Sunset
by Desirata41 & BrandyBail
Rating: NC-17

Disclaimer: All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters are exclusive property Of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and UPN. We are only paying homage to characters we love!
Notes: This is our first collaboration, and it's proving to be a lot of fun. In writing this story we want you to bear in mind, that fiction is only as good as the disbelief it's suspended upon. Please sit back and let us take you away.
Dedication: Thanks to Dale, for the brainstorming sessions and insight into the characters that we all know and love. Thanks to Faithful Chickie, The Lady Of The List; who inspires us all.
Feedback: A good writer is like a well-managed IRA; we never stop growing. Tell us if you love it; tell us if it sucks; that's the only way we can make it better.

+1=2=3=4+

CHAPTER ONE

The Dark Lord's study was cavernous. Lined wall to wall with bookshelves filled with books he had accumulated along his travels. The blazing fireplace was large enough to cook a full course meal, if need be.

The Italian Marble floor was adorned with a large, plush Persian rug that contained a pattern of intricate beauty. Large torches in gold Filigree postings lined the walls in strategic places, offering up just the right amount of illumination. The Count did have a weakness for the finer trappings.

Vesper, his minion; entered the study. He bowed in reverence as he approached his master, carrying a long, regal cape in hand. It was the color of midnight, made from the finest velvet money could buy.

The inside was trimmed in golden silk. The grace of the garment was evident from the way it flowed effortlessly around the wearer. It was a thing of beauty and brought about a remembrance of more regal times, when his family ruled Europe.

"Sire, your cape is ready."

The Count stepped forward, and spoke in a booming voice.

"I would hope this pleases me Vesper, I've waited long enough for it. Do you swear on your life that the Gypsy was adequate in his conjurings, and that your own eyes were privy to them?"

He appeared as a tall, dark specter. A figure with a terrible; yet beautiful countenance, that bid one to stare at him without ceasing. The humble minion spread the magnificent cape for his master, bowing his head in supplication.

He sighed with pleasure feeling the exquisite garment engulf him, yes; it would do quite nicely. The Count liked all his possessions made from the finest materials, assuring they would stand the test of time.

"Yes, my lord. None but the most powerful and ancient of the dark arts was used hence."

*****

A powerful Gypsy King, with a long lineage in the magic's had been procured to place a protection spell upon the cape, to ensure its safety against thievery. His name was Jeleb Calende, and he claimed that Merlin's blood ran through his veins.

Jeleb's Clan rebuked him for being in alliance with Nosferatu, the very predator he was sworn to protect humanity against.

However, Jeleb was a practical man who had seen his clan through many lean times. Practicality was his voice of reason in this endeavor.

The Count was aware that his people were squatting on barren land and starving. He was offered 30 pieces of silver in the form of plentiful food and water, along with medicine for the sick children. The Gypsy King's pride faltered in the face of such suffering, and he relented.

Praying for the forgiveness of the Gods, he listened intently as he was instructed on the nature of the terrible alchemy the Count required. His shoulders squared with the resolve needed to perform this vile task. He shuddered as he gathered the bitter herbs, roots and sacred earth necessary to place the curse as requested.

*****

He handed his servant a thick gold piece, "I am pleased Vesper, a little something for you, I know how you like the wenches and your ale."

Vesper scurried from his master's chamber, clutching the gold coin; smiling at the evening's entertainment it would purchase. The master could be merciless if displeased and generous beyond all imagining if content.

His ancestors had served the Count's bloodline for centuries. He had seen first hand the vengeance meted out by his master, and been witness to the ancient stories told about The Count's father; before him.

Though Vesper feared his master, he also loved him as though it were inbred in him from previous generations. When the townspeople gathered from all over the Province to vanquish the demon in their midst, it was Vesper and his remaining family that helped the Count escape to safety.

There was no time to pack up family heirlooms or anything else of Value. The occupants of the castle fled in haste. Finding the castle abandoned incited the villagers to riot and pillage. They left a mere shell of its former opulence when they were done.

All possessions in the castle were scattered to the four winds, to be admired, bought, sold and resold. Many of the finer pieces ended up in the Palaces of Kings.

