Disclaimer: I own no part of BtVS or Vampire Diairies. This is written for pleasure and not financial gain. No copyright infringement intended.
Banner and beta by dawnofmeThe Other Bloody Ring
Spike slammed his fist on the steering wheel of his old Desoto as drove out of Sunnydale.
“Hateful bloody place. Don’t know why I ever went back. Nothing ever goes right for me in that town.”
He continued to rant about his latest abject failure to a) get what he wanted and b) to defeat the Slayer as Sunnydale was left miles behind.
Needing little sleep, Spike drove for twenty hours out of every twenty-four. He only stopped to fill up the Desoto with gas and to fill up his belly with the attendant who filled up the gas, before having a little nap on the rear seat.
Knowing damn well that they’d all expect him to trail to LA in his quest to get his hands on the Gem of Amara, Spike – for once – made a good decision and decided to head over to Mystic Falls to see his old buddy, Damon, instead.
He sighed with relief when he passed the city limits sign. He’d heard that the Salvatores had returned to their old stomping grounds, and Spike had to admire their nerve. An awful lot of people had wanted them dead last time around.
Like all towns, Mystic Falls had a good old crappy motel on the outskirts and Spike pulled into its lot. Climbing out of the car, he arched his body as he stretched and groaned loudly. He loved his old car but she wasn’t the comfiest mode of transport.
“Oh, my God! I’m starting to think about the benefits of the lumbar support of a bleeding Volvo!” Spike shook his head sadly. “I’m getting old.”
His long strides ate up the distance between the car and the motel’s front desk. Spotting a chrome bell that had long since lost its shine, he banged impatiently on it to summon the desk clerk.
“Come on. Come on,” he muttered under his breath.
He was bloody starving and eating the receptionist where you were staying wasn’t the best idea. Only just managing to keep his smile from getting toothy, Spike nodded at the overweight man who strolled to the desk. Chest hair poked out of the top of his stained vest and he was absently scratching an armpit as he met Spike’s eyes.
Spike’s appetite disappeared.
Rolling his eyes, Spike gritted his teeth and said, “A room.”
“How long for?”
Digging in his pocket, Spike pulled out a handful of bills and tossed them on the desk. “How long will this get me? No questions asked.”
Chubby fingers grabbed the cash with a speed that Spike wouldn’t have thought possible from a human.
The man counted them and said, “Four nights.”
“Four nights! That’s bleeding daylight robbery.”
Shrugging he added, “It’ll be three if you keep complaining.”
Spike’s fingers twitched, desperate to crush the git’s throat.
“Okay. I’ll take it.” Shite he hated having to pay for stuff. “For four nights.” He leaned forward and growled quietly. “Give me a room at the back.”
To Spike’s delight, the man paled and his hand shook as he passed the vampire the key to his room. Snatching it out of his hand, Spike spun on his heels and with his duster swirling about his legs, he walked back outside.
Glancing at his room number, Spike decided to move the Desoto closer to his door. That done, he picked up a small bag from the front seat and went into his room. The décor made him wince and the musty stench made him gag and decide to forget about breathing for a while. He put the bag on the top of the drawers and took out its contents: four bottles of Budweiser and a half empty bottle of Jack Daniels.
Taking a swig of the JD, Spike stripped and went for a shower. The only reason he could handle having to pay for a room was for the luxury of a hot shower. Fifteen minutes later, smelling faintly of apricots, Spike reappeared. He dressed, slicked back his trying to curl hair, and stalked out of the room.
Wandering down the main street, Spike smiled when he saw the Mystic Grill. If ever a place was likely to do blooming onions, this was it. He could have one as an appetiser whilst selecting the main course from the well-fed diners; preferably one who’d had some good red wine with their meal. Made the blood delicious, did red wine.
Sighing happily, Spike sat unobtrusively in a corner, well as unobtrusively as a bleach blond black leather clad stranger could do. The onion and a beer ordered, he settled back to survey the crowd. A blonde girl sitting alone caught his eye and smiled at him boldly. Spike quickly broke eye contact, last thing he needed right now was another bloody Harmony.
The door opened and a slim brunette walked in with a pretty dark-skinned girl who had the smell of witchcraft around her. They sat with the blonde and Spike began to tune out until he heard the brunette mention Stefan.
So the rumours were right. The Salvatores had returned. One thing was certain, if old broody – nearly as bad as bleeding Angel for whining – Stefan was around then Damon couldn’t be far away.
An hour and two more beers later, Spike stood up, left enough notes to cover the bill with a decent tip on top, and wandered outside following his main course. A middle-aged woman who’d quaffed almost a full bottle of red with her steak.
“I really don’t think you should be driving, love,” Spike said, smiling his sweetest smile - the one with the head tilt and the tongue against his teeth.
Too old to giggle, the woman giggled nonetheless and leaned unsteadily against her car.
“I think I over did the wine.”
“I think you’re right. Why don’t I call your husband and get him to come and pick you up?”
