Hello.

This is the reposting/redo/whatever of the first chapter in what was supposed to be a little one-shot that introduced a "villainess" who appears in my Sky High 2 script who falls in love with Will and vice versa, setting the stage for the inevitable Warren/Layla pairing we've all been wanting without lovable Will getting hurt…well, emotionally anyway.

But it sure didn't end up that way. People wanted more. I then realized that I could and should do more, especially when the Mandragores started slipping their way into some of my other stories.

When I got the DVD to "Sky High" and watched the hysterical alternate opening, I knew I needed to do a "flashback/alternate opening" scene to better introduce Barnabas and Lucretia as well as my versions of Baron Battle and Angelica Peace. Note that these would be the "Disney" versions of these characters as opposed to my "main" works (which can get a little emotionally intense).

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it, and please let me know what you think of the whole story.

I would also like to sincerely thank everyone for reading my stories and giving such wonderful reviews and feedback. It means the world to me.

Prologue:

Maxville: 1992

"You were right dear," said Dr. Barnabas Mandragore to his wife Lucretia as they gently tapped their crystal champagne glasses together in a toast, "there's nothing like a stroll through downtown Maxville on a Saturday afternoon with friends."

Dr. Mandragore and his wife of four years were not exactly strolling, but were actually seated in two comfortable chairs at the control panel of a monstrous five-story tall mechanical scorpion, the tail of which was a laser cannon destroying the cars on the street it was lumbering down.

While the citizens had fled in panic, the friends Dr. Mandragore referred to were having a good time; Rockabilly used the power of his sonic pulse guitar to shatter the storefront windows while Blowhard created an F5 gale that pulled everything of value out of the stores, blowing it down the street to be collected in a huge net that had been strung up by the Harpy, who flew about and cackled at the riches they were taking. Black Ice was content to simply freeze the iron bars in front of jewelry stores so they shattered like crystal as she smashed through them to help herself to the displays of gems. A nearby delicatessen exploded outward as the monster Tyrannosaur lumbered out, his arms full of cold cuts.

"Mmmm…kielbasa," he happily growled as he munched on his prizes.

"I do wish dear Stitches could have joined us, it just doesn't seem the same without him," said Lucretia as she sipped her champagne. She always enjoyed his capering and high-pitched giggling while the others did all the work, but he had seemed to go into retirement after Royal Pain had apparently been destroyed a few years ago.

"I offered to let Nanny watch his little girl for him so he could enjoy some time out of the house," said Dr. Mandragore, "but he was stubborn about it. I'm just glad King Kamayamayhem didn't show up…he always makes such a horrible mess."

Suddenly the entire scorpion lurched violently. Dr. Mandragore pulled out his gold pocket watch and opened it.

"Ah, right on time," he said matter of factly as he got out of his chair, replaced his watch, and went to look over the protective railing to see what was going on below.

Sure enough there was the Commander, holding one of the scorpion's enormous pincers closed as he violently wrenched it off with a groan of twisted metal and smell of burned wiring.

"Our guests are here," said Dr. Mandragore to his wife, "it's show time."

He returned to his viewing to see that the Commander was now joined by someone Dr. Mandragore knew all too well; Baron Battle. The two muscle-bound buffoons were engaged in another of their adolescent contests to see who could do more damage to the metal monster the quickest, but Dr. Mandragore had a say in it this time.

The scorpion's laser cannon stinger was brought to bear, firing on the two men. Though it blew a monstrous hole in the street, neither of the two heroes so much as flinched in the face of the attack. That was when a streak of white and blue flew down, grabbed the Commander and brought him up to eye level with Dr. Mandragore.

It was the flying heroine Jetstream, holding her husband as he tried to look dramatic and imposing…at least as much as a man could when his wife is holding him under his armpits in midair.

"Dr. Barnabas Mandragore," said the Commander, "you and the rest of the Evil Eight are hereby ordered to stop your criminal rampage and surrender yourselves for immediate incarceration."

Dr. Mandragore withheld from asking the Commander if he had bothered to count (or actually COULD count) and see that there were only SEVEN villains present. But it was to be expected; he and his friends had been fighting the Heroic Six for so long everyone was actually on a first name basis.

"Would you also like me to pull this rampaging engine of destruction over to the curb while I'm at it?" he asked instead.

"Well, yes…that would be nice." The Commander responded.

"Dear," said Dr. Mandragore, "could you give him our answer?"

Without hesitating, Lucretia raised her hand and unleashed a bolt of green lightning that flew past the Commander and continued on.

