Betrayal, Deceit, and Heartbreak

Picture from Raelyn.

The eighth year saw changes to the kingdom, drought, poor harvests, low birth rates among the animals hunted in the forests. 

Buffy oversaw the distribution of supplies, the rationing of what little the kingdom had. Rumors flew to other Lands, but the Vampires of Aurelius were a proud people and laughed in the face of those rumors. They needed no other help and saw to it that the rest of the Lands knew that. 

The clans banded together, conserved, saved, and within a year, all was prosperous once more. Exports were again at an all time high, what little they couldn’t make in the kingdom was imported, and the Ancient and his Queen were still exalted above all others. 

There were some migration, but that’s always the case among those who felt they couldn’t survive. In some cases it was warranted; a clan or order that had grown too large for a town. In other’s it was simply because the being didn’t wish to try. The mortal realm was the calling place for all these immigrants, and rumors of vampires and demons spread there. 

Angelus and Buffy’s names were among the first told amongst the mortals, and the fastest to spread; a nightmare to tell sleeping children. The strongest vampire and the most powerful elf, joined in marriage – unholy of course, for demons couldn’t love, how ridiculous – to promote terror across all Lands. An unholy mating that was no better than the beasts in the field, a couple whose sole interest was to terrorize, pillage, and rape their way across every kingdom they came across.

It was a conveniently forgotten fact among mortals, that no one in the mortal lands had ever met either the vampire or his elfin bride. If any had, they’d have realized that Angelus wasn’t about to let any other than himself touch Buffy, and should Angelus decide to rape his way across anyplace, he’d be more than sorry – there were worse things than death and Buffy was just as jealous as her husband.

Rumors abound there, among the demonically informed, about how the couple once roamed this land but were driven off by those few brave souls, The Watchers. Those of Aurelius laughed at that but didn’t bother to set anything straight. It would serve no purpose, they wouldn’t be believed, and it was much more fun to see their faces when one admits to being part of the same bloodline as Angelus. 

In the kingdom, things were much quieter. No rebellions, of any substance, bothered the couple, they cared nothing for the rumors in other lands, and if anything, they grew closer. No raping, no pillaging, the economy was strong and their people loved them – so no terrorizing there, either.

No longer were words needed to communicate between them. Rather than think what they wanted to say, in word-form, it was now a simple matter of feeling it, of knowing what picture to convey to the other, what emotion, what sensation. When they were making love, hot, bright sensation traveled between them, linking them together in a way that was unbreakable. It was two parts of the same whole, everything moving between them with no breaks, no stops, and no need for traditional forms of communication of any kind. 

Buffy rolled over onto her lover’s chest, pressing kisses to the smooth marble skin there. The sun slanted through the opened curtains, a concession Angelus made to her safety because Buffy often told him how she enjoyed seeing his skin in dawn’s first light. His hands tightened around her, drawing her slim body even closer. 

No words were exchanged but Buffy’s soft laughter floated from the monstrous bed, echoed by Angelus’ deeper one. She curled to his side, limbs entangled so that even though his were the pale of a vampire and hers were the bronzed of an elf, it was difficult to see where one ended and the other began.
~~~~~~~~~~
The entire kingdom was out to celebrate.

Ten years ago this week, their King and Ancient married their beloved Queen. In a weeklong party to rival the marriage celebration, the kingdom held singing contests, plays and shows of every imaginable variety. Food was abundant and the drink never stopped. The Land of Dragons and Beasts even sent a gift, the first in any recorded history.

Presented to Buffy and Angelus for their anniversary was a gryphon; the majestic creature, part bird, part beast, was the subject of myths even in other kingdoms of the Land of Light and for one to be presented was a high honor. It was a treasured present and one that the couple received with due reverence and appreciation. The gryphon, for its part, looked at the mated couple with something resembling regal pride before landing on the stone balcony ledge before them. It bowed once, its golden bird-eyes never leaving the elf before it, before circling high overhead.

Buffy watched, delighted, and Angelus simply looked on in bored amusement, though Buffy knew he was enjoying himself as well. It wasn’t, well, ever, that one of the creatures from the Land of Dragons and Beasts agreed to become a virtual pet to other beings. After circling once, the gryphon landed softly on Buffy’s shoulder, mindful of its powerful claws. It folded its wings carefully behind it and looked serenely out at the masses below.

Angelus scowled – he didn’t like anyone or anything being closer to his wife than he – but couldn’t fault the creature’s taste. Plus, it was a well-known fact that gryphons were fierce and powerful allies and could be trusted beyond all others. One more being looking out for his Eternal couldn’t hurt…and it looked like Buffy was already taken with the creature, feeding it bits of meat pie and stroking its feathered wings softly.

Somehow, Angelus wasn’t surprised.
~~~~~~~~~~
Darla and Drusilla stood together as they watched a particularly spry acrobatic troupe. “I think,” Darla purred to her companion as she watched the agile vampire move into some very interesting positions, “I’m going to see what his name is.” 

