HUNTER'S MOON By D. M Evans Disclaimer - Joss Whedon owns all (well except for a few lovely ladies you'll meet within), no infringement is intended, definitely no money is made, I'm just happy I get to play with them for a little while Rating - strong R for sexual situations Spoilers - Takes place AtS S4 between 'Slouching Toward Bethlehem" and "Spin the Bottle" Feedback - Feed me Seymour Summary - Cordelia tries to get Connor into the Halloween spirit with very unexpected results Author's Note - This is written for the Halloween Challenge at the Lyric Wheel. Thanks to A.L. for the lyrics (find at the end), "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" by the Beatles Author's Note 2 - For a special treat, here's a story that's not a work in progress for once.

Connor carried the box of groceries to his home, Cordelia talking brightly about some outfits she saw in boutiques on the way to and from the supermarket. He had no idea what she was talking about but he liked the sound of her voice. At least now he knew she liked more than shoes and donuts.

They passed the high fencing to the school for the little kids, what was that word? Elementary? Cordy was still chattering excitably about the lemony dress that he in no way had the money for. Truth be told, he only had a vague idea what money was. Gunn and Fred had complained about it often enough. Fred had tried to explain it to him when he asked, during Angel's time in the deep seas, why she just didn't take Angel's if she knew he hoarded some in his rooms. She told him that was stealing and went into long explanations on what each bill was, how people earned money and how it was wrong to just take it. He only retained three things from the lecture; he needed money for everything; he didn't possess the skills needed to earn it; Angel had a lot of it.

Connor had raided the hotel when Angel and the others had gone off to find Cordelia. He helped himself to the money he found. He didn't feel the least bit guilty because he spent it on food for himself and now Cordy as well. Besides, Angel was a demon. It wasn't wrong to steal from them. Connor caught a glimpse of something darting out of the school and he froze, nearly dropping the box of groceries.

Cordy helped steady it. "What's wrong, Connor? You've gone"

He nodded to the short little demon with googly eyes coming out of the school, followed by a furry creature.

Cordy laughed. "Connor, it's Halloween. Those are just little kids in costume so please no slaying. See, fairy princess and a pirate."

Connor let his body relax in small measures. He saw now that his little demon was a child in a mask. "I don't understand. Why would anyone dress their child as a demon?"

Cordy looped her arm in his, sneaking alongside the box. "Let's not stand in front of a school. They'll think we're perverts or something." She tugged him gently forward. "You don't know what Halloween is?"

Connor shook his head as they turned off the more populated streets and started wending their way to where his museum storage squat hulked amongst the other warehouses. "Father mentioned the word, I think, but I don't know what it means. I'm sure it had no meaning in Quor-Toth or I would know it."

"Father? Angel or the one that he said kidnaped you?" Cordelia wrinkled her nose. "If I don't get my memory back soon, I think I'll go nuts."

"Sometimes forgetting is good but I know it's got to be scary not knowing anything about yourself," Connor said sympathetically. "And I meant Holtz. He didn't kidnap me. He rescued me from Angel. God gave me to Holtz."

"Okay," Cordelia drew the word out doubtfully then took heed of the warning in his blue eyes not to push the point. She learned in a matter of a day or two just how well the teen could brood. She decided to stick with what was safe. "Halloween is a little dorky but it can be fun."

"So why do you dress your children as demons?" Connor spat that out distastefully.

"We put them in all kinds of costumes," she said, trying to mollify him. "It doesn't have to be demonic. It's a chance to be something else for a day."

"But why a demon?"

"People like to be scared, Connor, fake scared. Haven't you ever seen a scary movie?"

"I've only seen one movie...helicopters came and tried to kidnap us." He shuddered.

Cordy cocked one of her perfectly sculpted eyebrows at him. "Are you sure that wasn't part of the movie?"

"Wolfram and Hart, they've always wanted to get hold of me. Gunn and Fred told me so. It was their helicopter," he insisted, curling his lip. "I didn't like the movie any how."

"Halloween's better when you're a little kid," Cordy said, wistfully. "You go house to house and people give you loads of candy."

"I like candy," Connor said. "But why do they give the kids candy?"

Cordelia shrugged. "I don't actually know, I mean outside of getting tricked. I'm not sure why they do that either, play silly tricks on you that is. When you get to your age and up, the begging for candy is out. We usually just go out dancing and drinking, sometimes in costume, other times not. Ooooo." Cordy's eyes brightened, as they stopped in front of a warehouse with some freshly boarded up windows.

