DISCLAIMER: The Hollows is the property of Kim Harrison. The "Bible Black" comes from a song by "Heaven and Hell" which is the version of Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio that is currently putting out music, from their CD "The Devil You Know." This is not a challenge to any of their copyrights or anyone else's. It is a non-profit work of fanfiction.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I'm a femslash shipper, have been ever since I first heard the term. So while I loved the first Hollows book "Dead Witch Walking" from the start I REALLY began loving it at the point Ivy straddled Rachel. That said it's six books later and Rachel's still fighting her urges for Ivy while mooning over men she really shouldn't. Well enough's enough and if I'm going to write a fanfic with Ivy as the heroine she's going to be the one with a love interest, one far, far healthier then Skimmer, and while Ivy is bi I am a femslash shipper so it's going to be a woman. I will also be developing the magic of the world of the Hollows, because that is the one area I think Miss (Mrs.?) Harrison fell short.
SPOILERS: All the way through White Witch, Black Curse.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Quick and the Damned
By Dark Wyldchilde


"The first page says beware you've found the answer. The next one says I wish that you were dead."
Bible Black, Heaven and Hell


Chapter 1.

Contentment was not a sensation that Ivy Tamwood was terribly familiar with. A living vampire, she had the instincts and urges common to all her kind, but they had been further warped by her "Uncle" Piscary. A fully undead master vampire who had founded her family line back during his mortal lifetime, a period so long ago that even as his favorite Ivy knew next to nothing about it.

What she now knew was Piscary's plans for her. He had been intent on making her into a sort of queen/consort equal to himself, and had set about shaping her by alternating between twisting her normal vampiric urges into a match for his own unholy wants and simply abusing her until she finally found the strength to stand up to him.

She had found that strength when he was about to kill her roommate/business partner/unrequited love interest Rachel Morgan, and had been shocked when he seemed so pleased by her defiance. So pleased that he was going to kill her as a reward so she would enter into her undeath and be freed from the burdens of having a soul.

He failed on both counts, both she and Rachel were still alive, and he was not. She did see the poetic justice in the way the events had unfolded. Even in the fact that Piscary's executioner was an old girlfriend of Ivy's... Skimmer.

She wasn't sure if she hated Dorothy... Skimmer or not. While she hadn't killed Kisten as Ivy had first feared, she hadn't killed Piscary until she thought he had killed Ivy. It made her sick to think about it, but it seemed that Skimmer had been ready to let Piscary do whatever he wished to Ivy as long as she got to play with whatever scraps he left behind.

No, with a life like that Ivy was not used to contentment, but now on a quiet Thursday night the pixies were down for their midnight nap and Rachel had joined "her" pack on their run while she looked for ingredients she could no longer simply buy with her shunning in effect.

Ivy tried to get herself worked up over Rachel being cast out by the witch community, but couldn't. It wasn't that she didn't care... both she and Rachel knew Ivy cared more then the "straight" witch liked to think about. Yes Rachel "loved" Ivy, just not in a physical fashion, at least the witch repeatedly stated as much.

For her part Ivy knew that the reason Rachel kept saying it was because she was saying it to herself. Ivy wasn't stupid, and she wasn't obsessive... much... and if she really thought Rachel had NO interest in her she could have gotten over her by now, but Ivy was happy to have Rachel's friendship even if the other woman never got over her hang-ups.

So yes, she cared, both about Rachel's life in general as well as her current specific disaster, not to mention the woman's alarming tendency to simply shift from one disaster to another, but if Ivy didn't take these quiet times for herself she would loose what control she did have.

So she gave a happy sigh as she eased her lithe frame into her leather chair while opening up a book. She was clad in a sleeveless t-shirt and sweats, both in gray instead of her ubiquitous black and sat to spend an evening in. The knock wasn't a surprise exactly as she heard the person walking up to the door, but their scent was the redwood that told Ivy they were a witch, and with Rachel out for the evening, and all other witches refusing to have anything to do with her Ivy was surprised by the one who was rapping at the front door to the Church.

As she got closer to the door she was able to scent their emotions, a cocktail of fear and desperation that was sickeningly familiar from her days as Piscary's protege, and a reasonable explanation for why they would be visiting the Church of a shunned witch. She didn't know what they would want, but she figured she would save Rachel the trouble of explaining she didn't do contract curses, or mediate demon summonings.

Putting on her professional airs in spite of her casual attire she opened the door and put on a polite smile for whomever was on the other side. Only to find herself looking down to a willowy young woman who probably still got carded at bars. In blue jeans and white sneakers and a snug white t-shirt, with a large manila envelope clutched in her hands. Almost as pale as Ivy, her hair was a platinum blonde and stretching back to her belt line, with her eyes a icy blue. Eyes that looked at Ivy with a degree of control on the surface that was holding back a desperation that Ivy found herself responding too.

It didn't show in her voice however as she spoke. "Welcome to Vampiric Charms, I'm Ivy Tamwood. May I help you?"

The young lady met her eyes and nodded, once more then was a simple response before speaking in a meek voice. "I hope so."

Ivy's mind was always analyzing the situation. If the woman was here to get Rachel to work some black magic she would have asked for Rachel, or at least looked disappointed to not be dealing with her directly. She however seemed glad to be dealing with Ivy, and that made her realize this could be a legitimate client.

That however left Ivy wanting to include a bit of a disclaimer. "I need to make you aware then that our resident witch has been shunned."

The woman's head shook this time, seemingly under more control now that they were discussing business. "Actually Miss Tamwood, I'm here because I need your services... and if they have a problem with that it's going to fail to even make my list of concerns."

Seeing that the woman was distraught under her controlled facade Ivy sought to put her at ease, both by pumping out calming pheromones as well as trying to make the conversation a little less formal. "Please come in, and call me Ivy."

The young woman followed... the pheromones already helping the woman calm down. "Thank you... my name is Alison."

Ivy led Alison to the area she and Rachel had set up to consult with clients and crossed her right leg over the left as they sat across from each other. "So what is it you need of me?"

Alison might have relaxed a little bit at the introduction of Ivy's pheromones, but as she sat her knees were still together and her posture was uncomfortably rigid. As Alison began speaking Ivy noticed Jenks come in the pixy hole, probably woken by the smell of a strange witch, but he simply hovered and listened as she spoke. "I need you to steal something."

While she noticed Jenks brighten a bit her response was instant. "I'm sorry Alison, we are a legal firm, and while we are willing to recover stolen property we stay within the bounds of the law." Ivy wasn't sure if Jenks was scowling at her refusal to break the law or trying not to laugh at Ivy's claim that Vampiric Charms didn't stray outside the law, but either way she knew the pixy was not pleased.

Alison however didn't seem phased in the least by her refusal. She simply held up the envelope. "It's ok, you're stealing it from me, and I wrote up permission for you to come in on one night of your choosing and take whatever suits you."

Jenks seemed to brighten even more at the wording, and Ivy scowled at the pixy, Alison jumping slightly when she realized she wasn't alone with Ivy anymore. The vampire however continued regardless. "Is there a specific item you wanted us to take?" As agitated as she was Ivy feared the woman might be unstable, but Jenks wasn't giving her any signs so she tried to understand.

At first all Alison did was nod. Ivy was about to ask another question, but Alison seemed to dig into some inner resource, and not only was she able to speak, but she did so with more calm then the entire time she had been there. "It's a book. I've detailed it in the file, but it's a book of magic, and it's driving me more and more mad each time I read it, but I can't stop... I need you to stop me Ivy. I need you to take the book from me and destroy it."

Ivy's voice had dropped in response to the young woman's revelation. "That's why you came to me instead of Rachel? You're afraid she might read it?"

While Alison nodded Jenks scoffed. "Probably would too."

Alison looked over her shoulder. "No, it wants to be read, it would make her read it. It wants witches to read it."

Jenks' face twisted in confusion. "It's a book."

Alison nodded trying to take calming breaths. "And it wants to be read."

Jenks looked ready to reply, but Ivy cut him off. "And it won't let you get rid of it?"

The woman didn't even nod, the tension radiated off her body, reminding Ivy almost of herself when she was caught in the throws of bloodlust.

She then knew that she would do all she could to help Alison, both with the book and here and now. Reaching out she pulled the folder to her, first putting a calming hand on Alison's knee. "I'll do it..."

Alison exhaled. "Thank you... the check is in there..."

Ivy shook her head. "Don't worry about that right now. Can I get you something to drink?" She realized she probably should have offered refreshments while they were sitting down, but was now thankful for something to distract the witch with. "Coffee?"

Alison shook her head. "I don't drink coffee."

Jenks snickered, seeming to realize the need to get the young ladies' mind elsewhere. "Finally! I swear that's our biggest expense here!"

That got the pixy a shy smile, and Ivy found herself getting a smile as well as she watched. Alison then focused on her. "Water will be fine."

Ivy briefly considered just grabbing a bottle... and while she did she emptied it into a glass before bringing it back. "I wasn't sure if you were even aware of Rachel's shunning... are you part of the Cincinnati witch community?"

Alison shrugged. "I guess, I mean I'm a witch, and I'm in Cincinnati, but I've barely been here six months. Still, I doubt that would keep them from claiming me somehow... that's why I came to you. If they got it they would hand it to the I.S."

Ivy could see talk of the book was getting the witch aggravated again. So she actually got up and moved to her side of the table, putting a hand on the younger woman's knee. "So where are you from originally?"

There was a calming breath before the reply. "New England."

Her hand was gently rubbing the knee now, her close proximity putting out such a level of calming pheromones that Jenks moved away without being obvious about it. "Your family from there?"

A small nod. "Now, my grandmother moved there from... Old England. Not conservative enough" Alison managed a small giggle, and Ivy smiled... wondering what kind of woman could keep hold of a sense of humor under the stresses she was so obviously under.


Chapter 2.

Luckily Rachel had decided to ride with David since the were would need someone to hold his keys as his wolf form didn't allow for pants, let alone pockets, but it also left her car there for Ivy to use to drive Alison home as she had arrived in a cab.

Ivy found herself smiling, David was handsome, loyal, brave, and intelligent, and sure he seemed nervous around her, but one of the dark parts of Ivy that she wasn't afraid of liked that too. He wasn't afraid of the "vampire" but the woman.

She looked over at Alison in the passenger seat. She didn't look nervous, but she did look small. While vampires were more famously known for their predatory instincts they also had a very nurturing side, and while Ivy knew that was primarily to keep their donors alive even Piscary hadn't tried to train that reflex out.

So it was there, and speaking loudly as Alison seemed to drowse, exhausted after battling whatever compulsion this strange book seemed to have over her. At least she was until she was jolted awake by the lights and siren turned on by the I.S. patrol car that pulled in behind them and got them to pull over.

It didn't surprise Ivy. When she and Rachel had talked about it they had wondered why the I.S. hadn't been harassing her more now that she had been shunned, but they finally figured that with one third of their workforce unwilling to come near her they simply didn't have the man power.

They managed to free someone up to harass Rachel tonight however, and Ivy felt her face twist up as she got a whiff of incense and realized they had sent a vampire, probably to play on Rachel's scar.

"Good Evening Miss M... Tamwood."

Her expression darkened further as she was hit by the cloud of pheromones the nervy bastard was putting out. While she had yet to bind Rachel as hers' every vampire in Cincinnati knew Rachel Morgan belonged to her.

When he then looked over at the new witch in the passenger seat there was a small, but definite smirk on the man's face as he spoke. "Do you know you are riding in a shunned witches' car Miss?"

The fact that he had set out to bespell her Rachel was bad enough, but then he was trying to talk to Alison! The only thing that kept her from pulling an aura was Alison's reply to his question. "Since when did a shunning extend to the witches' car?"

That actually curled up the side of Ivy's mouth in what would have been a smile if she weren't ready to teach this fool the feeding order. He looked at Ivy and seemed to realize that. and quickly took a step back. "Well no it doesn't, but I wanted to make sure you were aware."

Ivy felt a brief flash of pride at Alison's reply. "I'm aware of the situation officer."

He seemed to realize the double meaning to the witches' words as well, but tried to hide it as he nodded. "All right, goodnight ladies."

He left immediately after saying that.

There was a brief touch on Ivy's arm where Alison laid her hand. "Are you ok Ivy?"

She expected to feel her bloodlust kick in, but the young woman's utter lack of fear, even of the black eyes that turned to look at her seemed to keep the darker range of Ivy's instincts from kicking in. The black eyes closed and Ivy took several deep breaths before calming. "I'm fine... thank you."

The hand was pulled away, and while Ivy was thankful the distraction was gone she found herself missing that small bit of warmth.

"Do they do that a lot to you guys since you quit?"

Her higher brain functions took a second to start back up. "The I.S.? Not to me since I am a Tamwood. This is Rachel's car however, and I think he figured Rachel was the witch he was smelling."

The witches "Oh" turned into a yawn as she lay back and Ivy started the car back up. "So what's your family like?"

Ivy felt her breath hitch as another instinct kicked in.

While she was glad to give the obviously exhausted woman a ride home there was a practical element involved as well since it gave Ivy a chance to case the woman's house from the outside. She had actually been tempted to accept Alison's invitation to come in since the talk of her family had went extremely well, but she didn't need her vampiric senses to see Alison needed sleep rather then company.

Not to mention Ivy had a burglary to plan.

Back at the Church Ivy had opened the envelope Alison had prepared and found it well supplied. The lay out of the house included everything from windows to furniture, with pictures to help Ivy visualize the layout. There were alarm codes as well as a brief outline of things like garbage collection and neighbor routines. The one thing that was lacking was a specific location where the book would be found, but with it compelling Alison to read it Ivy wasn't surprised to find out Alison couldn't predict where it would be found on a specific night.

Ivy now knew "it" was called the Bible Black. While Alison's notes on the book didn't include details of what was to be found inside she couldn't help but think the witch did that for Ivy's benefit. The outside however seemed fairly standard black leather measuring a little large at 10" by 13" and it weighed in around 8 pounds.

Jenks landed on the table next to her. "Jeeze, I almost get nervous when they provide this much info."

Ivy just flicked her eyes at the pixy while her face stayed pointed at the papers laid out on the table. "Why? She's a good planner, thought of most everything we'll need to know."

Jenks snorted "Because I'm afraid I'm being set up." While the sentence was complete his voice trailed off at the end as he took a long look at Ivy. "No...no. Damn it Ivy NO!"

She looked at the pixy fully as he took to the air and pointed a finger at her face. "NO! I will NOT be the only sensible member of this team! You're the rational one damn it! Don't you DARE pull a Rachel on me!"

Ivy smiled, but her confusion was obvious. "Pull a Rachel?"

The pixy however was not amused. "Yeah 'Pull a Rachel'! This Alison is all desperate and defenseless and needs your help and you... you're PULLING A RACHEL!"

Ivy's hair was longer now that she was growing it out again and it brushed her face as she shook her head. "Yes, she's in trouble, and yes I agreed to help, but she's a client, a PAYING client," Ivy picked up the check and saw the initial fee was for fifteen hundred dollars. "A WELL paying client. No matter how cute she is, this is a business arrangement."

The pixy had landed back on the table and was stomping over to the check. The impressive figure distracted him a bit, and while it showed in his voice it didn't silence him. "Don't think I didn't notice you calling her cute..." His voice focused. "AND you asked her about her family!"

Ivy blushed at that, deliberately not mentioning Alison doing the same on the car ride back to her house. "I was trying to get her to stop thinking about the book."

"Riiiight..." Jenks then suddenly shot straight up in the air "Tink's casting couch! Look at the name on the check!"

Ivy snickered. "What? Kamalack?" She then looked over, reading in a stunned voice to her self. "Crowley... Alison Crowley!"

The pixy was angry enough to be sparking at this point. "See! Do you see now Tamwood? It's already starting! Family from England, big book of black magic!"

Ivy took a breath. "It's not her fault who she's descended from."

Jenks interrupted. "Don't start identifying with her!"

Ivy scowled. "Besides it's probably just a coincidence. I mean Crowley had no known descendents."

Jenks scoffed. "Please I might not know a lot about the guy, but I know he couldn't keep it in his pants."

Ivy sighed, she was still planning on doing the job, but she knew the pixy's aid would be invaluable. Both in the burglary as well as with his second sight. "Fine, you want to hand the check back to her?"

She wasn't sure if it was the memory of the haunted look on Alison's face or the current sight of her generous check, but Jenks was muttering angrily to himself as he flew off to get ready. Ivy didn't fight the smirk that came to her face as she got up to do the same.

It was a bit rushed, but with the client WANTING them to take it she felt comfortable moving ahead with the plan.


Chapter 3.

"Well I can see why she could drop so much on our fee."

Ivy nodded slowly with Jenks assessment. While this was her second time there she had come on her bike this time and parked it a block over, and now was able to appreciate the brick exterior with vines deliberately running all along the walls. two stories were visible, but Ivy knew there was also a finished basement. She smiled openly at Jenks. "Reevaluating your opinion of her?"

He scowled at the vampire. "No, but if you ARE right and she's not evil I might see if she would like a pixy gardener... between the walls and the landscaping one of my boys could really do well for himself here."

Ivy knew that the pixy had an appreciation for green and growing things that didn't really show under his often rough exterior, but it was all irrelevant as they had work to do.

There wasn't a key, but she guessed that there had to at least be some element of a "break in" or else Alison could have just paid a passerby to walk in and take it from her... that was actually one of Ivy's fears... one of the reasons she decided to make the break in the same night, because she too knew something about unholy compulsions, and she feared that if Alison were awake and aware she might try to resist them.

This way she was reasonably sure Ali would be asleep and most likely expecting them to try it another night. Jenks had thought she was simply wanting the "date" to continue, but even he had to agree with Ivy's logic. Not to mention that Ivy knew full well the father in Jenks responded to the young ladies' obvious distress.

Which was good because Jenks was far better at picking locks then Ivy, and the front door opened with a soft click as she stepped inside. They had discussed the back door or a window, but with the security codes in hand they figured that if they walked in the front door without the alarm going off anyone they hadn't seen would figure they were invited.

In a way they were, and Ivy quickly entered the code that told the security system that everything was fine. With the light on the keypad now a happy green the two took a look around. From the hardwood floors to the raised ceilings there were dark browns and blues, soft whites, that all blended together into a warm atmosphere. Something that was accented by the books, lots, and lots of books.

The two shared a look and Jenks snickered before whispering. "Well if there was a witch in Cincinnati who would find a cursed book of magic..."

Even Ivy had to grin at that as she moved on silent feet into the living room. While pixy night vision wasn't as sharp as a living vampires she was glad it was the two of them as the little light filtering through closed blinds was more then enough for the both of them to see by.

Accenting the walls and tables were occult diagrams. Ivy could recognize a few from Rachel's ley line studies, but even they were more elaborate. Jenks recognized it too and whispered at a level only someone with Ivy's hearing could register. "Maybe we should let her work off her fee..." He then quickly added. "With ley line lessons for Rachel!"

She scowled at him, but he arched a brow and gestured around the room. Not sure what he was pointing at she took a closer look, the house looked like the home of a scholarly, most likely, ley line witch. Besides the occult diagrams there was art work that had a angel and demon theme with both sides being similarly scantily clad women... only women... Ivy felt a blush rise to her cheeks and from the superior look on Jenks face he saw it too.

She motioned for them to continue, but not before the pixy was able to angrily point at the one male picture on the wall... a framed photograph of a young Aleister Crowley.

She moved past it, and him to the kitchen. While she didn't expect to find the book on the marble counter tops or wooden kitchen table she now added it to her list of rooms that had been searched.

Moving onward she didn't think that Alison would keep the Bible Black as bathroom reading, but when the downstairs bathroom was as vacant as the closet, they made a quick sweep of the finished basement before looking at each other while standing at the bottom of the stairs leading to the second floor.

Jenks spoke, still in a whisper. "You know that means it's probably with her."

Ivy nodded, not pleased by the fact, but knowing that it wouldn't change while they stood there at the bottom of the steps.

One room on the second floor was decorated almost like the living room, but instead of shelves and shelves of books it was dedicated to a computer system that got an appreciative nod from Ivy.

The next looked like a guest bedroom, well appointed, but without the scent that they would recognize as regular habitation.

Another room was entirely empty as if Alison hadn't known what to do with it.

Then there was a study. While there weren't as many books the ones kept here all smelled of age and had titles that the two figured Rachel might recognize, and probably a few their resident witch wouldn't know, but would love to become more acquainted with. What dominated the room however was an engraved circle, perhaps the most intricate the two had ever seen.

They left quickly after ascertaining that the Bible Black was not there, and that left only one room. A room that held the heavy scent of Alison Crowley as well as a sound the two identified as her rhythmic breathing. Praying that meant she was asleep Ivy smelled the door for oil, and was happy enough with the scent to be sure it wouldn't creak.

The click was hardly audible even to their sense of hearing and they entered sure that the witch wouldn't be wakened.

Upon entering they saw the witch was still asleep, but their relief was short lived as they took in the disturbing sight. It didn't look like she had fallen asleep so much as she passed out with the book still in her hands as she slumped back against the head of the bed where she lay.

