Chapter 2, Angelus

This is pretty much AU. Or maybe it’s AR. It’s vampires and Slayers, and based on canon but totally different. This story has the return of Angelus; remember him? He’s evil, therefore not particularly nice. So a polite warning – this chapter is a bit darker than the rest of the story is (or will be).

Author’s Notes: This is pretty much AU. Or maybe it’s AR. It’s vampires and Slayers, and based on canon but totally different. What’s the genre for that?

This story has the return of Angelus; remember him? He’s evil, therefore not particularly nice. So a polite warning – this chapter is a bit darker than the rest of the story is (or will be).

I never watched season I of Angel, so Kate’s personality is purely my imagination for the purposes of this story. My apologies in advance to anyone expecting otherwise. <g>

Rating: Adult; explicit sex

Disclaimer: Own nothing. All belongs to Joss, ME, Fox,

Pairing: B/A; some references to B/R.

Distribution: My site, EverySixSeconds; sites currently with permission to host my fics; all others please ask.

Originally posted: Sep 15, 2002


After the plan had been laid out, Willow and Oz left for the magic shop to get a few necessary supplies. Everyone else used the rest of the afternoon as an opportunity to get some sleep – or at least try to. They all knew it was going to be a long night since they intended to put their plan into action as soon as it was dark.

Angel had closed his eyes for a while, but had not slept. He had been watching the window attentively for the last hour. As soon as the sun began to set, he stood and pulled on his coat. It was time to go. He glanced once at Willow, who nodded in reply. She had everything she needed and would begin the ritual as soon as she got word.

Cordelia bit back any additional objections. It would not do any good anyway since she’d voiced them all earlier and they fell on deaf ears. Angel’s mind was made up, there was no changing it now. Doyle hugged her as he followed Angel, Riley and Xander out the door. “It’s a good plan, princess. It’ll work. We’ll all be back before you know it.”

“Doyle, you idiot. Don’t say things like that, you’ll jinx the whole thing!” Cordelia muttered to the door he closed behind him. Frowning, she flopped on the couch and crossed her arms. She had a bad feeling about this…

When they came within sight of the old army bunker, Angel gave Riley and Doyle terse, succinct instructions regarding Buffy and himself, should anything go wrong. He even handed Riley a stake, trusting the younger man to use it should the plan somehow fail.

Then he turned and walked into the camp alone. They knew through Riley’s men that were watching the camp that Jenoff had left a short while earlier, something that was critical to the success of their plan. Angel needed time alone with Buffy first, if he were in fact, going to lose his soul again. As he neared the building where Buffy was being held, the first doubt crossed Angel’s mind. It wasn’t whether he’d defeat the Akadian demon – or one like him – now standing in front of him and blocking his path. Rather, he wondered if Buffy would reject him. He could certainly understand if she did – there were many perfectly valid reasons, not to mention her own unpleasant memories of Angelus, for her not to want him, to not to simply allow him to waltz back into her life and make love to her. Even to save her life.

After a few tense moments of negotiation, the Akadian demon relented and opened the door for Angel. Finally. He was going to get to see her in person.

Buffy came to her feet at the sound of the door opening, watching warily as someone descended the steps. She hoped the tingling feeling in her stomach was wrong, that she was not sensing him. The sound of the door being closed and locked again echoed through the small room. Obviously she wasn’t leaving just yet, they were just locking him in with her.

“What are you doing here?” When he came fully into view, she was surprised and somewhat dismayed. All her efforts to protect him now appeared to be for naught.

“Saving you?” Angel walked slowly toward her, his eyes scrutinizing her for any signs of injury. A brief fury flared in his eyes as he recalled that they had whipped her.

“Saving me? Saving me?! You just walked into the trap that those idiots up there set for *you* and all you can say is that you’re saving me. Unbelievable.” Buffy looked away from him in frustration, her fingers clenching into her palms. Really what she wanted was to run to him and hug him, maybe run her hands over him and… No, that wasn’t possible. There was no ‘them’ anymore. He had someone new and she was trying to move on.

“So then, what’s your plan?” Buffy turned back to face him, stepping forward with a new resolve. Since he was here now, they would have to get through this together and then go their separate ways again. “And why didn’t you listen to Giles when he asked you not to come to Sunnydale?”

“It’s pretty simple really.” Angel walked toward her, his eyes taking on an assessing look as he thought of the next few hours. Despite the circumstances and the consequences, the idea that he could make love to her again easily took precedence in his mind. It was a gift. A gift with a high price, but a gift none-the-less. One that he’d be foolish to not take full advantage of. “We make love. Then I challenge the demons upstairs, after which we leave. There’s other stuff that follows that of course, but at a high level, that’s the plan.” He ignored her last question. How foolish of her to think he wouldn’t come if she needed him.

“Uh, back up a minute. What did you just say?” Buffy was stunned. She took a step back from him and held up her hand as if to stop him.

“We leave?” Angel stepped forward.

Buffy cleared her throat. “Farther back.”

“I challenged the demons-” Angel’s voice was level, but he felt his own sense of nervousness knowing where the conversation was going.


“We make love.” Looking at her directly, Angel said the words softly, huskily.

“And just why are we going to do that?” Buffy spun around in the small room, needing some time to slow the racing of her heart that had begun at his words. “There’s the curse… And you, you left me… There’s your new girlfriend. Oh god, and there’s Riley… Lots of complications. Too many-”

“Losing my soul is the only way I can get us out of here.” Angel replied gravely, too aware of all of the issues and complications that existed between them. She needn’t elaborate any further.

“And then what?” Buffy turned back to look at him, her gaze direct. Losing his soul was not something he’d do lightly, so he must be serious. And she never doubted if she could trust him. “I can’t stake you. I mean, maybe I could, I guess, but-but, even if I wanted to, I don’t have anything here and-”

Angel was in front her in two quick steps and easily stopped Buffy’s words with his lips, his mouth covering hers in a kiss. Back at Giles’s, Willow smiled as she watched them on the computer monitor. Kate frowned and fumed, while Cordelia sighed in resigned worry and Giles made tea.

She tasted sweeter than he remembered, her lips softer, he thought as he pulled her against him. How warm she was… He’d forgotten. Moving his hand to her head, his fingers tangled in her hair holding her head gently as his lips and tongue explored the delicious regions of her mouth. He knew what they were doing now was not without risk; as a demon, Angelus would be temperamental and dangerous. He knew too, that he would not kill Buffy, at least not anytime soon, but there were other things that Angelus wanted from her. Dark, sexual things that he wasn’t sure he could control. Hopefully Willow could re-curse him quickly before things went too far…

When Buffy sighed against him, sinking into him, his thoughts returned to her. She was here, and his for the taking. It was an exhilarating thought. In the next flashing second, he realized how much he missed her. She felt like homecoming and rapture and solace, all wrapped up in one tiny package.

“Angel… I still don’t think… we should…” Buffy broke off their kiss, her words coming out breathy and broken.

