The Vulnerability of Faith


by Demona


Location: Remains of the former United States of America,
California Island

I stand in the pouring rain. It falls down steadily around me, my clothes are soaking wet and my hair is plastered to my face. I look down at the grave in front of me. The flowers I had there are now covered in mud because I have been standing here staring at this grave for hours, since dawn had broken through the night. I have come here every year and stood for a day to honor and remember those who were responsible for getting me here to this day. I slowly sucked in a deep breath, as I looked skyward. I sighed heavily again and as like every year prior to this I thought back to why I was standing here. The memories flooded my senses and they consumed me before I could stop them. I had no choice but to relive my past once again.

**********

LA Summer 2000

"I'd like to make a confession," I told the blonde cop as she came into the station with Angel in handcuffs. I was placed into a cell to await my trial and my sentencing. I sat alone in that jail cell, leaning back against the wall as everything I had ever done wrong was slowly coming back to me.
Elsewhere Wesley and Angel talked as I settle into my cell.
"I hope she is strong enough to make it. Peace is not an easy thing to find," Wesley says to Angel.
"She has a chance," Angel responds.
I closed my eyes.

**********

Peace. Peace was all I had ever wanted. I was finally alone with my memories and finally alone to figure out where exactly I had gone wrong. I had wanted this, I had asked for this, so why was it harder than I thought that it would be? I used to give Angel such hell for being "soul boy" but he had it harder than anyone of us. He lives each day knowing what destruction he caused and yet each day he makes it through to see the next night knowing that he was the cause of so many innocent deaths. I only killed a few, nothing compared to the numbers Angelus had done, but one or a million, the guilt is still there. I took a human life and I reveled in it. I got off on killing, I told B that once before, but I never thought that it would apply to a human being. So I sit and relive each experience of every person I have beaten, tortured, and ultimately killed, everyday as I sit in this cell. Sometimes I just want to escape and go back to the way it was before I let Angel talk some sense in me – it was simpler then. But then Angel comes to visit me and all those thoughts of fleeing leave my mind. I concentrate on everything he has to say to me. I memorize the entire conversation so I can replay it over and over again when I need that extra strength that I have yet to find in myself. I walk away from every meeting with Angel feeling stronger than the last. I realize now as I sit in my cell that I am finally healing, finally acknowledging and accepting what I did, and I think that I might actually have a chance at redemption.

**********

LA Spring 2001

Angel had better pray that he is dead or else when I get my hands on him he is going to wish it with everything he has in him. He hasn't been in to see me in months now. I have no idea what I did to him for him to decide not to come back. The last time he came in here he was telling me how he was singing karaoke, "Mandy" of all songs, so some fortune teller type demon could tell him his future. I personally found Angel singing "Mandy" beyond amusing, but I give it to him. He does what he has to do to make sure that he gets the job done. He has some of the biggest balls that I know of. I wish someone would come in to visit. In the future I need to be more careful what I ask for.

**********

A week later….

I was told that I had a visitor and my heart started fluttering and I was actually getting nervous and excited. I thought that it would be Angel coming to see me finally. I was really looking forward to seeing the guy. I mean, after the initial "hey you came back to me" I was going to chew him out thoroughly for leaving me in this hell-hole for months on end. I almost lost it a few times, but he was the one to keep me going through it. I knew that he would never give up on his fight for redemption. I knew he was the reliable one – the rock I could always have for support. I walked out to the visitor room and looked around immediately for the vampire that was my savior of sorts. I didn't see him at all. In fact my gaze finally rested on Cordelia of all people. She was wearing minimal makeup, jeans and a tank top. She looked good and like any normal teen until you looked into her eyes – her eyes betrayed all the violence and terror she had been forced to live through. I couldn't hold her gaze so I looked away. I still felt horrible for hitting her and even though I had apologized many times and she had claimed to forgive me I still felt bad – a feeling I definitely wasn't used to. I sat down opposite her at the table. I placed my hands, secured in handcuffs, on top of the table, lacing my fingers together, trying to look as unthreatening as possible.

