Embrace-able You

Author: Michael Wilson <wyrdradio[at]yahoo.com>

Rating: PG-13 to R

Disclaimer: Joss, Mutant Enemy, and a lot of other people own the characters from Buffy. Kindred: the Embraced is owned by Spelling Television Inc and Vampire: The Masquerade is owned by Mark Rein*Hagan/White Wolf Publishing. The character of Erica Luna is mine... for as much as I can own her seeing as how I based her off of a series of which I don't own. "Shadows on your side" is owned by Duran Duran. I get nothing by writing this except maybe some kind words of encouragement and a few cheers... at least I hope.

Spoilers: BUFFY: None - Post Season Three/Pre Season Four KINDRED: Don't know - only saw the show once that I can remember... plus only using the Clan idea.. not going to remain canon for either show.

Summary: During his vacation, Xander stumbled upon something and is changed and finally becomes more than he ever bargained for.

Author's Notes: This story is a Buffy/Kindred crossover.

As always " " means talking while * * means thoughts. # # is telepathy.

Feedback: Yes please!!!!!

Distribution: If you like it... please feel free to place it on your site... but please tell me first.

Part One

"... but the shadows are on your side... as soon as the lights go down... in the darkest place you can find... you belong to the hands of the night...."

As the wind whistled past the window in time to the music, Xander nodded along to the radio and smiled at the latest in a series of strange music. The music so far had been pretty weird, mostly early 80's stuff and some of it was downright freaky, scary even, but for some reason it seemed to make him feel more at ease as he drove through the cool desert night.

*I've been driving for the last hour or so, at least. Shouldn't a town show up soon?*

Xander had left Sunnydale, after graduation, for his road trip to see all 50 states a few weeks earlier and had had a small problem with his car in Oxnard. It was as if someone out there wanted him to not get too far. Luckily, he found a stash of cash that his Uncle Rory had forgotten to clean out. The repairs were easy to take care of and not too expensive. They took three hundred of the almost five hundred he had found. He was glad he could afford it, because otherwise he might have had to work in the strip club he had seen when he entered town.

*That would have been very bad... so bad it would haunt me for years.*

He smiled for a moment though.

*Still... could have lorded it over Buffy. She'd flip trying to get me to tell her everything... oh, and Willow too.*

Xander had gone on from there with more confidance, but still there was something odd to his trip. He was always being pulled east for some reason he couldn't explain, that is, until he suddenly felt the need to go north. As it was now, he figured he was near Las Vegas, but he had taken so many twists and turns that he wasn't sure.

"Nice night though... and one good thing is, don't have to worry about vamps going 90 mph."

As Xander came over the rise of a small hill, he saw what looked like the lights of a city in the distance.

*Finally... been wondering if I would have to sleep in the car again.*

With a burst of speed, Xander sped off toward the lights, making it to town in less than 10 minutes. As he reached the city limits, Xander dropped down to 50 and looked around in awe.

*Damn... it IS Las Vegas... and I'm too young to gamble. Shit!*

Xander shook his head and slowed down as he entered some traffic. By the time he was fully in town, the traffic on the strip was so bad he had slowed to a crawl.

"Aw come on... it's late, I'm tired and I want to get some sleep."

Xander glared at the drivers in front of him and then started looking at the hotels as they neared him. Many of them looked too expensive, but then he saw one on a side street that made him pull off... even though he didn't know why.

*Gees, next thing you know I'll be having visions or something. I mean, come on, I've been following this... gut feeling... for the last week or two... and it leads me to Vegas? What am I going to be, an Elvis impersonator?*

Xander pulled into the parking lot and glanced up at it's sign. Looking at it, he began to laugh.

Welcome to the Phoenix
Lowest Rates in Town
.99 Mile long buffet
Elvis Impersonators Convention in Grand Ballroom

"Oh you have got to be kidding me."

Xander shook his head and pulled into an empty space. He got out and headed inside. Inside, the place was a jumble of flashing lights from the casino and loud music from the grand ballroom with its bevy of Elivi. Xander stepped completely inside and wandered around for a bit until he felt he needed to stop. As he stared at the crowd and looked around, he had the feeling he was being watched...


*So beautiful... and so ready for anything... and he finds me yet again,. No matter where I go, it's as if he can sense me, my handsome young man.*

Erica Luna stared across the crowded room at Xander from the shadows and smiled seductively. She had first seen him a few weeks earlier in a small town called Oxnard. She had been there to meet with a retired Clan leader when she had been attacked by a group of five Sabbat.

*No... not Sabbat. They are just the empty soulless ones. They didn't do anything to make you think of them as that, Erica.*

She was shocked, of course, that they would attack her, her of all people, but she didn't have time to speak to them for out of the shadows HE emerged. He was fast and slightly clumsy, but he was brave and he faced and killed all five of them. The look on his face was something she would never forget, a mix of amazement and utter terror.


A couple weeks earlier

Xander stared down at the engine of his Uncle Rory's car and nodded. They had replaced so much of it that it was almost all new. Everything seemed to be in place. He was lucky to find that envelope with almost 500 dollars in it under the passenger seat, otherwise he would have been in serious trouble.

*I can just see it. When I walked into that strip club to use the phone... that woman stared at me as if she could already see me naked and up on her stage. Thank god I managed to get my call done and got out of there before she got up the nerve to walk over.*

Xander shivered remembering and reached into the engine to replace the last of the new spark plugs.

"There, all done. Now all I have to do is get back to the motel and get some..."

A scream filled the air. Xander jerked his head up and had a stake in his hand before he even noticing he had done it. His eyes flashed down the street to a darkened alley and noticed a woman backing out of it... with five guys following her.

*Damn it! Good thing I'm not tired, but I really hope they're not vamps.*

Xander closed the hood then ran toward the group. As he neared them, he noticed the eye ridges and cursed under his breath, then went totally silent as he called upon the memories from Halloween and dropped into attack mode, moving up behind them.

"She looks yummy. Can we have some fun with her before we eat her Mick?"

Xander glared at the short, fat vamp who had spoken and vowed to stake him first. He glanced over at the woman and saw confusion, fear... and disgust in her eyes. Xander understood the fear and confusion, but he was surprised by the disgust. Most people who have just been attacked by vampires are too shocked to really pay attention to what's going on around them. It makes it easier to explain it away, later, as a gang high on PCP. This woman, however, appeared different.

"Sure Sparky, we can have fun with her. We can all have fun with her."

Xander readied himself and chose that moment to strike. As he leapt forward, slamming his stake into Sparky's heart from behind, he growled at them...

"Over my dead body!"

In that moment, chaos ruled the night. Erica watched in awe and shock as this dark-haired young man exploded out of the night. Within minutes he was bouncing from vampire to vampire, staking them one by one, until they were all piles of dust at his feet. The fact they turned to dust was enough to make her wonder just what the hell was going on... but she had no time to dwell on it for suddenly the young man was directly before her... helping her to her feet.

"You ok miss?"

Erica nodded and smiled nervously. She was surprised at herself for feeling shy around a human.

"I.. I'm fine... thank you."

Xander smiled and nodded.

"Doing my duty... and all. Um.. its not safe to be out alone at night... in most places... um.. do you have a place to stay? Can I walk you home?"

Erica smiled and nodded... then offered her arm to Xander. They then walked back to her hotel room and said goodnight. She had been tempted to invite him inside... but saw the flash of innocence inside his eyes and stopped herself. Instead, she kissed him... full on the lips... and smiled sweetly.

"Thank you... my White Knight."

As soon as the words escaped her lips... she saw the pain flash across his eyes and she knew she had said the wrong thing. Xander smiled weakly and backed up a few steps.

"Uh.. thanks.. um.. you be careful now..."

With that said, Xander had turned and ran off into the night. He ran all the way back to his car and collapsed in a heap against it.

*Damn it! Why does it always end like this? Damn you Angel... Angelus... whoever the fuck you are! Damn you and what you did to all of us... and damn you again for making me her fucking White Knight... when the bitch could care less about me...*

Xander shook his head and climbed into his car.

"You've moved on, Xander, and so have they. They're going to be going to college while you'll... fade away into nothing. At least I saved one more person from being turned into them tonight. Maybe I'm not worthless after all..."

A small hint of a smile crossed his face as he started the car and drove off into the night...



From then on.. she had seen him... over and over... no matter where she went. Each place she stopped... he arrived the same day or the next morning... but he never seemed to notice she was there. Erica had grown so unnerved by it that she had contacted her Clan over the phone.


A week later

Rain fell down all around her as she sat in her car and stared at the young man changing a flat tire. He was soaked to the skin, his clothing clinging to him like a second skin, but he seemed oblivious to it all... focused so intently on the task before him. It was entrancing.


Erica blinked and looked down at the phone in her hand.

"Hello Roland. I need to speak to my father."

The phone went silent as the call was transfered.

"Hello Erica. How are you?"

