Chapter 35

“Hi,” Cordelia said, trying her best to be friendly, though she did not like the whole idea of this girl staying with them.  The apartment was very small.  There was barely enough room for Lindsey and her.

“Hi,” Lina said and smiled.  She was also uncomfortable.  She wanted to be home in her bed. “Lindsey went to try and get in touch with my grandmother.  She’s probably at work.”

“Yeah,” she said.  “So I guess you can stay in here.” She said, opening up a tiny room that had just enough space for a futon and a television.   “Faith moved the futon in there for you.   Sorry we couldn’t do better.  Lindsey thought you might like a TV. Sorry no cable.  We don’t watch TV that much.  We got plenty to read.”

“No problem.  I won’t be in your hair long,” she explained.  “Lindsey can probably take me back to my grandmother’s house, though I wouldn’t mind a day away for her to cool off.”

“Doesn’t agree with your lifestyle?”

“Probably the reason she never called back when the cops called.  Probably wanted to teach me a lesson if I spent the night in jail.  She’s done it before.  It’s doesn’t teach me anything.”

“Well, you shouldn’t do what you do then she wouldn’t have to worry about getting calls from the police.”

“You probably don’t understand what’s it’s like to live in dire poverty.”

“I do.  I could not afford to pay my rent when I first moved to LA.  I was going to parties and stealing food so I could eat.  But I never stooped down to stealing other people’s possessions.  At least the ones they weren’t giving away for free.”

“Sometimes you gotta do things—your husband did.”

Cordelia got a little mad, but she did understand.

“And look what it did to him.  You have to stay in the straight and narrow or you’ll lose everything.”
She did not get a chance to respond because Lindsey came back upstairs.

“Reach her grandmother?” Cordelia asked, anxious to get Lina out of here.

“No one was home.  No answering machine.”

“We couldn’t afford one.  You can drive over there.  She should be home soon.  Unless she’s working the over night shift.  She must be otherwise Charlie or Gennie would answer.”

“Where are they?”

“They stay at the hotel when grandma does the night shift.”

Lindsey sighed. “Why don’t you stay here?  It’s getting late.  I can drive you over tomorrow.”

“I can just walk over tonight, just a train and a bus.  Be home in an hour.  No problem.  I promise I will go straight home.”

“Lina, it isn’t safe for anyone to leave this place after dark.”

She looked at him strangely.

Cordelia sighed. She would have to deal with it.  She could not risk Lina being a victim of Angelus.  “He’s right.  Come on, get comfortable.  This isn’t a great neighborhood after dark.”

“Besides you’re in my custody,” he explained.  “Until we can contact your grandmother.”

“Where’s Faith?” Lindsey asked, when he came down the stairs. He only found Wesley in the office.  He pulled his jacket off, then his tie.  “So much for avoiding ties.  I guess I have to wear one in court,” he said and laughed. Then he realized that Wesley never went without a tie.

“She’s walking Alex to her car,” Wesley explained.  “And then we’re heading home.  How’s the little girl?”

“Not so little Wesley.  She’s only a few years younger than my own wife.”

Wesley smiled. “Do you think she may actually know someone who knows the curse or do you think she’s  playing you?”

“It doesn’t matter either way,” Lindsey explained.  “We have no options.  I’m not going to let her go back on the streets.”

“We can still just kill him.  He ran away from both Buffy and Faith.  Together they can be done with him.”

“We were given very specific instructions.  The fate of our side rests on Angel getting his soul back.  He was supposed to come back to fight evil in this world.  If that wasn’t part of it, I would have staked him myself back when I was working for Wolfram and Hart.”

“Then the curse must still exist somewhere if the powers that be know he can be re-souled,” Wesley explained.  “But I’m afraid that so far all of my research has come up with nothing.”

“I’m hoping to get something with Lina.  Jenny Calendar was Lina’s cousin.  Lina knew there was once a curse.  Someone has to know.”

“That girl could be a handful,” Wesley said.  “She is a thief.”

“I think I can handle her,” Lindsey said. “Besides the most important thing in my life is not material possession, but Cordelia.  They can steal everything except for her and I’ll still be happy.”

Lina had been sitting by the door while Lindsey had been talking.  Cordelia had gone to the bedroom leaving her alone.  She decided to go downstairs and find Lindsey.  She felt comfortable around him.  Especially that she could now truly sense his feelings.  Whatever was masking it before was gone.  She stopped at the door when she heard Lindsey talking to another man.

She still was not certain whether Lindsey was being nice to her because of what she might know about the curse.  The truth was her family did not know.  They had only been assigned to watch the vampire, but knew nothing about the curse.  Now that it was over, they wanted nothing to do with Angelus.