She snorted and waved a hand in the air. “He’s not here! Away on business – so he says.”Even better.
“He must be off his head, leaving a woman like you all alone.”
His words had the desired effect and the woman batted her eyelashes at him. “I don’t suppose you could call me a cab?”Gotcha!
“I’ll do better than that, love. Why don’t I drive you home?”
“But I don’t even know you.”
Both Spike and the woman knew that he was going to take her home but the game had to be played. Holding out his hand, Spike said, “The name’s Spike. Pleased to meet you.”
“Ooh, Spike!” The woman’s hand fluttered at her throat, and Spike had to concentrate hard not to vamp out there and then. “Sound’s dangerous.” She took his hand in hers.
“Nah, pet. I’m a little pussycat.” He bent, drawing her hand to his lips. “You still haven’t told me your name, or am I just going to have to call you beautiful all evening?” Christ if I don’t get her in the car in a minute I’m going to puke!
She giggled the silly girlish giggle again. “My name’s Bridget.”
“Well, Bridget, give us your keys and let me get you home.”
Her hand shuffled in her purse, and then she passed him the car keys. He led her around to the passenger side, which even after all his time in the States still felt like it should be the driver’s seat, opened the door and holding her hand, helped her sit down.
Once inside, he made sure that he drove out of the parking lot slowly to avoid drawing attention and followed the woman’s directions to a large house on the northern edge of the town.
“Nice place,” said Spike as he walked Bridget to the front door.
“Thank you.” She hesitated. “I don’t suppose you’d like a cup of coffee? I know it’s late…”
“Love one, pet!” Again the ‘oh I’m such a nice guy’ smile.
She unlocked the door and stepped to the side, waving Spike on.
“Ladies first.” He bowed his head a little as he swept his arm out to the side.
Laughing, Bridget took his hand and said, “Come inside, Spike.”
Invisible barrier removed, Spike stepped boldly over the threshold.
As Bridget busied herself with making the coffee, Spike wandered into the living room, noticing some nice antique silver, a bit like his mum used to have, he made a mental note to nick it when he’d eaten. Silver was easily fenced and he needed some cash.
“Here we are,” said Bridget, walking in carrying a tray laden with the drinks. “Please sit down.”
She put the tray on the low table in front of the couch. Perching on the edge of the couch, Bridget began to pour the coffee. “Do you take milk and sugar?”
Plonking down next to her, now sans the duster, Spike said, “To be honest, pet, I’d rather take you.”
Bridget’s hand trembled and Spike’s nostrils twitched as the scent of her arousal increased tenfold.
“I’m a married woman,” she said, simply because she thought it was the done thing to say in situations like this.
Spike took the coffee pot out of her hand and set it on the table. “Well, like I said before, he shouldn’t leave you all alone.”
Smiling the ‘I think you’re incredibly sexy’ smile, he leaned towards her. No reason not to have a bit of fun with her first.
Panting slightly, Bridget shifted to face him and her lips parting told him all he needed to know. Her heart rate quickened as he kissed not her lips but the pulse point in her neck. She was lost by the time his lips found hers.
“Why don’t we go somewhere a little more comfortable?” she whispered, moaning as his blunt teeth nibbled where his fangs would soon sink in.
She was so eager, Spike almost felt sorry for her. Standing up, he took her hands and pulled her to her feet, then scooped her up as easily as if she were a child. “Tell me where you want us to go.”
Giggling again in a way that made Spike sympathise with the husband leaving her behind, it really was a stupid sound, Bridget directed him to the master bedroom. It was ridiculously lavish in its furnishings.
“Wow, this is right posh,” he said, lowering her gently to the enormous bed.
“I designed it myself.” Bridget puffed up with pride.
“Really? Are you an interior designer?”
Spike cringed, but after over a century he knew that to achieve what you wanted you generally had to follow the rule of the three ‘F’s. Flattery – leading to fucking – leading to feeding! Spike often just skipped to the last phase but sometimes it was nice to indulge.
Again the giggle, which Spike quickly smothered with a kiss.
“The ensuite has a Jacuzzi – big enough for two.”
Spike grinned. Red wine laced blood, served up in a hot bath to keep it flowing. Delicious! Eager to get to the final F, Spike had Bridget stripped off and halfway to happy land in no time.
Having already had a surreptitious nibble, and knowing her blood was excellent, Spike felt generous and made sure that she’d climaxed twice before he allowed himself release. Drawing the line at cuddling, he left a very well satisfied Bridget sprawled on the bed and stalked off to fill the Jacuzzi.
“Time to get clean, kitten,” purred Spike, scooping her up once more.
“You’re so strong,” said Bridget, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing his collarbone.
“Nah, you’re light as a feather,” said Spike, keeping up the flattery, even though the final F was imminent and his fangs itched to drop.
Easing them both into the water, Bridget’s and encircled his erection, and Spike could hold back no longer.
“Bit of advice, love. Don’t bring strangers back to the house. You never know what they might be!”