"I'm afraid your aim is off," smirked the Commander.

"My dear Commander," smiled Lucretia, "who said I was aiming at YOU?"

The bolt continued on until it hit a nearby building, where it ricocheted back and struck Jetstream in the back, shocking her. She went stiff in pain, then began falling, taking her husband with her. On their way down the Commander got under his wife and caught her so that he landed feet first, smashing up to his knees into the street below. Of course he wasn't hurt, but he was definitely stuck until he could put his groggy wife down and wrench his legs free.

"Excellent shot dear," Dr. Mandragore complimented his wife, "I can't believe he actually "fell" for it."

It was then that the unconscious form of Tyrannosaur slammed down onto the deck a few feet away from Dr. Mandragore.

"You do know we have leash laws in this town, Barnabas."

The smile instantly vanished from the evil scientist's face, replaced by a snarl as he recognized the deep bass voice behind him. With a dramatic pause he slowly turned and glared up at the hero who was his archenemy.

"My dear Baron," Dr. Mandragore hissed between his clenched teeth, "I was wondering when you would show up."

"I thought you and Lucretia had retired from your old ways," said Baron Battle as he floated in the air, every inch the stalwart hero in his silver and blue armor.

"Old habits die hard," said Dr. Mandragore, "let's see if YOU die any easier!"

Dr. Mandragore gestured dramatically.

And nothing happened.

For a moment Dr. Mandragore held his pose, but then realized that his wife hadn't yet unleashed a mystic barrage against the hero. He took a moment to cast a quick glance over his shoulder to see what she was waiting for.

She wasn't there.

Totally forgetting Baron, Dr. Mandragore turned around and looked frantically for Lucretia, as she NEVER missed a cue, then he saw her.

She was on the other end of the platform, with Baron's wife, the super heroine Angelica Peace. But they weren't fighting.

They were showing each other baby pictures.

"That is adorable," said Lucretia, looking at pictures of Angelica's son having his first haircut while Angelica was cooing over pictures of the Mandragore's boys; Marduke destroying his birthday cake with his laser vision and Balthazar making the cat's fur stand on end with his electrical touch. She especially loved the pictures of their new baby daughter.

"Dear," called Dr. Mandragore to his wife.

"He has his father's dark eyes," smiled Lucretia.

"Dear!"

"Now how much did he weigh, he's certainly big for his age."

"DEAR!"

Lucretia finally looked up and in her husband's direction with an annoyed expression on her face.

"Hello," he reminded her, "we're in a major battle between good and evil for the fate of the city…remember?"

"Yes, yes," said Lucretia, making a shooing motion with one hand, "we're busy now dear. You boys go off and play."

She then turned back and continued looking at pictures.

"You know Josie has some new pictures of their little boy Will," said Angelica.

"Really? Oh, I wish I'd known that before I zapped her."

"Don't worry she's fine. She's got them in her utility belt. Let's go."

"Allow me," said Lucretia, and with a gesture both women vanished to reappear on the street next to the recovered Jetstream, and all three women began their baby picture fest.

It was then that Dr. Mandragore realized he was alone. Except for the hulking, armor clad hero now standing behind him.

"Oh go ahead," said Dr. Mandragore as he slightly slumped, "we both know you're going to anyway."

With a grin Baron Battle brought both mighty fists smashing down through the deck and into the workings of the scorpion where he unleashed an energy bolt that disintegrated several key components of the machine. With a screeching squeal the scorpion stopped, then shuddered. Finally it began to fall.

Dr. Mandragore looked over and saw that the last two members of the Heroic Six had rounded up his friends who had fallen by the hands of the Commander and the others before they had turned their attention to the scorpion robot. Black Ice, Rockabilly, Blowhard and Harpy were all thoroughly bound by Dr. Night's black energy constructs while his former sidekick now wife Stargleam had joined the other women with her own pictures of their little boy Zach.

Though the ground was rushing towards him, Dr. Mandragore was not worried. He had done this stunt too many times to not know that one of the heroes would rush to his rescue at the last second to save him from his own folly, and then he'd go into his prepared speech involving "revenge" and "next time". This one he was especially proud of, and was eager to start the show.

Any time now.

He was wondering what pose would look best; defiant and tall or hunched over and snarling. For this one defiant would be best, as his voice would carry and he knew everyone would appreciate it better.

ANY TIME NOW.

