Jason fought the sudden urge to jump in the car and drive off as fast as he could. Not because he got over his total freaked-outedness, but because he rather thought Jean-Claude would kill him if he ran off with the car.
What had started out as a cute kid had become a thing of nightmares. It was about ten feet tall and looked slimy and a bit like Chet Donnelley after he'd been turned into a pile of shit on the original Weird Science movie. It made Jason's skin creep to look at it and more than anything he didn't want it to touch him.
"Well, aren't you just the prettiest girl at the party," Xander cooed, then giggled, a strange, high-pitched sound that grated on the nerves.
The demon opened its slavering mouth and ROARED, a sound that had Jason covering his ears to block it out. It lunged toward Xander, moving fast enough to be nothing but a blur even in his lycanthropic vision, all gnashing teeth and huge clawed hands ready to rip and tear.
But Xander was already there, just kind of appearing up under the creature's body, his eyes glowing an eerie green and his face twisted in that monster mask it took on when he Fed. "All right!" Xander yelled, then began to laugh, a strange whooping, inhuman kind of laugh that caused a primal shiver down the spine of everyone that heard it.
Xander punched the demon hard in the chest with a slapping of meat sound, then he was a blur of frenetic energy, punching and tearing, ripping through the demon with crazy strength.
"You know, usually I would like a blade for something like this, but since this is the first real fun I've had since I've come here... I'm gonna enjoy doing this with my bare hands." With that, Xander began digging his fingers into the demon, tearing off chunks of flesh that he dropped carelessly to the wayside.
It was the most uneven fight Jason had ever seen. The demon, furiously roaring and twisting and turning gouged huge furrows out of the ground with its every footstep. It was strong and fierce and should have been the clear victor of the fight, but Xander was a monster, that was the only explanation. He ripped through the demon as though it was a normal human, plunging his hands and arms deep into its flesh to rip out gobbets until he hit the final prize and, his face twisting with effort as he grunted hard, pulled its black-black heart clear out of its chest to crush between his palms right in front of it.
The demon gave a final wheezing cry, then collapsed with a ground-shaking thud, still shivering but already dead.
"Well, that was fun," Xander said, dropping the heart with a splattering plop on the ground. "I was hoping it would put up more of a fight, though. Still, beggars can't be choosers, right?"
He turned and Jason flinched. His eyes blazed with green fire, his lips drawn back in a fierce grin. His chest still heaved with the last of his physical effort, but it was obvious that he could have gone another ten rounds or more and not even been ready to stop. His hands were curled at his sides, dripping with dark blood that hissed and sizzled as it struck the ground.
Xander looked at them all, taking in their horrified expressions, then blinked hard. When he opened his eyes, they were that warm dark chocolate again, though that only made it worse. Those all-too human orbs in that snarling monster face, his forehead ridged and his teeth jagged and razor sharp.
"It looks like we missed all the fun," a smooth as ice voice suddenly said.
"Ah, I knew you were there the minute you showed up," Xander said. "Why don't you come out and say hello... Narcissus, honey?"
Narcissus came out from beneath the shadows with that smooth gliding walk of his. He was followed by four hulking werehyenas and Bacchus trailed at his shoulder like he was on an invisible leash.
Xander wiped his gory hands off on the handkerchief Narcissus tossed him and rolled his shoulders with a cracking of tension. His face had smoothed back into its normal boy-next-door handsomeness, the monster tucked away for later. "You're looking rather festive," he purred. "I love the dress. Bronze is totally your color."
Narcissus smiled brushed a hand over his sleeve. "Well, I remember you saying you have fond memories of bronze, so... I thought if we were coming to visit you I should at least do something to make you think of home."
"You're such an angel, Narcie. I don't know why so many people don't like you." Xander stepped away from demon corpse as though it wasn't there. "You're one of my favorite people here, you know? I totally wanna get the chance to play with you."
"Oh, I dream of the night, dear Alexander," Narcissus moaned, his eyes heavy-lidded and his hips swaying a little in place. "I think we could teach each other some truly wonderful things."
"Call me some time," Xander said, walking over to stand next to Jean-Claude. "We'll have a party. Everyone invited."
Narcissus laughed and waved his hand at his people. "Come on, Alexander didn't need our company this time. Maybe next time he'll let us play."
Jason felt a shiver of dread go down his spine as the werehyenas slipped back into the darkness and disappeared like they were never there.
Maybe the breeze had been going the wrong direction. Maybe they were just abnormally quiet. Whatever it was, the werehyenas had been there and he hadn't even smelled or sensed them watching. And judging by the looks on everyone else's face, they hadn't either. Only Xander, with his knowing grin, had known the werehyenas were there.
Xander brushed his hands together. "Well, that was fun." He grinned at Jean-Claude. "Let's go home. I'm feeling a little... peckish."
"Wait a fucking minute!" Anita yelled, shaking off Asher's restraining hands. "I demand an explanation. What the hell was that... that thing? Why was Narcissus here? And..."
Xander held up his hand. "I told you, that was a demon. Just 'cause you didn't want to believe me doesn't make it not real. And about Narcissus... no."
"No? What fucking 'no'?" She crowded against him, aggression rising from her in near palpable waves.
Xander gave her a calm look, his murderous tendencies tamped down by the fresh demon kill. "Look Anita, I don't want to play your fucking games. Narcissus is my business and you're gonna leave it alone unless you want me to hurt you. Now, we're all gonna go home. You're gonna call the police and say you found a reference to a creature called the Onwerkelijk Kind from wherever it is you get your monster information. The police are gonna come out and find this dead body and that's gonna be that."
"Oh yeah, well who are they gonna think killed it?" Anita demanded.
Xander smiled. "Why, your dear friend Mr. Death did the deed, didn't you know? If you check up on the hitman bulletin boards, why, all the news is about how Death was offered the job of killing the freaky demon creature that liked to play with cops' heads and make them do stupid ass shit. He even made $50,000 for the job. I know, chump change for him, but everyone knows he likes a challenge."
"What... how did you..."
"Come on, this is the 21st century, right?" Xander laughed. "Kids learn how to use the intarweb in high school, and even though I didn't have much time for the learning, I did pick up a few things before I died. Now," he turned to Jean-Claude, "can we get home so I can get a little help with this chub I'm sporting?" He cupped his crotch with one hand suggestively.
"Oh Alexander, you are insatiable," Jean-Claude said, amusement lurking in his eyes.
Jason thought the old Jean-Claude would have been disgusted by someone as childish and thuggish as Xander could be, but strangely, Jean-Claude seemed to get off on it. All the outrageous things Xander did only seemed to make Jean-Claude like him more, as weird as that was.
The longer Xander was around them, the more monstrous Jean-Claude and Asher seemed to become, the thin veneer of civility peeling back to show what was inside. It should have been horrifying and frightening and all that bad stuff, but a part of Jason actually seemed to like it. And that was a bit scarier than anything else.
The savage enjoyment Xander took in violence and the way his every word seemed to pull tighter the masks people wore only made it easier for Jason to see what he was becoming. He was food for the vampires. He was a hedonistic whore, selling his blood for the chance to wallow in luxury while never even contemplating what his future was going to be.
He had long since come to accept the fact that he wasn't ever going to be old. But now he was accepting the fact that he wasn't going to be human either.
And it really wasn't that bad.
A/N: JtAH 4 will begin shortly, picking up where this one left off. Some familiar and oft-loved/hated faces are going to be making an appearance, though they're not quite the people we know.
"You're a cold-hearted bitch, aren't you?" Spike said to Xander.
--JOURNEY TO ANOTHER HELL IV