Buffy stared into space, the phone slipping unnoticed from her fingers as
every nerve in her body went completely dead.
*Dead...Oz...dead...nooooo...not again, please don't let this happen
again...* Her legs gave out and she crumpled to the bedroom floor, wrapping her
arms around herself as if they could keep her from coming apart.
Giles had been near hysteria himself on the phone, most likely caught up in
flashbacks of Jenny's death. Vampires...it had been...
"It'll be all right, baby. I'll take care of everything," she dimly
remembered Spike saying that night after the Bronze. *Oh god, he wouldn't...he
couldn't have...* She began to rock and moan as horrible images assailed her
No, Spike wouldn't kill Oz...he had promised. Giles had said several
vampires, not one. But Spike was Master- would he have sent them after Oz and
Willow? "You belong to me. You're mine." Had he felt that threatened?
*God, Willow...go...I have to...I need to go see her...* From what Giles had
said, the hacker was nearly catatonic. She choked off an anguished cry and
lowered her head to her knees. *My fault...it's all my fault...I promised her
that they'd all be safe...*
A sound at the window broke through her thoughts. She looked up to find Spike
climbing through her window, grinning and glassy-eyed.
"Hello, luv. What are you doing down there on the floor?"
Buffy looked away, surreptitiously wiping her eyes on her shoulder. "You're
Spike's eyes narrowed at the coldness of her tone. "Didn't know I was
punching a fuckin' clock, pet." The iciness in his voice nearly matched hers.
"Where were you?"
No greeting, no flinging herself into his arms...nothing. Just that distant
stare and the accusation in her voice. His first impulse was to leave as his
impatience flared, but instead, he found himself answering her. "The blasted
starter went on the De Soto. I've been working on the bloody thing all night."
Buffy snorted. "You were working on the car." She tamped down the hysterical
laugh that tried to escape from her throat. For a brief second, he was like any
other guy, late because he'd been fooling around with an engine. But he wasn't
just any guy. He was a vampire, and he'd definitely fed tonight. *Fed on who? Is
he lying? Was he there when they...?*
"Yes, I was working on the car," Spike said, his irritation growing by the
second. "I always do my own repairs. I've had 'er for nearly forty years and I'm
not going to let some git go mucking about in there."
He was baffled by her behavior- she'd never acted this way before, not even
in the early days of their relationship, when they'd both been fighting their
feelings. A thought occurred to him and he sniffed the air as Buffy stood up and
began stuffing items in a duffle bag.
She considered what he'd said as she shoved clothing, stakes and holy water
into her bag. It had the ring of truth to it, but that still didn't change the
fact that Oz had been killed by his followers. *Oz...*
Spike growled in frustration as she effectively ignored his presence. "All
right, I know y'er not on the bloody rag, so exactly what the fuck is your
"Oz is dead." She said the words matter-of-factly, her face closed off,
devoid of any emotion.
Spike froze. "What? How?" *Jesus bloody Christ, no wonder...*
"How do you think?" she replied, bitterly. There was something in her eyes
that scared him, something that he wished he didn't see.
"Vampire..." *Shit, fuck...who would dare to...?*
"Vampires- plural. If there had been only one, Oz would still be alive." She
turned away from him. "I have to go, Willow needs me."
"Willow...Christ, is she all right?"
"No, she's not all right. She was there...she saw what they did to him. I
don't know if she'll ever be all right..."
He took a step toward her and reached out, wanting to hold her, comfort her.
She backed away from his touch. "Don't..."
The look in her eyes stopped him cold. "Hold on there, pet. You don't think
that I had anything to do with...?" Her answer was evident by the uncertainty on
her face. His undead heart felt as if it had been ripped from his chest. "Thanks
a bloody hell of a lot, Slayer."
She almost went to him when she heard the pain in his voice, but then shoved
the impulse away. Willow needed her, and that was all that mattered at the
moment. She couldn't deal with this- with him- not now. "I can't do this, not
now. I can't..."
Buffy looked at him helplessly, not knowing what to say, what to feel.
Everything felt dead, numb. *Oz is dead, he's not coming back...ever...*
She turned away and grabbed her bag. At the door she paused, and spoke
without turning around. "Don't wait for me, I'm not coming back tonight."
Without waiting for an answer, she walked out of the room and down the stairs.