It was when he was a mere ten feet away from the ground that Dr. Mandragore realized that Baron and the Commander were talking about something and had apparently forgotten him until the first parts of the monster machine began smashing into the ground with a deafening crash.

Dr. Mandragore regained consciousness for a few moments, just long enough to hear the Commander.

"Gee Baron, I thought YOU were going to catch him."

Before he blacked out again, one thought went through Dr. Mandragore's mind.

"I am surrounded by morons."


CRUSH

Chapter 1

"Mommy's Alright, Daddy's Alright

They Just Seem A Little Weird"

"Surrender"

by Cheap Trick

Victoria Mandragore is a super villainess.

Actually, that part is technically not true. Not yet, anyway.

Victoria is the only daughter and second youngest child of Barnabas and Lucretia Mandragore. Her "mad scientist" father had now retired from committing crimes and now created all sorts of bizarre creatures, monsters and weapons he sold to other villains. While Lucretia was still a powerful sorceress formerly known as the Shadowitch, she had given up attempts at world domination, preferring to have a nice castle on a private island, a loving husband who occasionally stuck his head out of his lab, and raising members of the next generation of evil doers.

So far their oldest son Marduke was preparing to graduate with complete dishonors from H.A.D.E.S., the Head Master's Academy for the Development and Education of Super-villains. Their second son Balthazar had preferred to get more "in the field" and "hands on" experience and had went straight to being a freelance villain called Mr. Paine. After Victoria, who was about to begin high school, was their youngest son Loki, a precocious little eight year old who had already proven he was ready to follow in his father's footsteps of monster making when he genetically crossed spider monkeys with real spiders and created horrible little creatures he unleashed at a birthday party held for the young daughter of one of father's colleagues. The little beasts totally destroyed everything they didn't cover with sticky webbing, and were the hit of the social season.

Now Victoria made her way through the vast halls of Mandragore Castle, an imposing edifice that sat atop a cliff surrounded by constantly storming skies above and raging seas below. She was dressed in a flowing black gown that definitely did not go with the steel-toed black boots she wore, but that was the last thing anyone would have noticed about her.

Victoria was fourteen years old and had super strength. Unlike most girls, or even boys in her age and with that power, it was painfully obvious how strong she was, because she weighed nearly 300 pounds and her muscles bulged like those of a heavyweight bodybuilder. This did not detract from her cute face, complete with deep blue eyes, a scattering of light freckles across her cheeks that gave her a pixie look, and a flowing mane of silky black hair she had pulled back into a ponytail and braided with strands of copper wire. To say she stood out in the crowd was putting things mildly.

She was humming a tune as she entered the main dining hall where she found her parents having breakfast. Daddy sat at one end of the long marble table, sipping espresso laced with arsenic as he perused one of many morning papers, looking for articles about crimes that may have been committed with one of his devices or one of his patented creations being used to battle some super hero. Such articles were always cut out and kept in one of a countless number of scrapbooks; Daddy had gotten very nostalgic for the old days and Mother thought this would keep him out of trouble. Mother herself sat at the other end of the table, looking like she was in a trance but actually she was communing mentally with one of many spies she had placed in strategic locations near any super hero hot spots. It had been one such report that had led to the situation Victoria was in now.

"Good morning," said Victoria, as she approached the table, looking over the selection of breakfast items. There was ham, eggs either scrambled, hard-boiled or poached, jalapeno laced sausage, freshly baked bread and a variety of preserves and butter to spread on it. She looked it over, and then started piling all of it onto one huge plate as she began noisily eating at the same time.

"Good morning dear," answered her mother as she came out of her telepathic conversation, "and please do sit down before you begin eating. That is very unladylike."

Victoria rolled her eyes but still did as her mother said, sitting down before she continued gorging on the food. One drawback to her strength was that she was nearly always hungry, and had to eat constantly to maintain the nearly nuclear level metabolism she had.

"Now then," her mother said, "how are you this morning?"

"I'm in love," said Victoria between mouthfuls of food.

"Excuse me, dear?"

"I said I'm in love mother."

"Oh," said Lucretia, totally unprepared for those words, "and who is this wonderful boy? When did you meet him?"

"I haven't met him yet," answered Victoria as she drained an entire gallon of milk in a few hearty gulps.

"And just how do you know you DO love him, dear?"

"Oh, I know all about him," said Victoria as she finished her meal and daintily wiped her mouth with a lace napkin, "I've been studying up on him ever since I first heard of him."

"Ah," smiled Lucretia, "did you hear that Barnabas? Our little girl is in love."

