Running For Our Lives

                           

 

 

Chapter 10: Welcome to Las Vegas

"The manager said she left this morning. And she had someone with her!" Cordelia said to the heavy bundle on the seat next to her. She pulled Gunn's truck back onto the highway and turned it east, in the direction the motel clerk had seen the car go.

"She was with someone? Did you get a description?" Angel's head peaked out from the folds of the tarp, his eyes squinting in the bright light, his features shadowed. If she wasn't still raw with pain and livid with anger, she'd have found the situation funny. As it was, she wasn't in the mood to laugh.

"Not a very good one. The manager just said he was a guy with dark hair. Both of them were dirty. I think he thought they were homeless because they tried to steal a room. He made them pay though." She answered, rubbing her gritty eyes with her left hand.

"I wonder why they didn't just knock him out..." Angel mused, his jaw clenched and his fist snaking out from beneath the blanket to touch hers. Cordelia smacked his hand away when she heard the sizzle of his flesh as the sunlight met it. "Itís going to be okay."

She sighed as he pulled his fist back in the blanket. "No it's not. Wesley's dead and that bitch thinks she's going to get away with it. She's not and when, not if, we catch her, I'm going to tear her limb from limb."

"And I'll help you." He said quietly, then he noticed where they were going. "Which way?"

"My guess?
Vegas. It certainly fits her kind of town. And since she doesn't seem to realize we're tracking her with the credit cards, as soon as she uses them we'll head to wherever she was." Cordy replied, pressing the petal down harder; the big ugly truck shot forward and Angel nodded.

It wouldn't be long now. Hopefully.

*****

"Ahh...
Las Vegas, home of drugs, money, gambling and Siegfried and Roy. My kind of town!" Faith said, stretching her limbs to the sky and smiling at the coming dusk. Wesley smiled over at her and weaved the car through the traffic on Interstate 15. The lights were nearly blinding from a mile away and he actually felt a bit excited to see the place.

"I've never been here. You?" He asked, licking his dry lips and trying to avoid the smell of his dirty clothing. He sighed as the traffic stopped and the cars backed up.

"Passed through once. I guess that's what we're going to do this time too, huh?" She asked, turning huge brown eyes to him imploringly.

" 'Fraid so, love. We don't have the luxury of staying in one place. Those bloody bastards might find you any min--" His words were cut off as something leapt onto the hood of the car.

"Enjoying your little trip?" The pink haired stranger asked, her wide mouth open in a lazy grin, one pistol pointed straight at Wesley. Faith started and, quick as lightning, the girl whipped out another gun and pointed it at her. "Ah-ah-ah Slayer. One move and he gets it."

"Who are you?" Wesley asked, hand on the wheel. Behind him, traffic started to back up and horns were blaring, several people within eyesight of the car actually screamed when they caught sight of the guns in her hands.

"Uriah. I believe you knew my sister." Uriah said, flipping a strand of pink hair from her eyes, revealing the crescent shaped tattoo along her eye.

"The Five." Wesley said beneath his breath.

"You're bright." Uriah said dryly, eyes glowing a bright, incandescent purple as she laughed at him. "So I'm going to kill you now."

"I don't think so!" Faith said through gritted teeth and launched herself across the seats at Wesley. She slammed her boot on top of his foot and the car lurched forward, dislodging Uriah from her perch atop the hood. She flew forward, elbow cracking the windshield. Faith made a grab for her and pulled her into the seat beside her.

Uriah went to pull one of her guns up, but Faith cracked her across the cheek with her fist and made a grab for the gun. She caught the demon's wrist and bent it upward. A shot rang off, blindingly loud as Wesley winced and ducked in the driver's seat.

"You're a bad shot." Faith growled, bringing her foot up and hitting the demon in the middle, her boot leaving a big dust print on the ratty t-shirt she was wearing. Uriah laughed and fell into the backseat, her legs sprawled. Faith pointed her own gun at her and smiled. "I, however, rarely miss."

"We'll see." Uriah said, hands moving faster than sound as she whipped out another gun from the folds of her tight jeans. Faith frowned. Where the hell was she keeping them at? But now was not the time for "How did she do that?" Faith kept the gun trained at the demon, her ass pressed against the top of the windshield and her feet braced against the seat. Her eyes flickered to Wesley and he read what she was going to do. A faint flicker in his eyes and he readied himself.

"Now!" Faith screamed and Wesley opened the door and jumped out of the car. He hit the pavement and rolled, his hands tucked into his sides, pain flashing across his body as he rolled into the sparse grass on the side of the road. He stopped and looked breathlessly up at the car, his eyes full of the Slayer's face.

Uriah growled and fired at Faith, who fired back then flipped over the windshield and landed on the hood. The car, unmanned, spun out of control and Faith clung to the hood with tooth and nail. Uriah stood up in the backseat and fired shot after shot, one shot narrowly missing Faith's left shoulder as it ricocheted off the hood. A glance at the road in front of her and she smiled widely, then ducked as the demon fired another round.

