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Angel Noir: My Cold, Dead Heart

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  • Angel Noir: My Cold, Dead Heart

    Title: Angel Noir: My Cold, Dead Heart.
    Disclamer: I don't own anything Joss & co came up with first


    It was raining in the city of angels; a harsh, bitter rain that fell like frustrated tears. Not my tears though. No I finished my crying a long time ago, brooding’s more my thing. Currently I was thinking of branching out into the worrying game, chewing over my limited options and not liking a single one of them.

    I had taken shelter from the savage weather in a small, quiet bar well away from the beaten track and had spent the last hour gazing out at the rain, nursing a whisky sour and a head full of problems. Taking a long sip from the heavy glass, I savoured the sharp bite; welcoming the comforting blanket of alcohol that settled over my troubled thoughts. It might not be my favourite drink but it sure was what I needed. Besides, this was a human bar; they didn’t serve my favourite drink.

    It had been sat like this, with a whisky in front of me, that this whole thing had started: where I had first laid eyes on her.


    **

    The bar had been a little bigger, the lights a little brighter, sure. The drinks tasted the same though and there had been sharks circling in the crowd; hunters looking for an easy meal. It was just the kind of seedy joint I had made it my business to visit since I’d arrived in the big city. A place where I knew people needed help. A place I could make a difference.

    She must have been sitting in one of the booths along the wall, because the first I knew of her was the floral scent of her perfume as she passed my seat at the bar. I turned and caught sight of red silk, flowing blonde locks and the kind of small trim figure that made strong men weak.

    She looked so out of place in a place like this. The way she walked, the way she carried herself, she looked like she could own it. She was a silent explosion of perfection in a cacophony of triviality. A jewel set in ashes.

    Moving with an easy grace she made her way to the door, pausing as she reached it. She half turned back towards me, perhaps conscious of my eyes on her and that’s when I saw her face for the first time.

    To say this dame was beautiful wouldn’t be saying nearly enough. Her features were as pure and delicate as clear night dew and from them eyes of deep, serious green sparkled and flared. She held my eye for a second, then flashing me a bright, sad smile she carried on through the door and out of my life forever.

    At least that’s how it should have been.

    It looked like I wasn’t the only one to notice her though. As the door gently closed behind her, three sleazy hard faced goons quickly drained their glasses and made ready to follow.

    I gave a heavy sigh and threw back my own drink before reluctantly making my way to the door. I figured the vampires weren’t going to be more than a light work out, but it was still early, and I’d been enjoying the whisky.

    Almost as soon as the night air hit me though, I heard frightened, sobbing screams coming from the mouth of a nearby alley and that was all the motivation that I needed. Running quickly towards the cry I saw shadowy shapes leaning menacingly over a helplessly struggling female form.

    **

    I ran on without any further thought, dodging past stinking trash cans. Barrelling into the attackers, I sent two of them sprawling heavily to the ground. The third turned to face me, already wearing his game face. Preparing myself for his charge I lowered my arm, triggering the spring loaded stake to fall into my eagerly waiting hand.

    Three minute later and it was all over, the last vamp just a drift of settling dust. I wiped vampire from my hands and turned back to the dame who was looking up at me, her glorious eyes wide.

    “Wow that was amazing” she said “where did you learn to fight like that?”

    “It’s just a knack” I replied simply offering her my hand. She took it gladly and rose unsteadily to her feet, brushing herself down.

    “Just a knack huh?” she said with an arched eyebrow “Well… I guess I owe you my life” she kicked savagely at a pile of dust “Damn vamps. They’re all over the city these days; like rats.”

    “You know about vampires?” I was a little surprised that someone so small and so beautiful would be familiar with the seedier side of life. I guess, of all people, I really should know better by now.

    “Yeah, I… have a few connections.” she said, her eyes on the ground “I’m Lucy by the way, Lucy Hammett.” She paused slightly “Look I realise this is the point I should say ‘how do I thank you’ and you say something heroic, dash off and I never see you again,” She moved closer and looked directly up at me “but I think you might be someone I can talk to, and right now I need someone to talk to. So, drink?”

    “Thanks, but no thanks” I replied turning on my heels and walking back in the direction of the street “I’m sorry lady but I don’t get involved, not any more.”

    “At least tell me your name.” she called after me.