Barnabas gave a very uncommitted grunt and continued reading his papers.

"So," continued her mother, "what's he like after all your investigating?"

"Oh he's WONDERFUL," began Victoria, getting a starry look in her eyes as she began on what had become her favorite subject of late. It was then that both her parents

remembered that for all her strength she was still a young teenager who had led a somewhat sheltered life as the princess of this criminal family.

"Princess," said Barnabas, "I know you are about to gush endlessly about this boy, but I have to tell you that if your break into a show tune Daddy is going to stick his head in the nearest disintegrator and turn it on."

"Barnabas," scolded his wife, "do be quiet and let her continue. Go on dear."

"I first heard about him after reading one of your reports, the one transmitted by that robot cat that you had planted in the house of the lady who lives next door to the lunch lady at Sky High."

"Hmmm. Yes, I think I remember that one…the one about the fight that broke out in the cafeteria a couple of months ago. Go one."

"Well, he was in the fight and…"

"No," said Lucretia, her eyes growing wide, "do you mean…?"

Victoria nodded.

"Dear, did you hear that? Our little princess has a crush on Warren Peace."

"Mmm-hmm," responded Barnabas as if he had just been told it was raining outside.

"Mother…" began Victoria.

"Oh, I hear he is QUITE the head turner all right," said Lucretia, "all that leather and torn denim…so tall and dark with that unruly hair…just like his father…"

"Mother…" Victoria said again, trying to cut her mother off.

"And that bad temper…plus throwing fireballs around and jumping right back up after getting put through concrete walls. They didn't build them that tough back when I was your age dear."

"Mother…" Victoria was losing control of the conversation.

"Now dear," said Mother, dropping her voice to a conspiratorial whisper, "I know he's not REALLY bad, he's just been misjudged and misunderstood for a long time. I know he's a hero, and that's just fine with me. Our kind falling for the good guys…especially the dark ones…is a fine tradition going back decades. Still, if he can keep up that wonderful "brooding dark prince" persona…oh, just like his father…we can slip him under Daddy's radar and…"

"MOTHER, IT'S NOT WARREN PEACE!" Victoria struck the marble table, cracking the six-inch thick slab like thin glass.

That got Lucretia off her diatribe, but Barnabas simply changed newspapers and kept reading without looking up at the thunderous sound.

"Don't get me wrong," said Victoria, "he IS cute, and he's got these beautiful flame tattoos on both wrists…"

"Tattoos? Any piercings as well?" asked Lucretia.

"Well," smiled Victoria, lowering her voice, "I don't know if it's true, but I heard…"

"Yes?" Asked Lucretia, leaning in to hear.

"His navel and BOTH nipples!"

Lucretia slapped the table and threw back her head to cackle madly, a sound which echoed throughout the halls of the castle.

"Ah, that the boys had the courage back then!" She said after her laughter ceased. "But if not him, dear, who is it?"

"The OTHER boy who was in the fight," smiled Victoria, her cheeks actually turning pink at the thought of him.

"Other boy…other boy," Lucretia was trying to remember the details of that particular incident. It was very hard as she had reports coming in constantly from various sources, and it had been a few months ago. "I'm sorry dear, I just can't remember who that is."

"Oh Mother," said Victoria, "he's Will Stronghold."

The spit take Dr. Mandragore did would have matched the spray of a breeching whale. Espresso, arsenic and saliva flew at least ten feet to spatter across the top of the marble table. A little cleaning drone appeared and began to wipe up the mess as Dr. Mandragore gasped and sputtered like he had a chicken bone caught in his throat crosswise.

Both women looked at the display for a moment, then continued.

"So," said Lucretia, "tell me about him."

"Well," beamed Victoria, "he's REALLY cute, with reddish hair and a cute little smile."

"What's his power?"

"He's super strong, just like me, but he's not as big. He's kind of skinny actually."

"Oh, puberty will take care of that dear. Once the right hormones get triggered after his strength kicks in he'll probably be the size of a small house. That's the way Baron Battle was…one day a pencil neck geek the next day…BOOM…Mr. Olympia."

"Mom," said Victoria, "why do you keep going back to Baron Battle? I thought he was Daddy's enemy…at least when he was a hero."

"To be honest dear," Lucretia paused to make sure her gasping husband would not hear the rest, "I had the HUGEST crush on him back when he went to Sky High and I went to H.A.D.E.S.; we met at a school mixer and while all the other girls were drooling over the Commander-to-be I zeroed in on him. Quite the dancer he was, and could he sing! I watched his performance in Sky High's production of Oklahoma through your grandmother's magic mirror, and he had my heart from then on."