While it wasn't surprising that she was still in the street clothes she had worn to their church what really shocked the two was the lines of dried tears running down the girl's face from eyes rubbed raw. Not like she had been reading a sad story, but more like she had been sobbing with each page she turned.

Ivy felt her heart clench in sympathy, and even Jenks looked stricken as Ivy whispered. "I think we found the book."

Jenks responding whisper was hollow. "We did."

His tone alarmed her and her expression showed it. "Not now, grab the book, grab some matches, and let's get it as far away from her as we can."

Ivy already had a lighter in her pocket so she crept forward smelling the lingering despair that seemed to cling to Alison even in her sleep. The woman's exhaustion worked to Ivy's benefit as she slid her hand over the top of the still open book and slipped it out of the witches' grasp.

Ali stirred slightly, but didn't wake as Ivy closed the book and silently retraced her steps. Out the door and down the stairs the pair didn't speak another word until Ivy was miles away and pulling off the road. While they were no longer speaking in their break in whispers Jenks was still quiet as he answered the question in Ivy's eyes. "We pixies are in tune with the living world..." He paused seeming to collect his thoughts. "Even your kind are part of that world, even when you're dead... though you're sort of imbalanced... I don't know what that thing is Ivy, but it shouldn't be here... I'd really like you to burn it now... I don't like it, and I don't want it near my kids."

The fact that this was coming from a man who had stood up to both undead vampires and genuine demons as well as raised his kids on a plot of land that held the desecrated grave of a former demon hunter rattled Ivy and there was a slight shake to her hands as she put the Bible Black down and took out the lighter fluid she had purchased.

She decided to use the entire can and set it back from the bike before soaking it down. Making a small trail she flicked open the metal case of the lighter and touched to the small line of fluid. It quickly caught and rushed back to the Bible Black before igniting it in a pyrotechnic cloud.

They stood there and watched it burn, Jenks even directing Ivy to move out of where the smoke was blowing until he nodded. "It's done."


Chapter 4.

"I can't believe you guys didn't call me."

With Rachel getting in late, Ivy and Jenks going to bed early, and everyone sleeping late, they hadn't had a chance to catch up until the next morning, and all three were still in their sleepwear as the pair finished telling Rachel about their spur of the moment run the night before.

"And she didn't care about my shunning?"

Ivy shrugged. "At first I don't think she knew, but I told her, and a I.S. car that pulled us over told her. Frankly I think she was more concerned about the fact that the I.S. were dealing with what I understand to be an internal witch matter."

Rachel was nodding the affirmative as Jenks spoke up. "She still might not care, from the looks of her place Rach she's a top notch ley line witch and doesn't need ingredients like you do with your earth charms. We were actually thinking of letting her work off the rest of her fee..." He paused to smirk at Ivy. "...in ley line instruction for you."

"I just wish you guys would have called me." She saw them share a look. "What?"

Ivy's lips were quirked as she sipped her coffee. "We're just waiting for you to say how much you would have wanted to get a look at the book."

The guilty expression on Rachel's face told them she was thinking just that. "Well, with my demon blood it probably wouldn't have had the same effect."

Ivy snorted. "Or it would have effected you more."

Jenks shook his head. "I'm glad you weren't there. When she was first telling us about the book she was saying how it WANTED to be read, and I didn't believe her because I thought it was just a book. I'm still not sure what it was, but it wasn't JUST a book, and I can believe it wanted to be read..." His face twisted. "It's hard to say, it's like I told Ivy, it doesn't belong here, so words don't feel right because the words DO. It's like a weed that wanted to strangle the life out of all the healthy plants until that's all there would be."

The two women were contemplated the description before Ivy suddenly got up and walked back to the bedrooms. The remaining pair looked at each other until there was a knock at the door. Jenks shook his head as Rachel went to answer the door.

As he stood on the counter listening he heard it open and then heard another voice. "Hi, you must be Rachel. I'm Alison... doughnut?"

He hovered up to see the door to see Alison Crowley standing there in dark purple shorts with black canvas slip-on shoes, and a form fitting black top that cut off just below ample breasts, with no sleeves and yet with a high collar. The exposed flesh of her arms. legs and abdomen was fit, but showed less muscle tone then the martial artists Ivy or Rachel, but also showed a healthy pink returning to the pale young woman who had shown up on their doorstep less then 24 hours ago. A young woman who had returned this time with a box of pastries.

The blonde witch looked over to see the pixy's hovering form. "Hi Jenks, I didn't get an exact count of your kids, but I thought the doughnut holes seemed pixy-sized. So I got three dozen." A sentence that summoned a giggling silken swarm before their father could.

Jenks was smiling. "That will be great. Thanks Alison." He was leading his kids over as Rachel led Alison to the kitchen so she could put down the box. He started opening the containers of doughnut holes while speaking. "You already seem a lot better then last night."

Rachel took a second to interrupt. "I'll let Jenks keep you company while I change."

Alison smiled, moving to the counter at Rachel's welcoming gesture to do so, but her smile flickered as she spoke. "I slept. I haven't REALLY slept in months..." Her expression was reminiscent of Jenks' when he was trying to find the words to describe the book. "I'm still not "good" at this point, but my mind is mine again."

Jenks seemed to at least understand where she was coming from, but after a moments contemplation as he sliced the doughnut holes in half after one of his kids handed him his sword and handed them to his swarming children his gaze grew focused. "Nice outfit. Is the top new?"

At the witches' responding blush he finished handing the treats out to his kids and flew to hover right in front of Alison's face. "Look, you don't know the score, and while Ivy may seem all brave and heroic to you she's not as strong as she seems."

Alison scored her first point with Jenks when she didn't flinch under the scrutiny. "You're right, I don't know all the score, but I can already tell she's stronger then she gives herself credit for." That got a small nod from the pixie, but she didn't let him speak. "Honest truth?" That got a slight nod as she paused. "I like Ivy. That doesn't mean I've named our cats..." At the mention of the words cats Jenks' cat Rex walked over and head but her leg in the feline way of demanding to be pet. She picked Rex up to comply as she kept speaking.

"Or picked china patterns, and I certainly won't show up with a U-Haul to our second date..." At Jenks confused expression she gave a small grin. "Sorry, old lesbian joke. I just know I like her, and I mean like her in the way that I find her attractive and hope she'll find me the same."

Jenks seemed comforted by the honesty. "And the little shrine to your famous ancestor?"

While Alison had no problems talking honestly about her feelings for Ivy she had a little pause before talking about her feelings for her ancestor. "It's not a shrine, it's a picture, and it's out of gratitude for what discovering that part of my heritage gave me." Even at four inches tall Jenks was the picture of the stern father and it was obvious he wanted her to continue. "I think I mentioned that I came from a very strict New England family. They may not have burned witches back in the day, but they certainly worked to keep coloreds out of their neighborhoods."

He interrupted then. "Coloreds?"

Her expression was serious. "Their word, not mine. For my part I was expected to be some perfect little debutante socialite and increase the families holdings by marrying the right guy."

That got a little up turn of Jenks mouth, and Alison snickered. "Yeah, and even then I knew the idea just didn't appeal to me for some reason."

"But girl's school didn't seem so bad?" Jenks had allowed himself a full grin at the question.

Alison exaggerated a sigh. "No, no girl's school was lovely..." Her expression then sobered. "But I thought my role in life had already been settled, then I found some of my great-grandfather's personal writings in an old chest in the attic. Now I don't know how familiar you are with his works, but the idea of simply conforming to others expectations wasn't just wrong, but a disgrace for a witch especially."


She nodded at the man's single word. "As witches we can change the world around us through force of will, and for one capable of that capitulating to the world is even worse then one who doesn't have that capability." Seeing he understood the reasoning she continued. "I was inspired by his works, even before I put it together that he was my great-grandfather who had impregnated my great-grandmother during one of his sex magic rites."

Jenks interrupted again. "Sex magic?"

She just gave a sly grin with raised eyebrows. "I read all the journals I could find, I read all his published works, and I was changed, for the better in my eyes for the worse in my parents'. Their sweet, obedient little girl had become some alien, lesbian creature they didn't recognize, and while their rejection hurt I finally felt... happy, even as they kicked me out I was no longer miserable. Even with that hurt in my heart I could finally look at myself in the mirror, and not hate what I saw... I owe my great-grandfather for that, and whatever else may be said about him his words saved me from the life they had planned."

Jenks hands were on his hips in his Peter Pan pose. "They kicked you out for liking girls?! I've heard of humans doing that, but I... I mean lunker doesn't even...!" The pixies anger seemed to be growing. Alison could guess that by the size of the man's family that kicking out a child over their sexual orientation was alien to him.

Her expression was sad, but she simply shrugged. "They said I could come back when I "came to my senses"..." He simply snorted as she continued. "But I still haven't, I had my great-grandfather's unpublished writings, and with the money from that I probably could have been fine, but I was able to get a blood test to show I was a Crowley and entitled to royalties from those works already published... I've been able to take good care of myself for over five years now."

He gave her a close eye. "How old ARE you ?"

She smiled. "Twenty-two."

He gave an overblown. "Whew!"

She giggled.

His face then twisted. "Wait a minute! That means they kicked you out at seventeen!"

Jenks seemed to be building up a new head of steam as Ivy came back into the kitchen. Then he realized that it WAS possible for a pixy to be even tinier and less noticed.

While he knew the living vampire had colors in her wardrobe she had chosen black again with a snug black t-shirt and black jeans of a similar fit, though since she was in stocking feet there was a splash of white there. What was also out of place was the rather pronounced smile on the woman's face. "Hi Alison, I thought I heard you..."

Jenks didn't verbalize his opinion, knowing full well that Ivy's hearing not only picked up every word, but could probably pick up Alison's pulse as she was speaking. No, his opinion was in the openly scoffing expression on his face and the arms crossed over his chest as the two women ignored him entirely.

Alison's smile was quite similar to Ivy's. "Good morning Ivy, yeah, you did what I asked so I thought I would come over, and say thank you... oh, and give you the other half of your fee. I hope another fifteen hundred will be enough?"

Ivy was a little stunned at such another large check for what was such a simple task. "That's more then enough..." Then she heard Jenks clear his throat. "Oh, but there was something I wanted to talk to you about with that..."

Jenks interrupted, his smirk evil and his voice bordering on sleazy . "She was wondering if you wanted to work it off."

Ivy glared at the pixy and Alison blushed. Ivy looked back, unsure whether she was more angry at Jenks or pleased that Alison didn't seem outraged. "What he means is that from your house we took it you are a ley line witch?"

She rolled her shoulders. "Sorta."

Ivy and Jenks spoke in unison. "Sorta?"

Alison smiled. "People think of magic as spells, charms, or demon curses... but those are just the beginning... let me ask you this. We've all heard of the Native American shaman, and while some may use herbs and others may chant spells where would their totems, and spirits, and vision quests fit?" Seeing neither had an answer she continued. "One of the things Aleister was most famous for was "The Book of Law" which he was said to have been from the Egyptian God Osiris..."

Ivy interrupted. "I thought he said "Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law?"

Alison shook her head, and while she was smiling it was rueful. "That is one of the most miss-quoted quotes ever. The full quote is "As ye harm none, do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." Which basically means that as long as you aren't harming others what you do is your own business." She flushed as she realized she was getting off track. "My point however was that would it be a spell, charm, or curse to contact an Ancient Egyptian Deity?"

The vampire and the pixy looked at each other and blinked. Jenks then spoke. "So do you do ley line magic?"

Alison smiled. "That and much more. Sorry, it's something I'm really passionate about. Magic isn't magical anymore, it's a trade, learned like dry wall or plumbing and witches are little more then mechanics with a bigger bag of tricks..." She then looked Ivy in the eyes, her voice softening. "But what is it you wanted me to do?"

Ivy couldn't remember what she wanted Alison to do... while she had several new ideas her main thought was hoping that her eyes weren't going black.


Chapter 5.

Rachel saved Ivy however as she came back in the kitchen. "Did you guys ask her yet?"

That snapped Ivy back and she shook her head. "We were actually just about to. If you would like Alison we would hand you back both your checks if you would be willing to teach Rachel ley line magic."

Not having heard the previous conversation Rachel couldn't read Alison's expression. "If it's because of the shunning I completely understand, but if you're worried about whether or not I can use ley line magic I took some courses, I just wasn't able to finish..."

Rachel trailed it off, not sure if she should tell the woman she hoped would teach her that the last woman who taught her was now thought dead by a demon. Of course she was alive and well, and making obscene amounts of money working for Trent Kamalack, but Rachel knew that shouldn't be mentioned at all.

"Because your teacher was one of the ley line witches who was killed? Killings that YOU stopped while the I.S. sat on their thumbs? They put more effort into trying to kill you then they did into stopping those killings, or the banshee that got you shunned in the first place. No Rachel, there was a time witches were the ones who stood between humanity and those wicked things, and you are FAR more a witch then those worthless, hypocritical, sell-out wand wavers will ever be!"

While Alison was building up a head of steam Jenks stage whispered off to the side. "Ok, I like her too."

Alison paused, looking over and giving the pixy a friendly smile before continuing. "So no Rachel, I don't give a half a damn about the shunning, and if they shun me too so be it. As a ley line witch I don't need their ingredients, I'm ages ahead of them in my magics, and seeing what kind of people they are I couldn't care less about their company."

She took a breath. "That said..." She walked over and handed Ivy the check, but as Rachel's face began to fall she held up a hand. "I may teach you, but if I do it will be for free. You missed my earlier little tirade about the state of modern magic, but the short version is that I see my magic as an art form, not as the skilled trade most witches do. Since you've been "professionally" schooled you might not be able to grasp my more organic methods, but we can definitely try."

Rachel grinned at the young woman's passion. "And in the meanwhile maybe you can just speak to Helena Aarons, and see if she'll lift my shunning."

There was a sudden silence in the room which Alison broke, her voice now hollow and her newly regained color vanishing. "Helena Aarons?"

Rachel nodded, unsure. "Umm, yeah... a friendly witch who knows about the Council..." Rachel skipped over the fact he was a formerly dead former demon hunter former Council member who was alive once more and the familiar of her demon instructor in curses... though she realized she should probably sit Alison down and tell her how messed up her life was before they began lessons. "Well they were able to tell me where to look and it was a new member... Helena Aarons who pushed for me to be shunned."

Alison's breath was shaky and Ivy walked over to put a hand on her shoulder, to which the witch forced a small smile. "Helena Aarons is the one who gave me the Bible Black."

The silence reigned once more, to be broken by Jenks. "Told you so."

Rachel took a shaky breath all her own, rubbed her hands together, and then looked at Alison. "The woman who had me shunned gave you the book that was driving you crazy?" Alison nodded once. Rachel nodded in turn. "Why would she do that?"

Ivy was the one to try to answer the question. "Well if she's handing out evil books I think we can figure she's evil as well." Ivy paused to let someone object, but when everyone remained silent she continued. "And Rachel... well you are the bad guys black cat..." That got a confused look from Rachel and a snicker from Jenks. "Really, if a villain had found some ancient crystal ball that would allow them to finally complete their evil plan and they were hurrying down the street they would trip over you while you were bent down to tie your shoe."

While Rachel looked offended Alison bit down a chuckle and Jenks was laughing openly. Even Ivy was smiling as she continued. "So it makes sense that someone who had an evil plan here in Cincinnati would try to find a way to take you out of the loop. With the attack on Alison..." Alison's face twisted at the direct term, and Ivy gave her shoulder a soft squeeze from the comforting hand that was still on the woman's shoulder. "We have to assume that it involves Cincinnati's witches."

Jenks hovered in and joined the line of thought. "I think Alison here may be a key to figuring out what's going on. You see with Rachel they knew she would be an issue, and they could take their time, but you had said you've been here less then six months. There's probably something about you that could mess up their plans, and they needed you out of commission as well."

While everyone was looking at Alison Rachel was the one to ask the question. "Any idea what that could be?"

Alison nodded, color returning to her cheeks. Before speaking she had a brief look of regret as Ivy let her hand slip from Alison's shoulder. "I know exactly what it is." She paused, smiling a little bashfully. "I'll try not to get TOO wordy here, but it's probably better if I give too much information rather then too little. While I am a ley line witch my studies have progressed to studies of the celestial and infernal..."

Jenks interrupted. "Why don't you just say Angels and Demons? Ivy and I saw your decorating."

Alison gave her head a small shake. "Because the demons everyone knows are not the angels who rebelled against God. The problem arose with the King James version of the Bible... I think everyone in this room is familiar with the verse "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." but in the older editions it was not witch, but posioner. The witch was actually the one you went to because they would have knowledge of the medicines that could save you. King James however changed it."

Jenks couldn't help but interrupt. "Why?"

Alison shrugged. "You'd have to ask him. Many figure he had some bad experiences, or maybe he just wanted to try to get rid of poisons altogether. Whatever the reason he edited the word of God, and he didn't stop there. In those older editions there were two words "daemon" and "diabolos" daemon were a sort of natural spirit, certainly not inherently good, but not inherently malevolent either. Diabolos however referred directly to the fallen angels who had rebelled against God. There were a little over seventy references to daemons and around thirty for diabolos, but in King James version they were both called demons and their references combined to over 100."

Knowing what they did, and considering the ties between witches and demons, Rachel, Jenks and Ivy wondered if King James had pointed ears or an adviser who did. Alison however was blissfully ignorant and continued on heedless. "The Bible Black is a text from the fallen angels."

Ivy interrupted then. "So she sent it to you knowing you would read it, but also knowing that it would take you out of action."

Rachel followed Ivy's thought with her own. "So I think we can assume she has some sort of plan involving Cincinnati's witches and these diabolos... Is that would singular or plural?"

Alison smiled. "I usually just say devils in casual conversation."

Rachel grinned. "I like the fact you talk about devils in casual conversation, but this Helena seems to have some scheme involving witches and devils. She gets me shunned so that I can't get near enough to any witch to see anything wrong, and she tried to drive you crazy because you're one of the only people who could tell a devil from a demon. Now she'll probably try to get you shunned too."

Alison nodded. "She may. I think our first step is to plan for that. You should write down a shopping list of any store bought components you may need."

Rachel got an unsure grin. "ANY?"

Alison smiled. "I reserve the right to not pick up the REALLY high tag items, but I've put together a respectable personal fortune and... well to put it bluntly this bitch put me through hell and I want payback... and to save all the sell-out wand wavers."

Everyone laughed at that.

Ivy then spoke. "I'll come with you as you do that. She probably doesn't know you've met Rachel at this point, but when she does she may not bother with just having you shunned, and you can't take care of yourself like Rachel or I."

Before Alison could agree Jenks piped in in a over-dramatized feminine voice. "Oh Ivy, your so brave and strong, take me now!"

Both Alison and Ivy were blushing, and Rachel decided to save them. "While you are doing that Jenks and I will go talk to some friends. See what I can learn about the Council and Miss. Aarons."

Ivy was still blushing, but her voice was calm. "You may also want to ask about the Bible Black."

Rachel nodded. "Not exactly something you find at the mall."

Jenks flew over and landed on Rachel's shoulder. "I'll go with Rach... teasing aside, be careful."


Chapter 6.

Ivy figured it was another sign that Alison was doing better since she drove herself to the Church. The car was a luxury sedan that showed Alison could afford a quality vehicle without cutting herself off from the world in a limo or trying to impress anyone with some flashy sports car. Ivy was headed to the passenger side until she noticed Alison holding the keys out to her.

Ivy blinked while Alison spoke. "Nothing will probably go wrong this early, but if it does I figure it's probably better if you're behind the wheel... being brave and strong and all."

Unable to argue the woman's logic as well as blushing at the woman's grin, Ivy moved to the drivers side and unlocked the car for the both of them. Alison mentioned wanting to drop a few things off at home as well as see if there was anything she would want to pick up before a potential shunning.

On the way there Ivy felt the need to comment. "I'm sorry if Jenks offended you."

Alison met Ivy's eyes and her smile seemed to grow. "He didn't."

Silence then reigned in the car, though Ivy noticed both of their heartbeats seemed a little fast.

Back at Alison's house Alison popped the trunk and took out a shopping bag that she took into the house. Ivy was trailing behind as she saw her take out of the bag another black top and a loose sales tag. It didn't take a huge leap to figure the top with it's enticing collar was new, but what really caught Ivy's attention was the book that Alison took out of the bag and set on one of her bookshelves.

Why wouldn't it? Most every vampire alive or otherwise, knew the book. She had given a copy to Rachel to keep that witch from pushing any of her buttons. It looked like it had been bought this morning, so Alison's actions last night could be called coincidence, but now?

Ivy's eyes narrowed. "New book?"

Alison's back was still turned, facing towards the book shelf, but her smile was evident in her voice. "I like books."

Ivy's voice was calm, her mind was focused, but she still could feel her eyes going black. "Probably could have picked a safer title to fill that empty spot on the shelf."

Alison's smile was gone when she turned around, but her voice was as calm as Ivy's. "With the exception of the Bible Black, books are safe, it's all about how you use the information they give you."

Ivy's movements had become smooth, even beyond her normal athletic grace as she stepped closer to Alison. "Do you need that kind of information?"

