Travel to the Demonic Dimension of Beelzebubia and never come back?
Kelly Taylor sighed.
Sounds wonderful, she thought, but as of right now, I have to stay where I am.
Right now it is 4:37 AM. I am stretched out on an upholstered bench inside a booth, in the otherwise deserted, dark and quiet main floor of the Climaxes Nightclub. Not very different than it was, when I was in here yesterday morning.
That was yesterday morning? So much has happened since then, it feels like an entire week has passed.
Tonight there are some differences. I'm much more comfortable; lying down under a blanket, with my head on a pillow. Valerie found both of them for me in a supply closet. Valerie's now sleeping on a cot in her office. Is she sleeping, or like me; having trouble getting to sleep?
Another comforting difference is that I'm not hungry. I took care of that, when I snacked on Brandon.
Brandon? I know I should feel really terrible about it, but I don't. I enjoyed having a few tasty gulps. I'd also thought that I was not just curing his Wussyism. Making him into a vampire like me, would keep our relationship going. We'd eventually be getting married at that Church of Vampires; and maybe have our honeymoon in the Demonic Dimension of Beelzebubia. Now, according to Cordelia Chase, he's no longer a wussy; but if he's waiting for me a sharpened wooden stake, maybe I should forget about any wedding plans.
He took a taxi and went somewhere. Cordelia Chase thinks he went to Bloodsuckers Anonymous. I don't think so. He went home; probably. He took the taxi to his house. He does have a key, and wouldn't need any invitation. That's what I need, but my invitation is permanently canceled.
Kelly sighed again.
I have to learn to control my bloodlust. I know I'd also enjoy making a meal out of Dylan, and Steve, and even my brother David, along with Donna, along with... No. Forget it! None of them will be inviting me into their house ever again! Not even David, my brother!
Not even after I've learned to control my bloodlust.
As she lay there, Kelly heard sounds coming through the storeroom's doorway that stood to the bar's right. She heard footsteps, just like she had the night before. But unlike last night, she heard more that one voice, speaking softly. She heard a male voice, along with a female voice which sounded somewhat familiar.
Burglars? She wondered, Is this a "break-in"? Isn't there a burglar alarm; a watchman?
If not, she smiled, extending her fangs, I'm here. Tonight, I'm the Club's "watch vampire"; and I did say that I'd love to "take a bite out of crime".
She pushed the blanket off of herself, and sat up behind the table in the booth where she'd lain down, and now eagerly licked the tips of her fangs.
I'm a Vampire Detective? That might be a good career that law abiding citizens would appreciate.
A man stepped through the storeroom's doorway. He stood to the bar's right, in the dim minimum lighting that came from the exit signs and from under the bar. She saw him as a shadowy figure in his late 20's, dressed in a tee shirt and pants. She couldn't see his shoes. His facial features were unclear. His right hand gripped an unlit flashlight. An object she couldn't identify was in his left hand.
A flashlight? She wondered, Is that a 'burglar's tool'? My new career begins now.
She called out. "Hold it right there Bud!" her voice sounding firm, louder and sharper than she'd expected.
He switched on the flashlight, aiming the light straight at her face. She couldn't see beyond the glare. The interior of the Club was now total darkness in her sight; so was he.
The man spoke. "You're a vampire. I see your fangs."
"That's right Mr. Burglar! I'm not unarmed!"
"Neither am I."
Kelly began to tremble.
He went on, "And I'm not a burglar. I haven't come to steal anything. I've come bearing a gift."
Just what, she wondered, is he holding in his left hand? I can't see beyond the flashlight's glare. A stake? A pistol? I can't see where he is. Can a vampire be killed by a bullet? If not, it can still do an awful lot of very painful, disfiguring damage.
She heard him take a few steps, and saw the flashlight beam moving; but he still focused it on her eyes, so she saw nothing else.
To her right, she heard Valerie call out, "What the hell is going on?"
The flashlight beam moved away from Kelly's face. She could again dimly see everything in the darkened Club. She saw the intruder now shining his flashlight's beam on Valerie, who'd just come out of her office.
"Good evening Miss Malone." The man spoke, "Or should I say 'Good very early morning'?"
Valerie asked, "Lindsey McDonald?"
Kelly gasped. Then she asked, "Isn't Lindsey McDonald the Head of Wolfram and Hart?"
Valerie told her, "I'm not sure if he's the Head, but he does have a large amount of authority."
Mr. McDonald spoke to her, "I'm on the Executive Board Ms...What is your name?"
"Kelly. That's Kelly Taylor."
Now a woman's voice called out from inside the storeroom. "Hi there Kelly! I hear that your ex-fiancee's placed a one-hundred-thousand dollar reward, to be paid to anybody who rams a sharp wooden stake straight through my heart! Want to see if you can collect?"