"What?" Setting the box down, Connor pried open the door to the squat. Cordelia went in and held the door for him.

She skirted away from the rampant stuffed bear, which cradled Connor's sword and from which hung Connor's bandolier of demon part trophies he had rescued from the drug flophouse he had lost it in, and she went into their barely functional kitchenette with its college dorm appliances of a hot pot and a tiny fridge. "We should go out tonight to a club."

"Are you sure?" Connor asked dubiously, putting the box on the table.

"Sure." Cordy gave a little bounce then started unloading the box. "I might not remember who I am but," she turned to him, her eyes sparkling, "you ever have the feeling something is right for your down to the bone?"

"Sure." His mid flickered over those deep down feelings; that Angel was evil shot right to the top and that the vampire really was his father. He felt that strongly all the way to his soul - he knew it the moment he saw the demon - no matter how much he prayed it wasn't true.

"Well, I know I like to party. It'll be fun." She tossed herself onto the bed and watched him work. "There has to be under twenty-one clubs around here like the Bronze because, sweetie no one's going to let you into a regular dance club."

"Why not?" Connor said shoving cans of black beans onto the counter.

"Because you have to be twenty-one to drink and you are only eighteen at most and you definitely look younger than your age."

"I've been in clubs before," Connor argued and Cordelia arched an eyebrow.

"Okay, I guess we could try a regular club."

Connor shook his head, his fine brown hair flopping into his eyes. "I don't think it's a good idea, too dangerous."

Cordelia swatted at him. "You'll protect me. You said I was a demon hunter, remember? Besides, I need this. I need to let go a little and have some fun. I need to forget for a little bit that I don't know who I am, that demons are after me and that I'm somehow tied into this dark world."

Connor started to tell her that she was part demon but he didn't think she knew that. It might upset her. She trusted him; that's why she stayed with him. He wanted to keep her in his home such as it was, in his bed, even though he wasn't sure why. His body kept telling him sinful things, things Father warned him were wrong unless he was married.

Last night, he'd lost control of his body and had to leave the bed and go do something Father had punished him severely for the one time he caught him. The punishment had been so harsh, Connor had never committed the sin of Onan again until last night. There really had been no choice. God hadn't seemed too interested in helping him control his traitorous flesh. Why should He care what the bastard son of two vampires did?

He couldn't let Cordelia see him like that, if she should wake, so he had gone up to the roof. After he had taken care of that terrible problem, God hadn't struck him dead, so maybe Father wasn't right about the venal sin or God really didn't care what demon spawn did. He probably expected such sinfulness.

Connor realized she was staring at him, expecting an answer. He shoved thoughts of last night out of his mind. "If you really want to go, I'll go."

"Thank you." She pecked his cheek, her hand brushing his knee. "It'll be great, you'll see."

Connor put a hand over the magical spot where her lips touched him. He was very glad he'd said yes.

"Now what to dress you as?" She flicked back his bangs critically. "It's the last minute so we're pretty limited."

"I'm not wearing a costume," he said, strongly.

"Of course you are. Hmm, we'll have to go back to the Hyperion. I'm sure I'll have something there," Cordy said, feeling his arms and chest as if taking measurements by eye.

"I don't want to go there," Connor sulked. "He might be there." He made the word 'he' sound like he needed his mouth washed out with soap for cursing.

Cordy tapped his pouting lip. "Put that away. It doesn't work on me. Come on, let's move." She grabbed his hand, dragging him off the bed. Connor sighed and followed her out.



"I'm not dressing like a girl."

Gunn jerked a thumb at the door to Cordelia's old room in the Hyperion and said to Angel, Lorne and Fred, "Told you they were here."

"It's okay Gunn, I don't care. I want them to come back," Angel argued. "But why does she want Connor to dress like a girl?"

"Don't go there Angel-hair," Lorne said, shuddering.

Angel scowled at the demon and knocked on the door. Cordy called 'come in' and Angel did so before she changed her mind. She pouted at the quartet.

"Should have know it was you," she said. "That 'come in' just slipped out. I'm not staying here so don't even ask." She wagged a finger at Angel.

"I wasn't," Angel said, his eyes flickering between Cordelia and Connor who was sitting on Cordelia's old bed, examining an gold and maroon pom pom like he was trying to decipher the secrets of life from it. "I was just seeing if everything was okay; if you needed something."

"Not from you," Connor growled, his gaze snapping up to pinion Angel. Cordelia put a hand on his shoulder and Angel shot a look to his friends to stay calm, hearing them bristling behind him.

