DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all its characters are property of NBC and Dick Wolf. BtVS/Angel is the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy, original characters belong to the author.
FANDOMS: Law & Order: SVU / Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
PAIRING: Olivia/Faith.

A Matter of Faith
By Acathla

Chapter Eight

The SVU squad was comin up empty on every lead they tried to follow regarding the Walker case. And to add insult to injury, two more deaths had taken place in the last five days. Both with the same MO as the Walker case. Same method of death by strangulation and blunt force trauma, same evidence of sexual trauma, same puncture marks on the same thigh in the exact same spot. Cragen had pulled Munch and Fin onto the case to assist Elliot and Olivia. Once Munch saw the puncture marks there was no shutting him up about vampires and their habits. It was Munch who pointed out the possible significance of the three murders happening at night.

The four detectives and Cragen were in the squadroom looking at the white board which held the visual evidence they'd gathered so far. Elliot was the first to speak after a long silence.

"Jennifer Walker, 25, blonde hair, brown eyes, student at Hudson University studying 17th Century Literature. She was the first victim. Then there's Lacie Jones, 23, red hair, blue eyes, worked at a coffee shop near the University while working on her BA in Education. She was the second victim. And finally there's Marcia Swindler, 19, brown hair, green eyes, freshman at Hudson undeclared major. She's the third victim and hopefully the last if we can catch this guy before he strikes again. Besides being all females under 30, the only other common thread was the school."

"Yeah but these girls didn't even know each other." Fin chimed in.

"Yeah but Hudson's a big campus, it's not that unusual that they didn't know each other." Olivia reasoned.

"Ok, but am I the only one seeing the unlikeliness that these girls were chosen at random?" Munch asked.

"What do you mean John?" Cragen asked.

"I mean, maybe the perp knew them all. Maybe he stalked them and if he did that means—"

"That there's something else that they have in common. Something we're not seeing." Elliot finished, catching on to what Munch was saying.

"Bingo." Munch agreed.

"So what's the connection?"

No one could say for sure. So they all sat there staring at the evidence.

In Casey Novak's office…

Casey sat behind her desk and tried to process what her cousin Faith was telling her.

Faith sat in the chair across from Casey's desk, hoping she'd made the right decision. After some serious thinking, and a conversation with Willow and Giles, Faith had decided to tell Casey about her calling. Her father knew and Faith felt that Casey should know so that she wouldn't have to lie to her about what she did at night. Lies were not something to base a friendship on and Faith wanted her and Casey to be friends and the only right way to do that was to be honest.

Faith had decided the best place to tell Casey the truth would be her office, a place where Casey was comfortable and felt safe. So Faith had made an appointment to have an hour of her cousin's time just to make sure they had the time to talk.

"So…what you're telling me is that vampires are real?"


"And you are… what was the word you used?"

"A slayer."

"A slayer…what exactly does that mean?" Casey asked still confused and trying to get it clear.

"A slayer is a chosen one destined to fight and kill vampires, demons and other supernatural bad guys. Everything you didn't think was real, is real."

"Everything? Really?"

"Yup, vampires, demons, werewolves, witches, seers, magick, it's all real."

"Wow… um… I'm gonna need some time to process all this."

"Take all the time you need, I am just glad you're not calling a psych hospital to take me in, ya know?"

"Faith, I don't think you're crazy. This isn't something I'd advertise but, I grew up listening to my mom talk about your mom to my dad and she would sometimes use words like Watcher's Council and slayers. She never knew I was listening and at the time I didn't know what she meant but…I guess I do now huh?"

"Your mom knew about watchers and slayers?"

"Yeah, I heard her say once that she almost became a watcher but that she failed the test."

"Test? Interesting, so…you gonna be ok with all this?"

Casey thought about it, then said, "yeah, I am. Don't worry Faith you're secret's safe with me. Besides, I think I might be able to use your help with something."

"Really? Help with what?" Faith asked a little warily. She didn't know how she could possibly help Casey but she was willing to try.

"This case that my SVU detectives are working on right now."

"Why do you think I can help?"

Faith sat back in her chair as she listened to Casey tell her how she thought Faith could help with the investigation.

Meanwhile back at the 16th

The detectives were staring at the board trying to figure out the connection when Warner walked in waving a folder. The look on the medical examiner's face was a perfect example of smug confusion. As she reached the group of SVU detectives she noticed the air of frustrated confusion around them and smiled. She smiled because the information she had, while very confusing might also provide a new lead to find the 'Co-ed Killer' as he was being dubbed in the media. Cragen was the first to notice the doc.

"Hey Doc, what brings you down here?"

Melinda Warner held up the folder in her hand and said, "I got some information you all might be interested in hearing."

"What you got?" Fin asked, curious but a little wary as well. Seemed every potential lead they got led to a dead end.

"After I finished the autopsy on Marcia Swindler I noticed something different. Your killer is getting sloppy."

"How so?"

"There was saliva all over the puncture wound on the thigh. So I took a sample and ran it through the system…and I got a hit."

"A hit? To what?" Olivia asked, puzzled.

Warner hesitated a bit, this was where it got weird. "On that note there's good, bad and weird news. Which do you all want first?"

"We could all use a little good news here so let's start with that." Cragen answered, too weary to even be impatient anymore, besides there was very little he could ever deny Ms Warner. He was lucky that he'd managed to keep his crush under wraps. Long decades as a cop had taught him to hide his emotions but still… they were always there.

Melinda smiled a little at Cragen, then addressed the other four detectives. "Well the good news is that the saliva was a match to DNA left in an old case."

"Which case?" Elliot asked.

"Um…the Woodson case." Melinda stated quietly, cuz she knew that the weird news was coming next.

It took the detectives a few minutes to remember the case Warner was referring to, it was Elliot who remembered first. The Woodson case had really affected him. "Woodson…Natalie Woodson, 25 year old student at Hudson University right? She was found raped and murdered her throat was slashed."

"Yup, that's the case."

"But that doesn't track, Natalie Woodson was raped and her throat was slashed, there was no other evidence of trauma. No bruises, no puncture wounds, nothing that matches this current case."

"Plus we caught Natalie's killer, David Morgan, and he's still in Sing Sing serving a life sentence." Elliot added, remembering the details of the case.

Munch spoke up, "So how did his saliva make it onto this victim?"

"It didn't." Melinda said.

"What?" Somehow all five of them managed to speak at once the one word on all their minds…it was like being questioned in surround sound.

"Doc I think you'd better explain."

"I said the saliva matched DNA from the Woodson case but I never said it was Morgan's DNA. The DNA belonged to the victim in that case. Natalie Woodson."

Silence followed for a few minutes as they all tried to process this new information. "Now, was that the weird news?" Elliot asked, a little skeptical.

"No, that was the bad news…though maybe bad is the wrong word but anyway the weird news is what I managed to uncover about the body of Natalie Woodson."