Spike stood there in shock, unable to believe that everything had fallen
apart so suddenly. Twenty-four hours ago they had been wrapped up in each
other's arms and now, tonight, she had looked at him as if he was a stranger. He
dragged a hand through his hair and pulled it back to punch the wall, stopping
himself at the last minute as he remembered that her mum was home.
His thoughts were a jumbled mess, jumping all over the place as the image of
her face, full of fear and distrust, refused to leave his head.
*Slayer...Buffy...how could you think...?* And then the implications of Oz's
death hit him.
*Vampires...more than one. The fucking revolution appears to have started,
eh?* He was willing to bet that Darius was the ringleader. Anger surged through
him as he recalled the many times that he'd refrained from snapping the younger
Angelus' fledglings had been a thorn in his side from the very beginning. His
gaze drifted over to the closet and the object that sat at the bottom. He walked
steadily across the room and dropped to his knees in front of the trunk.
Throwing it open, he shoved aside the crosses and garlic, ignoring the
burning pain as they singed his flesh. Finding what he sought, he stared at the
stakes and bottles of holy water for a second, before gathering them up and
stuffing them in the pockets of his duster.
As he ran his hands over the rough edges of the wood, he imagined them
tearing through undead flesh, inflicting as much pain as was inhumanly possible.
It was time to take control- for himself, for the Slayer- before it was too
late. *Time to do what I should have done a long fucking time ago...rid the
earth of every last trace of Angel and his progeny...*
Buffy walked into the hospital like a zombie, unaware of her surroundings.
Despite the lateness of the hour, doctors and nurses bustled about in the
hallways on their way to various emergencies. The Hellmouth kept the medical
personnel in Sunnydale pretty busy, and many of them lived quite well on the
She spotted Giles pacing outside Willow's room, running his hands repeatedly
through his hair. He looked haggard, as if he hadn't slept in days.
Running toward him, she threw herself into his arms, the way that she wished
she could have done with Spike, and he held her tightly, his own tears burning
behind closed eyelids. It was like reliving Jenny all over again...only Willow
was just a child, too young to have to experience losing the man she loved. Too
young to have to face that kind of terror.
Buffy wiped at her face and pulled away, staring at him intensely. His eyes
were filled with pain behind lenses that were smudged with dried tears. "Tell me
what happened, Giles...tell me everything."
He took her hand and led her to the bench outside Willow's room. Pulling off
his glasses, he rubbed his eyes and tried to find his voice. "I- I'm not
entirely sure 'what' happened. Apparently, they were in the warehouse district
when Oz got a punctured tire. The vampires attacked when he stopped to fix it.
H-He forced Willow to run and she managed to escape before they...before
they..." Giles paused for a moment as the thought of Willow meeting the same
fate overtook him.
Buffy shuddered. "If Willow got away, then how did she see...?"
"She made her way back and watched from an alleyway. Someone driving home
from the Bronze spotted her in the street and called 911." His gaze moved to the
door of Willow's room. "She- she wouldn't leave him, they had to pull her off of
his body. She's been in shock since the ambulance brought her in."
Giles had been terrified for her safety when Xander had called him and told
him what had happened. Xander himself had been nearly incoherent with worry and
Cordelia had finally taken the boy to the snack machines to try to calm him
down. Willow's parents had been persuaded to leave after being assured that
their daughter was all right and that they could come back in the morning.
Buffy followed his gaze with her own. "I should have been with them. She
asked me to go and I said no..." Tears filled her eyes again.
Giles took hold of her hands. "Buffy, you can't blame yourself. It's quite
possible that the van's tire was tampered with." He paused for a moment before
continuing. "They must have been watching all of you...they knew that Oz was a
werewolf. He was stabbed through the heart with a silver knife. Evidently, this
was a planned attack."
Planned attack. They knew...they 'knew' that Oz was a werewolf. Was it as
Giles had said and the vampires had been watching all of them, or had someone
told them to come prepared?
Giles was wrong about one thing, though. She 'did' blame herself, for getting
involved with Spike in the first place. Part of her wanted to tell Giles
everything, but she held back. This wasn't the time, not with Oz dead and Willow
almost comatose. "I need to see Willow," she said, scrubbing at the wetness on
her face as she stood.