"I was just looking for something to wear for Halloween tonight. I think my Sunnydale cheerleader outfit would be great," Cordelia said, trying to keep it light.

"I'm sure it would, Pixie Cat," Lorne said and Gunn eagerly nodded his agreement until Fred elbowed him.

Cordelia looked at Lorne uncomfortably as if unsure how to handle praise from a horned, green-skinned demon then said, "But I can't think of anything for Connor."

"I'm not wearing a dress," he repeated, going sulky.

"Lots of guys do for Halloween," Cordelia argued.

"And for fun," Gunn added, shooting a look at Lorne. The swishy demon had the good breeding to ignore the slight.

"No dress!" Connor said. "Why can't I just go like this?"

Cordelia tugged on his brown shirt. "Because this is dumpster chic. These places have dress codes. Even if you don't wear a costume, you don't have anything they'd let you into a good club wearing."

"Don't look at us, Cordy," Gunn said. "Angel is way too big for anything to fit Connor."

"Are you trying to say something, Gunn?" Angel pushed at his belly, aware he had put on weight despite his undead state.

"That your kid is a wee, little man," Gunn replied, indifferent to the fury rising in Connor's cheeks.

"Charles," Fred said, "that's not nice."

"It's true, Fredikins," Lorne said. "And he wouldn't fit in anything of mine."

"I don't want anything a demon would wear," Connor shot back. "And I know Gunn's too tall. You tried giving me his hand-me-downs before. It's this or nothing."

"Wrong. Pick up my costume, Connor. You and I are hitting the mall," Cordelia said.

"Why does that make me nervous?" Connor said, folding up the cheerleader outfit. Cordelia had already spent an hour yelling at him for wrinkling one of her outfits two days ago. He wasn't making that mistake twice.

"You're a man," Angel said, trying to ignore the hostility in his son's eyes over his audacity of speaking to him. "Cordelia, come here please."

She went over to him, despite Connor's jealous look "What?"

Angel leaned down and whispered. "Get him whatever he needs. When he left here, he didn't take anything with him." Angel dug in his pocket and came up with his wallet. He handed Cordelia a wad of bills.

She pocketed them and whispered back, "Okay, but he didn't leave. You threw him out."

Angel didn't argue with her. He knew Connor had heard in spite of the whispers, his hearing obviously as keen as a vampires. He didn't fuss, though. He just walked past his father and his friends and out the door. Cordelia followed him.

"Wait, Cordy, are you sure it's safe to go out on Halloween night? The demons kinda know you," Fred said worriedly, grabbing Cordy's arm.

"Not you, too," Cordelia groaned.

"Actually, vampires and demons don't usually come out on Halloween. It's...gauche," Angel said, with a sheepish look.

Fred looked askance at him. "Really?"

He nodded. "It's a dead night."

"Bad pun, Angel-cakes," Lorne said. "Have fun, Cordelia."

She managed an honest smile for the Pylean. "Thanks. We will. Come on, Connor. Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of mall shopping."

Connor looked back at the other men, pleading for a rescue in spite of himself. No one moved and Cordelia dragged him down the hotel corridor and out the door.



Connor made a movement toward his eyes, unable to keep his fingers from touching them.

Cordelia slapped his hand. "You'll smear your eyeliner," she assured him, then went back to surveying the crowded dance floor.

Connor felt miserable. There were too many people for him to bear mashed into the club and the costumes were disconcerting. Sweat, smoke and perfume overwhelmed his delicate olfactories. The music turned his sensitive hearing into mush. Worse, he didn't know how to dance, period. He'd never even seen people dancing before tonight. He failed to tell Cordy that the one time he went into a club, he had been there to kick vampire ass with Angel. He flat out refused to even attempt to dance infuriating Cordelia. He simply new he had no rhythm and hadn't a clue about dance steps.

He made another move for his eyes and got swatted again. He let his hands fall into his lap. He couldn't believe that he agreed to let Cordy paint his nails black and put eyeliner and black eyeshadow on him. As she crimsoned his lips, she told him she was making him over into a Goth, even though she thought they were tacky and dumb. Cordy said it was the best she could do at the last moment. All the best costumes, as judged by her, were gone when they got to the mall, so she bought him black romper stomper boots, black pants with shiny silver buckles on straps from thigh to ankle and the one shirt they could agree on. That had been a fight at the store.

First she had a mesh shirt with the word 'vampire' in red on it. He didn't like it and seeing him in mesh, she agreed; that hurt his feelings. She then selected a velvet poet shirt in purple which he refused to even try on; ditto for the purple velvet frilly fronted shirt. They settled on a green velvet embroidered with golden Celtic knotwork. She said it worked on him because it was Irish and the green made his eyes bluer. He figured it was the least feminine thing she had tried to put on him.