"I'm afraid to ask." Fin said, half sarcastic half serious. He knew it wasn't gonna be anything good or normal.

"According to my predecessor, the family insisted on no autopsy and got a court to release the body for burial within 24 hours of discovery of the body. So I looked up the family and the only remaining member is Robert Woodson, the brother. I figured it might be worth it to talk to him so I wrote down his address." Warner handed a card with the name, address and phone number of Robert Woodson to Cragen. He looked it over and made a decision.

"Well any lead is worth following I guess, so Elliot and Olivia go talk to Mr Woodson. Munch and Fin take a ride up to Sing Sing and talk to David Morgan see if you can get him to talk about his crime."

"We're on it Cap! Let's go guys." Elliot took charge and soon the four SVU detectives were out the door headed off to track down their leads.

Chapter Nine

Apartment of Robert Woodson

"I'm not sure how I can help you Detectives I mean, I was only a kid back then." Robert Woodson stated as he led the detectives into his living room and they all sat down. "My sister was murdered ten years ago, her killer was caught and sent to jail, why are you asking about it now?"

Olivia spoke first, "Mr. Woodson, I realize it may be painful to talk about Natalie after so long but we need to know if there's anything you remember that was… out of the ordinary after Natalie was killed."

"Like what?" Robert asked, a small almost undetectable tic twitching in his right eyelid.

"You know, it could be anything. Something that at the time wasn't worth mentioning. Just, anything you could help us out with would be helpful." Elliot explained, trying to put Robert at ease.

Olivia had noticed the tic but decided not to mention it, until it was necessary anyway.

Robert was silent for a while, thinking back over the years to that dark time after his sister was found raped and murdered. He'd been only fifteen back then but he was smart enough to know what was going on and his parents hadn't tried to really shield him from it all. Robert's eyes became unfocused as he retreated into his memories, his voice was strangely flat as he spoke, "My sister was a smart, beautiful young woman detectives. She had her whole life ahead of her. She wanted to be a doctor, to help people and then that bastard she was dating went and killed her. Not a day goes by that I don't think about what happened to Natalie, that I don't wonder what her final moments must've been like as she lay there dying. The day David Morgan was found guilty of killing her, I was sitting in the courtroom and I stared into his eyes and the…emptiness I found there disturbed me." Robert Woodson brought himself back to the present with a slight shake of his head and smiled briefly, "That look in his eyes haunts me to this day."

"Why's that?" Elliot asked, curious.

"Because it looked like he had given up, almost as if he had stopped tryin to convince everyone that he was innocent and just accepted that he was guilty."

"Mr. Woodson, after Natalie was buried did you ever visit her?" Olivia asked quietly.

"Yes I did, once maybe twice a week. Natalie and I were close despite the age difference. I loved my sister and her death hit me pretty hard. I ended up in therapy for a year to cope with losing her."

The detectives nodded in understanding. When it seemed as though they might not get anymore out of Mr Woodson, they rose to leave.

"Well, thank you for your time Mr Woodson. We'll be in touch."

"Wait, you never answered my question, why are you asking about Natalie after all these years?"

Benson and Stabler exchanged a look and decided there was no harm in telling the truth. "Mr. Woodson, as strange as this is going to sound, your sister's DNA was found on the body of a current murder victim."

"What? How is that even possible? She's been dead for ten years!"

"We know that, what we don't know is how it ended up there but the DNA test was unmistakable. Right now, we're following any lead we can get to find the killer. I'm sorry for opening old wounds. Good day Mr. Woodson." Elliot said as he and Olivia made it to the door. Just before they were through the door and onto the stoop, Robert spoke again.

"There is one more thing detectives, a couple of days after Natalie was buried I went to her grave to visit her and the dirt was displaced, like someone had tried to dig her up but stopped before they got too far. I didn't think it was anything major because the hole wasn't too deep so I replaced the dirt and patted it down and left. I never told anyone about that, not even my parents because it didn't seem worth mentioning, somehow it does now. I don't know if that helps you out or not but I had to tell you."

"Ok, thank you Mr. Woodson." With that the two detectives left and Mr. Woodson closed and locked his door.

Meanwhile at Sing Sing…

"How many times I gotta tell you stupid cops, I did not kill Natalie! I loved her and I had asked her to marry me the day she was killed, in the morning and she said yes. Why would I kill her?"

"You were already convicted of raping and killing her, we're not here about that."

"No? Then why are you here?" David Morgan asked Detectives Munch and Fin as they sat across from each other in the interview room. David had spent the last ten years in prison for a crime he didn't commit and he still had at least fifteen more years before he could hope for parole, he had nothing left to hold on to but the memory of Natalie and her love.

"You were out on bail when Natalie was buried, you ever go to visit her grave before you got sent in?" Fin asked.

"Yeah, once. A few days after the funeral, I wanted to be sure that her family wasn't gonna be around. Didn't wanna cause them any pain by seeing me there, why?"

"Did you notice anything strange or off about Natalie's grave?" Munch asked, working on his own theory.

"Like what?"

"Like, maybe a disturbance around the grave? A hole or maybe the dirt was moved?" Much asked as casually as he could. Fin just kept his mouth shut as he allowed Munch to take the lead, not knowing where he was going with this question but trusting his partner to at least have a point.

David Morgan thought back to that day he went to the grave, "now that you mention it, yeah there was a hole. Not very deep but it didn't seem important…but there was one thing that seemed really strange to me."

"What's that?"

"On the stone, just above Natalie's name was a handprint. It was made in dirt and smudged, looked like someone had gripped the stone, like for support as they stood up or something. I didn't think it was right so I wiped it off then left."

"What time were you at the grave?"

"Early, like maybe 6:30 in the morning."

"Why'd you visit her grave?"

"To say goodbye. Look, I didn't kill Natalie. I loved her and she loved me."

"Your DNA was found in the rape kit the lab did. You had no alibi and a witness placed the two of you together just hours before her body was found. You were the last one to see her alive."

"I didn't kill Natalie! My DNA was on her because we'd just finished celebrating our engagement. We'd spent the whole day in my apartment making love. We went out for dinner around 9pm and when we left the restaurant I told her to wait on the sidewalk while I went to get the car. By the time I got back to the restaurant to pick her up she was gone."

"Why'd you make her wait? Why not just walk together to the car?"

"Natalie was tired, it was late and she was practically asleep on her feet. I didn't have the heart to make her walk three blocks to the car when I could just go get it and bring it to her. Besides, she told me to go get the car, that she wasn't going to be able to walk back to it. I know I shouldn't have left her alone like that but I thought she'd be okay in front of the restaurant. It only took me five minutes to get the car and get back there."

"Five minutes? Are you sure about that?"

