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This story is No. 1 in the series "The Hub". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Now in Season 2. Vampire mafiosos, werewolf bikers and collaborating humans make up this twisted AU of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Ensemble.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > GeneralBloodCloverFR18672,3066153,52717 Oct 1111 May 14No

1x01 'Pilot'

The Hub Season One


Disclaimer: Joss owns Buffy and Angel, all I have is an unhealthy addiction to reefer and tobacco, and recently wax blockage that makes it hard to hear out of my left ear… Enjoy.


Boston. A city with over two hundred and fifty years of history. Spanning from the Revolution to the Red Sox, from Paul Revere and John Adams to the Kennedys and Whitey Bulger. A crossroad of cultural divergence notorious for violent crime and heavy corruption. The home to a dark underworld with a secret society of vampires, werewolves and other supernatural creatures all hiding in plain sight. There are few who are aware of our existence, but humanity as a whole sadly just isn’t ready to know the truth. Maybe it’s better that way, because not all of those who have been made aware have been full of acceptance. There’s been anger. There’s been hatred. There’s been blood spilled. A group called Purity wants to rid the world of us. They will destroy anything supernatural, regardless of innocence or guilt. And they’ve come to the Hub. Gods please protect us, and preserve our secret.

August 20th, 1999

Harmony Kendall, vampire of a mere eighteen years, was dead for the final time. William let out a breathless sigh as he looked down at the nearly decapitated body of the exotic dancer that he had called friend since Liam O’Connor had first brought her to the Hub over a decade prior. The boss was not going to be pleased, and not for the first time William prayed not to be the unlucky soul on the receiving end of his employer’s ire.

Resigning himself, he turns and walks away from the body, pulling his cell phone out and making sure his partner is still out of earshot before quickly dialing a number.

“It’s William.” The South Boston Homicide Detective says into the phone’s receiver a moment later. “Someone killed Harmony. No, I don’t know anything yet and yes I will call you as soon as I have information. Sorry.”

William hangs up just as his partner Jimmy Halloran returns from his inspection of the alleyway next to the small parking lot where Harmony was found.

“Anything?” Will inquires, hoping to have something to bring back, but Jimmy shakes his head.

“Garbage, graffiti and more garbage.” Jimmy replies. “I don’t think this is even the murder scene.”

William already knows it isn’t due to his enhanced senses telling him so, but humors Jimmy. “What makes you say that?”

“Aside from the fact that there doesn’t seem to be enough blood for her to have been done here, I don’t know. Something feels off.”

“I think you’re right Jim.” The blonde vampire says. “Look at the marks on the neck, this was clearly done with a serrated blade of some kind, but the splatter is inconsistent. The body was dumped.”

“So where did it happen then, nearby?”

“Only two people know the answer to that question right now.” William replies sardonically. “One of them is dead and the other did it.”

“Cue the CSI music, huh?” Jimmy jibes. “Overdramatic fucker.”

“I’m going home to get some sleep, and tomorrow we’re going to go and check out the club where she worked.” William says, flipping off his partner before starting to walk off. “Stay here until Wesley’s team gets here.”

“How do you know where she works, she didn’t have any identification.” Jimmy questions.

“Cause I’ve known the bird for twelve years.”

“Oh.” Jimmy deflates and watches as his partner leaves.

Elizabeth Summers hastily works to straighten her outfit as she strides into the administration offices of the Black Rose Hotel, not wanting to be chastised on her first day for being late. She pushes open the glass door to the reception area of the hotel and casino manager, her new boss Rupert Giles.

“You’re late.” A cultured British voice says as she steps over the threshold and she pales.

“I’m so sorry sir. I got lost in the casino.” She apologizes profusely, almost wilting under the stern look from the Englishman. After a moment he changes his expression to a wry grin and she sags in relief.

“It’s quite alright Miss Summers.” Giles assures her. “I’ve been working here for well over twenty years and I still get lost myself from time to time. Expansions and all that.”

“Do you need me to do anything?” Elizabeth asks, now feeling more relaxed at the fact that her new boss didn’t seem to be a complete prick like the last had been. She might be on a career path that called for her to be, or at least come off as refined, but she would always remember where she came from.

“Just take messages for any calls that come in. I’m expecting a visit from the owner within the next five minutes and I don’t want to waste his time. Other than that, it’s been a slow week so there isn’t much else to do.” Giles replies. “Another few weeks and that will change, once the high rollers are done sunbathing on Cape Cod and up in the Hamptons, they come home and business picks up. We thrive in the winters.”

“Indeed we do.” A dark haired man in his late twenties says as he enters the room, and Elizabeth jumps slightly not having heard his approach. “My apologies lass, I did not mean to startle you.”

“Welcome back to Boston, Liam.” Giles greets, holding his hand out and shaking the other man’s. “I trust your business in Miami went well?”

“It went about as smoothly as expected. Too damn hot there.” Liam replies, pulling his hand away after a moment and moving it to wave vaguely at the door to the inner office. “Shall we?”

“Of course.” Giles says, quickly turning and leading Liam into his office and closing the soundproofed door behind them.

“Two of my men in Framingham are dead, three out of Worcester and Springfield each and the entire Amherst operation has been destroyed.” Liam growls immediately after the door has shut. “I’ve been gone for a week. One fucking week and everything goes to hell. And to top it off I got a call last night from William telling me that someone killed Harmony. And with all that, no one thought to let me know?!”

“You already had enough stress from the whole Drusilla situation last month.” Giles reasons. “I didn’t want to add to it.”

“While I appreciate your thoughtfulness, don’t ever keep me in the dark again.” Liam grinds out. “And don’t ever mention Drusilla’s name in my presence.”

“Yes, sir.” Giles says in a placating tone.

“Purity is behind this.” Liam says. “They needed a new base since Ethan Rayne kicked them out of New York. Remind me to thank him for not killing them all when he had the chance and saving us the trouble.”

“So what’s our move?”

“We’re on lockdown, indefinitely.” Liam decrees. “No new donators, the ones we have on our payroll will be asked to supply every third week, and make sure that you space out appointments. Last thing we need right now is a blood shortage. We also need to get word to the wolves that they are to stay out of view on the compound for any time spent shifted.”

“Foley isn’t going to appreciate that.” Giles remarks, thinking of the hot-tempered moonchild hit-man. “Especially with the Blood Moon tomorrow night.”

“He’ll understand.” Liam shrugs. “Until we deal with Purity’s presence on the Hub, it isn’t safe for them to wander free, for any of us really. Poor Harmony is proof enough of that. I’m issuing the order to add extra security to all of our fronts, Scarlet Rain, and this place.”

“What about Purgatory?”

“Offer them muscle. If they want it, they’ll take it.” Liam shrugs. “Make the same offer for the compound and Lehane’s tattoo shop.”

“I’ll pass the word down.”

“Good.” Liam flashes Giles a grin now. “So who was the cute little blonde outside?”

“My new assistant, Elizabeth Summers.” Giles tells him. “Native of South Boston, fresh out of Stanford. I believe her sister sings in the casino lounge. Erica, if memory serves true.”

“Are she or the sister aware?”

“No. I wouldn’t think so.” Giles replies, tension in his voice. “You’re not going to start courting a seventh wife are you?”

“No plans to.”

“Liam, we’ve known each other for over two centuries. I choose my employees with painstaking care, and you promised when we started this in ‘76 that you wouldn’t poach on them anymore. Please don’t break it, I would be rather miffed to lose such a bright young woman.”

“Are you saying if I did choose to seek a romantic partnership with the lass, you’d fire her?” Liam asks, shocked at his friend’s apparent callousness.

“No, of course I wouldn’t fire the girl.” Giles denies vehemently. “But it goes without saying if she was to get involved with you, she wouldn’t be working as an assistant for long.”

“I guess you know me too well.” Liam smirks.

“I’ve been an associate of yours since 1788, if there is anything that I don’t know about you, I’ll order my own final death.”

“Well, let’s not go that far old friend. We’re all entitled to our secrets.” Liam says as he walks over to the large maple wood cabinet and pulling a bottle out, eyeing the label appreciatively. “Nothing better than a good Dublin Scotch, 1947. Damn that was a great year, remember Willow and Tara’s little lightshow out in the New Mexico desert?”

“I still laugh at all the humans who think aliens touched down.” Giles says, wrapped in the fond memory of an easier time, before the technology boom and the forensic advancements. Sooner or later the truth would come out, and their shroud of secrecy would be destroyed. Being a vampire for going on five centuries there was not much that could rile him but he truly feared that day. “I’m serious Liam, about Miss Summers.”

“Alright fine, I promise not to pursue the Summers lass.” Liam promises and Giles gives a quick nod of appreciation. “If she’s not receptive to meeting me for one dinner, she’ll never see me again.”

“You’re impossible.” Giles glares as Liam pours out two glasses of scotch, and takes the offered drink.

“Yeah, that’s kind of the point.” Liam chuckles, taking a deep pull of the scotch and wincing as the liquid burns his throat. “Hey is this O-Negative injected?”

James Foley and Faith Lehane were snapped out of their blissful slumber by the shrill chirping of James’ cell phone, and she groans as he gets up to get the offending device off the bureau at the wall opposite their bed.

“Just let it ring and come back to bed.” Faith whines, and James grins at her.

“Can’t do it. Liam got back last night, he might have a job.” James says, grabbing the phone and flipping it open to read the text that had been sent.

[i] Alleyway next to Madison’s bakery on Fairmont. Half Hour. [/i]

James looks away from the text and over at Faith who remains sitting on the bed, looking at him expectantly through large chocolate orbs.

“I gotta go. I need to beat traffic and get into the city for a meeting.” James announces, looking apologetic.

Faith just rolls her eyes and shrugs. “Fine, go. Leave me here all alone and bored.”

“You’re killing me Faith, you do know that right?” James gives her a look as he pulls an old Led Zeppelin shirt on.

“Fine, but you better not be off on another one of Liam’s little errands during the Blood Moon or I’ll claw Little Lee off.”

“Don’t let him hear you say that.” James warns.

“I’m not afraid of Liam O’Connor, James. That Roman vampire back in Tijuana was far more intimidating.”

“I’m not saying you should be, and neither am I. But I don’t want to have the clan thrown out of the city over something stupid.”

“So I’m stupid now?” Faith’s eyes begin to burn with anger and she struggles to maintain human form.

“No. I didn’t say that. I don’t want to fight again.” James pleads to his irate girlfriend and Faith visibly deflates.

“Fine, whatever. Go be a good little attack dog.” Faith gets out of the bed and quickly pulls her clothes on as James watches, pulling his boots on. “I have to get Vi and go open up the shop anyways. Hopefully I’ll see you tonight.” Faith finishes her dressing and vacates the room they share at a high rate of speed.

James stares at the slightly ajar door that his mate had just disappeared through and lets out a low curse. “Fuck.” It was more likely than not that Liam had a high priority hit for him to undertake. If it was just some unruly vampire or a random human that had offended or caused undue problems then he wouldn’t be meeting with O’Connor directly. Normally he’d be contacted by either Charles Gunn or Dawn McHale. Indeed the last time he had even been in the same room as O’Connor was two nights before he and two other members of the Blood Clover Clan had hit Auradolyn Post and David Nabbit for trying to leak footage of a vampire feeding in the back room of Scarlet Rain.

Shrugging out of his thoughts, James lifts off the small couch and follows the path that Faith had taken moments earlier. About the same time he reaches the front door and starts to open it, the familiar sound of Faith’s restored 1967 Chevy Impala’s engine roars through the air and he comes out of their small house with just enough time to see her speeding off toward Vi and Serena’s apartment in the city. Letting out a short sigh, James locks the front door and walks over to his 1997 Harley Davidson, sliding the key into the ignition and the soft purr of the motor starts up. He mounts the saddle and kicks back the metal supports keeping it up right before speeding out in the direction Faith had fled.

“Late night?” Oliver Pike questions his friend J.T. Sullivan as he hobbles into their block of ‘offices’ and slumps into his desk chair. J.T. gives him a dark look before answering.

“Cora’s teething and keeps crying out at all hours of the night, and both Cole and Kellie are terrified there are monsters under the bed.” J.T. explains. “Niki decided it was my turn to handle things.”

“Are you gonna bring the kids to Blood Moon?” Pike asks, as he turns back to his own desk to finish typing up the report from the attempted break in at WilkinsCorp.

“Cora is going to stay overnight with Niki’s friend Amy, she has a eleven month old, but Niki wants to bring Cole and Kellie for the first time. She thinks they’re both close to shifting for the first time.”

“That’s gotta make you proud.” Pike comments over his shoulder as his fingers fly over the keyboard.

“Yeah.” JT says, “Only I’m not sure they’re ready. If they’re still afraid of the monsters under the bed, how in the Holy Moon are they going to deal with the real life monsters?”