Erica smiled and bit her lower lip as the young man's body flexed as he reached for the other tire, the muscles of his back rippling.

"I'm fine. I'm calling because I seem to have something of a mystery here. A young man has caught my attention. He seems to be following me. He's around 20, maybe a year or so younger, brown hair and eyes, about as tall as Roland. He knew how to kill the soulless ones. I don't know his name, but he reacted strangely to the phrase 'White Knight'."

Erica heard papers shuffling on the other end of the phone before her father answered.

"Alexander Harris. He's been fighting the soulless ones for some time now starting since..."

He read off Xander's history as with each word, Erica's eyes widened more and more.

"Alexander Harris... worked with the Slayer.... my word, what a vivid history he has. Is there anything else? Should I be aware of him? Is he under consideration?"

Those last words had changed everything. Her Prince was silent for what seemed like forever before Erica heard one word.


Erica gasped in shock and then nodded slowly.

"Do you want me to watch him until his fate is decided... yes... ok, I can do that... thank you..."

She ended the call and watched as Alexander climbed back into his car and drove away... a smile on her lips...



Erica had chosen then to become more aware of the young man following her... and that was why she was now staring at him from across the room.

*Soon... my young man... soon I shall see you again...*

Part Two

Xander looked around at the casino from the doorway, letting it all sink in and sighed.

*Damn, no clue as to why I'm in here. I had better go see if they have a room that isn't too expensive.*

Xander walked toward the lobby leaving Erica standing in the shadows. She watched him leave then followed, speaking to someone on her cell phone as she walked.

"Yes, I'd like an Alexander Harris taken care of. He should be coming into the lobby any minute now. Comp him everything, under my account, but no word that it was I who did this, just make up an excuse until I tell you differently."

The manager on the other end of the call responded with such an intriguing question that it made her smile.

"Yes... tell him I'll see him in the morning."

She figured she might as well come face to face with him again and this was as good a chance as any. Erica smiled at the response then slid her phone back into her pocket. She then moved to a nearby pillar and watched Xander as he crossed the room... waiting to see his reaction.


Xander walked over to the reception desk and smiled at the young woman on duty.

"Hello and welcome to the Phoenix. Your name please, sir."

Xander smiled weakly.

"I'm Xan... um.. Alexander Harris... but I don't have a..."

The young woman entered the name into the computer and smiled.

"Mr. Harris... yes, one of our suites has been reserved for you."

Xander stared in shock at the woman and frowned.

"How? I just got here and I don't know anyone."

The woman grinned and nodded.

"One of our guests recognized you and offered to take care of your stay. I am not allowed to give out their name, though. Everything is taken care of and anything you want... just ask. We were told that you will be able to speak with said person in the morning."

Before Xander could reply, the woman motioned for a bellman and then spoke to him quietly.

"Take him up to suite 1580 and then get his things and bring them up to the room. We have been told to comp him everything, so see if you can get him to relax some, Alan."

Alan nodded and took the room key.

"Follow me, sir."

Xander nodded, his mind in a daze, and followed the bellman into the elevator. Once inside, the bellman, Alan, smiled at him.

"Welcome to the hotel, sir, I'm sure you will have a nice stay. You do know that everything has been comp'd for you... right?"

Xander shook his head.


Alan smiled.

"Free. Just call for it on the phone, or go to any of the waitresses that wander around and order it, and its all yours for free."

Xander nodded.

"All because someone likes me."

Alan nodded.

"That's how it usually is. Oh, I've seen it all. Young women getting everything free because some older man is attracted to her, or thinks she looks like his daughter, or the same only its a woman with a young man, or sometimes the hotel itself does it to keep our High Rollers happy... you just never know. I wouldn't worry about it. Just relax and have a good time."

The elevator doors opened on the 15th floor and Alan lead Xander to his room. He opened the doors and then lead Xander over to the sitting room and helped him onto the couch.

"If you can tell me where your car is, I can go get your things."

Xander handed Alan the keys and stared blankly ahead.

"It's in the front lot and off to the side... about 12 cars to the right of the main doors, I think. It's a light blue caddie, long scratch down the door and the top's down. My bags are in the trunk, the blue key, and there's three of them. I need a small duffle bag from under the passenger side seat as well."

Alan nodded and then walked off, closing the door behind him. As he left, Xander stared in awe at the room and got up to walk over to the phone. He rang for room service and then smiled.

*Free, they said, well... let's test this out.*

"Hi, this is room 1580. I'd like three double cheeseburgers, two orders of chili fries, an order of onion rings, a chocolate milkshake... and a box of Twinkies."

Xander wasn't prepared for the response he received.

"Will do, sir. We should have everything to you in 15 to 20 minutes."

Xander swallowed and nodded.

"... and how much is this?"

There was a laugh from the other end.

"Free, sir. You know that already."

Xander smiled.

"Just... just checking. Um... can you throw in a large cola as well?"

As the room service staff finished taking his order, Xander hung up the phone and walked back to the couch. Minutes later he heard a knock on the door.

*I knew it was a dream...*

Xander got up and answered the door. It was Alan, the bellman, and he had Xander's things with him.

"Hello sir. I have your baggage here. If you will step aside, I will bring everything inside."

Xander nodded and moved back a few feet, then watched as Alan carefully placed the bags on the small luggage table.

"Would you like me to unpack everything for you, sir?"

Xander shook his head.

"No... that's... that's ok. I'll get it later."

Alan nodded and moved to the door. Xander watched him leaving and remembered tipping.

"Um... your tip... I..."

Alan grinned.

"You can, if you want sir, wait till you leave and then tell the front desk how much you wish to tip... or you can just sign the tip to me and I can claim it myself."

Xander wasn't sure how long he would be here... and he wanted to be nice to the man.

"I'll sign something, if you have it."

Alan nodded and pulled out a pad.

"Everything is filled out sir. You just sign your room number, your name, then the amount."

Xander nodded and smiled.

*Might as well have fun with this...*

He signed everything, then wrote 100 dollars as the tip. With a grin, Xander handed the pad back to Alan. Alan looked at the pad and smiled.

"That's the spirit. You're relaxing and getting used to the idea of everything being free... aren't you sir."

Xander nodded.

"Yeah... um... was 100 not enough?"

Alan laughed.

"It's fine, sir... just fine... and thank you."

Xander nodded.

"Don't thank me. Thank whoever invited me, but you're welcome just the same."

Alan nodded.

"If you need anything delivered... just ask for Alan."

Xander nodded.

"I will. Thanks again, Alan."

Alan smiled and exited the room, closing the door behind him. Xander smiled at the closed door and waited for his food to arrive.


Outside in the hall, Erica stepped out to speak to Alan.

"Is he settling in?"

Alan looked at the woman and smiled, recognizing her.

"Yes miss Erica. He's getting used to it. Are you the one who is paying for everything?"

Erica smiled.

"In a sense... yes... but the hotel is covering it."

Alan nodded and showed Erica the tip sheet. Erica laughed.

"Yes... he is beginning to relax. Thank you Alan."

Erica smiled and headed off toward the elevators. Alan watched then nodded and walked away in the other direction. As he walked down the hall, he was passed by the room service staff as they brought up a rather large order. He smiled and shook his head.

*The young man must have a huge stomach.*

With a laugh, Alan stepped into the elevator and headed back downstairs...


Xander was flipping through the channels on the television when he heard a knock on the door.

"Room Service."

Xander ran to the door and opened it, a wide grin on his face as he saw the food.


The waiters brought the food into the room and set everything up on an available table. Once everything was ready, Xander signed another sheet, remembering to tip well as he had done for Alan. The men smiled and left and once the doors closed, he turned and stared at the food in awe. As he sat down and prepared to eat, a feeling of happiness filled him.

"Oh boy, this is going to be fun."

Part Three

Xander opened his eyes slowly and smiled. It was morning and he had just had the most amazing dream... about him and Buffy... and Willow... and Cordy... and Amy... and Mrs. Summers...

*What the hell?!*

Xander sat up with a start and thought about the dream. It had been very vivid, extremely so, and very sexual... and now that he thought about it... Mrs. Summers seemed to play a large part in it... along with a blond girl that Xander didn't recognize, but was very attracted to... but not as much as he had been to Mrs. Summers.

*Whoa... she's Buffy's mom... come on... it's... it's just wrong... *

Xander closed his eyes and remembered them... Buffy in the black lace teddy... Willow in the green silk bra, panties and stockings... Cordy in shocking pink... Amy in a soft peach... and Mrs. Summers... she was... well... it still shook him.

*Who would have pictures Mrs. Summers as a dominatrix... and black vinyl, wow!*

Xander smiled, remembering, and then remembered the other blond girl. She had been the one who looked the best... dressed in white with tiny flashes of blue here and there. She had been so breathtakingly beautiful... that just remembering her made his heart almost stop.

