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The female, cinched and draped in black leather like the others, took a step forward and tilted her head with curiosity, eyeing the Slayer up and down. Buffy had dropped the bag in front of the pawn shop and now held the crossbow in both hands, primed and ready. It was an old-fashioned Chinese model, a repeater, able to shoot six bolts with only a couple of seconds between them. Her forehead and the corners of her mouth crinkled and Buffy saw that she had caked white makeup on her face, apparently to make a more striking contrast with the black ink of the bat.

Buffy returned her smirk. Look in a mirror lately? His electric eyes blazed brighter. Seemed they all had it. All four of the vampires regarded her a bit more closely. A dog began to howl down along the block and several took up the cry in response. It was chilling. Buffy shivered, but she smiled to cover it. She had faced evils older than man, demons whose depravity would make the bravest soldier weep, and had come out on top.

Yet in some way, they did. That bat tattoo was part of it. It spoke on an instinctive level to some primal part of her, and a frisson of fear ran through her that she could not blame on howling dogs. But more so, their eyes bothered her, for with that burning energy came her memory of the way the one the night before had sapped her strength.

If she had not broken away when she did, she would have been powerless. Nothing frightened her more. Xander had approached them with her, a good six feet back and over her left shoulder, just where she wanted him. Now she sensed him shifting slightly, perhaps unnerved by the dogs. The vampires glanced quickly at him, as one, almost like a pack of dogs. One, whose bat tattoo spread its wings almost all the way around his bald head, licked his lips. Then they grinned and turned their attention back to Buffy, and their faces shifted all at once, their fangs protruding from their mouths, their brows growing thicker and more bestial.

For instance. The vampires rushed her. With a grunt deep in her chest, right hand holding the crossbow out to one side, Buffy used her left arm to grab the nearest bat-face around the neck and choke him. With her weight on him, she launched a snap-kick high and hard, and the side of her foot caught the bulldog with the nose chain under his jaw. Bulldog crashed backward into the clown-faced girl and they both went down.

When she came down, she was still choking the first one that had attacked her. Buffy twisted him around and flipped him onto the pavement. It was a throw her first Watcher, Merrick, had taught her when she was fifteen years old. Go with what works. Suddenly, Buffy felt a little better. Bulldog was furious at having been knocked on his butt. He had just extricated himself from the clown-faced girl, or was trying to. She bumped into him, cost him a half a second. The bald one rushed Buffy then.

The next bolt snapped up into position and she swung the crossbow at Clownface and Bulldog, who froze for just a moment before rabbiting back toward the club. Call me the math whiz. What next? Lead on! For a place dedicated to the consumption of alcohol and the ogling of half-naked women, nobody seemed to be having a very good time. Bikers and fishermen and dockworkers made up most of the male population of the place. When she and Xander walked in the bouncer had his back to them, his gaze locked on a girl onstage who wore the remnants of a Catholic-school uniform several sizes too small for her.

The bar ran down the entire left wall, and two stages jutted out from the wall on the right. In between there were plenty of tables. Buffy narrowed her gaze against the strobing lights and concentrated enough to cut out most of the music. The bouncer heard him. And why not? Not holding an insurance policy on your teeth? He winced in pain, stared at her in surprise, then tried to pull away. Buffy held on. He could not break her grip. Buffy stopped the punch with the stock of her crossbow, then shoved him back, hard. He went down onto the beer-sticky wooden floor without so much as a grunt.

Then he nodded slowly and began to rise, turning back toward the door to the club. A ripple of angry mutterings went through the club, and onstage two of the girls stopped dancing to stare. A couple of bikers got up from a nearby table and loomed menacingly toward them. They both glanced at the bouncer, then sat down.

Xander muttered something as he followed her, but Buffy paid no attention. They had taken too much time at the door. The vampires were nowhere in sight. That meant either the rest rooms or some other room in the rear. She headed for the heavy wooden door at the far end of the bar. Buffy held the crossbow at the ready and set herself in a fighting stance, muscles tensed. Buffy surged forward into what appeared to be a dingy dressing room for the dancers.