“I’m hoping that was more of a slam on the bloodsuckers than more of your self-loathing. I thought you were past all that bullshit man.”

“I didn’t mean it like that.” JT denies. “I am okay with the way things are. I meant the monsters like Purity.”

“Those racists came to the Hub?” Pike asks, looking incredulous and JT nods grimly.

“The other reason for why I look like shit this morning. I was on call last night, had to secure a body dump site.” JT tells him. “One of O’Connor’s crew got taken out. A dancer of all people.”

“It wasn’t one of the dancers from that place where Serena works was it?”

“Yeah, it was.” JT replies grimly. “Harmony Kendall.”

“How pissed is Liam?”

“I don’t think I want to know. Have you heard from James today?”

“No, I think he and Faith are still sleeping.” Pike replies. “You’re more than welcome to call and check though.”

“After the fight they had last night, no thanks.” JT refuses. “I’ll just wait for him to call.”

“Pussssssssy” Pike taunts and laughs as he looks over his shoulder to see JT giving him the finger.

“Sullivan! Pike! I need you at the Kendall dump site, the brass wants that whole area combed over thoroughly.” Robin Wood says as he walks up to them. “FBI Agents Knox and Fries are already there and I’m going to be taking Penn and Tara. I want to find you hard at work when I get there so move your sorry asses already. First round’ll be on me at Purgatory tonight.”

“Thanks Major, we’ll get over there now.” Pike says as he and JT stand and begin to head out for the door that led to the private parking lot behind the precinct where the cruisers are kept. Pike and JT get into car 006 and Pike drives out of the gated area and onto the street, heading west.

Faith was still fuming as she skidded to a stop outside the apartment shared by Vi MacKenzie and her younger sister Serena Lehane, beeping the horn a couple times. She doesn’t count more than a few seconds before her red haired friend and employee vaults herself over the railing of the second floor porch and landing on the concrete fourteen feet below in a crouch and completely unharmed. Faith rolls her eyes as Vi stands to her feet and hurries over to the Impala. As soon as her passenger has shut the door, Faith slams on the gas and the vintage car roars off down the street.

“Yeah you’re not tense at all.” Vi quips, an insolent but playful tone to her voice. Then her expression turns serious as she takes in the rigid posture of her best friend. “Did you and James get into another fight?”

Faith looks like she wants to say yes, but restrains herself. “No, not exactly. He didn’t really do anything. I just got moody again.” Faith’s frown deepens at seeing the thoughtful expression that comes over Vi’s face a moment later

“You’re not,” Vi pauses for a moment. “Pregnant, are you?”

The redhead winces at the sight of Faith’s hands shaking as she clutches the steering wheel, and she’s gone pale.

“Oh my god…” Vi trails off. “Does James know?”

“NO!” Faith yells, then looks ashamed as she focuses back on the road. “I haven’t told him yet.” She mutters softly. “I’m scared.”

“Why?” Vi questions. “You know he loves you to death, tell him.”

“I’m not scared of him, I’m scared of what Purity being on the Hub means for our future.” Faith admits. “I don’t know if I want to risk a child’s life.”

“Well whatever you decide to do, you are going to tell him, right?”

“I’m working up to it.” Faith sighs as she pulls the car to a stop in front of Tainted Ink, her tattoo shop. She and Vi get out of the car and walk up to the front door which Faith quickly unlocks and the two women enter. Vi flips the closed sign over and starts raising the blinds over the front windows as Faith goes into the back office. Vi grimaces as her enhanced hearing picks up Faith’s mutter of ‘unreliable bitch’, and gives a pointed look at her boss as she emerges from the back room with the envelop of money Aura was supposed to have brought to the bank after closing up last night.

“Again?” Vi asks in disbelief.

“Fourth goddamn time this month, you need to tell that bitch to lay off the coke.”

“Wouldn’t that normally be your job?”

“I’m hormonal, and I already dislike her. I want to avoid bloodshed.”

“Since when? You and Serena seemed to enjoy your little brawl last weekend.”

“There’s a time and place for everything, and I’m tired of paying for damages here.”

“Point.” Vi concedes. “So what do you want me to tell Aura?”

“She’s on probation, she misses work or fucks up like this again, she’s fired. I don’t care if she’s clan. I can’t have people here I can’t trust, and we can’t afford for another B&E like back in March.” Faith says, and Vi gives a quick nod. “Sorry for dumping on you like that. My first appointment isn’t for another half hour, I’m gonna check the news.”

“I’ll let you know if someone comes in.” Vi says, and starts tidying up the front lobby as Faith returns to the back room.

About twenty minutes after his latest fight with Faith, James turns the bike into the alley next to Madison’s bakery and pulls to a stop. He flips down the kickstand and dismounts the motorcycle, walking further down the alley.

“O’Connor, you here?” he calls out tentatively, keeping his voice low enough to not attract the attention of the Madisons or their patrons.

“Yeah.” Liam answers, dropping down from the low roof a few feet in front of James, who growls defensively and glares at the vampire.

“I hate it when you people pull that shit.” The werewolf complains, frowning further upon hearing the chuckle from O’Connor. “I assume you have a job for me.”

“When I was in Miami I met with your cousin Peter, he had information on one of Walsh’s ranking lieutenants and a generous contributor to Purity.” Liam tells him, getting right down to business. He pulls a manila folder out of his suit and passes it to James. “His name is Warren Meers. He’s been tied to several murders, involving both of our peoples.” Liam lapses into silence as James flips open the folder and begins scanning its contents.

“New Jersey?” James looks up from the file. “When do you need this done?”

“I need you to leave tonight at the latest. Meers is checked in at the hotel for three more days, after that we may not get another shot at him.”

“It’s the Blood Moon tomorrow. I can’t just take off.”

“That’s another thing I wanted to talk to you about.” Liam says gravely. “Purity took out one of my childes here in the city last night. Until they are taken care of, I am placing us all on lockdown. If you or any of yours want to celebrate Blood Moon au natural, do it out of sight at the compound.”

“That’s harsh man.”

“Harsh, yes and I do apologize. But also necessary, we need to keep our secret and the Hub is going to be under the scrutiny of Purity. I don’t want to lose any more of my people, do you?”

“I’ll tell the clan.” James says after a few moments of uncomfortable silence. “How much for the job?”

“Forty grand sound good?”

“Throw in a weekend at your Vegas penthouse and we’re square.”

“Why the penthouse?” Liam asks.

“Cause Faith is already pissed at me and I’m most likely gonna miss the Blood Moon doing work for you. And don’t think for one moment that she isn’t going to be just as pissed at you when she finds out.”

“Say no more, I’ll fly you both out the week of Labor Day and either Cassie or Gunn will bring the money by the compound this afternoon.”

“I appreciate it. I’m gonna get out of here, get some supplies together. As always it’s been a pleasure.” James says, turning and walking back to his motorcycle as Liam makes his own escape. Before he gets on, he pulls his cell phone out and flips it open. “Daniel Osbourne.” He says at the prompt.

[i] ‘Dialing… Daniel Osbourne.’ [/i] the phone’s mechanized voice announces, and then starts to ring.

“Hey boss.” Oz’s tired voice says on the other end.

“Late night?” James asks, glancing at his watch that reads 10:07 am.

“Yeah, a couple of the Raven Heart Clan came into Purgatory around midnight, started causing problems. I guess a couple of theirs got clipped by Purity and they were looking to let off some steam.”

“I’ll call Darius, have him tell his boys to back off.” James tells the guitarist/bouncer. “You gonna be busy the next two days?”

“No, why?”

“Liam has a job, and I’ll cut you in for seven grand if you feel like heading down to Jersey tonight.”

“But the Blood Moon-”

“Blood Moon is as good as cancelled. O’Connor issued a lockdown order since he thinks Purity has come to the Hub, so the party will have to be in the compound this year. Besides, I’m hoping to be back here before midnight tomorrow.”

“Shit.” Oz curses. “Well then, yeah man, I’ll go.”

“Good. Call Xan, and ask him too. I gotta go, I need to get a few things, and talk to Faith.”

“Good luck with that, not gonna say I envy you at this point. See you tonight.” Oz hangs up and James stores his phone back in his pocket. Suddenly the hairs on the back of his neck stand up and he takes quick account of his surroundings and shrugs off the sudden feeling of unease before revving the motor and backing out of the alley. He navigates expertly onto the street and peels out, speeding back toward South Boston.

Jimmy opens the passenger door of William’s black unmarked civic and gets in, giving a short nod of greeting towards his partner and grabbing up the pro-offered cup of coffee.

“Hazelnut?” Jimmy questions hopefully as he flips open the plastic lid and William drives away from the curb.

“Jim, we’ve been partners for three years, I know your goddamn coffee.” William gibes. “Harmony worked at a gentleman’s club called Scarlet Rain. It’s in the penthouse of the WilkinsCorp Building.”

“Were the two of you close or something?” Jimmy asks.

“Not in the way you’re thinking. She’s just been a friend for a good long while.” William replies.

“You don’t have any ideas on who might have murdered her, I mean from knowing her before hand if you saw anything.”

“Nothing that would raise any alarms, but then again I haven’t seen her in about three months, different schedules.” William shrugs. “Only person I would have suspected off the bat would have been her ex-boyfriend.”


“Nah, he got shot by one of his cohorts during a liqueur store robbery, bout eight months ago. I guess the others didn’t want to share.”

“He beat her?” Jimmy asks, and William gives an uncomfortable nod. Indeed, Billy Blim had been a nuisance to both the Liam’s Hub Tribe and the Blood Clover Clan, and had been dealt with accordingly, not that Jimmy would ever know about that.

“He did a lot of things.” William says vaguely, and the two homicide detectives lapse into silence for the duration of the ride, which ends about twelve minutes later with William’s announcement of, “We’re here.”

The two men get out of the car and walk into the large high rise building where Scarlet Rain is located and quickly make their way to the elevator bank. Getting on, William presses the button for the penthouse floor.

“Just how upper class is this club?”

“It’s not so much upper class, but they are very exclusive.”

“So how do you know about them then?”

“I’m special.”

“So where’s your helmet?”

“I left it at your mother’s house.”

Jimmy holds his hand to his heart and stumbles back with dramatic flair. “Aw damn Billy, you done cut me deep.” He says in a southern accent, and both men chuckle.

The elevator dings a few moments later announcing their arrival on the penthouse floor. The doors slide open and they walk out into a gothic themed entry room. A red haired woman sees them as they come in and walks over with a sad smile on her face.

“William, so nice to see you.” The woman greets warmly, pulling the blond detective into a firm embrace and whispering into his ear. “I wish it were under better circumstances, I assume this is about Harmony.”

“Yes.” He whispers back, low enough for Jimmy to not pick up on it. “I’m sorry ahead of time if Jim says anything, he isn’t aware.” Willow nods and pulls away from William and both turn to see Jimmy looking at them quizzically.

“Willow, this is my partner Jimmy Halloran. Jim, this is Willow Rosenberg, the manager of this place and an old friend.” William introduces them, trying to not put too much emphasis on the word ‘old’.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, ma’am.” Jimmy intones, and Willow smiles warmly at him.

“Likewise, any friend of Spike’s is a friend of mine. Welcome to Scarlet Rain.” Willow tells him.

“The place looks magnificent.” Jimmy says before turning to William. “Spike?” he questions and William shoots a brief glare at Willow.

“Old joke.” William explains quickly. “I used to be in a punk band.” He omitted telling him that it had been 1983 when he had been in that band. He turns back to Willow, a stern expression on his face. “What time did Harmony leave Thursday night?”

“I’m not sure of the exact time, but it was between 1 and 1:30 a.m. Cassie drove her to her apartment.”

“Who’s Cassie, and where is she?” Jimmy asks, flipping open a notepad and holding out a pen.

“Cassie’s one of the dancers here.” Willow explains. “As to where she is, I’d imagine that’d be home, sleeping.”

“At eleven in the morning?” Jimmy asks almost incredulously.

“We’re a night business Mr. Halloran.” Willow replies. “I don’t make it a habit to pry into the off hour lives of my employees. Cassie had the midnight to five shift, and if William hadn’t asked me to answer a few questions for you, I’d be sleeping too.”

“I’m sorry ma’am, I won’t take up to much more of your time.” Jimmy apologizes. “Do you know of anyone who would want Ms. Kendall dead?”

“Harmony had a [i] unique [/i] way about her, she was a bit of an acquired taste I you will, but I can’t think of anyone who would have reason to kill her, I’m sorry.”

“That’s quite alright.” Jimmy assures her. “If you remember anything, please call us.”

“I’ll be sure to do that.” Willow says, and Jimmy and William take the opportunity to leave, William throwing an apologetic look at Willow as they go. Willow has a troubled look on her face that only he sees.