Buffy entered the room and her heart broke in two as she looked at her best
friend. The bed was slightly raised up, and Willow's eyes were wide and staring
as she lay there, her fists rhythmically clenching and unclenching on the
The Slayer approached the bed and sat in a nearby chair, taking one of
Willow's hands in hers. The nurses had apparently cleaned her up, for there
wasn't a speck of blood on her anywhere, not even under her nails.
"Willow?" The redhead's hand was like ice, and continued clenching as Buffy
held it. "Will, I'm so sorry...please be all right..." The sobs came bursting
forth and her head dropped to the mattress. "I should have...I'm sorry...please
don't go away...we can't lose you, too..." The words came pouring out in a
torrent, making little sense as all of her grief and guilt came with them.
After what seemed like hours, her tears slowed and there was only a slight
shuddering of her body as it gradually calmed. Her eyes had just begun to close
when she felt Willow's hand tighten painfully on hers.
Buffy's head shot up. "Willow?"
Slowly, the other girl turned to look at her with vacant eyes. "Buffy?"
Willow's eyes focused as she stared at the room around her, with its
disinfectant smell and pale green walls. Her head felt so fuzzy. She realized
that she was lying in a bed and looked back at Buffy with a puzzled expression.
"Why am I in the hospital? What-?" And suddenly it all came back to her- Oz, the
vampires, the blood. "Oz is dead, isn't he?" she asked, her eyes filling with
Buffy nodded. "Will, I'm so sorry...I should have been there...I'm so very
sorry," she began, but Willow wasn't listening. She was caught up in her own
guilt over what had happened. Buffy was shocked at the bitterness in Willow's
voice as she interrupted her.
"Yeah, I'm sorry, too. I ran, Buffy...like a coward. Just left him there to
die. And then I hid and watched..." She turned her head away. "I should have let
them kill me, too."
Buffy grabbed Willow by the shoulders and shook her, hard. "Don't you ever
say that! Ever! Oz wanted you to survive, and he'd hate it if he heard you blame
She pulled the redhead into her arms and held her as they both cried for the
werewolf who'd sacrificed himself for the woman he'd loved. Through her tears,
Willow heard the Slayer murmur, "If anyone's to blame, it's me. If I'd been
there, if I hadn't gotten involved with Spike in the first place, then he
Willow was silent for a moment before she pulled away, shaking her head.
"Spike wasn't there, Buffy. They said-" She took a deep breath. "They said that
it was payback...because you killed Angel."
Buffy went cold. Oz 'was' dead because of her. "How you must hate me," she
said, feeling as if her entire world had crumbled to pieces.
Willow started to shake her head in denial, then stopped. She stared down at
her hands twisting in her lap. "I don't hate you...I could never hate you. But
maybe...maybe part of me does blame you." She looked up at Buffy's pain-filled
face. "If you weren't the Slayer...if you hadn't killed Angel...then maybe Oz
would still be..." Willow's gaze lowered again and she continued in a ragged
whisper, "If only...if only I hadn't left him..."
Buffy grabbed Willow's hands. "If you hadn't left him then you'd be dead,
Willow!" Fresh tears started in both girls' eyes. "You're my best friend, I
couldn't stand it if I lost you, too..." They held each other again, crying for
Oz, for themselves, for the way that their lives were forever changed by one
senseless act of revenge.
After a few minutes, Buffy realized that the others didn't know that Willow
had come to. She pulled away, smoothing back the redhead's hair. Willow grabbed
her arm. "Don't go!" she said.
"I should go and tell Giles that you're awake. He's really worried about you.
Xander and Cordelia, too." Buffy tried to smile and failed. She patted Willow's
hand to reassure her. "Don't worry, Will. I'm not going anywhere, I'm staying
right here for the rest of the night. I'm not going to let them hurt you
anymore." She turned a left the room to get the others, thoughts of Spike
filling her head.
She didn't want to believe that he'd had anything to do with this. That the
man who'd been so loving toward her could have done such a horrendous thing.
*Was I wrong about his soul? Was he only just a demon?*
He'd looked incredibly hurt when he'd realized that she hadn't trusted him.
And he'd seemed genuinely concerned about Willow. Buffy shook her head, trying
to clear it. *I can't think about him now. I have to stay here with Willow and
watch over her. I'll deal with Spike tomorrow.*
Pushing him from her mind, she hurried over to Giles and Xander to tell them
that Willow was awake.
