One week later
Angelus and Darla had attended a ball, where they heard the news. The city was in a state of complete terror. The police were out in full force, trying to find the new serial killer, whose weapon of choice was a railroad spike. One victim had been found still alive the previous night, but had died not long after he was rushed to a doctor. He had enough time, however, to utter the killer's name: William the Bloody.
Angelus had found Darla and they'd left for their home immediately. "I'll kill him," Angelus growled as they rode home on their horses. They were less than a mile from their house when they heard the commotion. People were screaming. He closed his eyes and honed his vampire hearing in on the sounds.
"Get 'im! Close in!"
"I've got the girl!"
"HELL!" This growl was from Angelus.
"Go, if you must," Darla sighed. "I'll circle around and get home by the back way. I'll get the carriage ready." She put an hand on his arm and added, "If you're not back in two minutes, I'm leaving without you."
Angelus nodded. "If that happens, you know where to wait for me." He kissed her quickly and rode on.
William tried to stay on his feet, but the damn humans had apparently decided that they'd just bleed him dry if they couldn't figure out how to kill him.
And everything had been going so well, for the past week. He'd kept killing with the spike, and Angelus hadn't been any wiser for it.
But then tonight...
They'd found a prime victim, a good looking young man, and had lured him out toward their home, far enough away that his dying screams wouldn't be heard. Just as William attacked, however, they found themselves ambushed. He and Drusilla had fought but there had been too many of them. They just kept coming out of the damn trees!
Three of them tackled Drusilla and Will couldn't get to her. They tied her up and tossed her on a horse. "I'M GONNA KILL YOU ALL!" he screamed. That just got him shot again. He had at least five gunshot wounds by this point.
Angelus followed the sound of the fighting and found them, a good hundred yards away from the house. Will was fighting off five men. They'd already discovered their guns only served to wound him, so they were trying to just subdue him now. There were easily ten other men lying dead nearby, which would explain the other men's hesitance to get too close to Will. There were ten men still alive, however. Five had managed to get hold of Drusilla, by the time Angelus crept up to the crowd. One of the men had slung her over a horse while the others turned to help their friends get Will. Drusilla's hands and feet were bound, and all she could do was make her displeasure known, loudly.
Angelus had a pistol that he always carried, just in case. But there were only six bullets, and ten men. He knew they probably had guns too. But William could only last a little longer on his feet, Angelus knew, as he saw the number of gunshot wounds his boy had. Two in his chest, one in his stomach. Another in his left arm.
Angelus knew his boy was about to pass out, so he needed to act quickly. He crouched down behind one of the horses and fired, aiming for the quick kill. He fired six times in all, and six men fell dead, bullets in their heads. That left four men.
Angelus ran out into the crowd and snapped two necks. William lunged at one of the others, tearing into his neck with his fangs. Angelus grabbed the remaining human before he could help his friend. He snapped that man's neck too, and pulled his childe up by his good arm.
"NOT NOW!" he yelled at William, urging him away from the human. He sighed when Will passed out from blood loss and fell to the ground. He threw the boy over the back of the horse Dru was still on and then jumped back onto his.
He held to the reign of the other horse and they rode back to the house. Darla was still preparing the carriage to leave. Angelus untied Drusilla and ordered her into the carriage. He tossed Will in beside her and got up on top with Darla.
The ride out of London was silent, for the most part. Angelus didn't know if William would recover, but he didn't much care at the moment. The plan was to get to the coast and stow away on a boat for Paris.
Unfortunately, after they'd ridden for two hours, their carriage wheel broke on a particularly poor road. They found themselves stranded and didn't know of a town anywhere nearby.
Angelus removed one of the horses from the carriage and rode off by himself in search of shelter, after Darla ranted for five minutes that this had been all his fault. He wasn't quite following her logic, but he didn't bother to try. He knew she was angry, and for the most part he understood why she was taking it out on him.
The boy had very nearly gotten them ALL killed, tonight. If he had led those humans to the house.... Angelus didn't want to think about what might have happened then. So now Darla was furious and blamed him for not keeping the boy in line.
After all, Will *was* *his* childe.
But Angelus was just angry, although his fury was soon to be directed at William. His childe had taken advantage of Angelus' lenience for the last time. Because now, after he'd tried so hard to get back into Darla's good graces, one stupid move by his boy had undone it all.
"Bloody hell!" he yelled and then growled when he caught his boy's favorite phrase escaping his lips.
