SISTERS OF THE NIGHT

Dana Bell

"Oh, he's cute," Phoebe purred, leaning forward to take a good look at the young man standing at the bar. Her tight suggestive black dress rustled slightly.

"I'll say he is," Piper agreed, absently pushing a lock of brown hair back, which matched her eyes. She smoothed her blue skirt and reached for a glass filled with a deep ruby liquid.

Paige lazily turned her chocolate eyes on him. "Hmmm." Her attire, a tight red top with a matching long skirt, slit far up the sides, accenting her trim figure. Still, she frowned, why did he seem familiar to her. Like they'd met before?

"Something wrong?" Piper asked.

She shook her head. "No."

"Ladies," Cole warned, as he sat beside his wife, sliding a possessive arm around her. She relaxed against him, while still gazing toward the bar. "Thought you only had eyes for me," he whispered in her ear.

"He's prey," she quietly replied. " And I'm hungry."

"Maybe I should invite him home," Paige grinned wickedly. "For a midnight snack."

"Wonderful idea," Piper approved, sipping from her glass.

"I get the first taste," Paige reminded her sisters as she slithered out of her chair and approached the man who would later serve as her dinner. She smiled seductively as he looked up at her. His eyes roved her body and she knew she had him hooked. "Hi," she greeted.

He toyed with the bottle in front of him before speaking to her. "Hi."

She liked his voice and how he looked. Young, with a boyish face, brown hair on the longish side, golden brown eyes, dressed in a long sleeved shirt, slightly open at the throat which she'd get acquainted with later, a silk jacket and tight jeans.

"You know, meeting is in a bar is not really my style." It was her favorite pick up line. She slid her hand inside his shirt. His skin felt warmish, yet cool. Not quite normal but all humans felt different.

"Nor mine."

"We, ah," she smiled shyly and yet full of promise. "Could go back to my place."

His gaze met hers and she knew she had him.

"Sure," he replied.

"Follow me," she hooked his arm with hers and they headed out of the club. She threw a triumphant glance back at her sisters.

"I'll drive," he offered, guiding her to a sporty little red car.

"Nice," she complimented, running her hand over the smooth hood.

"Thanks." He opened the door for her and closed it behind her.

A gentleman. That was a rare quality. She might think about keeping him.

He slid behind the wheel. "I need to make a stop." He smiled at her. "Do you mind?"

She wasn't starving. It wouldn't do any harm to indulge him. "I don't mind."

"Good." He put the car in gear and pulled out of the parking lot.

She gazed out the window watching old Victorian buildings mixed with new high rises pass by.

"Been in San Francisco long?" She asked, wondering why she bothered talking to her meal.

"A few weeks," he responded.

"From where?"

"I travel a lot."

"No place to call home?"

His face took on a still look, almost regretful. "Not anymore."

She smiled smugly. He wouldn't be missed then.

"You're not curious?" he prompted.

"You obviously don't want to talk about it."

He turned the car into an older part of the city, pulling up in front of a stately manor.

"Nice digs," she commented.

"House belongs to…a friend." He got out and came around to open the door for her. She offered him a thankful smile and he walked her up the stairs. He pushed open the door and she suddenly thought it strange he didn't ring first.

"Friend out of town?" she inquired a little uneasy.

"No. He's home."

He almost pushed her into the house and shut the door. She surveyed the house quickly sensing a trap. It was tastefully decorated and the owner obviously had money.

"Good evening, Miss Matthews," a cultured voice greeted her. Her sharp eyes picked out the man in a black suit. He poured liquid into crystal goblets, and offered her one. She took the time to figure out he had to be of Italian descent. Those dark eyes and slicked back hair were a dead giveaway.

She took the offered glass. He handed one to her companion and gestured to a comfy chair. "Please."

Warily she watched him as she sat down. "You obviously know me."

He chuckled, but without humor. "You and your sisters have caused us all a great deal of grief."

"We haven't vanquished anyone for a long time."

"That's not what I meant."

"Just who are you?" She was tired of his games.