"Angel hasn't come by recently has he?" Cordelia asked me, and my eyes shot up to lock with hers. She knew? Angel promised me that no one knew about me. I debated lying or just going with the truth. Did I really want to start my relationship with Cordelia off with lies again?

"No, he hasn't. It was months ago when he came by last. He mentioned something about having to go to a karaoke bar and sing for a demon; 'Mandy' was the song," I answered honestly. She shook her short hair and frowned.

"Damn it. I thought he would at least keep contact with you. I mean you know him better than the rest of us will ever hope to know him. You know what he had done and he knows what you have done. I honestly can't say I can do that with him or you even. Anyhow, I am getting sidetracked from my questions."

"Wouldn't want to do that now would we?" I cattily asked her and to my amazement she actually laughed.

"Always the hard-ass. I mean it doesn't faze you that you are in shackles and in jail with tons of guards surrounding us. You still have to be you. I thought that perhaps you would be like totally different when you came out of here, but I'm kinda relieved that you haven't lost your edge. You will need that to get by in this city, when you get out."

"Yeah. Faith the hard-ass." I softly said and looked away from her. She reached across the table and touched my hands gently. I pulled them away quickly and looked up at her in shock.

"He hasn't come has he?" She asked me again, holding my eyes with hers.

"No, Cordelia I haven't seen him in months. I think that I am going to go insane if I have to be in here much longer without being able to talk to him. He is like my sanity, my Yoda, I think."

"Well I would consider finding another one. He isn't going to be coming around if you haven't seen him in the past months. He is a little crazy right now. He has his sights set on destroying Drusilla, Darla, and Wolfrman &Hart," Cordelia said to me. I was shocked.

"Darla is alive? I thought that he staked her back in the days when he first met B!" I exclaimed.

"Yeah, well we thought that once you staked a vamp they were dead for good, but W&H cooked up some evil and out came a human Darla. Dru just changed her back to a vampire a few months ago," Cordelia told me.

"Damn I didn't even hear about that at all. Yikes. I think I need to start paying more attention to the talk that goes on in here. So what is Angel Investigations doing about it?" I asked her.

"Well Angel Investigations sans Angel is currently doing nothing about the Darla and Dru problem at the moment. Angel fired us about a month after you last saw him and then disappeared off the radar. And we are missing him sorely. We weren't made to be beaten around like rag dolls. We are human, we bleed, and it sucks." Cordelia said to me angrily.

"I'm sorry he left you too," I told her after a minute or so of silence.

"Are you?"

"Yes, I really am," I answered. It was the truth because I was truly sorry for so much besides Angel leaving. I was sorry for everything bad I had ever done and I was sorry about my past experiences with Cordelia and Wes.

"Oh…well that is good. I'm sorry too that he left you in here all alone. It must suck."

"You have no idea."

"I can imagine," Cordelia answered. The guard came over to us and told her that time was up.

"I'll come back next week Faith, if you want," Cordelia told me after she rose to her feet.

"I'd like that a lot Cordelia," I honestly answered.

"I'll see you then," Cordelia said.

"Bye," I called to her retreating figure. I had no idea she was going to reenter my life and be my friend, but I was certainly looking forward to it.

**********

Cordelia came back once a week to visit me. Sometimes she would just come and sit, sometimes she would talk about what I wanted, and sometimes she would tell me about the shit she went through. It was a few months after she had originally started coming when I decided that I would ask. She came into the visiting room that day looking horrible. She had bruises covering the entire left side of her face and her left arm immobile in a sling. She eased down in the chair gently and I looked on in wonder.

"So, what demon did you meet up with this time?" I asked her, anticipating the horror story she would share with me.

"Danny. My ex," she admitted softly while not making eye contact with me. Rage boiled inside me. "Calm down Faith – it is ok – believe me. I realize he is bad for me and Wesley beat the hell out of him."