Drusilla laughed again, nodding and looked around the courtyard as she waited for William. This was so exciting! The many people there to welcome her, to laugh and dance with her. And the birds were singing to her, with her, and to the stars. It was beautiful, was it not? 

A cloud rolled by, single and black, blocking the sun for a moment. No one noticed, no one but Dru, and she shivered, a bone deep chill permeating her body. The omen was real to her, and the seer vampiress wasn’t one to take these things lightly. Just as quickly as it was there, it passed, leaving the celebrators to continue their games.

Doing her best to shake the omen off, now was not the time to think of such things, Dru smiled brightly at William when he walked up to her, an exotic Slem-atine Monkey on his shoulder. “Everything okay, ducks?” 

“Now it is, my William, now it is.” Drusilla replied and purred at her new pet.

William didn’t know if that was because she was lonely or for some other reason. He hoped it wasn’t anything terrible coming, his nerves couldn’t take it. It was bad enough that he was watching the elf because they all felt it necessary after the kidnapping incident a few years ago, but it was worse that he genuinely cared for the woman. And her annoying First, Oz was a brilliant fighter and one William wanted on his side.

Plus he was still mistrustful of Darla, the older vampiress seemed to have changed her ways, becoming closer to Buffy and not trailing Angelus like a love-sick human. But William didn’t trust her for the simple reason that he knew her. Some vampires never changed, and no matter what Darla said or did to the contrary, he didn’t think she had, not one damn bit. Now this something potentially bad?

