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"You're dreaming." Connor said as we watched a gray me walking towards a big fire. It was no ordinary fire, though, the fire was green. The nightfall around us was deafening. I dove into the fire and light flew from it and suddenly it was morning.
"I picked up on that." I said, crossing my arms, "What does it mean?"
"What else could it mean?" Connor asked, "Betrayal."
I looked at him, "Mine or theirs?" I asked.
"Both." Connor said, "Mine. Ours."
"I'm not following." I said, "Yours?"
"And ours." Connor added, "Every light has a shadow."
"Can you be less cryptic?" I asked, "Less cryptic is good."
"I can't." Connor said, "It can't be easy."
"Never is." I said.
"It fades." Connor said as he began to fade away, "It all fades."
Chapter 58: Torture
"Duck!" Cale shouted, causing me to duck and avoid my own sword. The demon had taken it and was about to chop me into Slayer nuggets. Cale sat on a crypt, watching and writing something.
"Thanks." I said, kicking the demon in the stomach. The demons talons elongated and it began to claw at me. I did a back flip, kicking the scaly demon in the chin and getting to my sword, which I jabbed him with, and blood squirted everywhere.
"Here." Cale said, offering me a handkerchief.
I took it, "Thanks, but in the future, actually help." I said, wiping off.
"So, continuing our discussion, the dream ended with him fading away?" Cale asked.
I sighed, "It always does." I said, "I'm more worried about me diving into fire."
"Fire? Oh yes, well, I shall have to read up on this more before I make a final say so." Cale said, "But the dream can be broken down into desires, wishes, wants..."
"I'm a Slayer; I'm taking it kind of literal." I said, still wiping off.
"Quite." Cale said, "Are we sure that this isn't just an average dream?"
"I've had...well, not normal, but average dreams and this is not one." I said.
Cale nodded, "I'll start trying to piece together an explanation." He said, "Have you heard from Lestat?"
I shook my head, "Okay. I'm going to head to Copper, want to go?" I asked.
"He did what was best." Cale said.
"I'll take that as a no." I said, "Be careful." I said, leaving.
Cale was about to leave when he heard a noise, "Austin?" he asked. Before he could do anything, he was blind-sided by a group of vampires.
The next morning, Kelly and Graham went into the Arcanum, looking for Cale. It had been a long night of partying for the gang and not a single call or text from Cale.
"So, I guess you're going to make your move on Austin." Kelly said casually.
Graham stopped, "What?" he asked.
"Austin, black, Slayer." Kelly said.
"Umm, yeah, I guess so." Graham said nervously.
Kelly sighed, "As much as I hate to say this, don't." she said.
"What?" Graham asked.
"I'm all for him dating people of the alive persuasion, but he's hurting and if you make a move on him while he's vulnerable, I'll tie your dick in a neat little bow." Kelly said as femininely and softly as she could.
"Are you okay?" Graham asked.
"I just picked up some things from the Slayer in my body...I know that Austin and Doug are two of the most important people in my life and if you do anything to hurt either one of them, you may not have nuts." Kelly said perkily, "Kay?"
Graham nodded, "Okay." He said, "But, one thing."
"What?" Kelly asked.
"Where is your boyfriend?" Graham asked.
Kelly looked around and didn't see anything, and then she saw it, written in blood, Come and get him slayer, Love Charity.
"What do we do?" Graham asked.
"Get Austin." Kelly said.
Cale found himself waking, blood running down his chest. He could feel the gash on his forehead and the blood running down his face. He tried to move his hands, but they were tied.
"You're not going to get out of those, they're made special." Charity's voice came from the shadows.
Cale looked around, hoping to find her silhouette, but he couldn't find it, "Show yourself, demon." He panted.
"God, are you a priest or a watcher?" Charity asked, stepping in front of Cale, "Not a difference, huh?"
"I would hope not." Cale said, "We both," he coughed, "are pillars of what's right."
Charity sat on his lap, "I was never a pillar of righteousness. Never suited me." She said, "But of course, they told you that, didn't they?"
"Yes, they told me what a skank you were...are." Cale said.