“…wait any longer,” Angel finished her sentence in his own way, his lips covering hers once more. This time his kiss was demanding and possessive, using all the skills acquired over many years of experience to enhance the pleasurable sensations and draw her in, to help her forget any objections. When he lifted his head to change the slant of his lips, Buffy whimpered softly, missing his touch.

“Really… this is not… a good idea…” Between kisses, Buffy sighed, even as she snuggled her body closer to him, feeling the ridge of his erection pressing insistently against her stomach. Her arms came up to twine around his neck as her lips waited for the next touch of his. As was often the case when they were together, everything else in the world seemed to fall away and not matter. It was as if it were only the two of them, no Akadian demons patrolling above, no hostage scenario, no soul at stake.

“You’re right, sweetheart.” Angel whispered against her lips. “At least not with so many people watching.” With a quick sweep, Angel shrugged off his coat and tossed it easily in the direction of the video camera that had been trained on her. It caught and hung, effectively giving them privacy. Willow smiled once more, turning her attentions to her notes on the needed curse. Kate slammed the door to the bathroom, upset at seeing Angel with that girl not to mention, kissing her so thoroughly.

Buffy looked in surprise at his actions, unaware that she had been watched all this time. She’d seen the camera but had thought it inactive. He simply shrugged in response.

“Now then, where were we?” Angel lifted her in his arms and moved to the small cot. Lowering her to the bed, he followed her down in a smooth motion, settling between her legs to lie above her.

“You’re serious about this, aren’t you?” Buffy looped her arms around his neck, surprised at how good it felt to be with him again, how much she had missed him. They’d been so hesitant with their displays of affection the last year that they were together, that this was like being together again for the first time. No constraints, no restrictions. It was a heady experience.

“Yes.” Angel kissed her again, his hands slowly roving over her body, becoming reacquainted with her.

“What about-” Buffy gasped as his tongue traced her ear. “Kate?” One of his large hands was resting on her waist, his thumb brushing dangerously close to her breast and distracting her. Her foot rested on his calf, her thigh brushing his hip.

“There’s no one else, Buffy.” His voice was muffled against her neck as his lips and tongue now traced the scar on her neck. His mark. He smiled against her skin with masculine pride, just before he bit down firmly. Buffy moaned and squirmed, the feeling of his blunted teeth on her neck sending sparks straight down her body to culminate between her legs.

He undressed her gently, stopping to plant kisses on each section of skin he exposed. Buffy closed her eyes at the feel of his lips on her bare flesh, surprised at the sensation such a simple touch could create within her. Desire flared hot and powerful within her, shocking her with an intensity and swiftness that she did not recall from their years together. Maybe the time apart changed things…

His hand moved up her rib cage to cup her breast, his thumb and forefinger erotically plucking at the tight bud of her nipple. Buffy felt the ache between her legs begin to burn. She wanted more. Both of his hands were now on her breasts, cupping and palming them with exquisite, teasing slowness before returning to toy with the taut peaks. He seemed to know just how to touch her, how hard, how soft. His touch was unbelievably erotic, stirring sensations within her that had long been denied.

“You’re beautiful.” Angel whispered against her huskily as his head lowered to take one nipple between his lips. One hand slid down her waist to her hips, soothing and stroking. His tongue swept roughly across the rosy peak of her nipple, making her moan and arch against him like a cat. She was trying to prolong the pleasurable sensation of his mouth on her body, almost afraid that he’d change his mind at any moment. Or that this was some dream. In the back of her mind Buffy knew that their being here together, their capture was dangerous, yet she was desperate to forget, she just wanted to feel

Suddenly he returned his lips to hers, kissing her fiercely, forcing her lips apart and ravaging her mouth with his tongue. His hands worked at the buttons of his shirt, and he quickly divested himself of the garment before drawing her hard against him, anxious to feel the warmth of her breasts against his chest. When he released her mouth, Buffy pressed her lips to his throat, kissing and tasting the smooth pale flesh with the tip of her tongue. She writhed beneath him, pressing her breasts firmly against his chest and savoring the cool of him against her heated skin. Her hair brushed across his shoulder, teasing him with soft tendrils. He threaded his fingers through it, guiding her face back to his and kissing her again as he kicked off his shoes, Buffy’s s hands urgently beginning to unbuckle his belt.

As Angel pushed back from her and tugged off his pants, Buffy explored his shoulders and chest with her hands, finding a new erotic power in the shudders that she sent rippling forcefully through his body. She felt a curious sense of ownership, of pleasure in being able to touch him this way, realizing how strong and well built he was, how perfect his form. And yet, there was still that reckless, spiraling want that was surging through her blood like a fever…

Buffy rose up on the small cot on her knees, as Angel stood next to her now completely nude. She caressed him with her body, rubbing her breasts against him as she slid down along the length of him. Her hands cradled the hardness of his thighs before slipping up behind him to squeeze his buttocks. Leaning forward she nuzzled his thighs, the silk of her hair teasing the erection jutting toward her as she brushed across it. Angel curled his fingers in her hair as she reached for his cock, wrapping her fingers around the base. Nothing she could remember felt so vivid, so soft and yet, so hard and pulsing. His hands tightened in her hair as she took him in her mouth. She had only done this for him once before, so it was purely instinct and the sensual fever that was racing through her that drove her. Angel gritted his teeth at the feel of her lips on him, her tongue flicking and teasing as she sucked his hard length into the back of her throat.

Suddenly she was all but flipped on her back as he grabbed her and pressed her back into the small cot. Catching her knees, he pushed her legs apart. Buffy closed her eyes and braced herself for his thrust. Instead, she felt his hands on her thighs, parting her further. His hair brushed across her thigh as he lowered his head between her legs, his hands sliding up the insides of her thighs to the wet vee between her legs. Parting her gently with his fingertips, he leaned forward. Her breath caught in her throat at the first wet swipe of his tongue across that tiny, sensitive nub of flesh between her legs. He’d done this once before as well, but it had been dark that night in his apartment and she’d been almost too nervous to enjoy it. Buffy tossed on the small bed as he continued to explore her sensitive flesh, taking her clit between his lips and circling it with his tongue before sucking it between his teeth. He continued, licking and sucking, the sensations building rapidly, deliberately until her whole body was wracked with an intense, shuddering climax. It burned through her with a sweet intensity, all thoughts receding from her mind in great, gulping waves.

She was still pleasurably drifting when she felt the hard length of him press inside and invade her, the fullness of his body penetrating deeply. She lay still at first, absorbing the feel of him over her, inside her. She basked in the size and strength and force of him as he thrust inside her with deliberate strokes. He created a new fire inside her, the friction of his body seducing her and igniting her hunger for him again. Buffy moved against him, arching her hips as her hands traced across his back. Strong arms pulled him closer as she once again felt that desperate yearning, that desire to reach the pinnacle of ecstasy with him. To find and stay in that place where the fire seemed to burst into flame and saturate her entire body with the deliciousness of it…

His climax was the catalyst for hers. The staggering force of him as he slammed inside her, pouring his seed into her body brought the searing sensations within her to a tumultuous peak. She clutched him close as she cried out, the sheer intensity creating a blinding light before receding slowly into gray as she passed out.