James pulls his van up to the ‘frat’ house owned by Xander, Oz, and Jesse and watches as the former two come out of the front door and down to where he’s parked.

“You got your pieces?” he asks as Oz gets into the passenger seat and Xander slouches onto the couch in the back. Oz flashes his Colt, and Xander waves his Beretta in the air. “Good, you’re going to need them.”

“Who’s the target?” Oz asks as James pulls away and drives towards the interstate.

“Warren Meers, he’s a contributing member of Purity.” James tells them, pulling the file Liam had given him off the floor next to his seat and handing it to Oz, who begins to skim through it. “I wanted to waited until after the Blood Moon, but Liam says he’ll only be at the hotel for another couple of days, and then we’ll lose our shot.”

“So what is King Liam giving you that you’re willing to face the wrath of Faith by missing a sacred holiday?” Xander asks from the back.

“A week in Vegas at his penthouse for me and Faith.”

“Damn.” Xander curses. “I need to get him to give me a pay raise.”

“And I have no plans to miss Blood Moon, I’m hoping that this will be an in and out job, and we can be back by sundown tomorrow night.”

“This guy seems pretty clean, no arrests. I think he’s just a peripheral player for Purity, so odds are minimal to zero security. We do this right, and fast and you might just be able to escape Faith’s ire after all.” Oz remarks, closing the file and handing it back to Xander.

“Let’s all pray.” Xander quips, then goes quiet as he reads the dossier on Warren. A few minutes pass with nothing but silence in the van, and then he finally speaks again. “Hey do we have any weed in here?”

“Check the cushions.” James says as he and Oz share a look, and a moment later Xander lets out a whoop of glee.

“What do you know, it’s half a blunt.”

“Faith left it in here after the trip up to Maine two weeks ago.” James replies. “I have a quarter ounce in my duffel, but I’m saving it for Blood Moon so stay the hell out of my shit.”

“Jesus man, when have I ever fucked with your stuff?” Xander complains indignantly.

“How about when you ‘borrowed’ the Ducati I got for the Quentin Travers job and crashed it into the side of the Sullivan’s house?” James asks.

“I was really drunk.” Xander defends.

“Or the time that you stole two boxes of condoms out of my closet.”

“I paid for those.”

“What about that time you put green dye in his and Faith’s shampoo?” Oz asks, a wide smirk on his face.

“It was St. Paddy’s and that was damn funny.”

“It really wasn’t.” James growls, glaring at Xander through the rearview mirror but he remains unfazed.

“It was a little funny.” Oz says, getting a glare of his own from James. He holds his pointer and thumb a couple inches apart. “Just a little bit.”

James just grunts in response.

“Faith?” Vi questions, poking her head into the ‘office’ of her aforementioned boss and best-friend and finding her snoozing on the beaten leather couch. Grinning to herself, Vi closes the door and locks it before shifting into her wolf form and padding over to the couch and letting out a loud bark that wakes Faith and causes her to jump off the couch. Faith yelps as she hits the floor in a tangle of limbs, and wolf-Vi falls onto its side yipping frantically. The yips turn to giggles as Vi reverts to human and remains on her side laughing hysterically.

“Laugh it up red, you’ll get your come-uppance.” Faith growls, but Vi isn’t intimidated in the slightest as she keeps laughing. Faith rolls her eyes and stands up, and Vi quickly snaps out of her fooling around.

“Dawn McHale is here for her one o’clock appointment.” The younger moonchild announces, as she straightens her clothes as best she can for how worn out they are. “She says she needs to talk to you in private.”

“Alright, send her back here.” Faith says with a smile once more on her face. She might not care for the vampires all that much, but Dawn had a way about her that endeared all who met her to the statuesque brunette vampiress, and on that front even Faith, the alpha bitch of the Blood Clover Clan, was no different from anyone else. Vi gives a quick nod and vacates the back room, returning a few moments later with the vampire in question.

“Faith, always a pleasure.” Dawn greets as she floats in with grace, her curse of clumsiness from when she was still a human were all but forgotten. She moves swiftly across the room, wrapping the moonchild in a firm hug. “I hope you’ve been well.”

“As I with you Dawn.” Faith says as the two women pull apart. “How was Los Angeles?”

“Hot and smelly.” Dawn bitches good naturedly. “I don’t care to know what Ashton Kutcher does behind closed doors but it reeks. It was worse than the smell that was there after we shot up Jermaine Trick.”

“He pissed himself.” Faith recalls, thinking of the Providence vampire that had killed two of her clan mates, Tommy and Diana, and at least three of Dawn’s vampire friends.

“Well it was like that, only more aged.”

“Is Ashton Kutcher one of yours?” Faith asks, barely containing her laughter, and Dawn gets a heavily offended look on her face.

“As if any of us would stoop so low as to turn him, I think final death would be a blessing. We do have Harvey Keitel, Steve Bushemi, Denis Leary, Emilie de Ravin and Abe Vigoda though.”

“So that’s why that old bastard won’t die.” Faith comments. “Yeah, so what did you need to talk about?”

“Liam has ordered a lockdown, for all of us. Anyone who wants to spend the Blood Moon as a wolf has to do it on the compound and out of sight.” Dawn says, looking apologetic. “Sorry to be the one to tell you.”

“He sent James out of state for a hit, didn’t he?” Faith questions and Dawn nods uncomfortably after a moment. “Son of a-”

“Liam sends his apologies, and this.” Dawn sends, passing over an envelope of money that she has removed from the inner pocket of her leather jacket. “There’s forty grand there. If it makes you feel any better, I heard from Giles that the guy Liam sent James after was affiliated with those Purity assholes.”

“It does a bit actually.” Faith decides. “At least he’s making the world a safer place for our people.”

She shrugs off the anger that had come rushing back from the fight with James earlier and remembers that he promised her to be there for Blood Moon. He might not always be there when she needed him to be, but he had never once broken a promise. If he said he’d be there, she’d have to believe that he’d be there. She turns back to face Dawn.

“I’m good.” She reassures the wary vampire. “What did you want to have done?”

“I found a Celtic knot design online that I liked.” Dawn says, pulling a piece of paper out of her right pants pocket and unfolding it before showing it to Faith. The moonchild studies the image on the paper for a few seconds before speaking again.

“I can get this done in about an hour and a half.” Faith estimates.

“How much is it gonna set me back?”

“Come on Dawnie, you know you have the friends and family discount here.” Faith says. “Sides with the forty grand in the packet, I shouldn’t even be taking any of your money.”

“The forty grand comes from Liam. I pay from my own wallet for services rendered.” Dawn argues.

“Alright then, fifty dollars.” The moonchild takes the three twenties thrust at her in a flash, then leads the way up front where the tattoo chairs are located. Vi waves at her from where she’s working on Jesse, and Faith waves back, then nods in the direction of Nina, who is sitting behind the counter that the cash register resided on. The blonde artist regards her briefly before she goes back to working on a new tattoo design. Faith looks to Dawn and motions to the tattoo chair they’ve stopped in front of.

“Take a seat and we’ll get started.” Faith says, then as Dawn sits she’s distracted by the bell signifying someone entering the Tainted Ink. She looks over in time to see Aura stroll through the door and across the checkered floor left from when the leased space used to house a pizza place. The woman pales upon seeing the angry look on Faith’s face that forms when the two lock eyes. Dawn raises a curious eye as she glances between the two, the corner of her lip curled up slightly as she gets a thrill from the thought of the possibly unfolding fight for dominance, and she wondered not for the first time what it would have been like if she herself had become a wolf instead of a vampire.

“So what time was it exactly when you dropped the money off at the bank last night Aura?” Faith asks with a dangerous glint in her eyes.

“Faith, I’m sorry I-” Aura starts but Faith waves her hand to cut her off.

“I’m not interested in the why or how, if it happens again, you’re fired.” Faith says in a near growl. “If I catch you hopped up on coke while working, you’re fired. If you’re more than ten minutes late without a damn good excuse, you’re fired. If you’re… you know what, just go home.”

“Am I fired?” Aura questions, sounding insolent. Faith’s glare hardens further, and Aura holds up her hands in submission. “Fine, fine. I’m going,”

“Bad time?” Dawn cheeks once Aura flounces out of the tattoo shop. Faith fixes her with a look, and receives a wide smirk in reply.

“You keep it up, I’ll make the tattooing extra painful.”

“Promises, promises.” Dawn mutters.

Faith pushes Dawn back and she falls onto the chair, letting off a surprised ‘oomph’ as her back and ass make contact with the metallic surface.

“That wasn’t very nice.” Dawn chastises halfheartedly, and Faith just chuckles.

“Yeah well, I’m a bitch. Just ask Aura.”

Dr. Margaret ‘Maggie’ Walsh, the de-facto leader of the FBI described ‘cult’ Purity, stood on the slight rise where the fireplace was inlaid against the wall. She looked around the room, taking in the faces of seven of her twelve lieutenants as they all looked back at her almost with irreverence in their eyes.

“I want to thank you all for coming tonight.” Maggie addresses her guests. “In the last week we have made significant progress in the war against the unnatural ones, with our strikes against them in Framingham, Springfield, Amherst and Worcester. I would like to commend you all for all your hard work and effort that have brought us to where we stand now.”

Maggie pauses for a moment, picking up the glass of wine she had poured minutes earlier and takes a pull.

“None of that matters now.” She says. “All of those victories, grand as they seemed, are nothing compared to what has been waiting for us here in Boston. The king, the Don Corleone of vampires if you will, and he has people everywhere. They’re going to be watching for us, so for your safety you should know them too. Please follow me.”

Maggie steps off the platform and strides across the room, her lieutenants falling into step behind her and she leads the way out of the living room and into the office on the opposite side of the hall. She stops in front of a large corkwood message board covered in photos and post-its.

“These are the faces of your enemies here in Boston. Get to know them well, because they will soon know ours.” Maggie stands back as the six begin to look over the board.
Pictures of Willow, Dawn, Faith, Vi, Giles, Oz, Gunn, Serena, Jesse, Harmony, and one taken of James and Liam meeting in the alley by Madison’s Bakery are visible on the board, and a maniacal grin is planted on Maggie’s face now.

“Ma’am, I’m not sure I quite understand.” One of her lieutenants, Graham Miller, says after a few moments. “Some of these people are known and feared mafiosos, I’m not to sure that I want to get tangled up with them.”

“That is the disguise they hide behind. They may look human, but they’re not, and they will murder every last one of us who are. Don’t lose any sleep over killing them, they are nothing but a spit in the eye of everything that humanity stands for.” Maggie says, “And as they are gangsters, think of it as doing the world a favor. How many people’s lives would be safer with these monsters off the streets?”

Graham doesn’t have a reply for that, but still has a troubled look on his face as he turns back to look over the wall of ‘supernaturals’, and his eyes fall on an image of James and Liam from earlier in the alley.

Liam, meanwhile was at the casino, wandering the floors of the main room and making some ‘face time’ with the guests. He was in the midst of a conversation with one of his high rollers, a self made millionaire by the name of David Nabbit, when he caught a flash of unmistakable blonde hair as Elizabeth walked past a gap in the row of slot machines. Liam quickly makes up an excuse for the other man and escapes, making his way up the aisle swiftly, hoping to catch up with the girl in question.

As if the universe was once more having a big laugh at his expense, he suddenly found himself frantically reaching out to grasp Elizabeth by the wrists to keep her from falling onto the floor.

“I’m terribly sorry Miss.” Liam says repentantly. “I wasn’t paying attention to where I, hey aren’t you Rupert Giles’ new assistant?”

“I somehow think you already know the answer to that Mr. O’Connor.” Elizabeth snarks playfully as she regains her footing. Liam looks at her with eyes full of faux innocence, but he cracks under her expectant gaze.

“Okay, busted.” Liam replies. “I don’t mean to cause you any alarm but I had been hoping after we met this morning to ask if you would care to accompany me to dinner some night?”

“Wow, I’d kind of forgotten how forward people in Boston tend to be.” Elizabeth comments, “I don’t know, I just came home and I’m not sure I want to get involved with anyone at the moment.”

“That didn’t quite sound like a no.”

“I’ll think about it.”

“That’s all I ask.” Liam says, letting the matter drop for the time being. “So where were you heading when we ran into eachother.”

“I think it was you who did the running pal.” Elizabeth regards him with mirth dancing behind her eyes.

“Touche.” Liam quips, “But seriously, this place is often overwhelming on the first day.”

“I was asked to bring some paperwork to a Mr. Gunn, and I think maybe I did get a little lost.”

“Well as Charles’ office is on the other end of the building, I’d be inclined to agree with you.” Liam informs Elizabeth, who shrugs helplessly.

“Ooops.” She offers weakly.

“Would you like me to escort you to Mr. Gunn’s office?”

