Relations

This story is set some months after Chosen. It shows Faith continuing with her life away from the Sunnydale gang.

Usual disclaimer. This is a non-profit work of fanfiction. The rights to the characters etc belong to their creators, networks etc.


Nick Palmeri reached the end of his third cup of coffee and raised his hand signalling to the waitress. She rolled her eyes and slowly made her way over to him.

"Let me guess, you want another cup of coffee," she said.

"I want more than that," replied Nick but did not explain further. Faith knew exactly what he wanted.

"If you don't want to order you'd better leave. We close in a few minutes," said Faith.

"I know that. Walk you home?" said Nick. "Or we can go to a club or something."

"Gee, it must be Thursday. Nick's asking me out." said Faith. "Don't you ever give up?"

"I've been trying for six weeks now" said Nick. "I always told my dad I'd marry the most beautiful girl in New York. Why should I settle for second best?"

"So it's marriage now. Somebody's getting desperate. Anyway, I'm not from New York" replied Faith.

"Aha, I knew you'd crumble eventually" said Nick. "That's the first piece of information I've gotten out of you."

"Closing time please everybody!" shouted the cafe owner Johnny Goddard. "I've got a bed to go to even if you ain't."

Nick stood up. Faith picked up the coffee cup, wiped the table and walked away.

"So what's the answer?" called Nick to her retreating back. Faith either didn't hear or she chose to ignore him as she went into the back room.

Ten minutes later Nick was stood outside the cafe in the rain when Faith came out. Faith stopped and rolled her eyes.

"This is new," she said sarcastically.

"Look, it's raining, I'll run you home. What d'you say?" He offered.

"So you can find out where I'm staying and bother me there," responded Faith. "No thanks."

"I already know where you're staying," said Nick.

"What!" reacted Faith. "What are you, my stalker?"

Faith had stepped towards Nick aggressively as she said this, which would have surprised Nick had he thought about it as he was a well built six two.

Nick stepped back and held up his hands. "Hey, no harm meant," he said. "I asked Johnny weeks ago and I've not bothered you at home yet have I?

"Why would Johnny give you my address?" said Faith suspiciously.

"Because I've known him for years and he knows I'm trying to date you," said Nick. "I asked about you, to see if you were married or whatever."

"And that would have stopped you, oh yeah," said Faith starting to walk away.

"Look, give me a chance," said Nick following Faith. "One date, Monday night on your night off. I promise fun, fun, fun or your money back. What do you say? If you don't like it I'll stop bothering you."

"Perhaps I should check you out," said Faith.

"Sure, ask around," said Nick. "Ask Johnny, ask anyone."

"I already did ask Johnny" said Faith. "Well educated but stoopid was his verdict."

"Johnny doesn't like lawyers," said Nick.

"Nobody likes lawyers," said Faith. Suddenly Faith stopped walking and looked directly at Nick. "What firm of lawyers do you work for?" she asked.

"Mabel and Johnson," said Nick fishing a business card out of his top pocket and giving it to Faith. "Does it matter?"

"No," said Faith continuing walking. "Just wondered if you really were a lawyer."

"So what d'you say?" asked Nick.

"About what?" asked Faith.

"About Monday," said Nick.

Faith stopped again. "OK, pick me up at seven. I suppose I can get a meal out of the deal at least."

"I know a good cafe," offered Nick.

"I don't," said Faith pointedly and then completely changed the subject. "Right, this is where we part company. I'll see you on Monday." Faith then turned into the park.

"Hey, you can't go through the park on your own at this time of night," said Nick hurrying after her.

"I always do," replied Faith starting to jog. Suddenly Faith put on a burst of speed across the grass and disappeared into the darkness.

"Faith!" said Nick running after her but after a few yards he realised he could not see her and had no idea where she had gone.

Nick turned back and left the park muttering to himself. "You don't even live in that direction. If you get killed don't come running to me."


