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by Eden Lee Raven


Notes: Eighth in the Crawling Darkness series. Sequel to Within.
Summary: They had to come face-to-face at some point.



“So tell me why we're running again?” Dusk looks around the pitch black alley we're currently hiding in. She scrunches up her face at the smell of the over-flowing dumpster we're behind.

We've been running from an Amari hunting unit for the last three weeks. We've been hopping continents in the hopes that we'd loose `em before we had to resort to violence. I mean Kyra used to know at least a few of these shifters. Killing someone you know's a lot different than killing a stranger who's slayer's gone a little wild inside.

Unfortunately they've apparently figured out how to track us, because they're there within hours. And we'd jump to Martoth to get away from them but who's gonna be the councils roaming unit? Being chased might suck so hard but people still need protecting and rogues still need reigning in.

“'Cause despite the fact they're chasing us, they haven't hurt a human since this started.” Dusk just gives me a weak smile and nods. If they don't put human life in danger we're not gonna fight `em. It's just the way we roll.

And this unit seems to have learned from past units mistakes.



Even though we're being hunted we still manage to do our jobs. We go hunting at night, Giles even called with a mission a couple of days ago. Tonight it was just a normal patrol. Half the pack left the slight relative safety of the apartment to patrol.

And when I say `apartment' I don't mean a high rise. I actually mean `low' rise. This place is like a bunker. Buried underground. One way in, one way out. Let's see `em try and get in here.

We might not purposefully hurt `em if they don't hurt humans, but coming into our home? Big no-no. They'd be dead before they even knew what was happening.

The door suddenly crashes open and Kyra comes in holding Buffy up. I don't immediately see why Buffy's leaning on her so heavily. Until she looks up and catches my eyes. I even think I gasped.

There's this really deep cut running down the left side of her face. And I'd be puzzled as to why it hasn't healed up yet. Expect her body's working on the worse wounds first.

The left side of her face looks like it's melted.

Her skin looks like it started to drip off, half her hair's missing and she has no left eyeball left at all.

I growl as I help Kyra get her into the bathroom.

I might just change my mind about not hurting that hunting unit without human casualties.

`Cause this right here? This deserves payback.



When we get her into the bathroom Kyra turns on the shower while I start taking Buffy’s clothes off. And when I say ‘take off’ I really mean ‘rip off’. We need to wash this shit off her so she can heal up properly.

I don’t even wait to see if the water’s the right temperature, just step under the spray and kneel down with Buffys back against my front. Kyra gets hold of the shower head and turns it to the harshest setting before getting into the bath with us and aiming the spray right at B’s face.

She starts to whimper at the pain and that’s when Malaki comes in. It takes him maybe two seconds to assess what’s going on, before he runs out the room. When he comes back in he’s got a box of salt in his hand. He cracks it open and just starts to pore it over the side of her head.

Her whimper becomes a growl. It takes me a few seconds to realise I’m growling too.



We’re all sat on the sofas, Buffys head’s in my lap while I stroke her newly grown back hair. Kyra’s telling us what happened.

“We were chasing the demons and trying to dodge the hunting unit at the same time. And I swear to god I would’ve killed ‘em all despite the fact I know half of ‘em.” I raise my eyebrow at her. And she didn’t because why? “But it wasn’t them.” What now? “It was the demons.”

Oh fuck no. I growl in the back of my throat and then I feel Buffys hand rubbing my leg and trying to calm me down.

It doesn’t help much. We’ve been going about this all softly softly, trying to keep it all hush hush and as far away from human life as possible. But now that’s not my main concern.

Payback is.



The apartment’s silent as everyone sleeps. We’re resting up before we go hunting these demons. And everyone’s aware that this isn’t just about the job anymore. They hurt one of our own. There isn’t a single one of us that’s gonna go easy on them.

But right now isn’t the time for thinking about how they’re gonna pay.

Right now’s about feeling Buffy as she moves against me.