"Julian Luna."

She started. They'd heard rumors about the Kindred. Luna's name was one they'd heard a number of times. He was some sort of leader. Like they were the ruling Queens of the Vampires.

"What do you want?" she demanded. "My sisters,"

He held up a palm. "I have no intention of harming you."

"Better not. The Source is related to us."

"I'm aware of that."

"Then I'm leaving," she started to rise.

"Paige," her potential victim addressed her.

"What are you?" She glared at him. "His slave."

"There are more than one species of vampires, Miss Matthews," Luna put in. "Peter is one, I'm another."

No wonder he hadn't felt quite right! "I see." She put the glass aside. "Why did you bring me here?"

"To warn you." Luna sipped from the goblet. "We had hoped with the death of Gustaf Van Helsing, that the last threat to our kind was gone forever. However, certain disturbing information has been forwarded to me."

"Oh, get on with it," she'd lost patience with him.

Peter spoke up. "There are three now, two men and a woman. Evidently," he took a step toward her. "He trained his nephews and had another student as well."

"So?" She wanted to leave. Her plans for dinner had been spoiled and now she'd have to go hunting.

"They're a threat to all of us. They see no difference between good or evil vampires," Peter went on.

"I doubt they'll bother us." Paige got to her feet. She and her sisters had fought demons and won, no doubt they could handle three puny humans. "Now if you'll excuse me, I'm hungry."

Peter watched her storm out the door with a sick feeling. Like he'd just lost something very precious. What he couldn't figure out was why she seemed so familiar to him. Like he knew her.

"You sensed it, too," Julian quietly stated.

"What?" Peter turned his attention to his host.

"You two belong together."

"She'll never speak to me again."

Julian smiled knowingly. "Somehow, I doubt that, Peter. These things have a way of working themselves out."

He didn't argue sipping the rich wine. Luna kept a vineyard and had a regular supply of nicely aged kegs in the cellar. Along with other… things.

"Good vintage."

The older vampire lifted the crystal and examined the color. "One of the best."

Not being able to help himself he asked, "From what I heard the Charmed Ones were fighting for good. How did they become Vampire Queens?" He perched on the edge of the large oak table.

Luna sighed. "The world lost much when they were turned." He put his glass aside. "There was a struggle in the underworld. The old source had been defeated by the sisters." He paused. "The vampire queen hatched a plot to rule, planning her move carefully against the new source. One of her 'family'," Julian almost spat the word. "Attacked Paige and set her against her sisters. She succeeded before she could be stopped." He rose refilling his goblet and took another sip before he continued. "Since Phoebe is married to Cole, the Source, he plotted to re-win her. He helped the sisters rise to the status of queens." He sighed sadly. "They willingly work along side him."

"I thought Piper was married." Peter had remembered hearing stories about her wedding to a Whitelighter.

"They lost Leo. The Elders took him away."

"Doesn't she remember or care about him?"

"I honestly don't know, Peter."

Paige transformed out her bat form back at the manor. She'd had a nasty tasting wino for dinner, certainly not the banquet she'd hoped to have. Pushing open the back door she entered the yellow walled kitchen.

"Expected you back hours ago," Piper said, wiping down the counter.

"We never use this room anymore, why bother?"

"Gives me something to do." She put the cloth aside. "I miss cooking."

"Bloods better."

"Was he good?"

"Don't know." She stomped her foot. "He took me to Luna's."

"What!"

"They gave me some silly warning about some hunters."

"Well, we do have to watch out for them." Piper leaned against the counter. "But why warn us?"

"I have no idea."

"What's really wrong, Paige?"

"I liked him."

"Luna?"

"No. Peter."

"Your intended snack."

"He's a vampire."

"Could be convenient."

"I'll never see him again."

"Did he like you?"

"I have no idea. It's just," why did she feel like she knew him? "He seemed, I don't know, familiar. It was weird."

"Maybe you just recognized one of our kind. Works that way sometimes."

"It was more than that, Piper."

"Maybe you knew him in a past life." She stretched. Dawn was beginning to peek in the window. "I'm going to bed."