*Damn... I get a mystery girl in my dream and I don't even remember to ask her her name.*

Xander chuckled and shook his head... then heard his stomach growl.

"I hear you. Come on, lets get cleaned up so we can fill you up."

Xander hopped out of the large, soft bed and ran into the bathroom. It took him close to 30 minutes to emerge... but when he did, he was clean and dressed and ready to attack the buffet.

"Into the breach... and take no prisoners!!"

Xander grabbed his key and then ran out the door. He ran down the hall to the elevator and then hopped inside. As he waited for the elevator to take him to the lobby... Xander bounced on his toes, eager to hit that mile long buffet. When the doors opened, Xander emerged explosively and ran into the restaurant... and came to a halt, staring in shock.

"My god... it... it's beautiful..."

Before him was the biggest buffet he had ever seen. There were dozens of different kinds of breakfast foods - everything from eggs and bacon to omelets and crepes - as well as fresh fruit, steak, and seafood. It was something out of a dream. It seemed to stretch out... forever.

"I've died and gone to heaven..."

A soft laugh came from behind him and Xander spun around.

"Nope... more like a nice daydream."

It was Alan, the bellman from last night. Xander smiled and laughed.

"Oh no... this... this is heaven for me."

Xander looked back at the food and smiled, a goofy grin on his face. Alan noticed the grin and grabbed his sides as he laughed harder.

"Ok, stop undressing the food with your eyes. Come on, let's get you something to eat before the staff calls the police on you."

Xander blushed and nodded then followed Alan over to the start of the buffet. Xander grabbed a tray, placed three plates on it, then began piling on the food; soon filling all three plates before he had even finished one tenth of the buffet.

"Good god man! How do you eat so much?"

Xander smiled at Alan and walked over to an empty table.

"I'm a growing boy... plus... I never got to each much at home, so every time I see food, I eat as much as I can hold."

Xander got a little somber then.

"You never know when you might not get to eat again for awhile..."

Alan nodded. He understood. He had been down that road once or twice in the past and knew how hard it could be. He could see in Xander's eyes that he had been on that road for a very long time.

"I see. Well then, maybe you can make the record."

Xander, who had been inhaling the food, lifted his eyes to Alan. He swallowed the food in his mouth and raised an eyebrow.


Alan nodded.

"Yeah... the record for most food eaten in one sitting. A guy from Austin, Texas holds it right now. He came in here at 6:45 a.m., a few years ago... and left 4 hours later. He ate 15 plates of food... filled to the top."

Alan looked at Xander's plates as he continued to eat, and saw that one was already empty and the other two were halfway there.

"You know what? I think you can beat him."

Xander smiled and swallowed a mouthful of scrambled eggs.

"You think? Hmm... do I get a plaque or a trophy or something for it?"

Alan laughed and nodded. He pointed to a nearby wall. On it was a plaque with a picture of a large, tanned man in his 30's.

"That's him. They took it after he called it quits... and marked the date and time. If you beat him... your picture takes his place."

Xander smiled. He had always wanted fame and this might be his one and only chance. Besides, it was eating... something he was very good at. This would be a snap..

"Ok. I'll do it."

Alan nodded and waved to someone across the room. A woman walked over and nodded.

"Yes Alan?"

Alan smiled and pointed at Xander and his now 2 empty plates.

"He's going for the record, Marge."

Marge smiled and pulled out a walkie-talkie.

"Henderson... Marge here... we got someone going for the buffet record.... 2 plates clean so far... no, wait... three plates clean... yes... I'll let you know."

Marge smiled at Xander as he got up and got three more plates and came back. Soon, a small crowd of people had gathered around his table... cheering him on.

"Come on... you can do it... go for it..."

Xander cleaned another plate, then another and another; plate after plate, setting them on top of each other as they were emptied. He took one more empty plate and set it on top of the others. Now at 13 plates, Xander was beginning to feel a little full... but he wanted to win. He stared down at the two plates before him and went back to eating. It took him almost three hours... but he tied the other man's record. He sat back and stared on in a daze.

"Come on man... just one more plate and you win..."

Xander nodded. He felt like all of the food he had eaten would come flying back up out of his mouth at any moment. It made him dizzy just sitting still..

"Not so sure... I can... do it, Alan.."

Alan shook his head.

"I know you can. Just get something easy... like... hey, you didn't eat any of the fruit salad. It's all soft and surrounded by jello. That should be easy to get down."

Fruit... Xander winced at the idea... but Alan was right. He nodded and Alan ran off to get a plate of fruit salad... then placed it before Xander.

"Ok man... eat it and you win..."

Xander nodded and began scooping up the fruit and jello... spooning it into his mouth and methodically chewing over and over. It took him 10 minutes... but finally he swallowed the last bite and dropped his spoon.


A cheer exploded through the crowd and hands patted Xander on the back.... which was a bad thing. Xander turned green, his eyes widened and ran to the bathroom. He emerged a few minutes later wiping his mouth.

"Oh man... I've never been this full... and that's even after puking most of it up."

Alan smiled and shook his head.

"Hey... you did great... and they'll take the picture for it later... once you're not green anymore."

Xander nodded and smiled. Alan smirked and then paled.

"Oh crap... I was supposed to tell you something. You're invited to room 2100 at 9:30 this morning. Someone wishes to speak with you."

Xander paled and nodded. Alan noticed this and laughed.

"Nothing bad... just the person who is taking care of you is all."

Xander nodded, relaxing, and wondered which of the reasons Alan gave him the night before would be true.

*Maybe its some hot older woman who wants to seduce me and use me as her personal sex toy...*

Xander smiled at the thought and then shook his head clear.

*Naw.. like that would ever happen... not to me.*

He glanced at Alan and noticed he was wearing a watch.

"Um... what time is it?"

Alan looked at his watch and smiled.

"9:15. You have about 15 minutes to get up there."

Xander nodded and headed back to the lobby... stopping by the gift shop to get some gum and breath mints. As he rode the elevator up with Alan, he ate the mints like mad and then started chewing the entire pack of gum... hoping that by the time he reached the room his breath wouldn't stink.

Xander chewed franticly and by the time the elevator stopped, his jaw was getting sore. He stepped out into the hallway and spit out his gum into a small trashcan... then turned to Alan.

"Can you see if I took care of my breath?"

Alan nodded and Xander breathed out hard at him. Alan sniffed and then smiled.

"Just peppermint and spearmint. You're cool."

Xander smiled and nodded.

"Thanks... um... what was the room number again?"

Alan smiled and shook his head.

"2100... follow me."

Alan then turned and took off down the hall, stopping in front of a large pair of double doors.

"Here you are. Just knock when you're ready to go in."

Xander looked at the doors and paled. He was suddenly terrified of what was on the other side of the doors.

"I... I..."

Alan sighed and knocked on the door... knowing that Xander was too nervous to do it himself...


Erica stared at her reflection in the mirror and finished touching up her makeup. She wanted to look nice for young Alexander. She wanted everything to be perfect.

*He's just a candidate... nothing more, Erica... so why do you suddenly feel all fluttery inside?*

Erica smiled as a blush crossed her face. It was funny... she was almost 120 years old but the idea of a young man coming to see her, alone in her room, made her feel like she was 18 again.

*Calm yourself. He'll be here...*

Just then there was a knock at the door and Erica jumped slightly.

*... right now.*

She glided over to the doors and opened them. She was greeted by Alan and young Alexander... whose eyes had just widened in recognition.


Erica nodded and smiled.

"Yes... it's me. Would you like to come in?"

Xander stepped into the room and Alan smiled and walked back down the hallway, going back to work. Erica closed the doors and followed Xander into the living room. When she arrived, she found him sitting on the couch, his eyes almost in a state of shock.

"Are you well?"

Xander looked up at the beautiful woman and nodded.

"I... I'm ok. I just... I'm surprised to see you again. Not that it's not a good thing and all but... um... why am I seeing you again?"

Erica smiled, holding back a giggle, and took a seat across from Alexander.

"I come here on business often. When I arrived, I saw you in the lobby and you looked so lost and alone... and then I remembered how you saved me from those... well... and I felt it was my right and duty to repay you for your kindness."

Xander nodded.

"But... how... how can you afford all of this; all you've done?"

Erica laughed.

"My... father... owns the hotel. You have nothing to fear, Alexander. You are not causing me any worry. Enjoy. Ask for whatever you like. It is all free. It is the least I can do... to thank you."

Xander looked at her and smiled. Her last few words were joined by a very seductive look that ran straight through him, making him shiver. It was almost as if she were undressing him with her eyes.

*Did I just see what I think I saw? did she just do that? Is she attracted to me?*

He decided to play along. Xander locked his eyes on Erica's and smiled warmly... holding her gaze just long enough to make it count... then looked back down at his hands. Erica saw this display and smiled inwardly.

*My goodness, he's flirting with me... oh my...*

Erica blushed slightly and a sweet smile crossed her lips. Xander looked back at her just in time to see it and grinned.

