A Union of Souls
DISCLAIMER: The characters featured here are not mine. Angel, Doyle, Cordelia Chase, Rupert Giles and Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, Xander Harris, Spike and Drusilla (mentioned in name only) are not mine. They are the property of Joss Whedon, David Greenwalt, Mutant Enemy, Greenwalt Productions, and Twentieth Century Fox Television.
Likewise, the characters of the Tomorrow People, Adam Newman, Ami Jackson, Megabyte Damon, and Jade Weston do not belong to me. They are the property of Thames/Tetra Television, Nickelodeon, and ITV. All are used here without permission but not for profit.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This story is at least two years old, but I haven't shared it here before, so here it is. It takes place in the midst of first season Angel, becoming completely AU after "Sense and Sensibility." For those familiar with The Tomorrow People, the story starts approximately two years after the events of "The Living Stones."
And, for the sake of argument, Cordelia learned about Doyle's half-demon heritage sometime after the events of "Sense and Sensibility" and before this story.
They were sheep. No, they were worse than sheep. They were insects; they were annoying little ants wheedling away time in the glass confines of their ant farms. Tiny little people living their tiny little lives and scurrying to and fro as if their needs and missions were the most important things in the world. They were too blind and too ignorant to even know that more existed in the world than what they saw and felt with their meager five senses. They were at his mercy; his mercy and those like him. The creatures of shadow and night, born of darkness and born to bring the world pain. Someday, when the Old Ones came again, they would be crushed. They would live their puny lives in misery, and that would be a glorious time.
But until then, he could find other ways to use them for his own personal amusement.
"Mr. Cordovan, sir?" The voice, polite and crisp, interrupted his musings.
Kristoph Cordovan, for that was his name in this time and place, did not turn away from his picture window. He recognized the voice, and even if he had not, it would have given him no fear or cause for alarm. His Hollywood Hills fortress was impenetrable; no one entered the wrought iron gates that he did not want to enter. If by some fluke an undesirable did make it past his gates, they had to get past his security force -- a nearly impossible feat, particularly if his select breed of security had not fed recently.
This voice, that of one of the thousands of fragile mortals that inhabited the world, was familiar and even welcome. After all, even some insects were beneficial.
"Yes, Phillippe?" Cordovan did not pull his gaze from the picturesque view. All of Los Angeles sprawled beneath him, a jungle of concrete and glass as far as the eye could discern. Flickering lights danced gold and white against the dark canopy of the night sky. The nighttime was his time. The darkness made him feel powerful, invincible. He could walk in the daylight, but the blood of his father, the demon blood that moved through his veins made him a creature of the night.
"That issue with Elizabeth Rodin has been resolved." Via the reflection in the picture window, Cordovan watched his young lawyer place his briefcase on the coffee table and begin to remove papers. "There is no chance that the police will be able to connect you with her . . . unfortunate accident. I have here your travel itinerary for the night of her . . . accident. You and Giselle were enjoying a romantic weekend away."
Accident. How he loved these humans and their euphemisms. Accident -- what a properly polite way to describe the woman’s death. A death that saddened Cordovan, but a death that had been necessary. The woman had been a wonderful aid and assistant; she would have been a wonderful asset to Cerulean Enterprises, but the same brilliant mind and burning curiosity that had placed her by his side also signed her death warrant. Elizabeth asked too many questions, found out too many answers. But rather than bite her lip and turn the other way, she threatened him with exposure. She threatened to go to the police.
No one threatened Kristoph Cordovan and lived.
Elizabeth learned that the hard way. He remembered the shock in her blue eyes as his hands closed around her throat; he remembered her terror as he reached into her chest and wrapped his hand around her still beating heart.
The newspaper described the crime as ‘grisly,’ but Cordovan disagreed. He always believed that there was beauty in death.
"Thank you, Phillippe." Cordovan raised his glass of cognac to his lips, savoring the smell of the drink before sipping. He drank to the insects scurrying in the streets below. He drank to the dependability and skill of Phillippe’s law firm, Wolfram & Hart. And, he drank to Elizabeth. She had died well. Terrified, but with pride.
"It was our pleasure, Mr. Cordovan. We strive to protect the interests, all of the varied and diverse interests, of our varied and diverse clients." Phillippe straightened, and looked directly into the glass window. He and Cordovan had stood in this room often enough and talked with the window open and the lights dimmed for long enough for Phillippe to know that his client was aware of his every action. "Will you be needing anything else, sir?"
