are offering dinner to a vampire?”
Faith sighed deeply as the sweat began cooling on her body. She’d never quite understood what made B give up the hot-blooded studs for the cold, dead guys. Now she knew, though.
Stamina, baby! Stamina and centuries of experience!
“Not quite the dinner you had in mind?” Damian asked, leaning on his elbow beside her, his long blood-red hair spilling over them both like a blanket.
“I’m not complaining,” she said dreamily.
Damian certainly did have some mad skills and he didn’t mind it a bit rough. Figured, she mused. Having been a Viking marauder in life, rough had probably been the only way he’d known back then. Still, he was damn good. And it helped that the vampires in this world apparently didn’t go for the whole cold, clammy skin thing. He even had a heartbeat. Had something to do with having fed before going to the police station, he’d said.
A willing donor, he’d assured her upon seeing the hard glint in her eyes.
Faith stretched like a cat, feeling more sated than she remembered feeling in a good long while. All in all this forced vacation in another world wasn’t turning out that bad. Still, there was still one hell of a mess to clean up, she figured.
“So tell me,” she finally said, turning on her side to face him. “How bad is it in the world of vamps?”
Damian sighed deeply, his eyes dimming a bit. For a few brief hours he had managed to push his worries aside, losing himself in this amazing woman that had saved them all. Now, though, reality reared its ugly head again.
“The master is recovering, but very slowly.”
By some strange twist of fate Damian had found himself in charge of the city, even though he wasn’t, nor would he ever be a master. As things stood, though, with Jean-Claude out of commission and so many dead, he was the most powerful vampire left, master or no master. That left him to deal with matters that were, if he was truthful with himself, way over his head.
“I met the Ulfric yesterday,” Faith told him. “He wasn’t in too good a shape, either.”
Damian hadn’t even thought about the wolf king much, to be honest. He had known that the Ulfric, too, had been a part of the triumvirate with Anita, but he’d been too busy worrying about his master to consider what the shattering of the binding magic might have done to the wolf.
“Is he recovering as well?” Damian asked.
“It’ll take a while, but yes. Do you mind me asking... what exactly was going on between those three?”
“It is not my place to tell. Suffice to say that there were two men in love with the same woman and a deep well of power that they could only tap together. I fear what will happen next, now that this power has been lost.”
Faith gave him a questioning look.
“I don’t understand.”
Damian wasn’t really sure whether it was a good idea, but the last two days had left the usually stoic vampire with the desire to talk to someone. He wasn’t a leader, had never wanted to be a leader, and he wasn’t terribly good at it. Jean-Claude might punish him for breaking confidence later on, but if he survived to do so, then that would be all right by Damian.
“The master is young, Faith. Powerful, but young. Some would say too young to be a Master of the City. His powers increased greatly, though, through the bond with the wolf king and Anita. It allowed him to keep his position against stronger, more powerful challengers.”
“And now without them he’s back to being just young, is that it?” she asked, understanding.
“The timing could hardly have been worse,” Damian nodded. “Not too long ago the master, with the help of Anita and other allies, defeated a great enemy, the Earth Mover.”
“Doesn’t sound that dangerous,” Faith said.
“The Earth Mover was one of the oldest vampires in existence, possibly THE oldest. He was a member of the Vampire Council.”
Understanding dawned in Faith’s eyes. “Ah, I get it. You’re afraid his pals might want retribution for his death.”
“It is a possibility. With the master at full power we might have had a small chance to weather this kind of storm, but diminished as he is...”
Great, Faith mused. And here she’d thought the wolves would have it bad with their leader out of sorts. It seemed the vamps were even worse off. Figures that some new big bad would be on the horizon just when her little cross-world-adventure caused the locals to be short on power.
More things to feel guilty about. Oh, Faith knew that the actions of the Eater of the Dead weren’t her fault. Channelling her inner Angel only went so far before she put a stop to it. Still, she couldn’t help but feel that, if only she’d been a bit faster, she could have saved that Blake chick whose death had thrown things into chaos like this. Or maybe even stopped the Eater from coming to this world in the first place.
“Anything I can do to help?” she asked Damian, her fingers playing with the strands of his blood-red hair.
“You have already done a lot, Faith,” he simply said. “I thank you for listening to me. If the worst should come to pass and the Council should come to town... we will do what we can. That is all anyone can do.”
Faith nodded. “Okay. But if those big bads do come, give me a call, okay? I do have some experience in dealing with old-as-dirt vampires.”
Damian apparently tried to figure out whether she was kidding, so she gave him a confident smile.
“Enough with the deep thoughts now,” Faith told him after a minute. “Sunrise is still hours away. You up for another round?”
Damian flashed a smile filled with fangs.
*****Author’s Note: That’s it for episode 2, folks. Hope you liked the second go-around in this fun-filled universe I’m building. I do have some ideas on how to continue this, but I’m gonna take it slow. Tell me what you think, maybe give me some hints what you’d like to see next, and I’ll see whether or not I can come up with episode 3 anytime soon. Cheers!