Sprawling in his chair, Spike calmly worked his way through another cigarette, the thick smoke swirling around his head, as he studied the human tucked under his raw silk blanket and asked himself for the umpteenth time what in the hell he was going to do now.
When he first saw Krycek almost two years ago, all he wanted to do was break the assassin and mold him into Spike's ideal pet, but chasing him around the world and seeing what Krycek lived through had the vampire develop a grudging respect for the cold blooded killer. The same kind of respect a panther would give a tiger when they met in the jungle.
It had taken Spike quite a while, but he had finally caught up with Krycek. Unfortunately, it had been after his left arm was crudely amputated and he was tossed into a hell-hole of a prison. With the help of a local tribe of vorlag demons, Spike had gotten his prize out of the prison and the tribe's shaman had managed to restore the amputated arm. Between the stress and shock of first loosing the arm, then the difficulties he had in prison and finally the drain of the magic used to restore the arm, Krycek had been asleep for nearly a week, not stirring when Spike brought him to the Fifth Avenue penthouse in New York City that the vampire owned.
That hadn't surprised him as much as what the vorlag shaman had told him after the ritual that restored Krycek's arm. Apparently, there was traces of some strange substance in the human's body which, when combined with the magic the shaman had used, had made Krycek immortal. Immortal, as in never gonna change, damn near impossible to kill, and would heal from anything if given time.
Shaking his head, Spike stabbed the cigarette stub out in an overflowing ashtray before lighting another one. He blinked in surprise at the amount of smoke starting to obscure his vision and he stalked over to the balcony and opened it, allowing the cool night air in, stirring the smoke before coaxing it out of the stuffy room.
Returning to his chair, Spike froze as he heard a slight noise from outside the bedroom but when the noise faded, he relaxed slightly as the human servants went about their business. There was a butler, maid and cook to oversee the care of the penthouse as well as each others' needs, and they knew enough about vampires to be able to judge Spike's moods. They had been hired from a demon-run agency that sent human servants and helpers to various demons who were only staying temporarily or needed some help until they could settle in on their own. The humans were in no danger from the demons because if one of the humans was either hurt or killed by their demon employer, that demon would never be able to hire from the agency again and that would seriously hurt the demon.
"What am I going ta do with ya pet?" Spike's words hung in the air, curling on a ribbon of smoke as the peroxide blond vampire studied what he could see of the human assassin. Pale skin with some scars stretched over a nicely muscled chest and thick, dark hair tumbling across his forehead, making Spike's fingers itch to push it back. Thick lashes lay like crescent moons on his pale cheeks and lips that only added to Krycek's masculine beauty.
'It would be so easy to keep you by my side, pretty one,' mused Spike, gazing at the man and feeling his unbeating heart lurch in an all too familiar way at the thought of Krycek leaving him. He froze, his eyes widening in disbelief. Obsession he could deal with, and respect was always nice, but *love*? That was the last thing he wanted, especially love for a *human* who didn't know him from the chaos demon down the street.
Just then, Krycek started stirring and Spike decided to shelve that particular thought for later because he had a guest to deal with.
The faint sounds of traffic filtered through the comforting darkness that cradled him and as consciousness gradually returned, the first thing Krycek noticed was that the agony that had been his constant companion since he lost his arm was gone. Raw silk slid against his skin and cigarette smoke lay heavy in the air. The obvious wealth and that distinct smell told him that his worst fears had come true.
He was once more in the hands of the Consortium and C. G. B. Spender, a.k.a. the Cigarette-Smoking Man, was his jailer.
Slowly opening his eyes, Krycek braced himself for the harsh glare of artificial lights only to be greeted by softly glowing candles scattered around the room mixed with the lights of some city playing across the ceiling. A faint breeze stirred the air and made the candle flames dance even as it distilled some of the heavy smoke that hung in the room. Cautiously, he shifted slightly under the covers and discovered that he was completely naked beneath the raw silk and he resisted the urge to chuckle. Naked he may be, but Krycek was never helpless.
"Was wondering when ya were gonna wake up, pet." The voice was not the one he had been expecting and sat up abruptly, trying to trace the source of that Cockney accented voice. Krycek bit his lip as a wave of dizziness threatened to send him back into a horizontal position but after a few seconds, managed to fight his way past the dizziness and slid out from under the covers to stand next to the bed. A few more heartbeats and he was able to focus through the slowly thinning smoke, making out a dark figure that didn't look like Spender.