"No, that will be all."
Phillippe nodded, and with a bow of his head, gathered his leather briefcase and turned to leave. Cordovan watched as Phillippe suddenly stopped, as though he had collided with something, although nothing was reflected in the window. The lawyer made a wide berth around the nonreflecting obstacle, but somehow managed to keep his aplomb and dignity in tact. It was one of Phillippe’s most admirable traits.
Cordovan waited until the lawyer was gone before directing his attention to the company that currently shared this room with him. He could not see the creature, but he didn’t need to. Cordovan had sensed him the moment he entered, and he sensed him now, hovering in the background, waiting to be acknowledged.
He took another sip of cognac. In the distance he could hear the soft click-clack of a woman’s heels on the polished Spanish tiles beyond his private offices. Ah, the benefits of what his mother had called his ‘tainted blood.’ "Did you procure the book, Derrick?"
"Yes. It wasn’t much of a challenge, sir."
Turning, Cordovan could not supress a bemused grin. It only widened when he saw the vampire’s defiant pose. Hazel eyes met his gaze, seemingly glazed with boredom, but Cordovan knew better. Just as Derrick’s appearance was deceiving – his striking model looks drew women to him like magnets, trusting him with their lives, which they very soon lost – he knew that the vampire was ever alert and missed nothing. "Does everything have to be a challenge for you? I thought that even you would like – how do they say it on the streets – an easy score – every now and then."
"Easy gets boring and I like excitement." The vampire dumped the contents of his knapsack unceremoniously onto the coffee table, the old worn leather-bound tome spilling out. Cordovan flinched at the disrespect the undead creature gave to the book, but said nothing. Derrick was an asset, although he was at times stubborn and obstinate, and an asset such as Derrick could be indulged occasionally. "When I get bored, I start to find my own entertainment and you don’t seem to like that very much."
"That’s because I need you here, not running amok through the streets of LA feeding at your leisure." Cordovan set his glass on the bar and strolled casually towards the vampire. He stopped at the table and leaning forward, ran his fingers lightly over the cover of the book. "The woman was not a problem?"
Derrick snorted. "No more than a child would be."
"There was no body."
Cordovan paused in lifting the cover of the book, turning his gaze to Derrick. "I don’t like the sound of that, Derrick."
"I told you, I don’t like to get bored." A slight smile turned up the corners of the vampire’s mouth, a dangerous smile that made the blood of others congeal. "Besides, I thought you might want her alive a bit longer – in case you need help with that book."
"You doubt me, Derrick? I’m so disappointed," the melodic voice that drifted across the room brought the first genuine smile to Cordovan’s face that evening. Even before he raised his head to gaze in her direction, he was be-spelled – as he had been for years. She may have only been human, but she was a human like no other he had ever met or would ever meet.
Tall and shapely, with large green eyes and skin the color of mocha, she glided into the room with a feline grace that Cordovan had seen turn even the most faithful of men into slobbering idiots. Ebony hair fell to her waist in waves, highlights glittering blue under the low lights of the room. A perfectly manicured hand reached around him, lacquered black nails scraping down the cover of the book. When she spoke, her voice accent was a mixture of southern velvet and Caribbean magic. "Still, it can’t hurt to have an academic mind around until I’ve fully translated this jewel."
"And then, Giselle?" Derrick was not easily persuaded.
With a twinkling smile that would have melted a mortal man where he stood, Giselle patted the vampire lightly on the chest. "And then, the fun begins. Once the Enslavement has been completed, everything will change."
"And what is the Enslavement? You keep going on about it, but you aren’t exactly handing out information." Very few would have stood before Giselle with such scorn and challenge in their voice, very few dared to question the woman that even the vampires secretly referred to as the ‘Dark Witch.’ It was part of Derrick’s arrogance and egocentrism that made him so bold. That, and Giselle’s genuine fondness for the centuries old creature.
"And you ask too many questions," Giselle turned away, her attention refocused on the leather bound tome. "You need to trust me, Derrick. I’ve never let you down before, and I’ve certainly never failed. When the Enslavement is completed, it will be our finest hour. Have faith. And patience."
Emerald eyes still sparkling, this time with a passion and desire that could only be rivaled by pure lust, Giselle sank to the sofa closest to the tome and the coffee table. Her hands lovingly caressed the cover, her whisper caressing the entire room. "Above all things, have patience."