Spike paced restlessly outside the mansion, forcing himself to wait for the
right moment, just before daylight. He wanted the minions trapped, unable to
escape his vengeance. What was the saying? *It's always darkest before the
It was going to be dark, all right. Darker than the blackest night. Blacker
than the thoughts churning inside his tormented mind. He lit a cigarette with
shaking hands and tried to stem the tide of images that burned a path through
The Slayer...her face flushed with passion, her eyes hot with need..."Love
me, Spike, please...You're all I see...all I feel...I need you...I love you,
Spike..." Those same eyes turning cold... "Where were you?...Oz is dead..." The
eyes of a stranger...not the lover whose bed he'd warmed for the last seven
Spike doubled over as the pain hit him full force. "Slayer..." he moaned,
grabbing his head and falling to his knees. "You fucking bitch!" He rocked back
and forth, his game face flickering as hurt and betrayal warred with the rage
that threatened to consume him. "You made me love you...made me feel...made me
"I love you, Spike..."
With a snarl, he sprang up and grabbed a wrought-iron bench, throwing it
across the lawn. *You don't know what love is, Slayer.* How could she, and still
think that he was capable of murdering her friend? Love him, but not trust him?
*Doesn't fucking work that way, pet.*
Spike shoved his hands in his pockets as he began pacing again and his
fingers brushed against the stakes that he'd stolen from her. *Don't think about
her, think about the death and destruction to come. Think about Darius.*
Darius. Not dusting the little prick when he'd had the chance had been a
major fuckup Spike seethed, disgusted with himself over his failure to keep
control of the minions. *Too busy thinking with my dick, and look where it got
me.* Alone again, scrambling to find a way out of this mess.
His hand wrapped around one of the stakes, driving slivers into his palms. He
relished the pain, letting it focus his attention to where it should have been
all along. It was time to act like the Master vampire he was and rectify his
mistake. Darius had crossed him for the last fucking time...and it had been too
long since his demon had been let out to play.
Just before the sky began to gray, he stubbed out his last cigarette and made
his way inside, his human face devoid of all expression. To the casual observer,
he would appear calm, unconcerned...until you noticed the murderous glint in his
icy blue eyes.
The sound of raucous voices and heavy metal floated out from the dining room
as he entered the main hall. Spike looked over at his fledglings, who sat
huddled together on the couch and surrounding chairs in front of the fireplace.
They watched his approach fearfully, pressing closer together as their eyes
darted to the archway that led into the other room.
His cold gaze swept across them and his tone was deadly as he inquired,
The fledglings glanced at each other and lowered their eyes, each of them
unwilling to risk giving the wrong answer. A minute passed, adding to the
tension already filling the room.
Spike's jaw tightened and a muscle twitched in his cheek. "Don't make me
repeat the question."
One of the girls- he still didn't know their fucking names and it mattered
even less now- raised her eyes and bravely answered him. "H-He's in there," she
said, indicating the dining room with a tilt of her head. "Celebrating his kill.
They said it was a werewolf." Her expression became one of anger and she tugged
at her shirt, which was torn in several places. "It made
She gave him a look that was part outrage, part humiliation, then lowered her
eyes again in submission, a gesture which would have pleased him under normal
circumstances. Spike barely noticed; he was too intent on crashing Darius'
'party'. Now, he also had the violation of his fledglings to add to Darius' long
list of transgressions.
"Did any of you hunt with him tonight?" he asked, the implied threat fully
apparent in his voice.
They all shook their heads as one and he nodded, satisfied that at least his
own blood hadn't betrayed him. Without saying another word, he turned and headed
for the other room, already anticipating the carnage that was sure to follow.
Spike stood in the open doorway, staring at the scene before him. Darius sat
at the head of the long table, leg slung over the arm of the chair, drinking
from a bottle of tequila that Spike recognized as coming from his own personal
stock. Chairs were flung in all directions and tapestries were ripped from the
Mark and Jason were at the bar, chugging Jack Daniels and punching each other
between slugs, while Kyle and Julian sat on either side of Darius, flicking beer
caps across the table. They were all covered with dried blood. The wolf's blood.
Metallica blared from the boombox resting on the sideboard next to the door.
Suppressing his demon as the scent of blood filled his nostrils, Spike
reached over and silenced the music. Five pairs of eyes looked up at him
defiantly, four of them containing a glimmer of fear.