When he felt her shudder around him, so hot and tight, Angel thought he was going to lose his mind. And he did. He lost all touch with reality as he lost himself in her. Lost his heart to her once again, and ultimately, lost his soul.

Giles looked at the clock. Angel had been with Buffy for over an hour now. At any time, the next steps of the plan would spin into motion. He agreed with the strategy, believing it to be their only option but now he was having doubts. They had knowingly unleashed Angelus on the world. What if he didn’t behave as expected? What if something went wrong?

Giles sighed and sipped another cup of tea, glancing at Willow and Oz. They were cuddled together on the couch, Willow dozing on Oz’s shoulder as Oz read a book. Cordelia paced by the window, muttering occasionally to herself. Kate had not yet returned from the bathroom. Giles wondered briefly if he should check on her, but then she suddenly emerged. She was subdued but seemed resigned, asking Giles politely if she could have a small glass of the whiskey that sat on the counter. He smiled slightly and nodded, his thoughts returning again to Angelus and Buffy. He had no desire to invade their privacy, yet he found himself wishing he could see what was going on in that small room.

Buffy stirred and stretched, feeling a languor and contentedness that she hadn’t felt in a very long time. She wanted nothing more than to lay here and savor the sensations, to be cocooned with them for a time, weeks or months maybe. She’d tasted the possibilities of pleasure before with Angel, but this night had been amazing. Even the thought of what they had done was stirring her arousal, warming her senses.

Slowly she opened her eyes and looked around. Angelus was sitting near her feet on the small bed staring at her.

“Hello, Buff. I have to thank you for bringing me back so, well – superbly.” His eyes glittered harshly as studied her nude form.

The sweet aftermath shattered like glass. Buffy chastised herself for not being better prepared for his return. She knew what he was like, she knew to expect this, yet she was astonished at the depth of hurt that filled her at his words.

When she attempted to scramble to her feet, he stopped her, covering her body with his with a preternatural speed she rarely saw him use.

“How about a quick fuck? After all, you can’t seem to keep you legs closed for me. And I have to say, I do like stuffing that hot little pussy with cock…” Angelus knew that Buffy hadn’t been with anyone else. She’d been almost virginally tight, still, but even more was the absolute lack of a scent from anyone else. Hell, he doubted whether Riley had even put his hand between Buffy’s legs – a thought which made him growl.

She didn’t answer at first, unable to. His fingers slid up her thigh, slowly, tantalizing as they drew near to the core of her pleasure.

Buffy came to life then, twisting beneath him as she strained to throw him off. She fought hard, kicking and punching, and succeeded in bucking him off but he grabbed a fistful of her hair and yanked hard, holding her head against the bed as tears filled her eyes from the pain. “I don’t think that’s very smart, Buff. I could just as easily kill you as take you out of here. Now play nicely and we’ll get along just fine.” His tone shifted to a growl. “Spread your legs.”

Unable to break the grip he had on her hair and knowing that he was her best hope for getting out, Buffy gradually relaxed, the muscles in her thighs slowly unclenching and opening. He glanced at her face. She had closed her eyes. Her breasts rose and fell with every panting breath that she took, clearly still agitated from her struggles with him. He watched her as he ran his hand over her breasts and abdomen, then down the neatly trimmed patch of dark blond hair before sliding between her legs to part the tender lips of her sex. He toyed with her, alternating between flicking and squeezing her clit, to pushing his long fingers inside her and curling them slightly to rub against her sensitive inner walls. She bit her lip, attempting to resist the pleasurable sensations he was so easily stirring. Suddenly he stopped, resting his damp fingers on her thigh. He waited, wanting her to ask for more. When she arched her back and lifted her hips in response, he smiled and eased his fingers into her wet and waiting warmth. Buffy moaned at his touch and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck. She hated him, yet she wanted him.

Angelus leaned back slightly, resisting the pressure of her hands to look down at her flushed face. “It’s only fitting that you welcome me back with your hot little pussy, don’t you think?” His fingers continued to stroke her leisurely, the pressure firming with each touch and making her moan. Lowering his face to her, his lips hovered above hers. “Say yes, my hot little slayer bitch.” His fingers pressed harder and deeper, Buffy’s nails digging into his shoulders. “Say you’ll fuck me.”

His hand stopped his deft movements, depriving her of their pleasure. How easily he could stir that reckless, aching want inside her. How easily it seemed, he could take her to a point where she was unaware of everything but him, the power of him, her need of him. Everything in her cried out for him, against any wishes to the contrary. After a long pause, Buffy whispered. “Yes.”

“And suck my cock.”

“Yess.” The word came out in a hushed whisper, his fingers wreaking havoc on her senses as they resumed their manipulation of her.

“And do anything else I want.”

Buffy hesitated only a moment. “Yes… Please, yes.”

Angelus smiled wolfishly as he parted her folds and rubbed her clit firmly, making her writhe against him.

“Now…” Buffy whimpered.

“Soon.” Angelus slid his fingers free and moved over her. With a quick movement, he glided hard and long, inside her. She was so warm and tight around him, his cock felt burned.

How could she feel so excruciatingly good, so hot and tempting, Angelus thought with pleasure as his eyes closed. Lust exploded in his brain, pure unadulterated lust, and his mouth sought hers once again. His tongue pushed between her lips with an intense, driving fury as his hips pounded hers.

How could I want him at all, much less this intensely? Buffy thought as she arched against his next spearing invasion.

When he withdrew, Buffy whimpered in protest only to catch her breath as he slammed forward once again. Holding himself hard against her, he absorbed the flashing pleasure while she panted beneath him. Filled, stretched, every nerve taut, Buffy gasped as waves of desire washed over her. When he flexed his hips and moved forward again, she cried out. Neither of them were capable of restraint, and in the grip of such fierce hunger they moved in a greedy, fevered fashion rocking the small cot until it broke, sending them crashing to the floor. Unabated, the storm of lust persisted and they continued to assuage their need, famished and frenzied.

When she began to whimper, Angelus felt as if the sound vibrated through every pulsing nerve in his body. And if the strength of her grip were any indication, he wouldn’t be leaving her anytime soon. Not that he wanted to, not at all. The astonishing pleasure of fucking her was unique in his much-explored sexual universe.

Buffy was swamped by glorious sensation, on the hovering verge of orgasm when Angelus buried his face in her throat and bit down, his fangs sinking deeply into the scar already on her neck. The sharp stinging pain pushed her over the edge, bringing an explosive pleasure so shocking, so violent and intense that it rocked her very being, burning through her body with an all-consuming rapture she had never before known.

Angelus drank greedily, the rich taste of her blood adding to the ravishing sensations jolting his nerves. Long minutes later he allowed himself release, growling deep in his chest and coming hard in a wild, agonizing convulsion as blood dripped from his fangs.

