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Angels & Devils

Seattle has been invaded by covens of Rogue Vampires - vampires who hunt and prey upon other vampires. Bella and the Cullen siblings are in Seattle for a rare night out on the town. They are attacked by Rogues, and Alice Cullen is lost in the ambush. The family fears the worse, believing that Alice is dead. Alice awakens with no memory of who she is, where she is or how she came to be there. She also has no clue that's she's fallen into the hands of an old enemy to her kind. A half-vampire who once waged a 50-year long war of vengeance against all vampires. A enemy so vicious that the Volturi had dubbed him with the name, "Lucifer", and who was long since believed to be dead himself.

This is my first Twilight Fanfic. It is currently posted in part to the FanFiction.Net site under the same pen name, and has 52 chapters up. There is still a few hundred more pages that are written and waiting to go. I decided to post this to a few fanfic sites to see what feedback I can get from the experts. This story has some violence, language, and minor adult situations (not too descriptive or vulgar - I tried to keep in mind how SM handled such things in writing.) so I guess this would need a "R" rating. Thanks.

14. Chapter 14 - Hold Me Close, My Tiny Dancer

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Chapter Fourteen: Hold me close, my Tiny Dancer.

We ended the first long set with Muse’s “Supermassive Black Hole” to thunderous applause, which Angel seemed to be leading once more.

By then, Ricky had arrived and was waiting on the stage wings to move some of his gear onto the stage proper. He was going to use my bass amp for the rest of the night, so I only had to pack up my guitar stand, vocal mic, and bass to clear out.

As soon as the stage lights dimmed and the house DJ started to play his CDs during the break, Angel bounced back up to the stage to enthusiastically greet me.

“That was great!” was the first thing she said to me, she followed that up with a big hug that almost bruised my rigs in her exuberance.

I had to admit, with her watching and then coming up on stage to dance with me, tonight I had played one of my best sets ever. The bass and the music seem to come alive in my hands. I almost wished I could stay and finish out the rest of the night.

But I had other more serious things to think about. Watching her tonight, it would have been too easy to forget what she was… and think of her as a normal human girl.

“Thanks,” I told her. “How are you feeling?” I then asked, trying to inspect her eyes under the dim colored lights of the club for telltale signs of thirst, the faint light made it hard to tell anything for sure.

She smiled and tilted her head happily at me. Now I could just make out that her eyes were still that warm goldish brown, which was a load off my mind. I had worried a bit that with some many humans packed into one place, maybe the club scene might be over-taxing her control.

“Just fine,” she reported. “No urges at all. And I still have my back-up mug out in the Ford if anything happens to change.”

“That’s good,” I said, genuinely pleased with the night’s results.

“Hey!” she suddenly shouted over the house music, as she grabbed up my hands in both of hers. “Do you think we can stay longer?” she asked excitedly. “Please? I’m having such a good time here and I don’t want it to end so soon. Besides, I loved watching you guys play, it be a shame to end the night so early when we really don’t have to.”

“Well, Ricky’s already here and setting up. I’m done playing for the night,” I protested.

Angel just grinned widely.

“So we’ll sit down here, and you’ll be part of the crowd for a change,” she said.

Well, she was handling herself just fine and was in no distress, so I couldn’t come up with a valid reason to deny her. Beside, it was hard to say ‘no’ to her when she was batting those big eyelashes at me.

Seeing we were going to be staying a while longer yet, I went to the bar and found a spot to wedge in besides Aaron the keyboardist, and ordered a plain orange juice for myself. I turned my back to the bar while I waited for my order, and watched Angel skip around the room, mingling with the crowd, and stopping once in awhile to chat with a regular fan or two who had recognized her as being with the band now.

She was always smiling and graceful, listening to what they had to say as if it were the most important thing in the world. She’d laugh when it was required in the conversation, and then dazzle them with her smile once again while touching them on their cloth-covered arm or shoulder, so they wouldn’t notice her unnatural cold skin, before moving away. Angel would make it only a few steps before being stopped by the next fan to start the process all over again with them.

She was so natural interacting with the crowd, that she probably would make the perfect band manager or PR person. Not a person she came into contact with suspected that this little bright waif was the most powerful being in the nightclub. And I had carefully checked the crowd before allowing her to roam too far; there wasn’t another vamp anywhere in the place so I was confident she was safe in that regard.

As I watched her, I realized that from a musician’s point of view, she’d also be the perfect band girlfriend too. I’ve seen it too often over the years in bands, where a member gets a girlfriend, or boyfriend, who clashes with everyone else. That is never pleasant to contend with. With Angel, everyone simply loved her on sight.