Alison's smile slowly made it's way back to her face, but it wasn't like Ivy expected. There was a purity to the joy on her face that stopped her in her tracks as Alison spoke. "I met someone, a girl, and I want to let her know that I like her, even the part of her that drinks blood."

"And what if this girl ends up turning you into her Shadow, some puppet on the end of her string?"

Alison's first response was to take a step closer to the suddenly immobile Ivy. "Then I've REALLY misjudged her. I haven't known her long really, less then a day, but even if she and I would reach the point that I would be bound to her I see her as the type that would take her time, make sure I understood and..." Alison's voice dropped to almost a whisper. "she would be gentle."

A shudder ran through Ivy's body. "And what if she lost control and killed you?"

Alison took another step closer. "I could get hit by a bus tomorrow... not to mention that I have some hell sworn witch out there who has it out for me. I realized long ago that fear makes a wise councilor, but a poor leader. That's why I'm reading, and that's why I'm trusting that once she knows my interest she'll..." As she spoke Alison closed the distance and put her arms up over Ivy's shoulders and rested her face to Ivy's chest, putting her neck right underneath Ivy's mouth. "help me to understand what she's doing to me so we can both savor it."

Ivy's head was dipping, and when Alison reached up to roll her collar down Ivy kissed the woman's neck. "I trust you Ivy, and if you want to bite me right now I'll let you..."

Alison looked up and Ivy pulled back enough to met her eyes before speaking. "But you're not sure?"

That got a smile from the blonde. "I'm sure, I'm just... uneducated. I mean I know the book..."

Ivy interrupted. "Already? It's not a short book."

Alison blushed. "I'm a fast reader, and I felt... inspired to finish it."

Ivy grinned, even through her hunger. "But you only know the book." That got a nod as Ivy put her hands on Alison's shoulders. "But you want to?"

Ivy was trembling, so it took her a moment to realize Alison was too as the blonde spoke. "So much."

Ivy was unsure. "You want to let me drink your blood?" Her face sank. "Read the chapter on the pheromones?"

Alison reached up to caress Ivy's cheek. "I did, but the chapter that really got my attention on was how you would be able to drink my aura... when you're with someone you can tell them how you feel, you can try to show them how you feel... but they can never REALLY know. I already like you Ivy, and I could fall in love with you SO easy, and the idea that you would be able to FEEL that..." Alison gave a small shudder and rested her cheek back to Ivy's chest. "and if those pheromones mean you can leave me trembling and shivering in want for you..." Ivy felt Alison's grin against her chest "it won't exactly be a new development."

Ivy reached to cup Alison's face and pulled her to a deep kiss, The young woman's mouth opening automatically to let Ivy's tongue slide in to press on her own. Only their mutual need for oxygen made the kiss end, and even then it was followed by a stream of similar kisses until they both collapsed against each other in a daze.

Alison was the first to speak. "While we'll take our time with the blood we can do other stuff right?"

Ivy pulled her head back to meet the blonde's eyes. "Other stuff?"

Alison rolled her eyes. "Yeah... "other stuff"."

Ivy then got it. "OH!... yeah we can definitely do other stuff."

It took their combined willpower to pull apart, but their smiles remained, the tension now another pleasant sensation coursing through them.

They had work to do, and Alison agreed with Ivy's idea to go to the shop by Carew Tower. Not only was it fairly upscale and therefore well supplied, but the woman refused to sell medicinal herbs to Jenks for his ailing wife Matalina. So if there was any blowback from their purchases they felt the business more than worthy of them.

The hope however was that since Alison was footing the bill they would be able to be in and out without anyone the wiser, but that hope was quickly dashed.

"It's nice to see you've started associating with a better quality of witch."

While both women looked over Ivy was the one to respond. "Excuse me?"

The clerk then seemed to realize she didn't know the living vampires' opinion on Rachel Morgan. So while she still seemed sure of herself, she didn't seem as confident in expressing that to Ivy. "It's nice to see your not hanging out with that Rachel Morgan anymore."

Before Ivy could respond she heard Alison take a breath to speak. "Rachel Morgan... isn't she the one who caught that banshee the I.S. couldn't?"

Ivy barely managed to hide her smile, but it was gone as she played along. "Actually they were afraid to, but yeah she got her when the I.S. failed to."

Alison didn't miss a beat. "Like that "Witch Hunter" serial killer?"

Ivy felt her good mood dip, but it was still strong as she kept up their act. "Oh no... the I.S. was actually helping to cover that up before Rachel exposed it."

Ivy was again fighting a grin at the adorably confused look Alison gave her. "So what's the problem?"

Ivy was proud of the straight face she kept as she replied. "Saving all those lives wasn't easy, and Rachel had to do some things she wasn't proud of, enough that the witch community decided to shun her."

"For the things she did to save their lives?"

Ivy didn't hesitate. "Yep."

Alison then turned to the witch at the counter. "Ok, she wouldn't know this, but you should, who on the Council called for the shunning?"

Ivy suddenly shifted to shock, but was able to hide that as well as the witch behind the counter responded. "Uh... Helena Aarons..."

"Really, Helena... she's such a giving individual. When you see her next please tell her Alison Crowley sends all her best."

The clerk was wide eyed as she rang up the sale. Speaking only one word as they left. "Crowley?"

Ivy was just as stunned as Alison paid for their purchases and walked out the door.


Chapter 7.

The women were carrying their bags out to the car as Ivy started speaking. "Are you sure it's a good idea to call her out like that?"

Alison shrugged. "Chances are the girl would have told her anyway. This way not only am I telling Helena I'm alive, and sane, but that I know her actions were deliberate. That's going to put HER on the defensive, and by using the clerk as a proxy I let her know in a way that if something happens to me suspicion is going to immediately fall on her."

"So she might not shun you?"

Alison pursed her lips. "She might, but now Rachel's shunning will probably be questioned, or at least discussed, and mine would be that much more difficult to pass."

Ivy looked like she understood, she then paused and spoke again. "I'm sorry about the girl equating you with Rachel."

They had gotten to the car, and were putting the bags in the trunk as Alison glanced over and took a long look at Ivy. Once the trunk was closed she took Ivy's face between her hands and pressed their lips together. As the kiss broke she reached down and took the keys from Ivy's hand and opened the passenger door for her.

Ivy didn't protest until Alison had started the car and steered it back into traffic. "Where are we going?"

Alison just gave her a wicked little smile. "Trust me?"

Ivy gave a small nod, showing that she would trust Alison, but that it was not easy.

Night had fully fallen as Alison steered their car deeper into Cincinnati proper, but she didn't enter the heart of the city. Instead she pulled into one of the smaller border areas that most everyone human, and interlander alike avoided. Much to Ivy's surprise the building she pulled up to was well maintained. While it looked to be a former warehouse it now looked to be a nightclub called "The Cauldron", or at least that's what the red neon on the front proclaimed.

A valet took the keys from Alison as they got out, and when Ivy flashed some concern Alison shook her head. "Don't worry, security is excellent here."

Ivy had to agree as numerous muscular men seemed to be vigilantly scanning the area. "So is this a witches bar?"

Alison smiled, again with a wicked tilt that increased the apprehension in Ivy's stomach. "The cauldron is quite often used in witchcraft... as a symbol of feminine power."

Ali then laced her right arm with Ivy's left and dragged the woman inside, and Ivy did smell the rich redwood of witches, as well as the incense of vampires, and the musk of weres not to mention the individual smells of humans, but they were all female. Not even the security men where in the room at this point, each and every person there was a woman.

Ivy breathed deep again and actually felt her head swim at the rush of emotions she scented in the air, while they were all pleasant there was just so much. A hand was put on her shoulder to steady her with a start Ivy realized it wasn't Ali.

The woman was obviously a living vampire, and what would probably be called a "soft butch" her hair was cut short, and her clothes were more on the masculine side, but she was still wearing make up and jewelry and a warm smile as she spoke. "First time?" At Ivy's dumb struck nod the woman's smile grew. "It can be incredible, but it can also be overwhelming if you're not used to it. The girls can put out ALOT of emotion when they get going."

Ivy looked around the room and saw a lot of girls, drinking, talking, dancing, some deliberately so on small lighted stages roughly the size of the tables around the room. Another comforting hand was placed on her stomach, and when Ivy looked it was Ali this time, and the concern on her face was obvious. "Are you ok Ivy? I didn't realize this place could have an additional effect on you."

Ivy shook her head to clear it, and then put on a smile for both women. "No, I'm fine." Much to her own surprise, she was. "Just hit me all at once."

The vampire didn't seem convinced though. "Are you sure? I know it REALLY effected me when I first found the place."

Ivy knew what she was talking about, and Ivy couldn't deny she felt her hunger. The woman seemed to realize it, and while she nodded knowingly her voice was serious. "Don't pick anyone up for that. I don't know the status of you and the cutie on your arm, but this place has rules to keep it from being abused. It's for the other side of us."

Ivy looked at the vampire, looked at Ali and saw the slight blush coloring the witch's cheeks and realized what that meant. For Ivy her bisexuality had been discovered with Skimmer, and had been linked with the blood, and ever since then Ivy had been a bisexual vampire, but here she could be a bisexual woman... Ivy felt a small grin tug at her face, well the male part of being bi wouldn't really come into play... she still realized why Alison had brought her here.

Turning she wrapped her arms around Ali's shoulders and looked deeply into her eyes. "Thank you." She then pulled them together and pulled them into a kiss that started with the pressing of their lips, moved to Ivy nibbling at Ali's bottom lip, and finished with a brief brushing of their tongues.

Breaking apart the vampire was grinning at them. "I don't think you'll need to worry about picking anyone up."

Ali replied for her. "No, she won't."

They waved goodbye to the soft butch vamp and walked to the bar. After ordering, and receiving drinks Ivy was dismayed to find Alison climbing up on the bar. At first the bartender looked ready to call security, but Ali whispered something in her ear and the woman relented. Even then Ali had to use a spell to create a tone loud enough to get the rooms attention.

"All right, I'm sorry ladies, but I need to ask everyone a question. Show of hands... How many here have fallen in love with a straight girl?"

There was some laughing, but Ivy estimated 90% or more of the room or more raised their hand. Alison nodded once, and smiled prettily. "Thank you girls."

Ali climbed down and smiled sweetly at Ivy. The bartender was watching their interaction before leaning in to talk to Ivy. "Does she know?"

Ivy looked back, confusion marring her features. "Who?"

The bartender smiled. "The straight girl. Does she know you're gay?"

"She knows I'm bi."

The bartender grinned. "Well, no one's perfect. She know you have feelings for her?"

Ivy nodded, and got a sympathetic wince.

"Let me guess, you always have her coming to you to talk about the latest looser to break her heart."

Ivy leaned in over the bar. "That common?"

Most of the bar seemed to nod in unison, but then the bartender's eyes went over Ivy's shoulder. Looking back over her own shoulder she found Alison watching her. Ivy then turned around, and stepped close to the blonder witch. "I'll probably always have feelings for Rachel."

Ali took her own step closer, and put her hands on Ivy's waist. "Once someone is in your heart they never really leave."

Ivy hung her head. "Still, it doesn't seem fair to you."

Alison reached out to cup Ivy's cheek. "What isn't fair is torturing yourself like this. You care about Rachel, Rachel cares about you, but not in the way you need her to. It's ok to need that Ivy." Ivy started to turn away, but Alison stepped to press their bodies together while using her hand on Ivy's cheek to turn the woman's face to meet her own. "We all need that." Her thumb started making a small circle on the skin of Ivy's cheek.

"KISS HER ALLREADY!" They couldn't tell who shouted the command, but the bar took up the chant of "KISS,KISS,KISS..." to which Ivy blushed and Alison laughed. The chant continued however until the women pressed their lips together to raucous applause.

It did not end there as Ivy took it deeper, wrapping her arms around Alison to pull the woman into a fierce embrace. Her tongue plundering the woman's mouth in the same action. To which Alison happily acquiesced, taking all Ivy offered, returning in kind as their passion fed one another. When they finally did pull apart the whole bar was watching them with a combination of amusement and not a little bit of envy.

Ivy rarely drank, and never to excess, always fearing the resulting loss of self-control. It seemed different however, maybe it was because Alison was some advanced student of ley line magic, or maybe it was just something about Alison herself, but Ivy felt free to loosen some of the tight reins she kept on herself.

She drank, she danced, and she drank some more. Ali was there throughout and Ivy knew she would be safe, and others would be safe from her. The night didn't end for Ivy Tamwood so much as fade to an indistinct blur, but she knew she ended it smiling.

She wasn't smiling however as she woke. While the room she was in had the blinds drawn even the faint light around the edges stung her eyes and drove deeply into her pounding head. If this was what the sun would be like once she was one of the undead she had a whole other reason to fear the transition.

The light however did reveal the details of the room she was in. Alison's guest room looked much the same as it had when she and Jenks were doing the room to room search for the Bible Black, but this time she was in the bed. Though she was under the covers she was still in the black jeans and t-shirt she was worn out last night, with her boots on the floor in a corner and her coat laying neatly on a nightstand.

A small grin found it's way past the agony trying to pound it's way out of Ivy's skull. Despite with witches' obviously sensual nature Ivy wasn't at all surprised that she was the perfect lady last night. While Ivy found herself contemplating the idea of being with the witch more and more she knew Alison was courting her rather then seducing her.

The vampire in her wanted to call it hunting her slowly, as Ivy had been accused of doing with Rachel, but even if that were the case Ivy found herself increasingly comfortable with the concept as she found herself wanting to "hunt" Alison too. Leaving the two women in a dance she found herself wanting to continue.

Yes, she would always have feelings for Rachel, and she knew Rachel would always care for her, but Alison's words came back to her, and Ivy knew it wasn't about what the vampire needed. There would always be those willing to give her their blood if only for the ecstasy the act can bring. Ivy the woman needed to be loved, and Alison Crowley seemed ready to love her.

The fact that the woman seemed almost eager to show that love by giving her blood to Ivy just gave the vampire a pleasant spike to her pulse.

The scent of the woman in question then filled Ivy's senses before the door opened. Alison was in a pair of white sweats with a soft blue t-shirt as she opened the door silently and stepped in holding a bottle of water, and what Ivy presumed to be a pain amulet. Her voice was a whisper. "Hey, I'd ask how you are doing, but that seems cruel some how."

Ivy gave a small pout to the woman's grin as she sat down next to her on the bed and spoke once more in a more normal tone of voice. "I was just going to set these in here, but Rachel called me when she couldn't get you and said you should call her as soon as you are able, and Rynn Cormel is downstairs asking about you."


Chapter 8.

Setting the water down on the nightstand next to the bed Alison paused, a mischievous smile on her face as she took the pain amulet in one hand and a finger stick in the other. Quickly pricking her right index finger she put the needed blood on the pain amulet to activate it. The smile remained as she brought the bloodied finger to Ivy's mouth and whispered. "Would it be cruel or kind?"

Ivy found herself answering the question by opening her mouth to take the offered digit inside. Cruel or kind became irrelevant as the taste of the witch cut through the hang over haze in a bolt of sensation, and Ivy sucked hoping for more of the witches essence.

The heavy breathing that Ivy had been doing through her nose with Alison's finger in her mouth became a whimper as the small wound stopped bleeding. The next thing she felt after the loss of Alison's taste was the feeling of the witch petting her hair.

Ivy's mouth released the digit and she looked up to Alison with black eyes to find the woman smiling at her and continuing to pet her hair and caress her face. Without a word she slipped the pain amulet over Ivy's head and slipped it inside her shirt, allowing her fingers to dwell an extra moment on the soft flesh she rested the amulet against.

Alison continued touching her for several moments before Ivy remembered... Rynn! Sitting up abruptly she was glad for the pain amulet as she was able to quickly find her feet.

She was starting for the door as Alison spoke. "Ivy... Ivy it's ok. A few more minutes isn't going to kill him a second time."

Ivy turned abruptly to face the witch. "He can hear you, you know."

Alison shrugged. "He's in my house, and you are my guest, and even if you were just my guest I would know who I am responsible for."

Ivy blinked a moment at the wording, but then realized Ali was saying Ivy was more to her then a house guest, but even a mere house guest would be more important then some strange vampire showing up on her doorstep. Shaking her head to get rid of the train of thought she spoke. "Well he's my Master Vampire and I'm responsible to him."

A small frown came across Alison's face, but faded quickly to a cool expression. "Then we should get downstairs."

A small frown came to Ivy's face in response, and it was still there as they found Rynn waiting alone in Alison's living room. He stood up at their approach, a friendly grin on his face. "Ivy! Darling I'm glad to see you finally letting your hair down."

Ivy was shyly looking away as she accepted the hug he opened his arms to give her. Expecting to catch a whiff of jealousy she turned to Alison when she smelled none, and she saw... she saw what Helena Aarons was afraid of.

Most people upon meeting Rynn Cormel were impressed with the man's charisma, something that even the loss of his soul hadn't diminished. If that didn't get them the fact that he was a former leader of the free world, and the man who pulled society from the brink of collapse during the Turn would usually have people stammering, and while the first two hadn't failed him yet Ivy knew that it was a rare individual who could be in the same room with a master vampire without being intimidated.

Alison appeared to be one of those individuals. While she wasn't hostile, she wasn't impressed, and while Ivy had been expecting it she wasn't jealous or angry. She was calm, focused, and Ivy found herself thinking that she was ready for whatever would happen. Whether it would be a pleasant discussion on their evening out last night or a battle that would end either with Rynn's second death or Alison's first.

Were Alison a vampire she would view this like the meeting of two masters, but instead Ivy was wondering if this is what Alison was talking about how witches "should" be. As it was only Rachel had shown such confidence, and even then it was only occasional flashes. If all witches were like this vampires would face a definite challenge to their dominance.

Ivy however was a vampire, and she believed in the strength to be found in bloodlines. As a Tamwood she was a good example, and she wondered if Alison was an example of the power contained in the Crowley line.

Rynn didn't know as much as Ivy about the current situation, but he could tell Alison wasn't afraid of him, and his expression didn't cool, instead his smile seemed to grow. That alarmed Ivy to a certain extent as it could almost be as bad for a master vampire to decide he liked you as it would for them to hate you.

"Miss Crowley, I must once again thank you for inviting me into your home." All three parties had a small grin at the old superstition about vampires and invitations. "I just wanted to check on Ivy as I do keep an eye on her, and your appearance in her life has been rather abrupt."

Alison paused for a moment. "I had initially contracted Ivy for a run. The rest has been a wonderful surprise. The initial run however may interest you." Ivy looked to her quickly, but Alison just smiled and motioned them to sit down with her and Ivy on the couch and Rynn sitting on a recliner. "A book called the Bible Black made it's way into my possession. It would be what the Fallen Host would probably call "their side" of the story, but more practically it destroys the sanity of the witch reading it while compelling them to read it again and again. While I couldn't bring myself to dispose of it I was able to hire someone to steal it and destroy it."

She looked to Ivy briefly to confirm that's where the living vampire entered the tale. "Though I didn't know for certain that a vampire would be unaffected, since your kind lacks even Second Sight while still possessing your gifts I thought a vampire would make an excellent agent for the theft, and in my research Vampiric Charms had plenty of experience in unusual cases."

There was another shared smile as Alison continued the narrative. "Where your concern would lie is with the woman who sent me the Bible Black, Helena Aarons."

She paused, presumably to see if Cormel could make the connection, and he did so in a quieted voice. "The woman who called for Rachel's shunning."

Alison nodded once. "Precisely. She got Rachel out of the way, and attempted to do so with me as well. The greater concern is that I've been in Cincinnati less then six months and Helena still felt need to take action against me so quickly."

Rynn Cormel showed that he was following the conversation as he spoke, this time in a more level, focused tone. "Which would indicate that whatever she has planned is coming to fruition."

Alison was able to continue his thought with no seeming break. "Yes, and with her having Rachel shunned by Cincinnati's witch community we're figuring it involves the same."

"Something that is supported by her having materials that could affect a witches sanity."

Alison smiled at Cormel's insight. "Exactly, and the nature of the Bible Black as well as my expertise in Angelology and Demonology leads us to believe that is where she is acquiring those resources."

Rynn clasped his hands under his chin in a thoughtful manner. "So demons are seeking to establish a foothold in Cincinnati and are using Miss Aarons as their representative?"

Alison leaned in. "Not demons, devils, the things that demons fear. While the demons are a dark, but natural creature the devils are the Fallen Host, creatures with no place in this reality that we believe are using Miss Aarons to make a place for themselves."

While both women knew the man didn't really feel emotion as they did his face scrunched up in confusion. "So you are knowledgeable in the beings she deals with?"

The got a smile from the blonde. "One of the few, the King James Bible lumped the two together, and most never realize there is a difference." She then sobered. "Namely because the devils are far more malevolent, demons are simply predatory. We figure that's why I was targeted."

His eyebrows rose. "I simply figured that she feared one of your line would be more likely to challenge her actions."

Alison didn't realize it but Ivy's brows rose as Rynn laid a major compliment in the witches' lap. The witch however continued on. "We hadn't considered that. Either way all roads lead back to her, and lead forward to dark possibilities."