He vamped out and roared with laughter as she screamed and tried to climb out of the tub. Pinning her down easily, Spike thrust inside her as his fangs ripped into her neck. Her screams were music to his ears and he came as her heart stuttered to a stop.
Withdrawing his softening cock and letting Bridget’s lifeless body flop into the water, Spike belched loudly, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and grinned.
“Now this is better than bloody Sunnyhell!”
He’d decided to crash at Bridget’s house for the day and after having a long sleep in the gloriously comfortable bed, Spike rummaged through the closet until he found a large bag. Strolling from room to room, he filled it with any objects that might fetch a good price.
It was almost dark when he became aware of someone walking about outside. Putting the bag on the floor near the back door, Spike slipped outside and stood in the shadows waiting for the person to show their face.
A figure stepped into view and Spike rolled his eyes and sighed. It just had to be him.
“Hello, Stefan,” said Spike, leaning against the wall. “Long time no see.”
“Spike!” Stefan’s steps quickened. “What are you doing here?”
Spike vamped out and licked his fangs. “What do you think? We don’t all like to eat the wildlife.”
“I don’t eat wildlife.” Stefan glared, his heavy brows knitting together.
Shaking his head, Spike said, “Oh, pur-lease don’t tell me Angel’s got you on the bagged pigs' blood now? Shite – what are you? His mini-me or something?”
“I just choose not to take a life and—”
“Drinking pigs’ blood is the vamp equivalent of being a bleeding veggie.” Spike sneered at him as he pushed away from the wall.
“You shouldn’t have come here.” Stefan stared at Spike, fists clenched.
“Maybe not.” Spike grinned. “But now I know just how tasty the locals are, I think maybe I’ll hang around for a while.”
“What have you done with Mrs. Jensen?”
“She’s just taking a bath.” He couldn’t resist a chuckle.
Stefan took a stride towards Spike. “What have you done?”
Spike stepped aside. “Oh, for fuck’s sake! What do you think I’ve done? I shagged the old cow senseless then drained her dry! I’m a vampire! It’s what I do!” He jabbed a finger towards Stefan. “It’s what you should do too! You’re a bloody disgrace! Haven’t even got the excuse of having a soul stuffed inside of you like Angel has.” Stepping closer, he pushed Stefan’s chest, laughing as he staggered backwards. “Look at you – weak as bloody American beer! Pathetic!”
Turning his back on Stefan, Spike walked back inside to retrieve his bag, as he bent down, Stefan kicked his backside and he fell heavily to his knees. Growling ferociously, Spike leapt to his feet. “Shite, are you going to regret that.”
Seeing the manic glint in Spike’s eye, Stefan let his fangs show but knew that he was in trouble. Spike had just fed and fed well. His own power was a fraction of what it should be due to his diet.
“I just want to live a normal life and I can’t if you stay here and keep on killing. All the bodies can’t keep getting put down as animal attacks,” Stefan said, slowly backing up, until he was outside.
“You’re a vampire! You can’t be normal, you wanker!” Spike spread his arms wide. “Embrace what you are. This life…it’s a blessing not a curse!”
“Some blessing,” Stefan muttered. “Stuck at seventeen for eternity.”
Matching Stefan’s backwards steps with advancing paces of his own, Spike chuckled. “If it’s any consolation, you look bloody older than I do and I was nearly thirty! Still that’s probably because you’re nowhere near as handsome as I am.”
Circling to the right, Stefan scanned the area for something to use as a weapon, but to no avail.
“Could be worse, of course.” Spike stood still and tilted his head on one side. “You could’ve been turned before your balls dropped. That’s assuming you have some!”
When Stefan stumbled and threw out an arm to help keep his balance, the light from the hallway glinted on a ring on his finger.
“Well, well.” Spike’s face split into a grin. “I’d forgotten all about that.”
Stefan put his hand down by his side. “The ring’s no good to you, Spike. It only works for me.”
“That right?” Spike’s strides towards Stefan had more purpose now. No longer toying with the other vampire.
Seeing the change in Spike’s demeanour, Stefan decided discretion was the better part of valour and turned to flee.
Spike was on his back within seconds, crushing him to the ground.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
Spike laughed out loud as Stefan bucked beneath him trying to get free. “I lied! You’re even weaker than bloody Yank beer!” Spike lifted his weight off Stefan’s back, waited for him to twist round to fight, as he predictably would. When his chin came within range, Spike punched him and Stefan was knocked out cold.
Whistling happily, Spike gripped Stefan’s ankles and dragged him into the house, and up the stairs. Not caring one little bit that Stefan’s head bounced on every step. Once in the bedroom, Spike stripped him of his clothes, nodding appreciatively as he noted the vampire’s taut abs.
“I guess you can still look good on pigs’ blood. Least you’re not running to fat like old Angel.”
With a grunt, Spike threw him on the bed and grimaced as he spread the vampire’s legs wide.
“A vamp’s gotta do, what a vamp’s gotta do,” Spike muttered.