I shook my head to rid myself of that notion. Angel had a life prior to running into me, and once she recalled it, she’d probably want to go back to it. Getting these wild ideas in my head was pointless.

Especially getting them over a vampire for someone in my position.

Luckily, Ricky chose that moment to distract me from my thoughts turning to solemn by coming up and asking how the room was. Meaning, he wanted to know how the bass was sounding in the mix, given the shape of the room and the different types of materials that it was constructed from, and that filled it. Such details were important to consider especially for a bass player, as they all affected the sound of the low-end.

Ricky was an amateur sound enthusiast, and read countless book and manuals on recording and sound engineering. I gave him my humble and not as well informed opinion, and I knew he’d be back up on stage shortly tweaking my bass amp to the room and his bass guitar. I normally didn’t mind him doing that because he had the better ear for it, and the settings on my amp usually came back sounding better as a result. That is… until I got adventurous and started playing with the knobs again somewhere down the line. Then it wouldn’t sound as good anymore until the next time Ricky used it.

We were talking about new Bass gear we’d like to try out, when Angel unexpectedly pushed her way between us.

“Excuse me,” she said and grabbed my orange juice, and before I could react she took a small sip and returned the glass to me. “Sorry! Thirsty,” she explained. “Been talking a lot.” I saw that the sip she had taken was probably barely enough to moisten her throat, and not enough to make her really sick. Apparently she had learned her lesson about human drinks fairly well the first time.

Angel then turned to look at Ricky and bounce once on the balls of her feet.

“Hi,” she said brightly with a little wave, and then just as suddenly she was gone again to mingle with the crowd.

Ricky looked after her curiously for a moment, and then turned back to ask, “She with you?”

“Yeah,” I answered a bit glumly, and waited for the ribbing I supposed was coming.

Both Ricky’s dark eyebrows just rose slightly.

“Wow,” he said, just before taking a drink from his beer mug. When he set the glass back on the bar, he picked up again telling me about a new Bass he read about with new generation electronic pick-ups and on-board EQ circuit, just as if Angel had never interrupted us.

That’s what I liked about Ricky, beyond music, guitars, and the band, he was so laid back nothing else phased him in the slightest. He was a pretty great guy for a human.

No wonder Donny and him mixed like oil and water.

The break ended a few moments later and the band was called back to the stage.

I walked that way, more out of habit than anything, and saw Angel with her head together with Kim at the foot of the small stair case leading up to the short stage.

She was whispering something in the lead singer’s ear, and before I could get close enough to hear what it was, Kim pulled away, smiled at the smaller girl and nodded before scooting up to the stage to take her place behind her mic stand.

“What’s going on,” I asked nonchalantly as I came to Angel’s side.

“Nothing,” she replied. “Just making a song request.”

I saw nothing alarming about that; the band took requests all the time. And Angel had relayed several of them during the first set for fans in the crowd that had stopped her.

Angel and I found places in front of the stage as the group opened the second set with “All you wanted,” by Michelle Branch, Angel bopped against me to the song, singing the chorus at the top of her lungs with the rest of the audience.

Several times, Kim, Aaron, or Ricky caught my eye and then tugged on their ear. Kim and Aaron were asking me how the mix sounded from out in front of the PA. Ricky was asking me how the bass sounded within the mix itself. All three times I gave each of them a thumbs up, which made them all happy.

That’s another thing, you learned to communicate with certain looks and hand gestures while on stage, as just the stage volume of the amps and monitors made talking virtually impossible unless you were right next to a band mate and shouting in their ear.

Angel leaned back into me and swayed, occasionally drawing both my arms up with hers to join in a crowd wave. I let her do it because it made her happy, and I really had no choice given her strength anyway.

If I decided to be non-cooperative in her fun and she wanted to push the matter, I would be little more than a life-size puppet to her. Better to go with the flow in this case, and besides, who wouldn’t want Angel to be holding their hands?

About the fifth song into the set, Kim gave us a wink and then started gabbing to the crowd from behind her mic.

“We got a special request from the newest member of the ‘Bend the Signal’ family,” she was saying, and Angel began bouncing up and down excitedly on the balls of her feet again, and clapping happily, leaving me to assume that they were about to play the request she made just before the set started.

“But… seeing he’s still here in the club, I’m gonna need our other bass player, Justan, to come back up on stage and help us with this one,” Kim went on to tell the audience.

I knew immediately, that the next song was going to be “Broken” by Seether - the version with Amy Lee. Not only because it was the only song Kim and I shared lead vocals on, it was one of Angel’s most favorite songs. She had discovered it on my practice CD’s and played it constantly, often times accompanying it in an octave range that threatened to shatter all the glass panes from the windows in the house.