“You don’t need to, I’m sure you have to be fairly busy with things.” Elizabeth says,

“Nonsense, I just own the place. I leave the management completely up to Mr. Giles.” Liam waves off her concerns. “I was just putting in some face time with some of our more ‘charitable’ summer guests, and you’d be saving me from having to listen to yet another story about how Mr. Mercer’s law firm is being considered for a partnership with Wolfram and Hart, or how poor Mr. Crowley lost his bid war for Genatech to some trust fund brat from Silicon Valley. Honestly you’d be saving me from unmentionable torture.”

Elizabeth laughs at the grim look in Liam’s eyes, and he gives her a haunted stare.

“Sure laugh it up now, you’ll be singing a different tune when Ms. Post returns from the Hamptons.” Liam intones quietly. “That woman is hell in high heels, ask your boss.”

“I’ll be sure to do that.” Elizabeth says as she contains her laughter. “Well if it’s so horrible to mingle with your summer patrons, I guess it’d be helpful for someone who knows the place to show me to where I need to go.”

“Only to happy to oblige.” Liam says, holding his arm out and after a moment Elizabeth links hers in and he leads her across the floor in the correct direction of Gunn’s office in the north wing of the casino.

Jimmy hummed an old Irish ballad to himself as he descended the stairwell that led down to the morgue of precinct 17. He quickly makes his way down the hallway and into the body storage room, seeing Harmony’s covered body laid out on one of the metal examination tables in the center of the storage room. He quickly strides over to the table, removing a hacksaw blade out of the manila envelope in his hand and pulling the sheet covering Harmony back a bit to reveal her head and upper torso.

Reaching down he held the hacksaw blade against the torn flesh of the dancer’s neck and frowns as he realizes that the markings do not match up. He lets out a discouraged sigh and returns the blade to the envelope and puts it into his pocket. Just as he is about to coer the body once more, he notices a small dab of blood on the crease on the left side of the dead woman’s mouth and reaches out to wipe it off.

His finger brushes against her teeth lightly and he lets out a curse as he feels his own flesh sliced open like a paper cut and pulls his hand away from her face swiftly. Upon close examination he finds that his pointer finger has been sliced as if with a finely sharpened razorblade.

“What in the hell?” He questions aloud to no one in particular, and regards the woman once more. He tentatively reaches down, and lifts her upper lip to reveal her teeth. Two fangs are clearly visible on both the top and bottom teeth and Jimmy backs away from her like she’s the plague. A moment later the homicide detective hears two people, a man and a woman talking as they come down the hallway, their voices getting louder as they draw closer. Thinking quickly, Jimmy ducks into the utility closet and closes the door all but a crack just as Wesley Windham-Pryce and Tara MaClay, two of the crime lab personnel for the 17th enter the room and approach Harmony’s body.

“Did Liam say how he wanted this done?” Tara asks, and Wesley shakes his head.

“He was vague on the method to be used, just that it was to be done.” Wesley replies, re-covering Harmony’s upper body. “William called him an hour ago, he’s worried his partner Jimmy is getting too close to the truth. The presence of Harmony’s body puts us all at risk, so it needs to be destroyed.”

Tara nods to indicate her understanding. “We’ll just bring her down to the crematorium, and Penn can take care of the rest of it.”

“Just another victim lost in transit.” Wesley notes, his tone sad. He unlocks the wheels on the bottom of the table and pushes it out of the body storage room, Tara shadowing after him.

Jimmy remains in the utility closet for a few more moments, as he tries to wrap his head around the events of the past several minutes. None of it made any sense to him, but he honestly doubted any sane person wouldn’t be just as confused as he. There was something strange happening here, and his partner of three years and one of his closest friends in the world was involved.

[i] Who was Liam?

Why did Harmony Kendall have fangs?

What truth was William afraid he was getting to close to, and how many others were involved? [/i]

All these questions and more raced through Jimmy’s mind, and he had answers for none of them.

But he would.

“I swear that Wood has it out for us.” Pike complains as he tosses yet another full garbage bag out of the way to look for evidence. “We could be doing more good on the streets looking for those cultist dickheads. Besides, isn’t this more of the crime lab’s job?”

“You think they haven’t already been through here?” JT replies, looking over from where he is searching through an overfull dumpster. “It’s politics man, Mayor Wilkins is looking for a fourth term. He needs to look good, so we as police have to look as if we’re masking a real difference under his guidance. If you think that we have it bad doing this shit, think of the pressure James is gonna be under from Wilkins and King Liam himself.”

“Yeah, I know all that and for once I don’t envy Foley his position.” Pike states honestly. “Moon knows I’d crack under the stress, I’m just looking for a little supernatural solidarity here. We’ve both been on the force for over ten years here, we should be more than just beat cops. Wilkins and Liam both know our worth, we’ve proved it time and again, but still we get stuck picking up the pieces after the vultures have finished.”

“So you’re unhappy then?” JT asks as he drops a bag of diapers out of the dumpster and into the plastic garbage bin next to it.

“I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m unhappy, but I’m definitely complacent.” Pike responds after a moment of thought. “There hasn’t been much action of the sort we appreciate in months.”

“Most people would consider that a positive thing.”

“And I’m not saying it isn’t. I just, ah hell I dunno.” Pike goes quiet for a few moments. “I’m just tired of the meaningless day to day routine.”

“So put in a transfer.” JT suggests. “Homicide and Major Cases are always looking for more manpower.”

“And get stuck behind a desk for days at a time filing reports? Thanks, but I’ll pass.” Pike declines.

“What about the Repo unit?” JT throws out in humour and Pike fixes him with a disgusted look.

“I’d sooner quit the force than go back to dealing with those savages.” Pike says, holding back a shudder at the thought of the seven month stint he’d done with the Repo unit when he and JT had first joined the SBPD in 1988. That had been a worse hell than the situation he found himself in currently, digging through the garbage looking for the figurative needle in the haystack. “Why are we even wasting our time anyways. If Wesley, Tara and Jonathan couldn’t find anything here, then clearly we won’t.”

“And on that note, you owe me a beer.” JT crows, holding up a leather wallet that he has uncovered under a garbage bag next to the dumpster. “This looks a bit too valuable to just throw out, especially in this part of town.”

“Who’s is it?” Pike asks, as JT vaults himself over the side of the dumpster and lands on the concrete floor of the alley before flipping open the wallet.

“One Malcolm Edwards, formerly of Queens, New York.” JT reads off the identification card. “Born in 1956, he has blue eyes and brown hair, and oh look, he’s a blood donor.”

JT tosses the wallet over to Pike, who pulls out Holtz’ collection of business cards, flipping through them quickly.

“And here’s our smoking gun.” Pike holds out a blue and red card with Margaret Walsh’s name on it. “This mook is with Purity.”

Oz was now behind the wheel of James’ van and darkness had fallen. James was snoring lightly on the couch in the back and Xander had taken the passenger seat and was also similarly dead to the world surrounding them. He take notice of the large green ‘Now Entering New Jersey’ sign as he passes and grins as James’ hope to be back home in time for the Blood Moon is restored in his mind. If they were able to eliminate Meers by sunrise, then they could get back to the Hub as early as early afternoon tomorrow, giving them more than enough time to get the job done.

The (currently) blue haired man’s attention was suddenly caught by the sight of the strawberry blonde woman hitchhiking a little further up the road and he began to slow down upon the realization that the woman was a nomadic moonchild. The sudden decrease of speed in the van is enough to wake both James and Xander from their slumber.

“We there yet?” Xander asks with a yawn, stretching himself out as best he can in the seat.

“Nah, I’m picking up a hitchhiker.” Oz says calmly as he pulls up and puts the van into neutral a few yards away from the woman, who flashes a wide grin and after readjusting her backpack a bit walks over to the van.

“What the hell Oz? We have a job to do.” James demands from the couch in back.

“Relax boss. She’s a moonchild.” Oz pacifies.

“Fine, but I don’t want her to get in the way, so she’s gone before we hit Jersey.”

“We’re in Jersey.” Oz says as the woman pulls open the side door to the van and hops in.

“Thanks so much for picking me up, I’ve been trying to flag down a ride for the last half hour.” The woman says. “I’m Veruca.”

“James Foley.” James introduces himself. “The blue haired guy driving is Oz, and the slouch in the passenger seat is Xander.”

“Hey!” Xander exclaims in indignation as Oz puts the van back into drive and pulls back onto the highway. “I resent that.”

“The world resents you, so deal.” Oz snipes at his best friend, who pouts. Veruca laughs at their antics, and James simply rolls his eyes. “So what is a lovely wolf such as you doing in Jersey?”

“Oh, I’m heading down to Philadelphia for the Blood Moon.” Veruca replies. “My sister went last year, said it was better than Mardi Gras.”

“Never been to Philly during the holidays, but if it’s better than Mardi Gras, I’ll have to make a trip of it one of these years.” Xander acknowledges.

“Well you’re welcome to join me if you want to, no one else I know is going to be there.” Veruca offers, but James shakes his head before either of the other two can speak.

“As tempting as that is, we’ll have to decline.” He says, leaving no room for debate. “We have some business to attend to at the Marriott in Elizabeth, then we have to haul ass back to Boston. Sorry.”

“Oh.” Veruca sounds slightly disappointed but shrugs it off. “That’s fine, if you could drop me off at the hotel, I can walk to the bus station from there.”

“It isn’t anything personal.” Oz assures her. “James’ here’s girl has his nutsack in a vice.”

Oz lets out a grunt of pain upon the collision of the discarded lighter James throws with the back of his head. Veruca shakes her head, giggling silently, and drops into the recliner opposite the couch. James picks a motorcycling magazine up off the floor and begins flipping through it, and the now wide awake Xander begins adjusting the radio tuner, trying to find a classic rock station. The attention now off her, Veruca has a slightly worried look in her eyes as the van drives further down the highway..

Giles lets out a sigh of relief as he hangs up the phone, glad to have finally selected a suitable candidate for the position of day manager of the hotel and casino. With the presence of Purity on the Hub, he had a feeling he was going to be more than exhausted just serving as the night manager. He shakes out of his thoughts and powers down his laptop, then moving to the door, opening a pathway into his assistant’s office, and is greeted by the sight of the assistant in question deep in conversation with his lover of the past eighty seven years.

“Jennifer, it seems you grow lovelier each time you return to grace my presence.” Giles says in greeting, snapping the two women out of their conversation.

“Flatterer.” Jenny says with a wide smile.

“Elizabeth, what are you still doing here? Your shift ended almost an hour ago.” He asks next.

“I know, I was just finishing up filing the profit reports from July, and Ms. Calender came in. We got to talking and must have lost track of time.” Elizabeth says, grabbing her laptop case off her desk and starting for the door. “Well, enjoy your evening.”

“You, as well. It was a pleasure to meet you, we should do it again soon.” Jenny says and receives an eager nod from the blonde before she walks out. Jenny turns to Giles a moment later. “I like her, she’s smart.”

“Yes, indeed she is.” Giles agrees.

“So when are you going to turn her then?” Jenny asks teasingly, and laughs at the comical widening of Giles’ eyes. “Jesus Rupert, you’re just as easy as you were when we met during Prohibition.”

“You are going to be my death woman.” Giles says, fixing his lover with a faux glare.

“Well I’m sure you’ll die a happy vampire then.” Jenny sasses. “But we’ll have time for that later. I have a request I was hoping you could pass to Liam for me.”

“And that is?”

“I think someone is planning on burglarizing my store on Newbury, a couple of the vampires that work the night shift have reported that a black van has been seen parked in different spots near my property.” Jenny explains. “I was hoping that Liam could have a couple of his crew pull a stake out, see if they can catch the little shits in the act.”

“I’ll pass on the request.” Giles promises. “I wouldn’t worry to much either way though, if its just thieves I’m sure any of the men you have working the night shift can handle a couple of humans.”

“And if it’s the wolves?” Jenny asks, a frown tugging at the corner of her mouth.

“The wolves aren’t gonna risk getting kicked off the Hub for a bookstore robbery.” Giles dismisses the notion immediately. “Liam has them on a tight leash by way of James Foley anyways.”

“Well regardless of who it is that’s been casing my store the past couple nights, it’ll be a cold day in hell when Jennifer Calender lets some miscreant thief take advantage of her.”

“I’ll ask Liam to have someone look into it.” Giles tells her and she nods gratefully.

“I appreciate it Rupert.” Jenny says warmly. “But about what I said earlier about your new assistant, I was only half joking.”

“Jenny, I don’t know what you’re planning, but you should know that Liam has ordered a lockdown. Until Purity is dealt with, he’s not allowing any new members, the wolves have been told the same.”

“Well, that will keep her human for the time being.” Jenny notes. “But when the lockdown is lifted, a woman with beauty and intelligence like she has will entice [i] someone [/i] into siring her. Better it be one of us rather an enemy of the tribe or some nomad. I’d hate to see her lost to us.”

