Paring: Primarily S/X with a very minor S/OCs.
Rating: NC17 Adult Reading
Disclaimer: The Bee has no claim on any of the characters or
products named in this story and receives no profit from anything.
Warnings: Adult language, Prostitution, Violence, strong sexual
content. NOTE: All the boys working in Hope House are over
the age of 18. The Bee does not do underage!
Summary: Long after the final battle of Sunnydale, Xander is
alone, his life in shambles. Is there anywhere he can go and anyone
who can give him hope? There just might be.
As always, kudos to Petxnd for the wonderful banner.
The evening was classic California. The soft breeze that drifted by was warm
with just a hint of residual smog floating through the air, left over from the rush
The birds, who by evolution, had developed the ability to breath in the toxic air,
were still chirping happily in the palm trees, totally unaware of the drama that was
playing out beneath them.
Xander, on the other hand, was hyperaware.
He had selected a spot far enough away and down wind from the old hotel to
assure that Spike would not be able to see or smell him when he came running
out. Still, it insured a perfect vantage point that would allow him to watch the
house empty out.
His plan was elementarily simple. He waited. When Spike got up, he would
read the letter and raise the roof. When the sun went down they would all go
search. Xander would watch them leave and remain in hiding. Hopefully, within
the hour, Jack would slip off and disappear into the night. Xander would then
wait a little longer and return. He would be sitting in the lobby when Spike and
the boys returned and he would face the music then.
There were only a few things that concerned Xander. What if Spike read the
letter and didn't care, or worse, was glad and expected the money? Xander was
pretty sure that would not be the case. Spike wanted him there. He had said so,
and Xander had felt it to be true.
The second issue was Jack. Xander knew a hot potato when he saw one.
Jack was arrogant, self centered and pig headed. All ugly personality flaws,
but nothing he deserved to die for.
Lastly, and most importantly was Wendell. The Wendeego. Because of Xander's
stupidity, one person, his own father, had already died. Xander would not allow
that to happen again.
As he thought through all this, Xander scooted his butt around on the small mound
of dirt and high weeds that proved the perfect vantage point and he looked into
the hazy, purple sunset. Three, two, one, and the last sliver of yellow-gold
dipped below the horizon. No sooner had that happened than the back door flew
open and they all rushed out.
Xander took mental inventory and, yes, all the boys were present and accounted for.
He watched as Spike picked out several and shoved them toward the bus stop,
no doubt to check each of those well strolled areas. He then pointed the rest
toward his old, familiar car. Xander snickered at the sight of too many boys piling
in like a clown car at the circus.
Relaxing, with his back against the trunk of a tall tree, Xander only now had to wait
till Jack came rushing out to safety before it would be all over.
It had taken him all of five minutes, before the first glitch made itself known. When
the realization came to him, he sat upright and whispered the name.
He hadn't seen the housekeeper come out.
The sky was dark now and he was too far from the house to be able to clearly
make out the back door. Was she still in there? He was positive Jack hadn't
had enough time to escape yet. What if she saw him? She would most certainly
call Spike and with only a few minutes head start, he would be back in no time.
Xander jumped to his feet. He paced in the darkness and wondered what to do.
He could go in there and distract her but she would call Spike anyway.
Maybe he should wait. If Jack is careful, he could slip past her and be gone.
Xander bit a fingernail and wondered.
'What the fuck should I do? Goddamn it! It was a simple fucking plan.'
Suddenly he stopped and a look of resolve blanketed his face. He knew what
he would do. He would sneak down and peek in the windows. He would check
to see where Mrs. Gessel was and do something to keep her distracted. He
would also check on Jack and make sure he gets gone.
Xander felt better. He felt stronger and more directed. He had a new plan
and would waste no time in it's implementation. Quickly, he scampered down
the hillside. He was amazed at how dark it had gotten so fast. He could barely
see the fingers in front of his face, let alone the rocks, pit holes and tree roots
he was stumbling over and tripping on.
Finally he reached bottom and just a few feet from the large courtyard/parking area
of the rear of Hope House. It looked like every light in the house had been left on.
Good for a window peeper but bad for a prisoner trying to slide out under the radar.
With his hands sweating and his heart pounding, Xander crept toward the kitchen
area at the back of the house. He crouched low as he quietly slipped up and
ducked around, standing by one of the kitchen windows with his back to the
outside wall where he took a minute to collect himself.
When he was certain he wouldn't pass out or pee his pants, Xander dropped
low, spun around and slowly raised up till just his eyes reached the windowsill
and he peered in.
The kitchen was brightly lit. It was clean, cozy, homey and, unfortunately, empty.
Mrs. Gessel was nowhere to be seen.
Xander muttered under his breath and tried to calculate the time. Why wasn't she
there, he wondered. She was always there. He was sure he hadn't seen her leave
with the others. That meant only one thing. She was somewhere in the house.
Xander had to know. There was no way he could leave without knowing.
Quickly and methodically, he started his rounds. Crouching and scooting across,
he checked in the other kitchen window and assured himself that she was not there.
He then started to circle the outer perimeter of Hope House, ducking, tiptoeing and,
whenever he would reach a window, popping up like a jack-in-the-box. He had
seen nothing and the frustration nearly had him ripping his hair out.
He then reached a small window that looked into a butlers pantry. In his haste,
he started to pass it by but, at the last minute, decided that thoroughness was
just as important as speed and he peeked in.
There she was.
Stretched out on the floor on her stomach with blood flowing freely from an
ugly gash on her scalp.