Sophie watched as her master paced through their luxury suite. His anger was a living thing. It had vibrancy and fire. She cringed as he growled. The last time he had been like this it had taken her months to recover. The holy water burns alone had taken weeks. Perhaps he would be angry enough this time to break their bond and kill her. She closed her eyes and imagined the relief she would feel in the split second before the wind scattered her dust.
"He summoned me? He summoned all of us?" Penn snarled , came to a halt, and stared out the huge windows at the twinkling lights of the city. "He brought us here, but he's not at home. They were minions. He left minions to greet us."
He whirled and his handsome face turned toward her. She managed to hold her ground. Showing any weakness would just enrage him. She needed to be strong enough to find Spike. He would take pity on her and Penn feared him.
"He disappears for a century and now he wants me to curl at his feet like a damned puppy, to wait on his command. Has he lost all sense?"
"He always likes to play his games. Perhaps, this is one." She managed to shrug casually. "Angelus is Angelus."
"Devil help us if it is." Penn stroked her honey gold hair back from her face with a gentle hand. "Those minions were far too stupid. I should have killed them all."
"But then no one would have remained to tell him of our arrival." Sophie said in her sweetest tone.
"It is rather difficult to send a message if you kill the messenger." Penn rubbed a thumb along her lower lip. Her body quickened to his touch, as it always did. "Is my room ready?"
"Yes, the twins prepared it and acquired a tribute for it so that you could enjoy the day." She curtsied and looked at the ground waiting for him to raise her up. He touched her hair and she shivered.
"Come with me." The demand was expected. He offered her his arm and she looked up at him as she rose gracefully. There was nothing else to do, no escape from his entertainments. She schooled her features into a blank mask. There was no need to funnel his creativity in another direction. Here, on the hell mouth, their kind went largely unnoticed.
The twins watched as they approached, their golden eyes following his every move. His minions, a perfectly matched pair of German lads he had picked up during the First World War. He had removed their tongues and other body parts before turning them, denying them any pleasure in their new existence. They treated her with deference when he was not around because she had fed them when he had wanted them to starve. For the last fifty years, he had starved her, allowing her to feed only from willing family of her status or higher. It had been three and a half weeks since her last meal. The twins opened the double doors with precision, so their pace never changed.
She shook at the sight of the young girl bound and gagged on the bed. He always liked the ones that reminded him of his sister. He would play for hours. Somewhere in the last fifty years, she had come to empathize with his victims. She envied them their quick deaths. They never lasted more than a day or two. The doors closed behind them and Penn smiled at her, his glee undisguised.
"They did well for me." He stroked one finger along the girl's shuddering flank.
"They always do," she said. "They are as minions should be."
"Take your clothes off, my dear. It wouldn't do for you to splatter such a lovely frock." His eyes never left his meal. She slipped off the plain black dress and hung it in the closet. She took several unnecessary breaths and then expelled all the air from her lungs. No need to make this harder on herself. She knelt beside him and tolerated his pat on the top of her head.
The small whimpers reached her ears and she closed her eyes against them. She tried to remember the coast of Cornwall as the sun shone on the water. It was one of the few memories from her life that remained crisp. She used to watch the waves roll in and dream of the adventures in her future until a small and of travelers had arrived one night. Penn and Angelus, handsome beyond imagining, had sparked her virginal imagination with no real effort at all. Darla and Drusilla had been demure and lovely and so fashionable. Her mother had smiled as the staff served her final meal, at ease and happy to host such noble guests. She let the memories drift away and forced herself to accept her fate.
"She will be a delight, Sophie, a masterpiece. He turned away from his prize and looked down into her eyes. She nodded her agreement, knowing her words would be superfluous to him now. He stroked his palm along her bare shoulder. "We shall have such fun."
He stroked her shoulder again and then his other hand sank into her hair. He freed her hair from its bun and massaged her scalp for a moment. She closed her eyes and leaned into his touch. A shudder ran through her when she felt the rubber ball rub against her lips. She opened her mouth and he pressed the familiar thing into her mouth. She opened her eyes and stared up at him as he covered her closed lips with duck tape. He sealed it to her face and stroked her cheeks with his thumbs.
"Not a drop for you, my naughty girl." She nodded and he smiled. "You want to please me, yes? You are leaving your naughty ways behind. Are you not?"
He didn't expect an answer. It was merely the script for his little ritual. She remained on her knees next to him, forgotten as the living girl drew his attention with her struggles. His quiet murmurs and soothing words registered dimly as she tried to escape into her mind.
The first splatter of blood was agony. The metallic scent assaulted her, her starving body aching for sustenance. She started to shake as need swamped her. She fought the urge to take a breath through her nose. It would only aggravate her condition. The agonized sounds of his victim became her world. She centered her every thought on the obvious agony. She forced her mind to empathize with his latest victim, to see her as more than food and entertainment. Each muffled scream, each tortured breath her ears registered, became her own. The day passed, measured in crimson splatters and faltering heart beats. Tears coursed from her eyes as she knelt, unmoving.
His blood drenched hand grabbed her hair and he dragged her up and tossed her face first across the still warm corpse. She stared into the lifeless eyes, sorrow and envy warring within her as he slammed his cock inside of her.
The humiliation of this final act of his little play had worn off decades before. She looked into sightless eyes and wondered if there was peace in true death. She felt each thrust of Penn's body against hers distantly. He finished with a roar, yanked her up by her hair, and tossed her aside. He licked the blood from one cheek of the lifeless girl.
"Leave me," he commanded. Sophie scrambled from the room before he could add to the command. She had her window. She could flee into the night and find Spike. It was a slim chance, but it had to work.