A.N. Chapter 10, as promised.

- 10 -

As the Chimera lunged, Angel desperately pushed up with one shoulder against the weight of the giant paw that pinned it down, managing to move the paw up a fraction. It wasn't much, but it gave him the leeway to jerk his head to one side. The salivating jaws missed their target by a hairs breadth, and Angel vamped out. The creature pulled back for a second attempt. Angel curled his legs up to his stomach and lodged both feet against the Chimera's underbelly. With the additional strength gained from morphing into full vampire mode, Angel swiftly thrust his legs straight, heaving the Chimera's back end high up into the air causing the creature to complete virtually a full back flip as it found itself dislodged and flying away from the Vampire's body. In unison, Chimera and Vampire both rolled and twisted themselves upright, to stand facing each other again. The creature growled deep in it's throat when it saw the change which had come over his supposed prey. Death and fury brimming in his eyes, Angel growled back.

Cordelia and Maria sat huddled together, knees drawn up to their chests, on the narrow brick ledge of a small alcove. Maria broke the silence.
"Is it just me, or does the light from your torch seem dimmer to you as well?"
Cordelia looked at the yellow gleam now emanating from their only source of light and sighed.
"I was kinda hoping you hadn't noticed that."
Cordelia felt Maria shuffle even closer into her side.
"So, may...maybe you should turn it off? You know, save it, in case we need to...move for some reason."
Cordelia nodded and switched the torch off, plunging both girls into inky darkness. There was a couple more seconds of silence, before Cordelia spoke.
"Guess this puts a damper on playing I spy then?"

Angel squatted, knees bent, sword hand lightly resting on the floor, readying himself to move in any direction.
"Heeere pussy, pussy."
The Chimera hunched it's muscular shoulders, lowering it's front, it's rear end slowly waving from side to side, taking up the classic pose of a cat stalking it's prey, getting ready to pounce.

"That's it Fluffy...You're about to become cat gut. Let's play."
Angel hissed and bared his fangs as the two adversaries locked eyes. In that couple of beats of silent challenge, Wesley's voice, reading aloud his incantation, could be heard. The Chimera maintained it's unblinking stare at the vampire, but Angel didn't miss the twitch of the creature's ears as it tuned into the sound of Wesley, or the flare of it's nostrils, and the slight narrowing of it's eyes in which Angel saw the flash of recognition of the other threat hiding close by. Wesley had just become an alternative target.

Angel realised he had to make the first move, had to keep the creature's attention on himself, distract it from the notion of changing it's primary goal and taking Wesley out instead. The Vampire roared his challenge, drowning out the sound of the spell being cast, and launched himself directly toward the Chimera, forcing it into a counter attack. The two supernatural creatures collided.


A.N. If anyone would like to reward me for keeping my promise, I accept reviews as legitimate currency :D