Lockers and mirrors abounded, but the room was poorly lit. Not so dark, however, that she could not see them. He took it. Then Buffy grabbed the door and slammed it shut behind her, leaving him out in the club. Xander shouted her name and she called back to him to stay put. If there were other vamps out in the club, she doubted they would reveal themselves. But if they did, Xander had the stake. Meanwhile, she had room to work. The vampires moved in almost total silence across the room, seeming to uncoil from the darkness like serpents.

Clownface and Bulldog hung back while the others moved closer. They began to chant something, all at once and all together, in a language Buffy did not recognize. It was in a kind of deep undervoice almost as though they were whispering it to themselves. The chanting slipped under her skin immediately, eerie fingers trailing along her spine and raising goosebumps on her arms.

Buffy felt her eyes flutter and the lids grow heavy. With a surge of anger and adrenaline, she shook it off. Xander called her name again and pushed open the door behind her. In a single motion, Buffy spun and slammed it shut, knocking him back out into the barroom, then turned to face the vampires, just as they swarmed her. Her finger tightened on the trigger of the crossbow. A bolt flew, punched through the heart of the vampire closest to her, and he exploded in a blast of hot ash. Another bolt ratcheted into place but another vampire, a thin white scar slicing through the markings on his face, lunged for her throat, his long tongue slaking out over his fangs.

Talons reached for her.

She knew she could not let them get a grip on her. He screamed in pain and staggered back, clearing Buffy enough room to aim at a third and fire again. A second later he was dusted. You guys love arrogant swagger. Buffy had one last bolt in the repeating crossbow.

She swung the weapon up just as they all attacked. This time she was not fast enough. The crossbow was batted from her hand with a blow hard enough to make her right hand numb. It clattered to the floor and Buffy heard the wood crack. One of the vampires pushed the others out of the way, greedy to get at her, and wrapped his talons around her throat, choking off her words and her air. The thing slammed her into a mirror and a rain of shattered glass cascaded across the floor.

Buffy pushed her feet against the wall for leverage and then head-butted the vampire as hard as she could. Her aim was a little off and her skull crushed his nose with a splintering of bone and a spray of blood. Giles is not going to be happy. He might even swear. Another bat-face reached for her, but Buffy was too fast.

She reached behind her and withdrew the stake from its sheath at the small of her back, then spun and punched it through his chest. Buffy swung her right fist in a blow that came up from her gut and he went down hard on the floor. After that she moved in a single fluid motion. A spinning kick to the face of her remaining attacker was followed by a thrust of the stake, and more dust blew around the room. His breath was wretched, the stench of old blood. Instantly she was up, turning, body tense and ready for more, wanting combat and, with some luck, answers. She had figured to interrogate the last one alive.

But she had not expected them to run away. The last of them, the two she had come to think of as Clownface and Bulldog, were gone, a distant rear door to the club hanging open to the night. Half a dozen wisecracks came to mind, but none made it as far as her lips. Vampires ran from her all the time, but this was different.

There was no doubt in her mind that the two escapees had not run out of cowardice, but as some form of strategic retreat. The idea disturbed her profoundly. The vampire breed was a contentious one and they rarely got along well enough to form alliances, never mind packs or families. Only the most charismatic and powerful like the Master were able to gather followers in that way. Whoever this Camazotz was, he had trained his acolytes well. With those dark thoughts in mind, she pulled open the door to the club. Xander leaned against the wall to her left, staring at the two girls on the stage closest to them.

It took him nearly ten seconds to notice Buffy standing there watching him. Just on the job. Xander balked. Closed the door in my face not once but twice. If you needed backup I thought you woulda yelled for me. Then she smirked. His eyes strayed to the stage. Barely noticed them. Just backing you up, Buffy. You will tell Anya it was you who dragged me in here, right?