"Wes? He finally got some stones?" I asked in amazement. She glared at me.

"We've all had to get past our fears Faith. We all do battle now that Angel has abandoned us," Cordelia harshly snapped. I was surprised at her outburst. I quickly adverted my eyes to look out the window next to our table. "Look, today isn't my day. I'm gonna go. I just stopped by to make sure that you didn't think that you were getting stood up by me," she told me rising to her feet. I rose with her.

"Cordelia, I'm sorry. I just…I shouldn't have made that crack about Wesley. Please stay," I quietly begged her. I made eye contact allowing her to see that I was truly sorry.

"I'll sit here for awhile with you, ok?" Cordelia finally answered me.

"Cordelia – I know today probably isn't the best time – but I need a huge favor," I honestly told her. She raised an eyebrow at me.

"Yeah?" She asked me while looking at me the whole time. I leaned forward across the table towards her.

"I want out," I whispered to her very softly.

"Why?" She asked me warily. She watched my face the entire time.

"You have told me for the last few months that Angel has had every opportunity to kill Darla and Dru and he hasn't. They have been killing innocent people left and right. You told me yourself. Even if you didn't bother to tell me then I would have found out. Things from the streets travel fast in here. We know about the shit that goes down on the streets almost immediately after it happens. I know that they are getting stronger, killing people, and I know that Angel has done nothing about them. You and your team certainly aren't capable of taking down two very powerful vampires that you can't even locate. It is a foul-proof plan Cordelia. Get me out and I slay. Simple."

"No."

"Why not?" I snapped at her starting to get angry.

"Because I trust you in here, Faith, but I'm not positively sure you are better. I'm not sure that you are ready to be released and turned loose on LA's general public."

"Well then I get counseling out of jail. Twice a week – one private one on one and one group meeting," I told her as my bargaining chip.

"Let me discuss this with Wes and Gunn. I'll get back to you next week."

"Ok," I answered exhaling deeply.

"How do you plan on me getting you out Faith?"

"Kate."

"It won't work. We don't speak."

"Start."

"She hates me, us, Faith."

"Well you tell her you want me out. If she doesn't agree than tell her that you have information on her from regarding a file from the 32nd. Tell her you want me out and for her to be my probation officer. I know that she will find a way to get me out of this conviction. I know that she knows people. I even know how she can get her job as Detective back if she just helps me get out of here. "

"A file from the 32nd? You want me to blackmail a cop? How did you know that she got transferred to probation?"

"I told you Cordelia. You find out things as soon as they happen on the street in here. I know her superiors thought she was dealing with the freaky cases a little too often and I know that because of her father's reputation they simply transferred her with a month's suspension before that."

"Why do you really want out Faith?" Cordelia asked me, looking me in the eye.

"I've done my time in here. And besides it seems like you have a slight vampire problem you are having trouble dealing with. You want Darla and Dru dead for good? I'm the girl for the job. You want Angel back in Angel Investigations then I'm also the girl. Get me out and I'll make sure everything comes true that I promise."

"I'm just supposed to trust you because you have been in jail getting 'help' for a few months?"

"I have been in here for a fucking year Cordelia. A year. I am going to go insane if I don't get out of here soon. This isn't the place for a Slayer. I may be a little psycho and crazy, but I don't even belong in here. Help me Cordelia. Help me out here, I am asking for your help. I'm asking for you to trust me and to allow me to rebuild that trust that I destroyed years ago. Please Cordelia," I begged her.

"I'll talk to Gunn and Wes and get back to you in a week. Be cool – I'll see you then," she told me, abruptly stood and left me all alone at the table.