When he finally withdrew from her, Buffy rolled on to her side away from him. Her eyes burned with unshed tears as she silently cursed both him and herself. The reality of what they had done created waves of guilt and recrimination. This could not have been a good idea.

Angelus stood and washed up at the small sink, glancing occasionally at Buffy as she lay still on the shambles of the bed. She was a splendid bitch, a true mate for him. His mind was rapidly running through the next few hours. The first order of business was to show Jenoff and his Akadian friends that they should never have dared to fuck with him. After that, he’d just have to take care of Captain Commando and friends. He needed to prevent them from making the call that would ruin everything, but he also wanted to make it clear to Riley that he would not tolerate anyone poaching on his territory. And Buffy was most definitely his territory.

Leaning down, Angelus slapped Buffy hard on the behind. “Get up. Get dressed.”

Indignantly Buffy whirled around and glared at him. But she said nothing as she stood and headed to the shower.

Gathering his own clothes, he began to dress. Then he’d take her somewhere nice and private. Somewhere where he could teach her how to be a proper mate… But first, he’d have to pay a visit to her watcher and friends; he wanted to make sure that the curse was lost for good this time.

When Angelus emerged from his rendezvous with Buffy, any of his earlier doubts and reservations had vanished. Slayer blood pounded through his veins giving him added strength. He was a warrior, furious and on attack that they had even dared to threaten what was his. When he finished the Akadian champion, he would see that Jenoff die a slow and painful death for daring to even touch his mate, much less harm her.

The Akadian outside the door opened it after Angelus pounded on it with two short blows.
Jenoff and the rest of the Akadians watched him as he made his way through the opened the door, walking toward them with Buffy in tow. A low murmur went through the small demon crowd gathering at the sight of them, one dark and hostile, the other a seemingly delicate golden beauty. There was no doubt, she was a perfect foil for him, light and dark, good and evil, innocence and corruption…

“He’s got her. They’re out of there.” Xander blurted happily when he spotted them across the distance. It seemed as if everything was going according to plan.

Riley and Doyle exchanged glances. They long hours that they had been waiting had been agonizing for Riley, visions of shared intimacies between Buffy and Angel popping unwanted into his head. Yet, he knew it was their only hope; the best of only bad plans.

Riley held the high-powered binoculars up to his eyes. Buffy was leaning against Angelus, but appeared to be all right. Then he noticed the fresh wound on her neck. It was faint from this distance, but there all the same. “God damn him!” The words came out in an explosive snarl.

“What?! What’s wrong?” Xander glanced at Riley, then back to where he could make out the shapes of Buffy and Angel in the distance.

“The bastard bit her.” Riley spat out the words, finding them unpleasant and distasteful.

Doyle looked worriedly at Riley, then dialed Giles’s number.

Angel spoke rapidly in the Akadian language, telling them that he had come for his mate. He said that Jenoff was a liar and a thief. He said that he would not leave without Buffy.

The Akadians knew of Angelus, stories of his exploits as the Scourge of Europe abounded. They also knew that was prepared to die if necessary. His stance of determination and daring earned their respect and admiration. Enemies though they might be, warriors of all codes understood and honored courage.

Jenoff spoke up indignantly. He wanted no respect to be given to Angelus. And, he was furious that the Akadians had let Angelus in to see her during his absence. Her presence beside him took away much of his bargaining power.

The Akadians talked among themselves, weighing Jenoff’s offer of payment in gold against Angelus’s offer to fight for his woman. They understood that Buffy had simply been the hostage, dismissing Jenoff’s desire for Angelus’s now non-existent soul as foolishness. Souls were not something they understood, so the presence or lack of a soul was inconsequential. They did feel honor bound, however, to keep their word to Jenoff.

Angelus watched as they argued, keeping Buffy’s hand tucked tightly in his. She was still a little weak from the blood he had taken, swaying against him slightly ever so often. They longer they argued, the better a chance he stood of getting his way. A feral smile touched his face briefly as he thought of Riley and the others hidden in the brush just outside the camp. They had no way of knowing that Angelus had altered the plans, once he left here with Buffy. Something he had no doubt he would do. Still, he uncharacteristically leaned over to Buffy and spoke softly.

“If something goes wrong, Riley and the others are waiting just outside camp. Fight your way to them if necessary.” He hated to think of her fate at the hands of Jenoff or the Akadians. As distasteful as it was, he much preferred that she join her friends.

“Don’t say that.” Buffy was reluctant to risk leaving Angel behind. Even if he was currently Angelus, she knew that they would have made plans to rectify that as soon as possible.

“If I tell you to go, you go. No questions asked, Buff.”

“What are they saying?” Buffy chose not to dwell on that possibility, and instead shifted her attention to the Akadians, who were still talking amongst themselves.

“They argue with each other.” Angelus looked at Buffy, squeezing her hand. “Now lover, kiss me for luck.” Disengaging his hand, Angelus leaned down and kissed Buffy hard. When he released her, he turned toward Jenoff and the others without a backward glance.

Angelus offered his challenge for Buffy to any Akadian, with any weapon. His only condition was that if he won, he wanted Jenoff. To be clear, he added, he would fight Jenoff fairly, one on one.

Jenoff rejected the offer, as Giles has anticipated he would. Instead, he wanted the woman’s soul as payment. The Akadians scoffed. With a challenge thrown out, it was now a matter of honor. If Jenoff did not accept, then all of his credibility would be wiped away.

After several tense moments, it was finally agreed.

Angelus knew as he stood there waiting for the Akadian champion to be selected that this would be the ultimate test of his skills as a warrior. He would need all his skills, his courage and any cultivated knowledge of killing. The Akadians champion finally stepped forward. He was larger and more solidly built than Angelus, his long hair braided and tied back. He wore only a pair of pants, his salmon colored chest bare and glistening with oil. His green eyes glittered with menace, anxious for a challenge.

Angelus shrugged out of his coat and tossed it to Buffy, along with his shirt.

Doyle talked quietly and quickly with Giles, giving him the update on the current situation. At the close of the conversation, Giles assured Doyle that they would have everything in readiness – all they needed to do was to call back and Willow would begin the ritual.

Everyone was tense and on-edge now that Angelus was obviously in the mix.

Angelus and the Akadian circled each other slowly, gradually coming closer and closer. When a sudden striking movement, the demon lunged forward and catch Angelus in a vise grip. The demon lifted him easily into the air, choking him. Buffy looked away, her face pale.

Not needing the breath the Akadian was trying to choke out of him, Angelus shot his knee upward with all his strength. The demons ribs cracked and he staggered backward, releasing his hold. A smaller demon or man would have fallen from the impact, but the Akadian only grunted and stumbled. Angelus twisted away as the Akadian tried to renew his hold. Several well-placed punches and the Akadian staggered only to spring forward once more. Blows were exchanged for a good twenty minutes before either man showed any signs of fatigue. When the Akadian next lunged forward, the impact sent them both crashing to the ground, Angelus underneath. The Akadian crowd cheered.

