He swung the double doors of the club open and stepped into the dark. The air, acrid and dank, surrounded him in a swirl of cigarette smoke and the lingering stench of death. His lips curled up as he took in the sight of his usual drinking tavern, The Hell Hole. It was crowded tonight, full of nubile bodies swaying to the haunting melody emitting from the stage in the far right corner. The building was old and battered complete with high Victorian ceilings and wooden floorboards. Dark red paint covered cracked brick walls and electrical wires ran up them, hissing and spitting, not quite capable of coping with the energy flowing within the four walls.
Reaching into his pocket he took out a pack of Marlboro Reds and a silver Zippo, then lit a cigarette with a flourish.
He stalked further inside the bar, confident and sure of himself and his body. A black t-shirt moulded his chest and the bare arms at his sides bore dark intricate tattoos that disappeared under his shirt.
A hand, small and feminine caught him around the waist and he looked down as fingers stroked his waist.
"Hey player, all alone tonight huh?"
He raised a black eyebrow and flicked cigarette ash over her face.
Moira barred her teeth and shook her head like a dog. "Ow honey, come on. I wanna play!" she stuck out her bottom lip and made a mewing noise.
Pale blue eyes stared dispassionately down at Moira for a moment and then dismissed her as he headed towards the bar.
He shook his head a little, trying to push down the feeling of nausea that he experienced whenever a she-vamp touched him. Moira was worse than most, evil leaked from her very pores, reminding him of a week old dead dog he had run across when he had been young.
Samael nodded at the barman who immediately stopped cleaning a glass with a rag and poured him a finger of scotch.
He sat down and rubbed a hand over his jaw, wincing as he felt the rasp of two days worth of stubble. His last job had been a difficult one. Many had died, too many and some of them before their time. Samael clenched his eyes shut as he tried to drown out the memory of blood and tears swimming before his eyes. It was getting harder. The darkness was closing in on him and he was trying with fibre of his being to stay in the light.
But the darkness had always beckoned him. Even when he had been a child.
Samael stubbed out his cigarette on the scarred wooden counter and then downed the scotch in one go.
He caught the barman's eye and his glass was promptly topped up.
Holding the glass in front of his face he stared at the amber liquid inside and remembered the promise he had made to his father. Hiding from the man was never an option. Father would find him; Father always found him, the all knowing all powerful god that he was.
Samael raised his glass in a salute to the big man and swallowed another large dram of alcohol.
Some days he wished he was an ordinary man with ordinary..needs. Instead, he was trapped in this body, trapped on this earth, barred from his home as he took on every mission that was given to him. Each time Samael hoped it would be the last one, that on completion of his job he would be granted entry back home. But it never was, and now the year was 2008 and the place was London.
This wasn't where he wanted to be at all.
"Smile, it might never happen," drawled a sarcastic voice and a woman sat beside him and ordered a rum and coke.
She kicked her legs back and forth to the music as she waited for her drink, her hands lying demurely in her lap, humming loudly and desperately out of tune.
"Cool place!" she smiled at the barman and received a frown for her troubles.
Samael looked at her and his eyes narrowed. "Who are you?" he growled. He didn't want some human getting herself killed because she wanted to experience 'life' at The Hell Hole.
Light silver eyes turned to look at him and the girl shrugged her shoulders. But then she seemed to have second thoughts and leaned into him heavily and leered, "who do you want me to be?"
She wriggled her eyebrows up and down like a lecherous old man and then burst into giggles like a little girl.
He stared stonily back her, not amused by having his space invaded.
"Thank you," she said to the barman as he handed over her drink. Swinging around on her stool to face the band she leant her back against the bar and took a dainty sip of her drink. Then suddenly, she turned around, spilling half of her drink on the floor and asked the barman, "do you have a straw?"
The barman looked shocked and slowly surveyed behind the bar for a tube of plastic.
Trying to ignore the girl, Samael edged away from her.
The barman handed her a straw covered in dust and she smiled at him and wiped it on her black cotton jacket before dropping it into her glass. "So what do you do?" she smiled at Samael.
He ignored her and tried to concentrate on a poster behind the bar promoting safe sex.
"Are you okay?" she slinked over to him, "you look awfully pale."
Samael dragged his eyes away from the poster and studied the girl. She had long red hair tied back into a braid and a dusting of freckles on her nose, lending her an innocent air. The creases around her eyes showed that she smiled a lot.
Samael didn't like her. She seemed far too happy for her own good.
"Go away," he drawled.
The girl's expressive eyes looked hurt and she quickly stared down at her drink and played with her straw. "Sorry, you just looked kinda lonely and I thought you might want someone to talk to."
