Nowhere To Ride To
by Tesla

The truck was old, but Lindsey had it tricked out long before Angel borrowed it, before the dead bastard smashed the windshield. It had air conditioning and a decent FM radio and a cassette player. The bench seat was new. The motor was tuned to a tee.

It amused Lindsey to keep the battered body. It was an inverted metaphor for himself: $300 haircut, $3000 suit, $3 redneck soul.

He didn't iron out the dents Angel put in the bumper; still had the note in the glove box. Lindsey told himself it was to keep the anger burning against the big fucker, but Lindsey knew it was a lie, a lie, a lie.

He kept the dents in the truck because his bruises healed too fast.

That was kind of stupid, considering that Angel had fucking cut off his right hand, but that was business. Lindsey was burning the scroll, and it was the only hope to save the Chase girl; Angel did what he had to do. Lindsey should have realized how obsessively protective Angel was about his women.

Then Darla went to him, went back to her boy, came back with the mystic ring, and told Lindsey that she'd boned Angel. Twice. That she'd done it, and the big bastard still had his soul.

She had fresh bruises on her face.

It was the bruises that sent Lindsey out after Angel, and when he came back, Darla was gone.

Now Lindsey was gone, was alone in an Arizona hotel room with a bottle of lotion and pictures of Angel on his mind.

Jerking himself off with the fucking evil hand.

Why the hell did Lindsey fight Angel? Why did he throw himself against an immortal being, heedless of how much Angel could hurt him?

Because Angel had already hurt him, he thinks, pulling hard on his cock, thinking of Angel's hard hands on his throat, on his wrists; thinking of the vampire's hard cool body pressed hip to hip with his as Angel threatened him, as Angel interrogated him. No finesse, the dead guy; didn't need it. Just went in somewhere and started hitting people in the face.

He had let Angel down, and yet Angel had come to see him off. Kept those huge hard hands in the pockets of his coat, faintly smiling at Lindsey. Put that sign on the back of the pickup.

Lindsey turned and looked over his shoulder for a last glance, because like a fool he'd look in the rear mirror. Like he hadn't worked with vampires for years, worked with this vampire for two years.

Angel hadn't touched him. Lindsey could never have a caress, so he learned to take a beating from Angel; the bruises were the stigmata he wore like medals to the office. Lindsey McDonald gets into fights with Angel.

Lindsey doesn't know who he hates more, himself or Angel. Doesn't know who he means when he says, "Stupid son of a bitch!" and comes in his towel.

Lindsey raises his hand and brushes his mouth over the red line around his wrist.

The last thing he has from Angel is a scar.


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