Oh shit, Buffy thought as she sat straight up. A mortified flush swept over her body as she hastily pulled the sheets up to cover her breasts. No, I won’t feel guilty. He’s the enemy. Yet, despite what he’d become, Reggie was once her lover. She had felt affection for him at the time and tried to believe it was more than what it was in reality. At this point in her life the relationship only embarrassed her because it had been a colossal mistake in her life. And the two vampires she was sharing a bed with knew it.
“Hello,” she finally stammered, turning her head so she could see Spike and Angel.
“Are you all right?” There was just the right amount of concern lacing his silky voice that was meant to soothe the listener.
“Of course,” she rushed out. “I was sleeping. That’s all.”
“No, you weren’t.”
It wasn’t a question. A chill ran down Buffy’s spine as she perused the room looking for a way for Reggie to know what she was doing. Maybe a camera? Or maybe he’d discovered a way to be invisible? It was uncanny. Then she shook her head. She was being paranoid. There was no way that Reggie could know where she was or what she was doing. He was just testing her to see if she would reveal the truth.
“Almost,” Buffy replied, with what she hoped was a frosty tone. “What’s going on?”
“I’ve been worried about you. We’ve barely spoken since you went to
“I’ve had things to take care of,” Buffy said, waving her hand to keep Angel from taking the phone. They could hear everything and that was making her self-conscious. “You know that.”
“You’ve told me a lot of things, Bella. It doesn’t mean I know everything that is going on inside your head.”
“I told you I needed space, to do some things and that’s what I’ve been doing.”
“A little bird told me you have been very busy,” he paused for a dramatic second. “Catching up with old friends.”
“Did you think I wouldn’t?”
“Ah, so you do know what you have done,” Reggie said. “You have turned from my arms to be a whore for my enemies.”
This time she swung her legs over the edge of the bed so her back was toward the two vampires. She knew they’d heard Reggie’s words. Not that it mattered. She was no one’s whore, and she wouldn’t allow anyone to accuse her of it without a fight.
“I don’t think so, buster.”
“Ah, but you are in their bed right now, aren’t you?”
“I don’t think that’s any of your business.”
“Again you are wrong.”
Reggie’s voice slid over like warm whiskey on a cold night. It seeped into her flesh and froze her soul. There was no anger, or a spoken threat, but she knew it was there beneath every syllable he spoke. He wasn’t a creature to accept defeat. Every moment, situation, and person was a victory for the Immortal to accomplish. There were very few things he hadn’t seen or done in his long life span. He knew how to work everything to his advantage and there was no hesitation for him not to do it. Nothing was sacred, but his own desire.
Buffy shrugged as she tried to fight the flicker of fear trying to take flame inside her heart. Her mind told her she was safe, protected with Angel and Spike. All she had to do was be open and honest with them. She gave up her pride, leaning back to find Spike there to put his arm around her shoulders. A soft sigh escaped from deep within.
“No, I’m right,” Buffy said, with what she hoped was steely resolve. “Things changed. I’ve realized that I never stopped loving them, and they want me with them.”
There was a long pause before Reggie responded, “They only want what is mine. I protected you from anything dirty. They will drag you into the mud with them, and you will watch them die before I take you back.”
“I won’t ever go back to you.”
This time he laughed. “Oh, my sweet, I would never take you back with the status you once held. Next time you will be mine to toy with as I wish. You better hope you die with them.”
Spike snatched the phone from her hands. “You bloody bastard. You will never touch her again, and it’s you who will die…”
Angel wrested the receiver from Spike’s hands and turned the phone off before Spike could continue. He flung it across the room. The three of them stared at it for a moment as if it was going to come alive so it could attack them. It didn’t. It lay harmlessly on the carpet, silent and useless.
“It’s started,” Angel said.
“Are we ready?” Buffy asked, using her old general tone before biting her lip to stop herself from saying anything else. She didn’t want to try to lead this time. It was the vampire’s game, and she was only here to help them out. Hopefully, at the end of it, they would be able to start a life together. Unlike before.
She grasped Spike’s hand, pulling it close against her breasts in an embrace that spoke more than any words could. Her eyes fluttered closed as she tried to push the image of Spike burning from her mind. She couldn’t do it again. She wouldn’t. It would be impossible to walk away from Spike or Angel if they were dying. No, this time she would die alongside of them.
Spike placed a gentle kiss on her temple while he squeezed her hand. “It’s going to be all right, Love. There isn’t anything that we can’t beat if we’re working together.”
“You’ve always been such a romantic.” Angel said, reaching across to include his hand in their grasp.
“It doesn’t mean I’m a sap.”
“No, it doesn’t,” Buffy said, as she could feel Spike getting defensive. “It’s not what he meant either.” She stared into his blue eyes radiating what she hoped was all the love she was feeling in her heart for them. “It’s a good thing. I need that in my life, and you give that to me.”
