Drink Me

by John Cope

Part 25

Just as their late and unlamented informant had told them Bakull's Mansion was impossible to miss. It was a grand three storied structure that had obviously been substituted for a mountain top. Several acres of land had been fenced off around it. The vampires, their vehicle lights extinguished, pulled off the road 500 meters from the complexes gates.

Browne was out of the van straight away peering up the road. There was no mad scramble of guards so he assumed they were unseen. Spike joined him and they moved back from the road.

"Looks to me like there's at least six blokes on the gate tonight, no way in there." Browne pointed up the slope. "So we climb, and finds ourselves a way through the fence."

"We have to be quick about this mate, Buffy won't be in LA much longer, we 'aint got the time to hoof it there and back." Spike looked at his watch. "We got seven hours of darkness left as it is."

"We walks up, we drive back shootin'." Browne eyed his new compatriot up and down. "You ever soldiered?"

"No, but I've had to use a gun from time to time."

"Good," hastily the vetala threw open the vans doors. "Pick yourself out one then."

The stench was gagging, flies had got in and been feeding on the blood. "Hell mate, 'ave you been slaugterin' pigs in there?"

"Sort of," Browne intended to drive down in a new car so he could ditch the bloodstained vehicle he currently owned. "Hurry up mate."

Picking up the most substantial piece Spike tried it for balance. "I'll take this, if it's alright by you."

"Heckler and Koch, good gun." Browne handed the blond an outsized pistol with a huge silencer attachment. "Take this Ingram to, well 'ave to start off quiet."

A haversack was thrown at Spike next, it rattled. "Your ammo, straight clips for the Ingram." He handed over a half dozen more. "Curved clips for the H and K, their taped in two's, empty, eject, turn em round and reload."

Then Browne picked up two Uzi's and slung them around his body, then another Ingram. "Come on then mate, lots to do."

They climbed silently, there was a path but they did not walk it, keeping instead to the trees on one side. The going was rough but both vampires were motivated and moved quickly. Then they reached the fence.

The velata picked up a stone and threw it forward, no sparks flew. Carefully he studied the fence to left and right. "No electricity, no cameras, guess the bloke must have put the fear of god into the opposition so bad 'e don't worry about intruders much anymore. We'll make 'im regret that."

"How many guys we expecting," Spike had a gnawing feeling in the pit of his stomach, he had a reason to live, he'd begun to suspect that Browne didn't. "We can't take on an army."

"We won't," from his pocket the velata produced a small pair of insulated wire cutters. "We take's em out one or two at a time, and that way the only time we 'as to face em in numbers is when we're leaving, an that'll be down 'ill in the fastest car we can find."

Preparing to cut the wire Browne gave Spike a not particulary sane grin. "If I goes up in a shower of blue sparks you'll 'ave to try the gate, mate."

"Poetry at a time like this," Spike shook his head. "Either your mad or I am, get on with it."

The wire cutters snapped away, the fence wasn't electrified. Probably to many wild animals around to make electrification practical. Working swiftly and taking it in turns to cut the vamps soon had a hole big enough to crawl through.

Browne led off, gun at the ready, the slope was a little less steep here and the two vampires jogged up it. Twice at Browne's held up hand the two dropped to the ground as patrols passed in the distance, mortals only though, the vampires were probably closer to Bakull.

Then the white walls of the house came into sight.

Crouching at the edge of the woodland Browne whispered to Spike. "Use the suppressor for as long as you can, single shots so you don't burn it out. Aim for the heart on 'umans, 'ead on vamps, stake em if you got the time. Don't whatever you do kill Bakull, we needs 'im to tell us were the girl is. We got the 'ard part now, when I says go, we run for the wall, if they see us coming we're dead."

"I thought I already was." Spike got ready, he had a firm two handed grip on the Ingram and the other machine gun was tightly slung over his back. "Lets do it."

"Shabash bahadur, come on." They sprang forward running as low and as silent as they could. No gunshots, no shouts, no alarm bells. They hit the base of the houses wall together. "Either 'e knows we're coming and 'e wants us inside, or 'e's got so confident about 'is strength that 'e don't bother with security. Or 'e's got so many blokes inside 'e don't care either way."