William knew he couldn’t handle that on top of everything else.
~~~~~~~~~~
Kynan, Prince of Elves, watched the festivities with an indulgent smile. In the years since his sister married the Ancient, he visited many times. Always receiving a warm welcome, he never truly appreciated all Buffy had to offer until today. He doubted very much that this kind of celebration was solely because of Angelus. Buffy’s name was mentioned as often, if not more so, than the vampire’s. 

It was always the Queen this, or milady that, or our mistress some other thing. Certainly, he wasn’t complaining, the elf prince was overjoyed that his and his father’s dire predictions hadn’t come to pass. In fact, Kynan was more than happy to see the sheer joy Buffy exuded. Just proved that one couldn’t judge one by reputation alone. 

Angelus had protected Buffy with a vengeance, one that rivaled her blood family’s need. In fact, that was one of the main reasons Kynan was here today. In the years since Angelus routed the rebels, in both the Aurelius Kingdom and the few in the Elfin Kingdom, he and the Ancient had grown closer; Buffy was safe, that much Kynan was sure of, and she was treasured by her husband above all others. And that was really the only thing he ever wanted for his only sister. 

“What are you thinking, Kynan?” Buffy asked as she walked up to him. 

“That this is some party, Buffy. I never realized that vampires could celebrate something quite, ah, like this.” He gestured to the mass below, laughing, shouting, enjoying themselves to the fullest. Their darker desires, Kynan knew, were reserved for later, not a fit public display for their Queen. It amused him to realize that the instinctual need of their vampiric physiology was purposely suppressed because of their love and respect for Buffy. 

“There’s certainly something to be said for a vampire party.” 

Laughing, she linked arms with her brother. She knew well what he subjects did once she and Angelus retired from the festivities, and was touched that they thought enough of her to wait until she left to indulge in their other wants and needs. “Tell me of Tara and the children, are they much grown?” 

“Mavourna has the power of her father’s sister, I daresay,” he smiled down at Buffy as he told her of his youngest, “Strong and able with her magicks despite her young years. Conaire has taken to following Ranulf’s little girl, Deirdre everywhere. I think he’s smitten with her.” Kynan said as they wandered down the lane, conscious of the several guards that surrounded them. Good, the elf thought, even now Angelus takes no chances with his wife’s welfare. 

“And my little Ossian?” Buffy paused to look at a merchant’s goods from the Hunter Lands. The material was soft leather and would look wonderful on Angelus. Nodding to the man behind the booth that she would take the entire rack, the merchant, who looked like he was about to fall over with kindness to her, scrambled to have it sent to the castle immediately as Buffy continued, “How is my little warrior?” 

The little warrior in question was closer to a man than anything, but it was Buffy’s prerogative, after all. They would always be children to her, no matter how they grew.

“He misses you, of course, and wishes to visit. He’s of age, I think, to do so if it is acceptable to you and Angelus.” Kynan watched in amazement as a smile flitter across her face and Buffy laughed softly; he doubted it was about their conversation. She answered as if nothing happened and he let it pass. He and his wife, Tara, had a special connection; they even had a limited range with their own bond. But it was nothing like what his sister and her husband seemed to have. 

Kynan wondered if it was because Angelus was a vampire and not Elfin that made the bond different, but dismissed that thought when Buffy continued. 

“Of course,” Buffy smiled, not really aware that there was a break in their conversation. Or one that Kynan was aware of at least. “Any time you and Tara feel he’s ready, Ossian is always welcomed.” 

They wandered through a few more stalls, talking of various things and greeting well-wishers. Angelus joined them, claiming his wife’s hand from Kynan’s elbow and kissing her lightly on the lips. The Elf Prince was curious as to how the Ancient could bestow a kiss that was passionate, gentle, and possessive all at once. Talent, he decided, it was definitely talent. 

None of them noticed the High Priestess watch the proceedings from her mountain top temple. She declined to travel to the fair, claiming it wasn’t the place for a High Priestess; it was a time of revelry not worship. In truth, Cora was terrified that this was the ill omen her seers spoke of several years ago. 

During the tenth year, they had foreseen, that was when everything changed. The tenth year of the marriage between Angelus and Buffy was when things seemingly fell apart between the couple and Angelus left. It seemed hard to predict something like that, as she watched them interact with each other. Their bond was fully formed from what she could tell without interacting with them on an intimate level. 

It was strong and steady, a pulsing beacon between the two, to an extent she’d never seen before. Then again, it was almost unheard of for an Ancient to marry an Elf, to take her as his Eternal, and to exchange blood with her. She smiled slightly, the weight of her knowledge still lying heavily on her shoulders even as she wondered at the couple and their unprecedented marriage.

Through the day and into the night Cora watched the merriment of the kingdom, waiting for it to all fall apart. Maybe she misunderstood her seers; maybe they didn’t mean the exact day of the wedding. No, they were very specific. It was on the tenth year, that things happened to separate the couple. 

As the sun rose, Cora breathed a sigh of relief, stretching from her sitting position before the divining fire, and vowing to sleep for two days straight. She hadn’t exactly been getting good night’s sleep lately, worried for the prophecy, worried for her king and his queen, worried that her beloved kingdom would fall apart because of something that was predetermined. 

It seemed the Fates were on their side, however, as the prophecy failed to come true. 

She should have known that nothing is ever as it seemed.
~~~~~~~~~~
Humming happily to herself, Buffy walked through the gardens, her small entourage of guards flanking her. Oz was there, still feeling guilty, nearly five years later, over sleeping with one of the vamps who wanted her dead. Drusu and Nicholaus were also present and Buffy was forced to wonder why she warranted her three top guards. 

She didn’t ask them, however, simply continued on her way; they wouldn’t have answered, in all likelihood, simply stated that they were following orders. Which, Buffy supposed, was an answer and the only one they had. Angelus was fanatical about her safety; she’d long ago accepted that. Still, her guards usually rotated shifts and days. 

Meandering down the brick laid path, the queen spotted her favorite bench beneath the maple tree. Pausing for a moment, she wondered where Angelus was before continuing on her walk. That was their bench, their tree, their private area where they often spent time together; it was not for days with guards and no privacy. And it wasn’t ever the same without Angelus. 

‘If you wanted to see me, my love,’ Buffy heard Angelus chuckle, ‘All you had to do was say something.’ 

‘You had meetings,’ Buffy reminded him, as she reluctantly turned left, putting their place behind her. ‘Remember? Part of that I’m-not- letting-another-advisor-free-reign-over-my-kingdom again?’ 