He needed to make sure that Stefan stayed put until morning and there was only one way of doing that which didn’t involve ropes. Shuddering, Spike bent down and let his fangs slice into the femoral artery. Almost retching at the bitter taste of the tepid blood, Spike sucked hard at the wound to pull the blood into his mouth. By the time he licked the wound closed and stood back up, Stefan’s already pale skin was almost translucent. Spike nodded with satisfaction. Most likely Stefan wouldn’t be capable of moving off the bed, let alone get out of the house.
Spike pulled the ugly ring from Stefan’s finger, slapped his cheek affectionately and sauntered out of the room. He ducked into the bathroom and managed to suck a mouthful more out of Bridget’s corpse to help take away the taste of Stefan’s blood.
Outside it didn’t take Spike long to locate Stefan’s car. Nor was he surprised at what a boring looking thing it was. Being careful to cover his hands with the cuffs of his duster, Spike drove the car up the drive of the house and parked it near the front door. Feeling very pleased with himself, Spike walked towards town, taking care to stay out of sight of the roads.
The only stop he made on the way back to the motel was just before dawn, when he paused at a public phone to place a call to the police telling them that he was worried about not being able to contact his friend Bridget, what with all the animal attacks and all.
Not even needing to give the address – oh, the beauty of these small towns – Spike was tucked up in bed by the time the patrol cars headed out to the Jensen’s place. Before he slept Spike spent some time examining the ring. If it was true that it only worked for Stefan, that meant it was enchanted and although he normally avoided magics like the plague ever since…Spike shuddered, not willing to even remember that occurrence. But if something was enchanted, then that something could be re-enchanted to work in a different way.
There was one person who’d know, but after what he’d just done to his brother, Spike wasn’t too sure that Damon would be feeling chatty.
Sheriff Forbes was the first to enter the Jensen house. She’d noted the car parked next to Bridget’s BMW, and had her deputy run the plates. With gun in hand she walked through the house room by room, before slowly climbing the stairs.
She wasn’t sure what she expected to find in the bedroom but a naked Stefan Salvatore wasn’t it. A little unnerved by the sight of the boy apparently sleeping on the bed, Forbes scanned the room, her pulse rate picked up when she spotted Bridget’s clothes on the floor at the right side of the bed.Oh, God, what if she’s just screwing some high school kid? How embarrassing is this going to be?
A door on the left was slightly ajar and with gun still in hand, Forbes crept towards it. Her hand covered her mouth as she saw the body of Bridget Jensen, floating in the Jacuzzi with bite marks on her neck.The boy! What if he’s not sleeping?
Forbes rushed back into the bedroom.
“Hey! Kid! Rise and shine!”
Getting no response, she shook him, eye’s widening as she registered how cold he was to the touch. She bent low to examine him for bites, missing the almost healed site of Spike’s bite.
“He’s one of them!”
All this time searching for vampires and there was one right in their midst! But how? She’d seen him in the daylight! Her hand was on the radio when Stefan’s eyes opened. The need for blood taking over, Stefan vamped out and bared his fangs, he tried to lung for her, but was too weak and only managed to roll off the bed, and crawl towards her on his hands and knees.
She yelled into the radio for her deputy to bring her other gun as quickly as possible, and not taking her eyes off Stefan, she backed away.
“Please,” said Stefan, his voice barely audible. “I didn’t do this.”
“Oh, so just how many more of your kind are they in Mystic Falls?”
Knowing he could never betray his brother, Stefan managed to rasp out, “Just one. New to town.”
As soon as he said that, he knew he’d made a mistake. The killings had started weeks ago.
“That so?” The deputy appeared at Forbes’s shoulder and handed her the gun.
Struggling to get to his feet, Stefan tried again. “Look, I don’t kill to eat—”
“I think that Mrs. Jensen would disagree with that.”
The sheriff opened fire and Stefan screamed as the wooden bullets pierced his skin. Taking a small metal flask out of her pocket, Forbes was proud of how prepared for this moment she was. Gripping Stefan’s jaw, she poured the Vervain laced water into Stefan’s mouth and held him until he swallowed it down.
Already weakened, the herb incapacitated Stefan almost completely, and he writhed feebly on the carpet as pain ripped through his gut. Between them they cuffed him and half carried, half dragged him out down the stairs. As they approached the doorway, Stefan’s struggles increased.
“Please – don’t! I can’t go outside.”
“I’ve seen you at the school, Salvatore! I know you can somehow day-walk.”
“I can’t – not now!”
Ignoring him, the officers walked out of the house and into the bright sunlight.
Stefan screamed, and the deputy let go of his arm in horror at the sight of the blackening skin.
“Help me get him inside!” Forbes glared at the deputy. “We need to find out how many more he’s killed!”
By the time they got him in the shade, Stefan was sobbing with pain, the back of his body badly scorched.
“What do we do now?” said the deputy.
“We need a van and some heavy cloth – tarpaulin maybe – to cover him with. Then we stick him in a cell while we decide what to do. Maybe keeping the existence of these creatures is a mistake. An example should be made.”
Damon was bored.