She looked up and tiled her head to the side, "my name's Elizabeth," she held out a hand.
Samael gave the offending limb a withering look and stared at her strangely.
Elizabeth withdrew her hand and shrugged, "you're shy. I get that." She breathed a deep sigh and sucked on her straw. "I suppose you wanted to get away from things," she nodded gravely.
"That's okay, I do too. That's why I ran away from home."
Samael watched as her shoulders slumped.
"My family are very overprotective and I thought it was time to experience life a bit more."
"You should leave this place," Samael stated coldly, "it's too dangerous for a young girl like you."
Elizabeth spat her drink back into her glass and sniggered. "Oh, I just got bubbles up my nose. Don't you hate it when that happens? Oh don't worry about me, I can look after myself."
Samael blinked at the girl and wondered who the hell let her into the club.
"Hey handsome," said a familiar voice and Moira sidled up to him, wanting a little more of his tough love.
The red headed girl frowned and tapped the blonde haired vampire on the shoulder.
Moira turned around and sneered at the girl.
"I'm sorry," said Elizabeth, "but you're interrupting our conversation."
Moira looked the girl up and down, an evil glint lighting up her black eyes, "piss off darling, you're nothing but a child to my man."
But then her expression soon turned to horror as she felt a large stake rip through her heart.
Dumbfounded, Samael looked at the ashes that covered his lap and then back to Elizabeth who stood with her hands on her hips gripping a wooden stake, a frown playing across her face.
"What the fuck did you just do?" he shouted.
He hadn't liked Moira, but even he wouldn't have killed the annoying vamp in such cold blood.
Elizabeth's silver eyes had grown dark. "We were talking, it was rude…and then she looked at me funny…I don't like it when people look at me funny…"
Samael slowly stood up and wiped the ash from his body, noting that a group of vamps had begun to surround them.
"I think I made a mistake," whispered the girl and mentally berated herself for her lack of control. She hopped from one foot to the other and counted five angry male vampires who were all extremely annoyed that their favourite little flirt had bitten the dust.
"I'm so sorry," she cooed, still holding onto the stake and waving it around wildly as she talked.
Five pairs of eyes gleamed red as they circled her.
The barman hastily pulled the shutters of the bar down and locked them tight.
Samael grabbed her arm but she wouldn't move, it was like trying to uproot a very large tree. Puzzled, he couldn't believe how someone who looked so frail could be so strong.
In the meantime, Elizabeth was busy wiggling her eyebrows at the vampires.
If this is her menacing look then god help them all, Samael thought.
But whatever she had been trying to convey to the evil creatures was lost on them and they all lunged for her at the same time.
Samael stood with his hands at his sides, not quite sure as to what he should do. A first for him in a number of years. He would never have deemed himself a noble person, but five vamps against one little…
The vampires erupted into flames and the girl emerged from the ashes, her cheeks dark with soot and her mouth wide and snarling. Samael went to help her up and her head shot around at the movement.
His eyes widened as he looked at her.
Her eyes were large and dark, eyes a man could drown in, and her teeth, her teeth…
"You're a vampire?" he choked.
She grinned and stepped out of the ring of fire. "Of course I am, have always been one."
She leaned across the bar and slugged down the rest of her drink and then wiped her face with her arm. "But you're not are you? No, you're something quite different altogether."
She dug her hand into the pocket of her jeans and withdrew a small blue vial. She tested its weight in her hands and looked back at Samael.
Feeling the hairs on the back of his neck stand up in suspicion he took a step back, deciding that fleeing from the innocent looking devil was the safest option. Samael turned and began to stride out, but as he did a small object thudded on his back.
Something warm and wet dripped down his shoulder blades.
A lightening bolt of immense pain suddenly gathered in the pit of his stomach and leapt out to consume him. Samael bent down onto one knee as the hurt made his body shake and shiver.
Elizabeth walked around him and bent down. She took his grimacing face in her palms and wiped a lock of inky black hair off his sweating forehead.
"Sorry," she whispered and looked a might guilty. "I had to know."
"What have you done?" he whispered as his back began to feel numb.
A woman standing at the newly reopened bar screamed as she looked at Samael.
Two grey wings protruded from his back, long and strong touching the floor as he crouched low. They curled protectively around their master as he rocked back and forth with the flame haired girl crouched before him, holding his hair off his face.
"It's okay to be sick," said a wide eyed Elizabeth, "no one would hold it against you."
Samael's pale blue eyes bored into hers, "when I get up," he punctuated, "I am going to kill you!"
"But you can't Samael," the girl whispered, "you're an Angel."
And everything went dark.