12 - Meeting
Disclaimer: The characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and Fox studios. This story is not meant to infringe upon anyone's rights, only to entertain.
CHAPTER 12 - Meeting
We arrived in Rome about two weeks later and almost instantly, Angelus seemed to have something shoved up his rear. He was beyond irritable and seemed to delight in insulting any and everyone around him. I did my best to ignore the sodding poofter. I had an inkling he was acting this way because of the real reason we were in Italy – the Master. The two never saw each other eye to eye and I was pretty sure there was still some unsettled feud going on between them over Darla. But that wasn’t my concern now was it. Though I must say, anyone that didn’t like Angelus already had something going for him in my book.
Sera and I were to have a meeting with the Master in three days and part of me wished that it was already done and over with. Angelus was getting more and more irritable and harder to deal with as each day passed. If the meeting had been done and over with, Sera and I would already be on our own merry way, leaving mister broody and tantrum to his own devices.
Unfortunately, the meeting was still three days away. To avoid our grandsire, Sera and I opted to hunt and feed by ourselves. Rome had its own charm and despite the grand poofter’s incessant grumbling and temper, I think both Sera and I enjoyed the city. There was just something about seeing Sera so happy that was quite satisfying. I just loved it when she giggled, when she wrapped her arms around me, when she would plant soft kisses on my lips and when she would tease my neck with lips and teeth in mock imitation of biting me. I could never get enough of her and I knew I never would ever tire of my lovely angel.
The time had come. It was the day we were to meet with the master of the Aurelian clan.
Darla had been quite specific about our clothes and manners, giving us precious pointers so as not to offend her beloved sire.
She led us down through busy streets and narrow alleys until we reached an abandoned factory. We followed her across the huge empty room then slipped into a hallway and down some stairs. No one would ever suspect that underneath the abandoned factory there existed another world. It had the feel of medieval churches and catacombs and I would not be surprised if they were just that in a previous incarnation. The city was full of secrets and history that its own human inhabitants were unaware of.
Darla took us deeper and the distinct smell of mold and damp rock permeated the air. Torches were lit ever few feet, but the light still was not enough to fully illuminate the path we were taking. Our descent soon ended and we were greeted by two vampires who were guarding a large door.
“Lady Darla, he has been expecting you,” one of the vampires said with a curt nod.
Darla smiled. “I have brought my children with me. The Master is expecting them as well.”
“Ah yes. William the Bloody and Lady Elizabeth. We welcome you to the clan.”
They opened the door for us then ushered us in. The large hall was strewn with hundreds of candles and in the center of the room in a fairly large chair the Master waited. He turned his head towards us as the door was shut once more after we all crossed the threshold. Sera squeezed my hand out of nervousness and I thought that she was brave for not clinging to me, even though I could see in her eyes that she wanted to.
We slowly made our way towards the Master, stopping but a few feet from him. I bowed my head in reverence, letting years of etiquette lessons and breeding show through.
“Darla, my dear sweet Darla.” The Master said with his commanding voice. I could hear him move towards our great grandsire.
“Master.” She said almost breathlessly. “I have come as you requested.”
“Yes my dear daughter. You have always been obedient to me. How have you been my sweet?”
“Well. Angelus has been taking good care of me.”
It was a good thing my head was bent or else they would have seen me smirking at the Master’s comment about the poofter.
“Please. He has been good to me.” Darla said defending her child.
“Is that so? You seem a little thin to me my dear and I can sense some anxiety from you.”
“It is nothing, just the trip.”
“The trip. … I see. … I still believe he does not know what you really need, my dear. But you have made your decision a long time ago. I am glad that at the very least, you come and visit me once in a while. … Well, well. Are these your children then, sweet Darla?”
The Master made his way towards me. Stopping but a foot away from my head which I kept lowered in reverence. He placed a gentle hand on my hair as he spoke. “It is quite refreshing to see that despite this young one’s brash behavior he at least can show some respect.” He placed his fingers on my chin, forcing me to lift my head to face him. I could see that he was perusing me intently as if he was searching for something on my face. “I have heard of you William the Bloody. Your methods and actions have not gone unnoticed.” He then took a step back. “Still young … very young. In time, you will hopefully grow in strength. … Tell me young William, what do you think of the finer things in life?”
The question took me aback for a second and I watched him trying to figure out if I should be reading between the lines. What was he trying to find out? I pushed all my doubt aside and decided it was best to lock my eyes on him. “They are not a necessity for survival. Fist and fangs, m’lord. That is our nature.”
The Master smiled, hopefully in approval, and then moved onto where Sera stood.
“And you my child. I hope my daughter has taught you well.”
“Yes, m’lord. Though she is not my sire she has taken me in as if I was her own.”
He tilted her head to face him like he did with me earlier, again examining her face as if he was looking for something. “This one is pretty and somewhat fiery.” He placed a hand on her neck, caressing it lovingly at first and then in a blink of an eye he clamped down on her throat. I wanted nothing more than to knock the Master out of the way. I could tell he was hurting her despite Sera’s silence. She bravely stood still, trying to show no fear.
My hands curled into fists but I did nothing more than convey my distaste through enraged burning golden eyes. I knew it would have been foolish for me to show any sign of disrespect but it couldn’t be helped. He was hurting her and I couldn’t just stand idly by. The Master caught my glare and started to chuckle as he gradually released his hold on Sera.
“Interesting. Very interesting.” The Master let his gaze peruse my form, his brow raising slightly as he took note of my fists.
The air was thick with tension as I watched him make his way back towards me. He grabbed my right wrist and forcefully brought it up to eye level. Red eyes bore into yellow, goading me on. I matched his glare, jaws tightening to show my seriousness. But I knew better. I uncurled my fist and reduced the tension in my arm.
The Master chuckled once more then released me. He turned away from me and faced his beloved child. “… Well dear daughter, I’m glad to see you have taught these two some form of respect. … You may all stay here if you wish, though I’m sure your precious Angelus has procured more luxurious accommodations,” he said with slight disgust. “At the very least, you must let the others get to know their new kin.”
Darla curtsied and smiled. She made her way towards us and touched my elbow signaling me to follow her.
“Both of you did well.” She said softly
I gave Sera a concerned look. “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine. The bruise shouldn’t last long.” She replied.
“It seems you have pleased him somehow.” Darla commented. “I am quite surprised by your actions William. I was almost positive that you were going to make a fool of yourself somehow.”
“I’m hurt Mummy! I can be a good boy when necessary.” I said with a chuckle trying to make light of the situation.
She was ushering us into another hallway but in the corner of my eye I could see that the Master was still looking at us, studying us with some interest. Why did he send for us? Why would he even want to meet us? True we were his children but Darla knew I had no desire to become part of the Order of Aurelius. To me their cause was nothing more than some religious fanaticism and I have had my fill of religion in my mortal life. What I did tell the Master was true though. I did believe that our existence was based on fist and fangs. I would be lying to myself if I said that the luxuries Angelus wrapped himself in were deplorable. They did have their uses and it was nice to sleep on soft beds and clothe one’s body in smooth fabrics. But in the end, all the demon really needed was blood and chaos.
The question still remained though. Why did he send for us? Was there some plan that the Master was orchestrating that somehow we were going to play a part in? I tried to ask Darla about it after she gave us a tour of the place but she had no answers to give me. Perhaps I was just being paranoid but something just didn’t seem right. Soon, something was going to happen.
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