He hadn't wanted to wear the make up and nail polish. He might not have been in the world long but he knew men didn't wear that sort of thing. Cordelia pretended to admit defeat then she put on the cheerleader outfit and showed him what cheering was about since he had no clue what a cheerleader did. She felt a little sad because she couldn't remember the Sunnydale cheers so she made some up. Connor didn't really care. In truth, everything got a little fuzzy the moment Cordelia put the outfit on. The sight of her bosom bobbling under the tight gold and maroon sweater and the flash of maroon panties under that tantalizingly short skirt vanquished his ability to form coherent thoughts. Next thing he knew, he was wearing make- up and was crammed into an over-packed dance club. It was better than being alone at home watching Cordelia bouncing around in the cheerleader outfit. He nearly needed to make another trip to the roof.

The music slowed and a lot of dancers deserted the floor. Cordy took his hand, trying to tug him up. "I love this song. We have to dance to this one."

He shook his head, his hair half blinding him. It was stiff from all the gel she used to spike it a little. "I can't dance. I keep telling you that."

"This is a slow dance. Everyone can do that." She dragged harder on him and Connor relented. He let her put his arm around her waist and she held his other hand. "Usually the guy leads, but let me do it this time since you've never danced before."

Connor tried to follow her gentle pushings around the dance floor. She rested her head on his shoulder as they rocked side to side. Connor nestled his cheek on her soft hair. The feel of her breasts rubbing against his chest threatened to remove his ability for any kind of thought beyond the bad ones he didn't understand. Father never really told him about women and what a man was to do with them. There weren't any humans in Quor-Toth, so there was no need for Holtz to teach him anything beyond how to survive in the darkest of the dark realms and how horrible his true parents were.

He'd never seen a human woman until less than four months ago. He remembered the kiss he and Sunny shared his first night on Earth. It had felt good. He didn't know what it meant then, not until he lived with Fred and Gunn. Fred had tried to explain a few things to him but she always got embarrassed. Living with Fred had given him a little insight into women, Cordelia more so in the few days she had spent in his home, but there was too much he didn't know about them. What he did know was she felt good against him; she smelled wonderful and she made him want to sin because he knew sure as sluks flew these were those sinful feelings Father warned him about.

"See, you're getting it," she said encouragingly as another slow song came on and they didn't stop dancing.

However, the slow music soon ended and more frantically paced stuff started. The crowds flowed back onto the dance floor and Connor managed to worm about of it, dragging Cordelia behind him.

"You could try to dance. Just bounce a little," she said.

"I can't." He put his back to the wall resolutely.

Cordelia rolled her eyes at him and watched the dancers longingly. A blond guy dressed up in black, orange, yellow and white dashiki shirt and tattered jeans strolled up to her. He tugged at his hair, teased into an afro, smiling at her awkwardly.

"Hi. I'm Jeff. I was wondering if you'd like to dance." He nodded at Connor. "If your kid brother doesn't mind."

"I'm not her brother," Connor growled, taking a territorial step forward.

"Uh, oh, I..." the blond stammered, fingering the peace symbol around his neck.

"It's okay." Cordy smiled at him. Jeff looked utterly disappointed. "Sorry to bother you."

"You can go dance, Cordy. I don't care," Connor said through gritted teeth. "You came here to have fun."

"Thanks." She grabbed Jeff's hand and disappeared out on the dance floor.

Connor stared, not believing she actually had left him standing there. Didn't she know he hadn't meant what he said? He watched her and Jeff gyrating, amusing himself with thoughts of what he'd like to do to Jeff.

"That was really cold of her," someone said at his side. "Totally wrong."

Connor looked down at the short woman with waist-length, honey-brown hair. She had fangs and the bumpy forehead of a vampire. Cordelia had warned him dressing as a vampire was popular so he didn't panic. This girl's costume was great. "She wanted to have fun. I don't dance."

"Want to join me and my friends?" She gestured behind her. She, like her friends, were dressed kind of like him. He figured they were Goths, too. Her friends were all women. One was Asian and even more petite than the vampire talking to him. Another was a little taller with very short cropped brown hair. The two others were taller, a buxom girl with curly brown hair that spilled to her shoulders and another just a shade lighter than Gunn with chocolately eyes. The last girl was in heavy robes and veiled so he couldn't see anything but the glint of her eyes.

