***Part Two***

Buffy was on patrol alone tonight. She hated being alone these days because it gave her time to think of all the things she did wrong with Parker. She knew in her heart that he had played her and that she needed to put it behind her. But her head still tried to tell her if she did this or did that he would change his mind.

"College is not at all what I thought it would be," she murmured. She was not making with the friends as easily as she did in high school. And the friends that she did have were coupled off so she was stuck feeling like a third-wheel. There was always Xander or Giles but they were both busy doing their own thing. Away from the library, away from helping Buffy fight vampires and demons.

"Everybody has a life but Buffy." That should not strike her as anything new. The only time Buffy had a life was when Angel was here. He was gone and with him went her social life as she knew it.

She was trying to move on, she was trying to mend her heart but Parker did not help matters any. Her heart was already broken into pieces. She did not need those pieces made into smaller ones. "How could I be so stupid?" she asked.

Being the slayer she had seen things that people believed only existed in fiction novels. It bothered her that she did not know how to spot a user. Willow did not seem to think there was anything wrong with Buffy not knowing, but it was not Willow's heart suffering so it was easy for her to say. Buffy knew her best friend meant well, but she should have known.

"I should have seen it coming. I'm destined to fail at relationships."

She stopped her senses on alert. It had been a slow night. It seemed since she had defeated Sunday vampire activity had dwindled down to a boring pace. Nights like tonight when she was in the mood for a bit of a scuffle there was no vampire in sight. "Until now," she whispered.


Buffy rolled her eyes when she realized it was only Harmony. "Hello, Harmony," Buffy said. She was unable to take Harmony as a serious threat. Giles would lecture her for it later, but it was just impossible to look at her and think the world was in danger. If anything Harmony was more of a danger to herself.

"You go here?"

"Harmony, you knew that already."

"Oh, right, I did."

"Where's Spike?" Buffy asked. The idea of Spike and Harmony together was a little weird but no weirder than Dru was.

"I don't know. He left."

"He what?" Buffy asked, surprised. No way could it have been that easy to get rid of him. "What happened?"

"It was that stupid ring."

"The Gem of Amara?"

"Yeah. He promised to take me to France, but he didn't mean any of that stuff."

"I'm sure he did, Harmony. He just gets focused."

"Oh and you think you know him so well?"

"Well," Buffy said with a shrug. How to explain it? She and Spike were not fast friends or anything, but she gained some understanding of him and the way he worked while he and Dru were in town. "I know him well enough, Harm."

"Yeah, well, I loved him. I would have done anything for him. I didn't really care about that stupid gem."

Was she really having a conversation with Harmony? Buffy was trying to wrap her mind around it when her senses went on alert again. They were not alone. There was another vampire nearby. She looked around the area as familiar sensations that were only brought about by one vampire in particular were running through her. "He's in LA," she whispered.

"What?" Harmony asked. "How did you know he went to LA?"

Buffy realized Harmony thought she had been talking to her. "No one's in LA, sorry."

"Have you seen Spike? Did he tell you he was going to LA?"

"Why on earth would Spike give me his itinerary, Harmony?" Why LA? Had he found out somehow that she had given the ring to Angel? She hoped not. She would have to call him tomorrow to find out.

"I don't know. I just didn't think he'd leave."

"Listen, Harmony, I'd love to stick around and talk about your fleeting love affair with Spike but I really do have things to do." Buffy began to walk away. The last thing she needed was to get in a position where Harmony thought she could cry on Buffy's shoulder. About Spike no less. She was pathetic.

"At least I can keep a man for a little while, Buffy."

Buffy spun around on her heels. "What did you say?"

"Spike told me all about it. Angel and the loser we saw you with at the frat party."

"Well, Harmony, don't be too proud of yourself. Spike stuck with Drusilla for over a century and dumped you after what a year?" The look on Harmony's face was priceless. Buffy's work here was done. That would teach her to try to spar with Buffy about the quality of men in their lives.

Parker was a mistake. A lesson learned. She was not going to stick her neck out or risk her heart again. Ever. She could be all about the slaying, all about the mission and fit in a little fun here and there when Willow had the time. Giles would probably freak out but would eventually love that she was as dedicated as he wanted her to be.

"Good night, Harmony," Buffy said with a light wave as she walked away unable to shake the feeling that she was being watched. He had left her. He was not coming back no matter how much she wanted him to. It was just her wounded pride wishing he had come back for her so she would not have to deal with dating.

"Grow up, Buffy," she said as she walked toward her dorm, pocketing the stake. She smiled and said hi to a couple of people she knew who were headed out. There was always something going on so it was hard to keep track of where people might be going.

She turned to scan the area behind her once more unable to shake the feeling that he was there watching her. She did not see him, though and chalked it up to her imagination running wild. It bothered her that the mere thought of him could affect her this way. It meant she was no where near over him. And she really wanted to be.

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