July 1998



Faith Lehane rode into town on a stolen motorcycle, tired of running. Kakistos was a demon. Well, what else could you call a vampire so old he had hooves instead of hands and feet? And as an ancient demon, he had contacts everywhere. Boston wasn't safe anymore, just like Darby, New Hampshire, and Derry, Maine, and Star's Hollow, Connecticut, and Belfry, New Jersey, and half a dozen other places she'd stopped since fleeing. But she drove straight through the night to get to Miami, Florida from Mayberry, North Carolina without stopping, and reckoned on either losing Kakistos in the crowd, or escaping to the Bahamas. Surely his influence couldn't extend that far.



Faith's leather jacket, perfect for riding the open road, was quite out of place here in Southern Florida, in the middle of July. And the kinds of places where she usually squats do not offer the luxury of storing any personal belongings. She found a dealership called Sunshine Autos, closed since Hurricane Gordy came through ten years earlier, and immediately took a much needed sleep, with motorcycle next to her, and jacket folded under her head. Sleep now, patrol the area at night, she thought. That's how to avoid another ambush.



Sunshine Auto was located north of Little Havana, an area where Dexter Morgan spent a lot of free time. Dexter wasn't especially fond of the Cuban cuisine, or Cuban culture, or any culture, really. Dexter didn't care much about humanity in general, but he was very interested in finding remote, preferably abandoned locations, where no one would be likely to see a stranger come or go, and Little Havana was full of these kinds of places.



Dexter knew he had to make a move soon, because Frank Weston was starting to act like he knew he was being followed. So when he saw the seventeen-year-old girl with the motorcycle and greasy hair, his first thought was to shoo her off the premises so he could begin setting up his kill room. A voice inside his head told him to think it through first, a voice he liked to think of as that of his adopted father, Harry. What if this is a normal hang out for local teens? Getting rid of her now is no guarantee she won't come back later, or that more drugged up drifters won’t replace her.



Dexter knew Harry was wrong this time. The motorcycle had North Carolina plates, and it looked like it just weathered a long drive.  Judging from the smell, she did too, and hasn't had the chance to clean up yet. She was new to the location, and probably new to the city.



She's not much younger than Deb, what would have made her flee at that age? Dexter pondered for a moment while moving silently through the building. He remembered Debra screaming and running when "Noogie" Lamont, one of their father's informants, showed up at the house looking for Harry. Dexter could play the derelict if he had to, and since the Babylon Club site proved ineffective, he really had no prospects left.


Faith was startled only a moment when her bike fell over, and was quick to return to her feet, assuming a defensive jujitsu stance before her eyes had finished adjusting to the darkness. "Come on out, I'm too tired for games. Let's just get this done so one of us can get some sleep."



This was no ordinary runaway; she had training, and very little fear. With her left hand in front of her, balled into a fist, Dexter could picture the teen chopping, or slashing, a grown man with little difficulty and little remorse.  She may not be a murderer, but she certainly has the potential.



Time to change tactics. "Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you. You look like you could use a good night's…"



"Stop. I don't wanna hear any bullshit. You're either here for the bike or me, and you aren't getting either. And if Mr. Trick sent you, this will be your one chance to tell him to back the hell off. Because if I see or hear either of you again, I'm going to find out if decapitation is as effective as stakes."



"Lady, you got a funny way of saying ‘hi.’ But I get the point, and I'll be on my way. I’ve no idea who Mister Trick is, but if I was him, I'd be very nervous right now."



Dexter disappeared into the darkness, and quickly left the scene. He had no idea where he could set up his kill room now, but getting into a fight wouldn't help any. Perhaps the warehouse he'd used to kill Ray Finkle two years earlier, though Dexter was determined never to use the same location twice. Thanks to the code, Frank Weston may get an undeserved stay of execution.



Faith was spooked, and had no idea if the man that knocked over her ride was a demon or not. Not much point to taking chances though, so an hour's sleep would have to do. She watched her would-be assailant leave, and after waiting just long enough to be sure he wasn't coming back, she left. Since the entire East Coast had been a waking nightmare, maybe it was time to head out West, and see if the previous Slayer's Watcher could help prepare her for Kakistos.

 

IRS