Disclaimer: Not mine! Acheron, Talon, et al belong to Sherrilyn Kenyon & Faith & Cordy to Joss Whedon.
A/N: Ash may be a little OOC in this chapter…not sure.
Katoteros - Morning
Ash silently watched Faith sleep. She look so relaxed and peaceful even younger than he knew she was. Tentatively he reached out his hand and brushed her hair back from her neck. That was when he noticed the bruises. As he looked closely he could see more purple splotches on her arms.
“I’m a monster,” Ash all but wailed.
“Huh? What’re you talkin’ ‘bout?” Faith asked sleepily.
He had been running his hands all over her which felt delicious. She’d been meaning to wake up so that she could fully enjoy that when his exclamation came. Then she heard Ash muttering things that sounded like… ‘monster’, ‘depraved’, and ‘no better than an animal’.
“Shouldn’t you be in a better mood?” she half sat up and arched an eyebrow at him.
He looked like he was gonna cry, his silver eyes swirling faster than usual.
Faith sat up fully and tried to get her bearings, she was still kinda muzzy from being tranqued a couple times the day before plus that mickey they slipped her later on. “Ash, what’s wrong?” she laid her hand on his arm and he jerked away with a pained look on his handsome face.
“I hurt you,” he moaned piteously.
He pointed dramatically to the bruises on her arms. “Look.”
She inspected the hand prints on her biceps and thought, ‘Wow…drama much?’
Then she shrugged, “No big, they’ll be gone by tonight.”
She stretched and rubbed her stomach.
He made a low, revolted noise in the back of his throat, “There’s more!” he pointed at the insides of her thighs which were covered in bruises as well, now greenish and fading.
“Well, yeah, your hips are kinda boney, kiddo,” she frowned at him. “What’s your major malfunction anyway? It’s just a coupla bruises.”
He started to protest again and she cut him off with a kiss. Ash held his breath as she sank to the floor in front of him. She looked up at him with a devilish grin, her eyes bright then took him into her mouth.
His head spun as he watched her tease and lick. "You don’t have to do that.” He moved to stop her and she growled and pushed his hands away. The sensation of her throat vibrating around him was more than he could stand. He convulsed as his body was rocked by an intense climax. Before he could stop himself, he released in her mouth. Ash leaned back against the headboard as his body continued to spasm. It was one of the best orgasms he'd ever had and he felt a blissful peace wash over him momentarily.
Until he realized what he'd done. Then he cursed at his stupidity while he waited for her to tell him how disgusting he was, "I’m sorry, Faith. I should have warned you."
She scowled up at him, "Warned me about what?"
He looked down, not wanting to meet her piercing stare, "Normally I have better control. I should have given you time to pull away."
Faith crawled back up the bed, and dipped her head so that she could meet his gaze. "Ash, that was kinda the point of that little exercise. I got mad skills…you couldn’t not lose control.” She smirked.
He nuzzled her cheek, reveling in the smoothness of her skin, "You're too good to be true."
He laughed and dipped his head to nuzzle her neck. "I'm glad you don't find me repulsive anymore."
She sobered as she looked at him, “I’ve never found you repulsive.”
Faith sprawled across his chest; her long, lean body pressed against his and held him close. Her skin warmed him as the hairs at the juncture of her thighs teased his stomach. He felt himself start to harden again.
Alexion stared into the eerie red mists of the sfora—an ancient Atlantean orb that could see into the past, present and future. He had been searching relentlessly for the forces behind the events in New Orleans. It seemed he had finally located Camulus’ other accomplice. It was the Greek God Dionysus. Between the three of them…Styxx, Dion, and Cam… Ash and the other Dark Hunters were in for one hell of a battle come Mardi Gras night.
He sighed and stretched. If he had been in human form he would no doubt be sore and stiff from lingering in the same position for so many hours. He sighed. He hated to disturb the first few moments of real pleasure Ash had experienced in centuries, but he needed to know about this.
“Faith, I need to leave for a bit. I have some things to take care of.”
“Cool. I’ll come with you. Cor's probably goin' nuts wondering where the hell I-" Faith began.
“No. I want you to stay here where it’s safe.”