    “Angel” I replied not looking back. “They call me Angel”

    And turning up my collar I walked out of the alley way and into the big city night.
    Last edited by tangent; 08-06-07, 06:46 PM.
    JUST ENOUGH KILL

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  • #2
    It was two nights later that I saw Lucy Hammett again. I had just left my apartment, all set to hit the bars for my nights work, when I heard her voice behind me.

    “Hey, remember me”

    As if I could possibly forget someone so beautiful, so hauntingly familiar.

    “Yeah, I remember.” I replied “You’re stalking me now?”

    She came up behind me resting a hand on my arm

    “Look I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have come. I know you probably just want to be left alone. It’s just... there isn’t anyone else. Please. I just want to talk.” She gently pulled at my arm and I turned looking down into scared, tearful eyes “please?”

    Well how could I say no?

    I took her to an all night coffee place, figuring the usual haunts would be too loud and crowded. Probably too dangerous too, judging from the way she kept looking round her. The kid was seriously spooked. We took seats by the window and, after ordering cappuccinos from a bored looking waitress with bad skin and dyed hair, we got down to the business at hand.

    “I didn’t know who else to turn to” she said in a small voice, as the waitress left us, staring into her cup. “I mean I know you’ll take me seriously.” she looked up at me. “You know the kinds of things that are out there.”

    “And what kind of thing is out there” I asked.

    She smiled at that. A small, fleeting smile but it was there: just for a second.

    “A warlock kind of thing” she said her eyes back to the coffee. All traces of humour gone. “A nasty one; and he’s going to kill me”

    **

    His name it appeared was Silas Morgan. He was rich, powerful and centuries old; perhaps even older than me. He creamed a living from pampering to the needs of the rich and the shallow, casting glamours on faded looks and charms on faded careers. Charging through the nose for every ounce of magic he used.

    “Also they say he’s unkillable.” Lucy finished. “And that he has some kinda nasty price to pay for being that way.”

    “And I’m guessing that’s where you come in” I said taking a sip of the creamy coffee. The place might not look fancy, or even particularly clean, but they sure made good joe.

    “Yeah, I guess. You see about a month ago I started having these dreams: dreams about him.” A look of embarrassed panic crossed her face. “Oh, not like that!” The blush slowly died in her cheeks and her voice grew serious again. “I mean that he showed up in my dreams, the normal ones; Whispering, always whispering. Telling me I was his. Telling me how it would end.”

    “And how does it end?”

    “With me dead and him with another lifetime to lead.” this time when she looked up there were tears in her eyes and a quiver to her lower lip. “Somehow he’s picked me out to be a sacrifice to whatever demon he owes”

    I glanced out of the window thoughtfully, watching the few late night pedestrians scurrying back to their safe, comfortable homes. Her problems were nothing to do with me but there was something about her, the way she was so brave but so vulnerable, the way she had been landed with so much unasked for hassle. Like someone else I used to know.

    “Hold on a minute lady. Something’s not right here.” I said “He just comes right out and tells you, or shows you, that he’s going to sacrifice you to some demon? Why give you the warning?”

    “That’s exactly what I thought.” She said, nodding. “After the first few dreams I thought I was going crazy or something. I know a little about the occult though and I did a little research, asked around a bit. That’s how I know about Morgan. After that I found out all I could about him and his damned magic.” She gave a small thin sigh. “Turns out the dreams form part of some ritual he has to do before the sacrifice. He needs to form some kind of mystical bond with me before he can kill me.”

    She paused and turned her attention back to the frothy remains of her drink. “I found something else out as well. Morgan's not quite as tough as it’s rumoured... That’s where I need your help.”

    “And just why do you think I can help you take this guy on” I asked.

    She looked up at me her green eyes staring directly into mine. “Because Morgan can only be killed by a dead man.”

    **

    I stared at her in surprise. “And?” I asked carefully.

    “And you’re a vampire,” she stated evenly. “and therefore technically dead.”

    “Right... And what exactly leads you to that conclusion?”

    “Well there’s the way you handled those goons the other night,” she replied “no-one human takes on three vamps like that.” She leaned across the table close enough for me to feel her warm breath. “But mainly there’s this” Taking my hand, the one that held the coffee cup, in her own she lifted it to the space between our faces. Holding my eyes with hers she indicated the window, where the reflection of a ghostly cup hovered over her hand; seemingly suspended in empty air. “You know for someone whose been at this for hundreds of years you really ought to be more careful where you sit.”