She felt his scowl and couldn’t help the smile. Chances were he was scowling at the ministers before him, too, and they hadn’t a clue as to why he was doing that. He enjoyed keeping the council busy, Buffy knew, but sometimes he went a little overboard. Angelus didn’t care, he enjoyed making them dance to his tune; it reminded them he was in charge. 

‘Why do I have Oz, Drusu, and Nicholaus today, love?’ She asked him that this morning, but Angelus hadn’t given her a decent answer. She wasn’t sure if she’d get one now, either, but as she wandered the gardens, her three protectors behind her and to either side, she wanted to know. 

Feeling his shrug and knowing it was mental as well as physical, Buffy waited as Angelus thought through his reply. It was strange to have this conversation with words, but Buffy knew that Angelus was listening to his council as well as conversing with her. It looked better when the Ancient didn’t fade out during a meeting as so often happened when they used other means of communication instead of words. 

‘I woke up this morning feeling as if something had changed,’ he admitted and she knew he was ignoring his advisors, now, and moving to the window overlooking the hills they enjoyed riding over, just outside the castle walls. 

‘What, love?’ 

‘I don’t know, but I didn’t want you alone. I know,’ he added when she started to protest, ‘You are perfectly capable of taking care of yourself.’ His imitation of her voice was dead on; actually, it was an echo of something she had often said. ‘Indulge me, beloved; keep them with you until we meet for lunch.’ 

Buffy nodded, leaning over to pick a rose, the pure white bloom opened beautifully at her touch and the fragrance was intoxicating. ‘I’ll have cook prepare a meal, Angelus; are we meeting in our room, or in the gardens?’ 

She flashed him a picture of their shaded tree, not above using coercion to get her way. She felt him chuckle as he mentally caressed her cheek, using the light that shone between them, their bond, to pour all the love and passion he felt for her into one thrust. Buffy straightened, gasping at the onslaught as her orgasm flowed through her. Her hand clenched around the rose, finger pricking a throne.   

‘No fair, lover,’ Buffy admonished when she could do so, her breath was short and her body tingled in the aftermath. 

‘Love you,’ he whispered to her, the golden of the light shinning brighter for a moment before he closed off the link, as much as they were able to, obviously returning to his ministers. 

Buffy smiled to herself, a soft glow still surrounding her. She didn’t notice her three guards studiously avoiding looking directly at her; she knew they could scent her arousal, and unusual completion, but were professional enough to say nothing. Their faces, should she turn to look at them, would be perfectly blank. 

Nor did she notice the fact that her thumb was bleeding. Several drops of blood fell onto a white rosebud as she walked further into the gardens, staining the pureness with crimson. 

The flower absorbed the blood and the color, changing permanently at the contact and blooming instantly as it did so.
**********
Buffy leaned against the stonewall, bracing herself for a moment against the strange dizziness. 

That was odd; she was never sick, let alone dizzy. Something she ate? Cook was trying new things this week, maybe something didn’t agree with her. Shrugging as the spell passed, Buffy continued to the antechamber, willing Angelus not to have felt that moment of weakness. 

He had, but she waved it off, laughing over the incident and convincing herself that it was nothing as well. His concern was still there as he walked over to her, running a hand over her cheek as he questioned her health. Kissing the palm that cradled her so tenderly, Buffy smiled and reassured him that all was well. 

Then she pushed him away with a laugh, drawing the sword that lay against the wall in preparation for her arrival. Growling, audibly at that, Angelus raised his own sword and they began to spar. It was something they did a few times a week, keeping in shape with each other. They were a fine match; it was difficult to truly get the edge over someone when you could read the other’s mind so thoroughly that their thought was as instantaneous in you as it was in them. 

Still, they moved across the empty floor with ease, neither getting the upper hand but both enjoying themselves immensely. Shouts of triumph were heard, occasionally, as one or the other got the upper hand for a moment or two; their sounds of conquest mingled with the clash of folded steel. Angelus, never one to play fair when one could easily win by cheating, caught Buffy as she whirled by him, blocking his downward arc. 

He easily held her sword at bay with his own and kissed her, attacking her lips fiercely with his own. Passion, never far from the surface, surged to life, the bottomless well of lust and need bubbling up to claim them. His hand tangled in her hair, fisting tightly as his own game backlashed and Angelus was as caught up in the sensations she always inflamed as Buffy was. 

Weapons clattered to the ground as they fully surrendered to the other. Buffy wrapped her arms around Angelus, pulling him closer as he lowered her to the floor. Even their sounds of passion were silent, reserved only for the other and their bond. 