"Thanks," Spike didn't need the odds spelled out again. "Can we just find our way into the bloody place?"

"Alright mate, keep yer 'air on." Skirting the base of the wall Browne headed for the nearest corner. Keeping very low he glanced round it. Turning back he morphed and showed Spike a beaming mouthful of fangs. "Mortal, smokin', by an open door, fifteen yards up, count of three."

Both charged round, the man had his back turned they where ten yards away by the time he heard them, even as he wheeled round the suppressors had canceled out the noise of two shots, Spike hit the head, Browne the throat. Their victim didn't make a sound.

"Smoking." Spike carefully stamped out the cigarette end. "Always 'eard it could kill ya."

Quickly they slipped in through the open door.

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"So you are assured, I have the Slayer,....good I'm glad trust is restored." Bakull was in his innersanctum, his minions had cleared away the nights victims, two teenaged runaways who had found LA's streets weren't paved with gold. Now he was on the phone to Lord Charles.

The room was luxuriant, carpets from all corners of the east decorated the floors, silk drapes covered those sections of the walls that did not display old masters bought, or stolen, from around the world. In one corner a raised devon covered with pillows sat next to a hookah pipe for when the Turk wished to smoke in the old way.

His bed was more substantial, and currently occupied by a naked vampiress, who had run away to find LA's streets were paved with gold, at least until her Sire grew tired of her.

The Turk was sat in a chair by an eighteenth century desk, he was clad in just a silk robe, the sooner he got rid of the annoying English vampire the sooner he could get back to his beloved of the moment. He had made money from his dealings with Lord Charles but acquired far more trouble that he was worth, despite his contacts there was so far no trace of the vetala and once the English Lord was out of the country Bukall would be the only target left for that vengeful creature, a prospect that did not inspire him.

"Do you have my money prepared? Excellent. We will meet at the Santa Monica pier an hour after dusk tomorrow night. I will bring the girl, once my Swiss bank confirms the transfer of funds she is yours." He felt a momentary sadness but still who wanted a woman who could stake you in a second. "Your flight will leave the LAX two hours later, be on it, if I find you in my city after that I will kill you and take the Slayer back and see what kind of deal I can cut with her."

He hung up cutting off Beresford's shouts of outrage.

*Am I making a mistake? If Browne is as dangerous as I suspect I need a powerful allie, the girl is just such. Perhaps I should have taken the million I had, then had Buffy kill the bastard Lord and the Pushtun dog as well. I still could.*

But six million was another matter, Bakull went back to the willing arms of his vampiress a dark haired girl he could not help but picture blond.

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Spike and Browne were for the fifth time since they had entered the building dragging bodies into alcoves. So far they had accounted for nine of the Turk's mortal servants but hadn't yet met a single vamp. Browne was beginning to suspect they were going about things wrongly.

"Why build a 'ouse on top of a mountain?" he pointed downwards. "Only reason I can fink of is so you can dig down. Next one of these buggers we catch you 'old 'im whilst I ask where the stairs are."

They moved on down more corridors, weapons at the ready. Spike knew it was only a matter of time before someone found the bodies they had left behind them and set of the alarm, he didn't want to die again, especially not without finding his Slayer first. He followed Browne sure now that he was the only way he would ever see Buffy again.

The vetala tensed and held up a hand, a panel was opening in a wall just ahead of them. Swiftly the two fell back around a corner. A familiar feeling came over them both, vampires approaching.

"Ain't it the way, master has the fun, we just hauls out the empties." A grumbling voice echoed down the corridor. "I cain't remember the last time we's was allowed to go hunt, kept for him."

"Well you all was the one who dragged us here from Tennessee, getting us into talking pictures, fool that you are all you got us was dead and enslaved." The two hidden vampires could hear a curious dragging noise the whole time. "These guys are heavier than they look, aint they."

"Think If I's turned this fine looking child the boss would mind, I can't see why we taking her out to the incinerators."

"Cause the boss got enough mouths to feed Duffus, you turn her and you see what happens. Create a minion, make yourself a master vampire, boss would nail you to a cross and put you outside facing east. A couple of hours with a cross burning you to the bone followed by a toasting, hell of a way to go for one pretty vampiress."