A young man stood there in tight black jeans and an equally tight black tee-shirt with peroxide blonde hair slicked back from his sharp, angular face and a lit cigarette lightly held between two pale fingers. Scuffed black boots and a scar slashing through his left eyebrow completed the punk look, but some instinct told Krycek that this young man was a predator as equally as dangerous as Krycek himself.
"You've been asleep for some time, pet," drawled the man, taking a casual drag off of his cigarette and Krycek then noticed his nails were painted black, another accent to the punk image. "Yer probably hungry. Can't imagine that they fed ya decently in that excuse of a hell hole."
Casually looking around, Krycek noticed a closed door beyond the punk and an open balcony door. He might be able to get past the punk and out the door, but out the balcony could be another way out and not the first time he had to leave a room that way. The only difference is that he didn't know how high up they were. 'Better to stall for now and then get out of here later,' decided Krycek. "Who are you and where am I?"
"He speaks!" cried the punk, smirking at Krycek. "For a minute I thought they took your tongue with yer arm."
The reminder had Krycek glancing at his left arm only to freeze, his mouth hanging open as he stared in disbelief at his left arm. His whole, complete, undamaged left arm. The only indication that it had ever been missing was a pale band of scar tissue that encircled his bicep.
"Wha...? How...?" The Consortium didn't have the technology to replace amputated limbs, not even with their cloning technology that they were given by the aliens could replace limbs. He raised stunned green eyes to meet twinkling blue ones.
"Magic," replied the punk, smugly before casually walking over to a boudoir and opening it to remove what looked like a dark green silk robe that he tossed to Krycek. "I don't mind ya walking around like that, but it might offend the sensibilities of the human servants."
'Human servants? Weren't all servants human?' thought Krycek, confused, as he slipped into the robe, the silk caressing his skin in a sinfully decadent manner. He was going to have to get more information before he could make his move, because an uninformed assassin was a dead assassin.
Acting as casual as he could, Krycek followed the punk out of the room and into what appeared to be a richly decorated penthouse. Thick carpets partially covered marble floors, practical yet comfortable furniture was scattered around, and all the windows were open, the heavy velvet drapes moving in the breeze. The overall colors seemed to be crimson and crème with a few accents of black and gold, somehow working together to create an almost homey feel to the place.
When they entered the dining room, Krycek's surprise and awe at the place almost made him freeze in place. The dining room was a formal affair with a wrought iron chandelier hanging over the heavy oak table that had enough room for six people to sit comfortably around it. However, only one place was set for company and the punk waved him towards that place as he sank into the chair at the head of the table. Apparently, the punk didn't entertain guests that often or at least not large parties in this place, and that lead Krycek to wonder just who his host really was.
The black jeans and tee-shirt were almost worn to the point of falling off and the Doc martins on his feet look like they've been worn for over a decade, yet the peroxide blond was completely at ease in the luxury that surrounded them, a fact that was emphasized when a butler in full uniform came out with a maid bearing a tray of food and the punk didn't even blink when the butler placed a heavy marble ashtray next to a tall mug of something.
Easily, the maid placed the food before Krycek, removed the covers and quietly withdrew, leaving the butler alone in the room with them. Casually, the butler poured a glass of ice water for Krycek before turning slightly to the punk.
"Will you require anything further, Master Spike?" he inquired in a polite voice that should have belonged to one of the Well-Manicured Man's older servants, but somehow fit the barely fifty-year old butler.
Spike shook his head, his eyes never leaving Krycek's face and the butler placed the pitcher of ice water on the table before leaving the two of them alone. Casually placing his cigarette in the ashtray, Spike picked up his mug and easily drained as Krycek watched when suddenly, his face seemed to ripple even as the feeling of evil crept across Krycek's skin. When Spike lowered the mug, Krycek found himself staring into a distorted face that contained glowing golden eyes and razor sharp teeth that were tinted red from whatever the mug contained.
'Blood' a part of his mind noticed while the rest of him wanted nothing more than to run screaming from the room and the vampire that was sitting at the table, calmly licking his fangs clean.