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Chapter 21

Xander glanced over at the computer and chewed his lip for a minute. Spike wanted to know about Anthony and Xander saw no reason to not tell him. “Anthony would have loved the Internet. It’s got anything you want to hear or see. Any painting, any book almost.” Xander laughed. “He would have me describe technological things they mentioned in the novels we read. He wanted to know how they worked.” He shifted and sat at Spike’s feet with his back against the wall. “Sometimes I felt like I was trying to tell a blind man about color.”

“You said he’d been captive for forty years?”

“Yeah. They barely had television back then.” Spike knew this was wrong, but let it pass.

Xander stared at the laptop until Spike was afraid that was all he’d get this time. He risked a little prompting. “From what you say he was native African and educated. Was his learning after he became a vampire?”

“No. Before. He didn’t talk about his life much, but I pieced it together over the years. Anthony grew up in the home of an English land owner. He was the Nanny’s son and almost same age as the gentleman’s twins. Almost by accident, he got the same education they did. What lessons he didn’t manage to overhear, the boys shared with him. When they were sent to university, he went with them as their manservant.”

“He was very fortunate,” Spike put in softly.

“He was. He really was. When ‘the young gentlemen,’ as he always called them, graduated, Anthony was sent back to Africa. There he served as a clerk for the land owner. When he turned twenty-five, DeAmeron showed up.”

“I’m gathering it wasn’t a snatch and turn.”

“A what?”

“You need a minion, so you find a strong looking person and turn them without a ‘hello’ or ‘how are you,’” Spike explained.

“No. Not like that. Anthony was… seduced.”

“I’ve heard DeAmeron was slick like that. Never met the man myself. Angelus didn’t like him, at all, which made me wish I could’ve.”

“I didn’t get to talk to him, but I saw him once. He was a very attractive man.” The use of the past tense was not lost on Spike. “Did you ever see the Frank Langella Dracula movie?”

“Piece of dreck.”

“Mostly, yeah, but make Langella a bit taller and a bit… less angular and you’ve got DeAmeron. From what Anthony told me, DeAmeron told him stories of places he could visit. He pointed out how little future there was for a black man in the world.” Xander crossed his arms, pausing in his story. Then he blew out a breath and said almost under his breath, “Then he slept with him.”

Spike wasn’t very surprised. “When did he tell him he was a vampire?”

Xander shrugged. “I don’t know. He said they traveled together for a year before DeAmeron sired him. I… I don’t know the circumstances. Anthony may have been joking, but he implied it was quite… romantic.”

Spike chuckled. “I’ve heard stories of humans being willingly turned. Usually it all turns out bad.”

“Apparently, they were quite happy together.” Xander fiddled absently with the stack of books, evening up their corners. “Can I ask you something, Spike?”


“Were you turned willingly? I mean, you and Drusilla were together for along long time.”

Spike expected a question about how vampires sired someone, not why. “Oh, me. Let’s say we were of very short acquaintance and she caught me while… venerable to suggestion.”

“So she chose you?”

“Well, the voices in her head did at least,” Spike chuckled. “You have to admit, I make a fine choice in any case.”

“None finer,” Xander mocked and looked away again.

Spike didn’t want him to close up. “So how did Anthony wind up a slaver’s pet?” he asked softly.

“He heard about the death of the land owner and wanted to go back and see the young gentlemen once more. DeAmeron had some kind of business to tend to so he didn’t go. Anthony figures there was someone on the ship watching for his kind. A soon as he stepped on land, he was magiked asleep. He woke up in the caverns much like I did.”

“That sucks.”

“Hell, yeah. Because he was a vampire, they threw him right into the kill, or be killed, fights. It was hard on him at first. He didn’t change much when he was turned from what I understand. Not like you.”

Spike coughed. “I’ve always been bad. I woke up evil with Drusilla smiling down at me. My demon turned me mean right off. Of course, I had a loony for a sire and a maniac for a mentor. DeAmeron was a gentleman by all accounts.”

“Nature verses nurture?”

“Probably.” Spike turned the conversation back to Anthony. “What did he do?”

“So he had to learn how to fight. Obviously, he was the best. He then set his sights on escape. After he found all the chinks in their security, they cursed him.” Xander sighed. “At least I got to go to other arenas once in a while.”

“Really? We thought it was all in one place.”

“Oh, hell no. I was taken to five other arenas. Three in caves, two in big buildings, and another in the middle of fucking nowhere. They knocked us out all the time so all I ever saw was the inside of the truck and the arenas.”

“This is the kind of information we need,” Spike smiled.

“Good.” Xander stood, went to his table and took an apple from the bowl. He bit into it angrily. “I’ve got a son of a bitch I want to kill real slow.”

“If you need any help with that, I’m your man. Well, vamp.”

Xander studied Spike, seeing the earnestness in his expression. “What’s your beef with him?”

“He takes good men and women like you and enslaves them. What more reason do I need?”

“Nothing.” Xander sat down again and stared out the window. “Anthony was a good man, even if he was a vampire, Spike. The killing and the captivity drove him a little mad, I think, but as we started to talk, he… I think he came back to himself. Like he was before.”

“Sometimes all it takes is good company,” Spike murmured.

They sat companionably as Xander finished his apple and tossed the core into the trash can in a neat arc. Spike had many questions, but let his friend continue at his own pace.

“Were you a snarky guy, Spike? The website said you were a scholar.”

“Most often the demon’s nature will have it’s way. I have known a number of vamps who remained… rather human,” Spike said without really answering. “Then again, I normally didn’t get to know folks before they were sired.”

“Have you sired many vamps, Spike?”

Spike looked away out the window. Xander braced himself for a high number. He wasn’t sure why he’d asked.  “I don’t know how many I… created while under the power of the first. They just kept coming out of the dirt in that basement.”

Xander shifted uncomfortably at being reminded of the dark time they both shared. “You never did otherwise?”

Spike shrugged. “Not that many, honestly. Drusilla always enjoyed it, so I let her make the minions. Later, when I came back to Sunnyhell, it was easier to just recruit fledges.”


“Why do you ask?”

“Sometimes they’d have Anthony sire vamps for the fighting. They never had many around at anyone time.”

“Oh. Is there any evil these people don’t get into?”

“No. I don’t want to tell Oz, but they’d stage werewolf fights like back alley dog fights.”

“Bastards,” Spike spit.

Xander continued softly. “There are more horrors in this world than Sunnydale ever hinted at, Spike.”

Spike stood up, put the stack of books on the floor and put his arm around Xander. “I’m sorry you had to see them, mate.”

“Thanks, Spike,” Xander sniffled, leaning into Spike’s support.

A knock at the door a few minutes later startled them both. “It’s Willow,” Spike muttered, not moving.

“Come in,” Xander called.

“Xander, would you like…” Willow trailed off as he opened the door and saw the two shirtless men sitting together.

“What?” Xander asked.

Spike snickered and moved back to  the end of the couch.

“I can go…”

“Will?” Xander blinked and looked over at a smirking Spike. “Oh, no! Willow we’re not… I mean…”

“Xander here was telling tales of the dark and awful times, Red. I was doing my job.”

“Oh, Sure. I’m sorry.” Willow sputtered. “I mean, there’s nothing wrong if you guys… well… I thought…”

Xander blushed. “You came to ask me something?”

“Oh! Yes! In half an hour Giles wants to tell us all something on the web cam! Would you like some breakfast first?”

“Breakfast? Hell, yes!”

“Do you still like waffles?”

“I do indeed!”

Willow smiled and left. Xander bounced to his feet and started digging for a shirt. Spike grabbed up his own shirt and found his boots.

On to Chapter 22

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