Really, really, bored.
So bored in fact, that he had even resorted to looking for his brother just for the fun of bating him about that Catherine lookalike Elena. Now he stalked the darkening streets, preferring as always to be at large at night, despite the freedom his ring gave him.
“Where the hell is he?”
Used to being unable to escape his brother’s attentions for very long, Damon frowned as he thought of where Stefan could have gotten to all day. He hadn’t been at the school, that much Damon knew, having whiled away a happy hour watching the cheerleaders train. Elena’s pinched little face told him that she hadn’t seen Stefan either, so he’d been spared having to talk to her. It just hurt too much to see her, especially since she was obviously besotted with Stefan and despised him.
Lost in his thoughts, Damon leapt half out of his skin when a voice called out his name behind him. Whipping round, he stopped short when he saw a blond leather clad vampire standing in the middle of the road, grinning at him.
“What’s got your attention so much that you don’t hear it when someone comes up behind you? Some hot little brunette, I bet?”
“Catherine’s been dead for over a century.” Damon’s tone was harsh as he tried to make up for jumping like a little girl.
“Yeah, I know. But tastes usually stay the same. The blondes are safe when you’re around.” Spike smirked.
Thinking of his latest conquest, Damon shrugged as they began to walk. “I dunno, a change is as good as a rest, so they say. What brings you here? Last I heard you were heading to the Hellmouth. Dru dump you again?”
“Hey!” Spike held his hands up. “Can’t a bloke come to visit an old mate without the third degree?”
“Dumped. So dumped.” Damon laughed at Spike’s pained expression.
“Alright! I admit it…Dru and I…well let’s just say we’re having a break. She’ll come to her senses soon enough.”
“About time you came to yours! She’s freaking crazy!”
Vamping out, Spike growled. “Shut your gob!”
“Oh relax, Spike,” said Damon, draping an arm around the blond’s shoulders. “Chill out! You’re wound as tight as my damn brother. Speaking of which…I don’t suppose you’ve seen him?”
Taking care to keep his voice even, Spike said, “No, I had a good feed last night and then slept the day away in a godawful motel.”
“Oh, man! You don’t want to let Stefan hear that you’ve fed.” Damon snorted.
“Still denying his calling, then?”
“Yeah. Should’ve seen the grief he gave me over feeding on one of the schoolgirls – didn’t even kill her!”
Both vampires shook their heads sadly.
“His way of life is gonna bite him in the arse one of these days,” said Spike, barely able to contain a chuckle. “If it gets out that he’s a vamp – does he really think these people will accept him?”
“He hopes they will, but we both know what will happen if the truth outs.”
Spike couldn’t help a smirk as he thought of what had likely happened to Stefan. Shrugging off Damon’s arm, he said, “So where’s the action in this one horse town?”
“There isn’t any! Damn place is boring me to tears,” Damon said, rolling his eyes.
“So why are you here?”
“Why are you?” countered Damon.
“Came to see if the rumours of your return were true – which they are – and thought you might be up for a bit of murder and mayhem. But looks like you’re getting as boring as your bloody brother!”
“I am not!”
Standing still, hands on hips, Spike said, “Prove it.”
Grinning, Damon winked at Spike. “Love to! I know just what to do!” He began to jog down the road, turning round and skipping backwards as he stared at Spike. “Come on! What are you waiting for? I want to show you something.”
Damon turned back around and sped up as he heard Spike’s footfalls behind him. By the time that they got to the Mystic Grill Spike was scowling.
“Shite, this really is a one horse town. I was in here last night – it’s where I got my dinner from.”
Pausing, Damon said, “Did anyone see you?”
“Christ – you sound like your brother. I’m not stupid. I let her leave before me. Caught up to her in the parking lot.”
“I’m not like my brother,” Damon retorted with a snarl. “Just wanted to know whether the fact your hair is so ridiculously conspicuous is going to be a problem.”
“Nothing wrong with my bloody hair.” Spike glared at him.
“Yeah. Real subtle.” Damon held his hand up as he saw Spike about to speak. “Look, forget it. Let’s go inside.”
Following Damon’s lead, Spike walked a half stride behind him as they entered the Grill and strode straight up to the bar.
“Now what?” Spike said, grumpily as he sipped at his Jack Daniels.
Damon pressed a finger to his lips. “Just listen and find out.”
Muttering darkly about boring small towns, Spike concentrated on listening to the chatter all around him. He grinned as he heard what no doubt Damon had intended him to hear. Not needing to turn around, he knew it was two of the girls that he’d seen the night before.
They shared a snicker when they heard the brunette, Elena, talking about Stefan, wondering where he was.
“He’d going to be in trouble when he sees her next,” said Damon, smiling broadly.
“A world of it.” Spike bit the inside of his lip to keep from laughing out loud. I wonder what that copper’s done with him.
The door to the grill burst open and out of the corner of his eye, Spike could see the blonde who’d eyed him yesterday hurry inside. She stopped short just shy of the table where her friends sat. She said something that Spike didn’t catch and he grunted as Damon elbowed him in the side.