**********

After she left me Cordelia went and talked with Gunn and Wes. After a heated discussion for several hours over the pros and cons of having me released into society they finally decided that allowing me to be released to kill Darla and Dru would be the best option they had. I was the only one that could do it because I was the Slayer. Buffy refused to come up to LA because she said it was Angel's city and she had been told more than once that it wasn't her hunting ground. Angel was, of course, MIA still and none of his former employees knew his whereabouts or what his current mindset was. Cordelia went the following night, after their group decision, over to Kate's apartment to inform her of what she was going to be doing over the next few weeks. Cordelia held her own against Kate's wit and remarks and convinced Kate it was for her own personal benefit just to go along with everything that was being asked of her. Kate was completely shocked at Cordelia's threat and blackmail, but ultimately did as she was suggested to do. She agreed to pull every string she could and have me out as soon as possible.

Cordelia returned the next week at her normal visiting hour to see me and update me on everything. I sat there at the table completely nervous. Butterflies were dancing around in my stomach and I felt a little dizzy. My fate and future were on the line. It was going to be decided by the woman that was currently flirting with one of the guards who was checking her in before she came over to tell me. She looked better than she had a week ago; the bruising going down and her arm was out of the sling. She finally walked over to me and sat down across from me. I took a deep breath and looked up at her. She smiled. I felt all the dizziness and butterflies go away – I was getting my "get out jail free" card soon.

"Kate is working on it as we speak," Cordelia simply said to me. I just smiled at her. I reached across the table and touched her hand gently. "I'm not sure that you are going to like how long it could take a month, several months, or even a year, but you will be getting out soon. Kate is pulling every string that she can to get you out as soon as she can. But she isn't a miracle worker. I'm not guaranteeing anything but I am just saying that she is getting on it."

"Thank you. You won't regret this," I told her, honestly.

"Yeah, you keep saying that and I still have a bad feeling about this Faith."

We talked for the remainder of the hour. She told me that Kate was going along completely with everything that she had told her to do. The plan was once Kate got me out of jail that I was going to be living in Cordelia's house. I was free to live there as long as I wanted to I just had to follow her rules. I was ok with that. Kate had given Cordelia the list of meetings in the area and had found a private shrink for me to go to. I really wasn't too thrilled about having to go to meetings but anything was better than jail at this point. Gunn and Wes were currently using every contact that they had to figure out where Darla and Dru were currently residing. The plan after they were found was simple. I slay.

**********

Kate pulled every string that she had and some that she had to threaten to get. She got me out a month after her initial meeting with Cordelia. She got me off just like I said she could. I got my connections that I thought were long dead with the Mayor through a block mate in jail. The girl was dating one of the Mayor's crew before she got put it. She got in touch with him and he found someone else to throw the blame of the murders on. I got out because of *good behavior* from the assault charges from the guy at the bus station a year ago.

I have to admit that I was definitely impressed. So as it also turned out Kate managed to make herself my probation officer. She was going to be in charge of me when I got out, and if I fucked up again then I was going back in even she couldn't get me out again. Cordelia was generous when she helped me settle into the house. They picked me up from the jail and Cordelia brought me a new outfit to put on once I got released. It was way too nice of her. She even bought me leather in my size; I was impressed. Gunn drove his truck to come get me with Cordelia. All three of us got in there and he parked outside of Cordelia's apartment building.

"This is it Faith. Get out," Cordelia said and I grabbed my jacket and jumped out of the truck. All my worldly possessions were on my body. "We are going shopping with Kate, Wes, and Gunn tomorrow ok? We have budgeted a little money at Angel Investigations for our newest employee. So we are going to get you some things, you know clothes, makeup, and just stuff in general. It is all what you want tomorrow Faith, of course, within reason, we are by no means rich," Cordelia said to me.

"You don't have to do this," I told her.

"Yeah we do. Besides I am doing this for my own benefit as much as yours. I don't want you all stinky and skanky in my house," Cordelia admitted with a smile and I laughed at her.

"Glad to know you were really not doing this for me all along," I told her and she unlocked the door to her apartment.

"Phantom Dennis I would like you to meet Faith. She is cool this time please remember that. She is going to be living here with us for awhile until we are sure that she isn't all crazy anymore or until she finds her own place…whichever comes first," Cordelia said to her 'ghost' and I just took a deep breath. The 'ghost' had really tried to kill me the last time I was here. Fortunately for me, he didn't. There was no flying furniture so I figured that he was ok with me being in the apartment, this time.

