Running For Our Lives




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 possible.

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 her.

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 whisp.

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. Interesting. Very interesting.

"How close?" Elliot's voice sounded over the intercom and she growled in her throat.

"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 erudite.

"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 cross-country trip.

"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."

Chapter 16