"Um... well... thanks again for everything... but... I feel kind of bad for getting all of this free stuff without doing something in return. Can I have you? I mean... can I help you... with anything?"

Xander blushed bright red and looked at his feet.

*Oh god. Can I have you? God Xander, you did it again. First Buffy now her. Let's just hope that she doesn't get mad at me.*

Erica stared at Alexander, her jaw slightly down, and just blinked a few times.

*Can I have you... did he really just say that? Oh my... what a Freudian slip that was. This lovely young man... wants me.*

Erica bit her lower lip and smiled. It had been a while since any man... well except for a few of those Gangrel guards she had spoken to a year ago, but they didn't count... had spoken to her in that way. It was.... exciting to say the least.

"Yes... you can."

Erica smiled at the nervous expression that instantly crossed Alexander's face.

*I'll let him wonder which question I was answering. Oh, this will be so much fun.*

To add to the fun, Erica reacted out and lifted Alexander's chin... bringing his eyes up to look into hers... and gave him a very sultry look.

*Might as well enjoy this... see if he has the guts to do anything. After all, he might be around for a very long time... and he is cute... he would be such fun to live with...*

Xander felt her delicate fingers on his chin and he shivered. They were so soft. He felt his head being lifted up and when he looked into Erica's eyes.. there was a look there that almost knocked Xander's socks off.

*Whoa! I haven't seen that look on a woman since the Love Spell. Oh boy.. oh man.. what do I do now?!*

Xander wet his lips and swallowed.

"Wha.. um.. what can I do for you?"

Erica smiled.

*Me! Oh down you naughty girl.*

"I'm going to be here... for a while... and you seem to be in good shape, very good shape indeed. Would you like to be my bodyguard?"

Xander smiled and nodded.

"Yes... I... I can do that. I have had some martial arts training and I'm good with guns. I think I could handle watching your body."

The moment he said it he knew he had phrased it wrong. He was instantly blushing before he could stop himself.

*Oh god.. just call me Pinky... I must look like a tomato right about now.*

Erica smiled at Alexander and leaned in toward him to place a soft kiss on his cheek.... then restrained herself from sliding the kiss over to his lips, then throw him down onto the carpet and...

*Calm Down! Come on... you definitely need to cool off.*

"Thank you. Well... I will be going shopping later, say 1:30? If you would... please come back here by 1:00? Until then... the day is yours."

Xander smiled and nodded... then got to his feet.

"I.. I don't even know your name."

Erica smiled.

"It's Erica. My name is Erica Luna."

Xander nodded and walked to the door.

"I'll be back at 1:00 then... Erica."

He opened the doors and stepped into the hallway, giving her one last look over his shoulder... before he vanished down the hall...

Part Four

Xander arrived at the door to Erica's room promptly at 1:00. He had gone back to his own room and had changed into something he felt was appropriate for a bodyguard. He now stood before her door in - a black silk shirt, black pants, black combat boots, and a black trench coat over it all - all thanks to the boutique in the lobby. Xander caught his reflection in the mirror and smiled.

*I look... dangerous.*

Xander knocked on the door and waited. Remembering something else, Xander slipped on a pair of mirrored sunglasses to complete his look and smiled as the door opened.


Erica straightened her hair in the mirror and then touched up her lipstick. She knew Alexander would be arriving shortly and wanted to look good for him.

*Stop trying to deny it. You want him, you know you do, so why not just go for it. He has a fabulous body and you've been dying to see it all day... so just go for it. You never know... he might say yes.*

There was a knock at the door and Erica smiled.

*He's here!*

With a giggle, Erica moved to the door and opened it... then gasped in shock.

*Oh my!*

Before her stood Alexander. He was a vision is black with a silk shirt that clung to his body like a second skin... showing off muscles she ached to touch, a pair of pants that were so tight she could swear she could see... well, she would have to not stare, and a gorgeous trench coat that made him already look like one of the Kindred.

*He's going to fit in just fine. Julian will be so pleased...*

Erica smiled and took a deep breath as Alexander slowly lowered his sunglasses, revealing smoldering seductive brown eyes... eyes she just wanted to fall into and never leave.

*Oh dear God! Calm down before you lose control.*

"You look... perfect... Alexander."

Xander smiled and blushed... causing Erica to bite her lip.

*Oh gods.. why does he have to look so good when he blushes... oh this is going to be a long day.*

Erica stepped into the hall and slid past Alexander, her body touching his as she closed her door... causing a small intake of air from him. Xander watched her closely and felt his clothing getting hotter.

*Damn.. she.. she looks so good.*

She was wearing a almost floor length dress made of what looked like silk in a creamy shade of peach that balanced with her strawberry blond hair and blue eyes. Xander stared at her and smiled. She was perfect.. in his eyes.. 5'6" or 5'7", long hair that he ached to run his fingers through, creamy pale skin that he longed to kiss, and a body that made his wildest dreams seem pale in comparison. She was.. in every sense of the word.. perfect.

"You look beautiful, Miss Luna."

Erica smiled.

"Erica.. please, Alexander."

Xander smiled and nodded.

"Only if you call me Xander. Only my grandparents call me Alexander."

Erica smiled.

*Xander... it's sweet.*

"Of course... Xander."

She purred his name and Xander felt every hair on his body stand up at attention.

*Oh my lord... how am I going to last through the day with her doing this to me.*

Xander swallowed nervously and shifted on his feet, his pants even tighter now. Erica glanced at his legs and noticed... well, she noticed.. and smiled.

*Oh.. he DOES like me.*

Erica took a deep breath and steadied herself.. then turned fully to Xander.

"Ok. You look wonderful... quite the image of a bodyguard. All you need now is weaponry... which I will soon take care of. Come with me."

Xander nodded and followed a few steps behind her to the elevator. When she pressed the button and it opened, Xander stepped inside first and looked around... making sure it was safe... the nodded and let her in. Erica smiled and nodded.

*Doing well... he knows what to do.*

They rode in silence down to the second floor... where the hotel offices were located.. and stepped out into the hallway. Xander went first and looked in both directions... then nodded and motioned for her to join him. Erica then headed down the hallway in the direction of the hotel safe.

"We will be getting you a gun and a few knives... and a sword would be nice.. but I doubt if you could..."

Xander interrupted her.

"I'm classified for every weapon, Erica, and if you needed me to.. I could get Field Certified in under an hour."

Erica stopped and stared at him in shock.


Xander smiled.

"You're going to think I'm crazy.. but what I am about to tell you is true. A while back, on Halloween, I was the victim of a spell cast by a Chaos Mage named Ethan Rayne. He made our costumes reality... so we were whatever we were wearing. I was wearing the uniform of a Special Forces Captain who apparently had spent many years in the service and was as deadly as an assassin. I was him, completely and totally, for the night. I knew all he knew, all his skills, his training, his languages... everything, but when the spell was broken, well... I still remember everything. A friend of mine tested me once and I could, if I wanted to, join any Special Forces unit and do very well."

Erica's jaw dropped and she stared in shock.

*He IS deadly...*

Slowly she raised her jaw and nodded.

"I see... well.. then we shall have to outfit you properly. Come then, Xander.. to the Armory."

Erica pulled out a keycard and swiped it through an electronic lock in a door at the end of the hall. When it opened, she stepped inside and motioned for Xander to follow her. Inside... it was something out of a soldier's dreams.

*Oh my god..*

Xander stared in shock at the massive array of guns and bladed weapons. Every wall was covered in weapons... and there were four tables in the center of the room with even more weapons on them. As if on instinct, Xander moved pass all of them, grabbing things here and there... starting with body armor. It looked light, yet strong, and it was a slick black color. He removed first is trench then his shirt. He grabbed a torso piece and pulled it on... then the forearms, then the elbows with the reinforced sections. He put his shirt back on and moved to remove his pants.

"Um... Erica... would you mind looking the other way for a moment?"

Erica smiled, her eyes locked on his chest after having seen it moments earlier, and nodded.

*My god... its hard as a rock.*

She turned her back, but noticed she could see all of Xander in the reflection off of one of the metal panels in the wall. A sly grin crossed her face as his pants fell to the ground... revealing.

*I KNEW there was something going on there.*

Her eyes locked in place and her jaw dropped.

*My lord... it's... it's... oh that thing is going to probably hurt.*

Xander strapped on the shin armor and pulled his pants back up. The material of his pants luckily stretched to fit the armor and it didn't look much more than very well-defined legs to his eyes. He tapped his chest and arms and legs and smiled.

*Hard as a rock now.*

"You can turn back around now."

Erica turned around as Xander moved over to the table and cabinets that held the weaponry. She smiled and could see the training he had spoken of as he examined the selection.