"Why?" Connor asked, not sure why six women would want to be with him.

"Because it'll be fun," she said. "I'm Shannon by the way."

Connor shrugged, glancing back at the dance floor. It was obvious that Cordelia was having plenty of fun without him. "All right."

Shannon led him over to the groups. "Girls, this is..."

"Connor," he said, venturing a smile.

"This is Leigh." She pointed to the one with short hair then to the African America girl, the Asian, the one in the robes and the remaining olive- skinned one naming them in turn, "Aleshia, Nariko, Shahdi and Diana. I warn you now, Shahdi doesn't talk much."

"Nice to meet you."

"Isn't he the cute one?" Aleshia said, stroking his cheek.

Diana tipped his head up as he ducked it shyly. "I love his blue eyes. How could she just leave you like that?" "I don't dance," he replied, a bit embarrassed and saddened. It seemed he was missing out on yet another fun thing.

"I bet you could, with the right instructor," Diana said. "Like us."

"Why don't we get out of here and have ourselves a little naughty fun," Nariko said, licking her blue painted lips.

"Uh, naughty?" Connor knew the word. Father usually used it to refer to Connor's bad behaviors like the rare occasions he wanted to be a slugabed, lost control or inattentive to his lessons. He had no idea how it applied here.

"You know," Shannon said, running the tip of her flame-red nails along his carotid.

"No." Connor backed away. "I have to stay here. I can't leave Cordelia."

Diana caught his hand and looked him in the eye. Connor's eyes widened into circles of blue, their focus fuzzing out. All he could see was the hazel pools before him. "You can leave the bitch. She's already left you. We'll be so good to you, you can't believe."

He tried to talk but couldn't. His lips parted, the pink tip of his tongue flicking out over his red lips. Those sinful thoughts burned in his mind. He couldn't think of anything else. He knew he should run but he was rooted. He heard himself saying 'yes' without even knowing it.

"We just need some place more private. We're gonna show you a good time and it's gonna take a long sweet time," Aleshia said.

"We can go to my home," Connor said, vaguely aware of his will being taken hostage. He knew something was wrong. He didn't care. He let Diana and Shannon take his hands and lead him toward the door. He saw Cordy heading off the dance floor with Jeff. He heard her call his name and ask where he was going but he didn't answer her. The only thoughts in his mind were he was with six women and they were going to show him the time of his life. The problem was, he was fairly sure those thoughts didn't grow from his own consciousness. They were weeds planted there. Now if he could only make himself care.


Connor invited the women inside the squat. He was barely aware he had done so. Normally he'd never even consider bringing a stranger home, let alone six but the part of his brain that was capable of rational thought was disabled. He could form the thoughts that said 'danger' but wasn't able to act on it or really be concerned that he couldn't. He could feel Diana in his mind, moving him like a puppet.

"Um, nice big bed," Diana purred, rubbing a hand over the small of Connor's back.

"Well, lay the little tidbit down on it and let's get the banquet started," Leigh said, edging on testy.

"Okay boy, do we do this the easy way or the hard way?" Diana jammed a fist into her hip as she shoved him down with the other hand.

"It would be easier if you could just hold their minds while you're doing your thing?" Shannon said.

Diana eyed her sourly. "Well, I can't. It takes too much concentration and you should be thankful I can get them this far."

"What...what are you doing to me?" Connor muttered, trying to get back up. He felt like he was mired in neck-deep mud.

"Something you'll really like...well, some of it any how," Diana said. "Get your clothes off."

Connor eyed her warily, his ability to think trickling back to him. "Why?"

"You're in your bedroom with six women and you want to know why?" Aleshia snorted.

"Hurry it up," Leigh said. "I'm hungry."

"I'm not taking my clothes off," Connor said, his face twisting into a confused, nearly frightened mask.

"Oh great, I think you picked a virgin, Diana," Nariko said, her lips twitching into a half smile.

"The skinny Goth boy's a virgin, who'd a thunk?" Shannon's sarcasm coated the room.

"Fine, the hard way it is," Diana said. "Shannon, Leigh tie him up."

Shannon set down her bag and took out bright tie-dyed ropes. She tossed one length of it to Leigh and grabbed Connor by the arm. The vampire was shocked when he shoved her back so hard, she fell on her backside. He exploded off the bed, barreling right over Aleshia. Shannon grabbed his ankle and yanked him off his feet. He kicked her hard enough to break her arm. She shrieked.

"He's stronger than a human," Nariko stated the obvious as Leigh looped the rope around Connor's thin neck. It bit into his prominent adam's apple as she hauled him back toward the bed.