    It seemed that she had me figured. Dead to rights you could say. “Okay, for the moment let’s say your right. Why exactly should I risk my neck against this guy”

    She relaxed a little in her seat, deflated after her brief moment of victory. “There’s no reason you should. Except... you’re different. I mean a vampire that protects people instead of attacking them. I’ve never seen that before” she covered my hand with her own. “This is my last chance, my last throw of the dice. I know there’s no way I can take this guy on, but you can. So I'm throwing myself completely at your mercy. You’re my last hope Angel.”
    Last edited by tangent; 11-06-07, 11:12 PM.
    JUST ENOUGH KILL

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    • #3
      I escorted Lucy back to her apartment and, after refusing her offer to come in for a drink, giving her my number, and telling her to call me if she needed me, I set of back home.

      My mind was a buzz of indecision. A voice somewhere deep inside me kept telling me not to get involved, kept telling me to just walk away.

      I saved people where I could, sure, killed vamps, stopped the feeding. But I wasn’t in this game to become someone’s personal bodyguard, and I certainly didn’t figure on becoming their assassin, however pretty that someone might be.

      Every time I thought I‘d worked it out though, those serious green eyes would appear before me and my resolve melted away like the last ice cube in the glass. I had already left one girl to fight alone. Left her for what I hoped was her own good. Could I really do the same to Lucy knowing what I knew, knowing how helpless she was?

      My eyes rose to the night sky where the creeping dawn threatened. Morning would be here soon. I needed to get home quick. Maybe after a stiff drink and some sleep, maybe then the new night would bring an answer.

      **

      The next day I woke early, my mind made up. Outside the sun would only just be heading towards the horizon, but I had work to do. When you live in the human world sometimes you have to play by their rules.

      I poured a mug of pig’s blood and hunted through my coat pockets, finding what I was looking for hiding away in a worn corner. Lucy had done her research on Morgan and the number on the paper was the one that got passed round the greedy hands of Morgan’s clients. The one they rang when they’re frail egos needed a little magical massage.

      Grabbing the phone i dialled, hating the bleating ring tone more with every passing second.

      “Morgan Consultants” said a female voice “How can I help you”

      I gave her a story about needing something special to help my failing movie career, casually dropping the name of an ex customer that Lucy had given me. Ten minutes later I had a late evening interview booked with the man himself.

      **

      Morgan’s house was a tasteful, modern building, all pale brick and sprawling ivy. A large garage adjoined the left side, and outside it was parked a gleaming Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith; the 1952 coupe, in cream and black. Yes sir, someone was doing very nicely indeed.

      I rang the bell and waited. A few moments later the carved wooden door was opened by a tall, trim woman with a dark ponytail and a smart pencil skirt.

      “Ah, you must be Mr Angel.” she said, looking at me over the top of her thin rimmed spectacles “we’ve been expecting you. Do, please come in.”

      She stood aside to let me pass, before showing me to a door on the left, indicating that I should enter.

      I found myself in a large imposing room, filled with furniture of dark wood and leather. On the walls a whole gallery of portraits and landscapes jostled for my attention like needy children. The feature of the room though was an ornate desk directly underneath a huge portrait of a broad, dark haired man of middling years with a short beard and fierce, cold eyes.

      “I see your admiring the portrait of our proprietor.” Said the broad with the skirt, closing the heavy door behind us “Silas Morgan. The man who makes all this possible”

      “Yes.” I replied, treating her to my best smile. “He looks to be quite a man. Can’t wait to meet him”

      She sat down behind the desk and flashed me her own tight, brief smile “Oh I’m afraid Mr Morgan doesn’t transact business after dark. You’re interview will be with me.”

      Her name was Elizabeth Connor and she was Morgan’s personal assistant, maybe more besides - maybe not. She gave me some practiced spiel about what could be achieved in this city, with of course a little of Mr Morgan’s help. Focusing on the possibilities, avoiding the subject of money like week old sushi.

      “Basically we specialise in casting luck charms; either good luck for you or bad luck for someone else. Then there's dream transmission and also glamours, spells that can temporarily enhance or alter your looks. Harmless things that can just give you that little edge”

      “Magic?” I scoffed, playing my part. “You really think I’m going to hand over two large for some cheap parlour tricks.”