Some ended up in the private collections of curiosity seekers. Other objects rumored to be enchanted, were put on display in traveling carnivals and circuses.

Over its many years of traveling and changing of hands, the cape never lost its luster. It had made its way across two continents and four hundred years. Finally ending up in the consignment shop, where Faith first laid eyes on it.

*****

Halloween's tomorrow night, and I'm planning somethin' special for B. She gets kinda hinky every year round this time, something to do with some bastard named Ethan Rayne. He pulled a move on and B and the Scoobs, and I heard it wigged them out.

I told B she needs to lighten up, even the Big Bad will be takin' the night off to party. It's one of the rules, if ya can imagine evil going by any. Anyways it's not like B would be in danger, coz she's got one bad-ass girl friend; yours truly.

Red's in on the whole deal, I asked her to help me surprise B at the Bronze. The rest of the scoobs will be there, and I even convinced the G-man to put in an appearance. Now all I have to do is find costumes for B and me.

Figured I'd be a smart ass, and dress up like a sexy vamp. There's a funky little shop in the heart of town that sells second hand clothes, but they're all vintage, quality stuff.

It shouldn't be too hard to put something together from what I find there. I'm really lookin' to rock B's world, in more ways than one. Slutty fishnet stockings, high heels...the whole nine. She won't be able to resist me. I'm gonna be so hot.

The cape was there waiting for her, almost beckoning. It was hanging on a rack in the back of the store, where one normally would have overlooked it.

However, Faith seemed to gravitate right towards it. Maybe it attracted her, because in a way, she was a mystical being in her own right. She was a direct descendent of the first slayer.

"Oh yeah, I'm definitely feelin' this." She draped the cape around herself and surveyed her image in the nearest full length mirror. The cape only accentuated Faith's already stunning beauty, giving her a more nefarious quality.

"I'm gonna work this thing, it's got wicked bitchiness written all over it."

Faith didn't notice the strange aura surrounding the perimeter of her body around all points that the cape covered. She was intoxicated by the heady feeling it incited from her, and wanted a little background before she purchased it.

She beckoned to the shopkeeper, "Yo, Nell, what's the story on this. I'm thinking this would be so cool for Halloween, yunno?"

Nell walked towards the back of the store, constructing a mental dialogue that would guarantee the sale of the cloak. She really didn't know Faith, and therefore; felt no obligation to tell her the truth. It was all about the cash.

"Yeah, whatcha need babe?"

Faith entered the Bronze, *damn I'm looking fine tonight,* she thought. Everyone was checking her out, men and women alike, but she had no interest in anyone other than B. I'll tease em all, she thought as she strutted toward the table where the gang sat.

"Hey baby," she said giving Buffy a kiss.

She dropped down next to her girl. Buffy's innocent looking Dorothy, wiz thing looked damned hot. *Oh man, I want to rip her clothes off* Faith thought as her eyes roamed over Buffy.

"Nice costume B."

Everyone's eyes were glued to Faith; she looked super sexy tonight, low cut blouse, short skirt, fishnet stockings and that cape.

"Hey guys what's up, first round on me?"

She waited for an answer but only got a bunch of blank, open mouth stares. "Ok I'll order for you." Faith made her way to the bar.

"Tara isn't she the hottest thing you've ever seen." Willow whispered to her girlfriend.

"Not the hottest girl here babe, you are." Tara said her hand quickly moving to Willow's thigh. "My girl is always hot" Tara's fingers inched close to Willow's crotch.

"Do you think so?" Willow leaned into give Tara a kiss.

Faith waited at the bar. A small good looking blonde slid in to order beside her.

"Hi I'm Sandy" the blonde was giving her most smoldering look.

"Yeah, I'm Faith," she gave the blonde a little taste of that grin.

The little slayer pushed between them in a huff, "I'm Buffy and she's mine, so get lost Elvira."

Faith smiled, she never imagined that Buffy would get so completely jealous. It had to be the costume. *Damn all I wanted was for her to enjoy Halloween.*

The older slayer was dragging her along panting; her desire out of control.

*Fuck, this is gonna be good.* Faith thought as she anticipated the best.

Faith let herself be pulled up the stairs and tossed into the bedroom. Buffy was on her at once kissing her hard, pressing her against the wall.