A bright glow surrounded them as Angelus thrust into her, heightening every sensation even more than their bond usually did. There was a buildup of magicks in the air and Buffy’s eyes glowed violet when she met Angelus’ golden-red ones. 

Oz stood stoically outside the antechamber; face forward, staff held stiffly in his hand, senses as closed off to the proceedings inside the room as he could get them. After eleven years, one would think one would get used to it. One, unfortunately, did not. 

Gunn walked up to Oz, either to talk or report something, but noted the look on his friend’s face and smirked instead. “They never stop, do they?” 

He didn’t receive an answer, nor did he expect one; Oz graced him a look that said it all, though, and Gunn couldn’t help but laugh at the annoyed expression on his fellow First’s face. A crashed came through the thick doors causing both Firsts to jump in surprise, ready to charge through the door no matter the state of the couple’s undress. 

Hand on the door Oz hesitated. He shouldn’t have, quite honestly, considering what had happened to Buffy in the preceding years, but to rush through the door when it was obvious she and Angelus were, ah…? Glancing to Gunn, he silently asked the other man his question. The entire exchange lasted less than five seconds and just as Gunn was shrugging in indecision, hand also gripping his staff in readiness, they heard laughter. 

Releasing the handle as if it burnt him, and Oz resisted the urge to look to see if it really had, the Firsts stepped away, looking embarrassed. “So, ah, I’ll just, ah, leave you to it,” Gunn said then stopped, realizing what he had just said. “No! I mean, I’ll let you get back to watching. Er, no. Damn it, Oz! You know exactly what I mean and I’m letting you do it!” 