"Positive, I checked my watch as I was running towards the car and when I got back and couldn't find Natalie I checked it again, only five minutes had passed." David Morgan noticed the disbelieving looks the detectives exchanged. "Hey, I did not kill Natalie! And I am done talking to you two." David walked over to the bars and called for the C.O to take him back to his cell.

After David Morgan was gone Munch and Fin walked out to their car and drove back to Manhattan. They were eager to share the conversation with the others and see what came of it. The ride back was silent despite Fin's curiosity over the way Munch asked about the grave. He knew his partner would reveal his motives as soon as they were all together, John Munch hated having to repeat himself.

Chapter Ten

Faith sat in her cousin Casey's living room waiting for Casey to finish changing. After explaining to Faith how she thought Faith could help her and the cops out, Casey had suggested they go to her house to review the files. Mainly because if her bosses walked into her office and caught her showing Faith the case files, she'd be in way too much trouble. Faith had agreed and now here they were. They'd gotten to Casey's apartment and Casey had told Faith to wait in the living room while she changed into some sweats. Casey walked out of her bedroom and into the kitchen to get two beers. Then she walked into the living room, all the while talking to Faith.

"Hey Faith, you're old enough to drink right? Is beer alright?"

"Yes to both questions C."

"Good, cuz beer's all I got, here ya go." Casey handed Faith a beer as she came into the living room holding the files she wanted Faith to look at. Casey waited until Faith took a drink before handing over the files. "These are the files on the three murders we've had so far."

"Is this everything?"

"Yeah, I get all the information so that I can know the case for when it's time to deal with a suspect. It's all in there, even the ME's reports."

"Cool, not sure if anything's gonna make sense here to me but I'll give it a try." Faith turned to the files and spread them on the coffee table, reading each file from beginning to end, occasionally stopping to ask Casey for clarification on the legal terms and other things.

After three hours, Faith felt she had a handle on the legal side of things. She turned her complete attention to the ME's reports and that's where she saw something she didn't think she'd ever see again. Full color photographs of the three dead girls and everything that had happened to them. The bruises, the cuts, and the bite marks. The bite marks were what got Faith's attention. They were perfect examples of vampire bites. Faith knew without a doubt that these girls were killed by a vampire. What she didn't get was why they weren't turned.

Casey noticed Faith studying the photos of the bite marks more closely than the others, she knew they were important to her. "Faith, what is it?"

"These marks on the thighs…"

"What about them?"

"They're bite marks, from a vampire Casey." Faith looked up into Casey's eyes and saw the doubt there. "Casey, I know bite marks, I've seen more than my share and these are definitely from a vampire. What I don't understand is why the vampire didn't turn them."

"Turn them? What's that mean?"

"It means to make them into vampires. Some vampires kill just to feed and some kill to make more of their kind. Usually to make a companion."

"A companion?"

"Yeah, you know, someone to share eternity with, to either end the loneliness or share in the slaughter of innocents."

Casey visibly paled at the mention of slaughtering innocents.

"You sure you wanna hear this?"

"Yeah, just…never mind. I need another beer, you want one?"

"Sure." Faith watched Casey leave the room and decided that she didn't need to know the gory specifics. This wasn't her world but it had touched Casey's life by dropping three dead girls in her lap and Faith was determined to find and dust the vampire.

Casey took a moment in the kitchen to regain her composure before going back into the living room. She had a feeling that Faith might try to 'protect' her from…darker aspects of her slaying. Casey wasn't entirely sure she wanted to be protected from it.

When Casey returned to the living room Faith decided to change the subject and suggested dinner. Casey agreed and they ordered a pizza and then settled in to watch some movies. They were halfway through The New Guy when the pizza arrived. When the pizza was done, Faith noticed it was getting dark out and realized she needed to be out there…patrolling and hunting for this vampire who'd invaded her cousin's life.

Faith made her excuses and left as soon as the movie was over. She walked the streets, using her slayer senses to seek out any undead activity. She walked up one street and down another searching for any hint of her prey but found nothing for the first two hours. It wasn't until Faith reached East 34th and 10th that her slayer senses began to tingle. She walked the length of 10th Ave between E 34th and E 35th and halfway down, she spotted it. It was a door like any other door, simple and painted black to match the building's exterior. Anyone else would have walked right past it without a second thought it was so plain. But Faith was a Slayer and her slayer senses were telling her there was a vampire behind that door. Faith looked around and noticed a small sign next to the door so she stepped closer to read it. The sign stated that the door led to a place called, AB Negative. Faith smiled, thinking it was a cute name for what she suspected was a vampire wannabe club. Faith would have written the whole place off if she hadn't sensed a real vampire behind the door. Faith knew that with her pale skin and tight leather clothes she could pass for a vamp wannabe if she wanted to, so she knocked on the door and took a deep breath. The door was opened by a tall, pale white guy with even paler grey eyes that Faith noticed were the result of contact lenses. He was human. He wore all black clothes and had blood red lips that when he smiled revealed small, neat fangs that Faith automatically knew were fakes. He so didn't scare her, but he wanted to because he didn't recognize her as a regular.

"May I help you?" The guy asked, his voice polite but cold.

"Yeah you can let me in." Faith answered in a voice that matched his in coldness but not politeness, Faith never was the polite type.

The guy just smiled. He looked her over and decided she was probably an innocent looking for a walk on the wild side. She seemed harmless so he stepped aside and let her in. The girl walked past him and looked around the room as if hunting. He recognized the look on her face, this one was a hunter. She would be prey for no one and he found he liked that about her.

"Who are you?" The guy asked, curious.

Faith turned to look at the guy and had to fight not to laugh. For all the effort he made to appear sinister and aloof, this guy was just like any other guy in the world, always looking to score. Faith was used to using guys like him and them tossing them away. But tonight she wasn't in the mood. "Who I am isn't important. So don't ask again. Goodbye." With that, Faith walked further into the club and soon lost the guy. She had better things to do than waste time with a human guy on the make. She had sensed a real vampire here among the fakes and she needed to find him…or her.

Faith was walking through the club, she'd gone to the bar but soon realized all they served was Bloody Mary's minus the blood. It was all fake. An illusion that these fake wannabes clung to in order to keep pretending they were 'children of the night'. Faith found it funny and sad at the same time. She was making her way towards the back when her senses picked up the vampire again. Faith never lost the look of a hunter on her face as she scanned the crowd and when she found the vampire she almost smiled.

The vampire, a female, was sitting at a table surrounded by what could only be called followers. They had looks of worship on their faces as they stared at her. Each person at the table had a drink in front of them, red liquid in the glasses. To a casual observer it looked like they were five vampires enjoying a round of blood but Faith knew better. She scanned the crowd around the table with her eyes and saw they were fairly secluded. She walked up to the table and stood in front of the obvious leader, the real vampire. She got the feeling the others didn't know they had a real vamp in their midst. Faith and the vampire locked eyes and Faith deliberately sent a silent message for the vampire to speak in private. The vampire caught on quick and sent the others away. Reluctantly, they left and Faith was alone with the vampire.