"Slow down tigress, let me get undressed" Faith gave the blonde a kiss and went to the bathroom to change.

The blonde was beside herself with anticipation, and began to leisurely stroke her mound, loving the sensuous feel of the satin sheets engulfing her. Every time her lover touched her, it felt like the first time. Her body craved the sensation of being taken by the dark slayer.

Faith stood in the doorway, naked except for the cape. Her body appeared in seductive silhouette, bathed in candlelight from the bedroom. She loved the feel of the soft silk against her skin and the way it seemed to turn Buffy on. She found the blonde wrapped invitingly in the satin sheets, looking at her; mesmerized.

Faith walked over and stood at the foot of the bed, and slowly began pulling back the sheet. She looked at Buffy with a raised eyebrow and that beguiling smile.

"What are you doing under the covers, B?"

Buffy stared; her mouth slack with desire. Faith was a vision, the most captivating thing she'd ever seen. *So beautiful* the thought ran through Buffy's mind. She was completely enthralled, feeling helpless, as if she had been drugged.

*I'm so lucky, Faith can have anyone, but she wants me.*

The sultry brunette crawled onto the bed, stopping at the blonde's feet, as she continued to pull the sheet down slowly. Buffy's hands were caught in the cookie jar, literally and she started to flush.

Faith's eyes immediately traveled downward to the little slayer's hands, and what they were doing.

She smirked wickedly at the blonde, "I see you've started without me, naughty B."

Buffy swallowed, her mouth was suddenly dry and she couldn't speak. Her fierce arousal was evident, as her wetness began to seep out onto her thighs. The look in Faith's eyes made her blush.

Faith smiled at the gawking blonde while trailing her hands up her legs, tracing her fingers very lightly over her skin, paying special attention to the insides of her thighs, making her shiver. She gathered a drop of Buffy's juices on her finger and tasted it, closing her eyes and moaning.

"You taste so sweet B."

The little slayer's hand was still on her clit, slowly stroking it. Faith replaced it with her own hand, and started rubbing her teasingly between her lips. She was careful not to touch her clit, gently rubbing around it; prolonging the delicious foreplay.

The blonde finally gave voice to her yearning, "Come here lover, I want to kiss you."

The dark slayer made sure to maintain body contact as she moved up and over the older woman. She lowered her body down onto Buffy, and brushed her lips against hers saying in a husky voice.

"No more waiting, B."

Faith lay on top of her running her tongue lovingly along her love's lips, before finally kissing her slowly and deeply.

Buffy returned her gentle kisses running her tongue over Faith's lips, staring intensely into her lover's eyes. She sucked Faith's tongue; moaning into the kiss. She encircled the dark beauty in her arms squeezing her tightly, lost in the moment.

Her feelings were coming through in the kiss, and her hands traveled down to her firm ass, pulling her wetness closer, as she started to move under her.

"God, you feel so good baby." The blonde whispered as she gyrated her hips upward. Every inch of her skin tingled and she groaned; shivering each time her lover gave her the tiniest touch.

Faith was kissing Buffy with so much passion now, that she could hardly breathe, and she started to massage her lover's breasts as she returned her thrusts. She reached one of her hands between them, sliding three fingers inside, taking her hard and deep.

"Like that lover?" Faith asked, as she moved her fingers rthymically in and out of the blonde's wetness.

In the throes of her lust, Buffy plunged her fingers into Faith.

"I can't get enough of you, oh fuck me baby."

*Oh fuck, she really loves me* Faith thought as she pleasured her girlfriend. They stroked each other, harder and faster, riding towards a climax that threatened to consume them both.

Sensing that she was getting close, Faith reached down Buffy's body and slid her index finger between her cheeks. She pressed slightly at the entrance; letting just the tip work its way in.

Buffy began to whimper and writhe under Faith uncontrollably. She buried her face into her shoulder, licking and sucking her neck. Her legs wrapped snuggly around the brunette's hips, and she gave herself in complete surrender.

The cape had managed to stay fastened around Faith's shoulders, cradling them gently as they moved together. The atmosphere was thick with cries of passion and the sounds of their bodies melding together.