"Good night," Paige called as her sister left. She pulled the heavy curtain to protect her from the sunlight. They'd redone all the coverings after their transformation so they could keep living in their home.

She walked silently upstairs, opening the door to her room. Carelessly she tossed her clothes on the floor and dropped on the bed, curling underneath the covers and slept the day away.

Peter had no idea why he went back to P3 because he was fairly certain Paige Matthews wouldn't talk to him, not after the events of the previous evening. Still, he took a deep breath and entered the club. The lively sound of a rock band met his ears and he made his way to the bar.

"Beer," he ordered. The bartender nodded and passed him a bottle.

Sipping his favorite drink, he glanced around to see if Paige was here. He smiled slightly when he saw her sitting in a corner booth with her sisters. The three of them seemed to be giggling about something.

With an ease he didn't feel he left the bar and wandered over. "Hi, " he greeted.

"What are you doing here?" Paige returned. He couldn't tell from her tone if she was happy to see him again or not.

"I never got the chance to introduce myself." He extended his empty hand. "I'm Peter Caine."

She stared at it like it was covered in garlic. He was about to withdraw it when she slipped her fingers around his. Something like a jolt passed between them.

"Who are you?" she whispered. Even he didn't miss the sense of wonder in her voice.

"Think I just told you," he responded. "May I join you?"

"How about a dance instead?"

He smiled knowing he couldn't wait to put his arms around her delicious body. "Sure." Absently he set down his beer as she led him to dance floor.

Luckily, it was a slow dance. She slipped her arms around his neck as his encircled her waist.

"I had such lovely plans for you," Paige murmured. "You would have tasted so much better than what I had."

He grimaced trying not to think about her feeding. It wasn't something he himself enjoyed. Drinking human blood was a matter of survival though, so he did what his friend Angel did, made regular withdrawals from the local blood bank, with the help of those who wouldn't ask too many questions.

"Disappointed I'm like you?" If his heart had still beat, it would have paused waiting for her response.

"Don't know." She ran her fingers through his hair. "I had plans for you."

"More than just dinner."

"Yeah." Lightly her finger caressed his cheek. "Thought about adding you to our family."

He started realizing she meant their vampire family. "Should I be flattered?"

She laughed, perhaps the first really human like gesture he'd seen her make. "I don't know, should you?"

The music stopped and she moved to leave. He pulled her close, enjoying how she felt against him.

"I only offered one dance."

"I could spend the rest of eternity with you, Paige." He spoke the words before thinking about what he said.

Her face darkened and she pulled away. "Don't get any ideas."

"Hard not to with that dress you're wearing."

She glanced down at her attire. Tight, suggestive, seductive. Meant to attract a man. Peter, though undead, wasn't immune.

"Men," she muttered under her breath walking away from him.

He hurried to catch up with her, grabbing her arm and turning her to face him.

"You like me, admit it."

"You think too much of yourself," she retorted.

"Come on, Paige. Don't play this game with me."

"And what game is that?" Her expression spoke both her irritation and admiration.

"This," Peter kissed her before she realized what he meant to do. He figured this might be his only chance.

She stepped back shocked. Her eyes were round and her mouth slightly open. Then her eyes narrowed. "Don't ever do that again unless I invite you." Paige returned to her sisters.

Peter thought about retrieving his beer, but decided the time with Paige was worth the small price of the drink. He smiled to himself and wandered back to the bar, keeping an eye on the pretty woman.

"That was cozy," Piper chimed with a knowing smile.

"Impudent," Paige replied. "And to think, I wanted him to make him part of our family."

"Looks like you still could," Phoebe suggested, also giving her a knowing look. "He obviously likes you."

"I doubt that."

"Paige," Piper leaned forward touching her younger sister's arm. "Don't throw away a chance for love. Don't make my mistake."

"Oh, Piper," Paige knew what her sister had lost. Her only true love when they'd been turned.

"Now march yourself back over there and go out somewhere with that young man. Go on" She waved her away. "Shoo!"