The audience was clapping wildly because they liked the song, and after all who couldn’t like anything Amy Lee sang on?

Yeah, okay, she’s one of my favorite new artists too. So sue me.

Angel was now pushing me toward the stage, Kim was waving me up, Ricky was laughing at my predicament and un-strapping his bass because he knew I’d want to hide behind it on this song.

“Go on!” Angel was urging.

I felt sort of like a condemned man on the way to his execution, but I mounted the steps to the stage and accepted the bass from Ricky. The neck on his Warwick was customized similar to my Zon, so I could make the change to it without much of a problem. Like most bassists, I’m very finicky about the size and string spacing on my bass necks. Something too thin and close, and my fingers get all messed up, and then I hit a lot of wrong notes.

Well… I hit more wrong notes than usual, that is.

Ricky bounced off stage and out into the crowd, picking a spot perfectly in front of the mains and subwoofers of the PA. I knew he wouldn’t miss a chance to listen to how his bass sounded out in front.

Once I was all settled in with a few practice runs on Ricky’s bass neck to get the feel for it, I nodded to Kim that I was ready, and Donny started playing the guitar intro to Broken.

I eased into the first verse, which was only me singing. Kim had taken her cordless mic and wandered off into the crowd like she sometimes did. The fans liked it when she mingled with them and sang, so I thought nothing of it at the time.

At the first chorus I heard a female voice join me lightly in the background over the stage monitor, just as Kim was suppose to. I ended the last verse of the chorus solo like it’s supposed to go, right on the money.

We played the bridge through, and then the female lead takes over from there.

“The worst is over now and we can breathe again…” came over the monitor at my feet, but it wasn’t Kim singing!

The crowd cheered, and I turned stage right, to see Angel climbing the last step and walking onto the stage. In her hand, set just in front of her pretty lips, was Kim’s cordless. I winced automatically, fully expecting Angel’s voice to shred human eardrums backed with over four thousands watts of PA power behind it.

“I wanna hold you high – you steal my pain… away…” came out next as she walked up next to me, and she was in perfect harmony with my imperfect voice! I couldn’t express my relief that she wasn’t using her full vocal range at the moment, which would have been very heard to explain away.

“There’s so much left to learn… and no one left to fight…

…I want to hold you high and steal your pain,” she continued on flawlessly, singing the lyrics to me while holding my eyes with hers.

To the best of my knowledge, my condition has left me immune to a vampire’s glamour. But I swear at that moment, Angel was drawing me in as we came into the second chorus.

We blended perfectly together, though I’m sure that was mostly her doing.

“Because I’m broken when I’m open and I don’t feel like…

I am strong enough…

Because I’m broken when I’m lonesome and I don’t feel right

When you’re gone away…”

It was the strangest thing. I seemingly forgot that I was on stage, or playing the bass line to the song. It just came out without me thinking about it, the same way I matched her as we sang.

Her gaze held me, and it was like we were alone together. Even more odd, I had the feeling Angel was connected to me and feeling the very same way.

I hadn’t realized that the song was over until my fingers struck the very last note and let it ring. Then gradually the applause of the crowd broke through the spell between us. Angel smiled up at me, looking very pleased. She bit her lower lip slightly and then reached around to hug me, just as Ricky appeared to take his bass from me.

Angel returned the cordless to Kim with her thanks.

Kim was clapping with the audience, and as soon as she had control of the mic once again, she announced our names to the crowd once more, and then told us, “Take a bow, guys!”

Angel pulled me into one whether I wanted to or not, and then we cleared off stage so the show could go on.

At the foot of the stairs, Angel turned to me and threw her arms around my neck. She pulled herself up until her feet left the floor and hugged me tightly once again.

“That… was terrific,” was all I could say. And I meant her performance, not mine.

“That was so much fun,” she replied as she nuzzled me cheek-to-cheek for a moment before letting herself down.

I totally agreed with that part also.

“So… what do you want to do now?” I asked her over the stage volume of the music.

“I think it be nice to spent a little time with you all to myself down here on the dance floor,” she told me with a meaningful tiny smile.

I found myself baulking again as I realized she wanted me to dance. I could perform just over a hundred different martial arts katas perfectly every time; I could even walk over a high wire without breaking a sweat.

Just don’t ask me to dance.

“Oh!” I said, pulling slightly away. “Umm… I really don’t dance. I can barely slow dance,” I confessed. I was the only bass player I knew that had absolutely no rhythm out on a dance floor.

She twisted her elfin face into a funny sour look, and yanked me back closer to her.

“You don’t dance. You don’t do nice clothes,” she said, “You are a real troll, you know that? Well, someone has to give you a total lifestyle makeover, and get you out from under that bridge you’re stuck hiding under… starting tonight!”

