The Windy City didn't know it but two vampires had just blown into town looking for some civilised pleasures, rest and recreation after weeks of drifting like demon dust clouds through the tiny towns of the snowbound prairies.
It was the 3rd of February and Spike was planning something special for his dark goddess to celebrate St Valentine's Day. He would have to work quickly in order to arrange the complex scenario he was planning but that was okay with Spike: anything that took too long to come to fruition was already rotten on the bough as far as he was concerned.
Consequently he sought introductions to leaders of the seamier side of urban America and thus warmed up the orchestra to be ready for when the dance was to start.
In the town of Beech Crossing they had come across a young man who fancied himself a big fish in that little pond. He had allied himself with the prestigious Kennedy boys and he had had the supply of booze to the local area wrapped up tightly. He had, though, always one eye on the bustling city only twenty miles away and its chances for the really big time.
The day that the sharks arrived in town he had found out just how little a fish he really was. He had had a certain naive charm, however - though he would have died rather than acknowledge it and Dru had greatly enjoyed finally persuading him to do so. When the two vampires had finished with him, several days later, it was difficult to tell whether the frozen mask of his face was a rictus of horror or a smile.
Before his unwelcome guests had arrived, he had stacked a newly delivered cache of whiskey in an outhouse and this would, Spike had thought, prove a useful introduction to the society elites he had decided to target. This, along with personal papers, letters and a bulky wad of cash accompanied them when headed towards the big city. A germ of an idea was already blooming in Spike's mind and he had been quiet and thoughtful as they drove through the icy night.
When they arrived at the imposing Drake Hotel, their credentials as Lord and Lady Illingworth smoothly and efficiently effected their acquisition of one of the hotel's finest suites and the reassurance of nothing but the best in the way of service - and servility, considered Spike wryly.
As they left the reception desk, Spike was vastly amused when a large, red-faced worthy of comfortable middle age and even more comfortable means strode up to grasp his hand declaring that he had come across a Lord Illingworth some thirty or forty years ago and had enjoyed a marvellous evening with him.
"Your father, was he? Although time doesn't hang about much nowadays and now I come to think it, you look a mite too young to be any son of his so perhaps it was was your grand-daddy I remember."
"That would indeed have been my father," Spike's English drawl would have cut glass. "My family has been blessed with health, youthful looks and longevity - as many visitors remark who view the family portrait gallery. Indeed, we have a picture of my grandfather at seventy, looking no older than he did at forty. So far I have been lucky in following in their inestimable footsteps."
Spike nodded graciously and stepped away but Drusilla glided silkily towards the man and, breathing softly into his ear, whispered: "Fingal was a bad, bad boy and deserved to be whipped."
Startled, he stepped back abruptly, nearly tripping over the couple's pile of luggage and the boy who was starting to carry it away. Drusilla's tinkling laughter was like cold water in his veins but what chilled him to the bone was the glimpse of ancient death he caught in Lord Illingworth's mocking stare and young eyes.
Over the next few days, Spike found himself busy mingling with men whose rotten souls and egocentric self-satisfaction amused him no end. He had decided that St Valentine's day, that year, should be one to remember and was planning to start it off early and spectacularly. His forte in planning, always, was to think on his feet and change direction when necessary and he revelled in those opportunities that this situation presented.
When the day dawned, it was, predictably, grey and overcast with snow filling the air and cutting out any chance of fatal sunbeams: a day when vampires could walk abroad.
He and Drusilla had spent the previous night wandering the behemoth of a city and Dru was teasing in her anticipation of Spike's treat to come. "Twin, beautiful boys, pale in their loveliness, and naked, hanging from the same bough of a weeping tree - its fallen leaves its gift of tears for their warm and gilded agony. They shall be golden in their pain and silver in their dying and crimson will be their end."
"That's an inspired thought, My love, but don't you think it's a setting more suitable to somewhere warm, and ancient - among the groves of an Ionian island, perhaps?"
Drusilla smiled and swayed, her eyes half shut, "Among dark and deadly cypresses where sunny Apollo dreams of Marsyas and feels again his soft, sweet skin and wraps it like a cloak around his dying, bleeding body."
"Yeah, that sound good, we'll make that next year, yes? In the meantime, my deadly and merciless princess, I have a more, city-life treat for you."
"Grey and gritty and spitting spinning death and terror and betrayal and..." Dru put her fingers to her temples - her oracle pose as Spike though of it - "... and years of mystery and misunderstanding. A Valentine rose exploding in wet petals of perfect redness. They won't know we were there but they will wonder for a century and more, not seeing and never knowing."
Spike decided he couldn't really add to this so he threw his arm around her and they walked on in silence.
The north side of Chicago was as far from the sophisticated glamour and luxury of the Drake Hotel as you could get. Grimy buildings reared all around and, even at ten in the morning, signs of life were intermittent and skittish. Spike had enjoyed getting to know this godforsaken place over the last week or so and now, as though it were a palace of the Belle Epoque, he handed Dru into a darkened warehouse which had loomed up on their right.
Taking up position in the shadows, Spike drew Drusilla close and slowly stripped her, all the while whispering and stroking. He buried his face in her scented hair, still unused to her modern, short hairstyle and Dru teased him saying that it was so as he could pretend that her hair was still long. Wisely, he never replied.
By the time the gangster Moran's men arrived, closely followed by another group some of whom were dressed in cops' uniforms, Spike was moving deeply inside Dru's lithe body and they were eager for the drama to commence.
Moran was the first of the top gangsters whom Spike had approached and he was disappointed to see that he and his lieutenants were not with the rest of his gang. Obviously the "police" had arrived too early to take everyone down but it would still be a good show.
Spike and Dru were riding the highs of their love-making though their eyes were wide and bright, watching as Moran's men, assuming that this was a routine police bust and confident in their invulnerability, made derogatory remarks about the cops, their families and their bosses. The men laughed and heckled and demanded to know how much the cops wanted, this time, to look the other way.
Dru's little gasps and squeaks of pleasure and Spike's more gutteral groans went unheard by the two groups of men as they out-postured each other and, far from being cowed by the gun-wielding frosty-faced upholders of law and order, Moran's men practically swaggered to the back of the room where they turned their backs, arms up against the wall, still bad-mouthing those they supposed to be Chicago's Finest.
The gunfire was loud and to Moran's men totally unexpected; for the few seconds they had left, their shock was satisfyingly comical to those who watched. The air filled with cordite and blood and choking screams and the determined agonised whimpering of one man who, alone, was hanging desperately onto life and totally unaware of the soft climactic cries of his vampiric audience as his friends died around him in a spreading crimson lake of blood.
The vampires watched the execution squad leave the building - the uniformed men marching their colleagues in front of them at gun point, as if under arrest - Spike nodded approvingly as they all stayed in character, as per his plan, in case of witnesses. As they disappeared outside to make their get away in the stolen police wagon they were using, Dru danced over to the grim pile of bodies and then, rolling in the warm blood she reached her arms out to her lover, "There is one clever little one here, who is still alive. So clever, he fights and fights and tries with all his might and main to keep from meeting the dark ones. He doesn't know we are here to help him go." She bent smilingly down to the man's ruined body, which alone among the others was still pulsing with blood, and caught the rich red liquid on her tongue.
"My Spikey, my sweet, Sweet William knows how to celebrate holy days. Especially when he can be naughty and show how much he loves his princess, with bullets through the heart instead of arrows."
Spike smiled and joined her. "Happy Valentine's day, Sweetheart."