“This is neither the time nor place for this discussion.” Giles says. “It’s bad enough that Liam is already sniffing after the young Ms. Summers, I don’t want to think about it.”

“Liam has taken a fancy to her?” Jenny asks, sounding overjoyed at the notion. “She would make a suitable queen wouldn’t she?”

“I hadn’t given that much thought, or any actually.” Giles says, pulling his glasses off and cleaning them with a handkerchief. “Elizabeth has no knowledge of our world, let alone a desire to become one of us.”

“Alright, I get it.” Jenny ceases her teasing of the older vampire, and a sultry look comes over her face. “So are you finished for the night then?”

“Yeah, I just finished up before I came out here.” Giles says. “I don’t think Liam needed anything else from me tonight so…”

“I was gonna head over to Scarlet Rain.” Jenny says, “It’s been a while since I’ve seen Willow and I was hoping to catch up. You’re more than welcome to join, the night is young after all.”

“I am, as the humans say these day, [i] so [/i] in.” Giles says, with a hearty chuckle before clasping hands with the former Gypsy and allows her to lead him from his office, flipping the lights off and pulling the door shut as they walk out.

Dawn shrugs out of her leather jacket as she enters the smoke filled pub in the south wing of the Black Rose, and folds it over her arm as she moves further into the dimly lit barroom. She walks over to the stairwell that led up to the restricted balcony section and begins up the stairs, passing by Rondell Waters, one of the members of Charles Gunn’s crew who is guarding the entrance as she goes. He gives her a quick nod of greeting which she returns before moving on to the private room that overlooked both the pub and the lounge on the opposite side. She strolls in, catching sight of Liam at the table in the middle of the room. Gunn, Wesley and David Penn are also seated around the small table, taking count of the money that is spread out over the polished wooden surface. Cordelia Chase is sitting at the mini bar and filing out paperwork.

“Willow called, said you were looking for me.” Dawn says, looking directly at Liam, who gives a quick nod and motions for her to follow him out to the balcony overlooking the pub. She does so, draping her jacket over the armrest of the couch next to the exit and closes the sliding door behind them, before turning back to face the godfather of Boston.

“Is that a new tattoo?” he asks, catching sight of her bare upper arm and admiring the artwork.

“Yeah, I went by Tainted earlier this afternoon.” Dawn replies, taking a seat at the table pushed up against the metal barred railing at the edge of the balcony and Liam drops into the seat next to her. “Faith does good work, no?”

“I’ll have to make an appointment.” Liam agrees. “I have a couple that could use a touch-up. How did Faith take the news of the lock-down?”

“Better than the last time, although I think the forty grand may have helped ease her into the idea.” Dawn answers, glancing out over the crowd below, her eyes falling on Nina Ash behind the bar and when the woman looks up in her direction she gives a short wave which is reciprocated by the blond moonchild. “She isn’t happy with all the out of state ‘errands’ you send Foley and his crew on.”

“The ‘errands’ are necessary.” Liam says insistently.

“I know that they are, and so does she, but that doesn’t make it any easier.” Dawn responds, somewhat crossly. “Look, we’ve both known Faith since she came to the hub seven years ago. She’s all about the action, if you gave her a more active role in our business it might serve to diffuse her anger at James’ frequent ‘business trips’.

Liam looks thoughtful for a few moments, and when it gets to the point that he is on the brink of broodiness, she speaks once more.

“Look, I’m not saying to send her out on high profile hits. Let her help with kicking Purity’s collective asses off the Hub, maybe a rogue vampire here or there, just give her something to do.”

“You seem to take a significant interest in the dissatisfaction of moonchild Lehane.” Liam notes wryly. “I’m not going to have an uprising from the wolves to deal with on top of the threat from Purity am I?”

“No. Faith is nothing if not loyal, she won’t start a war.” Dawn assures the godfather. “But if things continue the way they have been of late, then I can’t guarantee that she won’t try and convince James to leave the Hub and your employ.”

“That would be a right shame.” Liam concurs. “Fine, I’ll have her deal with Malcolm Edwards. He’s the one we believe to have killed Harmony, and it’s been confirmed that he’s a member of Walsh’s group.”

“Let me get the details and I’ll email them to her.” Dawn tells him, before turning to watch as a blonde woman comes onto the band stage and starts to sing a cover of ‘Have you ever seen the rain’ as Dawn listens raptly for a moment. “She’s got talent.”

“The other reason that I wanted to see you.” Liam says, turning to look at the singer as well. “That’s Erica Summers, her sister Elizabeth just started as Rupert’s assistant.”

“Let me guess, you want me to give her a gig over at the lounge.” Dawn guesses, her eyes not leaving Erica.

“That’s about the gist of it.”

“The things I do to facilitate your getting laid..” Dawn mutters imperiously. “Yeah, fine. I can see a rise in profits there with her performing during the evening hours.”

“It isn’t quite that way, but I appreciate it.” Liam says, glancing over at Dawn for a moment before returning his attention to Erica, who has just started into Joan Jett’s ‘Crimson and Clover’.

A few minutes later Liam and Dawn re-enter the room, Liam returns to the money table and Dawn wanders over to the mini bar. She pulls a bottle of Killian’s Irish Lager out of the fridge and plops down on the stool to the right of Cordelia.

“What are you working on?” she asks, popping the cap off the bottleneck and taking a deep pull of the lager.

“Giles is looking to hire a night manager, so he’ll have more time for other obligations.” Cordy replies, looking up from the stack of résumés on the bar in front of her. “I’ve been tasked to weed out the ‘undesirables’.”

“Sounds tedious.” Dawn comments, glancing over the scattered papers. “Hey isn’t that the guy who used to work for Lindsey out in Vegas?”

Without waiting for an answer she reaches out and grabs the resume of one Dante Baldwin, the former manager of the Swan, a casino owned by Lindsay MacDonald, the vampire godfather of Sin City, and drops it in front of the other vampiress.

“Give that one to Giles.” Dawn suggests, taking another drink as Cordy looks over the résumé in question and her expression brightens.

“Dawnie, you’re a life saver.” The former actress exclaims in gratitude. “I’ve been looking through these damn things for almost an hour and I was just about ready to go insane.”

“Anytime Cordy.”

At the money table, Penn has just finished counting out ten thousand worth of hundred dollar bills and puts one of the bands with the Black Rose Casino label around them. It is then clear that the money is being laundered into the casino from the other less than legitimate business ventures.

“What’s the current count?” Liam asks, watching as Penn passes the stack of money over to Gunn who puts it in the large paper bag on the floor next to him.

“Just over a hundred grand.” Gunn replies after a quick check of the bag. “I’m estimating about another thirty on the table, give or take a couple hundred.”

“Excellent.” Liam pulls out four cigars, keeping one for himself and offering the others, but only Wesley takes one. Penn opts for a joint that he pulls out of a baggie that was hidden in his sock, he stands and makes his way over to where Dawn and Cordelia are sitting and offers the joint after taking a couple deep hits, and Cordelia quickly relieves him of it. She inhales deep, then passes it over to Dawn.

Liam watches the three for a moment before grabbing the television remote from where it’s half buried under the money pile and turns on MSNBC.

“Oh, by the way, Holland and Wilkins were looking for you earlier.” Wesley says, pulling the cigar away from his lips. “They said they wanted to talk to you about a construction contract in Chelmsford.”

“Call them back, and tell them we can discuss it here before the party tomorrow night.” Liam says and Wesley gives a short nod.

“I’ll do it in the morning.”

“We’re here.” Oz announces to the three other occupants of the van about forty five minutes later, waking them from slumber once more. He gets out of the van, happy to be standing on solid ground once more and takes in a deep breath of air that doesn’t reek of stale cigarettes and reefer. He comes around to the other side as Xander hops out of the passenger side and onto the pavement, and Veruca slides the back door open to allow both her and James to disembark as well.

The blonde grabs her backpack off the floor of the van and turns to face the three members of the Blood Clover Clan. “Thanks for the ride, saved me a hell of a walk.” Veruca says in gratitude.

“No problem.” Oz replies. “Good luck getting to Philly. If you ever come up to Boston look us up.”

“I’ll do that.” Veruca promises, casting a final look at the three before walking off in the direction of the bus depot a few blocks away. Oz, James and Xander start for the entrance of the hotel and therefore don’t see Veruca change course and run around the back of the hotel.

James leads the other two werewolves across the lobby and up to the front desk, immediately addressing the on duty clerk.

“I’m agent Smecker with the DEA, these are my associates, agents Greenly and Duffy.” James says, flashing a forged DEA ID in front of the clerk’s face. “We’re looking for a man named Warren Meers, although he may be using an alternate alias, and we have reason to believe he is staying here presently.”

“O-o-of course sir, anything to help.” The clerk stammers, before typing the name into the guest register. “He’s in room 1630.”

“Thank you for your help.” James says, before striding off with Oz and Xander following in his shadow. The three make their way over to the elevator bank and Xander presses the button to go up. A few moments pass before they hear the tell-tale ‘ding’ that signifies the arrival of one of the elevator cars on the ground floor and a few seconds after the polished metal doors slide open and the three wolves get onto the second car from the left.

Oz hits the button for the sixteenth floor and the doors close once more before the three feel the sudden upward jerk as the car begins it’s ascent to the floor their target was staying.

“Just out of curiosity, what’s our cut on this hit?” Xander chimes from the back of the car, and both James and Oz turn to look at him.

“Seven grand.” James replies and Xander lets out an appreciative whistle. “And the satisfaction at taking out a member of Purity.”

The rest of the trip up is spent in silence and when the doors open, James turns to Oz as they step off. “Hold the elevator on this floor, we might need to get out of here quick.”

Oz nods a quick affirmation and remains at the elevator as James and Xander move down the hallway, turning the corner at the end and following the directions on the sign that says rooms 1625-1650 and had a wooden carving of a hand pointing to the left.

Finding the room only required them to walk a few yards down the adjacent hall, and the two stopped in front of the door to 1630, and James gives Xander a brief look, telling him silently to pull out his gun and readying his own before he rears back and kicks open the door.

“DEA! Don’t move!” James yells, dodging a punch from the man he recognized from the file as Warren Meers. James recovers quickly, thrusting his fist into Warren’s stomach, adding only a fraction of his wolf strength but it’s enough to drop the taller man to the ground, wheezing heavily and trying to regain his composure.

Xander, upon realizing that Warren wasn’t going to be any more trouble, stows his gun into the back of his pants and pulls a set of handcuffs out of his jacket.

“Warren Meers, you’re under arrest for contributions to known drug traffickers. You have the right to remain silent, all that fun shit.” Xander intones, as he and James pull Warren’s arms back and cuff him before hauling him to his feet. They step back out into the hall, pulling Warren between them, and pushing past the nosy residents that have come out to see what the commotion was about.

“DEA agents, all of you can return to your rooms. Nothing to see here.” Veruca says, pushing her way through the small crowd, coming up from the opposite end of the hallway that James and Xander had come up and they both give her a questioning look before mirroring her sentiments and reluctantly the other tenants return to their rooms. James and Xander share a quick look before dragging Warren back in the direction of where Oz was waiting at the elevator, Veruca following behind them.

Oz looks equally confused at the re-appearance of Veruca after having just seen her walking away minutes earlier and he casts a look from James to Xander, who simply shrugs in response.

“We’ll figure it out on the way to the Pine Barrens.” James says, pushing a recovering Warren onto the elevator car. Oz waits for Xander and Veruca to enter as well before pressing the button to bring them down to the first floor. There is utter silence as the elevator descends, aside from the incoherent muttering of the handcuffed Warren, who also falls into silence at the severe look from James that has him pressing himself as close to the wall as he can get.

The elevator dings and James passes Warren over to Xander and Oz before leading the way out of the elevator car and across the lobby, Veruca at the back. They make their way back out into the crisp night air and over to the van. James pulls open the back door to the van and Warren is tossed inside roughly, landing with an audible thud and a grunt of pain. James and Veruca get into the back, as Xander opens the passenger door and Oz runs around to the drivers side. A few moments later, Oz starts the engine and pulls back out onto the street, heading towards the city limits in the vague direction of the Pine Barrens.

Erica hangs up her cell phone and looks down at the cup of coffee on the table in front of her a gleeful look forming on her face.

“Well don’t you look happier than a pig in shit.” Elizabeth snarks as she takes a seat across from her sister. “Good news?”

“The best.” Erica agrees, happiness shining in her eyes. “Dawn McHale just called me, she’s the entertainment manager at the Casino and said that the owner himself saw me tonight and suggested she offer me a primetime gig in the Fireside Lounge.”

“That’s wonderful, I’m so happy for you Erica.” Elizabeth says, reaching her hand out and clasping her slightly younger twin sister’s with it.