Using his legs Angelus heaved the demon off of him, then reached up to grab the braided hair and yank hard on the demons head, twisting his neck. The Akadian roared in pain and anger as Angelus rolled free.

Once more both of them were on their feet. This time when the Akadian lunged, he aimed his thumb directly at Angelus’s eye. Angelus jerked away in time, but the Akadian buried a thick fist into his hair and wrenched Angelus to his knees. Using his arms, Angelus held himself off the ground as the Akadian attempted to force him into the ground, his crushing weight pressing downward on Angelus with increasing weight even as the Akadian pounded his fist on his back. With slow difficult movements, Angelus inched his hand closer to the Akadians foot planted near his head. Wrenching his body, Angelus grabbed the demons leg and heaved him up and over his shoulder. The Akadian flew threw the air and twisted, crashing hard on the ground. His head bounced against the ground and he was still, the breath knocked out of him. Taking no chances, Angelus stepped over the body, dropped to his knees and twisted the demons neck. The snap echoed through the now quiet courtyard.

Buffy glanced around at the crowd, then at Angelus who was now coming to his feet. His golden eyes were wild as they flicked over the crowd and then came to rest on Buffy. Satisfied that she remained unmolested, Angelus searched for Jenoff.

The Akadian had fallen almost easily to the determined vampire. The hushed whispers among the crowd were uneasy. Finally, Jenoff stepped forward.

If he couldn’t have the vampire’s soul, then Jenoff was intent on murder. He chose knives as his weapon. Silently, Angelus welcomed the choice. He looked forward to slicing the demon into small bits.

The knife that was handed to him felt solid and comforting in his grasp. He tossed it from hand to hand and flexed his knees, waiting confidently.

“One down, one to go.” Riley watched cautiously through the field glasses, updating Doyle and Xander on the events.

Once more Doyle dialed the phone. Xander watched the figures in the dark distance anxiously, chewing his nails.

This time when Giles answered, Doyle could hear the irritation in his voice. “What’s up?”

“Kate. She’s snockered. I think she drank the whole bloody body of liquor and now she’s blubbering about Angel. Did you have to bring her?” Giles sighed as he watched the woman stagger around the living room. “Never mind that now. What’s happening? Should we start the ritual?”

“Not yet. Angelus is fighting Jenoff now.” Doyle glanced at Riley, who only shook his head. “Well, soon, any way.”

“Ok. We’ll be waiting for your call then.” Giles hung up the phone and shook his head.

Kate was now leaning drunkenly over Willow’s shoulder, swaying and muttering. “Well, it’s not ash if he’s not atrashwed to me, you know. He kwished me, I’ll have you know. And it waaz good. Hesh a good kizer.”

The next few minutes played out as if they were in slow motion in Giles’s eyes. He watched as Kate stumbled and fell against the desk, her drink spilling over the papers containing the curse. Willow moved quickly and snatched them up before much damage was done. The real horror was seconds away. Kate stumbled again, this time knocking the Orb of Thessulah to the floor. It shattered with a resounding crash on the hardwood floor, bringing everyone to their feet and to a complete and utter stand still. The silence in the room was almost deafening as they all took in the ramifications of what just happened.

“Oh. My. God.” Cordelia spoke first. “Giles. Tell me you have another one of those things. Giles, c’mon tell me. Giiilesss!”

Giles was speechless. He didn’t, in fact, have another one. He shook his head slightly as everyone stared at him.

“Magic Box. I’m on it.” Oz moved first, heading toward the door.

“But-but,” Willow stuttered, waving the papers she held in her hand to dry them. “I don’t think they have any.”

“Oh God. I knew something like this would go wrong. It always does when Buffy and Angel are involved. Together, involved I mean.” Cordelia glanced at Giles, then her gaze landed on Oz, “Well, go already!”

Kate only giggled, before falling drunkenly into the chair near the desk. “Oopsy.”

“I suggest someone take her into the other room to lie down, before she does any more damage. Or before I kill her.” Giles walked calmly across the room, stopping to pour himself a healthy draught of the whisky. There was none left.

Cordelia took a glass and held it out to him. She felt the need for a shot of courage herself, given the change in circumstances. Giles hesitated only a moment before he reached under the sink and opened a new bottle of Irish whiskey. He poured them both a glass, and they each made a silent toast.

Willow joined them, holding up a glass as well. She wheezed and gasped as the strong liquor went down. They all stared at Kate, now snoring loudly in the chair, unaware of what she had done.

Angelus took the offensive when Jenoff stepped forward. He was in no hurry, wanting Jenoff to suffer. This would not be quick or painless for the soul-sucking demon.

But Jenoff hadn’t survived all these years without honing his own skills of survival. Granted, he usually hired henchmen to do his dirty work but that didn’t mean he wasn’t without a trick or two. And he was almost as ruthless as Angelus himself. An advantage that the Akadian demon, given his lack of any personal grudge against Angelus, had not had.

“I’ll take her home with me when you’re dust, vampire.” Jenoff snarled. “She can share my bed.” His eyes were filled with hate, but Angelus only looked back with contempt.

“You’d never survive the experience.”

Incensed, Jenoff lunged at Angelus slashing with his knife. Angelus moved out of the way, but not before Jenoff sliced a crimson trail across his upper arm. The crowd murmured their approval as Buffy smothered a cry of alarm.

Lunging back at Jenoff, Angelus managed to plunge his knife deep into the muscle of his upper arm. Jenoff bellowed like a wounded animal, but still managed to twist forward and nearly drive his weapon between Angelus’s ribs.

They grappled back and forth for several long minutes before, Angelus clearly toying with the demon, slicing and stabbing his flesh at every turn. Jenoff grew more and more crazed, managing with sheer determination to land a few well-placed stabs as well. It was a long while later, each bearing several slashing wounds, when Angelus heard Buffy’s scream of warning. Just seconds later, Jenoff kicked him hard between the legs. Had he not shifted his position to the side slightly, he would have never gotten up. As it was, a stabbing pain tightened his stomach, his groin. The agonizing pain sent him crashing to his knees. Jenoff then kicked him squarely in the ribs, sending him keeling over to the side. When his arm hit the ground, Jenoff stepped over him triumphantly and kicked the knife, sending it flying off into the dust.

“Take a last look at your little whore. I think I’ll let the Akadians have a go at her before I take her home.”

Angelus fought through the pain, Jenoff coming back in to focus.

“I wonder what it’s like to fuck a slayer.” Jenoff chuckled, looking at the Akadian demons surrounding them then at Buffy’s wide-eyed face.

Angelus felt the rage rise once more in him, pushing aside the pain. He rose from the ground so fast that Jenoff didn’t even have a chance to move away. Angelus punched him hard in the stomach, sending him doubled over in pain. His next two blows were to Jenoff’s face, then finally he landed one on his neck, breaking his spine. The demon howled as blood and foam spurted out of his mouth before he crashed to the ground. He lay there in an open mouthed sprawl; his head loose like a broken toy. Angelus only regretted that he had not caused Jenoff more pain. Slowly he moved toward the dead demon, stopping to retrieve his knife. Yanking the demon up by the back of the head, Angelus slit his throat and decapitated him, then tossed the head to Jenofff’s former right hand man, known only as “Repo-man”. Rumor had it that Jenoff could not be killed, but Angelus was not worried about that just now. As it was, it didn’t appear that Jenoff would be getting up any time soon.

