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The Cruellest Cut

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He paced the corridor, a cigarette twirling continuously in his fingers. Low growls rumbled from deep within his chest from time to time. And he cast angry glances at the closed door and the mocking empty mirror where no reflection showed. You are a vampire now, he told himself, these things are different for vampires. It is nothing. Nothing. He stopped by the door and clenched his fists. Nothing.

So you don’t want to ask, but what is the worst that could happen? A refusal! Why should you care? He took another long drag of smoke.

What if he says nothing?

The smoke spiralled inevitably upwards, the air expelled from his cold lungs containing not one whit less oxygen than when he had drawn it needlessly in.

What if he laughs at me?

He started to pace again.

So he laughs: you are a vampire, what does it matter if he laughs? You can tear people’s throats out with a flick of your hand; your daydreams are about torturing your best friend to death with a railway spike. What is there to be afraid of?

I don’t want to ask him for anything.

You still have a body with needs. And this is one of them. There is nothing wrong with having needs. It will be alright… he’s been thinking about it too. You know he has, you’ve seen him looking at you. He’s noticed.

He swallowed hard.

I could pay someone…

No! You have managed since you were fifteen years old. Are you going to be reliant on paying some mortal now?

I was human. It was different then.

So are you going to admit that you are weaker than a human?

Never. Never, never, never.

Do it!

He threw the cigarette butt angrily away and strode back to the door. His hand halfway to the wood, he hesitated.

There is always Dru.

Dru is not the answer and you know it. Do you want to be left crawling to her? For the rest of eternity? You need Angelus and you just have to admit it. You need a man.

Right. He took a deep breath and straightened his shoulders. You can do this. Just go in there and ask him.

He knocked firmly, pushed the door open and went straight in, striding across the bedroom to where Angelus lounged in a comfortable chair by the fire. Angelus looked up from his book with a questioning expression. ‘Yes?’

‘Angelus, I want…’

Angelus cocked a mocking eyebrow. ‘Spit it out.’

‘Will you… can you…’

Angelus closed the book and lent back with a smirk.

‘I wanted to ask you… I need…’ He clenched his fists and looked up, meeting the dark gaze of the head of his new family straight in the eye. ‘How exactly do I shave?’