      She gave me a knowing look. “Oh it’s much more than that Mr Angel. Watch”

      She swept her hand over her dark hair and, as it passed, the colour changed from dark glossy brown to a dull grey. A reverse sweep and just as quickly the natural colour returned.

      “And of course that’s just the tip of the iceberg Mr Angel. Mr Morgan allows me limited use of his power in order to assist him but what I use is only the merest fragment of that power. I can assure you faithfully that Mr Morgan is a very, very formidable man.”

      She leaned across the desk suddenly, sending a faint breeze of flowery perfume before her and looked me directly in the eye.

      “Now I’ve been very frank with you Mr Angel, I think it’s time you extended me the same courtesy. You’re not some shallow actor, your ego seems to be doing just fine and you certainly don’t need your looks enhancing. So why, exactly, are you here?”

      **

      I decided that honesty was the best policy and spilled the whole sorry story to her. Watching her face carefully as I did.

      “And that’s it?” she asked when I’d finished.

      “That’s it” I replied.

      “Well let me tell you this Mr Angel. My employer maybe a powerful warlock but he is a man who uses his talents to help others, not to harm them.” Her words were strong, impassioned but was there something in her eyes? Maybe some slight hint of doubt? “He would certainly not stoop to cold blooded murder, even if it could extend his own life in some way.”

      She stood up quickly making her chair rock uncertainly as it shifted backwards.

      “Now if you will excuse me Mr Angel I am a busy woman and have no more time to listen to the slanderous accusations of some blonde little bimbo. I think we can consider this meeting over. Goodnight Mr Angel.”

      I stood as well and half turned, making as if to leave.

      “Well I guess I’ll be on my way then; but be sure to tell Mr Morgan this. If he harms just one hair on the head of Lucy Hammett, I will be back.”

      Whirling suddenly to face her once again I leant across the desk, slipping into my game face as I did.

      “And he really, doesn’t want me to come back.”

      Then turning away, I left.
      Last edited by tangent; 12-03-09, 10:33 PM.
      JUST ENOUGH KILL

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      • #4
        I decided to call in on Lucy on my way back from Morgan’s, figuring she should be kept in the loop. After all it was her pretty neck that was on the line.

        I walked slowly through the dark empty streets, my head down, thinking back through the night’s events, trying to pin down what was troubling me, why I felt so damned uneasy.

        The Connor broad had been pretty convincing in her defence of Morgan and plenty passionate. There was an odd note in her outburst though, something that didn’t quite add up. I kept getting a strange feeling there was something she wasn’t telling me.

        Maybe I had it all wrong though. Maybe the whole thing was in Lucy’s head somehow. Just some figment of her imagination. Or maybe she had some kind of grudge against Morgan and was using me to get payback. To tell the truth I just didn’t know any more.

        Either way, at least I could now tell Lucy that I’d done my part; that Morgan had been warned off. At least I could let her know that she was safe. If Morgan was the threat she said then I had given him more than enough to think about. He knew what I could do.

        I reached Lucy’s apartment building around twenty minutes later and started to climb the stairs to the third floor, feeling a little apprehensive about seeing her again. About being reminded once more of feelings I thought I’d left far behind me.

        As I turned into the hall and reached the door of apartment 317 that knot of apprehension tightened, squeezing my guts like a vice. Something here was wrong. The door to the apartment stood slightly ajar and from the small gap drifted an all too familiar smell. Sharp and metallic.

        Warily I pushed open the door and walked into a nightmare.

        **

        There were two dead bodies in the room; and only one of them belonged to me.

        The other lay sprawled in the middle of the floor in a dishevelled heap, arms outstretched imploringly as if begging for help. A help that had never come.

        Lucy had never been a tall girl but the body on the floor was shorter still: shorter by a head to be exact. A ragged stump of flesh and bone all that was left of her graceful white neck. It was gruesome sight alright, but that wasn’t what was causing me the problem.

        What was causing me the problem was the blood.

        Where the first arterial flow had gushed and died it was sprayed across the apartment like a child’s painting. Walls and furniture splattered with a confusion of jagged scarlet lines and thick heavy drips. Underneath the corpse itself a pool of dark red was slowly congealing as it cooled and clotted.

