A/N: I feel so bad I haven't updated anything in so long. Bad, bad, bad writers block. DX Please, do forgive poor little me. Also, some of this was written a while ago. I really don't enjoy about the first half. I don't expect anyone else to, either. But eh... also XD a bit of American History stuck to my brain. Heh heh.

We walked in silence. Thick, awkward, silence which was made worse by the awful mid-summer heat. When my phone buzzed loudly against my hip we both jumped. I recognized Dante's tone. "Can I help you somehow?" I muttered, rubbing my temples with one hand.

"We've got problems." Dante's exotic, no longer existing, accent colored his voice. That in it's self wasn't good. He'd trained it out of his voice a long time ago. The man was old. Really, really, really, old. This is coming from the girl who was born in the Renaissance, by the way.

"We always have problems, care to explain?" I asked, starting to walk again.

"Taylyn's dead, Ravyn." My heart skipped a beat. God, Taylyn? She was young. Only thirty. Barely a blink to me, less then half that for Dante.

"How?"

"She was killed, but… it couldn't have been a Slayer. The wounds were done with teeth, but not fangs."

"Could be a werewolf."

"She was killed on the full moon. There were no signs of rape. Not a werewolf, not a wereanything. It's just me and Aaron, we need you down here."

"What about Ben? Where the hell is he?" I muttered, glancing at Damien

"He mentioned baby oil and wine. I didn't ask for details, I just told him to go."

"God, could he act any gayer?"

"Only if he dyes his hair white-blonde and develops a better fashion sense than Ellie." I laughed at that, shaking my head slightly.

"Where are you? I'll be there in a few."

"Cypress Street. See ya, baby." The phone beeped his departure. I stuffed it back in my pocket.

"Do you remember where I live?" I asked Damien, somewhat apologetic.

"Yeah, I do. That's about all I remember, but I do."

"Kay 'cause I gotta go. Door's unlocked, Styx won't attack you." I told him, glancing away from his deep blue eyes.

He nodded, slowly, and once again we parted ways, though it'd only be temporary this time.

--

Ravyn's apartment complex finally got an elevator. Thank God, because hell would freeze over before I walked up all the steps again. The door was unlocked, and Styx merely glanced at me from where he lay sprawled on a huge over-stuffed leather couch. The couch it's self would have swallowed Ravyn whole. Vaguely funny.

Lurking through the apartment- I do have a right to do that, I found that one whole wall was dedicated to Cd's and half of another belonged to a sound system.

I shifted through a few. The Beatles, The Eagles, Meat Loaf, Elvis, Johnny Cash… I eyed them distastefully. Obviously she was into oldies. Mental Note; Introduce Ravyn to screamo.

Behind me, Styx snorted. I turned and looked at him. "What?"

He glanced at a small door I figured was a closet. Guessing he wanted me to open it, I did. Inside, candles sat half-burned, and waiting to be put to use.

Boxes sat underneath the shelves of candles. They smelled of disuse. A medium sized bag with neon purple cursive writing had the Cupid's Lingerie logo. I grinned. A card attached to it read "Since I couldn't get you a man for your birthday, this is just as good. Luv ya, baby. - Ben"

Guessing what was in there, I didn't look. But I wondered who Ben was. Jealously flickered in my belly. Pushing it away, I grabbed some candles and found some matches, then set to work figuring out Ravyn's stereo.

--

When I got to the tiny ally, my first thought was; ew. I mean, this is coming from the girl who's seen Europe way back when they dumped everything out the bloody window and the yellow fever epidemic- bodies rotting and baking in the heat. You can't bathe enough to get that stench out of your memory. One of the reasons some vampires- like myself, had obsessive compulsive disorders with being clean.

The ally was filthy. Obviously it was the restroom for the homeless, and I was guessing by the stink of rotted blood, either a few cherries had been popped here, or more than one kill had been made.

But overlaying that was fresh blood, slightly darkened in scent. Vampire. And Taylyn's personal scent; wildflowers. Dante and Aaron loomed over her. Taylyn hadn't managed to stick it out, being like we were. She couldn't kill a fly, much less her own kind; and I must admit, it is sickening at first. So she just lurked around the edges of our coven, helping when she could.