“I’m going to be debuting tomorrow night during a party for the upper management, can you be there?”

“I wouldn’t miss it for anything.” Elizabeth promises, smiling warmly. [i] Maybe she would take Liam up on his offer after all. [/i]

About a half hour after leaving the Marriott, the van once more pulls to a stop, this time in the middle of a well worn path through the thick forests of New Jersey. The side door slides open and James more or less punts Warren, who is now free of the handcuffs, out of the vehicle, sending him crashing to the hard ground. James hops out after him and pulls a shovel out from its resting spot against the wall of the van.

Warren, who has clearly been pummeled a bit during the ride from the Marriott, struggles to his feet as Oz, Xander and Veruca all get out of the van as well, all three holding handguns in plain sight.

“Please don’t kill me.” Warren pleads to a stony faced James, who had gotten the true story behind Veruca’s reasons for being in New Jersey. “I can give you money.”

James shakes his head at the sniveling man in front of him, and in a quick flash his hand shoots out with gun in hand and he pistol whips Warren across the side of the face, sending him falling to the ground yet again.

“I don’t want your money, you stupid fuck.” James spits out, throwing the shovel down onto the ground a couple feet from where Warren was cowering on the ground. “You’ve already dug your literal grave Meers, time for a dose of reality. Pick up the shovel and get to work, if I was going to kill you, I’d have done it by now.”

Seeing no other options that promised any chance of survival, Warren reluctantly picks up the shovel and stands to his feet before thrusting the metal part of the shovel into the hard earth and tossing the dirt to the side. Then he repeated the motions, again and again until there was a somewhat sloppy three by six foot hole, going down four feet into the ground. Finished with his task, Warren looks up to where James, Oz, and Xander are watching him from the side of the van.

James stands and walks over to where Warren stands at the head of the grave. He quickly inspects the work and gives a slight nod of approval.

“Well done Warren.” James commends. “That is a really nice hole. Isn’t it Xan?”

“Oh yeah, man.” Xander agrees emphatically, glancing over. Oz nods as well, remaining silent.

“Look, if you’re gonna kill me can you just get it over with?” Warren snaps irritably.

“Oh Warren, I’m not gonna kill you, and neither are they.” James informs him, indicating Oz and Xander.

“Oh, thank god. I swear that I’ll never contact Meyers or the Connelly brothers again. I’m out of the drug trade.” Warren says with a renewed hope in his voice.

“Wait, you’re really in the drug trade?”

[b] BLAM! [/b]

Warren goes rigid for a moment before pitching forward into the grave he dug, and Veruca is revealed to have been standing behind him. Smoke rolls out of the barrel of her Colt as she lowers it and steps forward to look down into the hole. James, Oz and Xander also move to surround the hole.

“He’s not dead.” Xander notes after a moment, as the four look down at Warren’s convulsing body, then he turns to Veruca. “I think you missed the brain.”

“Let’s fix that then.” James intones and all four of the wolves aim their guns into the hole and start firing.

Vi growls as she flips her cell phone shut, having been sent to Aura’s voicemail for the fifth time, and stuffs it angrily back into her pants pocket.

“Still no answer?” Serena asks from her seat atop an upturned cinderblock in the corner of the rented space a few lots from Tainted Ink that Crimson Moon used for band practice. An acoustic guitar is laid across her legs and she is fiddling with the knobs.

“It was bad enough Oz had to go down to Jersey with James, but I swear that Faith has a point in having less than zero respect for that girl.” Vi fumes. “She’s completely unreliable, constantly late or making excuses, and she’s most likely high on coke right now. Stupid bitch.”

“Feel better?” Jesse asks, pulling the felt covers back over his drum set.

“Little bit, yeah.” Vi nods. “Let’s just get the hell out of here, it’s obvious Aura isn’t coming.”

Serena hops to her feet, slinging her guitar over her shoulder in one fluid movement, and Jesse walks around to meet the two women on the way to the door. Vi is the last one out and as she emerges she almost runs into Jesse’s back.

“What the hell Jesse?” Vi curses, moving around the taller man to see what Jesse and Serena had already.

Five masked figures, all dressed in black stand only a few feet from the three musicians, blocking the alleyway exit, and all are armed with either steel pipes or baseball bats.

“Wow, aren’t you guys cute.” Vi exclaims. “But wait, isn’t Halloween still a couple months off?”

“Unnatural scum.” The apparent leader of the group snarls out, taking a step forward and swinging his bat at Vi’s head, but she quickly dodges out of the way and after a momentary crouch, and she half dives, half rolls out of the way of a clumsy downswing by the oafish attacker, she drives her right foot into the man’s abdomen and kicking out with her left leg she sends the bat flying from his hand.

The friends of Vi’s attacker jump into action as well, with Jesse and Serena meeting them in the middle. Jesse throws the smallest of the men into the side of the brick wall and then stumbles from being hit in the back with a bat by another of the five before recovering quickly and punching the man in the face. Serena blocks a metal pipe with her guitar and hears a crack of wood.

Her eyes blazing, she uses the momentum of the pipe’s impact to swing around and smash the guitar across the side of the face of the wielder of the pipe, sending the man crashing to the ground in a heap.

[b] Blam![/b]

“That was a warning shot.” Vi snarls, lowering the gun from where she has it aimed skyward and holds it in the direction of the man she’s been fighting with. “Next one goes in your head if you don’t get the fuck out of here now.”

“This isn’t over bitch.” The man snarls and she gives him a smirk.

“It really is.” Vi says, and the four still conscious attackers stumble out of the alley, glancing back every few feet, but the three wolves stand tall and soon they hear the rumble of an engine starting and an old Subaru speeds by a moment later. “Never bring a baseball bat to a gun fight assholes.” She mutters under her breath and then turns to see a extremely anxious looking Serena and Jesse standing over the fallen fifth attacker that Serena had smashed with her guitar. Vi moves over and stands with them.

“Get up asshole, the fight’s done so you can go now.” Vi says, nudging the fallen man in the side with the tip of her combat boot. She looks back up at Jesse and Serena for a moment, the latter looking almost in tears. She crouches onto her knees and reaches a shaky hand to the man’s neck. Feeling no pulse, she lets herself fall back onto the ground.

“Fuck.” She curses aloud, pulling herself to her feet. “There’s no pulse, he’s dead.”

Serena lets out a strangled sob and half falls into Jesse’s arms. “I didn’t mean to..”

Vi quickly moves over to Serena and takes the younger woman’s face in her hands.

“Serena, listen to me. We both know you didn’t mean to, and no one is going to find out either. I’m gonna take care of this.” The redhead promises, and after a moment, Serena nods and Vi looks at Jesse. “Get her out of here, back to our apartment and stay with her. I might not get back until late.”

Jesse nods and leads the distraught Serena down and out of the alleyway, Vi watches until they are out of sight then pulls her cell phone out of her pocket, noting the two missed calls from Aura and scrolls down her contact list before clicking on a name.

The phone rings a few times before Vi hears the click indicating that the other end has been picked up.

“Hey it’s me.” She says into the phone. “Listen, I’ve found myself in a bit of trouble, and I could use your help.”

“We interrupt your regular programming to bring you this update in the Harmony Kendall murder case, the Greater Boston police department is searching for this man, Malcolm Edwards, in connection to this grisly homicide. If you have any information on Edwards, call the authorities. Edwards is considered possibly armed and very dangerous, so the police are advising to not take action on Edwards but to alert them. This is Cassandra Newton coming to you live on five, and we now return you to your regularly scheduled program.”

Liam presses the off button on the remote control, and the television in the corner goes black.

“Well done.” Dawn commends, pulling her cell phone out. “You managed to paint him as if he was the next OJ, and now the public will cheer his demise.”

“Indeed, make the call to Faith and tell her to finish this.” Liam instructs and Dawn quickly complies, dialing the moonchild’s number.

The phone rings several times and then Dawn hears the other end pick up.

“You got Faith.”

“It’s Dawn, did you get the information I sent you?”

“Yeah, you want this done tonight?”

“Wait one hour, then do it.” Dawn instructs. “There’ll be an envelope with ten grand at the shop by tomorrow afternoon.”

“Perfect.” Faith says. “I’ll call when it’s done.”

Dawn hears the phone click and knows that Faith has hung up, so she returns her cell phone to her pocket and turns back to Liam.

“She’s in.”

“I’ll be there in twenty minutes.” William says, hanging up his cell phone and standing from his desk. He pulls his gun out of the top drawer and checks that it has a full clip before stuffing it into the holster on his waistband.

He makes his way through the precinct and out into the front parking lot where his DeSoto is waiting. He quickly gets in and turns on the engine before pulling out and heading towards Tainted Ink. He doesn’t see Jimmy following at a distance as he drives through a yellow light in time to lose him for the moment.

About fifteen minutes later, he pulls into the mouth of the alleyway and sees Vi’s head pop out from behind the dumpster for a short moment before she comes out into clear view. He turns the car off and gets out of the car, walking over to where Vi remains standing by the dumpster and sees the body.

“What happened?” he questions, glancing from the body to Vi.

“Me and a couple of friends were practicing for our band, or trying to without two of the members. We finished up and came out, there were five people waiting for us, they all were in black and had masks.” Vi explains. “They attacked first and in the fight this one got killed, the others fled and I don’t think they know their friend got killed.”

“Did you do it?” William asks, crouching down and checking the body.

“No.” Vi says, brushing a lock of hair that has come loose out of her face. “It was an accident.”

“Who did it Vi?”

“Serena Lehane, but it really was an accident.” Vi maintains. “I think this guy is with Purity or something, the ringleader called me ‘unnatural one’ before I kicked the shit out of his ass.”

“You’re probably right.” William agrees, “They killed Harmony Kendall the other night.”

“Yeah, I heard from Serena about that.” Vi tells him, “I’m sorry, I know you two were good friends.”

“Yeah, well with any luck this was the one who did it and you… Serena just made all of our lives a hell of a lot easier.” William says, pulling the mask off the man and revealing his face before he pulls out the dead Purity members’ wallet. “George Angleman.”

“Is it the guy that killed Harmony then?”

“No, it isn’t.”

“So what do we do then?” Vi asks, looking at William for guidance.

“There’s a body bag in the trunk of my car, get it.” The homicide detective instructs, handing her the keys. The redhead complies swiftly, popping open the trunk of the Desoto and pulling out the black bag stuffed under a box of files. She runs back as William drags George’s body out into the open, and she lays out the bag on the ground and unzips it. She and William work together to flip the slightly heavyset man over and then zip the bag close around him. Vi grabs the foot of the bag and William takes the upper body and they slowly carry the body over to the car, and shove it into the trunk of with some difficulty. Vi closes it and turns around only to find herself suddenly locked in a deep kiss with the vampire. She is startled for a moment, then gets into it just as a flashlight shines over the area.

“Will?” Jimmy questions as he gets out of his car, and both William and Vi turn to look as Jimmy approaches them.

“Are you following me Jim?” William asks, looking slightly offended. Vi, who hasn’t met Jimmy before just looks between the two men in confusion.

“Maybe, is there something you don’t want me to know about?”

“I haven’t the foggiest what you’re on about.”

“Harmony Kendall. You said you knew her for twelve years, did you know she had fangs? Because Wesley Pryce and Tara MaClay seemed to know, and think that you did too.” Jimmy says. “I heard them talking about how you told someone named Liam that I was getting too close to the truth. What truth?”

William sighed, this night kept on getting worse and worse. “What truth do you think it is. If you saw Harm’s fangs then there’s no point in lying.”

Jimmy looks at Vi upon her sharp intake of breath. “I think Harmony Kendall was a vampire, and you, Wesley and Tara are as well. Maybe even your friend here.”

“I promise you that I am most assuredly not a vampire.” Vi swears straight-faced.

“Will, tell me what the fuck is going on here.” Jimmy demands, turning away from Vi to look at his partner.

“Jimmy, there are certain rules in place, I can’t just-” William starts, but is cut off.

“What rules?” Jimmy demands, locked in a tirade. “Cause I sure as hell don’t recall a revision regarding vampires in the policeman’s oath.”

“He’s telling you the truth, there are rules for this shit. They’ve been in place for thousands of years, and we all abide by them.” Vi says, directing Jimmy’s attention once more.

“Well you’re a real character witness then, you just told me you weren’t a vampire, why would you have to follow these ‘rules’?”

“I didn’t lie. I’m not a vampire.” Vi defends, then mumbles out. “I’m something else.”

Jimmy’s eyes widen slightly and he glances between the two ‘supernaturals’ for a moment. “Great.. yeah that’s great.”


“No Will, you don’t want to tell me, can’t tell me, whatever fine. We’re done.” Jimmy says, turning away from a three year long partnership as he heads back to his car.