He shook his anger away for the moment, and forced himself to pay attention to his surroundings. Sunrise was less than an hour away and he had to get his family to shelter before then. The carriage had curtains, but it wasn't a good idea to remain in such close quarters, if they could avoid it.
He wasn't sure who would kill Will first in that situation, he or Darla.
He rode on and soon saw a town, down the road. They could get there before dawn, if they hurried. He rode back to the carriage. "There's a little town, close enough," he told Darla. "You and I will ride on one horse, Will and Dru on another. We'll bring as many bags as we can load on the horses."
Darla nodded mutely. She was too angry to speak. William could have gotten them killed and yet Angelus still seemed to want to try to save him. If she'd had her way, they would have left him and Drusilla to the humans. She didn't make a move to help Angelus, as he started tying their bags to the horses.
Angelus tied as many bags as possible to the horses and then opened the carriage. The scent of blood was overpowering. William still appeared to be unconscious and Dru looked up at him fearfully. "He won't wake up," she whined.
"He will," Angelus replied. "Because he's not going to avoid the beating he's earned." He pulled the unconscious vampire out of the carriage, tossing him over his shoulder. He motioned Drusilla out, too.
"Change of plans," he said to Darla. "You share a horse with Dru, so I can hold Will."
She shrugged. "Let's just get to shelter." She helped Drusilla up onto the horse behind her; Angelus tossed Will over the other horse and swung up behind him. They rode for half an hour before they reached the town. Angelus pulled a blanket out of a bag and wrapped it around his boy to hide the blood as they rode into town. They soon found a hotel and Angelus got the last room available. Somehow they managed to get William inside without arousing suspicion.
"One room for all four of us?" Darla grumbled as they entered. "Wonderful."
Angelus bit his tongue to keep from losing his temper. He understood her aggravation, but damn it, he was trying to make things better.
There was a couch in the room and he laid his boy there as he returned to the horses to get the remainder of their bags.
Angelus walked over to where Will lay, Drusilla was sitting on the floor next to him. He sat on the couch next to his boy and began to remove his clothes. He ordered Drusilla to find their medical supplies, mostly to get her out of his way. While she was gone, he began to check the boy's wounds. There were just the five bullet wounds, two in the stomach, two more in the left side of his chest and one in his left shoulder. Each wound had a matching exit wound. This was a relief to Angelus; the bullets wouldn't need to be dug out of his body. And *that* would have drawn attention, because his childe had a very low tolerance for pain. However, Angelus did need to stop the bleeding.
After he'd bandaged up Will's injuries, he looked over at Drusilla. "There's nothing you can do, Childe," he said. "Go to sleep, you can use the bed if you promise not to disturb Darla." Drusilla pouted but obeyed him.
He looked back at Will. The boy had lost a lot of blood. He sighed and opened the vein in his wrist, holding it to the younger vampire's mouth. After just a second's hesitation, William woke enough to drink his blood. Angelus knew then that his boy would recover. He let him drink as much as he could safely spare and then pulled away.
William felt like he'd been trampled by a hundred horses and then run over by a freight train. He'd never been in this much pain. He was grateful when Angelus fed him, as he thought it meant his sire didn't want him dead. At least not yet. He forced his eyes open, but wished he hadn't when he saw how furious the older vampire was. "I'm sorry," he whispered.
Angelus growled. "Sorry that you *deliberately* misled me into thinking you were obeying my orders? Sorry that you got caught by those humans? Or perhaps you're sorry that you practically *led* them to our home? Or are you only sorry that I found out about your rebellion?" He paused to get control of his temper. He didn't want to wake Darla. "Tell me, Boy, *what* are you sorry for?" he hissed.
William winced. "For disobeying you in the first place," he replied quietly.
"Apology not accepted," Angelus said, "because I don't believe it's sincere. If I'd never found out about your disobedience, you would have continued to add to your dramatic killing spree. And you would have kept it up, until you'd succeeded in getting us burned alive in our own house. All because you have the ridiculous need to make sure hat people for miles around know your damn *name*.
"Get well, William the Bloody, because when you do, I'm going to make that name a fitting one," Angelus finished with a growl. He turned away, stripped nude and crawled into bed, between his sire and Drusilla. He was soon asleep, exhausted by the events of the evening.
Will didn't get to sleep for several hours, trying unsuccessfully to come up with a way to get himself out of his current predicament. When he had decided it was hopeless and resigned himself to a punishment he didn't care to contemplate the details of, he wondered how much longer he would be subject to such awful luck.