Three months later

"Come on, you'll enjoy it," cajoled Nick. He was trying to persuade Faith to agree to go to his sister's wedding at the weekend. "I'll get a chance to show all the family I'm not gay."

"Desperate much," muttered Faith. "That's the worst reason you've come up with so far."

Nick shrugged. "It's a family tradition, anybody who's not married by the time they're twenty five is put down as gay. Besides, if you don't go with me I'll have to put up with my mother throwing all the single girls at me. I mean, I'll have to be nice to them. I can't hurt my mom's feelings."

"You say it'll be only a one night stay. We're back by Sunday night?" asked Faith.

"Sure, big party Saturday night. Wedding on Sunday. We can leave Sunday after the big farewell to the newly-weds," explained Nick.

"So long as I'm back here for Sunday night then OK," conceded Faith. "I can't be away for two nights."

"Why not?" asked Nick rolling over in bed and kissing Faith. "My ambitions extend to having you in my bed every night."

Faith pushed Nick off her and got out of bed. She began getting dressed. "Mind your own business," she replied. "I told you, we're not a couple. What I do with my life is my business. If you don't like it...."

"Hey, you can't blame a guy for asking," protested Nick. At first he had thought that Faith was playing games with him, being deliberately mysterious about her life, as a come-on. He had long since learned that she meant what she said. She was not prepared to tell him her life history, nor much at all about how she spent her time when she was away from him.

Nick continued to lie in bed enjoying the sight of Faith getting dressed. As he did so he mentally went over the short list of things that he knew about her after dating her for three months:

Comes from Boston (probably)

Lives alone

Mother is dead

Never mentions her father

Likes running at night

Very hot, in and out of bed

Nick also knew that he was in love with Faith and would accept her on any terms he could get her. He didn't know whether she loved him but he lived in hope. She had let slip that she'd never had a relationship last for as long as three months before and the lawyer in him took that as evidence that she had some feelings for him.

"One thing I should warn you of. Mom will get you alone for a little talk about when you intend to make an honest man of me," advised Nick. "Don't let it bother you."

"You know I've no intention of getting married," answered Faith. "If she asks, that's what I'll tell her."

"Can't you be a little, uh, non-committal. " suggested Nick. "Tell her I haven't asked you. Otherwise she'll think, uh that is she'll assume, um..."

"That I'm a whore?" asked Faith. "I don't think I'll go."

"I was going to say she'll assume that you need persuading," said Nick. "You'll get the full 'my wonderful son' treatment. You'll have her and my aunts buzzing around you all weekend. They've done it before."

"So why do you really want me to come?" asked Faith. "Seems to me like we'd both be better off if I stayed away."

"Because I want to show you off," said Nick. "You really are the most beautiful woman I've ever met. I want them all to see that."


Nick slowed the car down and stopped outside the gates. One of the three men standing in front of the gates walked forward. Nick didn't recognise any of the men so he silently handed over his invitation. The man took it and handed it to another man holding a cellphone. Guard number two carried out some sort of check by phone before coming forward and returning the invite back to Nick. The gates were automatically opened by somebody out of sight and Nick was waved through.

"So what's that all about?" asked Faith. "Who exactly is your sister marrying?"

"Dad's always been careful about security," explained Nick. "He usually has a guy on the gate. It seems he's stepped it up...."

"I don't believe it. I really don't believe it," exclaimed Faith. "Palmeri! I'm dating one of the Palmeri family."

"You've heard of us then," said Nick. "I was afraid of that."

"Hey, I come from Boston, not Brazil. Of course I've heard of the Palmeri family," said Faith. "Stop the car, turn around. I'm not spending my weekend with a family of gangsters."

Nick braked the car to a stop half way up the driveway and turned to Faith.

"I'm a lawyer, not a gangster," said Nick quietly. "I'm me, not my family."

"Isn't that what Al Pacino said in 'The Godfather'?" said Faith. "We all know how that turned out. Hey that started with the wedding of his sister. What the hell's going on here?"