Charity smirked and slapped him, causing blood to splatter across the floor, "And here I thought you were just a castrated Englishman...I was half wrong." She said.
"They...will come for me." Cale said.
"Yes, but will you still be here?" Charity asked, leaning in close, "When they come, we'll pick them off! See, when I usher in Apocalypse, I go all out, and we'll do it through Lestat."
"How?" Cale asked.
Charity smirked, "I'll tell, since I don't figure you'll live long enough to matter," she said, "I'm going to connect my mind to every vampire and become a God."
"A God?" Cale asked, "You'll be nothing."
"And then the murdering will begin." Charity said, "I'm going for bigger spoils this time. I don't want to end the world, I want to rule it."
Cale chuckled, "That's your plan? To become ruler of the Earth?" he asked, "You're pathetic and you'll lose. He'll kick your ass all over Vengeance."
"That's the thing, in a few weeks, the world's going to Hell." Charity smiled.
"You're going to mind link and what?" Cale asked, then he realized, "Then you'll be a God and your powers will grow. You'll be able to control everyone."
"And they'll be like lambs to the slaughter." Charity smirked, "My minions are going to be in position, then they'll strike and I'll be powerful enough to get out of here. Oh, I forgot to tell you, I can't really leave."
"What a waste of power, being stuck in this God forsaken church, like he was." Charity growled, "But I've got someone working on it."
"Who?" Cale asked.
Charity smiled, "You'll just have to be surprised." She smirked, leaving him.
"We seriously can't go in half-cocked." I said, "It's suicide, we have no idea what this bitch can do."
"She's got Cale." Kelly said quickly.
"And she's also not a stupid," I said, "Not entirely. She wants us there."
"She's expecting us to come in without a plan." Doug said.
"We can't just let the Brit die." Mal said.
"True, but Austin has a point, there's something off about this." Graham said, "He might not even be..."
"Don't you say it." Kelly said, "I didn't come all the way back from a coma to lose him."
"Whatever happened to girl power?" I asked.
"Girl's got a boy." Doug chuckled, "Sorry, not a laughing matter."
"Kelly, you're not going." I said, "You need to stay here, where vampires can't get in, I'm taking Graham and Doug with me. Doug, we need spells out of our asses." I said.
"I'm on it." Doug said, heading for the books.
"Graham, stock up on the weapons." I said.
Graham nodded and left.
"Mal, one hair missing on her head and I'll slay you." I said quickly.
"Kelly, sweetie, just relax, I'm not coming back without him." I said, hugging her.
"Thank you." Kelly said.
"Don't thank me yet." I said quickly.
"You would like passage?" The Br'asich demon asked.
Lestat took note of the Br'asich's long talons, his scaly skin, and his sharp teeth, but Br'asich's were vegetarians. They didn't eat humans, but they did like certain birds, "Yes." He said.
"This freight is headed to Tokyo, why would a vampire want to go to Tokyo, especially after what just happened with the Slayers?" he asked.
Lestat smirked, "I do not fear Slayers." He chuckled.
"What kind of vampire doesn't fear a Slayer?" The Br'asich asked as it sniffed the air and, like a cockatoo, feathers rose on its forehead, "You are practically ancient."
"Thank you," Lestat said, pulling out cash, "How much to board."
"I do not want your money." The Br'asich snapped, "I want something a lot more precious."
"That is one thing you cannot have." Lestat said.
"The scent of the Slayer is all over you." The Br'asich said, "You are enamored. Is that why you seek refuge?"
"Refuge? I am not running." Lestat said.
"Nothing more than a shell, this one." The Br'asich, "Couldn't kill the Slayer...couldn't kill anyone in this state."
Lestat felt foolish. He was running and this way, Charity was winning. He had a chance to change it all! It was then he had the best idea of his life, "I do not run," Lestat said, punching the large demon, then giving him a kick and flipping behind it and snapping its neck, "I fight."
As Doug, Graham and I made our way down into the sewers, I felt the familiar feeling of dread. We had already dusted four vamps and we hadn't even made it that far, until now. We were more than half way and I could feel it, all of it. Graham and Doug seemed strong, despite everything. There hadn't been much chatter, mainly because it creeped me out to be in the sewers, to be in such small spaces. It was better than the fire, though. I stopped at the opening, which lead right into a new walkway to the church.