The master vampire nodded. "She sounds like a threat to the city at the very least, and I have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo." No one mentioned that the vampires were controlling that status quo. "I actually have another interest I would have brought up another time, but since this discussion is going so well I will go ahead and mention it."

He pointedly ignored the pleading look that Ivy threw him, Alison however noticed and looked concerned as she listened to him speak after he took a thoughtful pause. "As Ivy's roommate Miss Morgan is already looking into ways for Ivy to keep her soul after her first death, and I am supporting her efforts as the leading cause of death amongst undead vampires like myself is the loss of the soul, and the inability to make new auric connections . Which often leads to suicide within the first 40 years of undeath. I have extended my protection to them both, and would like to make the same offer to you."

Ivy scowled, but she was looking down as she protested. "Rynn! She doesn't need to worry about that."

Ivy looked up as Alison took her hand and found the witch smiling at her. "If you're worrying about it then I am too. I'm sure he can scent the emotion between us, and I'm not afraid to say it. I already care about you Ivy, and while we haven't talked anything definite about the long term I've thought about it, and had planned on bringing it up."

Ivy frowned, more out of confusion then anything else. "You did? When were you planning on bringing it up?"

Ali was still smiling as she shrugged. "I don't know? Didn't seem like a topic to bring up on the first date."

Ivy blushed. "But you thought of it?"

Alison was still holding Ivy's hand, and was now caressing it where she cradled it between her own. "We might not be making any long term plans yet, but that doesn't mean my mind hasn't gone there, and long term with a living vampire means the soul will be an issue."

Rynn was smiling, but seemed to be taking advantage of is unliving form to remain utterly silent to allow the women to continue their conversation undisturbed.

Ivy expression soured. "So you could be with me even without a soul?"

There was a soft rise to the other woman's shoulders. "I figured we would have to talk about it, but if you want to keep your soul I will do everything in my power to help you do so. You need to ask yourself what that means exactly?"

Both vampires focused on her as she kept going. "You want to keep your soul. If it came down to keeping your soul or entering your undeath? What if I could give you an amulet that would assure that you just had the one death and your soul could pass on as normal?"

Ivy paled beyond her normally fair coloring, but Rynn interrupted. "That's not an acceptable solution."

Alison pointedly ignored the master vampire as she brought the living vampire's hand to her lips to kiss it. "You don't have to decide now Love, but you should think about it. It may never come up, but I am going to be researching a vampire's life cycle, and more specifically what happens during the first death. It's entirely possible I may find some key point that differs in the vampiric death, rebirth, and fate of the soul."

She then put Ivy's hand on Ivy's lap and turned to Rynn, the room seeming to drop in temperature right along with her disposition.

"Mister Cormel, I think there are a few things we need to discuss before beginning any association. The first is that I know I am being manipulated, I do not blame you for that. I don't blame you because by using my feelings for Ivy you get someone who is working for more then a paycheck, and you will get an effort that money can not buy. More then that practitioners at my level can not be bought. So your manipulation has netted you your best chance to date for success."

"That said the second thing is that I am doing this for HER. The fate of you or your species is not a concern to me. That is not to say I wish your kind ill, but to say that I have a definite agenda. As long as you understand that agenda we will be able to work together, to what I imagine will be great results. The only result I will promise however is that I will take care of Ivy. What that means is that even if I never come up with a "single death amulet" I may only come up with a method that allows a living vampire to retain their soul during their first death, or a method that only works on female vampires, or a method that only allows female living vampires to retain their soul during their first death. Or it may be a complete success that grants you your every desire. I just need you to understand that my goal is definite, and in working WITH me you will need to respect that."

Rynn Cormel's smile was gone, but there was no anger there. Instead it was the focused gaze of one of the unliving. "I can agree to those terms."

Alison then smiled. "I'm glad. I don't want there to be malice between us. I just need you to understand that I am your equal, not a subordinate, something that I know is rare for a being at your level."

He nodded once. "It is, and I understand."

Alison then continued. "That said you have resources that could very well be the difference between success and failure so I do have high hopes for this partnership."

Rynn took an unnecessary breath and extended his hand. "As do I."

Alison extended her hand, a full smile on her lips, they both moved forward to shake hands. As they sat back Ivy let out the breath that she hadn't realized she was holding while Alison started speaking again. "What I think you need to consider is if you really want your soul back."

He took a breath to speak, but Alison quickly continued. "Please, hear me out. You speak of things like "auric connections" but the key word there is "connection". The return of your soul would include the return of your conscience. I know I don't know the full story, but the old master vampire of Cincinnati was convicted for the "Witch Hunter" killings, and I can imagine that was only one entry on a very large list of sins. Now imagine if he suddenly regained the ability to feel guilt. He may commit that suicide that he didn't commit within those first 40 years."

The look on the current master vampire's face showed that he hadn't thought of that. "Be careful what we wish for."

Alison sighed. "Precisely. It should also be noted that this is going to be a level of magic that goes well beyond pain amulets or the circles they raise on holidays. Just in my research alone I plan to be making direct contact with gods. The rite itself will be on a similar level. We're talking souls, and that can't be a casual discussion."

He nodded again his body language more the dead he was then the living he was so talented at portraying. "I understand."

Alison frowned. "I don't think you do, but that's not your fault. It will be one of my tasks as we go to help you understand the scope of this undertaking." She then took a breath. First however I will need to do more mundane research. If you would please forward to me any copies of the research to date on the matter so I can see where you are at this point."

He frowned slightly. "Some of that is delicate information."

She nodded. "We can start with that you are comfortable sending to me, but if I would come up with a ritual that could return your soul, would you want to undergo it knowing I was acting on incomplete information? We're going to have to build trust on both sides, but if it helps..." Alison paused, a happy smile coming on her face as she put a hand on Ivy's knee. "There is a strong chance I will allow myself to be bound to Ivy soon, and even before that you could still use her as my "handler"."

The smirk on the undead vampire's face was human again, and Ivy blushed at it as he spoke. "Would you really choose to be bound?"

Alison bit her lip before she started speaking. "I trust her already, in spite of the fact we've only met each other I just know that I'm safe with her." Ivy looked guilty at that and Alison just squeezed her knee. "Even if she doesn't. I also believe that there is little in this existence that is inherently good or evil, and what some of your kind may use to abuse and control each other would simply be a bio-chemical reinforcement of feelings that are already there."

Ivy was staring in amazement as Cormel spoke in a tone that seemed as stunned. "I do believe you are a most unusual creature Miss Crowley."

He then stood. "But if there is nothing more at the moment I will get my people gathering all they can on Miss Aarons. I'm sure you both have a full evening planned."

Alison stood and they shook hands once more. "Feel free to stop by if you need to. Otherwise I'm sure you already have my number."

He laughed. "And Ivy can give you mine." Alison then walked Cormel to the door.

Walking back she looked at Ivy, and could tell that living vampire was still in the daze brought on by Alison's earlier words. Kneeling down next to her Alison could hear Ivy almost chanting the same words over and over to herself. "You don't know, you don't know what I've done."

Reaching up she caressed the woman's cheek and began speaking, almost narrating. "Do you know why the Messiah preached forgiveness?" Ivy looked up, but Alison didn't even pause. "There was more to it then the spiritual implications. All you need to do it look at the Middle East today to see why forgiveness is so important... and to see what happens where there is none. Yet if you were to ask there would be an excuse for every atrocity, a justification for every horrific act."

Seeing she had Ivy's attention she continued. "If you look back far enough you can find a reason for everyone to hate everyone else. Without forgiveness there is only death, and eventually oblivion. The Paternoster, the Lord's Prayer in it's original Aramaic translates to "And leave us serene, just as we allow others serenity."

"If your soul is to be saved, both after your First Death and right now it's going to be up to you. I can act as a vessel for Divine Will, but if you have convinced yourself that you should be Damned then you will be. I believe in you, and I won't stop, but I need you to start believing as well."


Chapter 9.

They took a few moments to let Ivy compose herself, and then to let Alison trade her sweats for some jeans while Ivy gathered her things.

"Well I'd imagine Jenks is going to tease you no matter what you do. So would you like to grab a shower before we head to the church?"

Ivy had to admit she still smelled like the bar, and nodded. Alison encouraged her to go look through her dresser and closet to pick some clothes to borrow while she grabbed Ivy a towel and washcloth.

It was actually a little bit of work as Alison was a tiny woman, especially in comparison to Ivy's amazonian frame, but a casual sleeveless red top and a pair of blue jeans looked like they would suffice.

When Alison handed her the towel and wash cloth she was giving Ivy a look that was already helping Ivy out of her current clothing. Ivy returned it with a smirk. "You DO know what this will mean? Wearing your clothes will mix our scents."

Alison grinned. "I know." Then she paused her expression still soft, but bordering on serious. "Am I doing ok? I like you Ivy, but I won't push,"

Ivy felt a warmth course through her and she stepped forward to pull Alison into a kiss. "You've told me about your line, you've gotten the approval of my Master Vampire, not to mention showing yourself a power in your own right, you've basically given me license to bite you at will, and trusted me to wait until you are ready... Ali, if we didn't have work to do I'd be carrying you to your bedroom to show you just how well you are doing."

While Ivy knew the witch had learned her buttons and was playing them like a natural she figured the flushed skin was genuine, and the heat the rising blood brought to the woman's skin wasn't meant to play on her instincts. That however didn't stop Ivy's head from swimming as she quickly walked into the bathroom, and found her body having it's own natural reactions as she got undressed.

Looking in the mirror she could see her nipples were pebbled with arousal. She watched in the mirror as her left hand moved of it's own volition to reach up and pinch the tight, aroused flesh. She groaned and her legs picked that moment to spread, the mirror showing Ivy the clear drop running down the inside of her thigh.

Ivy's left hand was thinking for itself as well as it slipped down through trimmed dark curls to the pooling moisture. Or at least it tried, both hands quickly falling to her sides as the door opened behind her.

While she knew who it was before the door ever opened Ivy was still stunned to see Alison standing before her naked. The fair skin that Ivy had already been studying with growing interest showing no signs of scar or blemish now flushed to a soft pink of arousal.

An arousal Ivy could smell from Alison's own trimmed curls, the blonde color a compliment to the long mane of hair running down Alison's back and a contrast to Ivy's own dark hair. The arousal echoed just as strongly in the beating of the witches' heart as much as it mirrored in deep blue eyes that first looked shyly away, and then met Ivy's gaze before speaking. "I don't want to push, but I also don't want to tease."

When she saw that Ivy wasn't rejecting her advance she advanced physically. Ivy had turned around to face the door when Alison had entered, and now Alison had pinned Ivy between herself and the bathroom counter. Her hands moved to rest on Ivy's hips as their mouths met in a series of kisses that grew in hunger.

Only when the need for oxygen forced them apart did Alison speak, and a grin slipped onto her face as she did so. "I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to have to taste you first."

For a brief moment Ivy wondered how Alison would do that without any fangs, but when the hands on her hips moved to caress her hips and abdomen as Alison sank to her knees she knew. More importantly her body knew, and her legs continued to think for themselves as they spread even further.

At first Alison settled for planting a kiss on Ivy's swollen sex, and it had the living vampire's hips lurching even as her hands moved to stroke through blonde locks. Alison looked up, and smiled, and while the woman was obviously aroused the smiled seemed caring... and happy. Ivy found her heart warming, and unknown to her she had a similar joy on her face as she smiled back at Alison as the woman brought her mouth deeply kiss Ivy's vaginal lips.

Her knees wanted to buckle, and Ivy found herself happy for the counter behind her so she could lean against it as Alison's tongue slid inside her. Ali wanted to help Ivy as well, or maybe she just wanted to squeeze Ivy's butt cheeks as each hand was massaging a firm globe as Ali's tongue came out to lick along the vaginal lips before her own lips formed a seal over Ivy's clit to suck on the sensitized nerves.

Ivy was torn, on one hand her body seemed to want to simply lay back and surrender to the sensations surging through her, but on another level she was awed by the delighted expression on Alison's face as she pleasured Ivy orally.

Those blue eyes had been moving from looking at their own handy work on Ivy's pussy, and looking up to the greater results they were having on the total woman, but as Ivy's hips were moving with more urgency and her cries became more breathless they focused on Ivy's face, and the vampire found herself unable as well as unwilling to break the witches' gaze.

That was what she was looking at as her climax crested and broke, and as she bucked and shook with the power of her release Alison moved from massaging Ivy's posterior to hugging Ivy's hips. A hug that stayed, but moved upward as she slid up to cradle the now boneless body of Ivy Tamwood.

A woman who was still panting and trembling slightly as she pulled back to look into Alison Crowley's smiling face. No words were said, or even necessary as she dove in to kiss the woman feverishly, tasting her own arousal from the other woman's mouth.

Ivy's hands moved to Alison's own posterior, but instead of massaging they gripped and lifted, and the blonde instinctively wrapped her legs over Ivy's hips. She looked unsure as Ivy pulled one hand away, but Ivy smiled. "It's ok Angel, I got you."

With those words that now freed right hand slid down sweat soaked abs to play in a richer moisture under those trimmed blonde curls. One pass, two, moving across the swollen vaginal lips, gathering that essence of the blonde's arousal.

It proved unnecessary however as Ali was more then aroused enough to take the two fingers Ivy slid inside her in one smooth motion. She cried out and buried her face in Ivy's neck. That actually made Ivy freeze, even as Ali moved against her hand. "Are you ok?"

Ali pulled her head up, confusion covering her aroused features. "What?"

Ivy kissed her. "Are you ok?"

Alison nodded. "Yeah, just, just so much, you feel so good Ivy."

Alison gave out a long groan as Ivy's hand started moving, her palm paying extra attention to pressing on Ali's clit. Ivy was smiling as Alison laid back against her supporting arm, the slight woman's weight nothing in comparison to her vampiric strength.

For a long moment Ivy just reveled in the sight of Alison, naked, panting, slick with sweat and flush with desire, whimpering Ivy's name as she drew closer to her own release. Leaning in she took a rock-hard nipple into her mouth and bit down gently.

It was enough as Alison lurched forward in Ivy's grasp and hugged the vampire's head to her chest as her breath held in her lungs and her body shook.

Alison was left in a similar limp state, and Ivy was left to manage how to get her right hand free and ease Ali safely to the floor with only her left hand available.

She did manage however and was she left with glazed blue eyes looking at her adoringly. Once Alison had strength in her limbs again she was wrapping them around Ivy and hugging the woman close.

The smell of sex as well as Alison's still accelerated pulse was playing with Ivy's instincts, but she knew that not only had she already marked Alison in her own way, but the witch had marked her as well.

Alison however seemed incapable of higher thought and Ivy's concern was in her eyes as she played with Alison's hair. Still bleary eyes met Ivy's and the woman grinned. "Sorry... wow... I just..." She sighed and hugged Ivy, resting her cheek to Ivy's cleavage before speaking again.

Or at least she was trying, but Ivy got it, and kissed the top of her head. "I get it Ali, I do." Ivy did get it. There is a special kind of comfort one can only get from intimacy, from sharing something like the two women had just shared.

It was what she got from Skimmer in the beginning, and as she felt the relaxation of her mind, body, and even spirit she knew it was just what her heart had needed from Ali. She could tell the witch had needed it to by the way she was clinging to her.

Ivy's vampiric instincts had been wanting to nurture Alison from the beginning, but as she looked at the witch wrapped around her it was an all too human emotion that was filling Ivy's heart, one she was afraid to name.


Chapter 10.

The shower afterwards had been shared, but with both women satiated it was more connection and comfort that was shared as both naked bodies were soaped up and rinsed off. They had dried and now Ivy was transfixed watching a still naked Alison brush her long blonde hair.

She then remembered Alison mentioning Rachel's call and taking out her phone found three calls from the witch had been logged. While there was a message she knew Rachel wouldn't have left anything of importance on a voice mail so she simply dialed the red head directly.

"Ivy! Are you ok?'

Ivy smiled at the anxiousness in Rachel's voice. "I'm fine Rachel."

"Alison had said she took you out drinking. Are you ok? Did anything happen?"

Ivy found herself wanting to defend Alison from the accusing tone in Rachel's voice, but since they had only known each other a couple days it was hard to do. Rachel's seeming insinuation that Ivy might have dome something while under the influence however still stung.

"I'm fine Ali took good care of me." She sighed at the resulting silence.

Rachel's pause before speaking again took an additional beat. "That's good. I mean I'm glad you had fun."

"Is that what you called to tell me?"

Rachel's voice took on it's professional tone. "No, I talked to Ceri about the Bible Black and she freaked out."

Ivy interrupted. "Was she afraid you read it?"

Rachel growled a little bit. "Once I promised her I had never seen it with my own eyes we started talking about it, and while I didn't name names I told her that a client of yours' had hired you to take it from her and destroy it. She begged me to introduce her, and said I could tell her full story to get Alison there."

Ivy whistled. "Really? Ceri was that disturbed?"

Rachel wavered. "More stunned. The way Ceri put it Alison managed to do something NO ONE had ever done before, and apparently the book has claimed lives all through out history."

Ivy mulled that. "What else did she say?"

"She said that if the Bible Black has surfaced horrors SHE was afraid to describe would follow. She then suggested the meeting because she figured that Alison's experience/ exposure to the Bible Black would help us figure out more of what's going on."

Ivy was nodding to herself. "I'll talk to Ali, and see what she says."

Rachel's voice was unreadable. "Ok, you talk to "Ali" and see what she says."

Ivy however didn't let herself respond. "I'll call back once I know."

She then hung up and turned to find Ali smiling as she watched her. Before she could speak Ivy was being kissed softly on the lips. "At this point I'm pretty sure I'll do anything you ask."

When she saw Ivy's expression sober hers did as well and she looked at the living vampire questioningly.

For her part Ivy shook her head. "This is serious Angel. Rachel and I have a friend who is well versed in the infernal, and when Rachel told her about the Bible Black she freaked out."

Alison was all business at that point. "She knew the Bible Black?"

Ivy took a breath and launched into Ceri's story, and her request.

Alison didn't seem to hesitate as she agreed and Ivy's brow scrunched. "Are you sure? You didn't seem to really think about it."

Alison bit her bottom lip before speaking. "I could say that if you trust her I trust her, but that's not the entire truth... I NEED to understand Ivy. I may be freed from the Bible Black, but I..." The woman physically shuddered. "I remember, and I need to understand what happened to me."

Ivy understood that, and after a quick call in which Rachel promised to get the elf over to their church Ivy was soon parking Alison's car in front of the church.

The pair got out of the car and walked in the large front doors. Rachel and Ceri were sitting in the reception area while Rachel nursed a water and Ceri sipped tea. Jenks was there hovering in front of the elf describing one thing or another with casual gestures.

The three turned in response and Ceri actually stood as she looked at the other fair featured woman. "You're her? The one who bested the Book?"

Alison nodded slightly. The blonde witch seemed to be sizing up both Ceri and the situation in it's entirety.

Ivy decided to keep things moving by motioning for everyone to sit. When she slid in on the couch by Alison Rachel, Ceri, and Jenks seemed to share a look which got them a scowl from the living vampire in response.

The plus was that it seemed to break the ice, and after Alison gave Ivy a slight grin Alison took a breath and spoke. "We might as well start with you. Tell us the history of the Bible Black, while I remember the contents I think how it came into Helena's possession is the most important thing at this point."

Ceri however didn't even take the time to disagree as she went off on a tangent. "You remember the contents?"

Alison didn't seem bothered. "Not word for word perhaps, but the book compels you to keep reading it over and over, and that leads to one becoming very familiar with the material."

Jenks then interjected. "That's something I don't get... I mean is it ley line magic? Earth Charms? Demonic Curses? Those ceremonies you're so big on?"

Ceri's eyes lit up with a mixture of surprise and respect, but she didn't speak it.

Alison was the one to reply. "It's from a time before magic got put into those neat little boxes."

The other four realized it was probably at least from the time before witches were "witches" and were protodemons, they then shared a look that said Alison should probably be informed, but no one spoke up to do so.

Since no one did Alison continued. "I dare say it's one of the first books of magic, and it deals with those primal forces directly, but even then it's..." She was getting a little agitated, and took a calming breath. Ivy actually reached out ant took the woman's right hand between her own.

Alison gave Ivy a warm smile as she resumed. "Instead of harmony and balance and connecting to the universe it's more a matter of causing such horror and despair that the universe doesn't have any choice but to do what you want."

For her part Alison fell silent and laid her left hand on top of where Ivy's other two.

Ceri then started speaking, but her voice was quiet, subdued. "It's been said that the first form of the Book, the Bible Black, was painted on the walls of a cave, one of the first expressions of language. Since then it's been on stone tablets, papyrus scrolls, and now books. I dare say before you would have..." When everyone seemed to realize Ceri was going to say before the book drove Alison to her death. "Well, one of your last acts would be to pass the book on."

Jenks was the one to first voice the thought. "Could that be what this Helena Aarons is out to do?"

Rachel was the first to speak "Wouldn't explain why she had me shunned."

Alison at first shook her head to disagree with Jenks, but she was nodding in agreement with Rachel as she spoke. "And I was in far worse shape then she is and I still wasn't ready to pass it to another."