Trying hard not to laugh Browne produced a lead sap from a coat pocket and handed it to Spike, the blond nodded he knew what to do.

The two vampires hauling the bodies were white and dressed in overalls, they were the lowest of the low, the minions deemed to inferior to even humt they lived on others leavings. Ugly looking brutes the both of them, they looked dumbfounded as the vetala stepped in front of them, for the first second anyway. Then Browne shot the furthest away through the forehead.

The nearer redneck tried to run, but Spike was on him in a flash. The sap slammed into the creatures nose, he made to howl but Spikes clawed hand lifted him and pinned him struggling up a wall, as the claws bit into his neck the duffus got the message, the scream died in his throat.

"Poor buggers," Browne looked down at the two dead teens, they were naked, their ankles were tied together and they were being dragged by meat hooks twisted into the ropes. "Why didn't they just stay 'ome, can't a been that bad with their folks, not compared the end they came to?"

Spike looked down, there was a well toned guy and a red haired girl, slight like Willow and probably no older, her hair was loose and dragged behind her like a flame. Both bodies bore claw and fang marks, they'd died naked, and probably slowly. He snarled as he turned back to his prisoner. "How do we get to the bastard who did that then, hey, you fuckin' tell me now son or I'll make you suffer, and worse than they did."

Whimpering the red neck looked into Spikes yellow eyes, he knew a master vampire when he saw one, he knew how much pain he would suffer if he refused to tell the blonde what he wanted to know, but he feared Bakull more. "No sir, cain't tell, no sir, I cain't."

There was the sound of a vampire dusting as Browne finished off his victim, then he carefully removed the meat hook by which the girl was being dragged. He tried it for weight and walked up to stand beside Spike.

"This is 'ow it is son, you'll tell us what we wants to know or I'll 'ook this in your guts and see 'ow far I can yank em out before they combust. Then I'll take your balls off with me knife." The sharpened tip of the hook ripped through the front of the rednecks overalls. "Or I'll let you go if you 'elps, back to Tennessee, if you wants you can turn that young beauty on your way and take 'er with you. Your choice."

"You'll not kill me," Browne smiled and nodded. "The electric socket at the bottom of the wall, all you needs to do is press it like your turnin' on the juice, they is expecting the lift to come down when we come back. There's a two man security team down there. You all let me go now and I promise I won't raise no alarm."

"Sure son, Spike let 'im go." The wink he threw the blond said everything Spike needed to know.

Fast as lightening Spike pulled out a stake, the vampire he held tried to scream even as the stake drove home. "Course I never said I wouldn't kill ya...... Does that work all the time?" he asked turning to the velata.

"Never known it to fail yet." Browne turned the magazine in his gun round. "Shall we carry on?"

Spike did the same then went and put the toe of his boot against the switch, the panel slid back to reveal an opening lift door. "After you, mate."

"No son, age before beauty, I fink your the senior vamp here." The vetala bowed and extended a hand towards the now open lift.

"Cheeky git!"

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"You suppose they might have a security camera in 'ere." A reception committee might complicate matters.

"Possible," Browne shrugged, "But with the way the buggers 'ave been organized so far I doubt any bleeders lookin' at it. Probably sat with their feet up reading the sports columns." He checked his Ingram. "Come out shootin', but try not to kill 'em both."

"Right," Spike had a sudden though. *I've become a side-kick, how the hell did that happen.* He smiled and quietly said. "'I'm too old for this shit.'"


"Nothin' just a thought." The lift halted. "Get ready."

The lift opened onto a small room, two vamps sat in it, reading magazines in front of an array of tv screens. "You boys were fast, you bucking for promot......" The vampire nearest the door looked across then went for a pistol in a shoulder holster.

Spike shot him straight through the forehead.

The other vampire guards hand went for a red button. Three shots from Browne's SMG blasted the vamps fingers off and shattered his wrist, he jumped back holding the crippled hand and cowered against the wall.

"God you blokes are a shower." Browne looked at the monitor screens. He could see at least two places in which they'd killed people. "This is what comes of being top of the shit heap for too long, you stop caring about your security an' everythin' goes to the dogs. My oath I could take you blokes on me todd, you 'avent even got your bloody bundook to hand......"

