Chapter Six

Do you really think...

Ellie found Nygent with surprising ease, his acolytes having melted away , when they realised quite how badly they had been lied to, and when they remembered that if the victim wasn't tied up and helpless they were cowards.

Their leader had found them, bored, weak willed and easily seduced by a good promise and a flashy light show, a few had turned away when they had witnessed their first annual murders, still more wen asked to participate in them, and those that remained may have had the blood lust for the activity but not the spine, when the violence they begot bought danger to their doors.

She stole a spare robe from the twitching body of a fallen cultist and used it to steal close to her enemy. She watched him for a moment, with the clinical detachment of a true hunter assessing prey, a skill she had perfected while she was alive.

He had aged, she noted, somehow a little surprised, a little annoyed, she had not wanted to avenge herself on a twisted old man, but beggars can't be choosers, and really, the chance to avenge one's own death is not often given to the white hats, so she would take it while she could. She was also surprised at her own thoughts, had death changed her so much, she wondered, but as he turned and caught sight of her the time for musing was over.

"Ahh, the woman of my dreams!" He chimed as if she had kept him waiting for a blind date, his voice was as she remembered it, strange and dry like the hissing of snake coils. In spite of herself, as she heard the joy in that sinuous voice, she had to fight the urge to shudder.

Ellie dropped the hood and faced him.

"I would say the man of my nightmares, but unless I missed the course for it, the dead don't sleep much." She replied, her tone flat.

He let out a snorting laugh, and his contempt for her words, for her, radiated across the space between them.

"You are changed by the gift I gave you child, death has made you stronger, freed you from your chains. You should thank me!"

"How about I return the gift, free you from your chains? Will that be thanks enough?"

"It is thanks enough that the rituals have finally worked, that you are here, and that the fire in your eyes tell me you have taken a human life to get to me."

"More than one." She affirmed softly.

"Yet, even though they were working for me, it still pains you, for in your heart, you still have your humanity, and you are still the Slayer. Do you really think you can let all that go and kill me, or shall I get to relive my greatest rush over and over again?" His voice became loud, jubilant, he was sure as he heard her pain at killing the acolytes, echoed in her voice, he had won again.

"Do you really think, I consider you to be human any more?"