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.
Jack was charged. The adrenalin that surged through his body caused his heart
to pound in his temples and his hands to sweat. Not from fear. It wasn't fear he
felt. It was the rush of being alive. It was the real reason he worked the streets
for a killer vampire.
Jack just loved the excitement of living one step beyond the mundane world he had
grown up in. He loved skating on the razor sharp edge, literally, of life and death.
His five senses quickly shuffled inside him to line up in order of importance. His
hearing identified the sound as coming from the pantry and Jack knew it must be
Mrs. Gessel. She hadn't gone out with the others. She had stayed behind. Jack
squinted toward the small doorway that led to the food storage area. He saw no
movement of shadow. That was good. That gave him an extra minute or two.
Slowly, as though any quick movement may stir the air around him and cause the
vibration to reach the housekeepers ears, Jack eased the money from the wallet
and slid it in his pocket. He then dropped the wallet silently back in the hanging
purse as his ears strained and his eyes stared in the direction of possible interruption.
This was the moment of decision.
The split second that would shift his feet from one path of destiny to another.
It was that mental choosing that had no time for a weighing of pros and cons.
Jack had the money. The way was clear and he could easily slip out the back door
undetected. If he followed the path predetermined by Xander's plan, he would
fade into the darkness of the night and be gone.
Or, he could do the other. He could act out the scheme his own mind had been
devising ever since Xander had set him free. Mrs. Gessel had no part in that
plan, but this might just work too. Maybe fate had placed her here. In part,
Jack was driven by the need to see someone pay for the misery that was his life
but more than that, Jack had a curiosity. An obsession to know what it would
feel like to take another person's life. The ultimate power of a God.
Tearing his eyes from the pantry, Jack looked rapidly up and down all the counters
in the kitchen till, with a triumph grin, he spotted exactly what he needed.
With his back against the cupboards and his line of vision back on the portal of
discovery, he moved down, sliding his feet, stopped, reached behind himself
and felt around till his fingers found what they sought.
His hand wrapped itself around the solid weight of the high quality wooden rolling pin.
He gripped it firmly and with no more hesitation, crept silently toward the panty.
Xander had waited. He had crouched out of sight and, by sticking a wet finger
in the air to determine the direction of wind flow, out of scent. He watched
as they all rushed from the house and off into the night to find him. He felt more
than a little guilty at the betrayal. He wished it wasn't Spike's back that he had
to stick the knife of trickery in, but a white knight must think of the mission first
and themselves last. His feelings for the vampire simply couldn't be considered.
A quick count and a mental taking of attendance proved all the boys, as well
as their master were accounted for and long gone. It was then that he realized
the housekeeper was not in the hoard. By the time he had slipped down to
the house and peeked in the windows, he was charged with an electric fear
that sent tingling sparks through his body. It was like being back in Sunnydale.
The thrilling exuberance instantly turned to nausea when he saw her body.
Staring in the small window that looked into the pantry, Xander read the entire story
in the details. She had been facing the shelves. She now lay face first on the floor.
There was a pool of blood circling her head and a blood and hair matted rolling pin
that laid by her shoulder.
Jack had killed her.
Xander had caused it.
Xander immediately turned his head to the side and he threw up into the well tended
rose bushes as the understanding of his fuck up slammed into him. He wanted to
curl up and cry at what he had done. He briefly considered running away, but only briefly.
He would not do that. He was still better than that. He was still Xander.
After spitting and wiping off his mouth he swiped his forearm over his snotty nose
and steeled himself for the task ahead. He then called up all his old skills as a demon
fighter and Scoobie and he cleared his brain.
'O.k, think, Xander, think.'
His mental conversation and feet shuffling assisted him in debating the facts.
'Everybody is out of the house. After what he just did, I'm sure Jack is also long gone.
What to do? What to do? Get a grip, Xander! O.k., first, I need to check to make
sure she is dead. Oh, for God's sake, did you see all that blood? Shut the fuck up!'
Xander rubbed his hands over his face as his brain continued to argue with itself.
'Check her if you want but you know it's too late. All right! Next, we need to
make sure Jack is out then we prepare to face the Wendeego.'
Stepping around the puddle of regurgitated lunch, Xander remained hunched
low as he circled the perimeter of the house and arrived at the front entrance.
It was the seldom used door that led directly into the lobby of Hope House.
He took comfort in the familiarity of the gut wrenching fear that twisted inside him.
It was a feeling that fit like a well worn shoe. This was something he knew how
to deal with. Gripping the ornate, antique knob on the door, he turned it and
stepped in to the dark, silent, cavernous lobby.
Pausing to listen, he assured himself that the silence told him what he already
suspected. He was alone. Hurrying in, he glanced over at the small, innocuous
doorway under the grand staircase that led to the basement. His priorities
were now in order. He would check Mrs. Gessel, search for a weapon,
possibly a large kitchen knife, then return to the basement doorway.
When the Wendeego arrived, he would be waiting. Xander considered for a
moment, that if he didn't win this fight, it wouldn't matter if Spike forgave him
Rushing across the room and through the swinging kitchen door, Xander wasted
no time. He moved directly to the pantry where the nice matronly lady bled out on
the tile floor. The light in the panty was on and it's glare made him blink as his
pupils adjusted from the darkness.
Looking down on her, he knew it was a waste of time to check, but he needed
to be sure. Crouching by her head, Xander gingerly reached out and held the
backs of his fingers under her nose. No breath. He then placed a fingertip
on her carotid artery. No pulse.
Xander slowly rose and took a step back. When he finally tore his sad, regretful
eyes from her, something else struck him as odd. Something was different, there
was something missing from the scene but it took him a minute to put his finger on it.
"The rolling pin."
When the confused words left his mouth, the piece of hard, round wood greeted
the back of his head with a resounding.