***Part Eight***

"Where's Wesley? And are you ready, Spike?" Buffy asked.

"As ready as I'm going to be and the rogue Watcher will be down in a minute."

"I really don't like the idea of you and Wesley standing there with crossbows either he stopped last time, but I understand."

"Yeah, only after you were rendered unconscious, Buffy," Cordelia said.

"I wouldn't let him die and he won't let me die."

"That's some relationship the two of you have," Gunn said.

Buffy shrugged, tying her hair back. She would start off with her wrist, letting the blood drip into Angel's mouth to bring him around. Spike had told her it would take longer from her wrist so she would offer her neck once he came to. She was scared as much as she tried to hide it and knew Spike was aware of her fear. That was probably the reason he was refraining from making any biting comments about now. "I don't know what to tell you. I thought that is what love was supposed to be like."

Wesley walked into the room then. "I see we're all gathered and ready."

"Yeah, let's go get this done with," Buffy said, glancing at the clock. "It's time."

Wesley and Spike grabbed crossbows and went about loading them while Buffy went to Angel's room. He had been in the bed for three days now. She had read to him, talked to him, washed him and kissed him during that time. She slept in a chair next to the bed unwilling to sleep with him in the state he was in but not willing to be a room away from him either.

The few hours they had together before Willow and Wesley had been able to get the poison made had been incredible. They had kissed, touched and teased one another to the point of danger, both knew it but neither was able to stop from seeking sanctuary in one another not knowing what was to come. Willow had looked at Buffy with understanding and empathy when they had come to administer the poison. Spike had put the shackles around Angel's wrists because Buffy had been unable to do it. Today she could have done it, but she had not seen it necessary to keep him chained for three days when he was unconscious. Wesley and Willow agreed that it was best to exercise caution throughout the entire process.

She knelt above him on the bed aware of people behind her. They were all there and she did not bother to protest, it was not often they got to witness a human, the Slayer, willingly offering her blood to a vampire. Hopefully, this would be the last time she would have to do it. She glanced at the bedside clock and waited for the last few minutes to pass by. She was taking no chances that even a minute too soon would affect the outcome.

He looked dreadfully pale, Wesley had not warned her about that probably assuming she was aware of the physical repercussions three days of not feeding would have on him. Finally, the clock turned and she took the blade from the bedside table. "Spike," she whispered. "I can't do it, please do it for me."

"What, pet?"

"Cut my wrist," she said. "My hand's shaking too badly I'm afraid I'll do it wrong."

"Oh sure, right," he said and walked toward her after, setting the still loaded crossbow down. "You'll be fine, Slayer," he whispered and kissed the top of her head before taking the blade and drawing it across her flesh.

"Ahh," she cried out as the sting of the silver blade cutting into her seared through her.

"I'm sorry, pet," Spike said. "All done, hurry now," he added before stepping away.

"Thank you," she whispered, tears forming in her eyes as she placed her wrist above Angel's mouth. "Gunn is here, right," she whispered as she turned her wrist around so the blood could drip into Angel's mouth.

"Yes, Slayer, he's here."

"Tell him to man your crossbow I want you by me."

"You heard the lady," Spike said and Buffy knew he would see that it was done. He placed a hand at her shoulder and she jumped slightly at the contact so focused on the droplets of blood making their way to Angel's lips and into his mouth. He had not come to yet, so far the blood was just dripping into his mouth with no reaction from him.

"Good, thanks," she said and gasped slightly when she saw Angel's throat begin to swallow. It was slight, but she felt Spike's hand at her shoulder tense so knew it was not a figment of her imagination. Spike had seen it, too.

"It's working," she heard Spike say.

Suddenly, Angel's hand grabbed her wrist and brought it violently to his mouth. Something akin to a roar was heard as he morphed into game face and clamped down on the wound. "Uhh," she cried out when she felt his fangs cut through her skin, imbedding into her. Her head fell back, stopped from going too far by Spike's chest. "When should I switch," she asked.

"I'll let you know when, pet," Spike whispered.