“And me,” Angel agreed. He kissed Spike’s shoulder, and then laid his head where he just showed affection. “I need you.”
“Well, as long as you both know it,” Spike said, wrapping his arms around them and pulled them back down on the bed. “Let’s get some sleep. It’s all going to bust loose in the morning. And I don’t know about you, but I need my beauty sleep.”
“Yes, you do.” Angel replied, settling his arm across them.
Buffy giggled. Reggie was miles away, or at least she hoped so, and tonight she only wanted to feel the love between them. She snuggled against Spike, letting her hand caress Angel’s arm. It felt good. Almost like a dream. For a moment she felt the fear return, but she resolved that she wouldn’t give into it. Not now. Whatever happened they were in it together. Just the way it should be.
Even though she knew it didn’t really make a difference in her being discovered, Dawn tiptoed away from the Master Suite nonetheless. She just prayed that the silence behind the heavy doors meant the vampires and her sister were sleeping. Anything else was just too icky for her to imagine. Even if from unfortunate past events Dawn knew that Buffy wasn’t always quiet when having sex. A shudder ran through her, and she picked up speed as if it would help to dispel any thoughts or mental pictures of her sister having sex.
Barreling through the door to Andrew’s room, she almost let the door slam when she skidded to a stop so she could grab it before it did. After all her waiting and stealth for the others to go to sleep, it would be just her luck that one door would ruin everything. She breathed a sigh of relief when managed to wedge her hand between the rapidly closing door and the jamb.
“Ow, damn it,” Dawn muttered beneath her breath as instead her hand received the weight of the door instead. She pulled her hand out and then with careful precision closed the door. Taking a deep breath, she turned to Andrew who was stretched out on the bed waiting.
“Way to go, Dawnie,” Andrew said with an arched brow and a smirk reminiscent of Spike’s. A trait that was becoming more pronounced every moment they spent in Spike’s company. “Next time just make an announcement.”
“Maybe I will,” Dawn said, jumping onto the bed so that it bounced and jarred Andrew from the nest he’d made. He glared at her for a second before returning his attention to his computer. “So, are we ready?”
“As ready as any Jedi would be before battle,” Andrew smiled.
If there was one thing she liked about Andrew, it was his preparations before any task. Often they were done in a manner of one his favorite characters, but it just made it more fun. After being one of The First’s and Warren’s pawns, Andrew now prided himself on being able to make a plan and launch it with success. He made his own choices even if she often considered them weird, but when it came to the whole slayer business, they were two of a kind. Most of the time Buffy and the others never knew that their streak of good luck was usually because of the duo paving the way.
Like they were going to do tonight.
Dawn knew that for the next few minutes she wasn’t needed to participate, but was only there to be supportive and offer suggestions. She laid back with her arms folded beneath her head so that she could view the computer screen on Andrew’s laptop.
A thrill ran through her at what they were about to do. It was power. Dawn not only loved it, but craved it like she did potato chips and ice cream during that time of the month. She figured it was from once being the Key. Holding the boundaries of dimensions closed had to have been a real kick. Too bad she couldn’t remember or use the powers she once possessed. Maybe one day she’d have to see if they were really gone or just hidden away.
Tonight it didn’t matter. She was holding onto enough power without the Key’s influence. Or rather she shared it with Andrew, and since he didn’t mind a sidekick, she could lay claim to it, too.
First Andrew started the program that would scramble not only his IP address, but also his logon location. As soon as he was satisfied it was safe to proceed, he signed in to his email. The messages rolled out. Some were the usual junk that Andrew promptly discarded. When he was done there were five messages left.
Two were from girls he briefly dated in
“So, anything interesting?” Dawn prompted when Andrew opened an email from a girl. She could care less what those twits wanted. If Andrew wanted to waste time on them, that was his business. Personal business and nothing to do with what they were supposed to be doing tonight.
“Yeah, Tina just got a new computer…”
“Oh please,” Dawn said, with a dramatic roll of her eyes. “Who cares about Tina? I don’t.”
“Bullshit,” Dawn said, cutting him off again. “You don’t. I don’t. Let’s quit wasting time and get this off the ground.”
This time Andrew rolled his eyes; followed by him closing the email. It was enough for Dawn. She’d gotten her way. Andrew clicked open a program he’d been working on for weeks.
“Ready?” Andrew asked, his hand hovering over the mouse.
“Do it already,” Dawn urged, playfully smacking his hand.
Andrew grinned, and then clicked start. They watched as the program flickered its progress on the screen. It stalled for a minute before it flashed its success. Dawn let out a whoop as Andrew threw his fist in the air in victory. Tomorrow Wolfram & Hart would suffer quite a few problems creating evil because of them and the virus they’d created.
Andrew reached for the mouse when a new email arrived in his box. He clicked over to open it with Dawn hanging over his shoulder. They both held their breath when they realized it was from The Immortal. A second glance at the subject line made them squeak in dismay. There was only one word…Gotcha.
to be continued…