Ivy had taken both of Alison's hands between her own and was rubbing them distractedly. "Between having Rachel shunned, and the fact that she was able to pass the Bible Black to Alison without showing any signs of madness we have to assume there's something sinister to her."

Everyone seemed to agree, but no one seemed to know what to do about it, at least until Alison started grinning.

Seeing everyone look at her just caused the witches' smile to grow, the already slightly sinister edge growing. "The Council likes to meet on Monday mornings."

Ivy smiled, but was far more unsure. "So what you want to go ask her what she's up to?"

Alison actually laughed, it was soft, but to the tense room it seemed louder. "No, I just want to go there and challenge her judgment." She gave Rachel a meaningful look, and when the other witch did a fish impression in stunned response Alison shook her head. "Rachel, you're not in the wrong. You know it, I know it, this room knows it, and I am saying that Monday morning we kick down their door... figuratively... and let them know it."

Jenks looked skeptical. "I thought you weren't going to call Aarons on the Bible Black."

Alison's sinister smile returned. "I won't, I don't have to. You weren't there, but I did a fairly through job of attacking the logic to a uppity clerk when Ivy and I were out shopping. I'll be able to do that much more in a formal setting. Which reminds me. We have your supplies out in the trunk."

Rachel actually sat up. "Are you sure they're safe out there?"

Alison laughed again. "Who would dare steal from a car in a black witches driveway?"

Rachel scowled, but didn't argue. "We should still go get them."

Alison nodded. "We can spend the weekend preparing."

The rest of the room suddenly got very nervous, and Alison took them all in her questioning gaze. They however looked to Ivy, and she sighed as she spoke to Alison. "It's a long story... can we get together Sunday and we'll tell you all about it then?"

Alison quirked her brow, but seeing Ivy's genuine discomfort Ali leaned in and gave the vampire a kiss. "Ok, I have my own preparations I can do tonight and tomorrow and I'll meet you guys here Sunday." She then smirked. "But this better not be an elaborate version of "I'll call you."

With Ivy's blush Alison made her goodbyes to the rest of the room and left. When Ivy looked to the rest of the room Rachel was staring at her and Ceri was trying not to grin, Jenks wasn't trying not to and was grinning openly.

"Yeah, we had sex." Ivy's eyes glazed slightly in the memory.

Jenks laughed openly.


Chapter 11.

Alison smiled and turned her athame around in her hand. Far from the typical polished double bladed instrument it was a matte black hunting knife that Alison had seen when out shopping one day, and it had done everything but float up and verbally demand she buy it.

She had soon pressed it into service in her rituals and it had been with her ever since. It was just another way that she forged her own path rather then follow the garden trail so many of her fellows seemed ready to tread.

A small snicker escaped her lips. While she was alone in her study she was still sky clad for her evening performance of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. Though she certainly wasn't the first to perform a ritual in such a state she figured most of the time it was the sell-out wand wavers way of playing "Who's more in touch with the Goddess." then a desire to approach the Circle in a state of purity.

Picking up the hard sided sheath that came with the knife Alison slid it home and dropped the Circle. The four blue flame pentagrams that had been lighting up the room from their respective spots at the four compass points then blinked out of existence, plunging the room into darkness.

It was her house however and she had no trouble putting her tools back before walking out the door to her bedroom. Inside the room she switched the light on to pull the sheets back on her bed.

Catching her reflection in the mirror by her wardrobe she took a close look at herself. While she wasn't as tone as Ivy or Rachel she was slender. She turned to the side, still pleased with her breasts appearance, actually giving the mounds a squeeze to confirm they were still firm .

No, while she might not be as firm or tight as Ivy or Rachel, but Ivy seemed to like her just fine... Alison gave a whole body shiver as she remembered when she was tight around Ivy's fingers.

Yes, Ivy liked her quite a bit it seemed.

The mirror showed her nipples growing hard as she thought of just how much Ivy liked her, and Alison gave her breasts another squeeze, her breathing deepened as her fingers moved to the nipples and gave them each a firm pinch.

Of course in her minds eye it wasn't her fingers pinching her nipples, but rather the long nimble fingers of the living vampire. That didn't stop Alison however as she watched herself in the mirror, lightly twisting her nipples as she sat down on her bed and spread her legs.

The fantasy changed slightly, and it was her own fingers stimulating her chest, but Ivy was still there. Sleek, sexy, but still fully dressed as she leaned against the wall watching Alison and what the witch was doing to herself.

She imagined Ivy watching as her left hand kept playing with her breasts while right hand slid down over her abdomen and through soft curls. Alison was already trembling at this point, and her breathing grew shaky as she imagined Ivy's smile silently encouraging her to continue touching herself, to finally touch that place that could bring her so much pleasure.

Alison did just that and her hips bucked as fresh moisture flowed out to meet teasing fingers. They were teasing, Alison liked to take her time, and she was imagining Ivy would like it too. Seeing her please herself, while drawing out the sensations to an almost painful level.

Her fingers were now making slow gentile circles that suddenly stopped so Alison could bring her fingers to her mouth. She thought Ivy's arousal tasted better, but Alison had always liked tasting herself when she masturbated, and her mind's eye was conjuring up Ivy's eyes first widening in surprise and then narrowing in desire as she watched the witch licking her sex-soaked fingers clean.

She was smiling, she imagined she was smiling at Ivy as she brought her hand back between her legs, and this time brought the tips of her fingers between the swollen lips at her entrance. Where her left hand had been pinching her nipples as Alison's arousal jumped up another level she placed it firmly on the bed behind her so she could lean back while continuing to play with herself.

The reflection staring back at her looked so wanton it made the blonde groan deeply, and her hand sped up, hips now rocking to meet her fingers.

It wasn't enough, Alison couldn't tease herself anymore, but a corner of her mind decided to add to her fantasy, helping by having the imaginary Ivy give her full permission to pleasure herself.

That idea got a whimper, and Alison moaned the vampire's name as she slid two fingers inside herself.

Heat, damp heat was gripping her fingers like a vice. It felt like more then she could ever remember as she actually felt the stream of moisture flowing out of her down the crack of her ass to the bed beneath.

Another urge came and she was tasting herself again, moaning at her own hot arousal on her lips and tongue.

As her fingers returned to her demanding folds she felt her left arm starting to weaken, and Ivy was there guiding her to lay back. Then actually guiding Alison's hand back to the witches' painfully hard nipples..

Complying, Ivy stayed there next to her, still watching what Alison was doing to herself. Her face looking cool, but her eyes the deepest black

Feeling herself draw close Alison's imagination had her finger's already pulling out to taste them again stolen on the way to her own mouth by Ivy gently taking the hand in her own and guiding the slick fingers into her own mouth.

In Alison's imagination Ivy moaned in unison with her as Alison's left hand darted to her clit. After licking her own fingers clean one last time Alison's feet came up to rest on the bed so she could spread herself further, drive her fingers in deeper.

Her feet drove down into the bed, raising her hips off the bed and into the air as she body locked into a pleasured arch, while in her ear Ivy whispered "That's my girl."

At that Alison came, harder then she had ever come on her own, moaning Ivy's name out loud, gasping, panting, she even felt a single tear roll down her cheek as her muscles relaxed and she was able to collapse on the bed in a trembling ball.

The aftermath was almost as good as she shook and shivered. Her breathing grew a little less labored and she rolled onto her back, smiling at the ceiling.

In an almost unconscious action Alison licked her own fingers clean, giggling, from the endorphins, from the happy shiver her body gave in memory of her fantasy, from the fact she still enjoyed her own taste.

Sitting up she saw a naked blonde woman looking at her. The blonde was still flushed, her whole body showing a fine sheen of sweat. She smiled, and the blonde smiled back at her and Alison continued giggling at herself.

Yes, Ivy liked her quite a bit, but Alison liked her too, and Alison was still smiling as she got up on shaky legs to shut off the light and climb into bed.

Alison woke suddenly, and with none of the normal steps that came between sleep and full awareness. Her first perception was that it was around noon, meaning she had been asleep several hours. Her second was that she was not alone in her house.

The security system wasn't screaming in alarm, and there had been no sounds of broken glass or splintering wood. It was just a sense of something being wrong in her home. There was a small grin at the moment of thought that Ivy didn't set off this warning in her mind, but she quickly focused on finding out who did.

Grabbing a short white robe she slipped it on and tied it around her waist. Her door opened silently, and Alison was happy that she liked to keep the house maintained as she slipped her bare feet out into the hall.

Knowing her home she was able to silently approach the source of the sound without exposing herself to their vision, and she quickly realized a person and a pixy had broken into her home again, but this was a spindly human male with brown hair, and this pair didn't have her permission!

While she was remembering the pixy senses of sight and hearing she forgot smell, and the scent of lingering sweat and other fluids caught the pixie's attention as he quickly pointed to his human partner. "Nick! She's over there!"

Alison felt sick, they were there for her, bile rose in her throat, but she tamped it down and her voice didn't show any of her anxiety. "Yeah Nick, I'm here, and you have to the count of three to convince me you're just an ordinary thief out for my TV set and jewelry. One..."

The spindly man was walking backward. "This is just a big misunderstanding."


"We didn't break anything... we'll just go."


"Damn it! Don't!"

While Alison didn't have much use for textbook magic she also knew that targeting a pixie was no easy task so she used a text book spell to throw out a high pitched wave of sound that would overload the pixies hypersensitive hearing and knock it out.

As she cast the spell the human who had been backing towards the door bust into action. Suddenly streaming forwards he caught Alison entirely off guard and had no trouble slamming a closed fist into her midsection.

The woman's breath left her in a cry and she crumpled to the ground. He then turned and grabbed the pixy on the floor before running for the front door.

He made it there faster then he thought he would when a wave of force hit him in the back and sent him smashing face first into the door. Cartilage pulped and a bloody smear was left down the front door as he staggered backward.

Looking back he could see the blonde was in a semi-fetal position, but had unwound enough to point a hand at him which he guessed was what had sent the wave of force at his back. Now instead of pointing out her hand was pulling back towards her and his head swung around.

Just in time to see a very large bookcase falling towards him.


Chapter 12.

Ivy first smiled when she saw Alison's name on her phone's caller id, but it was the middle of the day, and between the fact that most Interlanders were asleep at this point as well as the fact they weren't supposed to get together until tomorrow Ivy frowned, wondering why the witch was calling.

"Alison? Is everything all right?"

Ivy started getting up as she heard the pained voice come back over the cellular phone. "I'm ok, but I had two people break in, and when they saw me one told his partner Nick that "she" was here. So I didn't know who I should call?"

Ivy's voice raised. "Nick? Nick Spragmos?"

Alison's took a breath and Ivy could hear the woman was in pain. "They didn't say."

Ivy took a deep breath. She was out of bed and pulled the phone away from her head long enough to yank a t-shirt over her head. "They" the other one was a pixy... looked a little like Jenks?"

"You know them?" Alison's voice was already laden with pain, and now it wavered in confusion.

"I do Angel. Where are they now?"

Alison took another breath and Ivy didn't like the way it sounded even over the cellular line. "The pixy is in a spaghetti sauce jar with holes I poked in the lid. That Nick guy is still under the bookcase I dropped on him."

Ivy didn't fight the smile that gave her. "That's my girl. I'm on my way. If you need an ambulance call one...."

Alison interrupted. "I'm ok."

Ivy growled as she pulled on a set of jeans. "If you need an ambulance call one. I'll be right there. I love you."

Alison's voice seemed tiny then, but not quite so pained. "Love you too."

Ivy hung up, and was grabbing her boots, as she dashed through her bedroom door, to run right into Jenks, but the pixy quickly shifted to a spot right over Ivy's shoulder. Keeping pace with her as she hurried into the main area of the church.

As Ivy sat down to pull on her boots Jenks moved back in front of her, and Ivy could see he had gotten ready as quickly as she was, probably starting when he heard her bellow the human thief's name. "Crap for brains and my idiot son thought she still had the book?"

Ivy nodded once, not bothering to speak as she put her jacket on while walking out the door. Jenks slid to his spot inside her jacket where he would stay in when riding with Ivy while she locked the church up, and not a word was said as Ivy hurled the motorcycle to Alison's house as fast as it's engineering and her riding skills allowed.

She unzipped her jacket as she leapt off the bike while Jenks zipped out to fly to the door. He then whispered urgently. "Ivy! Blood!"

Ivy ran those last few steps, and got a whiff of the smell he did. "It's not her's..." She paused a small grin coming on her urgent features. "It's Nicks..." She then seemed to whisper to herself. "Good girl."

As she was doing this Jenks was picking the lock. As the lock opened Ivy turned the handle and turned to the keypad to Ali's alarm system, to find it already disarmed. Growling again as what she was sure was the cookie's handy work she hurried into Ali's living room seeing the bottom of a toppled bookcase already.

While one of Nick's hands peeked out from underneath the heavy bookcase Alison had dropped on him it showed no signs of movement. Once Ivy was sure he proved no threat she allowed herself to look at Alison. The witch had moved to a chair, but she was huddled in on herself.

Ivy was vaguely aware of Jenks flying over to the jar that jailed his son, but she was far more aware of a scent on Ali and she dashed over to kneel next to Alison. "Did he..."

Alison took a pained breath. "He hit me in the stomach."

Ivy shook her head. She knew the scent of the witch when she had sex, and she could smell it on Alison, and she was sick thinking that Nick might have raped her, but Jenks quickly realized what the vampire could smell and the witch could not. "Ivy. She just smells like her, not like Nick."

Alison looked in confusion, and Ivy looked like she wasn't sure how to ask. Since Jenks had made sure Jax was only bruised he flew over. "I'm guessing Nick interrupted a little.... ah palm reading on her part... I'm sure she thought of you the entire time."

Ivy seemed speechless and Alison turned bright red, but looked over at the hand that protruded from the bookcase and quickly shook her head. "Noooo, no, no. He just hit me after I hit that pixy with a high pitched sound."

Ivy looked over at the hand again and her face twisted with anger. "He still hit you!"

Alison was looking at Ivy with a pondering look as the vampire looked back, and it caused both women to lapse into silence. Jenks took control again. "Ivy? Why don't you take Ali upstairs and see how hurt she is? I can keep an eye on Captain Crap for Brains and the Fairy Fart Kid."

Ivy gently helped Alison to her feet, and continued to support her as she helped her to the bathroom upstairs. Ivy silently asked Alison for permission to remove the woman's robe and Alison just as silently nodded her ascent.

Ivy knelt down in front of her witches' silent gaze and untied the robe's belt, pulling the fabric aside she saw the flesh she had adored just a day before, but now it was marred. On the left side was a large purple and black bruise about the size of a man's fist, but what worried Ivy even more was a yellowish spot at the upper edge.

She probed it gently with her fingers and winced when Alison did. Ivy's eyes were already black, but she could swear she felt them get a deeper shade as her anger grew. Her voice however was calm, gentle. "It looks like he broke one of your ribs Angel."

Ivy met the witches' eyes again, and while she didn't seem afraid of the abyssal black rage that was obvious in Ivy's eyes there was some unknown emotion in the blue eyes, one Ivy almost wanted to call confusion. "Angel?"

Alison tried to speak, and failed the first time, but managed with a second deep breath. "I... I'm not used to someone looking out for me like this..."

Ivy broke a little inside, she knew that if Alison's rib wasn't broken she'd be hugging the witch. She settled for standing up to gently kiss her, a softer growl on her lips. "Get used to it."

There was a silent question in those blue eyes now and Ivy's nod allowed it to be voiced. "You said "I love you"."

Ivy felt her breath catch a moment. She remembered saying it now, even as she didn't think about it then. "Yeah, I did."

Alison actually giggled lightly, wincing as it jostled her injury. "I guess I should pack my U-Haul?" At Ivy's confused look Alison grinned. "A old joke about how we girls can fall in love very quickly, and I love you too."

After that Alison simply smiled and rested her head to Ivy's chest. Ivy spent several moments running her fingers though silken locks before pulling back. "We're taking you to the hospital to get your rib looked at, but we should get you cleaned up."

Alison nodded and tried to step into the shower, but Ivy put a soft hand on her shoulder and went to where she had seen Alison get the clean towel and washcloth yesterday. Getting the same she wet it down and soaped it up while helping Alison to sit on the edge of the tub.

Kneeling down she started watching the witch, and the smell of the witches arousal ticked her nose freely. She didn't even try to help herself as she gave Alison a grin. "I hope I was good."

There was a flicker of confusion before the bright red that had been on Alison's face in the living room returned. She still managed to mutter. "You were a wonderful audience."

The way Ivy's eyes lit up told Alison she knew exactly what the witch had been fantasizing and she gave a small chuckle with lascivious smile. "Yet another reason I wish I had been here."

The deep red coloring stayed on fair skin that now seemed paled by the pain of the injury. Ivy quickly ran to Alison's room and grabbed a set of gray sweats and a t-shirt in a similar color. the panties, bra and socks were all white as those seem the ubiquitous color for undergarments.

Back in the bathroom Ivy helped Alison get dressed and helped her back downstairs. Only to hear a young male pixy voice raised in protest. "You gotta help him Dad!"

An older pixies voice was raised as well. "You should be glad I'm not that big Jax! If I were able to lift up that bookcase I'd do it so I could slit that lunker's throat! You just need to be grateful Alison didn't smash you flat like him. You could be a little bloody smear on her wall right now, and I wouldn't be able to blame her one damn bit!"

Ivy seemed calm as she helped Alison sit, and then walked over to lift the bookcase with a single hand.

Jax was still shouting. "You gotta stop her Dad!"

As the bookcase was put back against the wall something stood out amongst the scattered books, a revolver.

That calm, that dreadful calm remained as she leaned down and picked up the pistol, turning it over in her hand and looking down as Nick's unconscious form.

"They told us we were breaking into the house of an experienced ley line witch! It was just for protection!" Jax was frantically trying to convince his father, but the elder pixy wasn't budging.

His voice was quiet, steady, with an undertone of anger. "Are you trying to defend killing someone in order to steal from them?"

Ivy's voice was distant, and still that horrible calm. "That was the idea."

Three sets of eyes locked on the living vampire as she continued. "You were to be her assassins. Helena knew that the book had been destroyed or Alison would already be insane, but in arming you and sending you here she counted on Alison fighting back and you killing her in the process."

She then took the revolver and cocked the hammer back while pointing it as Nick's head. "You're going to tell me everything, now."


Jenks didn't budge. "If I was big enough to pull the trigger I already would have Son. I suggest you tell her what she wants to know."

He did, he didn't know a Helena Aarons, and he didn't think Nick did either, but that didn't surprise anyone. They just knew that an anonymous account over the web had sent them the first part of a large fee to steal the Bible Black from one Alison Crowley.

Even when the story was complete Ivy stood over Nick with the weapon still trained on his head. Jax protested. "That's it! That's everything! I swear!"

Ivy still contemplated the gun and the head it was pointed at.


Chapter 13.

"Ivy." The vampire looked over at the blonde witch, and finally found something to contemplate other then the gun, though it still stayed trained on Nick's head. "Ivy, please give me the gun."

Ivy looked back at the gun with her deep black eyes, and back at the witch, but otherwise didn't move. Alison had gotten up and was walking towards Ivy. "Please Ivy." There was a long pause. "This isn't you anymore. He's not trying to hurt me now. This is murder, and you're better then that. I believe in you."

Ivy shuddered physically, her whole body giving a shudder as she loosened her hold on the weapon. Turning she handed Alison the gun and the witch smiled. "Thank you, Love."

Jenks spoke once again. "We should call Glenn."

Ivy's eyes were returning to normal as she nodded and proceeded to do so. Once the call was done Alison silently walked over to the jar containing Jax and put it in her pantry. At the questioning looks from Ivy and Jenks she spoke. "I heard someone in my house, when I came down he surprised me and punched me in the stomach and tried to run, I managed to disable him with my magic and called my girlfriend over. She then told me she had a friend in the FIB."

There was a groan beneath them as the human started to come to. He rolled over and looked up into the now human eyes of Ivy Tamwood. He then looked over to Alison Crowley. "Damn it! Is there a witch in Cincinnati you aren't sleeping with?"

Ivy looked down at him, both physically and in her expression. "Shut up cookie, you came here alone because you knew that a Crowley would have plenty of precious books in her library..."

Alison made a small sound of protest, and Ivy threw a glance over that was soon followed by the two men in the room. Alison noticed and pouted more openly. "My books..." she made a gesture at the books now scattered all over the floor, a few obviously damaged in the fall. "It's going to take forever to get them put back in order."

Ivy was smiling when she turned back, resuming the flow of her earlier statement. "She caught you by surprise and you punched her in the stomach and tried to get away. She used her magic to stop you. If you tell that story we'll leave you alive to do so." The unspoken threat that they could kill him and add that small detail at the end of the modified series of events was obvious and he nodded.

Glenn seemed to realize the statement was edited as he was taking it, but with just a look to Ivy and the living vampire's responding nod he accepted it and then he smiled widely at the human sitting miserably on the floor, already cuffed with Glen's own handcuffs. "Mister Spragmos! I just want you to know how long I've been waiting to tell you those three special words..." The FIB ancient paused for effect. "You're... under... arrest."