The second that Jenoff hit the ground, Riley was urgently whispering, “Dial. Dial!”

Doyle dialed Giles’s number, glancing between Riley and Xander with worry when no one answered immediately. Finally Giles picked up the phone.

“Go! Start the curse. It’s over.” Doyle watched as Riley and Xander gathered their gear.

“Gentlemen, we have a problem.” Giles paused, glancing at Oz and Willow who were now frantically searching through sites on the Internet. “If Angelus sees you, he’s likely to kill you. I suggest that you get out of there now. And quickly. I’ll explain when you get here.”

Angelus was exhausted and bleeding from half a dozen wounds. He shook his head to clear the sudden dizziness. He needed to get to Buffy, then get out of here as he didn’t trust the Akadians to let them leave. His wounded arm hung limply from his side, and he moved with obvious effort. Finally his eyes landed on Buffy. She hadn’t moved. No one had moved. They all watched and waited silently to see if Angelus would fall.

Moving slowly and painfully, Angelus crossed the distance to Buffy. Stopping in front of her, he mouthed her name. Looping an arm over her shoulder, he began to lead them away from the camp. He was careful not to lean on her so that it would be noticeable as they made their way through the crowd.

Buffy felt the drops of blood sliding down her skin from his wounds, but she kept her head up and her eyes forward. When they reached the edge of the camp, Angelus spotted his car. Riley’s jeep was gone, and neither he nor Xander and Doyle were anywhere to be seen. Just as well, he’d deal with them later when he had the strength.

When they were in the car and slowly pulling away, Buffy finally found her voice. “Are you all right? She wasn’t sure of the extent of his injuries, uncertain of his strength.

“Yes.” Angelus turned away from Sunnydale, intent on recovering his strength in a secluded location. Searching his pockets for his cell phone, he dialed Doyle.

Doyle, Xander and Riley had just reached Giles’s when Doyle’s phone began to ring. Giles and the others were clearly packed and ready to move – which further startled the returning guys.

Doyle glanced at the caller-id before he looked at Giles as he answered. Giles shook his head and gestured to the others to keep quiet.

“‘lo, Angel?” Doyle’s voice was friendly, indicating nothing out of the ordinary. “How are you man? You fought like a madman out there.”

“I don’t want to think what I might do, if I think you’re attempting the curse. I’d forget it, if I were you. Tell that to the little wanna be wicca too.”

“What’s that Angel? I’ve got a bad connection.” Doyle closed the door quietly as the others piled into Oz’s van.

“You heard me clearly, demon.” Angel hung up the phone, then glanced at Buffy who was watching him warily.

When everyone was in the van, Giles gave the update as to what happened to the Orb, along with the bad news that there didn’t seem to be another in Sunnydale. The Magic Shop’s supplier could have one shipped from Phoenix, but that would take two days. Giles didn’t believe that they had two days, but had ordered it regardless. In the meantime, Oz and Willow had been checking shops in nearby towns. One woman in LA thought she had one, but she had just moved her store and had yet to unpack everything. She was supposed to call back if and when it turned up. That, so far, was their best hope. But their plan was to keep looking.

In the meantime, Giles thought it prudent that they change locations to one that Angelus did not know about. Giles had suspected that Angelus would not want the curse performed, something that Doyle confirmed, and that all their lives could be at risk. Thoughts of Jenny flashed through Giles’s mind and he was filled with regret and guilt that he had willingly helped bring the monster back that had killed her.

Buffy attempted to stay awake, needing to know where Angelus took her, but the past few days of anxiety, little sleep and the blood loss finally caught up with her and she dozed off. Sleepily she rubbed her face when Angelus lifted her from the car and carried her into the house. No one knew about the small place just outside of Sunnydale that Angel owned and sometimes went when he wanted to be near to Buffy, yet not so close that she’d know he was there. It was well stocked and perfect for a few days of rest and relaxation while he recovered from his wounds. Not to mention, the perfect hideaway for some carnal amusement.

He laid Buffy on the bed and handcuffed one wrist to the antique iron headboard. He only had a short while to hunt before dawn, needing fresh blood for the most expeditious recovery and he didn’t want to risk her wandering out on her own while he was gone. He considered taking more of her blood, but decided against it – at least until she had a little time to recover, not to mention some food and water.

After cleaning up and changing his shirt, he was ready to go. With a small smile, he closed the door behind him and limped out into the night.

Giles and company settled in to Xander’s apartment, the only place that they could easily think of that Angelus wasn’t likely to know about.

Riley paced near the door, feeling frustrated and helpless. He’d argued with the others that they should have stayed. Between the three of them they surely could have overpowered Angelus in his weakened state and locked him up. Riley knew he’d feel a heck of a lot better if he had at least tried. He felt that they simply traded one bad situation for another – only now they didn’t even know where Buffy was.

Willow and Oz continued their Internet search for magic suppliers that carried Thessulahian Orbs, and Giles stayed on the phone, working his way through his connections at the Watcher’s council. Xander simply stared out the window, wondering where Angelus had gone with Buffy and if she was okay.

Doyle and Cordelia had put Kate in Xander’s bedroom, where she was still snoring drunkenly, and then went to pick up pizzas for everyone.

“I knew something like this would happen. It always does when Buffy and Angel are within touching distance of each other. Buffy’s trouble. She’s always been trouble and she’ll always be trouble, especially for Angel. ” Cordelia crossed her arms and shivered, shifting on the sidewalk to walk closer to Doyle.

Doyle wrapped his arm around her hesitantly. They weren’t dating, although he would like to. He suspected that Cordelia had a crush on Angel, adding to the reasons she’d be upset now. “It’s not really Buffy’s fault, now is it? Kate’s the one that broke the Orb. Everything would be back to business as usual now, if it weren’t for that.”

Encouragingly, Cordelia leaned into Doyle for comfort and warmth. “Yeah? But we wouldn’t even be here if Angel didn’t think he stupidly had to rush in and save her.”

Doyle dropped his arm as he opened the door of the pizza place, holding it for her to enter. “What? You’d have had him stay in Los Angeles and not help her? Even after what they did to her?”

Cordelia didn’t answer. She knew Doyle would think less of her if she were to be honest with him and say yes. Buffy was the slayer after all, surely she and the rest of the Scooby gang would have figured something else out. She only looked at him and shrugged, rolling her eyes.

They walked back to Xander’s quietly, both lost in thought about the coming hours.

When Angelus returned to the cabin, he was already feeling much better. He’d conveniently found two transients living in the nearby woods that served as his dinner. The fresh blood did wonders to heal his wounds and energize him. That and the thoughts of a soon to be naked blond slayer spread across his bed. He fairly licked his lips at the thought, crossing through the door.