"I was hoping you were too young to see that film," said Nick. "Really, my dad's nothing like Marlon Brando."

Faith said nothing but continued to stare at Nick. As she did so another car, driven by a young woman overtook them.

"Please. It's just a wedding," pleaded Nick.

"OK. I'll give it a try," said Faith her eyes following the other car which had now pulled up at the end of the driveway. Nick started up and drove up and stopped behind the other car.

The woman from the other car was waiting at the top of the short flight of steps leading up to the house. Nick went up to her and gave her a polite hug. He then turned back to introduce Faith.

"This is my cousin..." began Nick.

"Hi Faith," interrupted Kennedy.

"K," acknowledged Faith. "I didn't know you came from a family of gangsters. Why am I not surprised?"

"You know each other?" asked Nick realising he was stating the obvious.

"But we never dated," replied Faith making Nick realise that she did indeed know Kennedy.

"Red not with you?" Faith asked Kennedy.

"We're going through a bad patch at the moment," replied Kennedy. "Besides, she's got a lot on just now. Anyway I'll see you guys later." Kennedy turned away and went into the house.


Nick and Faith were in the bedroom that they had been allocated. The room, indeed the whole house, was very high class. However, knowing where the money had come from Nick refrained from boasting about the place.

Nick had already changed into his suit for the party and been downstairs to say hello to family and friends. He had come back to find Faith in her new red dress putting the final touches to her makeup in the bathroom. They talked with the bathroom door open, Faith sat in front of the bathroom mirror and Nick sat on the bed.

"So where did you meet Kennedy?" asked Nick.

"California, last year," replied Faith.

"That must have been that time when she disappeared then," said Nick. "Her parents were worried to death. What was that all about?"

"You'd better ask her," responded Faith.

"Still being mysterious eh?" said Nick. "Another case of 'mind your own business.' "

"My life is none of your business," said Faith. You already know that. It's not going to change. Stop bugging me about it."

Faith came out of the bathroom and turned around showing off her dress. "What d'you think?" she asked.

Nick resisted his first impulse to comment about searching for compliments. He knew enough about women to know that profuse compliments were required now. In any event Nick was really stunned by this sight of Faith in full regalia and warpaint.

"That is the most beautiful sight I've ever seen," he truthfully stated. "You're going to 'knock 'em dead' all right."

Faith smiled at Nick. He stood up and went to kiss her but she backed away. "I'm not going to redo this after getting it just right."

Nick gave her another long look. "Right, ready to meet the family?"

"Onward into battle," answered Faith.

Nick led Faith out of the room and downstairs into a large room that was filling up with guests. He noticed that it was already dark outside. He spotted his mother and father holding court on the far side of the room. He took Faith's hand and led her over to meet them.


Half an hour later Faith found a chair to sit in. She sipped from her glass and looked at Nick across the room. He was talking to his younger brother. The one she had restrained herself from hitting when he put his hand on her. She wondered why she'd agreed to come. She felt completely out of place. "A moment of weakness," she thought, "to make him happy. Well he'd better be happy after this because I sure won't be."

Faith noticed in the corner of her eye somebody sitting down beside her and turned to find Kennedy there. First time I've seen her in a dress she thought. Guess she's not butch all the time.

"So you're dating my cousin?" asked Kennedy. "Is it serious?"

"You've got to be kidding," replied Faith. "You're the fifth female from this....family, to come on with the 'Is it serious' in the past half hour."

"Sorry. Nick's everyone's favourite. Everybody wants him to be happy." said Kennedy.

"So how's Cleveland?" asked Faith, changing the subject. "Is it........." Faith stopped talking to stare at a tall middle aged latin looking man on the other side of the room talking to daddy Palmieri.

"Is what?" asked Kennedy, puzzled by Faith breaking off in mid question.

"That tall guy talking to Nick's dad..." said Faith.

"That must be the new security chief," said Kennedy. "I haven't met him yet but....oh my god."

"Exactly" said Faith. "And where there's one there'll be more."