He hoisted Nick to his feet and the thief groaned in pain. Glenn frowned. "You should probably get checked out first though." He then looked over to Alison and his hard expression lightened. "You should get checked out as well Miss Crowley. I can make sure you get taken care of."

Ivy was responding even before Alison could. "She is."

The FIB agent looked over the situation, and grinned. It looked like Ivy was staking her claim on another witch, but this one seemed happy to accept it. Looking closer at Ivy she arched a brow, daring him to comment and his grin blossomed into a full smile. "I'll leave you in Miss Tamwood's capable hands then."

Jenks snickered and Alison had blushed to a soft pink, but indeed did seem happy to be left in Ivy's capable hands.

Hands that were now holding hers as the pair were sitting in a emergency room examination area while a doctor finished taping up her ribs. As the man stepped back he surveyed his work and then spoke. "All right Miss... Crowley. I'm sure it doesn't feel like it, but the damage is relatively minor. It will take a couple weeks before you should even consider exerting yourself, and I would like you to come get an x-ray next week with your normal physician, but you should be fine."

Ivy glared at the physician. "That doesn't sound minor."

That got a smile, the man obviously used to dealing with over protective significant others. "It is, keep her ribs taped, keep her from overdoing it, and the bone will mend cleanly. The x-ray is more just to confirm that."

Ivy still didn't seem convinced but after Alison said "Thank you Doctor." she was able to get Ivy to leave the ER.

That little bit of control lapsed basically right after they left the ER when Ivy got behind the wheel of Alison's car and started steering it towards her church. The living vampire then launched a preemptive strike on the witches' protest. "You're staying with me while you recover."

Alison then surprised Ivy because there was a shy smile on the blondes' face, one that lapsed once she started to speak. "No, I mean I kinda figured you'd insist, but there are some things I need from my house."

Jenks then spoke up from the back seat. "Couldn't we get them in the morning?"

Alison twisted to look where the pixy was guarding the jar that still contained his son, and immediately regretted the motion. "Not really, I do a ritual each morning and each night, and while I had done my one before bed I don't want to miss my morning one."

Ivy's brow scrunched. "You do rituals every morning and night?"

While both Ivy and Jenks lived with a witch it was obvious such a thing was alien to them.

So Alison took a deep breath before beginning the explanation. "Do you remember when we were talking with Cormel?"

Jenks jumped in. "What? He's after Alison already?"

Alison smiled. "Mister Cormel and I have come to an understanding. He has an interest in vampire's being able to keep their souls, and I have an interest in Ivy keeping hers. We were able to reach an accommodation."

"How can you reach an a"accommodation" with a Master Vampire while Nick dropped you with a single punch?" The question echoed a bit from Jax's jar.

Alison frowned, but Ivy spoke. "Just because she's not a brawler doesn't mean she isn't powerful, and neither Rachel or I could beat Rynn in hand to hand combat, but even after Nick dropped her... "Ivy growled out that part of the sentence and Alison pat her knee. "She was still able to take Nick out."

Alison then took up the narrative. "But when I was talking with Cormel I mentioned that in my research alone I will have to deal with Gods directly... and they have a very strict screening process. Through my rituals and my prayers and my meditations I can deal with them directly while most witches would get slapped down, and none to gently."

Ivy's brow was twisted again as she frowned. "So you HAVE to so they will talk to you?"

Alison smiled. "It gets to a sort of chicken/egg argument. Do I do the rituals so they will talk to me? Or do I do them to keep my mind able to get to them? Either way it's not a STRICT process, but more a matter of working out. So to stay at the level I am I keep the routine."

Jenks seemed to understand. "No pain, no gain."

Alison however shook her head. "No... it's not pain... it's... it feels right. It's like the opposite of the Bible Black, while that was inherently wrong, the place I go to when performing those rituals is inherently right." She was smiling openly at this point. "I like going there."

Ivy's frown was there, but lessened. "We are talking about "going there" mentally, right?"

Alison's smile had slid to a wide grin as she nodded.

Jenks however flew up to stand on Alison's shoulder. "Could you use Rachel's stuff? I mean I'm sure she wouldn't mind."

Alison shook her head again, in a small motion this time. "No, I mean maybe she wouldn't and in an emergency I definitely could, but it would be a cross between borrowing someone's car and their toothbrush without asking."

Ivy had already steered the car towards Alison's house, and as the conversation had closed was nearing her street. "Ok, what do you need?"

Alison tried to get out of the car, but Ivy put a hand on her chest. "You have stairs."

Alison sighed. "In my study there's a small table by the circle. The athame... uh the matte black hunting knife..." Both Ivy and Jenks gave her a look, but decided not to mention it. "There's a good sized green book there that will have a book mark in it. The jewelery box, the blue spiral notebook, and my laptop computer... that's in my computer room in the leather satchel under the desk... and the compass."

Jenks couldn't help but comment then. "What's that for?"

Alison seemed uncomfortable. "I need the four compass directions for the ritual and the only thing I can trust about my sense of direction is that I can't trust it at all."

That got smirks, but no comments. Ivy's voice however was obviously amused as she spoke. "And should I get some clothes? Toothbrush and the like?"


Ivy shook her head, and took Alison's keys to go get everything.

The items were now at various points in Ivy's room and she was silently watching as Alison spoke in Hebrew as she drew floating, flaming stars with her hunting knife. As each star was drawn she would stab it with her knife, saying something in Hebrew, and then bring the knife in a line from star to star until there was one at each compass point.

Though she had said she didn't NEED to do the ritual again before going to sleep in Ivy's bed she said she was doing it this time to relax.

After the circle was drawn she spoke the names of Raphael, Gabriel, Micheal, and someone, Ivy assumed was an angel, named Uriel. After that she spoke something that sounded like Latin, and then more Hebrew, and then she dropped the circle.

It was actually fairly interesting to watch, and it wasn't hurt by the fact that the blonde witch was performing it in the nude. As the circle dropped and the stars blinked out of existence Alison walked towards the bed Ivy was already sitting on.

Ivy took that as a cue she could speak. "Now I've seen Rachel raise a circle with a word."

Alison smiled. "I can too, but this is more about taking my time and doing it right." The witch smirked as she said those last words and she was looking directly into Ivy's eyes.

Ivy smirked right back. "That's sort of a theme with you isn't it?"

Alison laid out on the bed on her back, and Ivy's eyes seemed to glaze as she took in the naked woman laid out before her. A woman who hoped the vampire was still mentally present enough to hope she still hear what Alison was saying.

"It's who I am. It's not about this tool , or that dead language. It's about offering myself up as a part of the Great Work."

Ivy was still listening, but did not seem to understand as she laid out her fully clothed form alongside Alison's right side. The blonde smiled and linked her left hand with Ivy's right where they rested on Alison's stomach.

"The perfection of existence, the salvation of each and every soul in the entirety of creation."

Ivy actually raised up and looked incredulously at the woman, which got a grin in response. "It's not quick, and it's not easy, and it turns reincarnation from a simple spiritual concept to a necessity, but I've sworn my soul to it. As long as it takes."

The vampires' face fell. "So you're helping me as part of this "Great Work"?"

Alison winced when she sat up, but was paying it no mind as she hugged Ivy tightly to her. "No Love, No. The fact that I chose your firm over any other was the Great Work putting you and I where we needed to be... together."

She pulled back and smirked. "The Great Work saw to it I found my grandfather's writings, and then made sure that I had a roommate at girl's school as curious as I."

Ivy was blushing and nodding, remembering those early times with Skimmer after lights out.

Alison caressed Ivy's cheek. "The Great Work steered the path's of our lives together."

Ivy noticed the pained look on Alison's face and frowned while she took the woman by the arms and eased her back to the bed. Standing up Ivy started getting undressed for bed as she spoke. "So the "Great Work" is your God?"

Alison smiled. "The Great Work is a ritual being cast BY God, it started with "Let there be light." and will complete with the ending of this existence."

Ivy arched a brow and Alison smiled. "Don't worry, at that point we'll be done with it anyway."

Ivy nodded slightly, grinning at how Alison's eyes were glazing over as more and more of Ivy's skin was revealed. The witch however showed her mind was still there with Ivy rather then lost in one fantasy or another. "And when you drink my blood it will be a Sacrament."

The vampire's grin faded, and she was looking ready to protest, but Alison cut her off. "It will be done with love, and received with the same. How could it be anything but?"

The look on Ivy's face was now one of confusion and Alison held her arms open for Ivy to sink into them, the vampire took care with the blonde's ribs, but did so. "The Profane is the perversion of the Sacred, it can not exist on it's own. So when you drink my blood it will be the Sacred version of the Profane many of your kind revel in."

"You're making it sound like THE Sacrament at Church."

Alison giggled slightly. "Without the metaphor at least... but it's not so dissimilar. I am offering you to drink of my life. I am making it a gift to you. While in this case it won't be an all out offering the blood is both a tangible thing as well as an expression of my love for you. Letting you know not just that you are loved, but that you can be."

Ali felt something wet on her chest, and looking down she could see Ivy was crying. She gave the woman a squeeze, kissed the top of her head, and the two of them laid there in silent comfort and support until sleep claimed them.


Chapter 14.

Aligarept threw back his head and laughed. "Ivy, I officially hereby title you "Witch Candy"."

Rachel looked angry and Ivy snarled, thinking he had smelled Alison on her, but with a sickening lurch they realized he was looking over Ivy's shoulder. Doing the same they caught sight of Alison, small, slender and pale she seemed even more so wrapped in Ivy's black silk robe. The living vampire spoke over her shoulder. "Go back inside Angel."

Looking back she saw Rachel staring at her, and Aligarept staring at the both of them. He then looked back at Alison and his smile grew wide. "Nonsense! Come here my dear, please do join us!"

To Ivy's horror Alison walked forward. The demon happily strode forward. "Now "Angel" what is your name?"

Alison looked at the demon, smiled, and said nothing. Aligarept's smile faded a moment, and he looked to Ivy in question. Alison however held up a hand. "Don't tell him Love. It's information he wants, and he wants it for free."

That brought the demon's smile back to full bloom. "Why Ivy... did you go out and find me a real witch to play with?"

He looked ready to say more as Alison snickered. At his focused glance she made a gesture for to continue. "Sorry, please continue... or maybe I could help?" Without waiting for his permission Ali turned to Ivy. "He's going to say all sorts of derogatory things about taking me from you to make me into his personal plaything in order to play on both your protective and possessive instincts."

Without pause she turned to Rachel. "He's going to play on any and all insecurities you have about your abilities as a witch as well as your feelings for Ivy..." She saw Rachel take a breath to protest. "I'm not defining them, but they exist, and as another witch who loves Ivy in ways you can't there's going to be jealousy there. We can talk about it later, but since you both know what he's after you can now deny it to him."

Al smirked. "There's plenty of other things I could go after. These girls have more issues between them then any newsstand. Or I could just point out that you didn't say you WEREN'T the better witch."

Ali smirked right back. "I am, but I also got dropped by a single punch tonight while Rachel has fought YOU in hand to hand combat."

He frowned. "How do you know that?"

She snickered again. "Lucky guess."

Both women grinned though Rachel had a slight blush. Al however had lost his smile and seemed to be contemplating Alison much more seriously.

"All right witch. What would you want in exchange for your FULL name?"

Alison's smile was small. "A promise. You will give your word that you will never take action that will embarrass me." At his arched brow she arched her own. "I've seen the opening for the evening news Aligarept."

He threw back his head and laughed. "So even if I were to drag you to the other side of the lines as my personal plaything you would want to know no one would know on this side?"

"NO. I wouldn't want any embarrassing details to be available to them."

He smirked. "I agree, now witch. What is your name?"

"Alison, Abigail... Crowley." When he took a breath to protest. "I am a blood descendent, but my grandmother's side of the family never acknowledged that heritage. I changed my name when I did."

"Oh My." The way he said those mere two words seemed to have Ivy ready to attack him, but she saw Alison didn't respond so she managed to contain hers. "So... Alison Abigail Crowley. What ever shall we do until sunrise?"

She looked him square in the eye. "You'll go, back to the other side of the lines, taking no action against anyone or anything more this night or the coming day." He smirked and she pulled open the neckline of Ivy's robe. At first he smirked while both Ivy and Rachel looked horrified, but all three saw at once that she was revealing a pendant of a triangle with a circle inside and some sort of writing in the triangle part. "Right now that's just a friendly suggestion... but it can be a command."

Aligarept paused, looking once at each of the three women, and all could see that his normal arrogance had vanished, he then disappeared.

Turning Ali could see Ivy was wound tight with tension. She walked over and cupped Ivy's face between her hands before leaning in to give the woman a kiss. She kept her eyes locked with Ivy's as she pulled back. "Love, I may not be able to take a punch from a burglar, but THIS is the kind of thing I train for."

Rachel however didn't seem convinced. "He's going to come after you to make you into someone's familiar. That's what he does. Since you're the better witch and all."

Alison sighed. "Should we go inside to have this out? Or get into it right here on the lawn?"

Rachel blew past the woman, not noticing how Ivy moved to check if Rachel had hit Alison's broken rib. For her part Alison kissed Ivy's temple and mouthed "It'll be all right." before following Rachel into the church.

To walk right up to the red head who's hands were on her hips as she spoke. "So you think you're the better witch? You think that your spells are "better" then charms? Do you know how many of you arrogant ley line witches I've knocked out with those charms?"

Alison's whole body was calm. "A great many I'd imagine, but I'm not talking about ley lines versus charms. I'm talking about the fact that you still think of magic as ley lines versus charms versus curses. I'm not a better witch because I'm better at this spell or that ritual. I'm not just a better witch then you, I'm a better witch then most because I don't just tuck my magic away on book shelves or leave it in herb pots or sitting in the lines. I live my magic, every breath, every moment, every action. That's why I'm better... AT MAGIC."

She pulled open the robe, and while Rachel saw Alison's bare chest her eyes were pulled to the taping around the blonde's midsection. "I also crumpled under a single hit from someone who broke into my house tonight."

Rachel stepped forward, her hand looking like it was about to touch the injured area. She then noticed something amongst the pixies watching the confrontation, one of them was surrounded, guarded by three others... she then recognized the pixy and connected it with a burglar breaking into Alison's home. Rachel looked to Ivy and then to Jenks. "Nick?"

Ivy had stepped forward to tie the robe close around Alison. "He broke one of her ribs. We think Aarons contracted him to steal the Bible Black because whoever did convinced him to bring a gun, and I don't think it's a coincidence that they chose a thief that could be tied back to you."

Rachel looked even more stricken, and took a breath. "And where is he?"

Ivy rolled her eyes. "HE is in jail at FIB headquarters. Glenn took him in... after a trip to the hospital." Rachel looked at the vampire, silently asking if she was responsible, but Ivy gave a proud look at Alison. "Ali hit him with a bookcase."

Jenks then landed on Rachel's shoulder. "And only him. Ali never mentioned Jax once, even though she had to knock him out with a sound pulse like that demon summoning lunker had done to me that time."

Rachel's expression softened, but Alison spoke before she could. "I'm the better witch because I've dedicated myself to the magic in ways most never do. That's not meant to fault you Rachel, just to state fact. Another fact is that I've fallen IN LOVE with Ivy and unless she tells me to leave I'm not going anywhere. I'm just hoping you can learn to accept that."

Rachel frowned. "I don't love Ivy that way." She looked over to Ivy, and much to her surprise for the first time those words hadn't hurt the living vampire to hear.

Alison's voice was soft. "But I do, and while you might not love her "that way" you do love her. We just need you to accept that there's room for more then one witch in her heart."

Rachel's face twisted, but after a moment it stilled, and she sighed. "I'll try."

Alison smirked. "Rachel sweetie, I'm not trying to be a bitch, but this IS a matter of how, not if. Try however is a great step. Thank you."

The whole room seemed to let out a breath they were holding.

Jenks then set out to break the tension. "You showed her your tits and called her "sweetie", you going to help Ivy hunt her?"

Alison paused, seeming to contemplate Rachel. "I don't know..." She then looked to Ivy. "She is exquisite."

Rachel's eyes had gotten wide as Alison gave her a grin and started laughing. Rachel scowled, but laughed as well.

Ivy was smiling as she put a hand on Alison's waist. "You need to get back to bed Angel. I know I can't keep you away from the Council meeting tomorrow, but I want you to rest as much as possible before then."

Alison nodded and let Ivy lead her back to the vampire's bedroom. Though she kept speaking as they walked. "Though I have to say you're not Witch Candy."

Ivy looked askance at the witch, and Ali grinned. "You're Girl Candy, I dare say any girl who's learned you have sex with girls has thought about you having sex with them..."

The last words Ali got out before they were cut off by Ivy's closing door. "Blushing makes it more true Love, not less..."


Chapter 15.

Alison woke, but it was that slow rise to consciousness. She felt the silk of Ivy's sheets, and the silk of Ivy's skin. The warmth that radiated into her from where the living vampire pressed into her uninjured right side.

As she became more aware she became more aware of how wonderful Ivy felt against her. Much to Alison's delight the two women had seemed quite comfortable being naked in front of each other, and had just naturally slept that way. So now she could feel Ivy's bare breasts pressing into her arm right above her elbow, as well as the soft curls that were brushing up near her knee.

While all vampires had that rich incense smell Ivy's was a scent all her own, and as Alison breathed deep it filled her being, reacting with the feel of the naked body pressed against her, bringing Alison to full awareness, of a growing ache that was radiating from between her legs.

Looking over she saw what there was of the vampire that wasn't covered by the sheet, and while it was just Ivy's face and bare shoulders it had a profound effect on her. The look on the living vampire's was one of such contentment that Alison imagined it was never seen during Ivy's waking hours.

While the witch felt her body cool she felt her heart warm, and she found herself promising to do all she could to get that look on Ivy's face more often, and hopefully where the woman would be awake to experience it. A content smile found it's way to Alison's face, and she thought she could almost hear Ivy purring in contentment.

She then realized she DID hear purring, but it seemed to be coming from their feet. Lifting her head another head rose to meet her, and soon Jenk's cat Rex walked up the bed to stare at the witch, before headbutting her.

Alison complied with the command to pet the cat, scratching Rex under the chin. The feline's eyes closed in delight for several moments before deciding there had been enough petting and now Rex wanted to leave the room, jumping off the bed and standing before the door, looking back at Alison.

The witch realized she should probably visit the restroom anyway and got up to do so. That look of contentment on Ivy's face flickered and she made a sleepy grumble. Alison smiled and twisted to give Ivy a kiss before explaining with the single word "bathroom".

That seemed enough for Ivy, but she did steal Alison's pillow to cuddle with while the witch was gone. Alison watched that for a moment and felt her heart melt more before walking to the door and letting Rex into the hall.

He seemed to have the same idea as her and went in the direction Ali remembered his litter box lay. Her visit to the restroom went quickly enough and after drying her hands she headed back towards Ivy's room.

Before she could do so however she saw pixy dust sparkle in the main area of the church and she walked out to investigate. It was a single pixy, female, and from her apparent age she had to be Jenks wife rather then one of his daughters. Even at four inches tall Alison could tell the woman wasn't doing well. While she was still a beauty she was pale, thin, with dark circles under her eyes and wings that seemed frail as they fluttered to carry her weight towards Alison.

She held out her hand for the woman to land on, and the pixy did so. "Hello, my name is Matalina, and I wanted to thank you for bringing home our son Jax."

Alison pulled her hand up near her face, her voice quieted in the silent church. She frowned as she spoke. "I wish I could say I did it out of kindness, but I just wanted to make sure he couldn't help his human partner."

Matalina showed herself Jenk's wife with her next words, spoke more to herself about the human in question. "Damn lunker." Alison smiled, but Matalina focused on her as she kept speaking. "I also wanted to talk to you dear. Do you know what you are doing? You've whet a demon's appetite for you and dared him to come get you."

"I don't know if you heard me when I was talking to the rest of the group in the kitchen the day after Ivy and your husband destroyed the Bible Black, but I said that at one time witches were more then flashy fix-it men. They stood against such horrors. When I told Rachel that I live my magic it includes being that protector." She frowned. "I may not be much against a human thief, but not only am I able to battle creatures like that one, I am sworn to."

The pixy frowned. "But you are such a lovely young girl, and it's obvious Ivy adores you. This beast could really hurt you."

Alison smiled softly. "I adore her. Trust me Matalina, I know what I'm doing with the demon." Seeing the little woman was less then convinced Alison actually grinned and whispered. "Ok, between you and me Matalina?"

When the pixy nodded Ali spoke, still in a whisper. "Did you hear about when I showed Rachel my broken rib?"

Matalina smirked. "Amongst other things... Jenks laughed quite a bit over that."

Ali smirked. "Now, would a woman that is willing to flash her tits like that be too terribly worried about embarrassment?" Seeing the confused look on Matalina's face she smiled. "And yet I got a promise that he wouldn't take action to embarrass me? Do you know why I did that?" Seeing she didn't Alison continued. "Because demons are always looking for flaws, weaknesses they can exploit. By affecting an ego I am handing him a fault on a silver platter that I can drop at any moment."

Matalina did speak then. "I noticed you're not speaking his name."