“I’m a vampire Jim.” William says in reluctance. “I have been helping to keep our people a secret for almost two hundred years. I’m sorry if you feel I’ve deceived you, it wasn’t my intention. We’re not the monsters you see in movies or read about in books any more than humans are. There is no good versus evil here, no plots for human enslavement or destruction and we have souls. Can you say that every human holds true to those standards? Hitler. Saddam. Stalin. Do you have any idea how bad things would get if this information went public, for all of us, Human, Vampire and Moonchild.”

“Moonchild?” Jimmy questions confused.

“Humans commonly refer to us as werewolves or lycanthropes, although the guy who wrote Blood and Chocolate came pretty close with his depiction.” Vi explains.

“You’re a werewolf?” Jimmy asks in disbelief, and Vi’s eyes flash a bright blood red for a moment before they return to normal.

“If people knew about us, we’d be forced out of our homes. We’d be hunted down. It’s happened before, and it will more than likely happen again.” Vi tells him, and Jimmy sees the scared look in her face. “I just hope it’s not tomorrow and not here.”

“You’re terrified of the truth getting out.” Jimmy says, starting to understand.

“Wouldn’t you be, if you were in my position?” Vi counters. “Look what they did to the ‘witches’ of Salem, and that was just a huge PMS misunderstanding.”

“Jim, you can’t tell anyone about this.” William says, taking a step toward his partner and friend.

“Yeah, I’m getting that now.” Jimmy says, a troubled look on his face. “Who else knows? I would imagine there’s at least a few of my people that know, just so they can help protect it.”

“There’s a few.” William starts, but Jimmy once more cuts him off.

“But I couldn’t be trusted, huh?”

“He didn’t say that, most of the humans who know found out the same way you did, at least here on the Hub.” Vi gets right up into Jimmy’s face, eyes blazing now. “The same way I found out in Dallas back in 1984. Lucky for you, I’m not in a biting mood. That couldn’t be said about the douchebag that infected me. Before that I was just as human as you.”

Vi gives him a light shove that pushes him back a couple feet before she turns and stomps off around the side of William’s car and getting into the passenger side before slamming the door shut.

“Look, Jim. I know I haven’t been completely honest with you, but I need you to trust me on this and not do anything stupid with the information you have now. Vi wasn’t wrong about what she said, what happened in Salem would and will happen again, it’s just a question of when.”

“Your lack of faith in the goodness of humanity is unsettling.”

“Harmony Kendall was a dancer. She worked six nights a week, open to close most of them, and she also bartended at the club. She did work with PETA and went on cancer awareness marches. She had many friends, who will miss her now that she’s gone. She was also a vampire, and for that reason alone she was murdered. Where’s the humanity in that?”

“I didn’t know.”

“Like Vi said earlier, few people do.” William says, his eyes locked with his partner. “There’s only one Faith I know, and she’s a moonchild tattoo artist from Southie. She doesn’t cause problems for anyone. Her life would be destroyed if what you know, what we are, was known by the world.”

The two men fall into an uncomfortable silence, which is finally broken by Jimmy.

“It would really be that bad?”

“In this day in age, with chemical warfare, nuclear weapons and a right wing conservative neurotic behind the wheel of this country, it’ll be much, much worse.” William says honestly. “You’re a good man Jim. I know you’ll do the right thing.”

Jimmy is silent as William walks to the driver’s side of the car and opens the door, then turns and gets into his own car and backs out of the alley. In William’s car, both he and Vi watch through the rearview as Jimmy’s car drives off and then William moves to start the DeSoto, but Vi’s hand on his stops him cold and he turns his blue eyes to look into her hazel orbs.

“When you kissed me earlier, that was just to distract your partner, right? I mean there wasn’t anything like..” Vi trails off for a moment. “Oh fuck it.” She swears aloud before crashing her lips down on his, and he is all too happy to reciprocate.

The pair soon ends up in the backseat of the Desoto, and the windows begin to fog up.

Faith silently crept up the fire escape that was fastened to the side of the apartment building where Malcolm Edwards resided in, and when she reached the bedroom window she let out a muffled whoop of joy upon the discovery that it was already unlocked and open a crack for the air to get in. She bit her lip in concentration as she opened the window as quietly as she could and then slipped into the bedroom.

She slowly creeps over to the closed door, turning the knob and opening it just a crack to peek out into the living room area. She can’t see much, but she does manage to catch sight of the top of Malcolm’s sandy blond haired head poking up over the back of the easy chair he is sitting on. Faith starts to open the door further, intent on getting the job done quick but quickly pulls back as Malcolm stands and walks over to the front door that someone has just knocked on. She pulls the door shut all but a crack once more and watches as Malcolm opens the door to allow entrance to a middle aged blonde woman and a tall dark haired man that just screamed ex-football jock. She recognized them as Maggie Walsh and Percy West from the files James had shown her the night prior. As she only had two bullets in her gun she opted to wait and hope that the other two left fast so she could take out Malcolm.

“By now I’m sure you’ve seen the news alert.” Faith hears Maggie say, sounding extremely displeased.

Out in the living room Malcolm nods, casting a nervous glance at Percy as he wanders behind where he is standing, inspecting the bookshelf on the wall near his bedroom door and then turns back to Maggie, letting out a shaky breath as he does so.

“Yeah, I saw it.” Malcolm replies uneasily.

“You understand how this causes problems for the work we’re doing then.”

“Look Maggie, I don’t even remember losing my wallet, I have no idea how it ended up in the police’ hands. I am your loyal soldier.” Malcolm stammers, and Maggie nods.

“I know all that Malcolm, I was never questioning your loyalty or work.” Maggie informs him. “However it happened is regardless, the end result is that you’ve become a liability. And for that sadly, there are consequences.”

Maggie nods over Malcolm’s shoulder at Percy, who raises his silenced pp7 and shoots Malcolm four times, sending the man crashing through his coffee table causing an outward explosion of glass. Maggie is about to lead the way out when the two hear the sounds of something impacting metal coming from the direction of the late Malcolm’s bedroom and she jerks her head towards it, silently telling Percy to investigate.

The ex-jock quickly complies, kicking in the door as he rushes up to it, and swinging his gun around the empty room in readiness for a possible attacker. He quickly moves over to the window and looks down over the side of the fire escape, seeing only the tail lights as Faith’s Impala speeds away. He pulls himself back into the room and turns to see Maggie standing in the doorway of the bedroom.

“If there was any one in here, they got out a hell of a lot faster then I’d have been able to.” Percy notes, pulling the window closed.

“Let’s get out of here in case someone comes back. It could have been one of [i]them.[/i]” Maggie orders before turning and walking out the front door of Malcolm’s apartment, Percy right on her heels, tucking his gun into the back waistband of his pants as he goes.

Faith made a quick turn at the corner of Birch and Revello, and pulls the Impala to a stop on the side of the street. She pushes the stress and disappointment out of her mind and then calls Dawn.

“It’s Faith. Malcolm’s been taken care of, but I can’t take credit.” Faith says wistfully into the phone. “Turns out Purity cleans up their own messes.”

“There will be other opportunities.” Dawn replies from the other end. “Go home and get some rest, I’ll come by the shop tomorrow with the money.”

“You don’t have to.”

“But I will anyways.” Dawn states on the other end. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Fine. Have a good night.” Faith disconnects the call and tosses the cell phone onto the passenger seat. She sits in silence for a few long moments, staring out onto the deserted street at two in the morning. She glances down at the phone a couple of times before grabbing it back up and scrolling through her contacts list until she reaches James’ listing. She stares at the call screen for a few moments before pressing end and tossing the phone back onto the seat and driving away from the curb.

It was about six in the evening the following day when James, Oz and Xander finally returned to the Hub, bringing with them Veruca, who had told them her real story after they had executed Warren. Turns out that Veruca’s sister Eva had been murdered by Purity six months ago and she was on a personal vendetta to get justice for her slain sibling.

When she’d found out that the people behind the scenes of Purity were believed to be in Boston, she’d all but begged for passage from Jersey to the Hub, and James found he had no objections.

They’d stopped in Worcester to talk to Darius Craven about his clan mates causing trouble over at Purgatory, managing to come to a solution without bloodshed, and James had agreed to giving Darius a few of the corners near the compound in South Boston to sell his product.

Xander was behind the wheel when the van finally pulled to a stop outside Purgatory and the four moonchildren disembark from the vehicle swiftly, inhaling the cool early evening air greedily.

“Bout time you showed up.” Pike intones, stepping out of the bar, followed by JT and his wife Niki Sullivan. “I think Faith’s just about to drag Serena and Jesse down to Jersey to look for you.”

Pike takes notice of Veruca and he tips his head in greeting. “Still picking up strays Foley?”

“Excuse me, but go fuck yourself.” Veruca snaps, glaring at Pike who holds his hands up in surrender.

“Easy lass, I was only joking.” Pike pacifies and Veruca calms herself.

“Sorry, it’s been a stressful couple of months.” Veruca says after composing herself.

“Pike, JT, Niki, this is Veruca.” James makes a short introduction, then turns to Pike. “Is Faith inside?”

“Everyone’s here except Vi and Nina, but I think Jesse said they were going to the Casino party, and Aura already came and left.” Niki answers from where she stands next to JT. She turns to Veruca. “Welcome to the Hub.”

“Thanks.” Veruca smiles as James walks off into the bar, the others following at their own paces.

James pushes his way through the crowd inside, making his way over to the bar, where Allen Doyle, James’ predecessor and mentor was tending to the orders being shouted out by the customers, all trying to be heard over the loud music emanating from the vintage 70’s jutebox.

As James reached the bar, the familiar guitar solo in the opening of Tuesday’s Gone by Lynyrd Skynyrd started playing through the speakers that were hooked into the jutebox.

“Foley.” Doyle greets as he passes him a sealed brown envelope. “Pass that along to Liam for me, would you? It’s his cut of my collections, Faith took yours.”

“Where’s she at?” James asks, reaching out to take the proffered envelope from Doyle and then he puts it in his jacket pocket.

“She, Serena, Jesse, and the Sullivan kids are up on the roof.” Doyle replies, and James gives him a quick nod, turning to do a quick scan of the bar, and seeing Oz leading the others through the door that led to the roof access stairwell.

“You gonna come up?” James asks as he faces Doyle once he’s decided no one is drunk enough to be a problem at the moment.

“In a bit.” Doyle replies. “I’m still waiting to see if the lovely Ms. Chase has decided to accept my invitation to our party.”

“It was my honor.” Cordelia says as she pushes through the throng of customers to stand next to James in front of the bar.

“Well that’d be my cue.” James says, taking the sudden arrival of Cordelia to start towards the roof access as well. “If things get out of control down here, give me a call. See you guys later.”

James strides back through the crowds, relieving local drug dealer ‘Spanky’ of a quarter ounce that he lifts from the other man’s pocket as he passes. Pulling open the metal door, he half jogs up the stairwell, and opens the door at the apex of the stairs before stepping back out into the cold night air.

“Welcome back.” Faith says from off to the side and he turns to see his longtime girlfriend with her back pressed against the concrete wall of the bordering building. “I trust by Dawn McHale dropping off forty thousand dollars at the tattoo shop yesterday that everyone went according to plan?”

“It was a bit pre-emptive on her part, but yeah, we got the bastard early this morning and hauled ass back here.”

“I’m sorry for going off on you the other morning, I’ve just had a lot on my mind lately.”

“It’s alright, I know I probably deserved it.”

“But that’s just it, you didn’t.” Faith replies, pulling a cigarette out of the pack of Marlboros she removes from her jeans pocket. “There’s something I need to tell you, I just wasn’t sure how you’d take it. James, I’m-”

“Hey are you guys gonna hang out over there all night like a couple of bums or are you gonna come join the party?” Pike’s voice calls out from the far end of the roof where he is standing with Oz and Veruca, a few feet from the ‘campfire’ that’s been started inside a old metal grill. James shoots him a glare and Pike gives a dismissive wave of his hand before taking a deep pull of the beer in his hand.

“Heavy thoughts?” Faith asks, drawing up close to James, who reaches out and brushes a few strands of Faith’s raven hair out of her face and she presses her cheek into his palm, massaging herself.

“Trying to decide if it’s going to be Xander or Pike that eventually causes my death through one of their schemes.”

“Hmmm… that is something to ponder.” Faith agrees, taking a drag off the cigarette. “My money’s on X-Man.”

“In better news, with the threat of Purity on the Hub, most of the work that Liam will be having me do will be right here in the city, so maybe I’ll even be able to take a few shifts over at the shop.”

“That’d be terrific.” Faith replies happily. “I did see a drop in the return customers when you stopped working there full time.”

“I’ll start right after we get back from Vegas.” James promises, looking down into Faith’s chocolate orbs.