"But you were enemies," said Victoria, confused.

"Oh Victoria," smiled Lucretia as she patted her daughter's leather gloved hand, "don't you know that ninety percent of the villainesses who fight one male hero exclusively do it for ONE reason?"

"Ohhh," said Victoria, her eyes opening wide as she understood.

"Unfortunately Baron was NOT that perceptive. He went on and married Angelica Peace and…well, the rest is history."

Lucretia went silent for a moment, and Victoria knew why. Her mother was thinking about what had happened when Victoria herself was very young.

"I'm sorry dear," smiled Lucretia, "I was…just thinking about something. Please, do go on about this Will boy. You say he's super strong?"

"AND he can FLY." answered Victoria.

"Fly as well? He's a dualist? That's wonderful dear!"

"He's also…"

"HE'S THE SON OF THE COMMANDER AND JETSTREAM!"

"Oh look dear, your father IS alive after all."

Dr. Mandragore had finished his near death experience and clamored to his feet to put an end to this nonsense once and for all.

"Do you mean to tell me that my daughter…MY DAUGHTER…is in LOVE with that scrawny little mama's boy? That…that…"

"He is NOT a momma's boy," replied Victoria, "he single-handedly defeated Royal Pain at the Sky High homecoming dance!"

"Oh," said Lucretia, "THAT boy. Oh, well no wonder you like him dear. Royal Pain is a rather tough customer, not in the league of…well, you know who, but still no push over."

"Phah!" sneered Dr. Mandragore, "let's see HER build a molecular destabilizer out of a couple of spoons, some copper wiring and a cordless drill WITHOUT her little "technopathic" powers! Now where did her fancy powers get her? A jail cell made from a single piece of concrete with bars made of polished teak wood and ceramic bathroom accessories! No radio, no telephone, no metal, plastic or silicone of any kind! But I digress…"

"I'm sorry dear," Lucretia said to her daughter, "but Daddy's been a little overdo for a tirade and I'm afraid it's going to be about this."

Victoria could only roll her eyes and sit back in her chair. She HATED when Daddy went off on one of his "maniacal super villain" rants. They were legendary even amongst the other evil geniuses, and Dr. Mandragore had been asked by the Head-Master of H.A.D.E.S. to come give a lecture about being able to do such ridiculous theatrics. It seemed that villains did it mostly for show, but it was also very therapeutic and cleansing when their tempers were overwhelming their rational thought processes while planning some dastardly deed.

"WHAT were you THINKING?" began Dr. Mandragore, "To fall in love with a super hero…"

"He's not a hero YET Daddy," said Victoria.

"Oh ho, he WILL be," replied Dr. Mandragore, "it's literally in his blood. He's only a freshman and he already rooted out three wannabe villains, defeated Royal Pain, AND caught Sky High and kept it aloft long enough for Royal Pain's sabotage to be undone! If that doesn't SCREAM "look at me, I'm a super hero" I don't know what would!"

"Alright, he'll be a GREAT superhero," Victoria said, "but I still LOVE him!"

"LOVE? What do you know of love, child?"

"Barnabas," said Lucretia, "Victoria has made up her mind and I think she should go ahead and at least meet this boy. What harm could there be in that?"

"WHAT HARM?" shrieked Dr. Mandragore like someone had dropped a handful of ice cubes down the seat of his pants, "Suppose she does meet this…boy, and they do hit it off? Will he invite her over to his house for dinner? Oh, I'd love to see that buffoon the Commander and how he'd act around our little girl. All posturing and flexing, giving long-winded speeches…"

"Like you are, dear?"

"I do NOT give long-winded speeches," denied Dr. Mandragore, "I make my point clearly and decidedly. Anyway…where was I?"

"I was over at Will's house and his father was acting like you."

"Ah, exactly. Now…wait a minute. No, no, no, you have TOTALLY missed my point…"

"Alright Barnabas, enough,"

Those words from his wife instantly quieted the literally mad scientist, but he still fumed for a moment then continued.

"I forbid you to have ANY contact with that Stronghold boy outside of school functions or in a totally professional capacity."

"Like if I'm robbing a bank and he comes along to stop me?"

"Yes."

"And we get into a fight?"

"Yes."

"And I accidentally hit him in his lips with mine?"

"Yes. No, wait a…what?"