She thought that once Lindsey learned this, he would not want to help her anymore.

She realized that maybe it would be better if she disappeared.  He probably would not get into too much trouble if she split.

“You really don’t mind her being here?” Lindsey asked Cordelia.  They were getting ready for bed. He held her and kissed the top of her head.

“No,” she said.


“I don’t mind, honest.  It is annoying, yes.  It is an inconvenience, yes, but she’s got no where to go.  You
help people.  Helping people can sometimes be a burden.  I’m supposed to know that.”

“I’m glad you are so understanding,” he said and pulled her head close to his.  He kissed her on the lips.

“I used to not be.  I used to be mean and vicious and only thought about myself.”

“But you aren’t now, that’s the most important.”  He looked his wife over and smiled.  “Do you think she will hear us?”

Cordelia smiled back.  “Not if we close the door.”

Lina could hear them talking.  She crept into the hallway.  The bedroom door was closed shut.  It would be better they would not hear.  She crept to the door and opened it.  It creaked a little.  Lina froze but when Lindsey and Cordelia did not stop talking, she squeezed her small body through the open door, then shut it behind her.  She walked down the stairs, then into to Alex’s office.  All the lights were off except for a few overheads.  Everyone had gone for the day.  Lina turned on a light in by Cordelia’s desk and wrote a short note apologizing for what she had done.  She tried to convince herself that it would be better this way.

Once the note was written, she turned off the light and walked out the door.

“Any luck?” Angelus asked Lee.

Lee typed as his laptop.  “No bites.  Not from any place the gem has been.  I’ve been looking for thieves in each area that a female and blond.”

“So what does this mean?”

“It means that no one wants to sell it.  Someone took it for their private collection.”

“So what now?” Penn asked.

Angelus looked frustrated.  “We need to figure out who would want it and why.  Lee, I need that gem.  I won’t be too happy until I get it.  It has to be some where.  It couldn’t have just disappeared into thin air.”

“The slayer is the only one I can think of  who would want to stop what you were doing,” Alonna commented.

“Alonna,” Angelus said, annoyed.  “Lindsey never knew what I was doing.”

Alonna got annoyed.  “We need the gem and it just so happens that it is gone.  Seems kind of strange.  Especially since it is powerless without the book.  At the money we were offering, there should have been some bites.”

“Alonna,” Angelus said, getting a little enraged.  “Faith and Lindsey never knew what we were up too.”

“This happens all the time in this business.  Private collectors, sellers, trade a fake for an original and no one every knows because it’s under glass and alarms.”

Alonna did not reply.

“It’s okay, dear,” Drusilla said and touched Alonna’s shoulder.  “They all think you’re newness makes you ignorant.”

“I’m not much newer than Lee,” Alonna said, annoyed.

“That’s the way it is, babe, guy vamps always develop faster,” Lee said.

"And die faster,” Alonna retorted and smiled.  Lee stood up, pissed.

“Down boy,” Angelus said and shoved Lee back into his seat.

Lee ignored her.  “Now I got to check out the private collectors.  Let’s see if anyone’s got it who just happens to be female and blond.”

Lina’s door was closed when Lindsey got up, but since she was a teenage girl and had the house’s only TV in her room, he understood that she was still sleeping. If he were a teenager, he would be asleep at 7am.  Luckily it was Saturday and she could sleep in.  He figured he would give her to 10, then they could try and find his grandmother.

Lindsey showered and got dressed, then headed downstairs.  It was 8:30.  Alex came in around 9:30, Cordelia was supposed to be at her desk at 10, but despite that she only lived 20 feet away, she still showed up late.  Saturday usually had the most clients.  They closed the office Sunday.  Lindsey chuckled when he remembered that he had to get up at 6:45 every morning including Sundays.
Faith and Wesley usually showed up around 10, Doyle showed up whenever he pleased and Gunn whenever they needed him.

All was quiet now, but Lindsey thought of it as the calm before the storm.  Angelus was probably trying to find the gem.  If they could only know what he was up to.  Lindsey was trying to figure out what Dark Dead meant.  Who was Angel trying to bring back?  Something horrible like Acatha?  No the statue had been hidden, perhaps even destroyed, Giles wouldn’t tell.  No one knew where it was.  Did Angelus want to bring someone back from the dead?  Perhaps Wesley was right.  Was Angelus looking for Darla?

He tried not to think about what Angelus was up to.  Lindsey felt he failed.  He did not know what he did to tip Angelus off.  It must have been when he warned Faith about the teenagers.  Angelus had been suspicious ever since the incident that it was an inside job or perhaps Drusilla had picked up on something.