“Vegas… we.. Really?!” Faith’s eyes are emblazoned with clear delight.

“It was a stipulation of the job Liam had for me in Jersey.” James explains. “Labor Day weekend, we’re leaving Oz and Vi in charge of the clan and spending three completely workless days at the O’Connor Penthouse at the Bellagio.”

Faith tosses the cigarette down onto the tarred roof and grabs James by the side of the face before crashing her lips down on his in a searing kiss. When they finally come up for air they quickly link hands and make their way over to where the other members of the clan are gathered, and young Kellie Sullivan runs over to wrap her arms around Faith’s leg.

“Auntie Faith, mommy says that she and daddy and you and uncle Pike and uncle James are all moonchildren, what’s a moonchildren?”

“Moonchild honey.” Faith corrects Kellie gently, crouching down to her knees to put herself at almost eye level with the four year old. “You remember when I got mad at Aunt Serena for letting you and your brother watch ‘The Wolfman’?”

“Uh-huh.” Kellie replies, rubbing her hand against her left eye which flickers red in the moonlight. “You said that it was uh.. bass femmy.”

“Blasphemy Kels.” Niki says, rubbing the top of her daughter’s head.

“Moonchildren are not the monsters you see in the movies.” Faith tells the young girl.

“Yes they are, they all go ‘grrr.. arghh..” Kellie’s twin brother Cole pipes up as he trods over as well.

“Only when they’re angry.” Faith comments. “We’re not like those beasts, and you two won’t be either.”

“We’s gonna be wolves?” Kellie asks, her eyes wide in wonderment.

“Yep, and sooner more than later I’m thinking.” Faith notes, seeing both Kellie and Cole’s eyes flash red again briefly.

“We figured it was time to start letting them come to the Blood Moon parties.” Niki says, scooping Kellie into her arms and her daughter lays her head down on Niki’s shoulder. “They’ll have shifted by years end and I wanted them to be brought up the same way I was.”

While most of the Blood Clover Clan had been infected with Lycanthropy as Vi had admitted to have been to Jimmy, five of the members were born Moonchildren. Niki was one of them, the others being James, Faith, Serena and Oz. Veruca would make a sixth if she chose to stay on the Hub past the Purity situation.

“At best it’ll be years end, but from the way it looks I’d be more inclined to say days, maybe a week or two.” Faith says, passing a meaningful look at Niki and JT. “Best thing you can do for now is try and break Cole of his negative views on what we are, what he will be.”

“We’re working on it.” JT replies with a nod as he hoists Cole up into his own arms when the boy tries to sneak by, having decided that hanging out with Xander and Jesse would be much more enjoyable as the two pranksters of the clan had brought out a box of fireworks left over from Midsummer.

“Daddy, I want down. Uncle Xan and Uncle Jesse have the boom toys.” Cole complains as he squirms in his father’s firm hold.

“You’ll see them fine from over here.” JT says, looking down at his son’s rebellious eyes, which softens into a pout a moment later and JT chuckles.

Liam looked up from behind the desk in his crew’s social club that had access to both the pub and Fireside Lounge when the door opened and Wesley walked through, leading Holland Manners, Liam’s capo that ran the Boston branch of Wolfram and Hart, and Richard Wilkins, the thrice elected mayor of Boston and another of Liam’s capos.

“Gentlemen.” Liam stands for a moment to motion to the two captains to take a seat as Wesley wanders over to the minibar and grabs a bottle of wine and four glasses that he brings over and places on the desk. “Thank you for joining me, I understand from Wesley that you have some business to discuss?”

“Russell Thorpe is going to be leaving Nantucket to go back to Europe.” Holland explains. “He has a few loose ends to tie up, one of which is a construction contract and deed for a new beach resort on the island.”

“He’s offered us the contract for a mere seven million.” Wilkins continues. “If we put our people on it and the construction goes swiftly, we can all be lounging on a private beach in nine months time.”

“If we put the Black Rose name on it we can triple our investment in less than a year, even if we made it vampire exclusive.” Holland finishes, and Liam looks between his two capos with a thoughtful look on his face.

“What are the percentages?” he asks after a moment.

“We’re thinking 60-20-20.” Wilkins replies. “Controlling interest in your pocket, another few million a year in our pockets, everyone wins.”

“Indeed.” Liam agrees, taking the offered glass of wine that Wesley passes to him as he stands to his feet. “Tell Russell to contact me, I want to see the place for myself before I make any decisions. Now, if you gentlemen have nothing else to discuss, I believe that we’re late for a party.”

The Mayor and W&H CEO nod as they stand as well, and then all four vampires head for the door that led down to the lounge.

“James said that Purity killed your sister, I’m sorry for your loss.” Faith says as she steps up next to Veruca, who is standing at the north edge of the roof, looking out at the Boston skyline that is lit up by the moon shining down.

Veruca looks over at Faith as she pulls out her Marlboro pack and offers a cigarette to the other moonchild. Veruca reaches down and pulls one out, fixing Faith with a smile of gratitude.

“Thanks.” Veruca intones, putting the filter between her lips and lighting up the cigarette. “So from what I’ve been told, the main force behind those racists are right here in Boston. What do you think our chances of actually taking them down are?”

“I don’t know, but they’ve just lost two lieutenants, so I’m inclined to believe the odds are at least slightly better than they were yesterday.” Faith replies as she flips her zippo alight and then holds it to the tip of her own cigarette.

“Then no doubt they’ll be looking for new recruits.” Veruca says, taking a deep drag off the cigarette. “Purity doesn’t know my face or name, and I can’t rest until they’re gone.”

“You want to go undercover?” Faith asks, glancing at the other woman before looking over her shoulder towards the rest of the Blood Clover Clan that were gathered around as Xander and Jesse were setting up the fireworks for later in the party. “I think I can help you with that, but it’s gonna be pretty damn risky.”

“Ava would have done the same for me.” Veruca replies, exhaling the smoke out of her mouth. “I owe her more than you can imagine, and that’s why I need to do this.”

Faith nods in understanding, if she didn’t think that Purity knew her, then she’d more likely than not be in the same position as Veruca. The blonde wasn’t the only one who’d lost family to those hate mongers.

“It gets better. You never forget, but it gets easier from time.”

“Is that speaking from experience?” Veruca asks, taking another drag off the cigarette and casting a short glance at Faith before looking back out over the city before them.

“We were both born wolves, I’m sure that you know how big some families are.” Faith says, looking back towards the ‘campfire’, her gaze honing in on where Serena is sitting next to Jesse and laughing at something Xander is telling them. “I was once one of eight children, now I’m one of three, and with Nathan in prison, it’s just me and Serena now.”

“Was it Purity that did it?”

“They took Sarah and Trent, but Coralline, Nicolas and Christopher were killed by a rogue vampire named Heinrich Nest in California. He’s dead now, so that’s a small comfort, but we never found the ones who killed Sarah and Troy.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I’ve gotten over it, it was years ago.” Faith replies. “I miss them like hell, but I’m sure they’re happier now. And it’s not like we won’t meet again.”

“You believe in the hereafter then?” Veruca questions, looking thoughtful.

“The idea of seeing my lost siblings again gives me hope.” Faith answers, tossing the remains of her cigarette over the edge of the roof. “It’s what keeps me going.”

Veruca nods and the two moonchildren fall into silence as they stare out over the city for a few more moments and then return to the campfire and the other wolves.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for joining us on this very special night.” Dawn speaks into the microphone that is set up on the stage in the corner of the lounge. “Tonight is the 15th anniversary of the Fireside Lounge and the beginning of the 24th business year of the Black Rose Hotel and Casino. As we all stand here, looking forward into the future and at the dawn of a new millennium, we remember fondly those who were instrumental to the rise of our empire and sadly are no longer around to enjoy the fruits of their labors.” Dawn pauses for a moment and raises her glass of blood wine skyward. “To Joyce McHale, to Robert Flutie, to Alonna Gunn and Carter Pratt, and most recently Harmony Kendall. Wherever you all are now, rest peacefully and we’ll meet you in the next life.”

Dawn takes a pull of her bloodwine and then her expression brightens. “And now without further ado, I’d like to introduce the Hub’s next rising star, who will be gracing us on this momentous evening with her musical talents. Please give a big round of applause for Miss Erica Summers!”

Dawn turns and strides off the stage, shaking hands with Erica briefly as they pass each other on Erica’s way towards the microphone. Dawn hops off the edge of the stage and makes her way over to Liam’s table in the back of the room as Erica starts into her set.

“I want to thank Dawn McHale for giving me this opportunity, it is a dream come true.” Erica gushes, trying to keep her composure over the anxiety that had reared its ugly head. After a moment she sees her sister in the crowd by the bar, watching her with a smile on her face. “This song is called Letters from the Sky.”

“One of these days the sky’s gonna break
And everything will escape and I’ll know.
One of these days the mountains
Gonna fall into the sea and they’ll know.”

[i] At the Blood Moon Party, James and Faith stand together, their hands clasped as they stare up at the fireworks display being ignited by Xander and Jesse. Niki and JT stand to their right, Cole and Kellie in their arms, both children enthralled by the bright explosions of color in the sky. Serena stands to Faith’s left, a troubled glint in her eyes as she too watches the fireworks above. Oz and Veruca stand behind Serena, and Pike is on the other side of the Sullivan family. Doyle and Cordelia wander up to the group, having emerged from the stairwell that led down into the bar and walk over to join the rest of the moonchildren.[/i]

“That you and I, were made for this
I was made to taste your kiss
We were made to never fall away
Never fall away…”

[i] Jimmy pulls to a stop in front of William’s apartment, but drives off upon seeing the lights off inside. He drives a bit further and stops in front of McGinty’s Irish Pub, then gets out of the car and walks into the establishment. [/i]

“One of these days letters are gonna fall from the sky
Telling us all to go free but until that day I find a way
To let everybody know that you’re coming back
You’re coming back for me….”

[i] William looks away from Penn and Gunn who are chatting with him, and sees Vi entering the lounge. He gives her a wry grin and excuses himself from the other two vampires, before making his way over to the redhead in question. He offers his hand out to the moonchild and she takes it with a warm look in her eyes. The two walk out onto the dance floor. [/i]

“Cause even though you left me here I have nothing left to fear
These are only walls to hold me here
Hold me here…
Hold me here… Hold me here…
The walls to hold me here….”

[i] Liam turns to face Elizabeth when she nudges him in the back to alert him of her presence. He smiles down at her and makes a motion toward the dance floor, and she gives a quick nod. From the bar, Giles sees this and though he looks less than pleased, but shrugs it off after a moment, then turns back to his conversation with Dawn and Jenny. From the stage, Erica almost loses her composure once more at the sight of Liam and Elizabeth together and a concerned look flashes across her face for a couple seconds before she recovers and continues the song. The screen fades to black. [/i]

Luke looked up as the van passed by the front of the occult bookstore once again, and let out a strangled cry as the glass suddenly shattered inward as something was thrown through the large window. A moment later he realizes that it’s a white phosphorous grenade and turns to dive for cover.

“Grenade!” he yells at his two co-workers Kyle and Tor, who also attempt to dive for safety.

A moment later the grenade goes off and the explosion rips the store apart, fire blazing out the front door and shattered window. The van remains parked for a few moments on the street, then at the sound of sirens drives off into the night.

[i] One day soon I hold you like the sun
hold still and we will hear those planes
overhead and we wont have to be scared
Cause we wont have to be… yeah
We won’t have to be ….
You coming back for me
You coming back for me
You coming back for me
You coming back for me [/i]

End of Episode One.

A/N: And with that I have just written the longest opening chapter to any fic I’ve written in the near decade that I’ve been writing fanfic. Hope that you’ve enjoyed reading my drivel and I hope that you continue to follow the series. Much love from the Stoner Guru, good night folks.

In The Next Episode: James and Faith go to Vegas and meet Sin City Godfather Lindsey MacDonald.

The men and women of Precinct #17 (JT, Pike, William, Jimmy, Tara, Wesley, Robin and Penn) are called up to work with the FBI on the bookstore bombing, alongside agents Corbin Fries, Adam Knox, and Special Agent Paul Stein, who has been brought up from the DC Offices to deal with the Purity Situation.

Liam meets Jimmy for the first time, and explains to him the laws of vampires and werewolves, then goes with Holland, Wilkins, Giles, Dawn, Elizabeth and Gunn to Nantucket to meet with Russell Thorpe at his beach property.

Serena struggles to cope with having killed a man, and enlists the help of a psychiatrist, Dr. India Cohen.

Maggie Walsh begins recruiting in Boston in the wake of the deaths of Warren, Malcolm and Angleman, Veruca gets an in, and then Purity strikes a grievous blow that will be felt by the entire supernatural community of The Hub.

All this and more in ‘A Moonchild walks into a Psychiatrist Office’, coming soon!
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