"It's not that easy."

"Sure it is, sis," Phoebe piped up.

"I could get rid of him for you," Cole offered as he sat beside Phoebe. "Doesn't matter the species, they all burn."

"Should I be worried?" his wife asked.

He kissed her. "No, my love. I'd never harm you."

"Good." She curled against him. "Why don't we go home."

"Wonderful idea." The two shimmered away.

"Think I'll check on something in the back room." Piper got up. "Don't let him leave alone, Paige."

"Wish everyone would stop telling me what to do," she muttered grumpily.

Peter noticed both her sisters were gone. Taking a chance, he went back to her booth and sat down.

"I didn't invite you."

He shrugged. "I know."

"You're hard to get rid of."

"That's what Paul used to say."

"Who's that?"

"My foster father."

"You weren't raised by your parents either?"

Somehow, he didn't think she'd meant to let that slip. "No. My mother died shortly after I was born." His face shadowed. "When I was young there was an attack where I lived. I was told my father had been killed."

"Both my adoptive parents died in a car crash."

"What about your biological parents?" He hadn't considered she might not have been raised with her sisters. Her confession was a surprise.

"My mother is the same as my sisters, but I had a different father."

"Yet you found your sisters. How?"

"That's a long story."

"We have all night."

Paige hesitated briefly before inviting Peter in. "Want to stay for awhile?" She pushed open the door of the manor, leaning slightly against the frame.

"Do you really want me to?" Peter's hand lightly caressed her cheek.

"Wouldn't have invited you in if I hadn't." She knew she was being truthful. Despite them just meeting, she sensed they knew each other. Maybe her sister had been right, perhaps they'd met in a previous life.

His hand captured her waist and pulled her to him. Her arms went easily around his neck. How she loved the feel of him!

"You may never be able to rid of me, Paige Matthews," he breathed. He nibbled her ear. "I could spend eternity with you."

"I may just take you up on that." Her heart she'd thought had hardened seemed to soften with his every touch. "Follow me," she whispered as she pulled him inside, making sure, out of habit, that the double stained glass door was locked.

Her lips met his in a hunger that had nothing to do with needing to feed.

"Upstairs you two," Piper broke into their passionate embrace. "Go on." She took the vacuum cleaner into the living room.

Paige felt like a kid caught trying to steal candy from the store. "Guess we'd better do what my sister says."

Peter only nodded and followed her upstairs to her room. She automatically pulled heavy drapes over the windows and smiled. "Now, where were we?"

Drat those boys! Sophie Metternich, no Townsend, she reminded herself for the umpteenth time, she still couldn't get used to the fact she'd actually married Chris, gazed at the closed doors of the manor. A part of her still wished her new husband had taken her on a normal honeymoon and not insisted they go vampire hunting in San Francisco.

Now Chris and his younger brother Max edged around the corner of the bay window trying to gaze inside. She held her breath and glanced at the sky. The sun was just beginning to rise. Still plenty of time for a creature of the night to strike and not be in danger.

"Careful," she breathed, biting her lip. The curtains shook. "No!" A face momentarily appeared then vanished again as thick curtains were pulled shut. She felt light headed and realized she'd been holding her breath. She noticed Chris had sunk to the ground while Max stood on tiptoes trying to get a better look. Some things never changed. They'd been like that as young boys, too.

Rays of light hit the side of the house. They should be safe for now. Chris and Max scurried across the road and joined her on the sidewalk behind their parked car.

"Get a good look?" she wanted to know.

"Maybe," Chris cockily answered. He snagged her and gave her a quick kiss.

"Oh, please," Max groaned rolling his eyes.

Her husband kept her next to him. "We'll wait until mid day and make our move then. They should be asleep."

"I'm starved," Max announced. "Where can we find breakfast?"

"I'd love a latte and a fresh muffin." Sophie smiled at her husband.

"No wonder you never gain weight," he teased. "You never eat anything."

"Girl's got to keep her figure."

"Save it for your room," Max said, unlocking the van and crawling inside.

