Title: Sun Scorched
Author: Syn
Disclaimer: They don't belong to me, actually...they DO belong to me. Everyone but Oz that is.
Summary: Oz meets a Slayer-in-Waiting and has a little trouble of the fanged variety.
Rating: R...a lot of violence, but not too much sex. At least not yet.
Feedback: Yes!! Tell me what a crappy job I'm doing...please, I beg of you! :)
Distribution: You want this? wow...okay....just tell me first.
A/N: This fic is HUGE, at least in my opinion. I wrote it about a year ago and I reread it a couple days ago and I decided it needed to be posted somewhere. Also, I'm aware of just how Mary Sueish Aren is.

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Prologue

Aren ran from Willis's little motel room, covered in the Watcher's blood. Behind her, she could hear Orion and his gang regrouping. She coughed, realizing she had sucked in a huge lungful of vampire dust. It sickened her to think that the dead vampire was now marinating in her lungs.

She coughed once more and sprinted down the street, as far from Willis's motel and the vampires that wanted to kill her as she could go. She groped at the bouncing golden jewel around her neck, making sure she didn't lose it. The vampires must not get it.

Tears rolled down her face as she thought about Willis. Her Watcher was dead because of her. With a gut-wrenching twist, she forced the image of his bloody corpse from her mind. She had to get out of Las Vegas as quickly as possible.

Blinded by her tears, she tripped on an unseen curb and her huge backpack swung off her shoulders. Hastily she scooped up the pack and slung it onto her back; her eyes caught a little knife that had fallen from one of the pockets. Distractedly, she picked it up and rammed it into her back pocket.

Soon she was three blocks from Willis's motel and away from the vampires. But not for long, she thought. They would get her soon, if she wasn't careful. What she needed was a vehicle and money.

Cutting through a bush on the side of a seedy little motel, she saw her salvation and wiped away her tears as best she could. Inside, she hated what she was about to do, but her survival instincts were stronger than her feelings of right and wrong at the moment and she hurried onward.

******

Oz yawned and stretched his muscles, glancing at his watch as he did so. It was time to go, and not too soon, in his opinion. He quickly got dressed and left the motel, stepping out onto the sidewalk in front of the little dive and looking around the parking lot as he did so. In the distance he could see the lights of the Vegas strip imbuing the night sky with dazzling brightness.

On the way towards his van, a sudden noise behind him stopped him in his tracks.. He twirled, very conscious of the fact that he didn't have his stake on him. What he saw relaxed his mind, but his heart lurched; something was wrong.

A girl was running towards him, tears and blood streaming down her face. She ran straight into him without seeing him and they both fell to the ground as she mowed him down. Oz sat up and bent over her, anxious to see if she was all right. She sat up too and stared at him, her eyes wide.

"Are you okay?" Oz asked immediately, helping her up. She took his hand in her own bloody fingers and he hauled her to her feet with a grunt. She swayed a bit on her feet and he steadied her with a gentle hand to her back. "Are you okay?" He repeated.

"Yes...I think." She said numbly tears streaming down her face, cutting paths through the blood speckled there. She brought a protective hand to a huge gold amulet around her neck. Oz glanced at it, then back up at her.

"We should get you to a hospital. Come with me. It'll be all right, I promise." Oz said gently, leading her towards his van.

"You promise?" The girl said, the tone of her voice low and rough with anger. Oz was startled and he turned to look at her sharply. She tossed her long dark hair and brought a hand out from behind her back. Oz saw the glint of a wicked little blade in her hand. He took an involuntary step backward.

"Give me your money and your car keys. Right now!" She said, her voice shaking slightly as she brandished the knife at him. He looked into her eyes and he saw fire in the dark pools.

"No." Oz said, shifting position, in case he had to run for it.

"Give it to me or I'll hurt you. I swear!" The girl said, glancing back quickly over her shoulder. She gulped and waved the knife some more.

"Put down the knife." Oz commanded her, holding up his hands in defense. Something was wrong with her; maybe he could convince her to trust him. But the fire in her eyes told him otherwise.

"No! Give me your wallet and your keys! NOW!" The girl demanded angrily, her voice edged with panic. Oz could see she was desperate; she might even do what she said. What had this girl so spooked?

"Alright. Let me reach into my pocket, okay?" Oz said slowly, eyeing her knife arm. He started to reach behind himself, but his arm shot out and grabbed the hand that held the knife. He pulled her close and tried twisting the knife from her fingers. He was successful and the knife clattered to the ground.

She struggled to get free of his grip and she kicked a leg behind her. It connected with his inner thigh and he let go of her. She stooped to pick up the knife and turned on him. She brought it up to his throat before he could move.

"Give me your wallet. Or I swear I'll kill you!" Her voice trembled with fear and he gulped back a moan of pain.

"If you're in trouble, let me help you! Please." Oz said, his voice as calm as he could make it.
Suddenly, her knife flashed and he felt a sharp, jagged pain in his arm. Looking down, he realized that she had cut him. Blood spurted from the deep wound on his arm and he clamped a hand over it. He looked up at her and was taken aback by the horrified look on her bloody face. Her lip trembled and she gulped at the sight of the blood, but it was gone in an instant, replaced by a cold, hard mask of indifference. Oz grimaced as she pulled back her fist and slammed it into his face.

Oz went down on the ground, his vision blurred and his head aching. He felt her hand in his back pocket and he growled low in his throat as she took his wallet. He was glad he had thrown his keys into his guitar case; at least he still had his van.

She didn't seem to mind that he had no keys on him because she ran away, leaving Oz laying on the ground, his nose bleeding almost as much as his arm. Through a haze of pain, he watched her disappear into the darkness, one guilty glance thrown over her shoulder at him. And then she was gone. It took several minutes after she was gone for him to get up and stumble to the van, his head pounding like a freight train was making a home in his ears.

"I hate Vegas." Oz said as he climbed into the van, smearing blood all over the seat as he grimaced in pain.