Faith felt Buffy's wet mound quivering on her thigh as she climaxed, and she tumbled over the edge behind her.

"Oh shit B, ahhhh!"

*****

Daylight peeked through the blinds waking Faith. She rolled away from the rays of direct sunlight. Her skin tingled at the contact, and she avoided the warmth, even in her sleep.

*What the fuck? Damn felt like I was burning up. I must have been dreaming.* Faith pulled Buffy close, cuddling her girl within the lushness of the cape. She tried to drift off to sleep, but for some reason, she was restless.

*I feel funny.* Faith's fingers slid up to touch her mouth.

*Ouch, fangs, blood, oh fuck! Ok, what's the friggin' deal here, and where did these fangs come from?*

Faith reached down in dismay, rousing Buffy from her sleep, equal parts fear and pain written across her face. Buffy cleared the sleep from her eyes, still groggy from last night's partying.

"What is it Faith, didn't you get enough last night; I'm starting to think you're…" Buffy looked into Faith's face and saw the grotesque fangs protruding from her mouth.

"Oh my God Faith, your face!"

CHAPTER TWO

A strong gust of wind entered the room, but there were no open windows and the door was closed. The cape started to billow and vibrate, and then there was a brilliant flash of light. The slayers felt an electrical charge run through their bodies, as they were transported through a dimensional doorway.

They were falling through the dark void, all sense of balance or gravity lost to them. Instinctively, they reached out to the only thing that mattered, each other. Fingers clutched in desperation, hoping for an anchor of security and comfort. Grasping hands gained purchase, and the terrified women managed to cling to one another. In the midst of the chaos, they found solace in each other's arms.

The darkness was brutal, and disorienting as they tumbled and swirled; for what seemed like hours. Faith held Buffy tightly against her, with her hand cradling those blonde tresses, pressing her face into the hollow of her shoulder.

She was protecting her from sights and horrors yet unseen, content in the awareness that this might be the end for them. Her only comfort against the uncertainty facing them was Buffy's warm breath on her neck. Faith pulled her closer, accepting the end; holding her love.

The impact when they fell to earth was startling, and the wind was knocked from them both. The rubbish heap that broke their fall was of little comfort. Faith came to first, with Buffy sprawled atop her, the cape and her body having absorbed most of the shock from the landing. Buffy lay unconscious.

The dark slayer surveyed her surroundings, and sensing no imminent danger, began to shake the petite blonde snuggled against her.

"B…Buffy, wake up; sleepy time is over!"

Buffy's eyes opened and her nose wrinkled at the stench, she was still a little confused, but happy to see Faith.

"Ewwww, what is that smell? Faith, you need a shower." *Yep, B's just fine*, Faith thought to herself as she smirked.

"Any other time, I'd love to have that sexy body on me, but right now you way a ton, take a load off B."

Slowly, Buffy extricated herself from Faith's soft cushioning and stood painfully upright. There were scraps of garbage in her hair and what seemed like a battalion of flies circling her. It was only when she attempted to brush off her clothing; that she realized; she wasn't wearing any!

She looked down at Faith who was clad only in the cape, she vaguely remembered, before they were swept away. Her memory was jogged by something else far more menacing, the perfect canine incisors displaying themselves prominently in Faith's mouth.

"I know the body's all that, but damn B, ya just gonna stand there gawkin' at me, give a girl a leg up; will ya?"

Buffy's slayer intuition was activated and keen, causing her to look immediately at the horizon. The sun had just set over the hills, accounting for the reason why Faith wasn't harmed. It also meant whatever vampire attributes Faith had taken on, including the extra strength and hunger; would start to assert themselves sooner than later.

Preparing for any suspicious movement, THE slayer reached down and grabbed the brunette's hand, helping her to her feet. Faith recognized the stance and the tension in Buffy's body language; they were in tune with each other, having shared so many battles. Faith glanced around quickly, on alert.

"What is it B, don't tell me we've got to deal with a freakin' vamp right now?"

"Kinda sorta, Faith; checkout the extra dentage." Buffy pointed to her own mouth for direction, and then pointed at Faith.

The taller girl wriggled her lips over the slightly protruding canines, and reached her hand up to confirm; what she thought, she'd just felt. Her eyes stretched wide with disbelief and she whimpered incredulously. Upon further examination, she found the usual bumps and ridges were absent.