"You're not from around here are you?" The vampire asked, calm and relaxed. She had nothing to fear. And she was intrigued by this obvious newcomer.

"Not really, just got to town a few days ago. Can I ask you a question?"


"Why do you socialize with mortals? You could drain the blood of everyone in this room yet you choose to, what, hang out with them? Why?"

The vampire just smiled, "Not all humans are worth killing and not all vampires are mindless killing machines. Now can I ask you something?"

"Fair is fair I suppose."

"How'd you know that I was the real deal? There must be more than one human in here who could pass for the real deal. How'd you single me out?"

"Every other person in this room reeks with the fragility of a human. You don't, you possess the inherent confidence and strength that only exists in vampires."

"If it only exists in vampires, how come I sense it in you? I know you're not human, well not entirely."

"Dunno, maybe you're projecting? Or maybe," Faith leaned down close to the vamp's face and whispered, "I'm the slayer." The smile on Faith's face was a deliberate attempt to undercut her confession. Faith wanted to test this vamp's intelligence. To see if she could tell the truth from a bluff.

The vamp looked into the girl's eyes and saw the truth in them. This girl was the slayer. She knew she should probably be afraid, certain that most vamps when faced with a slayer either peed their pants or fought until they got dusted. She had no intention of doing either. She was not afraid of the slayer, she hadn't chosen to become a vampire and if the slayer was what it took to end her torment then so be it but she wouldn't go down without telling someone the truth, someone who mattered. Someone who could probably help her and until she found that someone then she'd keep 'living'.

"So you're the slayer? Interesting, what brings you here to New York?"

"Change of scenery. Since you're the first vampire I've met who wasn't interesting in trying to kill me you think we could talk seriously for a bit?"

"What makes you think I'm not interested in killing you?" The vamp asked with a smile, the girl was right she had no interest in killing the slayer, or trying to, but she was curious how the slayer knew this.

"If you were, we'd be fighting by now. The fact that you didn't even flinch when I told you I was the slayer tells me you have another plan, and killing me isn't a part of it. Before you start the usual vamp hype talk, let me assure you that I am not a rookie here. I'm sure you've heard of the battle in Sunnydale, California yes?"

"Yeah what about it?"

"I was there…I was on the team that scrunched the First Evil and I walked away with only a few scratches. You think about that then decide if you wanna help me or if you wanna fit into an ashtray." Faith stood there as the vamp thought about it. The battle in Sunnydale was a legend among the underworld. Every evil thing in the world had 'felt' the outcome and when confirmation came through the usual whispered rumors, the slayers involved became even more frightening. Faith had found that out in LA when she'd gone out on patrol shortly after the letter from her father arrived and one of the vamps had told her about it before she dusted him. Faith noticed that the vamp's eyes gave her thoughts away as she thought it over.

Finally the vamp came to a decision. "Ok slayer, I'll cooperate. What do you wanna know?"

"First and foremost, your name."

The vampire laughed, "Which one? My human name or the one I adopted after I was turned?"

"You pick."

"Lucky. Because to survive what I have takes luck and quick thinking. Is there a name I can call you by, or would you prefer Slayer?"

"Slayer will do for now, Lucky. Maybe we should go somewhere more private, wouldn't wanna blow your cover here among the wannabes."

Lucky's game face flashed so quickly that if Faith hadn't been watching her face she would've missed it. "They are not wannabes. They are just lonely kids who need to feel like they belong somewhere. There's a room in the back we can use. This way." Lucky stood up and led Faith to a back room that afforded privacy.

Faith was on high alert as she walked into the room behind Lucky but nothing happened. Lucky sat down on one of the two chairs in the room and indicated to Faith that she should sit in the other chair. Faith looked around the room. It was pretty average as far as back rooms go. Just four walls painted a muted red and a black rug on the floor. There were no windows and a second door stood at the far end. Faith watched it for a minute before glancing at the chairs. They were armchairs, plush leather things that looked comfortable enough to sleep in if need be. Faith cautiously walked over to the empty chair and took another look around as she sat down facing Lucky. The vampire just smiled.

Lucky had been watching the slayer's inspection of the room with undisguised curiosity. She knew the slayer was suspicious and she wasn't surprised. But she had no intention of harming the slayer. Truth be told, Lucky admired her for seeking her out.

"You can relax slayer, no harm will come to you here. I have no intention of fighting you. You wanted to talk in private so here we are."

"No one's gonna come bursting in here wanting to use the room or anything?"

"Nope, I own this place Slayer, I have for almost five years. No one comes back here ever. That door over there leads to my apartment. You can relax we're totally alone. All the privacy you could want. Now, what did you want to know from me?"

"When's the last time you fed?"

"You mean real human blood straight from the body? A few days ago."

"A few days ago?"

"Yeah, but I didn't kill her. There are a few humans I trust who trust me, they let me drink a pint from their arms in exchange for the rush it gives them, that and some money."

"You pay them for their blood? Why?"

"You mean why not just drain them dry and kill them?"


"It's easier this way. Leaves less bodies for the cops to find. But I also drink pig's blood from a local butcher who sells me his excess blood. He knows I run this club and he thinks I use it for the drinks at the bar. I don't bother to correct him. Now what's this all about?"

"Three girls were murdered and it looks like a human did it but there's vampire bites on their thighs. My theory is a vamp did it and covered it to look like a human killer." Faith noticed a faint tremor run through Lucky's right eyelid, so quick and small it almost went unnoticed by Faith…almost. "You know anything about that Lucky?"



"Look, all I know is that whoever did it is done. Point proven and now it's time to retire."

"What do you mean 'point proven'? What point?"

"All I can tell you is that the vamp that did this is done. There won't be anymore killings as long as the university keeps those dorms empty."

"Dorms? What dorms?"

"Your three victims, they all went to Hudson University. All lived in different rooms of the same dorm building. Tell your cop buddies to tell the school to keep those rooms empty if they wanna stop the killings. The vamp won't strike if the rooms are empty."

"How do you know this?"

"I just know. That's all I got for you for now, the sun's almost up and I need my sleep. I trust you can find your own way out Slayer?"

"Yeah, would it be alright if I came back tomorrow night?"

"Of course, as long as you come alone and without a stake. You come in peace or don't come at all Slayer. Like I said I have no intention of fighting you."

"Ok, can I ask one last thing?"


"Do you know the name of the vamp who sired you?"

"Didn't until after I rose, he was there waiting for me. He had a stake and was going to dust me but he stopped himself at the last minute. I never found out why he stopped but I know why he tried to kill me. He never intended to kill me much less turn me. There was such remorse on his face that I almost cried for him. His name was Angelus. After that night though, I never saw him again. Why?"

"Angelus? Are you sure he's the one who turned you?"

"Positive, why?"