Darius smirked as Spike held their gaze for a moment, then dropped his eyes
to the knife that lay on the edge of the table. He took a step forward, running
his finger along its blood crusted surface, before picking it up for a closer
look. *Silver. Isn't he the clever one?* Darius had planned the whole thing in
advance, probably tampering with the van in order to ambush the wolf. *No, not
the wolf. Oz. At least refer to the boy by name, you fucking wanker.*
Spike lowered the knife until it rested point down on the table. He idly
scratched a pattern in the wood, still not saying anything. The minions shifted
restlessly in the silence, glancing at each other uneasily. Slowly, Spike began
walking toward Darius, dragging the knife along the table's surface as he went.
The only sound was the scraping of metal against wood, until Spike broke the
"Organize a little raiding party tonight, Darius?" he asked softly, his voice
deceptively mild. He raised eyes that burned with blue fire, until they were
locked on Darius.
The younger vampire stared back insolently, the wolf's blood giving him a
false sense of security. Darius' arrogance almost amused Spike as the minion
replied, "I thought it was time to make our move against the Slayer. We were
tired of waiting."
"YOU thought. You seem to be under the misconception that what you think
actually matters to me. Haven't you learned yet, Darius, exactly who is the
Master here?" Ice cold, dangerous, Spike's expression never wavered.
Darius continued on, completely unaware of how imminent his death was. "We
took a vote, Spike, and you're out. 'I' killed the werewolf, while all you've
done is talk for the past two months. I'm taking over as Master."
Spike rocked the knife on its point, digging a small hole in the table. "And
how do you propose to do that? Did you think that killing that boy tonight made
you my equal? You arrogant little fuck, you have no idea who you're dealing
Darius stood. "I know that you're through here in Sunnydale. You're a joke,
Spike...a has been..."
Out of the corner of his eye, Spike saw Jason make a move toward him. He
hefted the knife in his left hand and threw it, embedding it in Jason's throat,
then whirled and slammed a stake into Julian with his right. As the vampire
turned to dust, Spike vaulted over the table and rushed Jason, grabbing the
knife out of his throat. He drew back with all of his strength and sliced the
blade cleanly through Jason's neck, severing his head. *Two down.* His duster
billowed out behind him as he turned to face the other three.
Mark flew at him and Spike spun, catching the other vampire in the face with
a perfectly timed kick. Dropping to his knees, he swept Mark's legs out from
under him as Kyle grabbed him from behind. Spike threw his head back, connecting
with Kyle's nose. He slipped free of the hold and swung around, slamming both
fists into Kyle's face. Spike grabbed the minion's arm and twisted, hearing the
satisfying crack of bone as it broke. He wrenched it once again, smiling as the
radius jutted out from torn skin. *God, I love the smell of bloodshed in the
Darius and Mark circled him, both still cocky from the blood high. *Let's see
what's behind door number two...* Spike reached into his pocket and let fly with
a bottle of holy water, smashing it in Mark's face. The vampire screamed as
flesh sizzled and burned, his eyes melting from the acid-like effect. Spike
dodged a kick from Darius and withdrew another stake, plunging it into Mark's
Kyle came at him, broken arm dangling by his side. Spike evaded him easily,
then reached out and grabbed him by the hair. With an almost casual motion, he
grasped Kyle's chin and twisted it, snapping the minion's neck.
Dropping the body to the ground, Spike turned to face Darius, an evil grin
lighting his human face as he shrugged out of the duster and tossed it on the
"Still think you've got what it takes?" he asked, slowly stalking toward his
Darius backed up, grabbing a chair and flinging it at Spike, who avoided it
easily. His demon was thoroughly enjoying itself, and it wanted to savor this
last bit of violence.
He taunted Darius, wanting to keep the younger vampire off balance. "C'mon,
Darius. Make your move...let's see how big those wrinklies are..." He caught the
telltale flicker in his opponent's eyes, and set himself, just before Darius
rushed at him in anger.
Spike caught the minion as he slammed into him, knocking them both to the
floor. He rolled, jabbing an elbow into Darius' face and forcing a knee into his
crotch. Darius roared in pain and threw Spike off, struggling to his feet. They
faced off again and Spike smirked as Darius slipped into game face, snarling
with fury. Angelus' childe was rapidly losing control, while Spike remained
Darius spun and threw a kick at Spike's head, catching him by surprise. He
recovered quickly, wiping at the blood that trickled from the corner of his
mouth. Spike licked the crimson fluid from his fingers, never taking his eyes
from his adversary. He smiled, then slammed his fist into Darius' face.
