Obsession – Lindsey
I could have told them that plan B, or maybe it was plan C, would fail. I could have told them that the day they conceived it, but; for reasons of my own; I didn't.
Now it's more than three years later and the senior partners have finally realized what I always knew. They can't bring back Angelus, not like this anyway.
After Darla failed, when it seemed obvious that Angel was beginning to recover from her worst efforts to turn him, we abducted him. Decided to try a more direct, more hands on approach, to reforming him into the creature we want.
I knew it wouldn't work. Before you can shape a personality you need them malleable, a child, weak minded, or broken. Angel couldn't be farther from a child nor is he weak willed, which meant we needed to break him. Hell failed to break him and they had centuries, but the senior partners still wanted to give it the old college try. Of course we failed, still I had fun doing it. Really, my job satisfaction has never been higher.
I'm quite the expert in my field as well, torture that is, I'm some what out of practice as a lawyer. I have to give credit were credit is due though. My teachers have been incredible, numerous and varied. Wolfram and Hart certainly spared no expense when it came to this project. We've hired ex-spies from most major, or at least notorious governments. Then there were the terrorists, the mercenaries, the criminals and a few flat out psychotics. We've summoned or hired demons of all kinds as well. Still I have to admit my favorite instructor was, ironically enough, Angel himself.
It was truly a fortunate day when I discovered that sodium amytal is amazingly effective on vampires. And Angel, goody-good that he tries so hard to be, still harbors the memories of one of the most accomplished tortures to ever walk the Earth's face.
It was best in the early days when Angel was still coherent enough to understand that he was teaching me how to better torture him.
Quite frankly, the more I learned about Angelus the less I could understand why the senior partners want the sadistic son-of-a-bitch set free. He's more likely to turn on us than to work for us. On the other hand, I don't really care what they hope to gain. They won't get it, and it's not the ends that interest me, it's the means.
Vampires are the perfect subjects for torture; it's practically impossible to kill one by accident and given time and blood their bodies repair themselves. Then they're all ready to torture again. The senior partners want Angelus in good condition, not crippled in any way; it limits what I can do to him. I'd love to cut a hand off, or at least permanently scar his lovely body. To mark it as mine.
I almost got pulled off this project when someone noticed the tattoo I had added to the back of Angel's hand. They said I was becoming unstable. It took desperate measure on my part to convince them to change their minds, but I managed. It was worth it, I kept my position and Angel is indelibly marked.
Now, however, they've decided to terminate this project and I won't have that. If Angelus taught me anything it was that death is ultimately a mercy in torture. Killing is the first sign of an armature. I don't care that my superiors have decided to cut their losses and want Angel dead. I won't give him that release.
That was why I had to do what I did.
When I went to his cage, he was laying the corner furthest from the door, staring into that other world where he spends most his time now. His eyes immediately returned to the here and now when I touched him. Anyone else would have had to dump holy water on him to get his attention, but all I had to do was gently brush my fingers across his cheek. He recognizes my presence, even now; it's one of my deepest joys. Angel fears me.
His muscles tense slightly in the anticipation of pain but he doesn't retreat or try to fight me. He hasn't in over a year. He doesn't see the point. In one of our last truth serum sessions before he went non-verbal I learned that he believed he was still in Hell. He thought that the three years following his return from the demon dimension where only a hallucination, a mind game to restore his sanity enough to make torturing him entertaining again. I was very flattered.
I suppose I wasn't giving myself enough credit when I said I failed to break Angel. I've broken his body hundreds of times. I've broken his mind. It's his spirit I can't touch. Darla, our original plan, came as close to succeeding as anyone. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Angel won't give in to darkness. He won't even kill. We've starved him to the point where he'll attack and drink from a human, but he always stops short of killing them. On some level he know we want him to kill and nothing will induce him to do what we want.
I could read the confusion in his eyes that night when I didn't hurt him. Instead I helped him to dress in the clothes I'd brought. We'd be too noticeable if I took him out of here stark naked. I had to help him, he didn't remember how to anymore. Once I suppose it might have embarrassed me to help another guy dress. I can even remember feeling uncomfortable when we cut off the last of his clothing to get better access to his flesh.
That was a long time ago thought, now I know his body better than any lover. I could draw him without hesitation; map out what areas are most sensitive to which forms of torture. On any given day I could tell you which of his nerves are dead, recovering from too much pain. Name any drug you can think of, I'll tell you how he reacts to it, what dosage you need, and what spells are best too increase the desired effects. I know his nightmares, his dreams when he still had them. Torture is so very personal.
He trembles under my touch, but stays docile. When I pull him to his feet and lead him out of the cage he follows easily enough. His eyes are fixed on me for the whole trip. He hasn't been out of the sub-basement of Wolfram and Hart since this began but he never looks around. I'm the center of his world.
A few blocks away from the office we trade vehicles and keep moving toward the hide out I've arranged. I know they'll find me eventually, but I've planned for that. With enough of a head start, they'll never find Angel. He's not the person they lured into an ambush all those years ago. He won't be predictable this time. Not by them anyway. They don't know him like I do. I'll be able to find him when I'm ready. Then there won't be any more interference.
The thought of our future made me smile, I reached over to pat Angel's thigh. The strickened, animalistic sound he made in response was music to my ears.
After I finished my preparations I set him loose in the tunnels. For a few minutes he simply stared at me. I'm dizzy, nauseous. I doubt I could have climbed down the ladder to reach him if my life depended on it, but he was still afraid to disobey me. What I've implied I want is well outside of familiar parameters. He's afraid he's misinterpreted me and that I'll punish him. Still he has too many survival instincts left to pass up this opportunity for escape. After a last nervous, confused glance at me he flees into the labyrinth of tunnels beneath the city.
I close the hidden entrance and stagger to a chair to wait for my employer's arrival. They send Holland to do the honors. Even now, years after his death, he still looks and acts the father figure.
I tune out his lecture, that I'm being terminated comes as little surprise. In fact I counted on it.
I notice that one of the cuts on my arm is showing beneath the end of my sleeve and casually adjust my cuff to cover it. I wasn't fool enough to let Angel feed directly from me. Just because he's never killed for us before doesn't mean he wouldn't drain me if given the chance. Instead I took my blood and gave it to him by the cup. It's not the biting that matters; it's the blood.
His blood sits poorly in my stomach. The human digestive track isn't designed to cope with large quantities of straight blood.
After Wolfram and Hart have killed me and forgotten me I'll rise. I'll go find Angel and finish what I began. I don't need Wolfram and Hart anymore.
"Oh and Lindsey, you can stop looking so smug," Holland says as his goon presses a pistol to the back of my head. "We'll be cremating your body."
I feel my mouth drop open in enraged protest then Holland nods at the gunman…