“What’s that for?”
“Don’t like to hear my walking snack talking about you.”
Spike chuckled. “The blonde? So your tastes really have changed.”
“You have no idea.” Damon shifted uncomfortably and looked off.
The blonde got a hold of herself and continued to the table, where she pulled out a chair, and flopped down on it.
“Hey, Caroline,” said Elena, looking up at her friend. “You weren’t in school. Are you okay?”
“Oh, Elena! You haven’t heard?” Caroline’s voice rose and Spike had no difficulty in hearing her this time – nor did the rest of the people in the Grill. “It’s just so awful.” Her hand plucked at the collar of her blouse.
“What is it?” the dark girl, Bonnie, said leaning forward in her seat.
“It’s Stefan Salvatore—”
“Stefan!” Elena’s strident tones echoed around the room. “What’s happened? Is he alright?”
Caroline’s face darkened a little, jealous of Elena’s burgeoning relationship. “Oh, yes. He’s fine. Which is more than can be said for Mrs. Jensen.”
“Mrs. Jensen?" Elena frowned. “What’s Mrs. Jensen got to do with Stefan?”
“Yeah, come on, Caroline. Stop messing around and tell us,” said Bonnie.
Sitting tall in her chair, Caroline took a deep breath and said, “Mom has arrested Stefan this morning for her murder!”
“What?” Elena’s voice was barely short of a scream. “It must be a mistake!” She leapt up, sending her chair clattering to the floor. “I’ve got to see him!”
Damon was on his feet in an instant, only Spike’s strong grip on his arm kept him from racing out of the restaurant.
“Let go of me!” Damon’s eyes flashed daggers at Spike.
“Just calm down,” said Spike, his voice low.
“Calm down?” Damon tried and failed to get free. “That’s my brother!”
“I know. And tearing down to the cop shop’s going to help him, how?” Spike dug his fingers into Damon’s flesh. “They’ll know what he is by now.” He inclined his head to where Bonnie and Caroline we standing transfixed. “You heard the bint. They took him this morning.”
Damon relaxed in Spike’s grip. “Oh, fuck!”
“Yeah. Even if they don’t suss you as one, too, they’ll figure that you knew. Done much killing round here? Or is it all like the schoolgirl? Have a feed and then wipe their minds with that nifty trick of yours?” Spike scowled, hating that he’d never gotten the hang of doing that.
“Oh, shit!” Damon sat back on the bar stool and stared at Spike. “I’ve been…busy.”
“Not good. You ought to leave town.”
Shaking his head vehemently, Damon said, “No way. I’ve got to save him. They’ll kill him.”
Spike rolled his eyes. What was it with brothers? These two were as bad as those bloody hunters – the Winchesters – for being joined at the hip. Shite! Not literally I hope?
Shuddering, he had a wry smile on his face that even with all the bad he’d seen and done during his existence, the thought of a pair of brothers at it still turned his stomach.
The sound of the door slamming shut, brought Spike’s attention back in the Grill and with a low growl, he realised that Damon had taken advantage of his lack of attention and legged it.
“Bollocks! No good to me if he’s killed too.” Spike threw some bills on the counter, and then ran out to follow Damon.
He caught up with him a couple of blocks from the police station.
“Damon! Wait up!”
“I’m going to get him out!” Damon didn’t break stride.
“Okay, I get it. But stop and think for a minute! What are you gonna do? Just stroll on in and say release my brother?”
Stopping only because Spike stepped in front of him, Damon said, “That’s about it. I can compel people to do what I want.” He sneered nastily at Spike, knowing that the blond couldn’t do it.
“Think about it! You can’t compel the whole bloody station! While you’re working on one bloke another will be stabbing you in the back with something wooden and pointy.”
That gave Damon pause. As much as he loved his brother, he loved himself that little bit more. “So what do you suggest?”
“What? Apart from leave now and don’t come back?”
“Well, yeah.” Damon glared at him.
“Okay. I’ll go in.”
“That’s alright then,” said Damon, waving his arms in the air. “They’re really going to let you near him! I’ll jus—”
“They will! Look.” Spike dug in his pocket and pulled out a leather wallet. Flipping it open, he held it out for Damon to read.
Damon burst out laughing. “You’re joking!”
“No, I bloody well am not!” Scowling, Spike shucked out of his duster and passed it to Damon. “Give me your jacket. And look after that coat – if anything happens to it…” He flashed his fangs to show how serious he was. “It’ll work.”
“But the hair!”
“They’ll be too busy shitting themselves over the badge to worry about my hair.” He put on Damon’s jacket and inhaled. “Ooh! Smell’s lovely.” He pronounced it loverly and gave Damon a shit eating grin which morphed into a suggestive leer that took them both a bit by surprise. With a cough, Spike put the badge in the inside pocket and strode to the police station.
“Stay put!” he called over his shoulder.
Shaking his head, Damon wandered over to a nearby wall, hitched his backside onto it and waited.