When I'd made my way over, Dante slung a tanned arm around me, and I stared at the mangled body. Tay's throat had been ripped out, the cuts too tattered to be a knife or vampire teeth, and not chewed enough to tread werewolf water. Plus, she didn't smell like sex, like Dante had already told me. Her belly was also ripped open, her internal organs missing. And her chest… her chest had been ripped open, and the bone cracked apart, her heart, by the looks of things, had been forcefully yanked out. I shivered and fought back vomit.

"You okay, baby?" Dante asked me, holding me tighter. I looked away and pressed my face against his neck, sniffing as I did so. He sighed. "Hush, Ravynbird." He soothed, his accent flowing like warm honey. No one in our coven except Ben believed we had never been lovers. We'd never done anything beyond the realms of feeding- which in it's self could actually feel better than an orgasm.

"Um, guys, as much as I hate to interrupt…" Aaron said glancing at Taylyn's body. Aaron was a war dog, born and bred. Like Ben, only younger and his hair was a lighter blonde. He'd been around since the Civil War and had fought for the Union. He and Ben didn't see eye to eye most of the time, but they'd stopped trying to kill each other. Aaron had been Created at Antietam. He'd also fought in World War One with America, then in the second World War with Hitler. He'd said something about being in the wrong place at the wrong time, even though he was blonde haired and blue-eyed. He'd once told me Hitler was about as straight as a circle. Blue-eyed blondes were his fetish.

Dante snorted and pulled out a camera and snapped various pictures, not letting me go. "Happy?" He asked, adding a fake growl to his voice.

"Yes sai, Dante sai." Aaron replied, saluting Dante and clicking his heels together.

"At ease, smart ass." Dante grinned, his fangs showing. Humor in dystopia. A vampire's specialty apparently.

I pulled away from Dante and dipped a finger into Tay's blood, drew a cross over her forehead then murmured the Lord's prayer- the Latin words flowing easily. I stood up and sighed "Is this all you wanted me for? Because I've got things to do, people to see." I added into the conversation.

"Well," Aaron replied, "I've got things to see and people to do, but I'm still here."

"I figured you might want to see this." Dante murmured, his voice sober. "In case you find another kill. We've got to find the bastard that did this."

I blinked, a random though popping in my head. "What if it was a girl? Maybe Tay ticked off the wrong demon, or maybe a Bounty Hunter."

Dante gave me a look. "A demon would leave Lucifer's Mark and the Bounty Hunter gene died out."

I sighed. "So where do we stand on this?"

"It depends. If a slayer turns up dead, we can rule out them. If not, well, I'll have a talk with the slayer's leader. See if one of them turned rouge. But for now, you can go home." He kissed the top of my head when I hugged him.

Pulling away from Dante's warmth, I murmured some good byes, and left.

--

When I got to my apartment, I caught the soft sounds of music before I opened the door into total darkness, lit by only a few candles. Enough to almost confuse my ability to see. The door clicked closed and an arm hooked around my waist, pulling me back against a hot, hard body. Damien's scent clouded my senses- Axe, slayer, and man. I shivered, heat gathering in my lower belly.

He pressed his lips against my neck, I felt the press of his teeth against my jugular and wondered vaguely if he planned on biting me. As long as he didn't draw blood, that was fine. No one wanted to see what happened if a vampire/slayer couple shared blood. Not that there were any couples like that.

Damien's hand slipped downward, undid the button on my jeans and slowly pulled down the zip. My breath caught. This was wrong, so wrong. "Damien…" I growled softly.

He said nothing, his thumbs hooking into the tough denim and tugging it down my hips until they fell to the floor with a gentle thud. He pressed against my back, deliciously hard. I closed my eyes and rubbed against him. Consequences be damned, I'd wanted this way too long. Turning, I leaned up and kissed him hard. He groaned and lifted me up. I locked my legs around his waist, still kissing him as he carried me to the bedroom.

-

Later, we lay tangled together, tired and sticky. I felt his lips against my hair, "Did you know that when we first met I was a virgin?" He asked gently. I stiffened against him. Holy hellfire! Did I just cross a line I shouldn't have? Fucking consequences. I thought, smiling on the inside at the unintentional pun.

He chuckled softly. "Relax, babe." He whispered, "I haven't been for a while."

I sighed. "Why are you telling me this?" Why? Why, God damn it! I shouldn't get this close to him.

"I dunno." he said, after a moment, his arms tightening around me, hugging me close. I sighed again and relaxed. Too damn late for regrets. I thought to myself and closed my eyes, waiting for sleep to claim me.