"Just wondering…see you tomorrow night."

"See you Slayer…sleep well."

"You too, goodbye."


Faith left the room and walked through the empty club not even noticing that there was no one left in the club. Faith stepped out into the predawn and headed for home. Faith's mind was reeling with the information she'd learned about the murders but what was messing with her the most was the news about Angelus. Ten years ago, Angel was in New York and then in Sunnydale. It was possible that he was here to sire Lucky. But Faith couldn't understand why he would do that if he had his soul. She needed to talk to someone who knew Angel a little bit better, someone who'd known him during that first year when he was in Sunnydale. Buffy wasn't an option right now but Willow would know. Faith decided to call the number Kennedy left as soon as it was early enough to call without waking up the whole house.

Faith made it home just as the sun was starting to rise over the skyscrapers and she leaned against the wall of the elevator as it took her to the penthouse. She was tired but could still function for a while. At least enough to make sure her father knew she was ok. The elevator doors opened and Faith stepped out into the foyer and made her way into the living room. Her father was in his usual place on the couch just like he was every night that Faith was out of the house. She always found him there and it never failed to warm her heart to know he cared. Faith gently shook him awake.

"Dad, dad wake up it's me Faith." Faith had begun calling him dad more and more and now it was just natural, as if she'd known him her whole life.

Martin woke up and saw Faith leaning over him and smiled, glad she was ok. He got up and after mumbling a good morning he went back to his own room and, because it was a Saturday, went right back to sleep. Faith just smiled as she watched him go back to his room. Being a Saturday, Faith knew he didn't work so she figured he'd sleep a little more then be up and about making breakfast. Faith went to her room and took a long hot shower before crawling into her own bed and falling asleep.

Chapter Eleven

Friday afternoon, after their respective visits to Robert Woodson and David Morgan, the SVU squad gathered in the squadroom to compare notes. While everyone agreed that there wasn't much worth following, there was one detail Munch insisted was noteworthy. Both men had mentioned the displaced dirt on the grave a few days after Natalie Woodson was buried. The only difference was the hand print that Morgan saw which he said he'd wiped off. Despite the strangeness of it, they dismissed it as unimportant and once again found themselves with nothing to go on.

Saturday morning, only Olivia was in the squadroom, having pulled the morning on call shift, when Casey walked in for an update on the case. She wanted to know anything new that she could pass on to Faith and see if it made sense to her. When Casey walked in and found only Olivia she almost turned around and left, not really in the mood for an icy reception or another fight. Then she remembered that Faith might be the only one who could solve this case and she straightened her spine and walked up to Olivia's desk where the detective was engrossed in a book she was reading.

"Good morning Detective."

Olivia looked up at the ADA and fought against a frown as she closed the book she was reading. She wasn't in the mood right now, especially after the dreams she'd had last night…a recurring dream of Dracula and Faith fighting. Which automatically made her think of Faith and wonder if she'd ever see her again. Taken together that did not make for a happy Olivia but she tried hard not to take it out on Casey, wasn't her fault anyway that Olivia's subconscious decided to have some fun with her. "Hey Casey, what brings you here on a Saturday morning?"

"I was wondering if there was any new information in the Coed Killer case. Anything that might point to a suspect?" Casey asked, a bit hopeful. She didn't know though if she wanted them to find the killer or not cuz she didn't know if they could handle it if it was a vampire. That was when she noticed the book Olivia was reading, Vampyres: 1025AD to Present Day. "A little light reading detective?"

Olivia noticed that Casey had seen the title of the book she'd bought a few days after the dreams had started. She still didn't know why she'd bought it but it was a fascinating read if you could take it seriously enough to believe it. "Something like that, needed something to make the time on a Saturday morning on call go by faster. As for the case there's been a new development if you have time to go over it."

"I got all morning. Then lunch with my cousin. What's the new information?" If Casey was surprised by Olivia's willingness to talk about the case, she didn't show it. She knew better than to question the good things.

Olivia put her book aside and went over what they'd found out form Warner about the saliva and then the information gathered from the interviews. By the end of it all the prosecutor in Casey knew they didn't have much to go on but the rest of Casey knew that Faith might make more sense out of this than she could. Casey filed all the information away in her memory to tell Faith about it at lunch.

"So you're gonna have lunch with your cousin? I think this is the first time you've ever mentioned any family, what's your cousin like?" Olivia didn't know why she'd asked but she did know that she was actually enjoying talking to Casey. She couldn't explain it but maybe her subconscious was finally starting to accept Casey.

"She's…different. Younger but she seems older than her years. Probably because she had to grow up fast. From what my uncle tells me, my aunt didn't make growing up easy for her. But that's in the past and I think she's starting to realize that not all family is evil ya know?"

"Evil? I take it her parents are divorced?"

"Yeah, since she was three. Never knew her dad until a few weeks ago."

"This cousin got a name?"

"Yeah, sorry, Faith."

That got Olivia's attention. Casey's cousin name was Faith? It seemed to coincidental to be an accident but she wanted to be sure. "Faith? About five foot five with dark hair, dark eyes and pale skin?"

"Yeah that's her, why? You know her?"

"Something like that, she was attacked a few weeks ago and they called us in to investigate. Faith fought the guy off and he was gone by the time we got there. She didn't really seem concerned about catching him and then Cragen gets a mysterious phone call and the whole case is dropped. By that time victim number two in the Coed Killer case was found, and I forgot all about it. Do you know anything about that?" Olivia asked suddenly suspicious. The cousin of a SVU ADA is attacked and the next day Cragen's ordered to drop the investigation. Seemed too neat now.

Casey had no clue however, she was just hearing about the attack now but she did know better than to over react. "Nope, sorry detective, this is the first I am hearing of any attack on Faith. She's never brought it up with me." Although, now that Casey thought about it, it was more likely that Faith's attacker was a vampire and she'd slayed it. Naturally, after that, there was no point in letting the cops chase their tales looking for the attacker so she probably got Martin to call in a favor. One more thing to talk to Faith about later at lunch. "Was the attack at night?"

"Yes it was, why?"

"Just wondering. Anyway I got to get going, thanks for the update. See you Monday Detective."

"Have a good weekend Counselor."

Olivia watched Casey leave and noted that Casey should probably never play poker. Every thought she had was written on her face plain as day if you knew how to read them. Until then, Olivia thought she knew how to read every thought imaginable but there was one thought that she couldn't read in Casey's face just then and it concerned her, briefly, before she shook it off and dove back into the book she'd been reading. Saturdays usually weren't this slow but lately there'd been no activity. Almost like a city wide memo had gone out to the criminals to take the weekend off. Olivia turned back to her book and continued reading.