"No kidding," Leigh grunted. "Subdue him again, Diana."

Connor punched at the voluptuous woman as she tried to get in front of him. Leigh jerked on the garrote and Diana managed to slip past his defenses. Her eyes caught his. Connor felt his will being peeled like an onion. The women worked together to power him onto the bed. His arms were jerked over his head, his wrists bound together then lashed to the wooden support pole that sprouted up along side his bed. Diana and Leigh dragged his legs apart even as he tried to fight her magic, kicking. They tore off his boots, pulling his legs off the bed, spreadeagle, then put the pretty ropes on so tight they chewed into his flesh as the ladies fashioned a system of knots and lengths of rope to bind his feet to the legs of the bed.

"You would have enjoyed this ever so much more if you just did it the easy way," Diana told him, her mind letting his free.

"Now we're going to hurt you," Shannon promised, cradling her broken arm.

"You first, Diana." Nariko handed her a knife.

Diana used it to cut through Connor's brand new clothing. She made short work of it, leaving him naked and squirming on the vibrant sheets. She sat on his belly. "Purple sheets?"

"I'm more nervous about the leaf shaped candles," Aleshia said, pointing to the bed stand. "Maybe he's not so much a virgin as he doesn't play for our side."

"He came with us fast enough," Leigh reminded her.

"Maybe this isn't his place. Is it the girl's who ditched you?" Diana grinned wickedly.

"It's mine," Connor said, not wanting to let on that Cordelia lived here too and put her in danger. Still, the signs that a woman lived in the squat were everywhere if only they looked.

Diana caressed his face. "I think she lives here, too. I think you changed your mind about cheating on her once you got here. How sweet...still, you did bring home six women. You surely had something in mind."

"You made me do it," Connor growled, struggling with his bonds.

Diana shook her head, her curls spilling over her shoulders wildly. "You said yes on your own accord. It's easier that way. We always wait until we get a willing participant."

"Like we have to wait long," Aleshia said, shaking out her multitude of snaky, beaded plaits. "Men are such horny pigs."

"Was she looking for a little action on the side when she left you at the club?" Diana asked. "Or did she know you were perverted, too? Getting a little something to bring back for you both?"

"No!" Connor snapped, pulling hard enough to draw blood on his wrists.

Diana slapped him. "Stop that. Struggling just makes it worse." "What are you?" he asked, feeling panic rising in him. He was the Destroyer. He wasn't used to being subdued and helpless.

Diana got off him, flexing her shoulders, making her chest bounce. Connor couldn't help but look even though he didn't want to. "We're a perfect team. We decided to pool our individual appetites, get more out of less. It's not good to leave a trail of bodies. Aleshia starts it out. She's a sin eater. She's actually doing you a favor. She gobbles up all your sins and gets your soul in good shape for the dying. I'm a succubus. I thrive off sexual energy. I'm going to ride you nearly to death. That's the part you'll really like." She flashed him another grin. "Then it goes all down hill from there. Shannon and Leigh are a tag team."

"She's a vampire," Connor said. "I knew it couldn't just be make-up, no matter what Cordy said."

"Exactly. She'll drain you dry all the while Leigh is draining your life's essence. That's what Lianna Sidhe do. Then we have Shahdi's a soul eater, so that cleansing Aleshia does, really does go to waste since you won't be moving on. And Nariko bats clean up. She's a jikininki, a corpse eater. We use up every part of you but the screams." The mocking smile returned. "Aren't you sorry you asked?"

"Yeah," Connor muttered, trying to get his long fingers into a position to work the ropes. He was good at getting out of them. Father had seen to that when he started tying Connor up after he was about five and leaving him there in the wilds of hell to free himself and track him down. It was good practice.

"Let's get started then," Diana said, waving at Aleshia.

The dark-skinned woman opened her tiny Prada purse and took out a velvet pouch and a plastic baggie with a hunk of bread in it. She straddled Connor's naked body and opened the velvet ouch. From it, she withdrew coarse salt and spread it over his chest in a circle. He shook like a dog, destroying the circle. "A little help please," she said.

Leigh slammed her fist down into Connor's windpipe. He gagged and blacked out briefly. When light next exploded against his eyes, Aleshia had her salt circle drawn and the piece of bread was in the center, over his heart. She cupped her hand over it, then bowed over her hand so her head touched it. Connor tried to find the air to ease his burning lungs, to give himself strength, but he couldn't move to dislodge the sin eater. He felt something moving through him, tearing from deep within him. It hurt terribly. Aleshia moaned, writhing on him. She lifted her head, the bread clenched in her teeth. She pushed into it her mouth and as she lifted it away from his chest, something like slick, greenish taffy followed the bread. The substance looked bilious and unhealthy. Connor stared for a moment at the physical manifestation of his sins tearing free from him until the pain became so bad he couldn't keep his eyes open.

