Disclaimer etc.: see prologue

The Breton: chapter 19 - Crime and Punishment

Kate Lockley threw down the photographs, and stood back with her hands on her hips.

"I've seen that mark before, and you know I have," she said. "But I killed Penn, didn't I?"

Angelus spread the photographs out on the counter, and Luc peered down at them, and the livid mark shown.

"You killed Penn," Angelus agreed.

"So?" the detective demanded.

"So, Penn's still dusted," said Angelus. He glanced round the circle: Darla looking disinterested, Gunn trying to hide a grin. Luc met his eyes. "What do you want me to say, Kate?"

"Any more estranged children in town?" she demanded.

"None whatsoever," said Angelus. "Come on, Katie, you're supposed to be a policewoman. Work it out." He nodded at Luc. "Doors. Gunn, staircase. Darla, the other doors."

Kate Lockley deliberately unbuttoned the top of her blouse and flicked out a large silver crucifix. "Have you been playing me all this time?" she asked, her voice cold.

"Only a few days," Angelus said lightly. "You were nearly there, so nearly there. You almost guessed Luc, but he fobbed you off with the oldest trick in the book." He took three quick paces forwards, and pulled off Kate Lockley's necklace. She muffled a gasp of pain as the metal tore at her skin. Angelus threw the cross on the ground. "And I did kill Wes, poor old Wes. No fight left in him at the end. You remember Cordelia, Detective? She was the first of the lot of them, and had more guts than most. Gunn here - have I introduced you? Charles Gunn, Detective Kate Lockley - Gunn's just joined our happy little family, and when we went to visit his friends, I couldn't resist demonstrating some old techniques."

"Stay away from me," the detective said, groping for a stake in her waistband.

Angelus, smiling, leant towards her, and murmured, "No."

Kate Lockley struggled even harder than had Cordelia Chase, Luc thought as he pulled the rope tight around her legs, and then tugged on it for good measure. The detective let out a satisfying scream, swiftly muffled as Gunn ripped a piece of duct tape and stuck it across her mouth.

They laid her on the sofa and stood around her, looking down.

"What are you going to do?" Luc asked.

"I don't know if I can be bothered to do anything," Angelus said. "You can have her, if you want her, Luc." He bent down closer to Kate. "Darla and I can find better pickings elsewhere. Come on, love."

Darla took his arm, and they left.

"Think I'll go catch a bite somewhere," Gunn said laconically. "Have fun."

"Thank you, I will," Luc said. He stood still for a moment, and then picked the detective up and carried her up the stairs.

Once in the room that had become his, Luc put Kate Lockley down and unstuck the gag from her mouth. She screamed, and he waited it out.

"There's nobody to hear, and I could listen to that noise all night," he pointed out, as she paused for breath.

"Bastard," she said, vehemently. "Monster."

"Mais non," Luc said, "I'm not a monster. I'm a vampire. There's a whole world of difference, tu sais. If I were a monster, you'd be dead by now." He examined her carefully, critically. "You're a very beautiful woman, Mademoiselle."

"Cut the crap and kill me," Kate Lockley spat, her eyes flashing.

"Where would be the art in that?" asked Luc. "Or the fun? I could go up to anyone in the street and just kill them. You're worth more than that."

"I'm flattered, really," the detective said. "Did you learn this talk from him?"

"Angelus?" Luc said. "Non. A century and a half on the planet, you learn to recognise beauty when you see it. Whether that beauty be wonderful eyes, or the intricacies of a human body. It's true," he sat down on the edge of the bed, "that in some respects, he taught me to appreciate them in a different way, but I have drawn many conclusions by myself." He ran a hand through Kate's hair, and she flinched away. "The softness of your hair is beautiful, but so is the softness of your skin." Luc let his features slip and bent to graze the side of her neck with his fangs. "You see?"

She whimpered a little, and Luc frowned, disappointed.

"Where's the fight gone?"

"I should never have trusted him," Kate Lockley said, her voice low. "I should never have bloody trusted him."