"Fuck this." She said through her teeth and let her grip go, sliding off the side as the car headed straight for a telephone pole. Faith rolled and looked up through a mass of hair as the car careened off the road and slammed into the pole; Uriah screamed an inhuman scream as the car crumpled like an accordion.

"Faith!" Wesley called her name and ran towards her, the wound on his face bleeding again as the scab had been torn off. His eyes were wide and his face was pale as a ghost. "Faith! Are you okay?" He reached her, scooping her up and wiping her hair from her eyes.

"Wes! Five by five...you?" Faith said, sitting up wearily, her right shoulder screaming in pain as she realized it was wrenched out of its socket. Wesley nodded and heaved a sigh of relief, then smoothed her hair down as he glanced over at the wreckage of the car.

"You think she's dead?" He asked, squinting through the billowing smoke the engine was emitting in huge black puffs. Almost as if his words were enough to call her, something moved in the wreckage.

"Maybe not. Let's go before we have to find out!" Faith said, helping him to his feet and half-carrying him down the side of the road. The traffic was stopped and everyone was watching them, mouths open and faces pale. Faith ran up to the nearest car and found it was a taxi cab. She pulled Uriah's gun out and pointed it straight at the cab driver's face. "You're giving us a ride. Any problems with that?"

The driver shook his head and Faith opened the door, diving inside and hauling Wesley with her. "Drive. Now." Wesley said, breath puffing out, his hand on his chest. Blood dripped into his eyes and Faith winced. The cab driver took off, weaving his way through the milled vehicles and toward Las Vegas.

"Well, so much for running." She said, ripping a scrap of her dirty tank off and dabbing at the newly opened wound on his forehead. He smiled over at her and sighed. "Never was much of a plan."

"Suppose not. You think she's following us?" Wesley half-turned in the seat and squinted behind them, but he couldn't see anything for the glare of the other headlights. Already he could hear the sirens of fire trucks, ambulances and police cars blending in a cacophony of sound.

"If she is, she's hurt. We've got time to change and steal a new ride." Faith said, glint in her eyes hard as steel. "Sorry I got you into this."

"What? No...this is fun! Really." Wesley said wryly, fingers tenderly touching her bruising shoulder. She winced and he frowned. "Hold still." With a grunt, he knocked it back into socket; she smiled over at him gratefully.

"I'm glad you're here." She said as she leaned her head against his shoulder. Wesley could only smile and pat her hand gingerly, the lights of Las Vegas enveloping them as the cab pulled onto the strip.

"I'm glad too."

*****

Lorne entered the Hyperion, a smile wide on his lips. "Hey kiddies. What's the haps?" He called to the couple behind the desk. They looked up at him with haunted eyes and he was slammed with the anger, hurt and sorrow in their auras. He didn't even need to read them to know that something was wrong. "What happened?"

"Wesley's dead." Gunn said in a stony voice, his Adamís apple moving up down as he swallowed back tears he wouldn't let himself cry.

"What?" Lorne exclaimed, mouth dropping open. He sank into the nearest chair waited for them to tell him that they were joking.

"That Slayer, Faith, killed him." Fred said, her bloodshot eyes flicking from Lorne's face to the computer screen.

"What? No! I didn't read that! Faith was supposed to put Wesley back on his path!" Lorne said, green hand running through his short red hair.

"What do you mean, you didn't read that? Did you know that Faith was out?" Gunn asked, approaching him like he would a rabid dog.

"Yes, I knew. So did Wesley. You know that vision Cordelia had for Wesley?" Lorne said, seeing their recognition before moving on. "Well that girl was Faith. I read him, and I saw that she needed him and he needed her. They...they're supposed to put each other back on their paths, not...oh brother that went all to hell."

"Wes knew and he didn't tell us? Why would he keep it a secret after all that we've been through with Connor and that stupid prophecy? We could have helped him!" Fred exclaimed, her hands snaking up to her throat as she bit back tears. Gunn was too agitated to comfort her as he glared at the Host.

"You knew too. Why didn't you say anything?"

"Because it was none of your business. This was his life and her life and two of them were not intertwined with yours. They're meant to be together and I just can't see how this all went down the crapper. Why would she kill him?" Lorne said vehemently, eyes blazing as he tried to think rationally through his pain.

"I don't know. I never met her and from what I do know, she was a murderer before she went into prison and she just picked up the habit once she left. I guess she still blamed Wes for everything that happened to her." Gunn said, running a hand over his bald head. He felt stubble and he realized he'd have to shave it again soon.

"Where's Angel and Cordelia?"

"They're chasing her. They're going to...when they catch her..." Fred's drawling voice faltered and she bit her lip. Gunn put an arm around her and frowned.

Lorne didn't answer him as he sat back against the chair, deep in thought. This wasn't right. Something wasn't right here and he had a good idea on where to find out the truth. He stood and turned to the couple staring at him. "I have to go somewhere. Call Angel and tell him NOT to kill her if they catch her. Something's gone wrong and I need to find out what."

Fred and Gunn watched him go, eyes shadowed and hurt-filled.

Chapter 11

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