He felt the weight of her fall to the side. Aleshia kicked away from him, getting to her knees. Leigh and Nariko helped her off the bed.

"He's ...not entirely human. There's something different about him." Aleshia wiped her mouth. "And somehow he's managed to not wrack up too many sins unless you count demon killing."

"This scrawny piece of fluff has killed a demon?" Nariko laughed. The other demonesses looked equally amused.

"Hundreds," Connor said. "And I'll kill you, too."

"Ooo, I'm terrified," Leigh said, her eyes twinkling.

"I will. I'm the son of two vampires. I was bred for it." He figured he lost nothing in telling them. He had managed to loosen his bonds a little and if he kept them off-balanced, even if it was just laughing at him, it bought him time.

"Two...oh hell, you're Angelus' brat aren't you?" Shannon said and Connor looked at her startled she knew that.

"You know him?" Diana asked incredulously.

"He's a prophesied kid. There's some vampires who think he's their messiah," Shannon said.

"I'm what!" Connor yelped, shocked.

"So you're saying we shouldn't kill him?" Aleshia asked, disinterestedly. She had already had her meal and couldn't care if the others didn't' get to eat.

Shannon smirked. "No, I'm saying he's going to be the most powerful meal we're likely to ever sample."

"Sounds good to me." Diana got on the bed. Her lacquered nails played up and down on Connor.

"Don't you touch me!" he snarled, flexing his leg muscles so hard the bed frame groaned. He felt the ropes bite into him and he didn't care.

"Most men like when I do this." Diana's touch became gentler, her fingers encircling that part of him that had been so treacherous of late. "And I know you will, too."

"Don't...please." Connor's face burned with shame. No one had ever touched him there and he didn't want this creature's hands on him. Worse, he didn't want his body to find it pleasing but it did.

"Do you think your girlfriend will mind? Sweetie, you won't live long enough for her to find out," Diana replied.

"She's never..." Connor bit that off. He wasn't sure why she was touching him like she was or why it felt so good. Was this what his body knew it wanted from Cordelia? It wasn't right that it was a demoness touching him.

"Never? Has anyone ever? No, we were right the first time weren't we?" Diana straddled him. "It's almost a shame your first has to be your last. I'm a romantic at heart. I can't help it. Succubuses are built that way."

His voice sounded like a mere ghost of itself. "Stop..."

She rubbed on him. "I don't know why nobody told you how to unfold your love, little one but I do promise you'll like this."

"No!" Connor gave another tug and the rope holding his arms snapped. He lunged for her.

Diana dug her nails into his testicles. Connor screeched, his vision going black and his stomach roiling. "Grab his arms."

"I think you'd better let him go!"

Connor's eyes snapped open. He saw Cordelia standing at the entrance to the room. She looked angrier than Connor had ever seen her. He felt mortified she saw him tied naked to the bed.

"Oh look, the bitch came home," Shannon said, advancing toward Cordelia.

"Cordy, vampire!" Connor called, trying to tug his arm out of Nariko's grip.

Shannon grabbed Cordelia then disappeared into a pile of dust. Connor saw Cordelia holding a stake. Shahdi moved and Connor barely saw the soul eater in motion. Nothing in Quor-Toth moved that fast. It was on Cordelia in a heart beat. She was screaming and something chartreuse in color was pulling out of her; her soul.

Connor sat up, tearing at the ropes on his feet. He got one off and flipped off the bed onto his belly. He fished out the axe he always kept under it and hacked through his remaining bonds. He flipped over Aleshia's head and whacked the head off the soul eater in one clean blow. The chartreuse light flooded back into Cordelia as she screamed, falling to the ground. Feeling highly vulnerable naked, Connor nonetheless whirled with his axe and buried it in his nearest attacker. It tore Aleshia's guts out in a shower of red blood. She seemed very human as she died. Connor danced away, his nude body speckled with blood

Cordelia tripped up Nariko as she made for the door. Leigh leapt on Connor, pressing her lips to his. Again, something started tearing out of him. He felt his body going weak as she sucked down his life's essence. Connor dropped his axe, unable to swing it close up, part of the blade burying in the wood floor, leaving the other curve of the blade upright in the air. He saw Cordelia and Nariko wrestling on the floor too close to the axe. He reached out and captured Leigh's head with his hands. He twisted sharply and her neck snapped. She dropped and his essence backlashed into him, dropping him.