None of the patrons even gave her a second glance. Xander trailed after her. One eye flickered open and she glared at it with as much hatred as she had ever felt for more corporeal demons. Just looking at the thing would not make it shut off, however, so she was forced to sit up, eyes slitted open, and click it off. But it felt like one. With a frown, Buffy looked around the room. Her roommate had not come home the night before. She was tempted to call Oz, but it was too early.

Willow would likely be up already, but you could never tell with Oz. One day he might make all of his classes and the next he might sleep until after lunch. The sky was gray, overcast, but it was almost guaranteed to burn off. It was fall, sure, but it was also Southern California. Bad weather happened, but it was rare enough that nobody believed it until it did some damage, then afterward they pretended it had never been there.

Almost exactly the same way the people of Sunnydale dealt with the supernatural. Humming a snatch of some tune the Dingoes always played at the Bronze, she got her things together and went down the hall to take a shower. Fifteen minutes later she was back in her room. Giles had promised to do research on Camazotz, and she knew he would get it done as soon as possible. But having Olivia around would complicate things.

After the chaos of last night Buffy had been tempted to go back to his apartment and check in, but the idea of interrupting their romantic evening stopped her cold. That thought was creepier than bat-faced vampires. Buffy glanced at her enemy, the alarm clock. It was a little after seven-thirty, still plenty of time before class, and the desire to call Willow and square things if they needed to be squared lingered with her. Oz answered. Sorry to call so early. Is Willow up? Sorry to bother you guys. It would sound silly if she brought up their argument, or just said she was checking in.

You okay? Want to come with? Buffy tried not to be envious that her best friend had a guy who loved her to be distracting. Gotta go, though. Got my history exam this morning. Willow meant the world to her and Buffy had no idea what she would do if there ever came a day when Willow did not feel the same. She was certainly a beautiful woman, and her British accent gave her an added allure.

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Willow felt badly for having interrupted their time together. Giles sat beside her at the dining room table as the two of them pored through a stack of arcane texts. A couple of them were even older than the most antique volumes she had previously seen in his collection, and most were in Spanish. Have you found something? I just. Are you sure you want to be doing this today? The answer, of course, is no. But I also realize that lives may be in jeopardy from these new arrivals, and a bit of research is the least I can do to help Buffy in her effort to combat them.

Oz said something under his breath. Something ironic, Willow was sure, because he was Oz, after all. When she smiled, the bruise Buffy had given her the previous morning made her wince. Now it was going on four and still no Buffy. It only made Willow more concerned. Willow leaped up from the table to get it.

Giles reached for a book he had set aside. Engrossed in the record collection, Oz and Olivia were about to put on an early Rolling Stones album, but they paused to look up. No way am I going to finish before Monday, which is when it was due in the first place. Turns out, not so much.

I mixed up a couple of royal families, so one of the big essays is written in the language of gibberish. Let us deal with the mystery for a while. Surprised by her anger, Willow took a step back. She glanced around the room and saw that everyone was staring at Buffy. Buffy began to form some sort of retort, but then her features softened. She gazed apologetically at Willow. Maybe I am wound a little tight right now, with all this. Thanks for worrying about me, but I really can handle it.

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Iwill handle it. Buffy put a hand on her shoulder. Willow saw the regret and the stress in her eyes, and wished she could do more to help. Arewe okay? As long as we go nowhere near lemons. Giles rose from the table as Buffy approached. And why should she be embarrassed,Willow thought. Buffy cast a sidelong glance at Willow.

I hate vampires with ambition. Oz left the Rolling Stones on with the volume low and wandered over. Olivia gazed at them for a moment, then rolled her eyes good-naturedly and went up the stairs into the loft. Giles gave them all a sheepish glance and shrugged. Giles stood before them, leaning only a little against the dining room table, cracked leather book in his right hand. Have we slain any of those yet? Oz smiled down at her, touched the side of her face. He opened the book in his hand and flipped to a page toward the end. The paper crackled as he turned the pages. When he held it up for them, Willow saw immediately what he meant for them to see.