        And everywhere there was the smell: sickly sweet, almost cloying, with a hard edge of copper and rusted iron. It filled my head, triggering dark instincts and forbidden hungers. Calling to that part of me I kept locked away. The part I hated.

        As fast as I could manage I stumbled out into the hall, ears ringing, mind racing; everything seeming sharp and hard, and horribly certain. I leant against the corridors wall and pressed my face against the cool surface. Taking deep needless breaths as I tried to calm the rising passions, to regain some kind of control.

        As I struggled with the unwelcome passions a small noise made me look up and I saw a small white haired form peering round the door of a nearby room. A shocked gasp escaped the wrinkled face as she caught sight of me and the door shut again, quickly.

        I raised my hand to my face, feeling deep furrowed brows and sharp protruding teeth. The blood lust had brought the demon to the surface, this time unbidden. It was enough to scare anyone. But even as I ran my hand over them the ridges seemed to fade and melt away, my control returning bringing with it the illusion of humanity.

        I sighed heavily and looked over my shoulder, staring at the door that led to the gory scene. Knowing I had to go back in.

        **

        I needed to know. I needed to be sure that this was Morgan’s handiwork and the only way to do that was to brave the blood soaked room again.

        I had enough knowledge of magic to know that if Morgan had Killed Lucy in some kind of ritual then there might be some kind of sign. Some evidence left behind that would tell me what I needed to know. Steeling myself I crossed the threshold, concentrating hard, trying to block out the sight and smell of the blood.

        There was no sign of a struggle in the bloody room and the splattered furniture sat perfectly in place, undisturbed. Behind the small body though, a space had been cleared around a small table upon which a large candle and a small bowl had been placed.

        Maybe this was it, the evidence I was looking for.

        I took a closer look and saw that the bowl had once contained blood although a dark red stain climbing up one side was all that was left of it. It looked like someone had been drinking.

        The body itself seemed to have been left where it dropped. Not far from where the makeshift altar had been set up. Of the missing head there was no sign.
        I moved to the small figure to take a closer look but as I did the high pitched scream of sirens tore through the still night, getting closer with every passing second.

        Moving quickly to the window I glanced out and saw bright flashes of blue speeding towards the building. The spooked neighbour must have called in the cops after our little encounter in the hall.

        It was time to go. There was no way I could stick around and try and explain things and if the cops got me in one of those mirrored rooms I’d seen in the movies they were in for one hell of a surprise.

        Opening the window I climbed out on to the fire escape, catching my coat slightly on the sash. As I turned to free myself a flash of gold hiding beneath a chair caught my attention. I climbed back in, hearing the sounds of footsteps outside the door and snatched the shining object up. Diving back through the window seconds before the sound of splintering wood exploded behind me.
        Last edited by tangent; 11-06-07, 11:17 PM.
        JUST ENOUGH KILL

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        • #5
          And so I found myself sitting in a back street bar watching the rain. My mood as black as the brooding night sky. Not knowing what the hell to do.

          I shouldn’t have got involved. I knew enough to know where that gets you. Save them and get out that’s the way it should go. Don’t let them get to you. Don’t let them make you feel.

          I had got involved though and like it or not I still was. Oh I could cut and run, sure. Just leave things to sort themselves out. Every time the thought crossed my mind though the memories of her would come flooding back. The body on the floor had seemed so small and ordinary compared to the familiar woman I had hardly known. so very, very ordinary.

          My mind went back to that first sight of her. How alive she had seemed; so fragile, so delicate but so defiant, so full of life. I remembered the way she had tossed her head, making her blonde hear fly; how her eyes had bored deep into my shabby soul and the sweet floral scent of her as she had brushed past me that first night.

          It was then that I knew what had to be done.

          **

          I got to Morgan’s place at around eleven, rain soaked and angry. My mood had worsened during the walk over and I wasn’t really sure what I was capable of anymore.

          Walking straight up to the door I pounded hard on the dark wood, water streaming down my face as I waited for an answer. It only took a few minutes for the door to open slightly and even less time for me to make sure it opened a whole lot wider, forcing my way in past the startled form of Elizabeth Connor.

          “Where is he?” I growled.