I’ve got her against the wall, her legs wrapped around my waist, as I thrust three fingers into her. The feel of her wrapped around me’s making this noise come from the back of my throat. It’s kind of a cross between a purr and a growl. And it’s making Buffy a little nutty at the sound of it.

I can feel her nails as they dig into my back, making blood run down my skin. The smell of it’s making her moan as she thrusts her hips against my hand.

I know we can’t die, I know whatever hurt we get’s gonna heal almost straight away. But there’s just something about that kind of hurt. I need to just touch her, I need to know she’s there.

And the best way to do that is to make her call out my name as she clings to me.



Apparently I’m not the only one that needs to feel connected.

I’m led facedown on the bed, trying desperately to keep the screams of pleasure in. Buffy’s led on top of me, her teeth constantly biting into the skin of my neck and shoulder. Making me bleed over and over again.

One of her hands is thrusting into me, the other’s keeping a steady pace over my clit. Jesus Christ. I always forget how this is like pleasure almost bordering on pain.

Her voice whispers in my ear as she puts another finger inside me and speeds up both her hands. “Let me see you.”

I turn my head so I can just catch her eyes and pull a deep breathe in. And then it hits me. It feels like everything inside me’s screaming out at the release of pleasure.

My hips start to rapidly thrust against her hand and I practically roar as the pleasure crashes over me. But Buffy doesn’t stop what her hands are doing. She speeds up if anything. My girl knows me well.

I’m not done yet. That low growl’s still coming out of me.

When another orgasm crashes over me I feel her teeth at the back of my neck. They sink into my skin without a moments pause and that only pushes me higher.

When the pleasure crests fully I feel like I’ve just been shattered into a thousand pieces. I hope Buffy’s not pissed when I pass the fuck out.

Pleasure that intense should be illegal.



Me and Buffy are still shut away in our room. Sometimes making love, others just laying here and holding each other. Right now? Less of the comfort, more of the moaning.

But this is a little less gentle and a little more of the bitey, scratchy kind.

There’re smears of blood running down both of our bodies. The wounds we’ve inflicted on each other having long since healed.

Buffy’s currently straddling me as I kneel up and we’re both pounding into each other as if this was the last time we were gonna see each other.

“Tell me.” Her whispered, gasping voice rumbles in my ear.

“I’m in love with you.”I whisper back just as softly. A split second before I feel her teeth sink into my neck. We both explode at the same time.

It’s as we’re gasping for breath that we hear a soft knock on the door.

“Guys seriously,” it’s Malaki and he sounds highly amused. “Come up for air. Everyone’s ready.” Buffy gives me a little half smirk before she climbs off me and heads towards the bathroom attached to our room.

“Better makes ourselves presentable.” I look down at myself and smirk. There’s a thin coat of blood down my right side and thick dropplets’ve landed on my left thigh.

Yeah. The kids’d kill us.



We’re in the woods just outside of town. Not a single one of us is making a sound as we move. We can feel the demons just ahead. The problem with that? We can feel the Amari hunting unit just ahead too.

And there’s a part of me that just wants to wait until the demons’ve taken them out before we move. But once again it comes back to the hunting unit not putting human life at risk.

We can’t just let ‘em be chew toys despite how much it’d solve the immediate problem.

I share a look with Buffy and sigh as a stand up straight and walk into the clearing the hunting unit’ve camped out in. They all look up at us with shocked expressions before the rush to grab their weapons.

“Ya might wanna put catchin’ us on the backburner for now.” The lead of the unit gives me a confused look as he grips his sword. “Ya got bigger problems.” I nod behind him as the demons start coming from the trees behind him.

He spins his head to look as he takes in the site of the dozen demons before gripping his sword even tighter. Before he can take a step towards them I take his shoulder in my hand and hold him back. I shake my head when I catch his eye.

“Acid spit. Let us deal with ‘em.” He nods as me and the rest of the Ghosts step forward. Kyra and the Amari of my pack stay at little further back with the hunting unit.