Faith put her hands on her hips and gave him her best pissed off Slayer stare. “Excuse me? Who died and made you boss?”
Silently he tried to use his mind to probe the quiet surrounding her to break down whatever shield was protecting her. Ash paused. In that moment, he wanted to tell her the truth about what was happening and why.
He had a fantasy in his mind of Faith welcoming him in spite of it all. Of her taking it in stride without freaking out…she was a vampire Slayer after all, protected by the Powers That Be and no stranger to the supernatural. On the other hand…he had a feeling that Faith might mind him needing blood to survive not to mention the fact that he was the cursed god she’d been sent to ‘stop’.
He sighed, he was acting like some kid with his first crush. In a way he supposed Faith was his first crush, but he wasn’t a kid any more. He'd lived a long time, long enough to know people didn’t react well to things that were different or in Faith’s case things she believed she was destined to kill.
No, no matter how much he wanted her to smile at him and tell him none of it mattered to her...he knew better. How many centuries had he waited for his past to not to matter to Artemis?
How could a mere mortal take all of this in stride? Accept him in his true form? She’d been sent here to stop him. It was a very dangerous world he existed in and even with her supernatural strength she didn't stand a chance of surviving if he became involved with her.
"Ash . . ." she said, a note of warning in her voice.
He grabbed the bag and was out of the room before she could reach him.
He could hear the muffled banging as she pounded on the door and he cringed. He’d been held prisoner enough to hate himself a little for what he'd just done, but he’d just found her again and he had to protect her.
"Is there a reason she's locked up?" Alexion's voice distracted him.
"Yeah," he said, "I need her to stay here for a bit…I have some things to take care of and I want her safe."
Alexion gave him a frown. "You do
like to live dangerously.”
Acheron ignored the comment. "Give me a few minutes head start then you can let her out of there.”
Alex shook his head. ‘For the first time I’m glad I’m a shade…that way when she kicks my ass I won’t feel it.’
“Tell her I'll be back soon.”
Alexion sighed as he shook his head again. He reached to open the door and was confronted with a very pissed off vampire Slayer. "Hello, Faith. You were feeling a bit out of sorts last night…my name is Alexion."
Faith glared at him. "So I’m a prisoner?"
"Acheron wants you protected and my job is to keep you safe."
She lifted her chin defiantly, “I don’t need nobody to protect me!”
“Yes, well, the boss says I’m supposed to keep you here where it’s safe.”
"You always do what he wants?"
"Yes, usually. I owe him a lot.”
That took some of the edge off of Faith's anger. "Yeah, well I don’t take orders and I’ve sure spent enough of my life locked up,” she said sullenly.
"Well, I don’t see why you can’t come out of this room...it’s not like you can get very far on your own. Simi and I are the only ones here. I’m afraid we’re not very good company,” he said as he stood back from the door.
Faith wondered what the hell he meant by ‘it’s not like you can get very far on your own’? Where the hell is this?
Faith trailed after ‘Alexion’ to a room full of TV’s which were all tuned to QVC. She paused at the sight of the little demon on the floor. She had long, black hair that fell over skin marbled white and red. Faith could see two small red horns gleaming in the black hair. She sat on the floor with her red wings tucked around her body, eating a huge plate of barbeque ribs and she seemed to be completely engrossed in the home shopping network.
“Those are some sweet wings,” Faith said, “Simi right?”
“Fay-uth! You’re awake!” the demon girl said brightly her eyes glowed… white irises, surrounded by vivid red and orange swirling together. Her voice had a singsong quality as she said, “The Simi is so happy to finally meet you akra!”
She studied Faith for a moment before turning to Alexion. “Where’s my other plastic Lexie? They says this one’s maxxed out.”
"You don't need to buy anything else, Simi." Alex said obviously trying for 'stern' and failing.
Her singsongy response was quick and automatic. "Yes I do."
"No," he insisted. "You don't. You already have more than enough baubles to keep you occupied."
She pouted at him while her eyes flamed red and her tail flicked around. "Gimme my plastic, Lexie. Now!"
Faith watched this exchange with some amusement.
***Still need a beta-reader familiar with the DH fandom!