*A diamond in the rough.*

Xander started in on his weapons. He started to grab everything that he would need for a full mission... then stopped. This wasn't a full mission. This was covert ops... more or less. Just get the basics... and remember that you can come back for more later if you need it. His eyes scanned the weaponry and passed over many items before he came to a pair of silver dagger with grooves on the sides of the blades and what looked like some kind of script.

*Celtic maybe... I don't know.*

He took them and slid one into each boot. He then grabbed a gorgeous katana in a black enamel sheath. It had an almost alive feel to it. He knew it would be perfect. He found a shoulder strap for it and slung it across his back. He then took a pair of matching .9mm's that seemed to call out to him. They came with a harness that let him wear them both at the same time, so he grabbed that too and put it on over his shirt.

*Now... ammo.*

For the guns, Xander grabbed half a dozen clips for each gun and placed them in the pocket's of his trench. He also found an ammo loader that he had seen used in a movie recently.

*That would come in handy. Save me time reloading if I get in trouble.*

He took it and put it on, but left it unloaded for right now.

*I can always load it later on if need be.*

Xander then noticed a first aid kit hanging off a peg on the wall. It's read cross reminded Xander that he would need more than just protection from the human evils of the world. He felt for the ornate cross that hung around his neck and remembered something he had seen on the internet while doing research a month or so back.

*Mental note, I really should look into getting ordained online through that Universal Life Church. It would make things so much easier if I happened to run into any more vampires or demons.*

He smiled and examined the table to see if he forgot anything. He notieced a pair of sunglasses that looked strange. Xander grabbed them and slid them on in place of the ones he was wearing... then pulled on his trench coat and turned back around to face Erica.

"So.. what do you think?"

Erica stared in shock, her eyes wide as saucers, and nodded slowly. He was well armored and well equipped... but it was all understated. He wasn't one of those guys who took a ton of weapons that only made him look like some guy getting ready to go to war. No, Xander looked... ready for anything... and exponentialy hotter than did before.

*My god... oh baby.. I don't care anymore.. I just can't take it any longer. I have to have him...*

Erica smiled and a low purr escaped her throat. She locked the door and then threw herself on Xander, stripping him in less time than it took Xander to get dressed in the first place. She grabbed onto him and slammed him into the floor, climbing over and onto him.. placing kisses all over his body... trying to release all of the tension she had built up already.

*What the fuck!*

Xander was in shock. He had a beautiful woman trying to eat him alive and he was too stunned to do anything... but not for long. Within seconds his body took over and he flipped her onto her back and began slipping the dress off of her shoulders.. sliding it down her body until she was naked under him.

*Damn.. she's so beautiful.*

He didn't have too long to admire her before she pulled him down into a kiss and then wrapped her legs around him... proceeding the act they coth wanted so desperately. Soon the sounds of pleasured screams filled the room and echoed down the hallways outside...


Sometime later - Xander wasn't sure how long - he looked up at the ceiling and smiled.

*I had sex... again... and it was good. I'm the man.. I'm The Man.. I'M THE MAN!!!*

Xander rolled onto his side and smiled at Erica. She curled up on her side, her body clinging to his, fast asleep.

*I must have worn her out...*

He leaned over and kissed her forehead lightly.. watching her eyes flutter open. With a smile, she kissed him and then sat up.

"Hey.. sweetie... how are you?"

Xander smiled at her.

*Sweetie... cool.*

"I'm good.. how are you?"

Erica smiled and tried to stand up.

"Oh.. I'm sore in places I didn't know I had."

Xander got to his feet and smiled proudly.

"Well.. is it a good sore or a bad sore?"

Erica turned to Xander and ran her fingers down his chest.

"Oh , it's a very good sore... and thank you, my darling."

Xander nodded and blushed. Erica smiled and grabbed her dress, pulling it on.

"You should get dressed, hon. I think I missed my appointments for today."

Xander looked at her, a concerned look on his face.

"I'm sorry. Will everything be ok?"

He started getting dressed, much faster this time, as she redid her makeup.

"Everything will be fine. Don't worry. Besides, it was worth it... so worth it."

Xander, now fully dressed again, blushed.

"Will we.. I mean... can we... um.. do that again sometime?"

Erica nodded and moved over to kiss Xander.

"Anytime you want... but for now... we need to be going, so grab your coat and let's go."

Xander nodded. He checked his armor under his clothing, checked all his weapons, then pulled on his trench coat.


Erica nodded and unlocked the door. Xander stepped into the hallway, his eyes scanning left and right. He was ready for anything, falling fully into Solider mode...

Part Five

Xander walked alongside Erica as they made their way through the hotel to the lobby. Erica nodded to a uniformed man who led them outside to a large car. Xander ran a quick sweep of the car, checking each door, the undercarriage and the engine... then nodded and let Erica inside. Erica just smiled at her new lover...

*My lover... my.. I've become very possessive suddenly.*

She slid into the backseat followed quickly by Xander. As the car drove away, Erica smiled and leaned against Xander's armored shoulder.

"You're doing wonderfully, Xander. I am so thankful you saved me that day."

She looked into his eyes and bit her lower lip.

"May I ask you... how did you know how to... deal with those things?"

Xander looked at Erica and nodded slowly.

"I'm from Sunnydale. It's on what's known as a Hellmouth. All forms of evil are drawn there. Things like Demons, Hellbeasts, and Vampires all hunt there. I'm part of a team that hunts and kills them to protect humanity. I'm telling you this because I feel I shouldn't keep secrets from you... after what we shared."

Xander blushed at the memory and looked down. Erica placed her hand in his and squeezed comfortingly.

"Thank you. I've seen those things before.. once in Toronto. They killed an entire city block before some blond man came and killed them all. There was word of a powerful black man in New York, I think, who eliminated almost all of the vampires there. I do not know their names.. but if you are defending the world.. like they are.. then you are a special person indeed and I am honored to be with you."

Erica smiled and leaned in to kiss him... then ran her hands down his chest, her fingers tracing the armor-plating under his shirt.

*Just think... only earlier you had taken this young man to protect him... and then he does things you haven't felt in over 50 years... and now you're smitten enough to... what?*

Erica looked into his eyes and saw something she had been expecting to see... a spark of love. It made a flush of heat fill her chest... amazing her.

*Is that... love? Impossible... we.. we don't... but maybe...*

Erica was silent for the rest of the drive to the afternoon meeting and just held Xander's hand. When the car stopped, Xander got out first and looked around... then reached a hand in to help Erica out.

"Looks clear. Which building?"

Erica pointed to the five story building with the tinted glass windows and Xander took point... walking a few steps ahead of her... constantly looking from side to side. As they neared the building, Xander opened the doors and slid quickly inside.. then came face to face with a arm holding a gun. Without thinking, Xander grabbed the wrist and twisted it up and to the right... forcing it back at the same time until he heard a loud snap.

*Take him down Soldier!*

Xander dropped down into a leg sweep, still holding onto the broken wrist and pulled the man to the ground, spinning his body so that he had the man's wrist behind his back.. then slammed him face first into the ground, hearing a crunch at the impact.

*Weapons search!*

Xander jabbed his knee into the back of the man and grabbed the other hand... which was sliding down to a gun hidden in a leg sheath.

"Don't force me to break your other wrist...."

Just then there was a voice from the shadows within the next room.

"... and don't force us to kill you."

Xander looked up and saw three men and two women with guns pointed at him... and a stunned and slightly angry Erica staring at him. Xander looked down at the man below him and then let go of his wrist... before getting to his feet.

*Didn't even sense them. Damn, I'm getting rusty.*

Xander moved over to Erica, the guns following him, and looked her in the eyes.

"If I have erred.. then I am sorry. I was doing my job.. and he did place a gun in my face. I reacted."

Erica nodded slowly.. outwardly mad at him while inwardly cheering him for his speed and power. The entire encounter had taken less than a minute to complete and she was in awe at his speed and skill.

"I forgot to tell you that there would be a guard on duty inside."

Xander nodded and turned to look at the group. They still had their guns on him and the man Xander has disabled was climbing to his feet, cradling his wrist.

"I'm sorry about your wrist."

The man glared at Xander... then nodded slowly.

"It'll heal."

He looked Xander up and down, nodded at the well-chosen and minimalist view on weaponry, then whistled.

"Where did you learn that, boy?"

Xander squinted slightly and then tilted his head.

"That's classified."

A smirk crossed the man's face and he nodded... understanding.

"Well... damn but you're good."

He turned to the others and smiled... then mouthed.

"I like him.. he gets my vote."

The one who had spoken smiled, turned, then walked back into the room... his people following until only Xander and Erica were left in the hallway.

"Are you ok?"

Erica nodded.

"Yes... and thank you. You moved faster than I expected. I couldn't say anything in front of them.. but I'm proud of you."

Xander smiled as she gave him a quick kiss.. then moved to the door.

"I'm safe in here. Wait here until the meeting is over.. then we will go to dinner."