"Let me show you your room, follow me," Cordelia said and I just stood there in shock. "Come on Faith. Yes, you have a bedroom. I'm not going to make you sleep standing up in the closet or anything. Come on," she said and led me down the hall to my room. She pushed open the door and led me inside. The bedroom was great, it was a simple little quaint bedroom, and the best part was that it was all mine. I looked at her after I got done looking over the room. She was leaning against the doorframe watching me with an amused smile on her face. I walked over to her and pulled her into a hug.

"Thank you Cordelia. This is the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for me," I told her honestly. She hugged me back and just said everything was cool.

She took me shopping with Gunn the following day. It was nice to get out and be outside of the jail and outside of a small cell with bars to look out through. I didn't buy very much, however, I was tempted to steal things but Cordelia kept her eye on me. She bought me clothes for about a week, mostly jeans that I could re-wear and a few shirts, bras, underwear, the basics.

**********

Over the next week that I was living in her apartment we became closer than we were when she would come to visit me in jail. I was really happy with where the friendship was going. I also spent hours training at Gunn's place because he had a workout area whereas Cordelia and Wes didn't. I trained every day preparing for the time when I would meet up with Darla and Dru. I needed to make sure that I was ready for battle with them and prepared to die as well. Mentally preparing oneself for death was not an easy task to do. Wesley and Gunn were still using every resource they had to find out where Darla and Dru were staying and if they were planning anything big in the near future. I was out every night beating the shit out of every demon that I came in contact with. It was good for me because it got me back in shape with fighting demons, which I would need to take Darla and Dru.

I found out through a vampire that Darla and Drusilla were throwing a big party to honor a new arrival to their team. I decided this was the perfect time to attack. We got everything ready to make our attack and we mapped out our plan of action. The night that the fight happened, as we left Cordelia's apartment to meet up Wes and Gunn in Gunn's truck, I left a simple note for Cordelia on my pillow: "Cordy-I'm sorry, forgive me – Faith." I walked out of that apartment knowing that it would be the last time. Cordelia shut the door behind us and locked it; the sound of the door slamming shut and the key turning the lock rang through the stone hallway with finality. We walked downstairs to the truck. I was silent the whole time, running over the possible outcomes of tonight. I had my whole plan mapped out in my head; I just had to implement.

We arrived at the warehouse 15 minutes after leaving Cordelia's apartment. I led Cordelia, Wesley, and Gunn into where Darla and Dru were holding a bunch of humans captive before they were killed in the big party that was supposed to go down a little later on that night. I walked in, kicking in the side door, with total confidence over what I was about to pull off.

"Hello ladies," I said out loud to the vampires that stared at me in complete shock. "What…isn't this the all you can eat human buffet all the demons have been raving about?" I asked because of their shock. Darla remained confused while Drusilla stepped forward towards us, towards me.

"Dru get back here that is a Slayer," Darla hissed at her.

"Its all right Grandmum…this one is a naughty like us," Dru cooed and my smile grew across my face.

"That's right Dru. I'm Faith, the *renegade* Slayer," I told her as I stepped in front of the group towards Dru.

"Faith?" Cordelia asked, confusion evident in her voice. I took a deep breath and slipped a cold mask over my face before I turned around to face her.

"Yeah Cordy?" I asked coldly.

"What's going on?" She asked, betrayal evident across her face. I hoped that someday she would forgive me for what I was about to do. I punched her in the face hard. Her head snapped back quickly causing her to lose her balance. Gunn reached out to catch her before she fell.

"Change of plan gentlemen. I decided to bat for the winning team this time. I suggest you leave because I'm not going to be so nice next time we meet," I informed them. Shock and horror were visible on their faces.

"Grandmum, we have a new black princess coming to play. Can I keep her?" Dru cooed to Darla excitedly.