She closed her eyes and gave into the sensation of Angel feeding off of her. He had aroused the same feelings in her the last time they had done this. Suddenly, she was not so comfortable having an audience. And then he was no longer feeding and she felt the loss of contact immediately. Her wrist was still bleeding, the warm feeling from the blood trickling onto her wrist was nothing compared to the loss she felt from his breaking contact. She opened her eyes not sure what was going on. Why had he stopped? And why was she upset he had?

"Now, Slayer," Buffy heard Spike say distantly even though he was still just behind her. "Now," he repeated, "before he goes back to the wrist."

She drew her wrist away which was answered with another primal roar; the demon was apparently not pleased at the loss of its source of sustenance. "Angel," she whispered and leaned toward her love. She straddled him, it was the only way she could offer him her neck comfortably. And she needed the complete contact with him, body against body. "Drink from me, baby," she practically crooned. She was no longer scared of what he might do to her, she wanted it, needed it and that brought out a new fear in her. She tilted her head and let the side of her neck come into contact with his mouth.

She suspected he was not fully aware, his eyes had yet to open and he had yet to move beyond grabbing her wrist and drawing it to his mouth. And that response was instinctual, he was hungry. She felt him graze her neck with his tongue and then his fangs. She was tempted to ask Spike what he was doing but Angel reaching for her neck with his hand; drawing her to his mouth again and biting down gave her the answer she was looking for. Pain soared through her at first and she cried out, but soon the pain gave way to a perverse feeling of pleasure and her cries took on a different tone.

Distantly, she was aware of her hand being lifted away and someone in the room shouting, "what in the hell are you doing?" And then she felt a tongue graze over the wound at her wrist.

"Stay away from him," she cried out in a voice that sounded foreign even to her. She had no idea what she was saying, why she was saying it or even to whom she just knew she did not want the contact broken. "Just stay away from him."

"I'm not going to hurt her," Spike said. Who was he talking to? Oh yeah, there were people in the room. "I'm just closing the wound, because Peaches won't do it," she heard Spike say and then felt a tongue at her wrist again.

"You're as delicious as I knew you would be, Slayer," Spike whispered intimately causing Buffy to shiver. He said nothing else and released her hand to step away from the bed leaving her with Angel.

Angel's hands were moving along the length of her body. Did he know in his state of mind that she was more than food? Apparently he must because his hands sought out more intimate parts of her, the curve of her breasts, hips, bottom and the juncture between her legs. Buffy was not of the mind to be embarrassed about the show the others were being privy to she was too lost in the sensations. She remembered now that she had climaxed like never before, or since, the last time Angel did this. And she was close to reaching that point again. What did that make her? Was she some sort of freak that she got off on something like this? That was probably a question better left unasked. She realized that Angel and Spike would give her an entirely different answer than Giles, Wesley and Riley would.

She felt herself becoming weaker and he was still feeding aggressively. She heard the growls coming from his chest, felt he was getting as aroused by this as she was, and when a hand slid between their bodies and stroked her through her pants she knew he was aware of her mutual arousal. It also confirmed that he knew she was not just a food source; he was too gentle with her for it to be anything else.

She had no idea what she was saying, was only aware that her mouth was open and sounds were coming out. She would probably be dreadfully embarrassed later, but for now she could not find it in herself to care. Her hand found and held the bed's headboard for dear life. Her hand clenched and unclenched around the piece of mahogany, finally punching her fist through it as her body was rocked by a powerful climax. And then there was nothing but blackness for Buffy.

Buffy woke up in a dark room; all was silent with the exception of a steady beeping coming from behind her. She groaned softly as she struggled to open her eyes. Next to the bed sat Angel, his eyes focused on her. "Where am I?"

"At the hospital."

"The hospital?"

"Yes," he said simply.

"Are you all right?"

"I'm fine, nothing like Slayer blood to make me big and strong," he said with a bit of a grimace.

"How long have I been here?"

"About ninety minutes."

"Get me out of here."

"Let me get the doctor. It took some finagling to persuade them they did not need to admit you."