"That's not a coincidence. While he couldn't do anything on holy ground during the day I will always handle IT like the viscous creature that IT is."

That seemed to settle the woman down. "Good. I'm glad. No one loves IT here, but sometimes I think they see IT as a person, especially since Rachel's now taking lessons from IT."

Alison obviously had thoughts on that, but none of them seemed urgent as she spoke. "I think both of our special someones are probably starting to wonder where we are."

Matalina smiled and lifted up from Alison's hand. "Sleep well Alison."

The witch smiled. "Sleep well Matalina."

The witch was still smiling as she watched Matalina fly out the pixy hole in the screen. She then stretched, and winced. She still hadn't put on a pain amulet, but that was deliberate. While she would wear one to the Council meeting it would deaden her pain, and while under it's effects Alison could put stress on her healing rib without realizing it.

No, the pain amulet would only be when it was necessary. Walking back to Ivy's room she shut the door behind her, looking to make sure the cat wasn't anywhere to be seen. Taking off Ivy's robe she turned to hang it up, but smiled as she brought it to her face and took a deep whiff of the vampire's unique incense smell.

Hanging it up she turned back to the bed to find the robe's owner still cuddling her pillow, but watching her silently. "I see I'm not the only Girl Candy here."

That got a snicker as Alison sat down on the edge of the bed. She was speaking as she was about to turn to lay down, but Ivy put a hand on her hip to help guide her down gently. "Got you didn't I?"

The vampire's left hand stayed on Alison's hip, resting on her pubic bone as Ivy nestled her chin to Ali's shoulder after the blonde had laid back down. "That's because you seduced me."

Alison laced the fingers of her right hand with the fingers of Ivy's left while Alison's right had caressed up and down Ivy's back. Ivy's right arm slipped under Alison, resting along the small of the woman's back.

The witch was still smiling. "Can you blame me?"

Ivy muttered into Alison's shoulder. "Me being Girl Candy and all."

Alison sighed happily. "Exactly."

While Ivy had been a little grouchy where she had been sitting between sleep and wakefulness as she rested her cheek to Alison's shoulder a happy sigh found it's way out.

"Love you Ivy."

"Love you too Ali."



"I like saying it too."

"Go to sleep Angel."


Chapter 16.

"Could you go over it again?" Ivy was driving while Rachel asked her question of Alison as they sat in the back of the blonde witches' sedan while Jenks was perched on the rear view mirror.

Sunday had come and gone, and while Alison had made some jokes about how if Ivy wanted to restrict Alison to her bed the least she could do was restrain her properly, for the most part the assembled crew took the "day of rest" to do just that.

It was Monday now and the two witches were going over what they were doing to both say and do when they got to the Council meeting.

Alison exhaled. "You don't need to do anything. Just relax, be confident, and let me do all the work."

The pixy spoke up. "I bet you say that to all the girls." When he got a glare from all three girls he laughed. "Oh, a hat trick."

Alison allowed herself a smirk. "The big thing is to NOT look guilty. If you look like their judgment is right then this becomes a whole lot more difficult. You need to be bold as brass, did nothing wrong... I'll be doing all the talking, but they WILL look to you, and they can't see a guilty party. Make sense?"

Rachel took a deep breath, letting it out she took another. Alison smiled and pat her knee. "I'm not asking you to fake it Rachel. We've went over this, you're not the guilty party. All those who stood by while you did what you had to do to save the day are."

The redhead nodded and seemed to calm.

The blonde looked up and met their driver's eyes, blowing the other woman a kiss. The two lovers saw Rachel bristle slightly, but could tell she was trying not to show it and decided not to comment.

The car fell quiet, and stayed quiet as Ivy pulled it in to park amongst a large collection of other high end vehicles.

Stepping out of the car Alison straightened her clothes, smiling as Ivy helped her double check everything on her appearance. She then strode forward, slammed both her palms against the heavy double doors leading into the main room where the council was meeting.

Every eye turned to her and Alison started speaking immediately so they couldn't turn away. "I have come before the Council with an urgent concern." At this point people had managed to look behind her and see Rachel, and while their faces showed their displeasure she kept speaking before they could do anything about it.

"I have come to the council to call for the IMMEDIATE shunning of one Alison Abigail Crowley!"

The room burst into noise and the chairmen had to hammer away with his gavel until the room fell silent again once more. The man had dark brown hair, a roundish face with a tanned complexion that was now ruddy and when he spoke there was a soft English accent as he unknowingly spoke to Alison Abigail Crowley. "And what is it this Miss Crowley did that would require such a punishment?"

"Well she has been openly conversing with the shunned witch Rachel Morgan."

At the mention of her name everyone looked at the redhead, but to her credit Rachel just arched an eyebrow.

Alison continued. "And her amongst her stated reasons included the fact that Rachel Morgan stopped the Witch Hunter Serial Killer! When everyone in this room knows that a few ley line witches being brutally slain by a demon is NO REASON to upset the fabric of witch society. The established bonds between our witches in the I.S. and the Master Vampire who controlled both the I.S. and the demon that was slaying our fellow witches were far more important."

Rachel and Ivy were shocked along with the rest of the room, but Jenks was huddling against Rachel's neck as he sat on her shoulder, shaking with repressed laughter.

"The fact that she cut down such a valuable ally during some silly crusade to keep this city from falling into open warfare between the vampires and the weres just makes it worse. The fact that the master vampire in question made his plans to kill her right then and there being NO EXCUSE!"

The man with the gavel finally found his voice. "We were NOT allied with Piscary!"

Alison put on a very confused look. "Well our witches in the I.S. put far more effort into killing a fellow witch then they did into stopping the demon who was killing other witches or the vampire who had summoned him... HECK... actually HELL they summoned the SAME demon who had been carrying out the Witch Hunter Killings to kill Miss Morgan..."

The man with the gavel interrupted again. "When we learned of that we shunned the summoner."

Alison dismissed his words with a wave of her hand. "Yes, yes disavowing any knowledge of him or his actions... seriously, were not children here. The idea that he could have done as much as he did with out some sort of backing or support might fly with the humans... but seriously."

The people in the room were looking at Rachel again, and they already were showing changed expressions. Helena Aarons however revealed herself as the almost grandmotherly like lady sitting to the right of the chairman. White hair, with a body that had been softened by the effects of age both Ivy and Rachel would have almost thought her a vampire the way her eyes were going black... until they realized with a start that the witches eyes DID seem to be blackening.

"And then there was Miss Morgan's most recent "adventure" when she fought the banshee. While there WAS a time witches stood up and placed themselves between humanity and the predatory beasts of the shadows we've put that silly noble notion behind us. The banshee wasn't feeding on any people that mattered and the fact is that Miss Morgan's interference highlighted our tolerance of the murders, forcing us to risk the lives of valuable people! Well your choice to shun her for the way she revealed our complicity was a wise one."

"The fact that this Crowley woman would stand with Rachel Morgan over such antiquated, moralistic concepts illustrates why she has no place amongst the witches of Cincinnati! We've shown by our deeds that such silly notions as right and wrong have no place here."

As she paused the room erupted, and didn't fall silent until there was both gavel pounding as well as shouting from the chairmen. "ORDER! ORDER!!!" He took a breath. "Now Miss, I can certainly understand how you might see our decisions that way..."

Alison interrupted. "But I agree with them. Rachel Morgan is an obvious threat to the way we do things here in Cincinnati and by allying herself with Miss Morgan this Miss Crowley seems determined to show herself just as much a concern to our practices. We can not allow them to burden us with their outdated morality."

The chairman took another breath. "As I was saying, I'm sure our decisions could seem that way, but they were heavily debated."

Alison interrupted. "In closed sessions I'm sure."

The chairman's voice then grew quiet, unsure. "Well yes, but..." He then scowled. "Wait a minute! Who are you anyway!"

Alison didn't reply, she just stared at the grandmotherly Helena Aarons. The room lapsed into a laden silence as the room looked from one woman to the other. Aarons seemed to realize that Alison wasn't going to reveal herself, but force Helena to. The chairman seemed ready to ask the question, but Helena spoke before he could. "She is Alison Crowley."

The blonde in question smiled widely as the room burst into sound again, but this time more an excited babble that had to be shouted down again.

As the room fell silent and as it did Alison stooped smiling at Helena and smiled at the chairman. "So now, what can we do to let Miss Crowley know that her silly codes and foolish morals are not welcome here."

He took a breath to speak. "Miss Crowley..."

Alison interrupted again. "Oh! I also know for a fact that not only is she engaged in a wanton, carnal relationship with a Tamwood vampire, but has developed FEELINGS for the same."

All eyes shifted to Ivy as her eyes shifted to the floor.

The chairman's face was fully flushed. "Miss Crowley! We're not going to shun you!"

Alison interrupted yet AGAIN, but played up a false look of confusion. "But to not shun Alison Crowley would mean that the shunning of Rachel Morgan would have to be reexamined."

The room fell silent again as all eyes fell on Rachel... and Jenks finally lost control and burst into laughter, only Ivy's vampiric speed keeping him from hitting the floor.


Chapter 17.

Ivy was still driving, but now Alison was sitting next to her as Rachel sat in back with Jenks sitting on her shoulder. Rachel muttered to herself in stunned disbelief. "Shunning suspended pending review."

Jenks was STILL shaking with laughter, able to fly at this point, but seeming to appreciate being able to sit on Rachel's more steady shoulder. "If Ali's mouth is that magical I see why Ivy likes her."

The living vampire simply smirked while Alison tried not to giggle, it wasn't that she was hiding the pleased smile her performance gave her, she just didn't want to aggravate her ribs.

Ivy's smile dipped. "What get's me is Helena Aarons... I just...I expected someone."

Jenks spoke up from the back. "Mia like?"

Ivy almost turned around in her fervor to agree. "YES! I expected power suits not floral aprons."

Rachel however disagreed. "Ivy, you of all people should realize that wisdom isn't the only thing that comes with age... there's also power."

Ivy was nodding as Alison contributed. "Perhaps even more so for witches... that means we've had more time to study."

Jenks was following along. "Think of all your fairy tales. The worst witches were always grizzled old hags."

Ivy then spoke. "Handing out poison apples rather then cookies. I get it."

Jenks then laughed. "Would that make Alison Snow White?" He laughed harder. "Would Ivy be the Prince?"

The two women smiled at each other, and then looked away.

Jenks grumbled. "Awww not that mushy crap again? Tink's toilet bowl! I hate that stuff!"

Alison scoffed. "Right!"

Jenks flew over to land on her shoulder. "What's that mean?"

Alison turned her head and arched her brow. "I've seen how many kids you got. That's not husbandly duty, that's a husbandly work ethic!"

Jenks grunted. "And I put in my time."

Their conversation had carried them to the church and the party left the car. As they got in Ivy looked at Alison. "Nap time."

Alison arched her brows. "Excuse me?"

Ivy twisted her lips into a smirk. "You're injured, you need your rest."

Alison scowled. "I have a broken rib. Times the only thing that's going to fix that."

Ivy took a thoughtful pause. "Well... I'm going to go get naked and climb into bed, if you want to join me Alison you are certainly welcome."

Alison's scowl grew. "That's cheating!" But surely enough she followed Ivy back into the bedroom, pointedly ignoring Jenks laughter.

The blonde seemed to be trying to sulk as she got undressed, but didn't' seem able to do it convincingly as Ivy did the same. Ivy noticed and arched a brow. Under that gaze Alison pulled back the sheets and crawled into bed, turning around to lay on her back and look at Ivy.

She found the vampire regarding her carefully. Alison then got a smirk of her own as she saw Ivy's eyes growing black. While her legs had been together she let them part ever so slightly, and Ivy was immediately looking into her eyes.

Alison first allowed herself to give Ivy's naked form a similar appraisal, but she didn't bother hiding her approval of the silken black tresses running down Ivy's back. Or the delicate features of the face those locks framed.

As her eyes traveled down the slope of Ivy's slender neck and reached the plateau of her breasts Alison felt her own gaze darken in desire, and though Ivy was still playing it cool the pebbling of the living vampire's nipples gave away her growing arousal.

Her eyes took their time moving down Ivy's firm, well defined abdomen to the trimmed curls that had Alison biting her bottom lip to look at. Her eyes then slide over muscular thighs and calves to small feet with toes painted a similar deep, deep red as Ivy's fingernails.

She looked back up when those feet moved forward to stand right in front of her at the foot of the bed, and though the living vampire seemed both grim and glorious her voice was tender as she spoke. "We can do this, but I'm going to need you to lay still."

Alison found her head bobbing in approval as she looked into Ivy's desire blackened eyes. Those eyes scrunched in amusement. "I'm serious Alison... we're not going to put any stress on your rib. You don't need to do anything. Just relax, be confident, and let me do all the work."

Hearing her own words said back to her had the witch grinning, but the smile vanished into open mouthed panting as Ivy knelt on the bed and started caressing her thighs, inside and then out, easing them apart. There was no resistance to the motion and Alison's legs were spread open before Ivy's hungry gaze.

Ivy took a deep breath, and went from simply smelling the witches arousal to filling her lungs with the scent as she used the hands caressing Alison's thighs to guide the witch to put her legs over Ivy's shoulders as Ivy laid down on her stomach.

The blonde seemed beyond speech as she spread her legs as she was directed, and then placed them where they were guided to, her pants finally merging into a whimper as Ivy lowered her mouth towards Alison's sex.

When that first long lick was taken her hips bucked into the motion. "I'm... I'm sorry..."

Ivy's mouth was smiling as it pressed into the vaginal lips mow swollen with blood and slick with fluid. As her mouth smiled reassuringly her left hand moved up and took hold of the witches' right, the witch responding to the grasp by lacing their fingers and holding on tight.

The right hand moved to rest right on the pubic bone, idly playing with damp blonde curls while exerting a firm but steady pressure to keep the hips still.

It seemed enough as her golden haired Angel was able to still herself, though Ivy could feel the muscles in the legs wrapped around her head were tensing and releasing as the hand entwined with her left clung to the grip.

Ivy's tongue slid into Alison and Ivy felt her head swim. The taste of the witch, the silky smooth liquid of Alison's passion on her tongue. The texture of flesh swollen with need... her eyes shut, with Alison's need for her.

Her eyes opened again to see Alison looking down the length of her own body to meet Ivy's eyes. Those blonde locks were strewn wildly, her face was a growing pink, and there was sweat dotting her brow. She didn't just look beautiful, she WAS beauty.

Her Angel's muscles were pushing against Ivy's tongue and Ivy was happy to push back into the motion, savoring all the resulting whimpers and gasps.

Though the smile was still on her face Ivy's lips then became more active as she used them to form a seal at the firm little juncture at the top of the needful folds she was lovingly ministering to.

"Ivy." It would be stretching it to say Alison regained the power of speech, but Ivy knew what she was trying to say.

She pulled her mouth away a moment. "I love you too."

The hand gripping her own squeezed in the affirmative as Ivy drove back in. She had heard so many talk about techniques like spelling the alphabet backwards with your tongue or the like, but she had been on both sides of the procedure and she knew that it was all about passion, the desire to please your partner, and the ability to let her body tell you what she needs.

Ivy had all three for Alison in abundance, and as she was moving her tongue deep inside Alison while the thumb of her hand on Alison's hips was thumbing her clit she felt her other hand was squeezed with a vice like pressure.

A fresh wave of arousal flowed out of Alison and onto Ivy's questing tongue and she savored the witches' taste. The vampire in her asked the question of how much more Heavenly would her blood taste like, and the thought left Ivy's own thighs even more saturated then before.

The witch took a long second to start breathing again and Ivy peaked her lead up to look, and found Alison red in the face, with her head thrown back. At about that time she took a deep, shuddering breath and Ivy couldn't help the arrogant smirk that gave her.

Alison finally managed to open her eyes at that point and saw Ivy appreciating her handiwork. They held each others' gaze a long moment before they started to laugh. Deep, happy, joyous laughter. Ivy was still laughing as she gave one last kiss to Alison's still twitching sex. She then slid up Alison's right side so the pair could share a deep kiss.

They kissed and cuddled. Ali running her hand along Ivy's back and over her bottom. Dipping a little lower she felt the slickness of Ivy's arousal on her fingers and smiled. "Slide up a little Love."

Ivy raised up on one elbow to look at her lover curiously and Alison used the motion to slide her right hand to the saturated curls between Ivy's legs. The vampire gasped as her sex was cupped by a warm, soft hand. "I can do the small movements, it won't put any pressure on my ribs."

Ivy couldn't argue with the skilled fingers playing with the lips of her pussy and nodded. She didn't realize that her eyes had closed until her Angel's gentle voice spoke. "Please open your eyes Ivy. You don't need to hide from this."

A small, choked... happy sob escaped her body as she opened her eyes to look into Alison's loving gaze. Blue eyes kept that love pouring into her as Alison's second and third fingers slid into Ivy while the first and fourth pressed on the vaginal lips from the outside as her thumb stimulated Ivy's clit, and Ivy began to ride.

Ivy's hands moved up to grab the headboard while Alison's hand stayed firm and her fingers kept moving as Ivy ground herself into it, drawing ever closer to her release. The two fingers inside her curled into a sort of beckoning motion and Ivy shrieked, her whole body going tight, and then limp.

When she realized Alison was about to reach up to grab her she steadied her own descent until she was in laying on the right side of the bed. As she did so she felt these amazing contractions radiating up from her womb it seemed.

Looking down she could see this clear fluid coming out of her in a powerful stream, and with each contraction another stream came out of her. She stared down at her own vagina in shock, and then looked over at Alison who had her own smug grin at this point.

Ivy spoke in utter amazement. "I thought it was a myth."

Ali's smug grin grew. "Nope, G-spot."

As Ivy looked at her in awe Ali allowed her grin to flicker a bit. "I know how to find it, and in the position you were in I thought I'd give it a shot... I got lucky."

Ivy took a deep breath. "YOU got lucky?"

That joyous laughter returned as Ivy cuddled up to Alison's right side.


Chapter 18.

Alison woke up, alone. "I hate it when she does that." Getting up she smiled, her body feeling the wonderful relaxation far more then her healing injury. Seeing Ivy's robe hanging, she slipped it over her shoulders so she could go looking for her Love.

Hearing voices from the main part of the church she decided Ivy must have been hungry or thirsty and wandered back to the main area. Figuring Jenks would be teasing her mercilessly the witch decided to go rescue her from the pixy.

The three business partners were in the main area of the church with a cloud of pixy children flitting about, who got to be the first to giggle at Alison's freshly ravaged appearance.

Their father was a close second, and though he didn't vocalize his amusement his mocking grin was obvious even on his four inch frame.

Rachel looked like she was trying not to react while Ivy managed to look both loving as well as incredibly pleased with herself at the same time.

What was interesting was the well muscled white man with short brown hair. He was regarding her with a touch of amusement as well as Ivy stepped forward and gave her a kiss. "Hello Angel. This is Marshall, a friend of Rachel's. I was about to wake you up because he says he's here to speak to you directly."

Marshall took that as his cue to speak, though he did take a long pause to look at Ivy. "While Helena has assured the Council that they could still count on the Crowley Contribution since I knew Rachel and you..."

He paused and Alison smirked, making a motion for him to continue. He chuckled lightly. "Well I thought I'd come and make sure that you were still on board with her project."

At her blank stare he started to look unsure. Giving a glance to Rachel, Ivy and Jenks in turn, seeing they weren't jumping into help he started speaking again, but with less confidence. "She's willing to admit that maybe she was too quick in her rush to judgment of Rachel, but with things nearing completion she was afraid what a black witch would do with that kind of access."

Seeing Alison still wasn't responding Rachel finally took mercy on him. Stepping forward she put a hand on his elbow. "Marshall, pretend we know nothing. We'll explain afterwards ok?"

He nodded, assured at the red head's words, and started to explain it all. Witches all around the world using the web to share their wisdom in one grand database. Instead of individuals, single covens, or even a lone university all working on the same materials individually now they would be able to combine their efforts and advance their craft like never before.

Alison finally did speak, but her voice seemed to have a sickened tone that said she was fearing the answer. "And what would the "Crowley Contribution" be?"

"Well your grandfather's works..."

Alison sighed deeply, running her fingers through her sweaty hair. "Because a project of this side would need a large library of some of the greatest books of magic."

He nodded, smiling, and then looked around at the sick looks around the room. Jenks was the first to speak. "She putting the damn thing on the net!"

Ivy followed his words with "Digital Damnation."

Alison exhaled. "Hell via hyperlink, and even if they traced it back you can't get things removed from the web entirely. It would be available to all who want it, passed by simply clicking "send". God Ivy, this..."

Ivy stepped close and pulled Alison's head to her chest. "I know Angel."

Alison nuzzled into the embrace, but sounded distracted as she spoke. "It's brilliant, but..."

Jenks flew over. "BRILLIANT? This is HIDEOUS! Damn it! Do you remember what it did to you?"

Ali lifted her head from Ivy's chest with a glare. "I remember! Do NOT get me wrong, it's as evil as it gets, but the implementation is fucking genius. She doesn't have to control the Council. She's giving them everything they want, and then choking them with it."