The book was like a who's who of the vampire legends. There was a whole section on Dracula (AKA Vlad the Impaler) and an even bigger section on one vamp called The Master. Olivia was strangely drawn to the section on the Master and his minions. She read for hours about The Master, and another vampire named Darla. Darla's exploits had their own section and included, strangely enough, only one "offspring" if that's what they're called. Angelus, the demon with the face of an angel. He really caught Olivia's attention and she read his sections more than once. She even got up to the copy machine and made copies of his exploits, though she didn't know why she did that. Olivia was still deep into the tales of Angelus's evil deeds when Munch walked in to relieve her for the second on call shift.

"Hey Liv, how's it been?"

"Hey John, strangely quiet actually. Really let me catch up on my reading." Olivia replied with a smile, happy to be able to get out of there and back home to read some more. Angelus really had her hooked, even if the majority of her brain reminded her that it was a work of fiction, most likely, she couldn't help but be captivated by it.

"What are you reading?"

Olivia held up the book and waiting for the ridicule or worse yet, no ridicule but honest curiosity.

John Munch looked at the book and paled for a brief second before recovering his composure. "Interesting reading Liv, find anything good?"

"A few things, though I can't seem to find an author's name anywhere in this book. But here, something to read if you get bored." Olivia handed John the photocopied pages of Angelus's exploits. Now Olivia knew why she'd copied them, Munch seemed to be the only one who would understand why she was reading something like that.

Munch took the pages and skimmed them quickly to see what they were about. The name Angelus caught his eye and he knew he'd need to read these more carefully. "Thanks, I'll probably check them out after I catch up on some paperwork. You're officially free to go Liv, have a good weekend."

"Thanks John, see you Monday."

"Yup, bye."


Olivia put on her jacket, grabbed her book and left the building, leaving a somber John Munch behind to ponder his next move.

Olivia made it back to her apartment and after she locked the door, she made a point of setting the book down on the coffee table and didn't pick it up again until after she'd showered, changed into casual clothes and made a light dinner. By that time she was just settling onto her couch when her phone rang. With a sigh she picked it up, preparing herself for the possibility of having to go to a crime scene.


"Do you always answer your home phone like that?"

"Yes, who's this?"

"Awww…don't tell me you've forgotten my voice already? C'mon detective, use those powers of deduction I've heard so much about and figure it out."

"I am not in the mood for games so tell me who this is or I'm hanging up." Olivia said, just a little pissed off.

"Fine, spoil my fun, this is Faith…remember me now?"

Everything in Olivia that could stand at attention suddenly did as an image of Faith flashed through her mind. "Faith, yeah I remember now. How's your head?"

"Huh? My head---oh yeah that. All better now, not even a mark. You'd never know there was ever a cut. Thanks for asking. How are you? I didn't call at a bad time did I?"

Faith's sexy voice was almost Olivia's undoing. She could hear the slight edge of seductive invitation in the low, sultry voice and could almost see a smile on those red lips of hers.

"Not at all, I just had dinner actually. To what do I owe the pleasure of this call?"

"I was sitting here thinking about you and wondering if you were possibly free this evening. Thought maybe we could meet for a drink or something?" Faith asked, her heart actually pounding she was so nervous. This was a new thing for Faith, the nervousness, not to mention the whole date thing. She never had dates, she usually just picked up a random body to enjoy for a few hours and that was it.

"Wait, how did you get this number?"

"You gave it to me remember? On the back of your card the night I was…attacked." Faith had a problem saying she'd been attacked, made her feel like a victim and she was never the victim.

"Oh yeah I remember now, but that was weeks ago. Why call now?"

"It's only been three weeks detective, didn't wanna seem…desperate or anything. So, you free to go out or am I on my own tonight?" Faith knew she had to meet Lucky later but she couldn't resist tryin to get with Olivia. Especially not after what Casey had told her at lunch about the sexy detective asking about her.

Olivia took a moment to think about it then, "Ok, but just drinks. There's a bar on the corner of 96th and Broadway. I'll meet you there in 30 minutes ok?"

"You're on Detective…see you soon." Faith smiled as she closed her cell phone and looked up at the building in front of her. Olivia's building, according to Casey. Faith looked right at the window that she guessed was Olivia's and it was confirmed when the detective crossed the window and with her slayer enhanced vision saw her clear as day. The sun had gone down only five minutes ago so there was still the last lingering remnants of the day. Faith sat parked outside Olivia's apartment until she saw Olivia leave and then she quietly followed the detective's car to the bar and parked across the street. Faith needed to make sure that Olivia got there safely before she could relax and go inside.

Faith walked in a few minutes after Olivia had and looked around, she felt her stomach do a flip when she realized she was in a cop bar. The former prison inmate in Faith rebelled at the thought of staying but then she remembered she had nothing to fear. She didn't even have a criminal record anymore plus, no cop here was gonna think she was anything but a sexy chick who walked in to have a drink. Still, she was glad she'd gotten her license and that she had it on her now. Faith walked up to the bar and smiled at the waitress, she was blond, and if it wasn't for the fact she was almost six feet tall, she might've reminded Faith of Buffy.

"What can I get ya?"

"Jack and coke on the rocks." Faith ordered with all the confidence that comes with being a slayer…and being 21.

The bartender looked at her for a moment then shrugged as if deciding that she was old enough, she handed the drink over to Faith and took the money for it then walked away.

Olivia had just stepped out of the restroom in the back when she noticed Faith at the bar. She saw Faith walk up, order and get served without being carded and she smiled. This could be her chance to find out for sure if she was older enough to drink and where she lived. Olivia made sure to stay out of Faith's sightline as she walked up behind her and spoke tight into her ear.

"You sure you're old enough to drink that?" Olivia asked, slightly teasing and mostly curious.

To her credit, Faith didn't even flinch, she just turned around and met Olivia's eyes as she answered, "Considering I'm in a cop bar it'd be really stupid of me if I wasn't, wouldn't it detective?"

"Yes it would."

"So I think the real question would be, do you think I'm stupid?"

"No I don't think you're stupid but I am sure you don't think I am just going to take your word for it right?"

"Wouldn't expect you to." Faith smiled, loving this conversation even more because she was hoping that the detective would card her. Save her the trouble of trying to find a way to give Olivia her address. Plus, if Olivia needed proof that she wasn't jailbait then Faith would be all too happy to provide said proof. Faith reached into her back pocket and took out her license and handed it over to Olivia, who was waiting patiently.

Olivia took the license and checked it out, making a note of both the date of birth and the address for when she'd need them again. Satisfied that Faith was indeed old enough to drink she handed the card back and signaled the bartender. "So, shall we sit at a table or will right here at the bar do?"

Faith had to smile as she returned her license to her back pocket, Olivia Benson was going to prove a fun challenge after all. With just the right amount of give and take. "Table detective, helps with the privacy."

"Ok, lead the way." By this time Olivia had her drink in hand, a beer and was ready to sit down for a bit. She was intrigued by Faith and was very interested in finding out why the younger girl had asked her out.