"We'd better get changed," said Faith. "I'm so not ruining this dress with vamp dust."

Kennedy got up and Faith started to follow her when Nick arrived in front of her.

"Dad wants to see us, just the two of us, in his office," explained Nick.

"Why?" asked Faith. "More 'third degree' about my wicked intentions?" As she spoke Faith noticed that Kennedy had not hung about. "Just as well" she thought. "Hope she remembers to pick up some weapons."

"I doubt it. He probably wants to ask you to stay on for a few days," explained Nick. "He asked me to stay. I told him you needed to get back tomorrow."

Nick put his arm behind Faith to gently propel her across the room but she resisted. "I need to go to the bathroom first," she explained. "I'll pop up to our room."

"I'll see you in five," she called as she left the room.

Once she was out of the room Faith jogged quickly upstairs. She changed into pants and shirt as quickly as she could and then let herself down out of the window and set out to recce the area around the house.

Ten minutes later Nick was still standing waiting for Faith to come back. Suddenly he felt a tap on his shoulder and turned to see Kennedy stood there. To his great surprise Kennedy had changed out of her party dress and was now back in her usual pants and top arrangement.

"Your mom's going to kill you for that," said Nick. "After all her efforts to get you into that dress."

"Never mind that," said Kennedy. "Where's Faith? Oh there she is"

Kennedy walked over to the returning Faith. To Nick's surprise Faith had also changed.

"Three outside, but no others in this room," said Faith.

"Three what?" asked Nick.

"Two more in the hallway," said Kennedy.

"What are you two up to?" asked Nick.

"Your dad's new security chief. How many men does he have?" asked Faith.

"You're not planning to rob the place?" joked Nick.

"Please answer the question. It's very important," said Faith.

"It could be life or death," said Kennedy.

"I don't know, ten, twelve, something like that," said Nick, "but this time you'd really better explain. This is my life, my family, not your private secrets. Anyway dad'll be wondering where we've got to."

"What?" asked Kennedy.

"Nick's dad wants to talk to me and Nick," explained Faith.

"Is the security chief with him?" asked Kennedy.

"I don't see him...what difference does it make?" asked Nick. "You know he usually has one or two guys in the room at events like this, even when talking to family."

"Might be a trap," said Kennedy.

Nick was becoming more and more puzzled about what Faith and Kennedy were up to. He did however know them both sufficiently well to realise that they were deadly serious about whatever it was that had them worried. He decided to stay close to Faith. Whatever happened he was going to ensure that nothing happened to her.

"What have you got?" asked Faith of Kennedy. When Kennedy opened the bag she was carrying Nick thought for a moment that he had an answer to the big mystery: drugs. He glanced inside the bag that Kennedy had opened to Faith and was puzzled all over again when he saw a number of pieces of wood but no drugs.

"Stay close," ordered Faith to Kennedy. "Let's go see your father," she said to Nick. "Kennedy's coming with us."

Completely at a loss Nick led the two women to his father's office on the other side of the building.

Nick could see two men stationed outside the door of his father's office as he led the way towards it. He recognised one of them, Dave. He'd been in his father's service for years. Kennedy also knew him. Both she and Faith could tell that both guards were human.

"That's a good sign," muttered Faith. "They're probably not ready to move yet." Once again Nick was puzzled, but now was not the time or place to ask questions.

As Nick made to lead the way into the office one of the men put his arm across Kennedy's path. "Just you and your lady is what your father said," he explained.

Before Nick or Kennedy could protest the other guard spoke up. "Don't be stupid Mike, this is the old man's niece. He's always happy to see her." The guard stood aside and the three of them entered the office.

In the office Nick's father was sat at his desk. Typically, even while a party was going on in the house, he was working. He was reading through some papers in front of him.

Stood at his shoulder was the security chief. A man, who Faith and Kennedy could see was also a vampire stood in the room to the right. Another man, not a vampire, was sat in a chair to the left.