A reflection showed in the monitors, too busy berating the surviving guard Browne failed to notice it, Spike did. He wheeled round and one handed fired his Ingram even as the armed mortal behind brought his shotgun up. The bullet took the man in the chest. He tried again to raise the weapon despite the blood pumping from him, then Spike finished the matter by pumped more rounds into him.

"Bloody good job he was mortal eh." Spike gave the body a kick to make sure. "Only spotted 'im cause of his reflection."

Browne stared at the pump action like he'd never seen one before. "Will yer look at the size of that bundook, he could 'ave cut me in 'alf with that." He nodded slowly and extended his right hand. "I'll not forget that Spike, it's one I owe ya."

"Help me save the Slayer and we're even." Spike shook the hand and then turned on the surviving guard. "Tough break that hand sonny, but with the right amount of blood that'll grow back nicely in a few months, now were you to tell me an' me mate here where your boss is we might just lock you in a cupboard whilst we off 'im, stead of killing you, come on boy spit it out."

Sure that his boss was unlikely to be around much longer to torture him the guard blabbed. "Go through the door Charlie just walked through, his bedrooms at the far end of the corridor, he's alone cept for his girl."

"Good boy," Spike noted the movements Browne was making and hastily went on. "His bodyguards, I expect they're in here somewhere."

"First two doors on this corridor, vamps on the left, mortals on the right, they don't like barracking together, the mortals get all edgy, there's ten a room."

"Thanks," Browne staked him.

"Did you think that up yourself?" Spike glanced at the magazines their victims had dropped, Hustler and the swimwear edition of Sports Illustrated, it wasn't just fag's that could kill ya.

"No," Rooting in his haversack the velata removed two brick sized objects. "Saw this film once, Ashanti, it wasn't very good, but it 'ad this scene where Michael Caine's trying to get info out of Peter Ustinov whilst Omar Sharif wants to kill 'im, Ustinov that is. Course Caine tops the bloke 'imself once he squeals." He picked up the objects and cautiously stepped over Charlie's body. "Come on."

Curious Spike followed him, the velata glanced through small observation windows in both doors and smiling dropped to his knees and carefully positioned a device under each doors handle. The doors were surfaced with metal, the blocks were obviously backed by magnets. Pointing for the blond to walk past Browne carefully flicked a switch on the back of each package before gingerly walking away.

"What the....."

Browne shushed him with a finger to his lips, and whispered. "Hollow charges, tilt fuses on the back, they open the doors an boom, a jet of explosive an metal off the door goes straight through. Now lets 'ave Bakull, you got the sap."

Taking the sap from his coat pocket, Spike tip toed towards the door they had been told led onto the Turks room. Very gently they opened it and crept in.

The noises they could here from behind the curtains that hung just inside the door were unmistakable, both vamps grew smirks, Bakull was on the job, mutual moans in both male and female voices suggested he was near to climax.

The Turk felt his balls begin to tighten as his orgasm drew near, his thrusts speeded up even as panting harshly the vampiress locked her legs tighter around his hips, her nails raked his back. Then suddenly he felt a ring of cold metal press against the side of his head and heard a familiar voice say. "Ullo sonny, remember me."

His movements stopped abruptly, his erection shriveled up, the vampiress opened her mouth to scream, but Spike's hand clamped over it. "Shut it luv, you'll only cause a nasty mess outside."

"Back off 'er, your fun and games is over." Dragged clear Bakull was thrown naked into a chair, he looked around desperate, but why have weapons when you have over fifty armed servants in your house and grounds.

The vampiress stirred, grabbing her by the hair Spike drew her up then brought the sap down hard. "That or stake her," he explained to an unshocked Browne. "Least this way she 'as a chance."

"Right mate," Browne concentrated on Bakull, his tart was neither here nor there. "Caught you with your pants down literally, you thought you was quite the Malki lat, the lord of the land but really your just a Cutch velata, a little vampire. Anyway enough chit chat, you know why I'm 'ere."

"Revenge," Bakull looked at Spike and spoke directly to him. "But you my friend, you are here for something else, the girl. A million and the girl if you kill this creature."