"Trop tard," Luc said, shrugging off his suede jacket and throwing it accurately on to a nearby chair. "Regrets, though, always come after the event, or they wouldn't be regrets." He rolled up his sleeves, and smiled at Kate. "Relax, now, ma belle, or struggle, it won't make a difference, and you won't regret either, because you won't be here to regret it." He lifted her hand, turning it, and bit gently into the wrist.

* * *

Luc was lying contentedly on his bed, thoughtfully licking semi-congealed blood from his fingers, when Angelus came in. He glanced up and grinned.

"Good hunting?"

"So-so," Angelus said. "Perhaps I should have stayed after all."

"She gave up far too soon," Luc said, throwing a look at Kate Lockley's immobile body. "Far too soon. Really much duller than it looks."

"She was human, after all," Angelus mused. "Never mind. Throw her in the furnace, Luc, my boy. I've decided it's time to move on. Cordelia's dead, Wes is dead, poor little Katie's dead. We could try for Caritas, but killing demons, even singing green ones, has never been my choice. I've left a message with your lawyer, and he'll come to pick the deeds up at the end of the day. We pack during daylight, and leave at sunset."

Luc stood up. "Where are we going?"

His sire came up to him, and gripped Luc's shoulder. "Sunnydale. It's time for the Slayer. We leave at sunset."

* * *

The four of them were ready and waiting in the lobby, bags packed in the convertible, at sundown. Angelus was pacing, holding a file of papers in his hands, and occasionally glancing up at the windows. Gunn kept throwing excited looks at Luc. Only Darla seemed to be unconcerned, twisting a lock of hair idly as she waited.

Ten minutes after sunset, there was the roar of an engine outside and the noise of footsteps.

"He's brought company," Angelus said. "How utterly ridiculous."

The lawyer, accompanied by three large bodyguards with stakes absurdly small in their huge hands, paused just inside the doors.

"Lindsey!" said Angelus, lopsided charm turned on. "Nice of you to come."

"Like I had a choice," Lindsey McDonald returned. "Well?"

"I want you to sell the hotel," Angelus said briefly. "Full details in the file. Resulting funds in my account. You'll be glad to hear I and my family are moving out of Los Angeles."

"I am glad to hear that," McDonald agreed. "Almost." His eyes went to Darla, and she looked up at him.

"Hello, Lindsey. Hand giving you much trouble?"

"No better for the asking. You're going too?"

Darla smiled, and standing went to Angelus. "Silly boy, Lindsey. Did you think I could ever leave him for you? Weak, pathetic humanity."

"It's rather touching," Luc said, "in a strange sort of way. Sweet." Beside him, Gunn snorted.

Angelus pulled Darla into an embrace, and letting go grinned at the lawyer. "You have your answer, Lindsey. You never had a chance." He walked the ten paces between them, passed Lindsey McDonald the file, and paused. "Sell this place. Or there's more than a hand at stake." He leaned forwards and kissed the lawyer on the forehead. "Goodbye, Lindsey."

The bodyguards moved forward, and Angelus, moving back towards the basement door, nonchalantly threw the first one aside.

"Have a good life, Lindsey," he said. "Darla? Luc, Gunn. Come on."

Lindsey McDonald held up a hand to stop the other two bodyguards, and the last view of him Luc had was the lawyer standing in the centre of the empty lobby, before the basement door closed. They had left the City of Angels behind, but before lay the expanse of eternity.

FIN

Author's notes: This is not, of course, the end of Luc's story. There is more, much more, on the way - in fact the story's flowing out in a most disconcerting manner. It's entitled 'Death Awaits', and the first two chapters have been posted with this. It's not the same style, but I think it's working. Also on the way soon is the next foray into my AU Connorverse, which is progressing less quickly - probably because Luc has his claws into me and won't let go.

Many thanks for reading 'The Breton' and encouraging, and any comments at all on this chapter or the previous ones, or on the new story, is really really appreciated. Au revoir et à bientôt!