          “In the study, but you can’t, I mean he won’t…”

          I marched off before she could finish the sentence, leaving her to trail in my wake. Following the same route as before I found myself back in the room with desk, but this time there was a different figure behind it, one whose face was echoed in the painting above him. He was holding something in his hands, and it was pointed at me.

          “No sudden movements please this crossbow holds a wooden dart and the laser sight means that I’m unlikely to miss.”

          I looked down and saw a red dot wavering slightly over my chest. The guy was serious.

          “Now, I suggest you tell me who and what you are and exactly what you mean by bursting into my home in such a rude fashion.”

          I took a seat in a high backed leather chair, the red dot following my every movement; my eyes not leaving his for a second.

          “My name is Angel, I’m a vampire.” I said watching his face. “and I came to return something that belongs to you.”

          I pulled my coat open slightly and flashed him a questioning look.

          “Slow and easy.” he commanded, eyes watchful, but interested.

          Carefully I reached into my inside pocket and pulled out a small golden object, tossing it gently on to the desk. Morgan flashed a downward glance at it before quickly returning his attention to me. Behind me I heard the door close quietly as the Connor broad entered the room.

          “It seems to be a cigarette lighter.” He said in an even measured tone, the guy was cool alright.

          “That’s because it is.” I replied. “It also has the initials S.M engraved on the front which the way i see it, might just make it yours.”

          “Interesting” he said “And can I ask where exactly you found this particular item.”

          “It was lying on an apartment floor next to the mutilated body of a dame.” I replied. “A body that looked to have been killed in the kind of magical ritual I’m told you need to perform to keep your pet demon sweet.”

          Morgan leaned back in his chair slightly. Not letting the crossbow leave me for a second. His face was a study in stillness, not giving anything away. The guy would make one hell of a poker player.

          After a few seconds of silence he leaned forward again, looking directly in to my eyes.

          “What if I were to tell you, Mr Angel.” he said. “that I don’t need to make such a clumsy sacrifice to maintain my gifts, that my patron is satisfied with a different type of offering.”

          “Go on.” I said, curious.

          He took a few seconds to reply, choosing his words with care. “I use my powers to help the aspiring actors and jaded socialites of this town to get ahead. To give them the edge that they need to find success and popularity and then to hold on to it and of course I charge handsomely for my services. ” He waived a hand indicating the room around us. “As you can see Mr Angel, I make more than enough money to live very comfortably indeed: but money isn’t all that I take from my customers.”

          He definitely had my attention now.

          “Each and every time I supply my services to one of my customers, the magic takes a piece of their soul.” He caught my look. “Oh not a big piece Mr Angel, just the merest shade of a sliver. Hardly anything worth noticing really but together they form more than enough to satisfy my patrons hunger.” He smiled thinly. “Especially considering repeat business.”

          “So you’re asking me to believe that you have never heard of Lucy Hammett, is that it? That there’s no blood on those manicured hands of yours?”

          “I suppose I am Mr Angel.” he gave me a look filled with ironic amusement. “and do you?”

          I gave him a long hard look, hating him with everything I had.

          “Yes” I said.

          **

          A stunned silence greeted this single word. Morgan seemed to be genuinely thrown for the first time.

          “You see something bothered me about this whole business right from the start.” I explained “There was something wrong, something I didn't quite buy. It wasn’t until tonight that I knew what that something was”

          I rose from my seat and walked over to the window, looking out at the savage rain.

          “The whole thing was too pat. The body, The ceremonial stuff, The lighter; it all added up just a little too well. Then there was the room itself. Lots of blood, almost too much blood but not a stick of furniture out of place, not a single sign of a struggle.”

          Turning back towards Morgan I met his curious eyes.

          “I think the girl I knew would have fought you till her last breath.”

          “So you think I was set up?” Morgan asked “who by?”

          “By someone who knew how to get at you, someone who knew how to find me and someone who would gain if you bought it.” I thrust my arm out accusingly. “someone like Elizabeth Connor.”

          “Me?” she laughed from her seat at the back of the room. “but I only met you last night. How could I have had anything to do with it?”

          “That’s true isn't it? we did only meet last night. And yet you called Lucy Hammett a ‘blonde bimbo’” I turned towards her. “I’m pretty sure I never once mentioned the colour of her hair but somehow you knew. How?”