Chris laughed as the two of them joined his brother. They drove off down the street in search of a restaurant.

Alexander Lucard gave Julian Luna a disdainful look. "All I remember about Van Helsing's nephews is that they were bothersome little brats." The tall, elegant and very old country gentlemen smoothed the lapel of his modern light colored suit. "I really should have worn something darker."

"You look fine," the silky woman who led the vampire artists assured him. "I need to get back to my club. Good day." She donned a heavy cloak, gave Luna a quick kiss, and exited into the bright sunlight.

"Peter Caine didn't return this morning," a British accented voice commented.

"An…unusual development," Julian informed his companions.

The man with accent moved out of the shadows. Lucard hadn't actually met Barnabas Collins, but he'd heard he was the newest addition to the Triumvirate.

"Anything we should be concerned about?" The Brit didn't really seemed very worried.

Collins, the older vampire sensed, was relatively young. Perhaps two hundred years, give or take a decade.

"I think not." Luna rose from his chair standing beside the marble fireplace. "Peter knows where his loyalties lie."

"We should have destroyed those three when we had the chance." Lucard still remembered the decision not to kill them with rancor. They'd been nothing with trouble.

"Not with The Source as their ally," another voice, still in the dark corners of the room, replied. "He would have had no problem ordering our deaths."

Lucard glared at the unseen fourth member of the meeting. "I could have handled him."

"Love will do strange things to…protect." Barnabas's odd pause caught everyone's attention.

"A lesson I've learned well," Julian agreed. They all knew about his only living relative claimed, without permission, by another of the kindred, almost sparking a deadly civil war.

"So do we allow," the disembodied voice inquired. "The hunters to kill them?"

"I doubt they'll ever get close enough." Julian turned to face them all. "The sisters can protect themselves."

Alexander laughed. "Their uncle was a bumbling fool. I doubt those youngsters grew up any better skilled than he was. He always thought he could outwit me. The fool."

The room fell silent, each vampire lost in their own thoughts. Barnabas broke the thick quiet. "Now, how much funding should we award the Phoenix Foundation this year?"

Peter gazed lovingly into Paige's face as she slept curled next to him. Her red hair trailed across his arm and bare chest. Such passion this woman had! How unfortunate she'd been turned from her destiny to serve a darker purpose rather than the one of light for which she'd been born.

His ears listened to faint creaks and groans in the house. Her sister had stopped vacuuming hours ago. He'd heard laughter from one of the other rooms, one male and one female, and figured that was Phoebe and Cole. He closed his eyes intending to nap. Later, he would have leave as soon as the sun set. Luna would be expecting him.

Glass breaking jolted him. He glanced at the clock beside the bed. Its hand indicated it was almost one. Untangling himself from Paige, he grabbed his clothes intending to check out the sound. Odd, even after all these years, how his police training had not dulled.

With silent tread he maneuvered the hallway and stairs, pausing briefly on the landing to listen. The front door was intact. Sounds echoed from the back of the house. Not knowing the layout was a slight disadvantage.

"Max, be quiet!" A deep male voice.

"They used to be witches. Would you look at all this stuff." The other male voice was younger with a boyish glint. A cupboard door slammed.

Turning toward the sound he reached the bottom and moved through the dining area. A door separated what had to be kitchen.

"We aren't here for that," a woman warned.

"Yeah. Let's get done what we came here to do, Chris. After you, Sophie."

"It would be so easy." Cole suddenly stood next to him, a glowing orange fireball in his hand.

"No." Peter knew vampire hunters were a danger to them all. Still, he felt a need to protect the mortals.

"I'd be doing everyone a favor."

"Let me handle this." Feeling reckless, Peter yanked open the door a charged into the kitchen. "Who are you and why are you here!"

The three in kitchen jumped. One of them grabbed a cross and held it out toward him. Peter tried not to smirk. The object had no sway on him as it didn't reflect his own beliefs.

"Okay," the obviously older of the two males said. Chris, if Peter surmised correctly. "You obviously aren't a vampire. You a guard?"