Spike had no intention of helping Stefan. The git reminded him way too much of Angel for his liking, but he needed to know what was going on. He didn’t want Damon to know that Stefan’s arrest was down to him.
He shoved the door open with confidence and approached the desk. Elena was there, pleading to be allowed to see Stefan, her shoulders shaking in time to her sobs. The officer behind the desk looked at Spike with relief.
“I’m sorry, Miss. But I need to attend to this man. You really should just go home.”
“I’m not going until I’ve seen Stefan,” said Elena.
Spike was impressed at her persistence.
“Can I help you, sir?”
Only just managing to keep his smile from turning into a grin, Spike nodded and got the badge out to show him.
“I’m here about your…little problem.”
“FBI? How did you know?” The officer’s eyes widened.
Leaning forwards and placing his hands on the desk. “We know everything! Now, are you going to keep me waiting all night?”
“Sorry, sir! I’ll get Sheriff Forbes right away!”
Spike smirked at his rapidly retreating back. He glanced at Elena and was pleased to see that the blonde girl wasn’t there. She could place him in the Grill the night before.
Turning around he came face to face with a slim blonde woman, the sheriff he presumed.
“That’s Special Agent Page, but you can call me Jim.” He’d used the ID a couple of time since he’d nicked off Dean Winchester when he’d run into him one time. It’d been easy to change the photograph. Got to love digital imagery.
The blonde’s stern expression didn’t alter. “You may call me Sheriff Forbes.”
“Like that is it?” said Spike, eyes narrowing. “Well, let’s get down to business then, eh? The vampire. I want to see him.”
Rattled that the FBI agent knew what she’d got in the cells. “Why is the FBI here?” she said, standing her ground.
“Christ, did you never see the X-Files? Anything weird going on and we need to know about it.”
“Please?” Spike felt a hand on his arm and glanced at its owner – Elena.
“What?” he said, scowling.
“Please will you help him. It’s all a mistake. He wouldn’t kill anyone.”
Shrugging off her hand, Spike said, “Sounds like you know him well.”
“I do!” Elena stared up at him.
“In that case I think the Sheriff here ought to get one of her boys to take a statement from you.” He raised an eyebrow at Forbes, enjoying the fact she looked uncomfortable.
“Erm…Rogers,” she said to the officer behind the desk. “Get a statement from her and then make sure she gets home.”
With a sigh, Spike said, “So do I get to see the vampire now? I hope you’ve got him well contained. From what I’ve seen they are extremely strong.”
“You seen other vampires?” asked the Sheriff as she guided Spike towards the cells.
“More than I’d like,” said Spike honestly. There weren’t many of his own kind that he liked these days.
“Well don’t worry. We dosed him with Vervain when brought him in.”
Spike was pleased that he was a step behind her and so she didn’t see him falter. Shite! They know about Vervain? He’d never come across humans who knew about that. Suddenly he wasn’t feeling quite so cocky.
“Vampire. You’ve got a visitor.” Forbes kicked the bars of the holding cell to gain Stefan’s attention.
Huddled in a corner, shaking uncontrollably, Stefan raised his head to look at them. His eyes widened when he saw Spike standing with the Sheriff.
“You.” His voice rasped.
Knowing that Stefan was talking about him, Spike smiled quickly at Forbes. “Doesn’t look like he likes you. It’ll be best if I question him alone.” He stared her down when she opened her mouth to protest.
Both vampires waited until she had left before speaking.
“Help me,” said Stefan, trying and failing to stand.
“Sorry, mate. No can do.” Spike felt not one pang of guilt at the other’s predicament. I love being a vamp! Do what you like and never care!
“Damon says hi.”
“Damon? He’s here?”
“Well, he’s waiting outside, wondering if you’re going to give him up as being the one whose been doing the killing.”
Shaking his head, Stefan said, as Spike predicted he would, “No, I said I didn’t know who had done it – just that it wasn’t me.” He coughed feebly. “They didn’t believe me.”
Rolling his eyes, Spike said, “You don’t say?”
“Please,” Stefan crawled towards the bars. “Get me out. You can keep the ring.”
“Aha! So it will work for others?” Spike grinned. “I knew it!”
Stefan was racked with more coughs and slumped to the floor.
For once putting himself in another’s position, Spike thought that he might actually help Stefan after all. Maybe Damon would be really grateful?
“I get you out – you make sure that you and Damon split up. Damon’s good fun but you…you’re so not.”
“I will. I’ll leave town – alone.” For the first time since his capture, Stefan allowed himself to hope.
Spike had just put his hand on the door when Forbes burst into the room, followed by four big men dressed in army attire.
“Special Agent Page, these people are from the Government. Their jurisdiction overrules yours. They’re taking control of the vampire.”
“We prefer to call them HST’s – Hostile Subterraneans,” said one of the men, acknowledging Spike with a nod.
“HSTs?” Spike said, backing up a little.
“Where are you going to take it?” asked the Sheriff.
The facility is called the Initiative, Ma’am,” the man said. “But the location is top secret.”