"That's right! What do you say? You and I? Each armed with a stake? The one hundred thousand goes to the winner!"
"Sounds good to me!" Kelly called out. "That's if my ex-fiancÃ?Â© agrees." Then she slid out from the booth and stood up facing the storeroom. "I've joined the Campaign against Wussyism!"
"Not now!" McDonald ordered. "Save the political business and athletic activity for later! We've come here to discuss Company business."
He spoke to Valerie. "We've come bearing a gift."
Then he called out to the storeroom. "You can bring in the souvenir now!"
Two figures emerged from the storeroom into the dimly lit Club. A woman tightly gripped the upper arms of another woman who she forced ahead of her. The woman who she gripped, had her arms coupled behind her back with handcuffs, and a gag tied in her mouth, trembled but made no sound.
Kelly called out "Harmony! Who's that with you?"
Valerie was startled. "Cordelia Chase?"
Harmony the vampire, tightly gripped the handcuffed upper arms, of the trembling Angel Investigations Agency's supervisor, who nodded but said nothing.
"Ms. Malone." Mr. McDonald spoke. "Your contract with the Angel Investigations Agency is discontinued; as Ms. Chase here is about to be herself."
The trembling Cordelia moaned clearly, but made no other sound.
Harmony pushed the woman around to the front of the bar. She brought her to a table, where she seated her, keeping her arms behind her, cuffed to the back of the chair.
"Wait a minute." Valerie asked, "What is Harmony doing in here? Cordelia nailed crosses above every entrance into the Club."
Cordelia moaned once again.
The man explained, "I removed it."
He held up a foot tall cross in his left hand. Harmony winced, shielding her eyes with one hand. Valerie and Kelly did not shield their eyes. Neither of them winced.
Mr. McDonald said, "Now every vampire who wants, can return to spending time here inside the Climaxes, of which Wolfram and Hart is about to become the sole owner."
"That's right Ms. Malone. If we are not, then the drug dealers and bookies will be doing business in here again; and so will the police. I assume you know your partner Dylan McKay's phone number?"
"That's right. You want me to call him?"
"My cell phone's in the office."
"I don't want either you or Miss Taylor here, going out of our sight."
Harmony spoke, with her head turned away from the cross. "I'll go with her."
Valerie told her, "It's on the desk. Don't touch anything."
Harmony moved away from the table where Cordelia was cuffed, while McDonald seated himself beside the woman. He sat facing the booth where Valerie and Kelly were seated, continuing to hold the cross.
Valerie got up and went into the Club's office accompanied by Harmony. In less than two minutes Valerie came back out, holding her cell phone in her right hand, but Harmony did not accompany her.
The man asked, "What's with Harmony?"
Valerie raised her left hand, gripping a vampire slayer's stake, with blood dripping from its downward pointing tip.
She told him, "Harmony's not leaving the office."
Then she went over to the booth and seated herself beside Kelly, putting the stake on the table in front of her, with her hand on it.
She told Kelly, "Harmony has just become a gift from me to Egbert, with who I'm still totally in love."
A startled Kelly said, "You're a Slayer-Vampire?"
Valerie nodded. "Ms. Chase here supplied us with a few of these stakes, along with the crosses, just in case any of us needed to use one for self protection."
McDonald called out, "She's not the only one!"
He moved the cross from his right hand to his left. Then he raised his right hand, now displaying a sharp wooden stake, while glaring at Cordelia who sobbed again.
"Wait a minute Valerie." Kelly asked with a tone of annoyance, "Since you're the one who used it on Harmony, it means that you're the one who'll be getting that hundred thousand dollar reward from Dylan?"
"That reward," Valerie told her, "was for her arrest and conviction; not for what I just did."
Now McDonald spoke. "Ms. Malone. I want you to call Mr. Dylan McKay right now. Tell your business partner to get himself down here as quick as possible."
Valerie quickly tapped out Dylan's phone number. She put the cell phone to her ear and waited. Then she looked up.
"I'm sorry." She told the Wolfram and Hart executive, "He's turned his phone off. I'll have to tell him what you told me, on his voice mail. Then I have no idea what time he'll wake up; or what time he'll turn his phone on."
"Just tell him what I told you."
Valerie kept the phone against her ear until she heard the beep.
Then she said, "Hi Dylan. This is Valerie. Right now I'm at the Club with Kelly. Lindsey McDonald has just shown up here, armed. He's holding Cordelia Chase captive. It's obvious that he'll kill her if we don't do everything he says.
"The man's just told me to tell you to get yourself down here as quick as possible. He said that Wolfram and Hart is about to become the Club's sole owner."
The Wolfram and Hart executive called out. "Now hang up!"
Valerie clicked off her cell phone.
Travel to the Demonic Dimension of Beelzebubia and never come back?