Faith led the way to a booth near the back that was secluded enough to talk yet still gave her a clear view of the door, just in case. Olivia also noticed the booth's location and wondered why Faith would need a booth that let her see who came and went, unless she was expecting someone later.

After they were settled into the booth, Faith took a moment to look around before she asked, "So, detective, how long have you been a cop?"

"Long enough to know when someone is stalling, what's up Faith? What's the real reason why you asked me here?"

"I told you, I was thinking about you and wanted to see you. I'm not good with the whole asking questions thing so maybe you should just ask and I'll try to answer ok?"

"Questions about what?" Olivia was a bit confused.

"You know, about the other person the typical first date stuff, I've never really dated so I don't know what to ask or how to ask so why don't you go first and I'll try to follow ok?"

"First date stuff? Is that what this is a …first date?"

"That's what I'd like it to be. Listen detective, I like you…a lot and I wanna get to know you better and that's new for me. But if you're not interested let me know and we can forget this ever happened ok?"

Olivia thought about that and realized how much it took for Faith to say all that. She didn't know Faith that well but just from the look on her face and the tone in her voice, Olivia could tell that it had been difficult. And that just made her even more interested in getting to know Faith more and she realized she would have to take the lead here if she wanted that to happen.

"Ok then, I think the first thing you need to do Faith is relax, ok?"

"Relax? I am relaxed…well mostly. So does this mean you want this to be a first date too?"

Olivia just nodded.

"Good, so what made you go into the Special Victims Unit?" Faith asked, her usual bluntness coming through now that she was sure Olivia wasn't going to go anywhere.

Olivia hesitated, flashing back to all those dates she'd had before Alex when she'd bring up what she did for a living and how that always killed the mood one way or another. But then Olivia remembered that Faith was Casey's cousin so she had to already know about what happened in Special victims and she still wanted to go out with her...that made her wonder if Faith was one of those people who got off on hearing about rapes and all the other stuff Olivia had to deal with. Olivia took a deep breath and took a chance, hoping she wasn't about to ruin her chances with Faith.

"That's a long story for a different day ok? Seriously not first date stuff, but I will tell you that despite how hard it is sometimes, there's nothing else I'd rather be doing."

"I see, I'm sure by now you know that Casey is my cousin right?"


"Then you know that I have some idea of what Special Victims is all about so I won't ask you about the stuff you see everyday. I'm sure the last thing you probably need is to relive it all when you're off duty but I just wanna say that if you ever need someone to talk to, I'm always available ok? Lord knows I'm getting used to it with Casey."

"Casey talks to you about her work?"

"Nothing specific she just uses me as a sounding board for her opening statements and stuff like that. I'm not exactly a whiz when it comes to the law but I know what sounds right." The half-truth felt wrong in Faith's mind but she couldn't tell Olivia the whole truth without possibly getting Casey in trouble. But something about Olivia made Faith wish she could be Olivia's sounding board as well. Faith also wished she knew how to get Olivia to talk about the case that Casey had shown her. She figured Olivia might know more than Casey did since she got the info first.

"I'll keep that in mind Faith. But for now, let's talk about anything except this case."

"Ok, read any good books lately?" Faith meant it in a joking manner, but when she saw Olivia's face change slightly she realized she'd hit a nerve.

"Did Casey tell you about that too?"

"About what?"

"The book I was reading when she saw me this morning."

"Nope, she mentioned seeing you, and she told me that she told you I was her cousin and you two talked about that and about a case but that was all she told me. She didn't mention any book, why? Did she catch you reading a trashy novel at work?"

Olivia relaxed a bit, instinctively knowing that Faith was telling the truth. For whatever reason, Casey had disclosed everything but the book she was reading. "No nothing like that. I was on call this morning and because it was unusually slow, I started reading a book I'd bought a few days ago. She walked in as I was reading."

"What book? If you don't mind me asking."

"This is going to sound weird but it was a vampire book, sort of a who's who of vampire legends, totally fiction I'm sure but still interesting."

"A vampire legends book? Let me guess, it had sections on Dracula right?" Faith thought she knew which book Olivia had read but she was going to tread lightly here.

"Yeah it did, and some vampire called The Master."

"You like vampire books? Like Anne Rice stuff?"

"Nah, I've never really read anything about vampires, fictional or otherwise, until this book."

"So why start now?"

"I don't know, seemed like the right time to read something new. Do you like vampire books, like Anne Rice?"

"Not Anne Rice but I've read some other vampire books, in fact I think I've read the one you have, is it called Vampyres: 1025AD to Present Day ?"

Olivia's surprise showed as she answered, "Yup, that's the book. You've read it?"

"Cover to cover, it's pretty old like from 1995, where'd you find it?"

"Some small occult bookstore near the precinct, I don't remember where. You've read it then maybe you could tell me who wrote it? I can't find the author's name anywhere."

"That's probably because there've been too many authors to list. It's a compilation book that was put together in 95 but no one knows by whom. All anyone knows is that every historical fact in the book can be verified as truth."

"How do you know all that?"

"I asked the person who gave me the book and she told me."

"Who gave it to you?"

"A librarian friend of mine in Boston." Faith again didn't like the lie but she couldn't tell Olivia about her watcher and the council… the Watcher's Council were the ones who had compiled the book. It was supposed to be for the exclusive use of the watchers and slayers but Gwendolyn Post (who later tricked Faith into thinking she was her new watcher) had taken the text with her when she was kicked out of the council and the book had somehow ended up at a publishing house. The publishing house was later discovered to be legally represented by Wolfram & Hart, a truly evil law firm. That's how the book ended up in bookstores everywhere.

"I see, so you read it from cover to cover?"

"Yup, even memorized parts of it. How far have you gotten?"

"Oh, I'm not reading it straight through. I checked the table of contents and found some interesting sounding names and read those."

"Ok, that's a new approach, so which names have you read about?" 'Please don't say Angelus, please don't say Angelus Faith silently pleaded, not sure how she'd react if Olivia told her she'd read all about Angel when he was evil. That book had no information past 1898 on Angel after he'd gotten his soul back, which meant it painted a very negative image of Angel.

Olivia thought about the topic they were discussing and realized it was probably better to talk about fictional monsters rather than the real ones she dealt with everyday at work. "Dracula, obviously, although the book called him—"

"Vlad the Impaler."

"Yeah, and also The Master, Darla and Angelus. Though to be honest the one that kept me reading was Angelus. The things the book said about him were…well let's just say that someone's imagination is a lot better than reality."


"Yeah to come up with some of the things this fictional vampire did, the vast quantities of people he supposedly slaughtered. I'll tell ya I thought I had seen just about everything one person could do to another, but whoever wrote the Angelus bits seemed like he was trying to outdo each previous action. Like he needed Angelus to improve the way he killed. It makes for an interesting read. Don't you think?"