"Ok, I realize that I dressed up like a vamp for Halloween, but whatever mystical force is yanking my chain, I'm not feelin' the ha ha's, OK!"

Buffy looked at Faith standing there naked, but for the cape; shouting up into the night sky at some unseen force, and broke down in laughter.

"C'mon B, this shit isn't the least ways funny. I'm standing here almost buck naked, in a gotdamn cape, vamped out, and you're just waiting to kick my ass."

"Whatever gave you that idea Faith?" Buffy snickered in between words.

"B, from one slayer to another, cut the bullshit. I've seen you like that a hundred times, that's your 'I'm gonna kick some vamp ass' stance."

"Alright Faith, you've made your point, but don't give me a reason. We've got to get some clothes and find out where the hell we are."

*****

Closer observation revealed the slayers were in a secluded alley hidden behind a row of Shoppes, situated on a main thoroughfare. Faith kicked in the first door she came to, and they ran inside.

She felt along the wall for a light switch out of habit. Her eyes adjusted quickly to the layout of the room, and she noticed a lantern mounted on the wall instead. Once Faith was satisfied they were alone, she and Buffy looked for clothes and food.

As luck would have it, they had broken into a haberdashery, which solved the clothing dilemma. They grabbed the first things they came across that fit. The only thing available to them was men's clothing, but they made due with a set of trousers, shirt and jacket for each of them.

Besides the obvious men's clothing, the Shoppe was adorned with dusted wigs, snuffboxes, walking canes and other items that were the fashion of the day, in the early 1700's. Buffy thought to herself, that someone had gone to an awful lot of trouble to recreate everything so authentically.

There wasn't a trace of anything modern in the whole place, there were even quill pens, inkwells, proper stationary and emblem seals complete with accompanying wax. Now that she paid closer attention, even the air smelled differently.

"We've got to get out of here Faith, whoever owns this place will probably be back in the morning. Obviously, you can't move about during daylight, and then there's the problem of uh…food."

"Now that you mention it B, I could do with a little swig." Faith playfully flicked one of her canines and wiggled an eyebrow suggestively.

THE slayer looked at her with purpose, "You've already had everything you're going to taste from me baby. Make no mistake, try anything and I will send you to dustville."

"Oooo, gonna get dusted by the slayer, does that mean I can't fuck ya anymore either B?" Faith winked flirtatiously and licked her lips.

There was no question that Faith had her number, and Buffy felt a familiar pull from her loins at the sight of those full, moist lips; but the sharp incisors brought her back to reality. Her lover was a vampire and she couldn't be trusted, no more, no less.

*****

It was when they finally stepped out into the cool night air that Buffy figured out how much trouble they were in. The street was cobble-stoned and busy with the traffic of people going about their lives. There were several horse-drawn carriages lining the streets, and the lights beckoning from the well-lit establishments were welcoming.

"Faith, big trouble brewing here."

"Why B? I never pictured you for butch, but the duds look cool on ya."

The blonde became more exasperated, shaking her head, "No, take a good look around, it's all Amadeus around here."

Faith looked around puzzled, "Amadeus, B?"

"Riiigt…you probably didn't see that movie…ok."

It reminded Faith of one of those Christmas Towne models, people liked to decorate with around the holidays; only this was eerily real. The cape was tucked securely under her arm as she nodded at Buffy affirming that she was ready. She was strangely excited and a little captivated by all the activity going on around them, the sights and smells seemed more vivid to her.

Buffy looked down the street at a building, the sign hanging in front read Grundle's Inn: Fine food and Lodging est. 1773. She tapped her companion on the arm, shaking her from the temporary stupor.

"Faith, there's an Inn down the street, we can go there and get a room for the night."

"And who are you gonna blow to pay for it B, no cash; remember?"

They both heard screaming off in the distance, the fearful cries of a Woman. The slayers ran through the street, their supernatural hearing guiding them to the source of the wailing.

He was beating her brutally, the drunkard was, raining blow after forceful blow on the woman, pummeling her like she was a rag doll. Faith became enraged at the sight of it; the woman was a helpless victim against the drunkard's flailing fists. Before Buffy could act, the dark slayer bounded across the alley with eye-blurring speed.