          “I must have, I don’t know... guessed or assumed or something” she said it a little too quickly, her expression just a little wild. Quickly regaining her composure, she added. “But I can tell you that I never met this Lucy Hammett and I certainly didn’t kill her.”

          “It would have been kinda tough.” I agreed. “given that Lucy Hammett never existed.”

          **

          She sat there, frozen in place, looking at me in stunned horror.

          “When I came here last night you showed me a trick” I continued “changing the colour of your hair with magic. Borrowed magic you said, given to you by Morgan”

          Morgan nodded at this, unable to speak

          “You told me then that you could do more; that that was just the tip of the iceberg and I think you were telling the truth. I think that you came looking for me deliberately, that somehow you got into my mind.”

          “Possible.” muttered Morgan thoughtfully.

          “And I think that you used that magic to transform yourself into someone you knew I would be vulnerable to. Someone that would dredge up memories of a lady I used to know.” I paused slightly as the pain of the thought rushed through me. “It worked pretty darn well too. But there was just one thing you didn’t figure on. You sure dressed the part as Lucy and the perfume you chose for her was perfect, but it takes more than a couple of showers for a vampire not to be able to catch the same scent only twenty four hours later.”

          She gave me a hate filled look “And why pray tell, would I go to such extraordinary lengths to kill my employer.”

          “Because it was the only way for you to get your hands on all this.” I said spreading my arms “the business, the magic, the power.”

          I walked slowly towards her, until I was staring her straight in the face.

          “Yeah, the power. It must be hell being so close to it. Getting to use it, to borrow it, but never to own it. I’m guessing that you decided to cut out the middle man, to go straight to the source. You made a deal with the same devil Morgan did and the price for his power was his head.”

          “But... what about the body?” Morgan asked with a puzzled frown.

          “Oh yeah.” I replied, keeping my eyes on the dame. “The headless corpse in a room dripping in blood. I figure she was gambling on the blood being enough to stop me looking at that body too closely. Of course with no head it would be pretty hard to identify either way.”

          Morgan nodded slowly. “Yeah, I get that. But... whose body was it?”

          “Well I guess there’s only one person that can tell us that.” I said, my eyes not leaving the connor dame. “but whoever she was she’s dead now and the fact that we don’t know her name doesn’t make that death any less important; or any less sad.”

          I moved my face even closer to the Connor broad, until I could feel her breath on my face. “You used me lady. You tried to make me into your assassin by making my cold, dead heart feel things I thought I’d left behind me, things I came here to forget; and you took a young woman’s life in order to do it. I should kill you for that”

          A brief hope flared in her eyes.

          “But the way i see it there’s going to be one seriously unhappy demon looking to get even with you.” I said flashing her a brief, vicious smile “So killing you now might just be an unnecessary kindness.”

          I turned back to Morgan who looked deflated, lost, over taken by events he didn’t understand.

          “As for you Mr Morgan I would seriously consider getting out of the magic business, It could be bad for your health. I know where you live and I know how to get at you. Don’t ever forget that.”

          He raised his face, shaking himself out of his reverie. “Thank you Mr Angel.”

          “I don’t want your dirty gratitude Morgan” I said

          I headed for the door pausing as I reached it, my hand on the handle. “And the names Angel, just Angel.”

          And with that I was gone.

          **

          I walked home slowly in the pouring rain, trying to wash the grubby sins of this dirty city off me. Maybe I’d been too easy with Morgan. Connor was in for a world of pain of that I was certain but Morgan, well he’d built a fortune on the unhappiness of others and even if I did force him out of the game he was still getting off way too easy. I could have killed him tonight, killed them both, fast and easy. That’s not who I am though, not any more.

          A life had already been lost, a nameless life that might never get missed and part of that was down to me, but a face would stay with me nonetheless. A face would get added to the gallery of guilt that haunted my dreams, the soft, sweet face of a girl that never existed.

          I sighed heavily; looking up into the rain filled skies and lifted my collar. Maybe Morgan and the city deserved each other in some way, perhaps he was just a symptom of a bigger disease. But I'm no philosopher, all I knew was that I was too tired and too wet to even try to solve the problems of this crazy, messed up world.

          Besides... I don’t get involved.

          THE END
          Last edited by tangent; 12-03-09, 10:48 PM.
          JUST ENOUGH KILL

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