"We aren't through Faith," Wesley said as Gunn carried Cordelia out of the warehouse.

"Count on it Wes. I can't wait to see you again. Perhaps pick up where we left off last time?" I asked him. His eyes were the only things that betrayed his fear to me. Dru however.

"Little drummer boy beats faster and faster – I am getting all dizzy from the thumping," Dru said. Wes left and I was finally alone with the vampiresses.

"So you have come to play huh?" Darla asked me.

"Oh yes Darla, I've come to play. So do I just get to join the tea party you are throwing here or what?" I questioned. She began to circle around me.

"What makes you think that I'll let you in and that I believe you are really here to join us?"

"Well for starters Dru sees things. Ask her if she sees me as a traitor," I suggested.

"We already knew you were coming to us Faith. We played the shocked role well, didn't we? Dru already saw her "little black princess" as she calls you, coming into the fold. So, my only thought was why? Why us Faith? Why come to us? Last I heard you were living in jail after you confessed to murder, after Angel saved you. Why now; why us?"

"I heard you were the new big thing. I thought that I would come to you to see if you wanted another person beside you. But if you don't want me then you can be against me. I'll form my own gang here. Only one of us can rule this town if it comes down to that. I think we both know that I am that person," I told her honestly. "I like to be the center of attention Darla. So you either have a position for me or you don't. Decide," I told her and locked eyes with her, spinning with her as she walked around me. "Besides I'm always going to be Buffy's shadow, never able to compare to her at all. So hell, fuck it, bad is just much better anyway." Darla stopped circling in front of me and got in my face.

"Well then my dear I have a mission for you before you are fully a member. Call it initiation."

"Lets have it Darla," I challenged her, smirking slightly.

"Kill any one of them. No neck snapping either. I wanna witness a bloody gruesome death," she told me. I froze and couldn't swallow or breathe.

"Any one of them?" I asked after I got my voice back. I swallowed hard to keep from throwing up at the thought of killing someone again. I thought I was ready for this but I suddenly wasn't sure.

"Yeah any of them. I heard you do beautiful work," I nodded slowly. I reached down and pulled my knife out of its ankle sheath. I took deep breath and again swallowed heavily. "What's the matter Faith? Forgot how to do it?" Darla taunted me.

"No Darla, you don't forget how to kill someone. It isn't like the spelling list in the third grade. Killing is an art form, you never forget what it's like to kill someone – ever!" I snapped at her. I walked up the first guy.

"Good Faith for a second there I had my doubts about you!" Darla voice mocked me.

"Stand up!" I instructed him angrily. He stood up, shaking visibly. I looked him over and saw fear in his eyes. I could practically feel and breathe in his fear. I took another deep breath and exhaled slowly. "You know Darla I'm really beginning to think I can't do this," I told her spinning slightly to face her. She looked pissed and a little too smug about my inability to do this. But confusion was visible on her face when my face lit up in an evil smirk. "Then again," I said as I spun back around and embedded my knife in the man's throat. After I pulled it out he grabbed his neck in shock and fell to the floor. He began his slow, painful journey into death as he chocked on his own blood. "Just kidding D, it's great to be back. You can't get rid of me that easily," I laughed and bent down to wipe the blood off the blade on the dying man's pants leg. I wanted to throw up and kill myself for killing that man but I held it in, deep inside of me where Dru couldn't uncover it. The sound of clapping brought me back to reality. I looked up to see Darla clapping as she walked over to me.

"Well done Faith. I was really wondering about you though. Even though Dru had this wonderful vision of you joining our team I really wasn't sure about it. I'm glad that you were able to alleviate my doubts."

"By killing one human you think that I could be evil like you? You think you know me well enough by one test to know that I'm not going to betray you still?"

"I know you Faith. I know how your face just looked in anticipation of the kill. The reluctance of wasting a human life, but you got off on it. You and me are a lot alike Faith." It was too familiar for me. Angel had said the same things to me when he was trying to save me from the darkness. She was saying the same thing to save me from the light.