"Ah Nick," said Palmeri senior standing up. "Faith...and Kennedy?"

"I'll explain why I'm here when you've finished with Nick," said Kennedy going to stand at the back of the room where she could tackle the vampire on the right if he made any move.

"Come back later Kennedy, this is private I'm afraid," said Palmeri senior.

"She's a big girl now," said Faith. "Let her stay. I don't have much time before I'm out of here so say what you've got to say."

Nick was annoyed by Faith's sudden rudeness. "Now there's no need to talk like that." he said.

"It's OK Nick," said his father. "Faith's probably got a good idea what I'm going to say. It's about time you found out what she's really like."

"What do you mean 'what she's really like,'" said Nick. "I know very well what she's really like."

"Do you?" asked his father. "Did you know she's served time for assaulting a police officer, for aggravated theft and for murder?"

"What!" reacted Nick. "That's ridiculous. Of course she hasn't." Nick looked at Faith who remained very cool but said nothing.

"Do you deny it?" asked Palmeri senior directly to Faith who just stared at him and casually picked up a pencil from off his desk.

"She can't deny it," said the man sitting on the chair to the left. "Because it's true." He picked up the papers from the desk and gave them to Nick. Nick glanced at the papers detailing Faith's criminal record. It was so very damning and, with the photographs attached, left little doubt that it was all true.

Nick suddenly realised that this was the reason that Faith had suddenly acted strangely. She knew something like this was going to happen and was getting ready to leave. But suddenly he paused in his thoughts. How was Kennedy involved? Did she simply have a crush on Faith? She was certainly on her side.

"What's this all about Faith?" asked Nick.

Faith strolled over to Kennedy and then turned back to the desk concealing the stake that Kennedy had secretly passed to her. "It's about your dad. He's worried about you associating with murderers and thieves. He thinks a good Palmeri boy shouldn't get involved in such stuff," she explained.

"I think he shouldn't get involved with somebody who's lied to him. Somebody who's pretended to be who she ain't." stated Palmeri senior.

"And just who am I?" asked Faith leaning forward. "Do you really know who I am?"

"Sure," answered father Palmeri. "You're a tramp. A murderer and a thief. I'll give you a job. With your looks a good job, but you're not good enough for my son."

Nick expected Faith to fly into a rage at this. He's seen her angry a couple of times but was surprised to see her stay cool.

"Wrong," said Faith. "That's not who I am." She pointedly looked at the security chief and pulled out the wooden stake from her sleeve and continued. "Perhaps the vampire beside you knows who I am?" She smiled.

The security chief looked puzzled, but then focused on the wooden stake in Faith hand and suddenly looked very worried. "Oh shit!" he exclaimed.

Everything happened at once. The security chief moved unbelievably fast right over the desk straight at Faith. Nick only had the time to put himself partly in the way of the man before he was knocked aside. As he hit the side wall he saw Faith avoid the rush of the security chief and throw, yes throw him straight at the rear wall of the office.

As Faith moved to follow up Nick saw Kennedy on top of the other security guard in the room. His face had changed into a grotesque mask. Kennedy was driving a wooden stake into him and then he was gone in a sudden puff of dust.

Meanwhile the first vampire had hit the back wall. He turned with frightening suddenness to reveal another horrifically transformed face. However he could only speed his own destruction as he met Faith's stake coming the other way. Another billow of dust and there were suddenly two fewer people in the room.

The door burst open and the two guards from the corridor were in the room guns drawn. Before they could assess the scene they were both on the floor. Kennedy had executed a quick leg sweep on one from her position on the floor and Faith had knocked aside the gun of the other and followed up with a restrained punch to the jaw to knock her man down. Kennedy quickly retrieved both guns and stood back covering the guards who remained on the ground trying to take in everything that had happened.

"What the hell just happened?" asked Palmeri senior. "Where did they go?"

"They were vampires," said Faith. "You've all seen the films. You kill a vampire by a wooden stake to the heart. When you do that, they turn to dust."

