“Several arrests were made amongst the rich and famous of Hollywood. During a raid on Shadowlands, several bodies were found in the midst of what used to be LA’s most exclusive brothel. During their search, the police found tape that implicated that the club had not just been a high class prostitution network, but the centre of a white slavery ring spreading all across the country.
The police found cages and torture devices that at first sight were assumed to be S&M devices. Tapes from the scene, show that these were instead used to brainwash and punish the men and women held captive by the club. None of them were found on the scene. The police still fear for their safety.”
William left the television and moved through the hotel. Yesterday it had been empty, now it was filled up to the cracks. Everywhere he saw there were other vampires. Some of them were playing a game of whist in the lobby. They glared at him when he stopped to watch.
Angel was unloading a cooler filled with blood from the van. There were three, one holding human, the other two were filled with various sorts of animal blood. William watched him for a second before moving on again.
The black haired vampire that Angel had saved from Kakistos was sitting alone in a corner of the kitchen. William wanted to tell her she was safe now. But he knew better than anyone how meaningless that sentiment would be.
“It’s a disgrace is what it is.” A voice stated on the radio
“If, and I’m not saying it is, if this is true, if those people were kept there against their will. Forced into prostitution like that, then it brings down the entire bondage scene. The whole point of bondage is supposed to be free will and how you choose to give it away. Without choice the entire experience becomes meaningless.”
Will turned it off. He didn’t want to think about it. Most of the vampires seemed to be keeping a wide berth around Angel. Giving the new master of LA his due in privacy as well as space.
Will didn’t quite knew how to put a word to it. He could do anything he wanted to, watch television, get a bite to eat, have some more sleep. But he was walking on edges. It felt like there was something he should be doing, all this sitting around was tearing him apart.
None of the 'other' vampires seemed to mind. Looked like they were used to keeping themselves busy during the day. William wished he had their ease. He wondered if it was the lack of fangs that gave him this impatience.
He was dressed in sweatpants, t-shirt and a sweater and fell strangely overdressed. He wished he could wear more. Was he crazy for wanting what he was scared of? He couldn’t bear to put on the shoes though. They felt too confining.
Someone hissed at him behind them and he turned around, finding his sire. Angel had wanted to kill him, but William had asked him not to. The man just looked at him and William had to fight the urge not to kneel down.
This was still his sire, the man who had recreated him into what he was now. He hated him, despised him for it all, but he still loved him as well. He wished his sire loved him back.
Even stripped of rank, of privileges the vampire still felt like he ought to be towering over him. William trembled, merely looking at the guy.
“You know I never meant to do that right? They made me do it. Like they did with you guys. Not like I need any fledges following me or anything. I was just living the unlife when that bozo caught up with me.” William was backing off against the wall. Trying to get away from him. But the vampire didn’t listen.
“I was just looking out for number one. So they told me to make you guys and make you do what they told you. Was better that way right? For all of us, right? Got you behaving, not starving on the streets. You’ll tell master Angel that, right? You will. Or I…”
“Or you what?” William stared behind his sire, at the vampire that had saved them all. To William Angel seemed to look like his namesake as he stood there.
“I didn’t mean to, was just talking. I swear master Angel. I wasn’t hurting the boy. I swear…”
“Shut up minion.”
“Shutting up now.”
“You say you didn’t want him? Didn’t want any of them, is that right?”
It was obvious that sire didn’t have a clue what he ought to respond to that.
“Then give them to me. All of them, you and the others. Relinquish your claim on them.”
“Here in front of me minion. Relinquish all claims on the vampires you sired for Shadowlands.”
“I do, I swear, I relin… I deny them, all right. You can have them.”
A crowd started surrounding them. Wesley and Cordelia were standing together. Gunn hadn’t let his axe get out of his hands since they came back.
“I Angelus, head of the order of Aurelius by blood, take these lost childer into my clan, my blood. They are mine and of our clan, to be seen as such forever more. None have claim on them but I.”
William felt something sleeping at ease inside of him as he looked at the man that had just claimed them. Like a heavy weight had slipped of his back and he’d found a place to belong.
“William come overhere.”
William moved and bowed before their master. Angel pulled him up and bit into his neck. Trained to it, William fell into it and tilted his head to give their new master easier reach. He could feel the blood flowing out of him and into Angel. But it didn’t matter. The master had claimed them.
He was close to unconsciousness when Angel pulled away, William was about ready to fall down. Angel slit a cut across his chest and pushed William’s face towards it, making him drink.
“From now on, you are William of Aurelius, childe of Angelus, favourite of my line.”
The words almost went over his head, but with them came a sense of peace. He still fell down from the bloodloss, but his new sire lifted him up and carried him to their bed.
William could see Angel turn off the light as he laid down in the bed besides him. He snuggled up to his sire, sire caressed his face and he finally managed to fall asleep.
The first sleep he’d had since leaving Shadowlands. He was home.