"No." They might be hunters but there seemed to be gaps in their education. "And I am a vampire." He indicated the door behind him. "There's a very dangerous person out there who wants to burn you all alive. I think, for your own safety, you should leave."

"What vampire isn't afraid of a cross?" The younger male stared disbelievingly at him.

"Would you three get out of here!" Peter sensed Cole getting impatient. He had to get them out before something horrible happened.

The back door imploded and Peter rapidly ducked for a dark corner of the room. A tall female figure stood there, dressed in jeans, a tight shirt and a jacket.

"Did I miss the party?" she asked in a voice Peter knew well. He wasn't sure whether he wanted to laugh with relief or start worrying.

"And who are you?" Sophie demanded.

"I could ask you the same question." The blonde walked in and seeing Peter her eyes widened. "Sorry about that." She picked up the door and blocked out as much sunlight as possible.

"You're apologizing to a vampire?" Max asked shocked.

"I've known Peter for a long time. Chased him through the ruins of an old temple." She glanced at the stakes on the table. "Hope you don't intend to use one of those on him."

"He's a vampire," Chris stated. "All vampires are evil and should die."

"You know, there was a time I would have agreed with you. But experience has taught me differently." Her gaze rested on Peter. "What are you doing here?"

"Long story, Buffy."

His eyes darted to the still closed kitchen door. He knew Cole lingered waiting. The slayer followed his look and nodded slightly indicating she understood his unvoiced warning.

"Look," she turned her attention to the hunters. "I don't know who you are and I don't care. But this is my party and you're uninvited crashers." She pointed toward the leaning door. "Out!"

"We got here first!" Chris objected. "We're going to kill the sisters!"

"Right. They're protected by The Source. Or didn't you know that?"

"You're here!" Max pointed out.

"I know what I'm up against and have a very powerful witch as backup. Can you say you that?"

The kitchen door creaked and Peter feared the four might be killed before the bickering got settled. Yet he didn't dare move for fear of getting singed.

The three seemed very uncertain about what to do. Peter tried to think of some way to get them to moving.

Buffy beat him to it. She grabbed Chris and shoved him out. The other two took the not so subtle hint and dashed out.

"Cole will kill you, too," Peter whispered.

"I'm not worried. Besides, I didn't come here to fight." She smiled at him. "At least, not today." Her pretty face frowned. "What are you doing here, Peter?"

"I could ask you the same question."

"Scouting trip."

"If you think," Cole crashed into the room. "I'm going to let you kill my wife," he tossed a fireball at the young woman. Kitchen cabinets exploded as she expertly ducked.

"Another time!" she jauntily cried as she rolled out the back door.

The angry husband turned on him. "You. Conspiring with…"

"Cole! What are you doing!" Paige darted into the room, throwing herself in front of Peter.

"We had company and he tried to protect them."

"Killing them would have served no purpose!" Peter threw back.

"Yes, they would have." He glared a deep dark look. "You'd better be gone when I get back." The Source shimmered away.

"What happened here?" Paige demanded. "Did they hurt you?" Her concerned eyes searched his and her hands cupped his face.

"No. I'd better go, Paige."

"But it's still daylight."

"I've learned a few tricks. I'll be fine."

"I don't understand. Who was here?"

"Vampire hunters. The ones I told you about. And the Slayer."

"Nice to know we're important enough to get her attention." She smiled amused.

Peter roughly grabbed her. "This isn't a joking matter, Paige. I know the Slayer. If she's after you, she'll succeed."

"What happened to my kitchen!" Piper exploded.

"Owww! Who let the daylight in?" Phoebe followed behind her sister.

Cole shimmered back in. "I'll fix the door." He noticed Peter. "Why are you still here?"

"Shut up, Cole." Paige gazed deep into Peter's eyes. "You're really concerned about me aren't you?"

"I love you, Paige. I meant it when I said I could spend all of eternity with you."

"And I believe you." Something in her changed and Peter could sense it.

"You were never meant to be what you've become." He took her in his arms. "Come with me. Please."