A drawing in the lower left corner of the page showed a hideous creature like a giant humanoid bat, with prickly fur and pointed ears, long tapered talons and leathery, veined wings. It had a dozen smaller limbs with their own talons protruding from its chest and a thick ratlike tail with what appeared to be a sharp spike at the end. He was wed to the dark goddess Zotzilaha Chimalman, and purportedly dwelt in an ancient, tomblike cave that led to a realm of darkness and death. Translated, the name of his lair was simply the House of Bats. Then he picked up another, smaller volume that was obviously much more recent, though still quite old.

When he opened it Willow could see that the text inside had been written by hand and she knew it must be one of the journals kept by the Watchers over the ages. Willow wished she had not brought it up. Giles had been fired from the Council because they had felt his relationship with Buffy had become too emotional, that he cared too much for her to be an effective Watcher. He had been angry with them and seemed more than content to cut off all contact, but Willow suspected it was still a sore spot.

Still, she had brought it up. Well, Wesley did confiscate most of the handwritten ones I had. I was allowed to keep those that were not originals and this single volume. It was written by my grandmother, who was quite a storyteller, actually. She cataloged many of the odd vampire myths and legends she came across. I thought I remembered something about Mayans in here. If the stories she was told are true, Camazotz was the spawn of a union between a true demon, one of the first to walk the Earth, and a god.

Decidedly not a vampire, you understand, but my grandmother notes one particular theory that Camazotz was the demon responsible for thecreation of vampires. So the markings on their faces are what, his personal logo? God of bats. Tattoos the lackeys. To mark them as his. He is a formidable foe. Nothing on the lackeys? But Willow saw the change come over her. Suddenly she was all business again, doing it all on her own. Giles can brief them. Otherwise you guys should just be checking the paper, airline records, shipping manifests, trying to figure out how they got here and where they could all be staying.

Bigger than a breadbox. My guess is Camazotz will have a Sunnydale version of his House of Bats somewhere. Where would we find bats around here? Giles has sort of done his part for the moment. All done with Giles, at least until the morning. Buffy shook her head. Still, she had to try. You could save yourself a whole letter grade. Willow gazed imploringly at Buffy. Then she sighed and her expression hardened.

How can anyone? Willow stared after her best friend as she disappeared into the darkness, hoping Buffy would turn around, hoping she would see that she could not do it alone. Willow was about to call after her when Oz put a hand on her arm. Willow glanced down, trying and failing to hide her hurt. Then he slipped an arm around her and walked her to his van. Strange stories from the border patrol. Violence at airport customs in Los Angeles. Something to give us just an inkling of where they might have made their lair locally.

The new mayor has issued more lies disguised as promises, as expected of the more talented politicians. Last night was boring and pointless. So is today. She shook her head ever so slightly, an expression of frustration with the confusing world around her that was almost as common as the disparaging tone she took with most everyone. The two of them did go on a bit about the more carnal aspects of their relationship.

An infestation of new vampires led by an ancient demon-god. Lucy Hanover visits Buffy in a dream to warn her that something terrible is on the horizon just as she runs across this new group? I suggest you get serious about working with me to figure out where these new arrivals are secreting themselves, or simply take your.

That was sarcasm. Hard to tell with Giles, I know. But he needs help and was kidding about wanting us to leave. In a way, he almost felt as though it were. Both Xander and Giles looked at her with identical expressions of confusion. Anya only rolled her eyes. You never pay attention. He pushed back his chair and gathered the map up in his hands. Giles hurried to pick it up. He interrupted the second ring. I had classes and then library time. This situation with Camazotz requires our full focus.

But give me some breathing room, Giles. He wanted to defend himself, to argue that he had not shirked his duties at all while Olivia had been visiting, and in fact it had soured their visit somewhat. But he worried that, stressed as she was, Buffy might see that as an accusation. Buffy, one of the first lessons taught to any Slayer is that in order to survive you must learn to adapt, to improvise, to react to any situation fluidly and quickly. In your admirable attempt to create an orderly life for yourself, I fear you may have forgotten that. Is that wrong? In order to combat it, you immerse yourself in it.