His first order of business come nightfall would be to find Buffy’s little friend Willow and make sure that she never cursed anyone, ever, again. He’d briefly considered searching for her now, but it was nearing dawn. Besides, he had a slayer to entertain… He did send his new minions out to take care of the little witch for him, but he doubted that they would be capable.

Buffy had been awake for only a few minutes when she heard Angelus return to the cabin. Lying still, she pretended to still be sleeping, hoping that perhaps Angelus would leave her be. He was in the kitchen now, opening cabinets and rattling dishes. Buffy cautiously opened her eyes and looked around the room. She didn’t recognize the darkened bedroom at all. However, she did realize that it was very tasteful and clearly suited for a vampire, with dark navy blue velvet window coverings that complimented the taupe walls. The room was obviously masculine, sparsely furnished and uncluttered. The framed photograph of her on the bedside table surprised her, and she smiled slightly at the accompanying warm feelings. She guessed then, that this was Angel’s room – somewhere.

“You’re awake. Good.” Angelus entered the room carrying a tray of food. “Eat.” He sat the tray down next her and Buffy took in the steaming bowl of oatmeal, along with toast and juice. There was even a small bowl of wild blueberries. She glanced at his face, for a split-second moment hopeful that he was Angel and not Angelus. When the handcuff rattled against the headboard as she shifted, she grimaced – the thought instantly quelled.

“Do you mind?” Buffy held up her wrist, indicating the cuff.

“I’m tired and not in the mood to chase you down, so yes, I mind.” Angelus settled comfortably in the leather recliner in the corner of the room, kicking his shoes off as he leaned back.

“I can’t eat like this.” Shooting him a dirty look, Buffy crossed her free arm across her chest.

Without even looking up, Angelus replied. “Eat or I’ll come over there and feed you. Which, I’m pretty sure you won’t like.”

“I need to use the bathroom.” Buffy attempted a different tactic, her immediate goal to free herself.

“After you eat.” Angelus still had not moved from his comfortable sprawl in the chair. “Buff, I’m going to count to ten and if you aren’t eating, I’ll feed you. One… Two…” When he heard the sound of the spoon in the bowl he stopped counting. Glancing at her from under his lashes, he was satisfied to see that she was, in fact, eating.

Buffy realized that she’d need her strength if she expected to take him on, or even if she just planned to escape. And she was hungry, her stomach growling as she began to eat. She’d just barely finished, setting the spoon back in the bowl when Angelus was beside her, swooping up the tray of dishes. Minutes later he returned, then unlocked the handcuff from the headboard pulling her to her feet and down the short hallway. He stopped in front of the bathroom door. “There you go. Leave the door open.”

“So you can watch?!” Buffy turned to him indignantly, her cheeks pinking with embarrassment.

Angelus let out a short bark of laughter then looked down at her with a wolfish smile. “Is that some new fetish,” all trace of amusement fled from his face with his next words “that you and Riley are into to? I could indulge you, if you’d like.”

“No.” Buffy’s look at him would have frozen a weaker man in his tracks.

“Then I suggest that you not do anything stupid, like attempt to climb out the window.”

Angelus turned away then, moving a few short feet down the hallway to wait. If she didn’t come out by the time he counted to 200, then he’d go in and get her. He’d just reached 190 and was pushing away from the wall when she stepped out into the hallway. He gestured back to the bedroom and then followed her inside.

“Now then, I think it’s time we got reacquainted.” Angelus closed the bedroom door, not wanting any avenue for her escape. He locked the door with a key, the put the key on the top of the windowsill, well out of her reach.

“Been there, done that.” Buffy flounced away from him and sat in the leather chair he’d occupied earlier. She thought it would be in her best interest to stay clear of the bed. “And I have to say, it’s not worth a repeat. Got anything to read?”

Narrowing his eyes at her, Angelus slowly began to unbutton his shirt. Still watching her, he tossed it aside then unbuckled his belt. Buffy tried not to look at him as he walked toward her, his stride as graceful and fluid as a predator stalking it’s prey.

“You don’t actually think I’m going to stay here with you. Or have sex with you.” Buffy met his gaze directly, her eyes challenging.

“I actually know you are.” Angelus continued prowling toward her, his dark eyes piercing.

An unwanted thrill spiked through her senses at the thought. Her conscience, however, was not going to let her give in easily.

“You’re making a mistake, lover.” Buffy spat the words contemptuously. “I’m not going to just give in to you willingly.”

Angelus looked down at her with a salacious grin, “Good.”

The instant that he clasped a hand around her wrist and jerked her to her feet, Buffy kicked him hard. He staggered back, but recovered quickly and slapped her hard across the face. Had Buffy been up to her full strength, she likely would have taken him. As it was, with Angelus newly fed and very determined, he was able to ultimately able to subdue her, pulling her hard against him.

His lips descended on her with startling force. He kissed her hard, ravishing her lips and probing deep into her mouth with his tongue. When she bit him, he jerked his head back and growled but did not release her. Instead, he lifted her violently in his arms and carried her to the bed, tossing her roughly on it, knocking the breath out of her body. Buffy rolled rapidly and swung her legs over the side of the bed but Angelus grabbed her hair, yanking her back toward the bed. When he moved over her, Buffy raised her knee with as much force as she could muster. Arching back just in time, Angelus avoided her paralyzing blow. Forcing a knee between her legs, he climbed over her and lowered his weight on her, pinning her to the bed.

Buffy thrashed and twisted beneath him, but she was unable to shove his heavy weight completely off her. Forcing the wrist still wearing the handcuff up toward the headboard, Angelus snapped it to the frame, effectively minimizing her ability to fight back. Buffy swung her other hand hard at Angelus’s face, her nails curled. He jerked his head back, but her nails still raked across one cheek leaving red furrows that began to bleed. A new wave of anger surged through him.

His hand closed around her free wrist with a painful grip. “Don’t scratch my face.” Angelus’s vanity would not abide by scars, especially scars caused by a woman.

He pulled another pair of handcuffs out of his back pocket as he rested atop her, then managed to seize her other arm and cuff it to the headboard as well. They glared at each other, both panting and incensed, blood still dripping from the scratch on Angelus’s face.

“Now then, Buff. Where were we? Ah yes, you need some instruction on the proper role of mistress.”

“Not your mistress, you whoremonger.” Buffy’s spat in reply, pulling hard against the handcuffs that held her.

“Whoremonger? Where did you learn to be so vulgar? Of course, it’s a fitting term if you want to call yourself my whore.” Angelus leaned up on her elbows, surveying her with a cold, predatory gaze.

“Don’t you dare touch me, vampire.”

“Dare? You’re baiting the wrong man, lover. You know I dare anything.” His tone was soft, dangerous.

Angelus shoved her shirt up out of his way, his hands seeking the warm softness of her skin. She gasped when he ripped her shirt off and roughly covered her lace-clad breasts with his large hands. He pawed them for a few moments before ripping her bra away, then stripping her pants and thong panties down her legs.