"Have you figured it out yet?" he growled. "Do you know who you're dealing
with?" Spike began driving Darius back toward the wall, backhanding him
Darius stumbled, and grabbed onto Spike's arm, stilling it momentarily. The
younger vampire looked into Spike's eyes with a burning hatred. "Yeah, I know
who I'm dealing with," he hissed. "The Slayer's new bitch..."
Spike froze, his eyes narrowing as he stared at the sneering face in front of
him. Darius laughed at his surprise. "Did you think it was a big secret, you
fucking the Slayer? How does it feel to get Angel's sloppy seconds?"
Spike's left hand shot out, wrapping itself around Darius' throat. He slammed
the minion up against the wall and held him there, suspended above the floor.
Spike growled menacingly, moving in close until their faces were almost
touching. "Quite the little spy, aren't you, Darius? Always sneaking around..."
He tightened his grip, feeling the the neck bones shift under his hand. "Doesn't
matter now, though, does it?"
Darius struggled, clawing at Spike's hand. "Fuck you, Spike," he croaked.
"The Slayer will end up dusting you, just like she did Angelus."
Spike smiled evilly. "Who do you think helped her, you stupid git? Did you
really think that she killed them both by herself?" Darius' eyes widened as his
larynx was crushed under Spike's fingers. "You know what, Darius? You're
beginning to bore me...and I hate being bored."
Spike shifted into game face and tore open Darius' throat, drinking greedily
as the blood flowed from the wound. He could taste the power of Oz's blood,
still lingering in the minion's veins. His demon revelled in the savagery of the
act, the potency of the werewolf's essence. *It's been so long since I've had a
decent spot of violence...*
He ripped his fangs from the tattered flesh and looked at Darius in disgust.
The vampire was barely alive, his eyes wide and staring. Spike let his demon
wallow in the pain and fear emanating from the beaten minion. As a final
humiliation, he planted a bloody kiss on Darius' mouth, snaking his tongue past
swollen lips. Spike pulled back, licking his lips as he grinned into his
helpless victim's face. "Goodbye, Darius. Wish I could say that it's been
He lifted Darius and heaved his body through the blackened set of windows on
the eastern wall, hitting the floor as they shattered. The young vampire
exploded into flame as soon as the sun's rays touched him, his near fledgling
status making him more easily combustible.
Spike moved away from the light, his eyes drifting restlessly over the room.
Spotting Kyle's still twitching form, he crawled through the shadows until he
reached him, looking down with disinterest at the twisted around head. Spike
watched as the the body squirmed in agony, trying desperately to heal itself.
Almost as an afterthought, he picked up a stake and calmly drove it into Kyle's
He grabbed a bottle of Jack from where it had fallen during the skirmish and
made his way to the door, taking care to stay out of the sunlight streaming
through the broken window. His fledglings were still there, staring in awe at
his bloodstained appearance as he strode into the main hall. He looked at them
with dead eyes, taking in their slack jaws, the fawning worship in their eyes.
All he wanted was to be left alone, left to find some sort of drunken oblivion
and forget that he'd ever met the Slayer.
In a cold voice, he said, "I'm not in the mood for company. I suggest you all
retire for the day." Spike lifted the bottle to his lips and drank, relishing
the burn as it went down. "As soon as the sun sets, I want you gone. All of
you." He turned his back to them and threw himself on the couch, staring at the
fire roaring in the fireplace.
The fledglings looked at each other, relief flooding their trembling bodies.
They were eager to be away from the mansion, away from their strange Sire and
his ever-changing moods. Far away, in light of his recent rampage. There were
safer, more exciting places to be, like L.A., or San Francisco, and without the
added pressures of the Hellmouth. Yeah, it was time to head for the big city and
leave Sunnydale far behind.
Spike watched the fire, warmed by the flames that reminded him of the
Slayer's heat. He chugged from the bottle, lost in thoughts of the tiny blonde
who tormented his every waking moment. He wondered if he would ever be able to
drive her from his mind, wondered if it would take a stake through the heart to
remove her presence. He cursed the day that he'd arrived in this godforsaken
town, the biggest mistake he'd ever made in his long, undead life.