Nick crouched down and put his hand through the layer of dust on the floor. "That's ridiculous," he said.

"Sure," replied Faith sarcastically. "You didn't really see what you saw and it didn't really happen."

"So what happens now?" asked the other man in the room.

"Sorry dad," said Kennedy giving him the two guns she was holding. "We're all on the same side here. Just didn't want Dave and his friend shooting off before they knew what was what."

"There are other vampires here," said Faith. "At least five more of your guards are vampires."

Palmeri senior opened the drawer of his desk and took out a gun which he checked to see that it was loaded.

"That won't help Uncle Frank," said Kennedy. "Guns don't work on vampires."

"So what will work?" asked Nick. "Do we have to take on those...things, with just a piece of wood?"

"Cutting their heads off works, or setting them on fire, or getting them out into the sunshine," said Kennedy.

"But you don't take them on, we do. That's what we do." said Faith.

"How come you two know so much about vampires?" asked Kennedy's dad.

"And how did you throw that guy against the wall?" Nick asked Faith.

"We've had special training," advised Faith. "Which I don't have time to go into right now," she added to forestall a further question from Nick. "Anyway, we know how to recognise vampires, you don't. Stay here. Don't let anybody in...."

"Not a chance," said Palmeri senior. "My family's out there. Me, Larry and Mike are going back to the party. Dave will stay with you two while you deal with these...vampires."

"I'm sticking with Faith as well," said Nick.

"Dave," asked Kennedy. "Is there anybody on duty who was on duty outside before it got dark. We can be sure they're OK."

"Is this a joke boss?" asked Dave. "I mean, vampires. Are you all serious?"

"Stay with my daughter Dave," said Larry Palmeri. "Do what she says but keep her safe."

"Well it's sure going to be comforting having these big men to protect us," said Faith sarcastically. "Let's go."


As everybody in the office trouped out Faith called them to stop.

"One thing before we go," she said. "Some of these vampires may look or act like people you know. People you've known for years or maybe are members of your family. If Kennedy or I identify them as vampires then your loved ones are already dead. When we dust the vampires we're not killing the people you know. We're killing the thing that killed them."

Faith led the way towards the party with Kennedy at her side. The two guards in the hallway outside the party turned towards them.

"Everything OK Jack?" asked Palmeri senior.

"Fine boss, we've just..." The vampire said no more as he turned to dust with Faith's stake in his chest. His partner had no time to react as Kennedy's stake found his heart.

"I'm never going to get used to that," said Larry Palmeri. Dave and Mike, who were seeing their first vampires turned to dust were completely dumfounded.

"Jack....Jack was my brother-in-law," said Dave. "What'll I tell my wife?"

"How long's he been keeping out of the sunlight?" asked Kennedy.

"He was off sick a couple of days last week," answered Dave. "The chief put him on nights when he came back. We were going to have our own little party later after we knocked off."

"That's when you were scheduled to die and be replaced by a vampire," said Faith.

"Could you check out everybody inside before we go hunting anywhere else?" asked Nick. He led the way back into the party. The elder Palmeris went over to their wives followed by Mike. Faith and Kennedy started circulating, being followed by Nick and Dave respectively.

A few minutes later the two couples met over by the Palmeri family. Kennedy went over to reassure her relatives that there were no vampires in the room at that moment but to beware of anybody else. The slayers then went through the windows into the garden and began to 'innocently' walk around the grounds.

Two hours and five more vampires later the group were together again at the party. By now the party was breaking up. Palmeri senior and his brother came over to talk.

"No more vampires left amongst your security force. That probably means we've got them all," said Faith.

"They've given everybody who's left a clean bill of health," explained Dave.

"How many were there altogether?" asked Palmeri senior.

"Counting the two in your office, nine in total," answered Kennedy.

"You'd better call in a few of the day guys," Palmeri senior ordered Dave. "Nine down leaves us pretty short. I'll need the names later."