Nothing like the promise of an acid kiss to make them wanna kill the demons before they come after us.



These guys are seriously disgusting. Theirs mouths are open and a green tinged spit runs off their fangs as they eye us up greedily. Guess the thought of chopping down on some rare meat makes them drool.

One of the demons spits on the floor and the earth sizzles as the acid eats through it.

“Ya think that’s scary? Ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” I blink and flames lick up and down my arms and hands, just touching the blades of my swords. Out of the corner of my eye I can see Mist crackling with electricity and the twins holding their swords telepathically in front of them, lazily spinning them in the air. I can hear the trickling of the water that’s flowing through Buffy’s fingers.

The demons are taken back for only a few moments before they start grinning.

I smirk and shake my head as they start moving forward.

“Your funeral.”



I’m currently ripping Shadows t-shirt off before she falls to her knees. Buffy comes over and starts pouring water over her stomach from her palm.

The demons didn’t last all that long once we started fighting but that acid spit was a pain in the ass. Both Shimmer and Shadow got caught in the crossfire. Good thing Buffy didn’t otherwise we’d be three shifters down when the Amari start in on us.

Weird thing is, they haven’t yet. The demons’re dead, we’re not at full power, but they still haven’t made even a slightly offensive move towards us.

One of the hunting unit comes over to me and gives me some spare clothes for the twins. Pretty helpful seem as thought one’s got no top and the other’s got no pants. When we’re done we stand up, fully expecting the hunting unit to charge.

What I don’t expect is the leader to smile at me. Right before he tosses his sword to the ground at my feet.

What the hell?




“We were told you’re a threat.” The rest of the hunting unit tosses their weapons down. “A threat wouldn’t save those who were trying to capture them.” And it only took my daughters getting covered in acid spit for them to work it out. “I’m not hunting you anymore.” The rest of the hunting unit agrees with him. Although I should probably think of something else to call them now.

I shrug as I slide my swords back into their sheaths. “You don’t hurt humans, we don’t hurt you.” He nods at me before sliding his hands into his pockets.

“They’re not gonna be happy about this.”

“What’re they gonna do?”

“Expel us from the nation.” He shares a sorrowful smile with Kyra. And then an idea hits me.

“Anyway we can get in contact with you?” he gives me a puzzled look before I go on. “You wanna save people, the Watchers Council’s the way to do that. You get paid, you get a home, you pick up the slack when we’re not around to do it.”

He gives me a smile before reaching into his pack and pulling out a piece of paper. He scribbles something on it before giving it to me. It’s a cell number. “Where do we find you when this’ gone down?”

“Just go to the Watchers Council. They’ll know how. I’ll tell em’ you ain’t a threat.” He nods and gives me a broken smile before we start to leave.

Why is it that most of the Amari we know end up without a nation?



Criose was right; they got kicked out of the nation for refusing to hunt us anymore. Will called soon after saying there was some Amari looking for us.

The end of it is that they’re now the council’s second roaming unit. They keep a watch out while we ride over to Martoth. Which is happening more often with a second unit to pick up the slack.

That’s one less hunting unit we’ve gotta worry about.

My phone starts ringing and it’s the ringtone I set for Criose.

“What’s up fella?” I never call him by his name and it always makes him chuckle.

“We’ve got a rogue running around in Italy. Keeps getting in the way while we’re trying to hunt this demon.”

That’s one thing; these guys won’t hunt rogues down. It doesn’t matter that they’re rogues and pretty badass. They’re still human.

“Alright. Be there ASAP. You at the apartment in the north?”


“Ok. See ya in a few.” Buffy looks at me from the ruins of the bed. She sighs as she pulls herself out of the mess. Her voice yelling to everyone in my head makes my teeth chatter.

“Everyone get moving! We got a rogue it Italy!” I hear everyone groan in my head and I smirk as I dial Will to get her to portal us there. So much faster than a plane.

Might even be worth throwing my guts up for.


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