Xander nodded and leaned against the wall.. watching both directions plus the parking lot... content to wait. Erica nodded and walked inside, closing the door behind her. Xander watched her go then took off his sword and began tightening the shoulder strap as he waited.


Inside, Erica moved to her seat and smiled at the man sitting next to her. He was rubbing his wrist and then smiled as an audible "shuk" sound filled the room. He flexed his wrist and nodded at the now repaired break.

"The kid's fast... and smooth. You wouldn't know he wasn't Embraced."

Erica smiled at the approval in the man's voice and looked at the others. They nodded and all were whispering different phrases of approval... then all became silent as he entered.

*He came here?!*

Erica bowed her head to her sire and waited for him to speak.

"You may all relax. I'm here about the young man who so easily took you down, Cash. I'm surprised. Was it an accident... or is he good?"

Cash flexed his healed wrist and smiled.

"He's good... and I honestly wasn't expecting him to jump me like that."

Erica looked at Cash and smiled... then looked back over at the Prince, who was looking right at her.

"You've taken him as your lover already, Erica? I'm surprised."

Erica's eyes widened.

"How did you...?"

Julian smiled.

"I can... smell him... on you. What was it... less than an hour ago?"

Erica nodded and blushed as the group smiled and or snickered at her. Julian smiled and sat down.

"And his feelings toward you?"

Erica bit her lower lip.

"I can see love in his eyes... and pain. He was hurt by someone... and I think he is almost ready to love someone again... to love me."

She looked over at the Prince and nodded.

"He is... beyond words. He knows things that someone his age shouldn't know. He is skilled in many different forms of combat and has told me he could get certified for any weapon in our Armory... and I believe him."

Erica paused.

"When... if... no, when he is Embraced... he will be amazingly powerful."

Julian nodded slowly.

"Yes.. I know. That is why I have been watching over him ever since he was nominated..."

Cash frowned.

"Yeah? Who nominated the kid anyway? I want to ask him why he didn't do it sooner. We could have used him in that turf war a few months ago."

Julian shook his head.

"We do not know. The name of the person who nominated Alexander has vanished. All we know is that it was a Latin name.. which signified someone of great age. We figured it was an Elder or a lost Ancient who had seen the boy and was impressed. We tried checking up on the person... but gave up when we could find nothing. We figure it was a clerical error and just decided to watch Alexander ourselves. He, by himself, and with The Slayer, has done well in killing the soulless ones on a grand scale. He has skill and strength and cunning.. as Erica said... and he also has heart. He, on many occasions, defended The Slayer with his own life. That level of loyalty impressed us."

Julian took a drink of water from a glass near him and then continued.

"That is why it has been decided. Alexander will be offered to be Embraced. We are not sure when this will be, as we are still trying to decide which Clan gets him. Many have made claim on him... including Brujah, Gangrel, Tremere, Toreador, and my own Clan of Ventrue. We will observe him and see which Clan he fits best into. Until we know for sure.. he is placed under protection by ALL of the Clans from here on out. Understood?"

Everyone in the room nodded, agreeing. Prince Julian Luna nodded and smiled to himself.

"Since we have nothing more to discuss, this meeting is adjourned."

He stood and slid his chair back... then paused, not remembering scooting it closer to the table in the first place. He looked down as he heard a click... then was thrown across the room as an explosion ripped apart his chair, the table, and half the room.


Xander paced slowly back and forth in front of the door as he waited. He was on full alert... for something had bothered him from the moment he entered, but he just couldn't put his finger on it. He held onto his katana with a strong grip and readied himself for anything.

*What the fuck's going on? Why am I so edgy?*

From the other side of the door, he could hear muffled talking and then it all stopped. Xander moved closer to the door and was preparing himself for Erica's return... when it was blown open. The wood splintered and shards of it were thrown out into the hallway... and against Xander. The shockwave that came with them threw him down the hallway and through the tinted glass window.

*Oh shit!*

Xander skidded across the parking lot and came to a stop a good 15 feet away... with shards of wood and glass sticking out of his hips, legs, and any place not covered in armor.


Xander was in pain... so much so that he was unable to climb to his feet. He knew that it was a bomb... and it had to have been a big one to create the amount of damage it did. Xander raised his head and then clamped his jaw shut at the pain. He looked down his body and blinked in shock. His clothing was shredded and there were over a dozen large shards of wood and glass sticking out of his body in any place that hadn't been covered by the armor... and even more smaller shards scattered all over the armor itself.

*I'm hit bad...*

Xander could feel something beginning to spread under his fingers and lifted one hand to his face, wincing as he moved, and saw blood. He quickly felt it under him as it seeped through his clothing. In an instant he knew what was happening to him. He was slowly bleeding out.

*Must have... hit an artery or something... no one's here... gonna bleed to death...*

Xander knew he had to get help... but he couldn't move his legs. It was then that he saw a large shard of glass in his side... right next to his spinal cord.

*Oh god... oh.. it's cold... I'm so cold... and it's getting dark now... going... I'm going... into.... shock.......*

Xander closed his eyes and let the blackness overtake him just as he heard the faint siren of either a police vehicle or an ambulance in the distance...


Inside, the explosion had taken everyone by surprise.. but they had gone through this before. As the blast occurred, the members of the group all dove for the ground and pulled themselves into tight balls. The wave of the blast rolled over their heads and out into the hallway... followed by the sound of shattered glass. Within seconds white foam and water was shooting from every direction, drenching everyone in the room.

*Who would dare to set a trap for here and now?*

Julian got to his feet and wiped blood out of his eyes. He looked around the room and saw that everyone was ok. He ran over to Erica and saw a large gash on her forehead.

"Erica... are you ok?"

Erica fluttered her eyes then opened them and sat up, her eyes wide with fright.


Julian darted his head to the destroyed door and then ran into the hall. He couldn't see Xander anywhere. He ran to the window frame and sucked in a breath at the sight. Across the parking lot lay Xander... with a large red pool spreading out under him.

*Oh god... he's dead... what will I tell Erica...*

Just then, he saw Xander lift a hand to his face... then let it drop to the ground. Julian leapt toward the window then stopped when he heard the approaching ambulance. Knowing that they couldn't be found there, he turned and ran back inside to the others.

"Move.. now... get out the back!"

Erica paused and moved to the door. Julian stopped her.

"He's alive... but not for long. We have to go before they get here and start asking questions. He'll be ok... as long as he hasn't lost too much blood."

Julian knew he was lying... but he had to reassure his childe before she lost it completely and went after the young man herself.

"We will get him from the hospital... but later. Now we must flee."

Erica nodded, resentfully, but followed her sire out the back... silently vowing to return to Xander.


The officers hit the scene and stared in shock at the billowing smoke that was pouring out the building. They came to a stop... followed closely by an ambulance... and then saw him.

"Oh shit! Medic!"

Sergeant Jonathan O'Malley jumped out of his car and ran across the parking lot to the young man. For a second, he was back in the war... and a level of fear he hadn't felt in years came flooding back.

*Oh god..*

He stared down at the young man and the large pool of blood he was lying in... then noticed the weaponry and frowned.

*A pair of .9mm's and a sword... and an ammo loader? What is... Body Armor? What the fuck?!*

An EMT ran up next to him and then gasped in shock. Jon turned to the woman and glared at her.

"Don't stand there.. fix him!"

The woman nodded and dropped next to the body.

"Hank.. call it in. We need a full team, he's bleeding out!"

Hank ran back into the ambulance and called it in as Jon and the woman moved Xander onto the stretcher and then rolled him to the back of the ambulance. Once inside, they hooked up an IV and started pumping blood back into him.

Jon stared at them and nodded.

"Follow me.. I'm giving escort."

He then ran back to his squad car and hopped in... then burnt rubber pulling out of the parking lot, heading for the closest hospital. As he drove, he looked in his rear view mirror, watching to make sure the ambulance was following him... keeping a close watch until they reached the hospital.

"Come on kid.. you have to make it.. so you can explain all that shit you're wearing."

Jon jumped out of his car and ran over to the ambulance as they pulled up. The doors opened and a group of doctors came running out. One of them tried to stop Jon, but he growled at him and pushed him back.

"I'm with him. He's got more weapons on him than you can deal with. Until you strip him clean, I'm not leaving. When you do, I get everything."

The doctor was about to reply in the negative until he saw the young man in question and the stare of his belongings.

"Right.. officer.. come with me then."

They rushed Xander inside and tried to cut open his shirt...but hit something hard. Jon nodded and moved to Xander's side.

"Body Armor.. the release clap is on his side."

Jon reached in and undid all the armor then stepped back to let the doctors continue. Within minutes they had Xander stripped and placed all of the armor and weapons, except for the katana, in a pile on the ground. Xander's fingers had closed in a death grip on the katana and they couldn't pry it from his fingers without breaking them in the process. Jon moved over young man and pressed on a nerve at his wrist. Xander's fingers spasmed and the katana fell to the ground. He moved it onto the pile and nodded... then watched the doctors roll the young man away.