"Thanks," she said, sitting up on the bed.

Angel returned a few minutes later and Buffy was still sitting, fiddling with the bandage wrapped around her left hand. "The doc will be in shortly. Are you okay, Buffy?"

"I'm fine." She moved her hand to her neck, feeling the bandage there. "They didn't need to shoot you, did they?"

"No, I think they were pretty close to it, but no. For some reason I knew when it was too much for you. I knew the last time, too." He grinned at her then.


"You broke my bed."

"I did what?"

"You punched a hole through my solid wood headboard."

"Oh," she said, vague memories floating around in her mind but she was still too out of it to really focus on them. "Sorry."

"No, it's fine. Spike said it was a good thing you didn't grab onto one of the chains. He thinks you could have managed to break it free at that moment."

"Yeah, it was pretty intense."

"Mrs. O'Bryne," said the doctor as he entered the room.

"Hi," she said, offering what she hoped was a convincing smile.

"I understand you're ready to go home."

"Yes, please, I just want to rest in my own bed."

"Bed rest is definitely in order, and if you say you're feeling well enough I'll go ahead and release you."

"I'll make sure she stays in bed, Doctor," Angel said.

"I'll send her home with a prescription for an antibiotic in case of infection from her wounds."

"Thank you, Doctor," Buffy said, relieved the doctor was letting her go.

"It goes against my better judgment, but I understand you have people to look after you. Seeing how well you seem now, it doesn't make much sense to keep you over night. I will recommend that you see a doctor immediately if you see any signs of infection over the next few days."

"I will."

"Great, a nurse will be right in to remove your IV and your paperwork will be at the cashier. Good luck."

"Thanks," she said. Angel stood once the doctor left and closed the distance between them. Buffy's arms went around his waist, her head resting against his stomach. "I hated seeing you like that."

"I know, I felt the same way sitting here waiting for you to wake up." He stepped away when the nurse came in to remove the IV from Buffy's hand and cut off the wristband identifying her.

"You're all set," said the nurse.

"Thanks," Buffy said and stood from the bed as the nurse left the room.

"I'll be by the cashier."

"Okay, I'll only be a minute, though."

"I know, but I may as well pay while you're getting dressed, get us out of here sooner. I know how much you love hospitals."

"Oh yeah, thanks," she said as he left the room. He had brought fresh clothes for her and she smiled at what he had picked out, her black leather miniskirt and a silver satin halter top. Apparently, she had been dressing too conservatively for his liking. This top left little to the imagination and the slit at the back of the skirt went so high if she was not careful she would expose more of herself than she meant to.

"There you are," he said once she found her way to the cashier.

"Here I am. Thanks for the clothes," she said as he placed an arm around her waist. His thumb stroked her bare back and she shivered.

"Are you cold?"

"No," she said. "Not cold."

"Why don't you wait here and I'll pull the car around?"

"No, I'll walk with you, I'm fine, honestly."

On the drive back to the Hyperion, Angel sensed Buffy's apprehension and paused just across the threshold. "What is it, Buffy?"

"Nothing," she said with faux sincerity.

"Buffy, no secrets."

"I just," she said, glancing into the hotel lobby and then at the stairwell. "I remember what happened."

"Yeah, so?"

"Do you not remember or are you just trying to be difficult?"

"Buffy, there's nothing to be embarrassed about."

"Angel, I, um," she said, blushing deeply which made Angel laugh lightly. That resulted in her scowling at him, so he stifled it, though he was still laughing on the inside. "I'm just embarrassed, okay?"

"Because you got off on it?" he asked.

"Uh, yeah, because of that. And I let Spike taste me I think," she said with a frown. She glanced at her wrist and then shook her head. "I don't remember that too well, but I think he did."

"To close it, yes," Angel said. "That's what he said."

"I just, they were all there, they saw."

"So? You're a passionate person, Buffy, so you got off on something that others might find odd. Some people would look at Fred and Gunn and object to their being together."

"I know, it's just I feel so exposed now."