"Piss off son, you'll 'ave too do better than that." Spike sat on the bed with his gun pointed at the door just in case. "I couldn't have got anywhere without yer man there. Try again."

"Two million, the Slayer, and control of the vampires of Las Vegas."

"It's in a bloody desert, mate, be far to harsh on my delicate completion. You want my friend to not kill you, you tell me where the Slayer is now and maybe you gets away clear."

"Not a chance," the velata drew his knife. "I'm gonna cut pieces off 'im for every year Greenaway and I was together. Startin' now."

"Please, let me speak." Fearfully the Turk held up a hand, "Will you accept blood money? A payment for your loss."

"Ow much?"

"Three million dollars, and the girl for your friend." Bakull looked at Spike. "If you let him kill me you will not find her."

Browne heard the harsh click of a charging leaver being pulled back, he glanced round and found himself staring down the suppresser on Spikes gun. "He 'as a point."

"Three poxy million," Browne gestured to the girl on the bed. "She's just another vampiress like 'er, what does she matter, I was with 'Arry for nearly forty years."

"She's not just a vampiress," Spike's voice grew colder. "She has her soul, if Beresford gets his 'ands on her you know what he's capable of, would you condemn her to decades of torture.....oh I know what your gonna say your a vampire, you don't care, you can just walk away, well you loved your mate, loved 'im enough to face a small army. That's just 'ow I love Buffy."

"She's another blokes bird!" Browne turned back to their prisoner. "Beresford, where?"

"Santa Monica Pier, an hour after dusk tomorrow." Bukall smiled up at his captor. "Four million."

"You said before you owed me, a life I take it you meant." Spike launched another attack. "I claim it, the girl's."

"If Mr Browne swears by the Holy Koran that he will not kill me, the Slayer is yours."

"All bloody right then." Snarling the velata returned his knife to it's sheath. "But Spike you an' me is through once you gets the girl. Right you turkish bastard spill, where is she."

"Hanger 104, its on the north side of the LAX, guarded by fifteen of my people." Bakull shrugged. "They should be no problem though for two such as you."

"The Cadillac you own, got the keys." Browne saw a set on the desk top. "Yes you 'ave, there a panic alarm in here."

"By the divan, next to the hookah."

"Sorted," Looking around Browne saw a bare rectangular space on the walk with an electric socket at the base of it, walking over he kicked the switch, a door slid open to reveal a lift. "Thought you wouldn't use the same one as the proletariat. Do you reckon 'e's telling the truth Spike?"

"You will take me with you of that I have no doubt." Naked Bakull stood up. "May I put on my trousers?"

"He is telling the truth." Spike emptied the whole clip into the Turks heart, the organ destroyed the vampire combusted, a stake was non essential against such horrendous damage. "Cheers James, I appreciates that."

"No problem, long as he's dead. Beresford's mine though." Browne held the lift door open. "Push the panic button, and let's be off."

The button was pressed and both vamps crammed in the lift. Two Ingrams hit the floor. "Let's get ready to make some noise." Browne cocked both his Uzi's and made ready to kill anything that got in there way.

Two explosions rocked the building.

Shaking his head Spike turned to his new friend, "You really are a sneaky fucker."

"H'aint I just!"

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Buffy awoke, she looked around, all she could see was white, close up white.

Her hands scrabbled round, trying to find an opening, a lever, anything. She was in a closed padded box, a coffin.

Silently, there being no air to breathe, Buffy began to scream.

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Panic gripped the mansion, no contact with the main guards barracks, no contact with Bakull, corridors which seemed to be dotted with bodies. Introduce into this two extra vamps with automatic weapons and panic became a mad scramble for escape.

So it was with ease that Spike and Browne cut there way through to the lot, once inside the bullet proof limo they were technically home free, provided they could get through the gate.

Laughing Browne drove them hell for leather down the slope. "Watch this."

Guns poised the guards were looking up the slope wondering what the hell was going on, but when they saw the Cadillac hurtling towards them they rushed......to open the gates.

"If you wants to make a clean getaway, always knick the bosses car."

When they reached their vehicles Spike rapidly threw himself behind the wheel of his De Soto, literally burning rubber the two vamps headed for he freeway, racing to save their mortal enemy, racing against the sun.