Nick took no part in the conversation. He was feeling bruised all over. He had tried to knock down one vampire but it was like hitting a brick wall. The vampire had effortlessly tossed him against a tree. That would have been it for him had Faith not taken care of the vampire.

Faith's punch had been enough to knock the vampire on his back. Even then the vampire had recovered immediately and jumped straight back onto his feet. But Faith had followed up with a fast series of kicks that would have impressed a kung fu master. The vampire was still stunned when she staked it.

Kennedy also seemed to be super-charged. At one stage he saw her lift a vampire off Dave and toss him aside before following up to stake him.


Later Nick and Faith were in their bedroom. Nick was lying in bed wondering how badly the bruising would make him feel in the morning. Faith came out of the bathroom eating a sandwich.

"How can you eat after all that?" Nick asked. "You've eaten everything on that tray you brought up with you."

"Hungry and horny," said Faith. "That's how I am after slaying vamps."

"Horny eh." said Nick. "If I wasn't one big bruise I'd take you up on that."

Faith dropped her dressing gown to reveal nothing underneath. Whilst admiring the view Nick couldn't help remarking to himself that she had no visible bruises at all.

"Don't worry," said Faith lying down beside him. "I'll be gentle with you."


The next day Nick drove Faith back to New York City.

"He meant it you know," said Nick.

"What?" asked Faith.

"Dad," replied Nick. "He meant it when he said he'd come through if you ever needed a favour. Whatever it costs."

"Oh yeah," said Faith sarcastically. "Frank Palmeri, one of the good guys."

"You're right," said Nick. "He's a gangster. It's all he's known his whole life. But he pays his debts. That's why his people are loyal to him. He'll take care of the widows and children of the guys who were made into vampires."

Faith bit back a further even more cutting remark but decided that it would be unfair to Nick if she spoke her mind about his father. "I'll keep it in mind," was all she said.

"So what is it with you and Kennedy?" asked Nick. "You know how to spot vampires, you've had some pretty high class martial arts training but how come you're so strong? You both threw those vampires around pretty easily."

"You know the rules," said Faith. "We're not a couple. I don't give explanations."

"Dad and Uncle Larry think you're using some sort of drug cocktail," said Nick. "Larry's going to give Kennedy a hard time about it."

"Drugs bad eh?" said Faith. "Another case of what I do to other people shouldn't be done to my family."

Nick said nothing and drove along in silence for a good while. He thought he had the answer to how Faith and Kennedy had been able to fight so amazingly. It did not occur to him that Faith had not actually confirmed the use of drugs.

"So what was that wrap sheet all about?" asked Nick.

"You read it. I was a bad girl. A very bad girl." said Faith.

"You did all those things?" asked Nick. "I suppose you actually murdered vampires and couldn't explain it."

"Nope," said Faith. "I killed an innocent guy. Everything in that record was me doing the wrong thing to ordinary people."

"I don't understand," said Nick. "That's not you."

"I hope it's not me now," said Faith. "But it was me then. You really don't know me Nick."

"I know you risked your life last night to save the lives of people you don't know. People you don't even like," he replied.

Faith shrugged. She was about to say something more when her cellphone rang. She took it out of her purse and answered. Nick listened intently, always interested to find out more about the mystery that was Faith.

"Yeah...yeah...yeah...Egypt? Why Egypt?...That's ridiculous. But if it's been there that long?...Oh, right. OK then, Tuesday at ten...yeah....you'd better...yeah...OK, bye.

Faith put the phone away. "I've got to go away for a few days, maybe longer," she said.

"Egypt?" he asked.

"Huh?" said Faith

"You mentioned Egypt just now, on the phone," explained Nick.

"For your information I'm not telling you where I'm going," said Faith.

"You can't just go to Egypt without sorting out a visa first," said Nick

"I didn't say I was going to Egypt," said Faith. "Don't you think they have enough waitresses of their own in Egypt?" she asked.

"Waitresses," said Nick. "Oh yeah, sure."

-----The End-----