"Son of Bitch, you like beating on women, huh?" She screamed as she pounced on the dumbfounded man, lifting him by his collar and throwing him across the alley!

"Ugh…ugh…fucking coward, beat on me." She growled as she slapped at the man's face and shoulders, "Look at ya, scared like a little bitch now, aren't ya!"

Buffy hesitated briefly, shocked at Faith's violent reaction; before she helped the battered woman to her feet.

"You should get on home now, and take care of that face, we'll …uh…see to him forthwith Ma'am." Buffy tried to deepen her voice, conscious that she was dressed like a man, albeit a small one.

The shaken woman didn't protest, but offered thanks to her unlikely saviors, as she looked once more through tear-filled eyes at Faith and her terrible rage before running to safety.

Buffy turned her attention back to Faith, wondering just how far she would have to go to stop her from beating the man to death. The worst-case scenario came into play as she watched Faith's mouth open, exposing those fierce canines; and her eyes glaze over with something so feral; it scared her.

*Oh, my God, she's going to kill him.*

The feeble, terrified man screamed in pain, begging for his life as Faith held him by his arms with such power, that the sickening crunch of bone was audible. He watched as death approached him, in the form of this beautiful, vicious creature. Faith sank her teeth deeply into his jugular, tasting the warm, salty elixir of his life force.

She moaned as she drank, clutching him in a sick parody of a lover's embrace draining him an inch from death. The passing of his life into her body was exhilarating and intimate beyond anything she'd known in life. Now she felt a kinship with all the vampires she'd ever slain.

Buffy looked on in horror as Faith ravaged her victim, finally discarding his body like a crushed beer can she had drained, showing no remorse or regard for the life she'd just taken. The blonde was instantly saddened by the implications of what lay ahead for her. Before her very eyes, she had watched her love turn from protector, to predator. A predator she was chosen by fate, to hunt and kill.

CHAPTER THREE

The blood coursed through her like liquid fire, and she closed her eyes in bliss. She wondered if this was the way an animal felt in the wild after a kill. Her senses heightened, the taste of blood still warm and sweet in her throat.

Buffy couldn't help but think how beautiful Faith was in her savagery. The blood dripping down the corners of her mouth bordered on the obscene, but there was still something intensely erotic in her movements.

The way she licked her lips, savoring the lingering taste of life and the way her breast strained against the material of her shirt as she panted. At that moment she appeared larger than life walking toward Buffy, with the agile grace of a lioness.

Their eyes met through the gathering mist of the early evening, the atmosphere given an ethereal quality by the soft glow of moonlight blanketing the alley. The air was still, and time seemed suspended.

An age-old drama recreated itself, the slayer and the vampire, destined to always be embattled in a never-ending war. Buffy knew she should be on the offensive, and willed her body to react. Yet, she found she was rendered helplessly immobile by Faith's unwavering gaze.

Faith closed the distance and drew the slayer into her arms roughly, as if claiming a prize. A strange heat radiated from her body, making her almost uncomfortable to touch. She grabbed a handful of Buffy's hair, jerking her head back; exposing her neck.

The petite blonde struggled against arms that held her like steel bands, uncertain of the dark beauty's intentions as her mouth moved ever closer to her. Buffy couldn't recall ever being in the grip of anything stronger or more hypnotic. The closer those lips came to her own, the more she wanted them on her.

Faith licked the blonde's lips lightly with her tongue, and then pulled back; enjoying the way Buffy's lips pouted in anticipation of her kiss. Their faces were so close; Buffy could smell the blood still fresh on her breath. She was surprised at her lack of revulsion, and the wetness starting to seep between her legs.

The sensual brunette reached down and cupped Buffy's mound, feeling her heat. She enjoyed the response it prompted, as she felt the exhalation of the smaller woman's breath on her face. Faith's lips turned into a slight smile as she slid her tongue slowly into Buffy's mouth. Her fingers began to massage the blonde's moist sex through the material of her pants.