Shaking his head to clear it, Connor heard a scream. "Cordy!" He looked and saw Cordelia getting up shakily and Nariko impaled on the axe, twitching as she died. Something crashed and he caught sight of Diana making for the door. He jumped over the table, snagged his sword from the arms of the bear and pinned Diana to the door as she tried to claw open.

He staggered back, suddenly very aware of how naked he was. Cordelia's dark eyes were fixed on him. He made a wild grab for the purple sheets and tried to swathe it around him. She helped him. He wished she wouldn't. She was too close to him. "Are you okay?" he managed to ask.

"I was about to ask you the same," she said, critically examining a rent in her cheerleader skirt. "I'm fine."

He started shaking as all the assaults caught up to him, now that his shame had time to consume him at its leisure. He felt Cordy helping him onto the bed. She pulled him against her shoulder.

"I was so mad at you for leaving me there," she said, stroking his hair.

"I'm sorry. They made me," he sniffled against her.

"I guessed as much. Just look at this mess. Only the vampire disappeared. Now what do we do?" she asked.

On cue, several black clad men came through the door and the windows, their entrance dramatic and more than a little late. Connor and Cordelia both tensed. Cordelia took his sword from him ready to do battle. This was the second time this week these men had come through the window.

"Wolfram and Hart, I should have known." Cordelia said, frowning.

"We didn't put them up to it," one of the special Ops men said. "But the Senior Partners aren't ready for anything to happen to you two. We were dispatched to help but it looks like we're cleaners now. I suggest you get out of here while we work."

"Wolfram and Hart cleaning up?" Cordelia asked. "For us?"

"We could always leave you to explain all the corpses. They don't look very demonic do they? I bet the police would love to charge you with multiple murder," the man replied.

"Don't argue, Cordy," Connor said dragging to his feet. He went to the closet and pulled on jeans sans underpants and a t-shirt. He fetched his new romper stomper boots and put them back on. "They're following us, watching us, might as well let them clean up for us. Not like it's going to indebt us to Wolfram and Hart."

"I wouldn't bet on it," Cordelia said, getting clothes for herself as well. "Smart girl," the man said as his team started the clean up.

Cordelia linked arms with Connor dragging him out of his house. "To the Hyperion?"

Connor shook his head violently. "I can't let Angel know I can't take care of myself. Somewhere else."

Cordelia shrugged. "Well I still have some of the cash he gave me. Let's find a hotel and crash. Now, tell me what the hell was that all about?"

Connor told her as they walked to the nearest hotel that wasn't seedy and gross by her standards. She paid for the room and he finished his story there. "I can't believe I was that stupid. I nearly got killed. I knew tonight was a mistake and then I make an even bigger one by letting them get close."

"It's okay to let people get close, Connor." She kissed his cheek. "You couldn't have known they were demons. Besides, with every mistake we must surely be learning, right?"

"Yeah, whatever," he grunted, too upset with himself to be excited at the kiss. If he hadn't lost control, done something really stupid, none of this mess would have happened. He couldn't lose control like that again.

"Why don't you just come to bed. It's been a hard night," Cordelia said.

Connor just eyed her sadly. "Not just now."

He went into the bathroom, turned on the shower and climbed in. He sat on the bottom of the tub, the water nearly scalding hot. It couldn't wash away his shame. Father would be so disappointed in him. Cordelia had seen him tied naked on the bed with all those women. She must think he was just like his father, a debauched demon. He could only hope he learned from this mistake. He curled up in a ball, letting the water swirl around him as he tried to be nothing. He didn't want to exist only he knew that that was impossible. When he got through here, he'd go back out to Cordelia, sleep next to her, start sinning all over again. He had no control and it nearly cost him and Cordelia their lives. He stayed in the shower a very long time, praying for control he knew would never come.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps by the Beatles * = Lyric lines used

I look at you all see the love there that's sleeping While my guitar gently weeps I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping Still my guitar gently weeps I don't know why nobody told you how to unfold your love* I don't know how someone controlled you They bought and sold you. I look at the world and I notice it's turning While my guitar gently weeps With every mistake we must surely be learning* Still my guitar gently weeps I don't know how you were diverted You were perverted too* I don't know how you were inverted No one alerted you. I look at you all see the love there that's sleeping While my guitar gently weeps Look at you all... Still my guitar gently weeps.