If I give up trying to make sense out of things. Moving on, now. On the other end of the line, Buffy paused. Fashion crimes notwithstanding, not a peep from anything soulless. Did a run through Docktown. Lot of tattoos, none of them bats. It ended at Docktown, the section of Sunnydale used as a shipping port for a century.

The Kat Skratch Club was farther south and another block or two inland. Both were far from the center of town, which was usually teeming with young life, and almost always ended up the primary target of vampires in Sunny-dale. It was also much closer to the Hellmouth, which he believed drew them with almost magnetic power.

Supernatural creatures in town did not generally stray far beyond its influence. And to the west, nothing but Pacific Ocean. Somehow they managed not to attract undue attention from customs and the harbormaster, even though they all have that brand on their faces. But how do we pinpoint them exactly?

Breaking into every ship moored off Sunny-dale is gonna be risky from the getting-arrested perspective, and really time-consuming. Otherwise, I think I may have an idea for a magickal solution. Either way, you should call Willow. We need to be prepared to search for them electronically, and mystically.

For that, we need Willow. Giles wanted her to call Willow.

Or, at least, a part of her did. The other part recognized that Willow and Giles were probably right. But she feared that possibility. If that were true, a little voice whispered in the back of her mind, then the day might come when she would have to choose between her life as Buffy Summers, and her obligations as the Slayer. Making that choice would tear her apart. Instead, she knew, she would have to do her best to keep them all safe, yet another responsibility on her shoulders. But she would handle it.

She would. He picked up on the third ring. Is Willow around? Giles thought they needed Willow.

Lord of the Night

Having her around would certainly make things easier. Then she could look into it herself, in her own way. The hard way. Something going on? Then she explained to him about the computer search, the little bit of illegal hacking that Giles wanted her to do. Sitting at the keyboard was safe. Darkness had fallen by the time Buffy made it to Docktown. When she reached The Fish Tank she stood in the shadows of a crumbling apartment house a block or so away and scanned the street.

Without the engine running, the thing looked almost abandoned. Buffy knew better. He noticed her noticing him, and then hissed at something in the shadows behind him. A chill ran through Buffy as she wondered whether he communicated with a creature of real darkness, or something from his fevered imagination. She found that the latter possibility unnerved her more. Though she continued to move mostly in the shadows of buildings, Buffy picked up her pace.

Inside, in the dim light thrown from the guttering neon of The Fish Tank across the street, she could see Giles behind the wheel. Not his usual cuisine, but she figured he had to pick something up in a rush. Later, when it was over. Then she would eat. He motioned for her to come around the other side. Buffy slid into the passenger seat beside him while Giles tried to clean off his sweater.

When he looked up, he was clearly mystified. What happened to Willow? If she does her Internet magic, we may not even need the witchy stuff. Giles cleared his throat and shot her a withering glance. Another night could cost any number of lives. You guys can keep researching the burning eyes thing, right? They are following that line of research. You can be of more help with the books. Xander and Anya are probably canoodling back at your place. I stay, make with the fisticuffs.

You go, make with the cross-referencicuffs. Why are you so insistent upon excluding me? After all this time you cannot possibly be worried about my safety. For the Slayer, that means I take the responsibility of being the Chosen One, of my duties, on myself. I was Chosen, no one else. Sometimes it sucks, but I have to learn not to rely on anyone else but me. One girl in all the world, remember? You go. I stay.

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Just Slayers. At length he looked over at her again. But have you forgotten what I said about threatening the harbormaster? If he seems suspicious, then perhaps you can have a go at him. She also had to admit to herself that it would be better if he approached the harbormaster first. Not that she was happy about it. But there was little she could do except go along with him. For the moment. Buffy had argued the point again, but Giles had insisted she wait in the car.

Contrary to what she was trying to prove, Buffy could not do everything. Case in point, he was certain that the harbormaster would be much more likely to have a conversation about his work with an adult than a teenage girl. It was a small building, not more than two or three rooms, overlooking the ocean, appropriately enough.