Buffy groaned, thrusting herself into that unrelenting hand, losing all sense of reason or fear. Her instincts told her the heinous act she had just witnessed had to be dealt with. The burning urgency of her need pushed those instincts to the back of her mind. She followed as Faith motioned her towards the back of the alley, where a carriage sat waiting without its footman.

Faith half lifted, half threw Buffy into the carriage. Wild with lust her hands ripped the blonde's shirt, as she lowered herself down the object of her desire. Even in the heat of a sexual frenzy, Faith was careful not to harm Buffy with her newly christened canines, as she ravaged one delectable breast, and then moved on to the other.

Buffy interlocked her legs with Faith's and began to grind her pelvis in rhythmic circles, enjoying the feel of the friction it caused on her clit. Her body tensed as she rode the dark beauty's thigh, needing the climax that she knew was steadily approaching.

They rode each other desperately, each not worrying about what they could give, but the unbridled act of taking what they both needed. Lust fueled them, grunting and groping with hungry mouths, like two animals in rut.

When the time came it was Buffy, not Faith who delivered the bite, her face buried in the crook of the brunette's shoulder, nipping her. As the convulsions washed over her body, she captured the flesh on Faith's back; digging in her nails. Faith growled low in her throat, thrusting harder and faster toward her orgasm.

A figure lurked in the shadows, a spectator from the very beginning, watching the salacious scene unfold before his enraptured eyes. He had heard its calling, the mystical song of the cape and tracked it to this place. There it lay, thrown in the gutter and overlooked by either slayer, as the violence ensued.

He couldn't believe his good fortune, not only had he found the cape, but also witnessed the passion of those two lovely creatures, a passion that a hundred gold coins couldn't have bought him from the finest whore.

He scurried through the alley, and snatched the cape, making haste to depart before he was detected. It was then that Faith felt it, a grating pain in her chest, like something had been ripped from her. Somehow, she knew the cape had been taken, and she had to get it back.

Buffy was no longer the object of her attentions as she wrenched herself free from her arms and left the carriage in pursuit of the thief. Her preternatural speed gave her the advantage, and she caught up with him in no time. She jostled him by the collar of his garment, holding him up to the light; wanting to see who she was about to disembowel.

Vesper held the cape to his chest possessively, even as his certain death loomed.

CHAPTER FOUR

Author's Note: Thanks for your willing ear Zap!

She snatched the cape from his hands, making sure to tighten her grip on his collar, cutting off his air supply.

"Speak to me you little thieving fuck, before I break you in two."

Buffy shook off the languid stupor her body felt after such a powerful release, and rushed toward Faith. She was determined to protect the thief at all costs; one senseless death was enough.

Faith only dropped the puny man after feeling the sting of Buffy's boot on her temple, momentarily stunning her. Once the dizziness cleared and she could see again, the slayer faced her; and any semblance of her lover was nowhere to be found.

"No more killing Faith, I won't let you harm him. Back off, please don't make me!"

This was the blonde dynamo that had defeated a God, through sheer force of will. She was formidable on a bad day, but now she was pissed off. Vesper ran behind her, utilizing her sanctuary. His intuition told him this resolute young woman represented the balance of good in the world.

It was the ferocious gleam in her eye, a gleam reserved for warriors. There was a set to her jaw; that belied her small frame. He knew she would protect him with her life.

Faith groaned as she felt her head clear, "Damn baby, I thought it was good for you."

Buffy was knocked off her feet by a blazing left hook, but she was trained for this, and regained her balance within the fall. She used the momentum of her weight against Faith, sweeping her legs out from under her. The tables were turned quickly as Buffy jumped to her feet placing a heel in Faith's throat.

"To me you're just another vamp, wanna see?"

Buffy saw something in Faith's face then, that gave her hope. One tear fell from eyes that had temporarily lost the coldness of the grave. Her heart softened at the sight and she removed her heel from its resting place.

"B, help me please. This…whatever it is took me over back there. When I saw how he was beating her, I…lost it. The son of a bitch deserved what he got."

"That may be true, he was wigging out on her; but I can't allow you to go around killing. It's against everything a slayer stands for."

"Um Buff, in case you haven't noticed, I don't think I'm a member of that club anymore."

Buffy crossed her arms and glared down at the brunette, "I've seen you at your worst remember? I know you better than anyone, and you are every ounce a slayer; it's in your blood."