"Someone's done a little remodeling." I said, looking around.
"It's hot down here." Doug said, undoing his collar.
"That's because this is Hell." I said.
"Hell has a church?" Graham asked.
"Apparently." I said, noticing the church in the distance.
Graham groaned, "Which one of us is going first?" he asked.
"We all are." I said, pointing out the banner that said Welcome Slayer, "Looks like we're invited."
"Jeeze, that's blood." Graham said.
"Should we split up?" Doug asked.
I shook my head, "You stay with each other, no matter what, but for now we're on the same path." I said, "First a spell to find him, please?" I asked.
Doug nodded and closed his eyes, "Il Goddess di luce, illumina il mio senso e lo porta all'osservatore." He said, causing a ball of light to illuminate the way.
"Let's go." I said, leading the way. As we walked in, I immediately knew something was wrong. Suddenly, a red light blew past me and snatched Doug, dragging him in mid-air, "Doug! Follow him!" I said, "I'll follow the light." I said, running towards the light.
Graham ran as fast as he could, trying to catch up with Doug and the red beam, but he couldn't catch him! Finally, the beam caught dropped Doug in an alcove and Graham raced faster, but as he got to the alcove, a red door appeared before him and he ran into it.
"Tch, tch, tch." A feminine voice said, "Humans never learn."
Doug raised his head, "Gemma?" he asked into the darkness.
I followed the light into the middle of the church and saw Cale tied up at the center, by the preacher's pulpit, where Charity stood. I looked around to see vampires sitting all around in the pews. I walked down the aisle and noticed there was another floor of vampires. I kept walking, not looking back. It wasn't important. None of it was. I knew the limits, she couldn't step out of the church, but the other vampires could, but she wanted me. I could feel it.
"I'd like to take the time to welcome you back to our little church of horrors." Charity smirked.
The vampires clapped, some of them growled. I didn't say a word, I just kept walking.
"Let my congregation stand." Charity said, causing the vampires to stand.
I stopped in my tracks, "Let him go." I said slowly.
"Oh, now, what fun would that be?" Charity asked, "You want him? Come and get him."
"Alright." I said, clutching my stake and walking towards her. As I got to her, she didn't budge.
Charity smiled, and then let me pass. I walked over and broke the ropes that bound Cale and slung him over my back, "You have five minutes to get out before every vampire in this room is after you." Charity said quickly.
"Not every vamp." I smirked, leaving the room.
Doug groaned as Gemma kicked him in the gut, causing him to fly backwards and land in a heap on the other side of the alcove. Doug coughed and tried to get to his feet and shake off his shock, but he couldn't. The love of his life was here...she was...undead.
"New power rising." Gemma said, walking over to Doug and whispered, "You can be by my side...let me save you."
Doug coughed, "You should try and save yourself." He groaned, "I'm so sorry, Gemma."
"Sorry?" Gemma asked, raising him up by his throat. It was then that he saw Gemma's eyes had turned red, blood red, and her face was pale. Gemma's hair was an odd assortment of pinks and greens and it suited her, "Don't be sorry, baby, it'll only hurt for a second."
Suddenly, the barrier broke down and I stepped inside, cautious not to make any fast movements.
Gemma looked surprised, "Hey, Austin." She said, "Long time no see." She said.
"Let him go." I said.
Gemma smirked, "Your eyes...have you been doing magic? Is that how you got in here?" she asked, "Look at you, doing a little spell."
I wiped my eyes, "You need to stop this." I said quickly.
"Can't wipe that away...look who's going bad now." Gemma said.
"Sostantivo!" Doug uttered and an explosion happened that sent Gemma flying back. I took the time to run to Doug and pick him up, and then bound out of the room. I ran as fast as I could. I could see the vampires in my peripheral and it only made me move faster.
As Graham and Mal took Cale to Kelly's house, Kelly and I stayed behind, not saying a word. Gemma was alive. It meant so much and Doug sat in his own little world. There wasn't anything either one of us could say, so we didn't even try. We just sat on either side of Doug, holding his hands.
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Thank you for reading.