It took every bit of her restraint for Lucretia to keep from laughing at her flustered husband. His bad temper always made him mess up and left him wide open for any type of attack, whether physical or verbal.

"You CANNOT see this boy. I forbid it."

Silence reigned in the dining hall for several moments. The tension was thick enough to cut with a chainsaw, and it was only a matter of seconds before the fuming Victoria, whose face was already beet red and her huge muscles twitching in agitation, would explode into one of her Richter-Scale measurable tantrums.

Lucretia spoke first.

"Anyway dear, do you have any specific plan to meet him yet?'

"Well…no," said Victoria, the tension draining out of her like air from a tire, "not yet. That's why I wanted to talk to you. I wanted to see if you had any ideas."

"Hmmm, I don't think you really want him to come upon you while you're committing a crime, even a simple rampage through the streets where you crush cars and rip up lampposts and not hurt anyone. That seems to turn the boys off."

"But isn't that how we're ALL supposed to meet?"

"Well, the adults yes. In your age group it's a little trickier. I think…"

"Hello, I am STILL in the room!" yelled Dr. Mandragore.

"Yes Barnabas, we can tell from the smell," said Lucretia without even bothering to look in her husband's direction.

The two women continued their conversation, totally ignoring the sputtering man of the house.

"As I was saying," continued Lucretia, "maybe if you happened to run into him at some social spot where all the kids from Sky High get together after school…"

"But where's that?"

"Well, if things are like they used to be, there was a place called LIMBO, a hangout for super kids from the different schools. It was a sort of neutral ground where the kids could gather without their parents frowning on them for fraternizing with the enemy."

"Oh, I know where that's at. Marduke was saying…" Victoria then stopped, realizing she had just slipped a secret about her eldest brother he had told her in complete confidence.

"There you go then," smiled Lucretia as if the secret had flown completely past her head, "simply try to see if he visits there regularly, and once you see a pattern simply arrange to run into him there one afternoon."

"Actually," said Victoria, her voice dropping to a whisper, "I already did that. I think he's going to be there this afternoon. He usually goes there after a big test, and I know they're having a lot of mid terms at Sky High today."

"Perfect," said Lucretia, who reached out and lifted her daughter's face so she could look her in the eye, "then go to your room, I'll be there in a few minutes, and we'll put together an ensemble that will drop the jaw of every male in the place, good or bad."

"Really?" asked Victoria, her face brightening until it seemed to glow.

"Really really," answered Lucretia, "now get going. I'll cool Daddy's embers, then we'll get to work."

Victoria leaped out of her chair, kissed her mother on the cheek, and vaulted out of the dining room with the speed and grace of a young gazelle despite her muscular bulk.

Once she was gone, Lucretia rose from her chair and sauntered over to where her husband continued to sputter and fume like a boiling teakettle. She sat on the table, reached out and began playing with his thinning hair.

"Do you think she bought it?"

"How could she not?" smiled Barnabas, instantly coming out of his fuming rage. "After all, was I not the finest of the thespians to ever perform in the halls of H.A.D.E.S.?"

"And you have not lost a bit of your magic," his wife smiled back, "maybe that's why I put up with you."

"Well, I did have quite a bit of motivation," admitted Barnabas, "after all I AM the father of a teenage girl in love."

"Ah," replied Lucretia, "but it's NOT with a boy you disapprove of."

"Yes," he said, "but I'll be skinned alive before I admit it. That is one of the perks of being a father."

"And mine," sniffed Lucretia, "is to be tolerant and supportive of our little princess when her mean old ogre of a father says "no"."

They both laughed for several moments.

"Alright then," said Lucretia as she stood up, "I guess I've stalled long enough. Though I may take the long way to get to her room to really work her up into a good lather."

"Yes," he smiled, also rising to escort his wife to the entrance, "every instant of

anticipation is always such exquisite agony, especially to the young. She shall savor every moment of it."

"You're right as always dear," she said.

"And this is from a confirmed psychic," he bowed and kissed her hand, "you flatter me, my dear."

"But darling," she paused before leaving, "what if Will and Victoria DON'T hit it off? I know I've had the visions, but…"

"If he breaks her heart," answered Barnabas, "I shall DESTROY him."

"Dear, in all of our years in the business, how many people have we ever REALLY destroyed?"

"Well, none actually, but I was not speaking as a super villain," he said, standing straight, "but once again as the father of a teenage girl in love."

To be continued


Remember King Kamayamayhem? He's mentioned twice in the movie!