Faith looked into the small blonde's eyes, *Damn, she wasn't shittin' me coz I rocked her boat, she really loves me.*

"B, it has to be that goddamned cape. Everything was fine until I bought it and wore it that night. And tonight, when that thug tried to run off with it, I felt something tugging at my gut."

"Faith, You have my benefit of doubt this once. If I see you going all vampy on me again, there won't be enough of you left to scoop up with a dustpan, understood?"

The rogue slayer spread her arms wide in submission, "C'mon B, what choice do I have? I'm laying flat on my back, I'm ass out here."

The blonde's previous experience in battle made her back up. Her reflexes were primed and ready for any untoward move from her Russet-haired counterpart. Buffy looked at Vesper, who seemed afraid to leave the safety of her shadow.

"Ok you, whoever you are, what's up with this cape?"

Vesper was about to answer her, but instead he cowered behind her shoulder. Faith stood before them both, staring intently into his eyes; issuing an unspoken threat.

Even in his position of weakness, he was still determined to take the Cape. He squatted to where it lay at Buffy's feet and clawed at the ground trying to reach it. She lifted him to his feet with two of her fingers to make a point.

"I didn't say I wouldn't squash you little man, I just asked what you want with this cape?"

Vesper looked defiantly at Faith, "My Master requires its return, it was he that commissioned the garment."

Faith's eyes took on a dangerous quality and she bared her fangs, "That cape is mine, willing to die to get it?"

"Be careful how you talk to me, I am my master's favorite and you will pay for your insolence."

Buffy, ever the peacemaker; stretched out her arm in front of Faith and gestured towards the cape.

"Tell you what, how about neither one of you gets this, until I figure out what's going on here?"

The petite slayer never took her eyes off Faith, as she reached down taking the cape into her hands. It didn't appear to be enchanted, but she had learned enough from Willow over the years to know, that looks could be deceiving.

Buffy examined the cape thoroughly and came away with a phrase written in fine gold lettering, it appeared to be Latin: CAVI CAUTUM TU RAPIO PESTIS VESTIMENTIUM, followed by the initials JC and a strange symbol.

"So tell me Vesper, who is your master, and why does he want this cape so badly?"

"Is it wrong that a man should want back, that which was stolen from him? All my Master requires is its return."

*Here we go with the cryptic, I don't want to thrash this little creep.*

"I need to know why my friend has changed into that."

She motioned at Faith, who threw up her arms in a mock (I'm going to get you) pose.

"That I can not explain, it is my charge only to return the cape."

Faith lunged at the tiny man, menacingly pressing one of her fingernails to his throat. They had all transformed into elongated, razor sharp points when she changed, and one swat would be lethal.

"Look you twerp, I didn't ask for this to happen to me. I need to know what this is so I can reverse it. I'm thinkin' you know exactly what's going on here. I'll gut you like a fucking fish, have no doubt!"

Buffy watched as Faith growled at the shivering waif, there was nothing wrong with a little good cop, bad cop. And the brunette was so good at it she was allowed to continue. Spittle began to run from Vesper's mouth and his eyes bulged with fear.

"If I tell you, he will surely kill me!"

Faith roared in his face, "Well at least you'll have time to run from him, I won't be so kind."

"I will never betray my master!"

Buffy's patience was gone and her tone grew ominous, "I'll figure this out without your help, and when I finally meet your master; I'll kill him too."

She reached around Faith and lifted the little man until his feet dangled in the air.

"Go tell your master that I have the cape, and if he wants it; he'll have to take it from my dead hands."

The frightened man charged from the alley as soon as his feet touched the ground. Buffy had calculated roughly how much time they had left before sunrise. Now she would put her plan into motion.

"Wait a minute B, first you wouldn't pound him to find out what you need to know, and now you let him go? I never figured you for a pussy, slayer."

The blow caught Faith in the mouth and drew blood, "And don't you ever, I know what I'm doing. If Spike and Angel could track by scent, then so can you, and we still have a few hours before daybreak."

She threw a piece of material ripped from Vesper's coat at the brunette, knowing she could lift Vesper's scent from it.

"Fetch bitch."

...to be continued...

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