He crawled back over her then his lips found hers again with a fierce, seeking hunger. He kissed her again and again, nibbling at her bottom lip with his teeth before tracing the edges of her teeth with his tongue, destroying all her thoughts of opposition. The feel of his body so intimately pressed to hers filled Buffy with an aching, sweet warmth. A tingle spiraled through her entire body, seeming to feed off his hunger for her. Though she knew better, she wanted him. She lusted after him with a fierce growing need that seemed to consume her. But she knew who he was, what he was, so she refused to give him the satisfaction of responding. She lay still beneath him, passive and lifeless.

Angelus stared down at her, frustrated with her response, swearing that he would hear her beg and plead for him. His skilled hands explored her body, as his lips followed and caressed each and every pleasure point on her body. Cupping her breasts in his hands he lowered his mouth to tease and suck each nipple until they stood erect and hard. He then kissed a path down her firm, satin-skinned abdomen, stopping to dip his tongue into the inviting dip of her navel. Continuing lower, he kissed her downy curls then below to lick and suck the soft flesh between her legs. His fingers and tongue probed her damp folds, titillating and tormenting until she moaned softly and began to arch her back and move her hips in search of the elusive source of pleasure. When he finally had his fill of her and she was teetering on the brink of orgasm, he moved back and stripped off his pants.

Buffy kept her eyes closed tightly, unwilling to face him as he lowered himself over her once more. She felt the hard erection probe at the entry between her legs, then he glided into her wet heat. He moved slowly at first, pushing deeper with each stroke. Buffy bent her legs, gripping his hips as she began to rise up to meet his thrust. Her hazel eyes opened briefly to look at him before her head dropped back, the intense pleasure beginning to consume her.

Angelus deliberately restrained himself, thoroughly enjoying the feel of her writhing against him with her hands restrained over her head. She pulled on the cuffs as he watched, wanting now to wrap her arms around him – despite what he was. Suddenly Angelus withdrew.

Buffy opened her eyes in dismay, feeling bereft now that he was no longer over her, inside her.

With his arms straight, leaning on his hands over her, Angelus met her eyes. “Say it.”

Buffy took a deep breath, attempting to calm her nerves. “No.”

“Say it, Buff.” Angelus reached out and grabbed one nipple, pinching it hard between his fingers then tugging.

“Please.” Buffy finally relented, her voice quiet.

“Please what?” His voice was merciless. His hand returned to the damp cleft between her legs, teasing the taut nub of her clit with his fingertips before squeezing it firmly.

“I want you.” Her breath caught in the throat as she breathed out the words, his hand expertly manipulating her.

“Now, tell me those three little words you whispered to soul-boy when he was fucking you.” They were burned into Angelus’s brain, as was the feel of her body willingly wrapped around him.

Buffy felt the pain keenly, the ache of loss for something that she once again would not be allowed to have, to keep. She didn’t answer, closing her eyes at the memory only hours ago.

“Tell me.” He stroked her harder, nearly hurting her with his touch.

After a long pause, Buffy finally whispered, “I love you.” She closed her eyes, ashamed to look at him even as she spread her legs wider for him.

Angelus released an unneeded breath of satisfaction, his desire for vengeance satisfied. Lowering himself over her again, he drove his cock inside her. He took her then, not in fury but in hunger. She clutched him with her legs, pulling him harder and deeper against her, attempting to hold him against each withdrawal. She was quivering with unfulfilled desire, arching against him wildly as he moved inside her. After he brought her to a shuddering climax, he lay still inside her waiting for the waves of pleasure to recede. He then began again, bringing her once again to the peak of ecstasy before finally releasing his seed into her body. This time he buried his fangs into the plump flesh of her breast, drinking greedily of her rich blood until he finally collapsed against her. He was finally sated, for the moment.

He rolled from her and retrieved a key from his pants pocket. He then released her wrists from the headboard then cuffed one wrist to his. They both drifted off to sleep, Buffy cradled in Angelus’s arms.

Giles had been dozing in the chair for only a short while when the phone rang, startling him awake. Groggily he stared at it for a moment before rising to answer it, even though it was Xander’s phone.

Squinting his eyes against the bright sunlight now streaming in the room, he glanced around as he said hello to the person on the other end. Xander hadn’t moved from his position on the floor where he was sleeping, Anya curled up next to him. Doyle was in the kitchen, searching for coffee. It was just after 7 am, and they had all been up until almost 3 worrying and searching for sources for a new orb.

Riley had left around 1 am to go back to his house, hoping to find out if anyone from the Initiative had news of Buffy and Angelus.

Giles brightened considerably when the caller told him that she indeed had an Orb of Thessulah. In fact, she had three. Giles immediately said that he would take them, all of them. He gave her his credit card number, and then took down her address and directions. Her shop was just outside of Los Angeles – traffic permitting they could be there and back within four hours. It was longer than they would have liked, but that was still better than waiting two days.

By the time Giles hung up the phone, everyone else had woke. Oz was pulling on his shoes, getting ready to drive to LA. It was agreed that Xander would go with Oz while everyone else waited in Sunnydale.

Minutes after they left, Kate finally joined the group. She had an incredible hangover, not to mention a sense that something terrible had happened. A feeling that was furthered by the stares of everyone as she walked into the room. “Where are we?”

“Hiding out, thanks to you.” Cordelia bluntly stated, placing blame where she thought it was deserved.

“Now ‘Delia…” At this point Doyle didn’t want any more tension. They had enough to deal with without fighting amongst themselves.

“What do you mean? What happened? Where’s Angel?” Kate replied angrily, not liking the brunette’s accusation.

“Probably sleeping off his Buffy snack right about now.” Xander snapped, giving voice to his fears.

“What are you talking about? What about that rit-” Kate’s voice trailed off as the vague memory of the glass orb shattering on the floor invaded her mind. “Oh god. Tell me I didn’t-” She looked around anxiously at Giles and Willow, finally turning to Doyle and Cordelia.

“You did.” Cordelia tossed her head as she stared back at Kate. “You fucked everything up, Miss police-detective. Now evil Angelus is out there somewhere most likely plotting our demise.”

“Why you little bitch,” Kate stepped toward Cordelia, pointing her finger in blame at Giles. “I thought the whole idea was a bad one from the beginning, so if it’s anyone’s fault, it’s his for even suggesting such an outrageous thing.”

Giles did feel a certain amount of guilt for his role in the events of the last hours, so finding words was a trifle difficult. He lifted his eyebrows and opened his mouth when Doyle interrupted.

“Look, blaming anyone isn’t going to change things. It’s day now – Angelus won’t be roaming about.” Doyle swallowed hard, thinking about Buffy and what Angelus might be doing instead, “We’ve got to sit tight for the next four or so hours, so I suggest that we all go to the coffee shop down the street and get some breakfast.”

After a few tense moments, everyone agreed and silently made their way out of the apartment.