“How is it, that you don’t remember your name, but that you remember what a troll is?” I asked.

She pursed her lips together for a moment, and then lightly jerked on my arms – thankfully. Keeping in mind she could rip them out of their sockets if she wasn’t careful.

“Stop trying to change the subject,” she said to me.

Damn! She was just too smart for me!

“Come on, you sort of bop around while playing on stage, that’s like dancing,” she added.

“That’s more my way of keeping time,” I replied.

“Dancing’s the same thing, only you move more,” she countered. “Here, I’ll show you.”

She pulled me with her, and I had no choice but to try and keep up with her. It took a few minutes, but eventually I found a sort of rhythm, and as long as I focused on her I was able to do something that I guess passed for dancing.

Surprisingly I didn’t feel too much like an idiot, and I didn’t see anyone pointing at me and laughing outright. Then again, I was out on the dance floor with the prettiest girl in the place, so how much of an idiot could I be?

Angel seemed pleased with my progress and for the next two songs attempted to teach me some new moves. She made it look all so easy.

I caught a break on the third song, as it was a slow one, one of only a few the band did actually.

“Ah! This I think I can handle,” I said as I pulled Angel closer to me, feeling a little bit more in my element. Remember, when I was born, Dirty Dancing wouldn’t be invented for about another ninety-something years.

Angel came into my arms with the grace of an experienced ballroom dancer – and she probably was for all we knew.

For some strange reason, Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” was running through my mind at the moment, and I really didn’t need to ask myself why that was.

Angel gazed at me with contentment, and I found myself getting lost in those soft golden eyes once more.

We moved together for a few moments, and then she looked up at me and said, “Not so bad.”

I chuckled. “Not so bad for an old guy,” I added on.

Angel smiled warmly up at me.

“You’re not so old. Besides, I’m probably much older than you are for all we know,” she corrected, and then she slid her arms up around my neck to dance closer to me.

I found myself smiling back, partly because I wondered what she’d say if she knew my real age, and partly because I was enjoying myself there with her. I had not felt this way for a very long, long, time.

“I’ve never been one for fast dancing… until you forced me to tonight,” I joked, keeping the easy conversation between us going.

Angel made a show of tilting her eyes upward, as if she were having a deep thought.

“Well, of the two of us, I am the stronger,” she finally said in a mock serious tone. “I suppose its only right that I have my way when I want it.”

“Oh?” I asked, delighted with her playfulness. “So you’re sort of Machiavellian, and believe might makes right?”

“Yes, definitely,” she replied slyly. I was vaguely aware that one of her hands was playing lightly with my ponytail behind my neck. “But I think I could get my way by using other methods besides force.”

“Really?” I inquired, with a tiny hint of challenge in my tone. Even being only half vampire, I still at times had the tendency to respond to dares in the same manner that full bloods did, even though it sometimes got me into trouble. “And what would they be, pray tell?” I asked, with a playful hint of mock distain.

She paused in the dance at that moment, locking gazes with me, her dancing eyes suddenly going very serious.

“This,” she said, in barely a whisper.

I can’t remember if she pulled me down toward her, or herself up to me. All I do remember is the feeling of her cool lips pressed against mine, and the sweet smell and taste of her filling me.

I would have thought one of us would have pulled away within a few seconds at the unexpected shock of what was happening.

I for one found I really had no desire for it to end, or the will power to end it myself, and was pleased when Angel set herself tightly against me so she could continue the kiss in comfort.

Instead of fading it grew more intense, and soon our tongues began to explore each other as well.

It ended only when our actions became so inflamed, that Angel took control and forced herself to break the kiss by palming both sides of my jaw and pulling away.

For someone who didn’t need to breathe, she seemed strangely out of breath at the moment as she set her forehead against mine.

Too be fair, my own breathing wasn’t much calmer.

“My teeth,” she reminded me in what might have been a slightly embarrassed tone a few seconds later. “You have to be careful.”

For some reason I almost blurted out that mine weren’t very safe for her either, but I caught myself as I remember she still didn’t know what I was.

“I will,” I promised instead.

She nodded a few times, and keeping her head pressed to mine asked, “Is this wrong?”

The fact she wouldn’t meet my eyes told me she was just as stunned as I was.

“I don’t know,” I finally replied. “But right now, I don’t feel like complaining much.”

She lifted her head to look at me then.

“Good, neither will I then,” she added, and then lowered her head to my chest and began to slowly sway in place with me, even though the music had turned back to a fast song sometime during our kiss.

People moved all around us, but gave us our space in peace.

I held her tight as we rocked each other, not caring as the rest of the world swept by us at its faster pace.