“Top secret,” blurted Spike before he could stop himself. “Do people really say that?”
The man took a step towards Spike and though the vampire knew he could kill him in the blink of an eye, he wasn’t so sure that he’d be able to get through all four of them. He backed up, and hated the glint of triumph he saw in the man’s eyes.
“I just did, so I guess they do.” His tone was mellow but Spike shuddered nonetheless. There was something evil about that human.
“Agent Finn, how do you propose to transport it? As you can see, I’ve dosed it with Vervain,” said Forbes.
Spike hated how she puffed up with pride when she said that.
“We find that this works real well,” Finn said. “Do it, Graham.”
“What will you do with it?” said Forbes.
Finn smiled, a smile that put ice in Spike’s gut. “We’ll study it. See what we can do to keep them from harming humans. The professor is pioneering some incredible work.”
A square-jawed man stepped up to the cage and to Spike’s horror aimed a Taser at Stefan and without hesitation fired at the helpless vampire. Stefan’s body jerked and twitched as the charge hit home. When he was unconscious the four entered the cell, within seconds he was hogtied and carried out.Oh, shite, I’m sorry!
Whatever those military types were going to do to Stefan, Spike knew that it wasn’t going to be good. What the hell was he going to say to Damon?
Following in their wake, Spike watched as they loaded Stefan into a black van, with two of them sitting on benches in the rear next to Stefan, and the other two in the cab. Spike slipped away before Forbes’ attention returned to him.
Damon jumped down from the wall, alarmed at the bleak expression on Spike’s face as he approached.
“Where is he?”
“Oh, mate. I’m so sorry.” Spike’s legs felt weak at the thought that those bastards might have sussed out that he was a vampire too. “They took him away.”
“Who did?” Damon looked about wildly as if his brother might suddenly pop up in plain sight.
“Some commandos. A government organisation called…the Initiative…they’re going to…”
“To do what?”
“They said…study him!”
“That means…” Damon’s words trailed off as the implication sunk in.
“That the government know about demons,” said Spike.
“That can’t be good!” Damon’s brain kicked in. “Crap! If they get their hands on the ring, they’ll learn even more.”
Hardly able to believe his luck at being able to reveal the ring without Damon getting pissy ‘cause he’d nicked it, Spike dug in his pocket. “He managed to take it off and drop it drop it on the floor without them seeing it.”
“Okay, so what do we do now?” Damon ran a hand over his hair and strode restlessly up and down.
Taking a deep breath, Spike said, “Nothing.”
Damon rounded on him, fangs on show. “What do you mean?”
“Look, he made me promise that I’d not let you follow him. Damon, Stefan knows he’s history, and he wanted to make sure that you wouldn’t end up the same.”
“I don’t believe you!”
“Why would I lie?” said Spike.
“Because you’re a vampire!”
“Fair point.” Spike mouth twitched into a smile. “But seriously. They scared me shitless. They’re used to dealing with vamps, and I got the distinct impression that they were good at their job.” He pointed at Damon. “You want to try to find him, that’s your prerogative, but count me out. Whichever way they headed, I’m going in the opposite direction.”
Damon stood still. A realist, he hadn’t survived this long without learning a thing or two. One being when to walk away. Stefan was his brother, but like all vampires he had an overdeveloped sense of self preservation. Closing his eyes, he mourned the loss of his brother. When he opened them, he could see Spike regarding him closely.
“So what should we do?” Damon asked.
“First off, I want my duster back, you look way too good in it,” said Spike with a smirk.
Damon gave a twirl. “It’s my duster now.” Laughing, he jogged away.
“Oi! You git! I worked hard to get that coat!” Spike took chase.
When Spike’s hand touched Damon’s shoulder, he whirled around to face the blond.
“Yeah – heard it all before. I got it off a dead slayer.” He mimicked Spike’s accent. “Wasn’t my first one, I got the first in Ch—”
Spike tackled him to the ground. They rolled about each trying to get the upper hand. When Damon managed to straddle Spike’s hips and pin him down they both froze, each aware of the other’s arousal.
“Er…been a while since Dru left and a bit of rough and tumb—”
Spike’s words were cut off as Damon planted his lips on Spike’s mouth. Moaning, he thrust upwards with his hips, ensuring that their bodies ground together. Damon broke the kiss and sat a little more upright, staring down at Spike.
“When you said…” Spike cleared his throat. “When you said that a change was as good as a rest…?”
Damon grinned and climbed off Spike, holding out his hand. “I wasn’t referring to hair colour.”
After he pulled Spike to his feet, they stared at each other for a moment before Spike said, “Good.”
“So where do we go from here?”
Tilting his head to the side, Spike raised his eyebrows and said, “The motel is booked for another couple of nights…”
“What are we waiting for?” Damon grabbed Spike’s hand and urged him into a jog.
Soon they were racing as fast as their legs would take them and laughing like loons, fangs glinting in the moonlight, on their way to the motel and to a whole new chapter in both their existences.