"Yeah, Angelus was actually my favorite one. Especially what happened to him in 1898, seemed like a fitting end."

"1898? I didn't read anything about 1898, Angelus's section ends in 1865 shortly after he sires a vampire named Drusilla. There's nothing else after that, what happened in 1898?"

"I thought this was all just fiction to you detective, you're starting to sound like you believe it." Faith teased, stalling a bit.

"Yeah well, guess that goes to show how fascinating the Angelus story is, it's starting to seem real. So tell me what happened in 1898, and where did you read more of Angelus's story? Was Angelus finally killed?"

"No, he wasn't killed, in 1898, according to what I read anyway, Darla, Angelus's lover at the time brought him a girl to feed on for his 'birthday' I guess you could call it. The anniversary of the day he was sired. Anyway, Angelus killed her but she was exactly the wrong girl to kill." Faith's voice took on that of a storyteller as she recalled everything Buffy, Angel, Willow and Giles had ever told her about the circumstances surrounding Angel's soul being returned. Faith was careful to tell the tale in a voice that implied she was telling a fictional story and not the actual truth. "The girl was a Gypsy, and when the others of her clan discovered her body and found out who it was that killed her, the elders came up with the perfect punishment."

"What did they do?"

"They restored Angelus's soul."

"His soul? What, they were all out of wooden stakes to just kill him?"

"They didn't want him dead, death is too simple Detective. They wanted Angelus to suffer just as their daughter had suffered, so they gave him back his soul."

"Ok, I'm lost, how is having a soul, going to make him suffer? I've come across countless humans who have souls who do things almost as bad as what Angelus supposedly did."

"Think about it, when a human becomes a vampire, the demon gets the body but it doesn't get the soul, that's gone. Without a soul, the vampire can kill without guilt, without remorse. Humans, no matter how evil their actions have a soul and they feel remorse whether or not they choose to show it is another matter but they all feel it. With his soul restored, Angelus couldn't kill anymore because he was too busy tryin to live with the overdue guilt of over a hundred years of killing."

"How do you know all this? Or are you just making this up to mess with me?"

"I wish I were making it up, I read it in that same book that you have…except I have an earlier version what goes right up to the 1900's Boxer Rebellion in China as far as Angelus is concerned anyway."

"Wow, so the story ends there? Two years after he gets his soul back the story's over? That's not fair. You sure there aren't any sequels?"

Faith smiled, thankful that Olivia still thought it was just a story. In time she might have to come clean but for right now it worked in Faith's favor that Olivia think Angelus wasn't real. The Faith realized that if she ever found the vampire Lucky was telling her about, then Olivia would have to be told the truth, if for no other reason than to close the case, or make it a cold case. Faith checked her watch and realized she had to go meet Lucky, if she didn't Lucky might think she didn't show because she wanted to kill her and Faith didn't want to spook the vampire. She could be useful in gathering information. Olivia noticed Faith checking her watch.

"Am I boring you Faith? Or is there someone else waiting for you?" It wasn't said maliciously but Faith still flinched at the words. She didn't want to think about why she didn't want Olivia to think she had another date or that she was boring her.

"No you're definitely not boring me detective, but I just remembered that I promised my father I'd meet him for dinner tonight."

"Ok Faith, you do realize that you can't lie right? I mean half-truths maybe but outright lies, nope. So why not just tell me the truth?"

"What do you mean by that?"

"There's a look you get in your eyes when you're not telling the whole truth but enough of it to pass a polygraph and then there's a look that says you're lying and a look for when you're not. Guess which one I saw when you told me about your dinner with your father?"

Faith sighed, giving up and not stopping to analyze why she gave in so easily or why she was glad that Olivia could tell when she's lying. "Ok detective—"

"Faith I think you can call me Olivia by now, or Liv if you prefer."

"Ok, Olivia, the truth is that I am going to a club in Hell's Kitchen that I honestly can't see you being comfortable in to talk to someone who might have some information for me about something a friend asked me to look into."

"I see…and why can't you see me being comfortable in this club? Is it a hardcore leather bar?"

Faith laughed a little at that, "No not a leather bar. It's…well it's a place where … you ever hear of Goths?"

"Goths? Yeah, is this bar a Goth bar?"

"Sort of… the people in this club they're well…" Faith didn't know why she was having such a hard time telling Olivia about the club. But she did know that she didn't want to explain it in any way that would cause Olivia to want to come with her. That was so not gonna happen. There was no way Faith would ever take Olivia there. "they like to pretend they're vampires. Lonely kids and young adults pretending they are vampires just so they'll have a place to belong to. It's just this side of pathetically sad but to each their own I guess."

"I see, I take it by the fact that you're asking me to come along that you don't think I'd blend in huh?" Olivia said with a smile, she wasn't offended, just the opposite actually. Despite her new interest in vampire stories, she was still glad that Faith didn't think she'd ever fit in at a place like the one she'd just described.

"No offense, Olivia but there's no way you'd blend in there, and that's a good thing. I like that you look too normal to fit in there." Faith said with a smile. "But I really must go now before it's too late, but I really would like to see you again. Do you think that would be possible?"

Olivia smiled at Faith's honesty. "Yeah, I think we could manage that. How about lunch tomorrow?"

"Tomorrow? Ok, how about I pick you up at your place around 11:30?"

"Sounds like a plan, here's my address." Olivia wrote her address on a nearby napkin and handed it to Faith.

Faith just let her, knowing that if she didn't then she'd have to explain how she knew where Olivia lived and that was an explanation Faith didn't want to give just yet. So Faith took the napkin and put it in her pocket. Then she smiled at Olivia.

"Can I give you a lift home detective?"

"Thanks but I drove here, but you can walk me to my car Faith."

"I'd be honored, let's go."

They get up and Faith walks behind Olivia to the door, surreptitiously enjoying the view of Olivia from the back. Faith smiled at first then realized the trouble she'd be in if Olivia noticed where she was looking so she forced her gaze up to the back of Olivia's head. Once there, it was easier for Faith to keep a good eye on their surroundings as they stepped out of the relative safety of the cop bar and onto the dark street. Olivia noticed Faith looking up and down the street as if she was anticipating trouble. A few weeks in the city and Faith already acted like a typical New Yorker should at night.

Olivia led the way to her car and opened the door. She turned to say something to Faith along the lines of goodnight but before she could say a word, Faith leaned over and kissed her. It was a brief kiss but it still managed to make Olivia forget everything she was about to say and she just stood there as the kiss ended and stared at Faith. After a few seconds, Faith smiled.

"Goodnight Olivia, drive safely." With that Faith ran her fingertips along Olivia's jaw then turned to leave. Olivia had no other choice but to get in her car and drive away. What Olivia didn't notice was that Faith had followed her home and sat in her car waiting until the light came on in Olivia's window before she pulled away and left, smiling as she remembered their kiss.

Part 12

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