Chapter 15: Interesting
Jesus it was sweltering outside. Cordelia
cranked the air-conditioner higher and felt the cold rush of air against
her cheeks. Despite that, she was still burning up; she couldn't imagine
what Angel must have been feeling beneath his blanket on the floorboard.
She reached over and peaked below the folds that resembled a head. She
smiled softly as Angel's sleeping face peered out at her, not even a drop
of sweat to betray that he was uncomfortable. A gentle swipe against his
cheek with her palm only told her he was at room temperature. She envied
him right then and there. With a sigh, she pulled the blanket tight around
him and turned her attention back on the road before her.
"Wes, Wes....where are you at?" Worry had
replaced the anger she'd indulged in and now she could only think of the
ways that things had gone wrong. Faith must have been holding him against
his will, torturing him as she ran as far away from Los Angeles as
Except...Angel hadn't smelled anything that would have suggested she was
hurting him. No, he'd smelled Wesley, whole and healthy, his scent all
over the room, suggesting he hadn't been tied up. So what was the answer
here? Why was Wesley with Faith and why hadn't he called them to tell them
he was okay?
And a cynical part of Cordelia's mind
suggested something to her; she shooed it away, but it stuck in her
thoughts. What if Wesley didn't care if they cared? It wasn't like he
hadn't kept things from them before. What if he was doing it again?
No. It had to have been Faith's fault. She was sure of it. Wasn't she?
An exasperated sigh escaped her lips and she wiped the sweat away from her
skin, wishing she was home in a nice cold tub of water with Angel...oh
dear. How did that slip in there?
Jesus it was way too hot in here.
Saris vibrated on her plush seat, her connection to the Slayer shivering
with raw emotion. A moan escaped her lips and she wished she could see
through the Slayer's eyes, but the emotion was too strong, and it blocked
her from connecting fully. Right now all she could feel was intense sexual
arousal the Slayer was feeling at the nearness of the weak human beside
Down that below connection, there was something deeper, below the physical
wants. Something fundamental and blindingly bright.
She prodded it with a tendril of thought and quaked in her seat, china
white hands clenched in her lap as the bond responded to her emotional
These two, sitting in the desert sun, where on the same path. Their souls
twisted and wrapped around each other, not knowing where the one began and
the other ended. And twisting them apart would be damned hard, if not
impossible. The one would die for the other and likewise.
Saris opened her blank, white eyes and withdrew the tendril of thought.
"How close?" Elliot's voice sounded over the intercom and she growled in
"We're right behind them. They'll be stopping soon." She replied shortly,
switching the intercom off and leaning staring out the tinted windows.
She'd found not only a weakness, but the very thing that could kill the
Slayer, without ever having to come within eyesight of her.
Something tickled at the back of Faith's mind and she thought it was like
having a miniscule bee buzzing in her ear. A shake of her head made it go
away though, and she forgot about it immediately. She turned her attention
to Wesley, his face shadowed by the setting sun, his hands on the guard
rail along the ridge of the Canyon.
"Itís so big." He said, lips turning up as he scanned the area with his
eyes. She followed his gaze and had to admit she was pretty damned
impressed too. A slight breeze lifted the hair off the back of her neck as
she gazed down at the snaking trail of the Colorado River, so small from
this distance that she couldn't believe it had made this huge thing. All
it had taken was time.
"Too big actually. It makes me feel so small;
like my life is so short compared to this place. These rocks are forever
and we're just dust on the wind." He looked at her, respect at the deep
words streaming from her lips; he hadn't guessed she could be that
"Makes one feel insignificant, doesn't it?" He echoed her, hand twisting
around hers and drawing her away from the edge of the Canyon, shoes
crunching in the gravel. She followed him back across the small park and
to the little room they'd gotten, and intended to stay the whole night in,
she might add.
"We need more clothing. This shirt is all bloody." She said,
picking at the brown stains and the bits of demon goo
she hadn't had a chance to flick off yet. He looked down at his own
clothing and cursed the fact that he wasn't at all prepared for a
"If you want, I'll go out and get us something. The less you go out, the
less a target you'll make." He said, shrugging his shoulders to loosen the
tension in them. And the less I'll have to be around you while I'm in
this mood. He thought, watching her flop onto her belly down on the
bed, her legs in the air and her hand on her chin. She smiled and tossed
him the keys to the Malibu; he caught them in one hand, the other stuffing
the credit cards into his pocket.
"Get me something small and tight." She called after him, a mischievous
grin on her face. He glanced back at her with a glint in his eyes that she
couldn't quite read. He closed the door and she stared at the fake wood
for a moment, wishing he hadn't left.
But it did leave her alone to relieve the tension she'd felt since that
night on the floor with him. She peeled off the soiled, sweat-soaked
t-shirt and threw it against the wall, half expecting it to stick there.
It didn't and she snorted derisively, then went
into the adjoining room. The bathroom was tiny, but the bathtub was big
enough to allow her to have nice good soak.
She turned the taps on and hopped in before it was even half-full, the
water lapping at skin far dirtier than it was used to being. She lay down,
a cold washrag across her eyes blocking out the flickering light from the
ceiling, her fingers walking across too-sensitive skin. Biting her lip,
she conjured up an image of a pair blue, blue eyes and a mouth more ready
to smile than frown. A mouth she imagined on her own, on her chin,
everywhere her wet fingers trailed, leaving scorch marks in their wake.
Jesus it was hot in here.
There was a Wal-Mart down the road from the motel and he entered it, eyes
squinting at the too-bright lights and all too aware that he was dirty and
smelly. Normally he avoided places like this like he was allergic to them,
but as he didn't have a lot of choices, he toughed it out.
As quickly as possible, he picked up some food for them, throwing things
into the cart without looking at them and slowly making his way over to
the clothing. He picked up little things and blessed whoever that Sam guy
was that the prices were so low. He didn't know what the limits on the
cards were and he didn't want to find out.
"Something small and tight..." He muttered, walking past the cheap
lingerie, his eyes glued to a lacy black two piece that didn't leave much
to the imagination. Not that he needed much to imagine her in it.....
A snorting sound caught his attention and he looked up into the eyes of a
sales clerk, her heavily made up face
twitching as she tried not to laugh. He straightened and stalked off, the
back of his neck too warm and his lips pressed to a small white line.
"Oh how I hate Wal-Mart."
Half an hour later and he was through the checkout line, fingers clasped
behind his back as the card was cleared without mishap. At least luck was
on their side today. He left, purchases in hand
and looking forward to a nice cold shower and sleep that wasn't on a floor
or the seat of a car.
A tune was on his lips as he put the bright blue bags into the trunk of
the car and slammed it shut. Then something stirred itself in his brain
and he had just enough time to shudder before something was inserted into
his psyche. Something hard and evil and something connected to his heart
that twisted like a knife and left a bloodless trail across his soul.
"Kill her." Came the whisper in his brain,
light and airy, like tinkling bells.
"Yes." He answered with lips that weren't thinking with his heart. A part
of him screamed and battered against the veil covering his mind. The other
half smiled and did as he was told.
Saris stepped out of the limo parked beside the Malibu, her heeled feet
daintily crunching over the cracked pavement. She looked into Wesley's
eyes, albino skin glowing in the floodlights overhead. She saw recognition
in his eyes and for a moment, she wondered who this man was. But the
rebellion in his eyes came from deep within and she knew she had him and
it didn't matter who he had been. He was hers now.
"This should be very interesting."