The hours were posted on the door and it was long past official closing time, but Giles took the light on inside as a good sign. There was no bell, so he rapped lightly on the door. Just when he would have rapped again, the doorknob rattled and then the big oak door was hauled open. Giles stared at him. The man was almost a caricature of what he imagined a harbormaster ought to look like.

He tore his eyes away, though. But if I might have a moment. Gang presence, to be precise. What business is it of yours what goes on down here? He had been afraid that this would not work, but it was not as if the man would have believed him a police officer, or answered questions if he had told the truth. With nothing to lose, he pressed on. They all have a bat tattooed on their faces. He scratched his beard and puffed on his cigar. Gulls cawed overhead in the darkness. The sky was a bit overcast, with very few visible stars.

So few cars down here this time of night, though he could hear a truck rumbling nearby. Time went by. Eventually, with a frown, he glanced at his watch and pressed the button to illuminate it. He wondered if the old man had simply been pulling his leg, making a fool of him. Giles stepped away from the door and glanced up the street at his car. It was dark inside, though, and he could not see Buffy. With a sigh he went back to his post and tapped his foot as he waited. At nine twenty-two, he rapped on the door again, more loudly than the first time.

It took longer for the harbormaster to open the door this time. When he did, he wore a cruel smile. The old man spat out his cigar as he hauled Giles inside the office and tossed him across the room. The harbormaster hissed at him. Even under the scraggly gray beard, Giles could see the fangs.

She leaned over the dashboard and peered through the windshield. As Buffy studied him, he glanced at his watch. Buffy grimaced. This was complicating things even further, and she did not want that. Willow was in the passenger seat. Buffy was simultaneously annoyed and pleased with her arrival. Above and beyond the call of duty. The window was down. Buffy shushed her. Waiting for the harbormaster. The guy came to the door once, then shut it, and now Giles is just waiting. What are you guys doing here, anyway? Xander told me what was going on. We picked him up and came here.

Just in case. Figured Anya could handle the research for a little while. You guys should get back. No worries. Buffy looked at her. I could have gotten the ingredients together. I thought we could just do the spell tomorrow. There was a sort of tension in the van, but Buffy pretended not to notice and hoped Willow would just let it go. As if the conversation were over, she leaned forward slightly and looked past Willow through the windshield, to see that Giles still stood impatiently at the front door of the office.

Buffy thought about that, let it roll around in her mind a little. This part of Docktown was deserted late at night. Just a short walk would take them to The Fish Tank, where there would at least be a few people stumbling in or out of the place. But down here. Too much of nothing, in fact. Out on the sea, the bell of a buoy tolled on and on as if it were forever midnight. Buffy studied the doors and windows of the buildings around them. In several, the silver gray flickering of television sets cast eerie shadows. Most were dark, though. A horrible, queasy feeling roiled in her belly and the fine, downy hairs on her arms and the back of her neck prickled as though an electrical storm were about to sweep down upon them.

Her heart beat a little faster. Willow and Xander also seemed spooked. They were staring out from the van as though at any moment the shadows themselves might come alive. Xander shrugged. It is a bit freaky down here. He pointed past her head, out the windshield. The door crashed shut behind them. A feeling of profound dread, bone-deep, welled up within her. She heard the engine rattle to life and knew they would be following her in a moment.

But Giles might not have a moment. Her legs pumped, the soles of her shoes slapped the cracked pavement, and her face felt suddenly cold, despite the exertion. The rest of the world disappeared and the only sound Buffy could hear was her own breathing. Everything else was muffled, as though she were underwater. The place was trashed.

Paperwork was strewn about the huge oak desk in the far corner. A lamp lay broken on the floor next to a phone that was off the hook. Both had been knocked off the desk. An old framed painting of a schooner about to crash onto the shore by a lighthouse hung nearly sideways on its hook. A shelf of books had been knocked over. Two other lights still burned in the room, dim, but plenty of illumination to allow Buffy to see the horror that was unfolding before her. In a narrow doorway that led into another part of the office, Giles lay half in one room and half in the other.

