"Goddam it, Brian." Carrie muttered as she stood in front of the grocery store, seething and planning a dozen nasty ways to get back at her brother.
~That's what I get for trusting an idiot like Brian to put gas in the car when he took it out. And I'm an even bigger idiot for not checking the gage before motoring to work.~
Carrie shivered slightly in the cool night air, pulling her thin worker's smock closer around her, wishing vainly that she had worn something heavier than shorts and a tank-top under it. For once it would actually have done her good to follow the store's dress code.
For once it would've done her good to follow the rest of the store's rules, too. If she hadn't let Nicole go on time while she stayed late to finish the rest of the book-keeping, there would've been the two people present at lock-down that the rules stipulated, and Carrie would've been able to give her a ride. If she hadn't agreed to clean up the front end for Bob DeMartino so that he could get home in time let his dog out before the golden-lab puppy went all over the floor, she could've bummed a ride with him.
And if she hadn't wanted to get that raise so much, she would've left the rest of the paperwork for the morning Courtesy people, like any sane person would have.
But, no. She had done all those things, and now she was stuck in the store parking lot at 10pm. Even the grocery boys had long since hauled out.
With another muttered curse, she turned and left the comforting glow of the store and started to walk home.
~After all, it's only two miles.~ she reassured herself. ~Don't be such a wuss.~
Walking in back of the store, she took the short-cut through the woods, going slowly and carefully so as not to trip in the darkness, and she soon found herself at the head of Robello Drive, not even half a mile from her own house on Gabe Boulevard.
~Out of the woods now,~ she thought, her fears immediately diminishing as the bright moonlight once again lit her path in soft light. Grinning slightly at her own pun, she even started whistling 'The Greatest Love Of All' as she sauntered on the familiar sidewalk. Nicole snickered slightly as she remembered the last time she had heard that particular tune. Sophomore year Talent Show.
~Cripes, Cordelia hit notes that I never even knew existed.~ A smirk twisted her mouth as she recalled the sparklers that the snobby cheerleader had used at the end of her number.
At a soft sound behind her, though, both Carrie's confidence and her good mood evaporated. Spinning around with a sharp gasp, she felt her heart thudding in her chest like a caged bird as icy fear washed over her.
Behind her, though, was a handsome guy in his early twenties, with dark hair and the most gorgeous face she had ever seen, holding his hands out in the universal sign of surrender.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you." he said, his brown eyes radiating both concern and abashment.
"I wasn't scared," Carrie said, her rapidly-fading fear making her denial too loud, "You just startled me, that's all." she finished lamely.
"It's late," the hunk continued, "You really shouldn't be out this late at night, it's dangerous."
"My car broke down, and I was only two miles from my house. Besides, I have pepper spray." Carrie responded, slightly annoyed. Why did *guys* never get the old "it's-late-it's-dangerous-you-should-be-inside" speech?
"Still, can I walk you home?" worry tinged the guy's tone.
"I'll be all right. Thanks anyway." Considering the conversation finished, Carrie turned and started heading towards her house.
To her surprise, the guy hurried to her side, and kept pace with her quick steps. "My name is Angel," he said, "and please, just let me walk you home. I'd just feel a lot better knowing you got home safely."
With a sigh, Carrie relented. The guy was really concerned, and it was just easier to let him, and the annoying part of her brain that refused to be annoyed when men held doors open for her was relieved.
They walked the rest of the way in silence, and exchanged courteous good-byes when they reached the house. Reaching into her pocket, Carrie pulled out her keys, irritated that he made no move to leave. Clearly Angel planned on making certain that she was safely in her house before leaving.
Rolling her eyes, she had just unlocked the door, and was about to push it open when she felt a prickling on the back of her neck.
With a quick move, Angelus grabbed the girl and yanked her back from the doorway of her home. She immediately lashed out, but he quickly had her arms pinned behind her back, and just as quickly he drove his fangs into her smooth throat.
As he gulped down her rich blood, her struggles became weaker and weaker until they eventually just ceased altogether. With a final sip, he raised his head and felt his features shift back into the deceptive human mask.
Tossing her key into the bushes, Angelus quickly arranged the girl so that she appeared to be curled up on her front stoop. Smirking, Angelus wandered off into the darkness, searching for another mortal foolish enough to venture into the Sunnydale night.
Two hours later, Brian's friends dropped him off at his house. Staggering slightly as he walked to the door, he enjoyed the fuzzy glow that the beer had given him. As he leaned over to unlock the door, his foot nudged against something. Looking down, he grinned when he saw Carrie, fast asleep.
Kneeling down, he tapped his sister on the shoulder. When he got no response, he frowned, a shred of worry making its way through his alcohol-induced stupor.
When he nudged her for a third time, her head lolled back in a very disturbing manner.
When he saw the blood and the ragged bite marks, Brian, now cold-sober, started to scream.
Well, I'd say that was pretty darn disturbing. Especially so considering that I came up with idea when Nicole offered me a ride home from the grocery store, after we stayed late to finish the book-keeping and clean up the front end for Bob.