"If you act like it's a big deal then they'll think it's a big deal, Buffy."

"I know I'll get over it."

"Are you hungry? I can have someone pick up something if you want."

"No, I'm fine for now, really. I feel sort of," she shrugged, "sluggish, I definitely can tell that I just donated some blood."

"More than some, Buffy, so sluggishness is not a bad thing. Let's get you into bed so I can tend to a few things out here and then I'll be in with you for the rest of the night."

"Okay," she said.

"Oh, you're back," Fred said. "I didn't think you'd be back for a while yet."

"Slayer healing," Buffy said.

"Oh right, you're okay then. That's good. Welcome back."

"Hi Buffy," Cordelia said.

"Hey Cordy."

Gunn did not say anything, but Angel could read the concern in the other man's eyes. There was something else there that Angel found a little strange. Angel saw envy in Gunn's eyes, which was kind of cool in a way that Angel could not explain. He had gone so long with nothing in his life that anyone could admire to having Buffy back and she was certainly deserving of admiration.

"I'm going to get her into bed and will be back out. You guys don't need me tonight, right?"

Buffy's head jerked up, her eyes met his and her anger was obvious. "You're not going anywhere, Angel. You can't be strong enough to go out on a job."

"Buffy, apparently you underestimate the power of your blood because I could do anything I set about accomplishing tonight with your blood coursing through my body. I'm fine."

"We don't need you for anything anyway, Angel," Gunn said. "We're fine. Wes, Fred, Spike and I were going to make some rounds at the usual haunts, but nothing we need you along for."

"Fine," Angel said tersely. "Let's get you to bed, Buffy."

Angel walked with Buffy to their rooms, opened the door for her and led her inside. She stopped and glanced at his bed and the chains that were still in place waiting for the next step of their plan. Fred, Cordelia and Gunn did not know what Angel was attempting. It had, therefore, taken some smooth talking on both Angel and Spike's part to gloss over why the chains were being left there. Hopefully, by this time tomorrow they would be gone and Angel would still exist. Spike and Wesley had both been told that he was to be killed if this did not work.

"You did some shopping I see," Angel said as he went to the dresser that contained her clothes.

"Well, Cordelia did it actually. She knows my tastes and I trust her judgment for the most part. I only packed for three days."

"I think she wants me to lose my soul," Angel said as he pulled a white lace teddy from the top drawer he had been searching for something for her to sleep in.


Angel turned around, the teddy held up with his hands and Buffy blushed. "Yeah," Angel said simply. He slid his attention from the lace teddy he held in front of him to Buffy sitting on the bed. Memories of her naked form were unfortunately hazy now, it had been too long and the memories he cherished were not of her body so much as the feelings they both had experienced that day. He certainly had no trouble picturing this bit of clothing on her form, though. "I'm not sure if I should ask her what she was thinking or not."

"Maybe she was just doing it to be a bitch to me," Buffy said. "She probably wasn't counting on you going through my things."

"Probably not," Angel said and with sorrow folded the number up and put it back in its drawer. "This is better for tonight I think," he said, pulling out a pair of shorts and a camisole top.

"Yeah," Buffy said the stain from the blush still on her cheeks. "Thanks," she said once he had carried the items to the bed. "You're coming back, right?"

"In a few minutes, I'm going to make sure that everything's okay before I'm here with you for the night."

"Thanks." She turned her back to him and started to undress, Angel decided it was best he left before she actually got undressed. "Angel," she said, stopping his progress into his room.

"Yeah, Buffy?"

"Is Spike all right?"


"Yeah," she said, lifting her eyes to meet his.

"I think so, I haven't seen him since leaving here to take you to the hospital."

"Okay good, I know this can't be easy for him."

"No, I know it's not, but he's a big boy, Buffy, he'll be fine. Besides, he got to taste you out of the deal; I don't think he's going to complain about that."

"True," she said and blushed again. She opened her mouth to say something and then stopped, shaking her head. "I'll be waiting for you."

"Good, I'll be right back," he said and left the room.

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