*Shit... this is all... shit kid. Who the hell are you, kid?*

He looked back down the hall at the doors leading to Emergency and wondered if the kid would make it out live to answer his questions....

Part Six

Time passes slowly when you're dying. You don't seem to notice it at all. You're just there... waiting... wondering why things are the way they are. That's the way it seemed to Xander as he stared across at the doctors working on his body.

"He's flatlined! Get the paddles!"

Xander walked around his body and winced. He was a mass of black and purple covered in red... and his chest was sliced open from chest to groin... almost... as they tried to repair or replace the heavily damaged organs.

*Wow.. I look like shit... no wonder I'm outside my body.*

"Nothing.. charge to 300."

Xander watched at they worked on him furiously and shook his head.

*They're not going to let me die... better give them a hand.*

Xander walked closer and stuck his hand into his body.. somewhere near his shoulder. The connection of his soul with his body was enough to bring back his heartbeat... a singular fact that made a few of the nurses begin to cry.

*Guess I'm going to be watching this up close... at least until they fix me enough for me to slide back in...*

Xander sighed and shook his head slowly as the doctors pulled out a shredded organ and then began replacing it with a new one...


Erica stood in the shadows and cried. She was listening to everything going on in the room and heard her Xander's heart stop.

*He can't die... please.. please God no.. you can't take him from me before I've even had a chance to tell him I love him... please...*

Tears fell from her eyes as she huddled against the tall form behind her. Julian looked down at his childe and pulled her tighter against him.

#He will live... my childe... trust me on this.#

Erica looked up at her sire and nodded. It had been so long since he had spoken to her in her mind. She had missed the feel of it so much.

#I love him... father.... with everything in me.#

Julian nodded and smiled.

#I know, honey, I know. I can see it in your eyes.. and in your heart. Be calm... and patient. He will survive this... even if I have to get a Tremere Wizard to bring his soul back from the beyond...#

Erica stared in shock at her sire and rested her head against his chest.

#You care that much about me?#

Julian stared at her.

#Of course I do. I love you. You're my favorite of all my children.#

Erica smiled and looked back at the closed Emergency Room doors... waiting.... and praying that her love would survive so that she could tell him how much she loves him, and how she never wants to spend another moment of her existence apart from him... that she would do anything... anything at all to be with him, forever..


Sergeant Jonathan O'Malley stared down at the organized pile he had made and scratched a final note into his log book.

"... and a rabbit's foot. Damn kid.. what the hell are you?"

Jon slid his log book into his jacket and sat down next to the pile as he waited for his backup to arrive to retrieve the weapons. He had called them a few minutes after arriving and had been waiting for a few hours now.

*Shit.. the resources in this town sucks. I'm transferring. Heard they have a good squad over in New York.. or maybe Chicago.*

He looked back out toward the parking lot and still saw no sign of anyone coming.

"They get another 30 minutes... then I'm just going to keep all this stuff and go on my way."

Jon looked back at the Emergency Room and shook his head.

*Fuck this.. the kid is dying and I'm sitting here waiting for him so I can tear into him over getting killed... almost. This job sucks! That's it.. I'm quitting. I've had enough. This job isn't worth it. I wanted to help people.. not clean up the messes the gang wars leave behind. I'm going to take Matt up on his job offer... maybe helping him would do some good.*

Jon looked down at the weapons and armor and considered taking them.. just as the doors opened and a tall man emerged.

"You are the officer who has my son's belongings?"

Jon looked up and nodded.

"Yeah... and I'd like to know where he got it and why he was decked out in body armor?!"

Julian moved forward and focused on the man's mind. He read the surface thoughts and saw what he had been considering moments earlier. He saw the man's friend, Matt, and knew that it would be prudent to aid this man on his journey.

#You want to get on with your life. You will take the money in front of you and go work for your friend Matt. You will do good work with him.#

Jon nodded as he mulled the idea over. He liked Matt, but there were things about him that were weird.

*Still freaks me out how he can do so much and still be blind.*

Julian nodded and placed a large amount of money in the officer's hands. He then gave the man the command to wake. Jon blinked and looked at the money in his hand. He then looked at the body armor and weaponry... then back up at the man before him.

"He's your kid... and this is his stuff?"

Julian nodded. Jon frowned for a moment, as if confused, then nodded.

"Then I'll leave this with you. I... I don't care. I'm quitting anyway."

He shoved the money into his pocket and turned to walk away.

"Damn freaky town..."

Julian watched him leave then picked up Alexander's things and handed them off to one of his aides.

"Place this is the car. I will call for it later, once Alex awakens."

The aide nodded and then disappeared into the shadows. Julian nodded and walked back into the Emergency Room.


"... clamp."

The doctor moved the clamp into place and nodded to herself. She had everything under control. They had managed to stop most of the bleeding... but knew that the damage was so severe that the young man might not make it through the night. As it was.. his chances were something like 15 percent that he would survive.

*Just too much damage... its all falling apart in here...god.. poor kid.*

"... suction.."

The doctor closed a final connection and sighed.

"That's the best we can do. Now its all up to fate. Close him."

The nurses nodded as the doctor moved away to wash her hands. They watched her retreating form and nodded... for they had seen the young man and he looked 200 times better now... but still, still it wasn't enough.


Doctor Rebecca Montrose exited the emergency room and looked around. The officer who had brought the young man in was gone... and there was no one there to speak to. She was about to go back to her office when a tall man appeared before her.

"Is he.. ok?"

Rebecca looked the man up and down and nodded.

"Who are you?"

Julian took a breath.

"I'm family."

Rebecca could see a slight resemblance and nodded.

"Yes... and no. We have him stable... but he's in bad shape. There.. there was just so much damage. His chances are not good. I don't think he will survive the night. Are you his father?"

Julian paused... considering... then nodded.

"Yes... I'm his father. Is Alex ok enough to see him?"

Rebecca shook her head.

"They're closing him up now. Wait about an hour or two.. then ask the front desk for the room of...?"

Julian smiled.

"Alexander Luna. I'm Julian.. his father."

Rebecca nodded and wrote down the name on the chart.

"Can you explain what happened today?"

Julian nodded.

"Alex was on his way to a costume party. He was supposed to meet his friends at the warehouse... then move on to the party.. but a gang had gotten upset at a rival gang and had rigged the place with explosives. Alex was caught by the blast."

As Julian spoke.. his eyes glowed and drew Rebecca in... hypnotizing her. He knew it was working as she nodded slowly, her eyes glazed.

"Gang war... right... makes sense."

Julian smiled.

"So you see... Alex was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Rebecca nodded.

"Yes.. exactly.. well, I hope you can understand how sorry I am over this. I.. I'll check up on him later for you."

Julian nodded and watched her as she walked away... then heard Erica walk up behind him.

"Thank you, Father."

Julian slid an arm around his childe and nodded.

"You're welcome."

They walked back into the shadows to wait... knowing they just made things 10 times more difficult than they needed to be...


Time passed achingly slow for Erica as she waited to be allowed to see her love. It was almost like torture to her... and she wasn't sure how much more she could take. They had been waiting for almost three hours before a nurse walked over to them and said that Alex was in his room and they could go see him. Erica jumped to her feet and almost ran the whole way.

They reached his room and Erica bolted inside.. then came to a halt and started crying again. Her Xander looked like something out of a horror film... and it broke her heart. He was black and purple and covered in tubes and wires. He looked so pale.. almost dead. It was just too much to take. With a sob and a childlike cry, she fell to the floor.


Julian grabbed Erica before she hit the floor... shocked both by Xander and by the words that came out of his childe's mouth. She had never called him Daddy before... only Father... and he knew that she had to be in extreme pain to have slipped so far.

"It's going to be ok.... we'll fix him."

Erica looked up into Julian's eyes, searching for the truth... and saw it.

"He's going to die..."

Julian closed his eyes and nodded.

"Yes.. probably. If you listen.. you can hear his heart. It's slow and weak...barely beating at all."

Erica nodded.

"Then what are we going to do?"

Julian looked at his childe.. then at Xander.. then back.

"I'm getting Lucas here immediately. He owes me a favor... and I plan on him using every healing spell he knows to save my boy."

Julian pulled Erica to her feet and helped her over to a chair. Once he was sure she was secure, he pulled out his cell and made the call.

"Get me Lucas... tell him it is vital."

Julian paced as he waited.

"Lucas... come to the hospital now... I'm calling in my favor. I need you to heal someone."

Julian nodded and looked down at his childe.

"His name is Alexander... he's my son."

Julian nodded again and stopped walking.

"Thank you. See you then."

Julian ended the call and put away his phone. Erica looked up, a worried expression on her face.

"He's on his way... with his entire crew. If anyone can fix Alexander, Lucas can."

Erica nodded and let out the breath she had been holding. Julian watched and then turned his gaze to the young man he had claimed as his son.