"You aren't going to break this family up." Cole advanced on Peter.

"Leave him alone, Cole." Piper faced him. "One member of this family losing their true love was enough. I'm not going to allow my sister to lose hers."

"Nicely put, Piper." Phoebe clapped her hands. "Come on, Cole. If my sisters are going to go soft, let's go find us someplace to live." Her dark eyes glowed. "I always did like that penthouse."

"Whatever my queen wants," Cole agreed. He enfolded his wife. "If you two get yourselves killed, well, that will be your own fault." They shimmered away.

"Am I glad he's out of my house!" Piper began to pick up mess.

"I'll see what I can about the door," Peter reassured them, giving Paige a quick kiss.

Night filtered over the city filling the bright corners with dark shadows. Mortals played and lived while creatures of a much different nature roamed unknown and unnoticed among them. Several hung out at a club called P3, the bartender served drinks, and two sisters and one male sat in a booth watching the dancers as a popular band played.

"Almost feels like things are back to normal." Piper wore a purple dress with thin straps. She reached for her drink and sipped the deep red liquid.

Paige, beautiful in an emerald green gown rested under the arm of a young man dressed in a fashionable suite and silk jacket. "Let's dance, Peter." Willingly he went with her.

A brief shadow reflected on Piper's face remembering the sad of events of a few nights earlier. They hadn't been visited again, as they had expected. Rather, the hunters and the Slayer had joined forces, along with, if the stories they'd heard were true, a very powerful red haired witch. They'd stormed the penthouse, vanquishing the Source once for all, and killing their sister in the bargain.

Almost, a rage for vengeance burned in her but it quickly extinguished. Phoebe had made her choice. The members of their "family" she had made died with her. Their numbers were less, but they were still a force to be reckoned with.

"I haven't forgotten about you, you know." Buffy smiled down at Piper.

The older sister had to admit the young woman could be very pretty when she wished. She wore a dress that complimented her. The Slayer's blue eyes left Piper and gazed out at Peter. "But I owe him. More times than I can count. And he's assured me, along with Luna, you aren't going to be as much trouble as before."

"I wouldn't count on that." She gazed at the Slayer over the rim of her glass.

"Luna can think what he wants."

"He won't hesitate to have you killed."

"He can try." She lowered her glass. "What did happen to those hunters everyone was so concerned about?"

"Oh." Buffy smiled mysteriously. "Let's just say that an old friend took them under his wing and is educating them on some missed pointers about vampires."

"Sounds like they'll be more dangerous."

"I've been assured they're going to stay in Europe and out of my hair."

"Buffy!" Peter greeted. He hugged her while Paige watched jealously. "I didn't know you were still here."

"Luna is flying me back home tonight. I just wanted to say my good byes."

"In a matter of speaking," Piper quietly joked, sipping her drink again.

"It was good to see you."

"You ever tire of San Francisco, you know I'd welcome you back. Miss having you guard my back."

"I'll keep that in mind."

She landed a peck on his cheek. "You're a lucky woman, Paige." She winked at the red head and faded into the crowd.

"Should I be worried?" Paige wanted to know.

"No." Peter pulled her down beside him in the booth. "I found the woman of my dreams."

"Don't you forget it," she warned him, silencing further words with a kiss.

From across the room Luna, Collins and Lucard observed the three.

"They're still a threat, " Collins reminded his companions.

"Not for the moment," Luna responded. "I think the death of their sister and the Source has quelled their thirst for power.

"We can but hope," Lucard agreed.

This story is an alternate reality of my own series that starts with "A Father's Love" and ends with "A New Destiny". I just wanted to play with the idea of what might have happened if Paige and her sisters became vampires and then she met Peter.

List of guests and from what shows.

Alexander Lucard, Max & Chris Townsend, Sophie Metternich - "Dracula: the Series".

Julian Luna – "Kindred: the Embraced"

Barnabas Collins – "Dark Shadows," 1991 version.

Buffy – "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer".

Peter Caine – "Kung Fu: the Legend Continues".