"How so Darla?"

"We're evil," she said simply and I forced a slow smile to my face.

"I guess we are alike Darla, cause you are right I got off on that," I told her. Dru was beaming and looked like a giddy schoolgirl.

"Good Faith, good."

"So I heard this was supposed to be a banging party! Where are all the guests?" I asked to get away from the issue at hand. Darla laughed and then smiled at me.

"They are due to arrive now actually. You will join us then? You, my dear, are the honored guest for this occasion. I threw the party for you because Dru knew you were coming to us. I just had to be sure you were really in before you get to have your cake and eat it to." I smiled in response and bowed my head in a short nod of acceptance.

The doors suddenly flew open behind me and I spun around with my knife poised for battle. I made myself relax and slide the knife back into the sheath around my ankle. The group that came to the feast was a large one. Mixed demons, vampires, etc. were all here. Darla instructed them to all "dig in". They all happily feasted on humans while I stood on the outskirts of the blood bath and just simply watched, committing it all to memory. Darla called their attention after most of the humans were dead.

"We have some rather important and exciting news. I would like to introduce everyone here tonight to the newest member of my elite crew. She is now one of my family. This is Faith, learn her face, protect her, die for her because she is now one of your superiors," Darla said to them and slipped her arm around my waist and pulled me in close to her. I relaxed in the embrace and melted to her side to show that I had no fear and was completely comfortable with her.

"You are aware that she is human correct?" One demon yelled out creating a disturbance in the crowd below me.

"Yeah and I'm sure that she will have no problem fitting with us. She was meant to lead and meant for battle so where else should she be?" Darla defended me.

"She is a Slayer," a vampire yelled from the floor and a complete hush fell over the crowd of demons.

"So? Does it look like she is slaying any of us right now?" Darla challenged him. "You will look up to her and respect everything that she says. Cross her and she will kill you. I have no problem with her going through here and getting rid of the weak links. She is my equal now, treat her according," Darla instructed them.

"I don't take orders from a Slayer," one demon said and others started to join in with their own comments. I grabbed the knife out of my ankle sheath and threw it at the demon that had just made a comment about taking orders from me. The knife landed right between his eyes and he pitched backwards to the floor, dead. Everyone moved and left a circle around him, silently looking up at me.

"Anyone else have any comments about me? We can do this the hard way if you want. I'm flexible. Either you are with me or you are against me. I don't care either way," I finally said. No one else commented at all after that. I jumped off the stage that we were standing on. The demons parted so that I could walk where I wanted without running into them. I walked to the dead demon on the floor and pulled the knife out of his head. I wiped the blade off on his shirt and placed it back in my sheath. "Good, now someone needs to take care of his body. I don't want anyone to find him," I told them and no one moved. "I said I wanted it done…that means now," I told them. About 5 demons scrambled forward to grab his body and carry him outside to take care of him. I walked back to the stage and hopped up there. Darla was grinning at me.

"Well done Faith. I have to say that I'm impressed." Darla told me beaming. Drusilla came up behind me and wrapped her arms around my waist and rested her head on my shoulder. She kissed my shoulder gently and rubbed her face against my neck.

"My princess is very naughty. She won't stand for insolence in her group. Everyone must respect my black princess or else she will kill you all," Dru preached to the crowd below her. They all were silent, still afraid to say anything.

"All right this party is over. I just wanted you to all know that Faith is one of us now. Respect her and pass that information around the underground chain. I don't want any demons coming after her. If anyone comes after her then will have to deal with Dru and me as well, understood?" Darla instructed and everyone agreed and then departed.

I was one of them now. I hunted with them; I became their equal partner in everything. Each day I spent with them I felt my control slipping further and further away from me. Killing and wreaking havoc with Darla and Dru felt too familiar. Every murder I committed I slid further away from humanity. In the beginning I had to originally guard my thoughts from Dru because of her psychic abilities but at the end I didn't even have to guard them. My thoughts were their thoughts.


Continued