*You will survive, my boy, for I fear what will happen to my Erica if you die.*

As the sun set, the room growing darker, all they could do was wait... the beeping of the monitors the only sound in the room...

Part 7

Erica stared at Xander's still form as the machines beeped stridently in the silent room. It was all she could do to keep from breaking down again over how much this was hurting her. It felt like her heart had been ripped from her chest and then cut into a million bits before her eyes. In such a short time, Xander had managed to take hold of her heart completely and the thought of losing him was something she just couldn't cope with.

*You can't die on me, Xander. I need you too much. I don't know what I'd do if I lost you. You're too important to me now.*

She knew it didn't make sense. She hadn't known Xander longer than a few weeks, and only really knew him well for one day, but in that time... well, there was just this connection between them. It felt... right... destined even. She really couldn't explain it, not even to herself.

*You have to live through this. If not for yourself, then for me. I can't lose you Xander.*

She brushed her fingers along his face, brushing his hair out of his closed eyes lovingly. Her eyes trailed down his body and she winced at each and every scar. She had counted them all, each one of them a dagger in her heart. His body was like something from a horror movie. There were scars on his chest that looked like spiderwebs. There were scars that looked like bullet holes, even though he wasn't shot. There were even scars that defied explanation. His body was... covered... with markings of the hell he had experienced when he had been caught up in the explosion and its aftermath.

*You're going to be ok, though. Father said so. He's gone to get Lucas. If anyone can fix you, it's Lucas. He's the best of the Tremere wizards right now... maybe the best ever... and he owes Father for something that happened years ago. He will make you well again.*

Erica took Xander's hand in hers and squeezed it.

"You just hold on now... for me."


Julian Luna paced the hallway outside the room containing his so-called "son". His mind was awash in anger and worry over what had happened earlier. He wanted to know what had happened. He wanted to know why it had happened. He wanted to rip the skin from the person who did it and hang it up on his wall.

*This was an open attack on the heads of every family. This is so far beyond wrong that I can't even imagine all of the possibilities right now.*

He stopped and looked through the window into the room. He watched as Erica fussed over Alexander's unconscious form and worried about what this was doing and might do to her.

*She has fallen completely for him. She is in so deep that she is on the edge of losing herself in him. I have never seen that in her before... and it worries me.*

A sense of power entered the area, one Julian recognized immediately. He turned and looked down through the floor to the level below... then let his eyes trail to the bank of windows to his left. He walked over to then and looked down to the street below.

"It's about time..."


Outside, a long black town car pulled into the parking lot of the hospital. The car came to a stop just outside the Emergency entrance and sat there with it's motor running. A young man in his late 20's stepped out of the back and glanced around. He straightened his trench coat and nodded.

"Will you be ok, Master Lucas?"

Lucas's eyes trailed over the area then scanned upward... until he was looking into the eyes of the man who had summoned him, Julian Luna.

"Take the car back. I will summon you when I need you again, Jerome."

The man in the driver's seat nodded then pulled away. Lucas kept his eyes locked on Julian's, though, as he walked into the building.


Julian looked down at Lucas as he stepped into the building. The aura of power that radiated from that young man was startling. From it alone, you would imagine him to be much older than he really was.

*Dangerous and explosive in an innocent package. Many have regretted crossing him.*

Julian turned away from the windows and walked toward the elevators. He came to a stop before the middle one and waited. Within moments, it opened and Lucas stepped onto the floor.


Lucas nodded.


He looked around.

"Where is your... son?"

Julian nodded and motioned toward the Critical Care ward. Lucas nodded.

"After you..."

Julian sucked in an angry breath and walked toward Alexander's room. Lucas followed the Prince and smiled inwardly at his small victory. As they entered the room, Lucas noticed a red-eyed Erica fawning over the young man lying in the bed. It was startling to see Erica Luna, the ice queen, so completely in shambles.

"What is his name?"

Julian glared at Lucas. He knew all of this information already.

"His name is Alexander..."

As Julian moved to speak, he was interrupted by Erica.

"He prefers Xander, father. He's Xander Harris."

Lucas nodded and walked to Xander's bedside.

"Mr. Harris... Xander... you will listen to me now. You will listen with every ounce of strength you have in your mind, body and soul. You are not to cross into the light. I'm ordering you to halt where you are, turn around, and return to your body."

Lucas raised his right hand and brought it up before him. As he did so, it became engulfed in what looked like liquid green flame. An eerie green light filled the room.

"You will return to your body at once, Xander. I don't care if it hurts you to do so, you will do it."

Lucas waved his hand down Xander's body and bathed him in green light. He began to chant in what sounded like Latin and as they watched, Xander's body began to heal itself. Slowly, the wounds on his body moved together until they were sealed. New skin began to grow over the sealed wounds, removing any trace of scar tissue. Bruises that colored his body faded before their eyes. Color came back to his skin as his breathing cleared and increased.

"You will enter your body... you and you alone, Xander. No other being has permission. You are its only owner and you alone shall reclaim it."

As Xander's heartbeat grew faster, Lucas waved his left hand at the door to the room and sealed it moments before alarms went off. Julian moved to the door and braced himself against it then nodded for Lucas to continue.

"By the name of the Old Gods and by the power of my own, Xander... I command you to awaken!"

Xander's body began to writhe and shake as if caught within the grasp of a seizure. His head flopped from side to side as he convulsed again and again... then stopped. His eyes opened at that moment and he took a deep breath. What happened next was shocking and it would be something they would remember for many years to come. Xander screamed.


The sound was startling and terrifying all at once. Calls came in from every floor of the hospital as the bloodcurdling wail of agony echoed throughout the building. It was the sound imagines from your darkest dreams; a sound of ultimate pain... and it came from a room on the second floor.


Xander screamed in agony and jerked his body into a tight stretch as the agonizing pain of being placed back into his body filled him completely. The vampires in the room covered their ears in pain as the sound grew louder and louder until the windows shattered outward.

"What's going on!"

Lucas ignored Erica as he continued to watch Xander Harris.

"You will answer her!"

Lucas glared at Julian and let out an angry breath.

"Three... two... one!"

Xander's body jerked once, twice, then three times and then he fell back into his bed. His scream was cut off instantly and his eyes closed. Erica removed her hands from her head and rushed to Xander's side. She checked his body and found him to be whole again.

"He's... ok?"

Lucas nodded and lifted Xander's eyelid.

"Yes... he's asleep. He will sleep another four hours then awaken and be very hungry. You will need to feed him until he tells you to stop. Do not be alarmed by the amount of food he will eat. I used my magic to jumpstart his own internal healing. It used a great amount of his own energy and that is why he screamed. His nerve endings were all sensitized by the magic and the act of healing."

Julian glared at Lucas.

"You could have warned us."

Lucas grinned.

"Yes, I could have... but I didn't want to. We're even now, Julian. You summon me again... and I will retaliate."

Lucas moved to the door and unsealed it. He smirked at the people in the room and laughed.

"You might want to move him as quickly as possible. The rest of the building heard him and will be ever so curious."

Lucas laughed evilly and vanished in a burst of light. Julian glared at the stop of flooring where Lucas had been standing and growled.

"One day, Lucas, one day."

He turned to Erica.

"Get him unattached from those machines. I will summon my men and we will get him out of here... now."

Julian moved to the door and stepped into the hallway. As he summoned his guards to him, Erica moved to Xander's machines and began turning them off. She then removed the electronic leads covering his body and as she pulled out the IV, she saw a small spurt of blood come out of the wound. Her eyes locked on the blood and she bent down to lick it from his skin.

*Oh my...*

The taste of Xander's blood was quite amazing to her. There was a sense of power to it unlike anything she had tasted before. It gave off a feeling that Xander, at his core, was raw and animalistic... yet ordered and strong... and there was something else there as well...*

The doors opened and Erica leaned back.

"Are you ready?"

Erica nodded and stepped back as two of her father's guards entered and picked up Xander gently. As they lifted him, his sheet fell away leaving him nude. Erica moved to pick it up but was stopped by her father.

"Leave it. We will hurry and you can get him clothing once we get back to the estate."

Erica nodded and watched as the men quickly moved Xander out of the room and into the hall. Julian moved to follow them and Erica took up the rear. They moved quickly and quietly and as they reached the elevator... Xander's room exploded into flame. The elevator doors opened and they stepped inside just as the automatic sprinkler system came to life.

"To remove any evidence he was there?"

Julian nodded and pressed the button for the basement garage.


The doors opened and they stepped out into an empty garage. Julian nodded to a man waiting nearby and a limo pulled up before them. The men placed Xander carefully inside them moved off to the side. Erica climbed into the limo and took her seat next to the stretched out, naked Xander. Julian spoke to his men for a moment then entered the limo. The guards watched the limo pull away then moved to a nearby SUV and followed the limo out of the hospital.... and away into the night.