Marshall then spoke up, a little loudly. "Ok! Could someone clue me in?"

Ivy put her arm around Alison's waist. "Could you do it Rachel? I'm sure Alison wants a shower, and I'll re-tape her ribs."

Rachel nodded and guided Marshall to sit. He was still sitting in the same chair when Ivy and Alison emerged from the vampire's bathroom. His flushed anger of confusion had faded to the pale of shock and disbelief as he first looked to Ivy and then settled his eyes on Alison.

The blonde witch nodded sadly. "I don't know what Rachel said exactly, but it's true."

"But if you beat it..."

Alison's expression stayed sad as she shook her head. "I don't know how I did, but I know I am the only one since it was first painted on a cave wall."

He took a shaky breath and stood. "We'll go to the Council! Let them know what she's doing!"

Alison was the first to speak. "Our standing is already shaky, and Rachel's shunning is "under review" NOT lifted. I had to cast suspicion on myself in order to get things that far. I think that's the reason Helena got herself on the Council. So she could label the Bible Black safe while labeling anyone who would or even MIGHT say otherwise unsafe."

Jenks however closer to the man. "It's built on your big people bureaucracy. It's take too much time already, and even if we convinced your damn Council to listen they would debate it while she finished the upload."

Ivy continued Alison's thought. and did so softly. "And even then that could still leave the Bible Black in play. We need to end this."

Alison reached out and took Ivy's hand. While the whole room was already looking at her it seemed more a move to comfort herself. "And we need to do it NOW." She then focused on Marshall. "Did she know you were coming to double check my contribution?"

Jenks then spoke up. "I don't get that? Why did she promise your library?"

"She probably thought I would be a gibbering mad woman at this point and not only could I not trace the origin of the Bible Black, I would sign whatever she put in front of me."

Marshall broke back into the conversation. "No, she tried to assure everyone that she could patch things up and get your contribution herself. I don't think anyone thought of me since I..."

Jenks helped him out. "Since you ditched Rachel for those devil dealing dipshits?"

Rachel shook her head. "Don't Jenks. I don't blame him, and frankly we have more important things to do."

The temperamental pixy was quick to nod as Ivy looked the man in the eye. "Do you know where the server is physically located?"

"Yeah, it's why I know about the project in the first place... it's at the college."

Alison took a deep breath, able to because she put the main amulet back on after her shower. "All right. You are going to take me down there. If anyone asks we will tell them a basic version of the truth. You knew Rachel, you knew Rachel knew me, and so you came over to check on the Crowley Contribution. Recent events had left me unsure... and so I insisted on seeing the mainframe where everything would be stored."

Ivy was reaching into her pocket. "I'll call Rynn." When everyone looked at her she explained. "I was unaffected by the Bible Black entirely... a few vampires backing us up may be a good thing."

They were back in Alison's sedan with Ali and Marshal in the front seat with the three owners of Vampiric Charms in the back. Ivy took her phone from her ear and closed it. "Rynn's set. While he couldn't STOP the firetrucks his hackers will scramble the streetlights outside the firehouse as soon as they get the signal we've started the fire. He was however able to get three ambulances, and they're monitoring the 911 system, as soon as emergency vehicles are dispatched his will roll, and they are just a couple blocks away. They know where we're going to be and will be ready to help us fight as well as bringing us the gas cans to torch the place."

Alison nodded tersely from behind the wheel. "The hackers have anything to say on the mainframe itself?"

"Sending out verification pings, but they are not receiving yet. If they were his people would be trying to infiltrate and trash everything... he noted they wouldn't know what they were after."

Alison sighed. "Makes things a bit more difficult, but the fewer people who know the better... Marshall. Do you know where you'll be breaking that rule?"

Marshall nodded from the passenger seat. "First I get you in, saying that you still WANT to be a part of the program, but recent events have you wanting to see the physical make up before you commit your grandfather's library." The man sighed. "After that I round up the Council, telling them that they should come to the mainframe to help Helena convince you to make the donation."

Rachel then spoke up. "Aren't you afraid they'll see you killing her?"

Alison sighed, taking her right hand from the wheel to pinch the top of her nose. "Ok, Rachel. You don't kill, I get that, I respect that. You however NEED to understand what we are up against. If the Bible Black hits the internet thousands if not tens of thousands of witches WILL see it, they WILL be compelled to read it before passing it on to other witches and killing themselves. Those witches will then pass it on, and on, and on. AT LEAST a six digit number of witches will be put in the grave if Helena isn't stopped now."

Her hands then both went back to the steering wheel where they gripped it tightly. "And that's just the beginning. What you need to understand even more is that I have read the Bible Black and lived, I know what they are and what they are after..." She didn't even let the question be asked before taking a breath and continuing. "They are not going to invade this world and put up a Dante-esque backdrop. They will kill EVERYTHING, not everyONE, everything. Not just you, me, Ivy, and Jenks, they wouldn't even stop at the level of Jenks' kids. They would go after Jenks plants, his seeds, they wouldn't stop until all life, right down to the microbial level is destroyed. Both here AND in the Ever After."

"That's what they want, that's all they want, to destroy all of creation, and all plans they have are directed to that goal. As long as Aarons survives she will serve them, and as long as she serves them she will seek to bring that end about. I don't know if they will feed on the souls of those slain, or use the fact that the wide release of the Bible Black would make their existence undeniable, and gather a following of Helena's, but if they want it we have a responsibility as sane, living beings to oppose it."

"You can't kill, I won't ask you to, the hardware is as much of a concern as she is, and while we will be torching the place if the tech is already a pile of broken plastic and twisted metal when we do that's so much the better. Just stay out of the way and break all the machines you can."

Rachel caught her eyes in the mirror. "Are you sure you can be so blase about taking a life?"

Alison didn't flinch, though she did keep an eye on the road. "I'm not blase, and I've never taken a life, but I know what we are up against, better then anyone could or even should know, and I KNOW I can do what needs to be done here."


Chapter 19.

The guard laughed as he leaned in the car. "HEY! I know you."

Alison smiled at the man. "I'm guessing most of Cincinnati's witches do at this point."

He was still chuckling. "More like all." He looked at the rest of the car, a flash of guilt crossed his face as he looked at Rachel, but he didn't voice it. "Marshal? What are you doing here?"

Marshal answered smoothly. "I realized Miss Crowley and I had some friends in common, and I thought I should use that to make sure that she's still on board."

The guard frowned at that while looking at Alison. "Are you pulling out?"

Alison scrunched up her face. "I want to see the hardware to make sure that my grandfather's library would be safe, and I want to see the software because I don't want the Council to play politics with what is supposed to be a noble venture."

His frown flickered, but didn't fade. "Ok, Marshall can show you the way."

He stepped back inside the gate and it slowly creaked open. Marshall's casual demeanor had been replaced by a tense focus. "I can already tell you something is up, this gate normally never closes."

Alison's voice however kept it's calm. "We knew she'd be here. That's our problem. Go get the Council. They'll need to SEE this to know the beast they had at their breast."

Jenks voice was fairly grim, but he still had it in him to joke. "Life or death mission about to happen and you're STILL thinking about Ivy's chest?"

Alison snickered while Ivy scowled at them both. "Blame her, she has fabulous breasts."

Those were their last words as the four got out of the car while Marshal moved over to the driver's seat and pulled away.

They didn't speak again until they were at the doors to the campus IT center, and then it was Ivy reaching out to take Alison's hand as the blonde paused. "Angel?"

Alison looked over, smiled, and exhaled while wiping her palms on her jeans. "Sorry Love, never done anything like this before..." Seeing Ivy take a breath to speak. "Don't. You need me, and I'm not talking on a girlfriend level. This is going to be quick casting which is not Rachel's forte, and it's going to be on a level 98% of the witch community can't handle."

Ivy's expression softened. "I love you."

Ali smiled shyly. "Love you too."

As they stepped inside the doors Alison started speaking again. "All right, we'll want to keep our weapons holstered as long as we can so we can try to get as close as possible to the mainframe. Once there Rachel your first priority will be to use your sleepy potion pellets on anyone that isn't Helena. After that, smash stuff up."

Rachel nodded, taking a moment to take out her splat gun and check the load, as well as her reloads. "I'm sorry I can't tap a line through my familiar, or I could do more."

"I got it Rachel, don't worry. Jenks, you will focus on slicing fiber optic cables with your sword and pulling power cords from the walls, the machines may be big, but a little damage in the right places can turn them into pricey paperweights."

Jenks smiled at Alison's words, testing his sword on the his thumb. "I know just where to hit em."

Alison spoke to Ivy last. "I know you're going to be keeping an eye on me Love, so you will focus on keeping any and all enemies off me, while the two of us focus on Helena."

She scanned the group, and gazes while their weapons were stowed again their eyes were intent. Seeing they were ready Alison led them deeper, deeper into the strangely empty building. Reception desk's phones still rang, but no one was there to answer them. If it weren't' for jackets and other personal items being missing one would think they just got up and walked away all at once.

Jenks commented first, his hand on his sword hilt. "Looks like everyone was given the night off."

Alison's voice was distracted. "But so quickly that they didn't take the time to turn on the voice mail."

Ivy drew her sword. "Or they were told that replacements were on the way while the replacements weren't called."

Rachel drew her splat and spoke while Jenks drew his sword. "She knows were coming."

All the lights were on, but as they drew closer they could hear the hum of a large concentration of computer equipment.

Ivy looked over and saw Alison was pale and her eyes were slightly dilated. She took the witches' hand in her own and gave it a squeeze. That pulled her mind back from wherever it had went and she gave Ivy a nod, an exhale, and a smile. Ivy looked to Jenks before speaking. "Sneak in. I'm sure this will go to Hell... maybe literally so, but we'll make sure that Helena is focused on us while you go after the tech."

The pixy gave a single nod before slipping off into the shadows. The three women looked at each other and took a step forward, to have the doors open for them, seemingly under their own power.

Ivy addressed the other two. "Simple trick compared to the bookshelf. She's just trying to psyche us out."

They walked in unison through the doors to find Helena typing away at a keyboard. She spoke, but seemed more focused on the monitor she was looking at. "I should have known better then to trust a Crowley to do what's expected of them."

Alison had seemed to find a level of confidence if not calm. "Yes, yes you should have."

Helena's next words seemed sincere. "I have to compliment you child... I didn't know the Bible Black could be beaten."

Alison responded honestly. "I didn't know it couldn't."

Helena chuckled. "Luckily for me most of the weak willed fools out there calling themselves witches won't be able to pull that off... this is probably where we should begin fighting I guess as your pixy isn't going to be of any help." She cackled. "I put up so much spider web at the key junctures that they'll start calling me Elvira."

The spider webs were then revealed as a bundle of them went up in flames. All eyes then went to the light bulb where Jenks was using the heat to ignite the head of one his arrows that he had wrapped in the spider web. As it caught he aimed it at another bundle of fiber optic cables and sent it towards the spider webbed mass, quickly igniting the sticky, but dry material.

Faster then the three women's eyes could return to the senior witch the light bulb exploded. Looking at the elderly woman again her eyes were pitch black as she started speaking in an unknown tongue, one so vile each word seemed an assault on their ears.

Ivy was sent crashing back into the wall while the splat ball fired from Rachel's gun never left the barrel as the weapon was heated to the point that Rachel had to drop the smoldering frame.

Ivy's eyes were almost as black as she saw Helena's eyes focus on Alison, but she also saw Alison, her eyes now a gleaming white. The Alison started speaking and while the language was as unrecognizable as Helena's it echoed with such a purity that Ivy literally felt tears wanting to come to her eyes.

Helena however didn't seem so influenced and actually looked to be clutching her chest in a way that reminded Ivy of a heart attack. The black eyes didn't loose their focus, but instead became even more intent.

Intent that became clear as Alison's hair was levitated towards the fan. Alison however seemed focused on willing Helena's heart to stop and didn't notice her lustrous locks about to become entangled with the frame. Ivy did however and drew her sword, hurling it at the devil-bound witches' head.

It never connected, but it did manage to disrupt her concentration as Alison's hair dropped limp once more. Unfortunately it disrupted Alison's as well as Helena's heart problem cleared up, leaving the elder witch to stop Ivy's sword in mid air, leaving it hovering before it spun around to hurl back at Ivy, point first.

With Alison's concentration free she was able to send the blade hurling away. Though she seemed to lack Helena's fine control as the blade was simply sent to imbed itself in the wall. The action itself seemed to cause a momentary lull as a fourth fire went up from Jenk's arrows. While Rachel lifted a computer tower up over her head to send it smashing against the floor.

The doors behind them crashed open and Marshall came in with the rest of the Council behind him. The Chairman bellowing at the top of his lungs. "What's going on here?!"

Helena bellowed in rage, a sound obviously inhuman, just like the intent in her eyes as she focused her gaze on Alison. "You shall suffer an eternity of torment for this Crowley!"

While her eyes were still a gleaming white the grin on her face was pure Alison Crowley. "Even if you had the power to back up the threat I wouldn't have to suffer the torment of failure!"

Aarons howled again and hurled a orb of black flame at Alison, who had raised a hand to block it, but found it dispelled before it ever came close.

Everyone looked over at the Council, while they might not know exactly what was going on they were no mental slouches, and their familiars weren't in the Everafter with Aligarept, and they were using them to tap into the lines with impunity.

Much to their surprise however Helena was blocking them all. Arcs of energy, balls of blue flame, even white flame that came from Alison's eyes. She couldn't get in an attack, but she was able to block them all.

Until there was a whistle in the air that ended with a meaty impact, that was followed by another as Helena's severed head hit the floor.

Everyone looked to see Ivy standing there, blooded sword in hand, eyes black and body showing an eerie calm.

Alison was able to walk over and put her hand over Ivy's sword hand. Her other one cupped the living vampire's cheek. "You did what was necessary Love, you did nothing wrong."

While Ali continued to speak gently to Ivy the room filled with paramedics that they quickly realized were Cormel's people, as Marshall led the Council from the room.


Chapter 20.

Alison was smiling into her phone as she took her key out of her pocket. "Yes Rachel, yes I'm happy your shunning was lifted too. No, no it's too bad that Helena couldn't be fully exposed, but we both know that would leave knowledge of the Bible Black out there. At least the Council had the fire blamed on bad wiring that was because of her embezzling from the project. So not only can she be buried in disgrace, but the project itself can be shelved with no real argument.... no way Rachel... I am NOT going to fill her seat on the Council... No.... NO... goodbye Rachel."

With that she opened her door and turned to disable her security system... to find it was disarmed. Fear clenched her heart a moment until she was able to swallow down the bile and look around... the house was dark, but upstairs there was a flickering light.

Alison held her phone to her body she switched it to silent and then dialed Ivy's number... to hear a phone ring upstairs. Her hands clenched wondering what was going on, and then they nearly released in awe as Ivy walked into sight at the top of the stairs.

The living vampire's fair skin seemed to glow in the muted light, and most of it was visible to Ali's gaze as all Ivy was wearing was some scrap of a garment made of black silk, black lace, and black promises, the kind that were already bringing a familiar tightening to Alison's womb.

Barefoot Ivy stated walking down the stairs. "I'm sorry if I scared you."

Ali stammered in reply. "No! It's ok! I mean... just with all that's happened... it's... it's fine."

Ivy's smile showed equal parts amusement and adoration as she reached the main floor and walked over to cup Alison's cheek. "I love you." She then kissed Alison, softly, gently, the caress at Alison's cheek moving to massage the base of her neck.

While Ivy pulled back Alison was breathless and flush, and rested her forehead to Ivy's as Ivy spoke once more. "I'm ready, and you're ready."

That made Alison's head jerk up as her eyes were wide in surprise. Ivy simply smiled and rubbed Alison's neck. Ali's eyes then narrowed and she smiled, her answering reply a breathy whisper. "Please."

Ivy smiled and actually slid her arms around Alison at her armpits and knees, lifting the woman up and walking towards the stairs. A little while ago the maneuver would have been unthinkable, but Alison's rib was mended fully and now she just snuggled into Ivy's arms.

The witch was carried up the stairs and into her bedroom, where she now could see the flickering light was coming from candles. Alison found herself laid out on the bed as Ivy slowly undressed her.

Ivy started with Ali's feet as she took off sneakers, and then socks, getting a soft contented groan when Ivy massaged each foot in turn. The motion from the woman's feet to her waist was a smooth one as pianist's fingers slid inside her belt line to lift Alison's top off and away before they swooped in to relieve Alison of her bra.

The blonde was left stripped to the waist before Ivy's hungry gaze, but what caught those desire blackened orb's the most was the naked look of eager anticipation that Ivy was being given. She was so ready that she reached to her own waist to begin stripping off her jeans, but Ivy's hands caught Ali's and put them down on the bed before she finished removing Alison's clothing.

Ivy closed her eyes and breathed deep, the smell of arousal, hearing the sound of the woman's passion deepened breathing, hearing the blood thrumming in the witches' veins, she then opened her eyes. Alison was braced up on her elbows watching Ivy with the soles of her feet resting on the bed in such a way her knees were apart but not obscenely so, just spread enough to leave her entirely open to Ivy's gaze.

She didn't get long to enjoy the sight however as Alison climbed up on her knees and moved to start helping Ivy take off her own clothing. Ivy didn't protest as the garment was lifted up over her head and tossed into the corner.

With that Alison started kissing Ivy deeply, making small whimpers of need as she mashed their naked forms together.

Ivy pulled them apart a moment, breathless, smiling as she saw the petulant look forming on Alison's face. She ruffled Alison's hair and gave a very quick kiss before laying Ali on her back.

The blonde had raised up on her elbows to watch what Ivy was doing, and she saw the other woman taking a similar position facing Ali on the bed while sliding her left leg over Alison's right while sliding Alison's right leg over her left.

She fell back. "Yes Ivy, please."

The encouragement wasn't need as Ivy ground her own swollen sex against Alison's. The damp heat of each others bodies seeming to blend and then multiply as they rocked.

Sweat was dotting Ivy's brow, and she could see perspiration running down the crevasse between Alison's breasts. Instead of bracing on her elbows Ivy moved so she was pushing off the mattress with her hands.

The fact that Alison was bucking against her made the task more difficult, but Ivy pushed her face forward until it was between Ali's breasts and tasting the witches' sweat.

One of the witches' arms came up off the bed to wrap around Ivy's head to cradle the vampire to her breast, but Ali wasn't done as she rocked forward further, practically putting herself in Ivy's lap as her right slipped between them to dance between their needy flesh.

Ivy's teeth scraped Alison's breast and the witch cried out. It was a happy sound, but it still made Ivy fall still. She clenched the witch to her as the blonde opened her eyes in confusion. "Why'd you stop!" She was breathless and panting, and looking upset.

"Take it easy Angel."

Alison brought both her hands to cup Ivy's face before kissing the woman deeply. "No. I won't. I love you Ivy Tamwood, and I want to loose myself in you, I want you to loose yourself in me. I want you to FEEL my love for you... and Love, if I don't feel your fangs in me I think I'm going to loose my mind. I mean I'm at the point I'm getting wet watching you brush your teeth."

Ivy giggled slightly, smiling a wide smile, not realizing she was showing those pointy teeth until Alison made a needy sound and ground her pussy that much harder against Ivy's. "So you're ok with the vampire thing then?"


Ivy laughed openly before her expression grew tender. One arm continuing to cradle Alison where their clit were rubbing against each other, but the other reached up to caress Alison's neck. Her soft, unblemished neck.

Ivy got it now, Alison was pure, a blood virgin who was doing this as a sign of her love for Ivy. Not for the blood that was surging through both their veins, or stimulated nerves begging for release, but love, and Ivy felt it swell that pounding heart as she brought her fangs to Alison's neck.

She could tell Alison was feeling it too. Not just because of the way she was clinging to Ivy, but in the mantra she didn't even seem to realize she was speaking aloud. "It's yours Ivy, yours, take it, I give it to you. I love you. I love you so much."

The whimpers continued in a similar vein while Ivy pulled her mouth away for a single moment. "I love you too."

Then her lips returned to Alison's neck and she put that strong, firm motion to break the barrier of flesh before her. There was a moment of resistance, and a resulting whimper of pain from Ali before Ivy could penetrate fully, a moment that blended with the ecstasy as orgasm found them both, forcing Ivy to grip Alison tighter so she would not tear.

Pulling out blood came from the wound and Ivy drank, and she felt it, oh God she felt it. Not just the woman's love for her, but just that pure essence of the pure soul she had fallen in love with. She might not have second sight, but she could feel the aura of the woman flow through her, bandaging Ivy's wounds, soothing those soul deep aches.

As she held Alison to her, and Alison's own heart seemed intent on helping the blood past Ivy's lips she understood. She understood the woman's dedication, to that "Great Work" that could keep her fighting for those "sell out wand wavers" that she had such contempt for, her dedication to the magic that God had given her to complete that Great Work.

And as she forced herself to pull her mouth away and reach for the bandages she had laid out on the nightstand after setting up the candles she understood the heart that could swear itself to a monster like her, and she understood that Alison didn't see a monster when she looked at Ivy.

And she knew that maybe, in time, and with those understandings, she could learn to not see a monster when she looked at herself.

The End

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