Lindsey put on a fresh pot of coffee and waited for the others to arrive.  Usually Cordelia made it around ten, but he thought it would be nice if he surprised everyone. He sat at Cordelia’s desk, but did not look down to the papers that were littered there.  He knew they were all trying to be nice to him.  His friends, even his own wife all complimented him on his achievements.  But he still felt like he failed.  He wondered if Faith was right.  Maybe they could kill Angelus and try to take Angel’s place.  He looked down.  There was a tightness in his chest.  He had concentrated solely on Angelus the past year and he barely thought of the people he had hurt to keep his cover.  He remembered what the ADA had told Lina about all the harm he had done.  He had not thought about what he had done before Faith entered his life.  All the pain he caused.  In this moment all that guilt and pain decided to hit him.

He was interrupted by a hand on his shoulder.

“Hey,” said Cordelia’s voice by his ear.  He turned around and looked over her beautiful face.  He did not deserve her.  He rested his head on her chest.  Cordelia crouched down to be closer to him.

“It’s all right,” she said holding him as he silently wept.  “It’s over.  You are going to be all right.  I’m here—We are all here for you Lindsey.  You don’t have to be alone anymore.”

“Please don’t leave me,” he said, touching her hand.  “I’m sorry for what I’ve done.”

By the time Alex had come at 9:30, Lindsey had not only recovered but felt like an weight was removed from his shoulders.  He had dealt with the bad things he had done and now they just throbbed in the back of his head.  Now each day he would be feeling just a little bit better.

“Good morning, Lindsey,” she said and was glad to see Lindsey smiling.  Alex had a box of doughnuts in her hands.  She always brought a box for the office.

“Good morning Alex.  I’ve finished the Dobler report for you.  It’s on your desk.”

Alex smiled. “Thanks, but I didn’t need it until tomorrow.”

“Had to do something to get my mind off the massive rush at my door.  Let’s see so far this week I’ve had to defend umm—Lina.”

“It just takes time to establish yourself.”

“I’m pretty sure I’ve been blacklisted.  Holland said he would do it and he did.  And everyone seems to think I’m still on Wolfram and Hart’s payroll. I wonder if I can get welfare.”

“Lindsey,” she said.  “There are people out there that will need your help. They’ll come eventually, but in the meantime you’ve been helping me.”

Lindsey smiled in response.

“How is Lina, by the way?”

“Scared.  I’m worried the guys who killed that man may go after her.”

“Do you think she’ll be safe?”

“I don’t know.”

“I didn’t want to tell you this,” she said and opened her newspaper to page five.  The headline read JOEL DAVISON SLAIN IN POSSIBLE MAFIA CONTRACT, EYE WITNESS REFUSES TO TESTIFY.  Lindsey scanned the article and saw that it mentioned that she had been released into the custody of her lawyer – Lindsey McDonald.

“For Christ’s sakes,” he said, getting mad.

“I don’t think Christ had anything to do with it.  At least they didn’t print her name.”

“Because she’s a minor,” he sighed in frustration.  “I better go wake her up and tell her about this.  Keep my clients busy until I return.”

Alex smiled.  She was glad Lindsey was developing a sense of humor.  She watched him as she went up the stairs.  She went over to get herself a cup of coffee.  She hoped Wesley would be coming in soon.  She smiled.  She had always been a loner and always fought to get everything she wanted.  But she was glad for all of them.  For the first time she liked working on a team.

Lindsey came through the door of the apartment. She was surprised to see him so soon.  She also did not like the look on his face.  She walked towards him.

“What’s wrong?”

“Lina’s not in the room or anywhere else in the apartment.  I’m going to check downstairs.”

Alex nodded.  Lindsey headed down the stairs.  She could hear him call out “Lina!”  A few moments later he came back up.

“She’s gone,” he said, deadpan.

“She might have just gone home,” Alex said.

“I tried to call her grandmother.  No one was home.  She was scared, Alex.  I think she ran off. Oh god, she probably left at night.  Angelus could have gotten--”

“We can’t think this way.  Lina is very resourceful,” Alex sighed.  “Listen, I got contacts.  We’ll find her.”

“Before we search the city, I’ll go and see if I can find her grandmother.  She might have just gone home.”

“I can’t imagine what would make her leave.”

“I plan to find out.  Tell Faith what happened.  I’ll contact you as soon as possible when I get in touch with her grandmother.”

Alex nodded.  She watched Lindsey disappear out the door.

Lindsey stepped out into the bright Los Angeles sunshine.  He did not know Lina that well and if she was not at her grandmothers, he would not know where to look.

The garage where he kept his car was around the corner.  As he walked to it, he tried to think where a 15 year old girl would go.