With that, he turned and walked away, scowling at the snicker Oz let loose before laughing himself. Some days his job was just bizarre.
~~~~~~~~~~
Buffy lay abed, watching Angelus dress in the early morning light, the gryphon relaxing on the windowsill on the far side of the room. 

She was feeling lazy and resisted getting up. Actually, she had tried to convince Angelus to join her in bed, but he already made plans to speak with several of the local dignitaries of the nearby towns. It was something scheduled months ago that he’d forgotten about until the day before when he was looking over the calendar he now kept. Or had Theophilus keep.

Then he scowled over the idea that he needed to keep a calendar, they – anyone – should go to him when it was convenient for him, not when it was mutually so. Buffy had to remind him that it was part of his ‘I’m in charge of everything’ plan he put into effect years ago in order to stop any and all unrest. 

Of course, she ruined it all this morning by tempting him to stay in bed. 

“Are you sure you won’t stay, love?” She asked aloud, stretching her nude body over the sheets they’d already made love on several times throughout the night. 

“Tempt me not with your siren song, woman, this is all your fault anyway,” Angelus scowled and turned away from the all too tempting sight. Of course, considering he had more enhanced senses than just his eyesight, that he could picture Buffy naked and alluring on their bed, that he could imagine all too easily, what her body felt like, smelled like, how she responded to him…

And considering that words, sight, and hearing were all unnecessary when bombarded by a wife who know how to project everything she was feeling into a burst of light, sound, and sensation that the regular five senses had nothing on, it was useless. 

Stalking back to the bed, Angelus growled, trapped her between his arms, and savaged her mouth. Pictures of them together, tangled in an array of limbs and her beautiful golden hair flashed between them, and Angelus threatened to chain her to the bed. 

The only problem with that was he’d be tormented with images of her chained to that bed all day long. And she probably wouldn’t let him forget it, either. 

Releasing her mouth, he placed one final, gentle kiss on her lips, and rose. “Rescue me in a few hours, will you, beloved? I don’t think I can stand it much longer than that.” 

Laughing, Buffy curled onto her side, burrowing her head into his pillow and breathing deeply of the scent of him. “I love you, Angelus,” she said aloud, turning to face him as he walked to the door. 

“And I love you, my love,” he responded. “Get some rest, beloved, I don’t like the fact that you’ve been ill these last few days. Shall I call for the physician?” 

“No, I’m fine, I swear, Angelus.” Buffy smiled at him, knowing how much of a concession it was to even mention Marcus attending his wife. Physician or not, Angelus didn’t like the other vampire looking at what was his. “I just need to sleep in today, I think. Make sure Theophilus cancels my ride with Darla?” At his nod, she closed her eyes, sending one more kiss through their link before falling back asleep. 

Buffy awoke sometime later, as the late morning sun fell across the tiled floor. Angelus was still with the town leaders, so she carefully blocked herself from him. She was sure he was bombarded with a thousand images while she was sleeping; her sleep, as always, was filled with him. Buffy felt slightly guilty over that, but reasoned that he probably hadn’t gotten much accomplished anyway. 

The lesser vamps had a tendency to draw things out unbearably. It was amazing there were some still alive; usually Angelus reached a peak with his anger and killed a few. Just to made it a point to the rest. 

It was unimportant now, as she carefully moved from under the sheet that covered her, still blocking as much as herself as possible from her husband. She knew, now, what was wrong with her. And frankly, couldn’t believe it had taken her so long to figure it out. The extra magick, the strange dizziness, the glow that surrounded she and Angelus whenever they were intimate…her smile was uncontrollable and instantaneousness and she had to stifle a surge of unfettered joy. 

Again blocking Angelus from her thoughts, as much as she could, Buffy focused on her body. Slow even breaths, listening to her heartbeat; it echoed inside her, the sound of the heartbeat her mate didn’t have. No, no, not Angelus. Buffy scowled and opened her eyes. She never had a problem mediating before, what was wrong? 

Granted, before she never tried to block Angelus out of her consciousness. Or out of her unconsciousness, for that matter. Sending a reassuring kiss through their bond, she smiled at him as he scowled his displeasure at the meeting. ‘Soon,’ she promised, ‘I’ll be there soon.’ 

Trying again, Buffy listened to both her heartbeat and phantom one of Angelus’, merging them together as she concentrated on the pulses between them. When they fully combined, she smiled, eyes still closed, hands still hovering over her womb, sitting on their bed. This was what she had to do, she realized, unite both she and Angelus, connect them in her mind as they so often were, and not try to separate them. 

It was really no use anymore they were so fully joined. 

Smaller and smaller, her center became, until she was no longer feeling her, but feeling…it. She was with child. Her child, their child, small, so very tiny, not yet developed enough to even know that Mother was bonding with her already. 

A smiled bloomed across her face as she thought about it, moving her hands protectively over her stomach. A child, a product of she and Angelus’ love, an heir to carry on their kingdom, a miniature version of him. A little boy with dark hair and eyes, marble perfect skin, and Angelus’ little half smile that melted her heart. Or a girl with long dark hair, smiling at her father, her mother’s magicks running through her veins. 

A tendril of love reached out to Buffy, and the mother couldn’t help the tears that pooled in her eyes. 

Already so strong, Buffy had been wrong about that. Their child was already strong, already knew her mother, and already possessed the gifts of sight. 

There were preparations to be made, of course, tutors to find, seers to train the child in the use of the gifts already bestowed upon it – him, her? – family to tell, announcements to be made. But all that could wait. 

She wanted to tell Angelus, wanted, more than anything, to see the look on his face when he realized they created a child between them. Wanted to see and feel his reactions, wanted to know everything as he felt them. For a second, Buffy thought of simply interrupting his meeting, waltzing in, dismissing the locals, and telling him of their child. 

Already she could feel him probing the edges of her mind, wanting to know what had her so incredibly happy. 

Resisting, but only just, Buffy promised to tell him at lunch, that the news was wonderful and that she couldn’t wait to share it with him. He scowled, but reluctantly went back to his meeting. Again carefully closing him off from her news, Buffy looked down at her still flat stomach, a soft smile lighting her face. 

How had she not realized this before? It should have been so obvious, and yet. 

The magicks surrounding Buffy would only get stronger as the pregnancy progressed, protecting her and her child from any harm. In essence, during the latter stages of the pregnancy, she’d be invincible until the birth. Angelus would grow stronger as well, because of their union, his power and strength doubling, more like tripling. 

The year would be long, Buffy knew, her body going through more chances than just the magicks to accommodate her child. She wasn’t entirely sure what those changes entailed; it was a private matter between mother, child, and physician. She only knew of a few couples who bonded in so permanent a way, including her brother. It was never discussed, not the bond, not the pregnancy or the birthing process. 

Everything was kept secret because it wasn’t for others to know. Still, maybe her brother’s wife, Tara, could make the trip from the Elfin Lands here. It’d be nice to have a fellow elf for advice. 

Smiling again, Buffy rose, ringing for her maid and waiting her bath. She was sure that, because the bond she shared with Angelus was so intricate and entwined, that everything she went through, he would.

 

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