His pants leg was torn and blood had begun to seep through the cloth. He tried to sit up, eyes glazed over as he shook his head, blinking rapidly. His face was already bruised and cut, blood dripping down his chin from some unknown wound inside his mouth. In his sharp-clawed fist he held Giles by the front of his shirt. When Buffy crashed through the door, the vampire looked up at her and snarled.

His appearance was startling to her. Rarely did she see vampires who lookedold. Existing vampires usually bred only with the strongest and most attractive humans, which was why most of them looked so young and vibrant. With his aid, their entry into the U. The harbormaster hissed at her, bared his fangs. His brow was ridged and hideous, his eyes alive and feral, yet not burning like the others.

Another mystery. The vampire laughed, a deep, throaty, gurgling sound. And if I free him, what then? The impact was loud, and sounded perilously fragile, as though something had broken. Buffy cringed and felt as though she might throw up. Fury kindled within her like a furnace. She gripped the stake in her right hand even more tightly. Buffy spun, put her back to the wall so that she could see both the doorway and the harbormaster.

Amidst the shattered remains of the door stood a creature whose appearance made her breath catch in her throat. Naked from the waist up, the tall, hideous thing was hunched over and a pair of skeletal wings jutted up from his back. They looked as though they had been torn apart, or ravaged by fire. On his chest was an enormous scar, and at the center of the scar an open wound that seemed partially healed, as though it might never close completely.

His hair was black and thickly matted, as was his long beard. He had a short, ugly snout with wet slits for nostrils, and his chalky, green-white skin was pockmarked all over. Upon his forehead were ridges that resembled those of a vampire. From his mouth jutted rows of teeth like icicles, and his fingers were inhumanly long and thin, white enough to have been little more than bones.

But what struck her most deeply were his eyes. Blazing orange fire, just like its vampire followers. But the creature remained impassive. For his part, where many others would have raged at the insult, Camazotz merely grunted with amusement. There was an accent there as well, but nothing Buffy recognized, much like that of the bat-faces she had fought before. Her gaze ticked toward Giles, still unconscious, and back to Camazotz. There was no percentage in lying.

He was obviously far from stupid. She hefted the stake in her right hand, turned its point toward him. Considering the job description, those are pretty pitiful wings. Curious, Buffy gazed at him again, took in the bony things that jutted up from his hunchback. Can you even fly with those? His eyes flared and sparked. I am prepared. My Kakchiquels are bred and raised by me. They do not fear you, girl, because they have neverheard of you.

They will face you without hesitation, down to the last of them, because they do not know what a Slayer is. You want me? Come and get me. Then she smiled. He shuddered, nostrils flaring, long needle teeth bared, and he rose up to his full height, about to lunge at her. Then Camazotz smiled. Buffy swore silently, her hopes dashed, her heart aching. Maybe you would. But I have walked upon this Earth since before the human virus infected it, and I have grown cautious in that time. Drink him. All trace of humor was gone from his horrid countenance. Former Library book.

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Be the first to write a review About this product. About this product Synopsis As far as Jessica Winslow is concerned, the only good vampire is a staked vampire. Ever since a vampire killed her mother when she was only five, Jessica dedicated her life to staking as many vampires as possible. So she journeys to America where a colony of chupacabras lives and, if she has her way, will soon die.

For Jessica Winslow, the only good vampire is a staked vampire. Driven by revenge, the fiery brunette takes insane risks to destroy the undead wherever she finds them. Now she pursues her most fiendish target ever--and finds herself competing with the razor-sharp street smarts of a dangerously seductive man Detective John Boehler has no problem dealing with vampires--not even the city's newest bloodsucker, a notorious serial killer John had failed to bring to justice.

He does have a problem with the attractive vampire-hunter recklessly following the murderer's trail. But when John falls prey to a power he could never have predicted, Jessica must tempt his now all-consuming hunger--and taste her own uncontrollable desire. Show More Show Less.

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Anna Todd 5 Books- After Series.