A moment later he felt something tight around his neck.  He realized it was an arm.  The arm pulled him into a doorway.

“You won’t get away from me so easily, Lindsey,” said Angelus’ voice. But then he realized that it was daylight and this could not be Angelus.

“What?” Lindsey said.  Fear engulfed his body.  He started shaking. Why was this scaring him?  He had never been scared of anything Angelus had done to him.

“I said, where’s the girl, Lina Kadash.  They said you took custody of her.”

“Why do you want to know?”

The arm got tighter, Lindsey’s fear grew.  He saw that it was a demon arm holding him.

“I just do.  Tell me or I’ll squeeze the life out of you.”

Lindsey remembered the move Faith showed him the other day.  He jammed his elbows into the demon’s stomach.  It was enough for him to free his grip. Lindsey started running, but he wasn’t fast enough.  He screamed out as the demon caught him again.  The demon slammed him against the doorway.

“That was very stupid,” he said, pulling him close.  His breath smelled like raw onions. “Now where is the girl Lina?”

“You know what’s stupid,” said a female voice.  Lindsey looked up.  Faith and Wesley were standing in front of the doorway.  “That you would even lay a single fing—“ then she noticed the demon did not have fingers, but some kind of webbed gils.  “Lay a single whatever the hell you have on the best friend of a slayer.”

“Slayer!” the demon said and tossed Lindsey aside.  Faith went to fight the demon while Wesley went to aide Lindsey.  She had the demon on the ground in mere seconds.

“What do you want Lina for?” she demanded.  The demon’s response was to kick Faith.  Faith knocked the demon down again.  She slammed his head against the sidewalk.

“Lina? Why?”

The demon shoved her off and into a wall.  As he moved into for the kill, Faith hit him hard on the head.  The demon screamed and hit the floor.  A moment later he was dead.

“Idiot,” Faith commented, then noticed that Lindsey was barely able to stand up.  She rushed over to her friend.

“Lindsey,” she said, Wesley was holding him up. He had his eyes closed and was touching his neck.  He took a deep breath.

“Let go,” he whispered.  “Let go—“

“Lindsey—Lindsey open your eyes,” Faith said.  “You’re with me, safe. You’re here on the ground.”

Lindsey opened his eyes.  He smiled when he saw Faith.

“Okay?” she said.  “Take a deep breath.”

He took a deep breath and nodded.

“That guy give you any clue why he wanted Lina so bad?”

Lindsey shook his head.  “Lina-- she ran off.  She definitely must have seen something.”

“I know, we gotta find her.”

“I was going to go to her grandmothers.”

“I’ll come with.”

No one was home at Lina’s apartment, a rancid two bedroom near where Gunn lived.  The neighbor next door told them that what hotel Lina’s grandmother worked at.  Faith and Lindsey rushed to the other side of town where Lina’s grandmother worked in a hotel far nicer than the place she lived in.
Lindsey and Faith finally found her after the manager told them she was on the second floor.

“Ms. Kadash?” said Lindsey.  Lina’s grandmother was actually quite young to have three grandchildren.  She looked like she was in her early sixties.


“Hello, my name is Lindsey McDonalds and this is Faith – um Price.  I’m your granddaughter’s attorney.  We’ve been trying to track you down.”

She made a funny face.  “I’m Elena Kadash. I thought she should stay in jail for a while.  She’s a good girl, but sometimes needs to be taught a lesson.  She buys into the whole gypsy stereotype—wait a minute, you are Lindsey.  The man who wants the curse.”

Lindsey nodded.  He would have laughed if things weren’t so bleak.  Lina had lectured him constantly that she was not a stereotype.

“Is that why you are helping my granddaughter?”

He shook his head.  “I’d help anyone in trouble.”  Faith nodded in agreement.

“And you, you fight the vampires.” She said.  Faith nodded.

“So why do you want to give that thing back his soul.”

“Because it’s destiny that he is supposed to have it,” she explained.

“He murdered my cousin and my uncle.  You should just kill it.”

“We can’t,” Lindsey explained.  “The fate of the world hangs on Angel being restored.”

“I am not interested in the fate and destiny.  I told Lina.  The curse—the transleration annals is lost.  I cannot help you.”

“That’s okay,” Lindsey said.  “We are more concerned about finding Lina.  She’s in trouble.  I think she witnessed a murder.”

Elena looked troubled.

“Do you know anywhere she would go?” Faith asked. “She wrote a note, but didn’t tell us where she was going.”

Elena shrugged her shoulders.  “I could give you the names and addresses of her friends.”  She touched Lindsey’s arm.  “Please try and find her.”

Chapter 36


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