Part Nine***

Buffy was so focused on staring out at the street below that she almost did not hear the telephone ring. In truth she did not want to answer it anyway, she knew it was her mother calling to say she had arrived in Atlanta safely.

"Hello," she answered distractedly.

"Hi, Buffy. Are you going to be okay, sweetheart?"

"Yeah, Mom, I was just resting."

"Are you're sure."

"I'm sure, you put off going on this trip when I wasn't doing well, but I haven't been sick or anything in over a week. I'm back at school and everything so please don't worry about me." Buffy did not claim she was fine, because it would be a lie and she did not want to risk her mother hearing the lie in her voice and coming home out of pity for Buffy. Buffy had not seen Angelus since the morning they had sex right here in her bedroom. On the very bed she currently sat on, she mused.

"Okay then," she said. "I just wanted you to know I made it here."

"Thanks, Mom. I'm glad you had a safe trip."

"I'll call you in a day or two, if you need anything you have the hotel number."

"And I promise to call Giles if I have any problems, Mom," Buffy said, glancing at her bedside clock. "I'm going to go to bed early anyway," she said hoping to ease her mother's mind. In truth, Buffy was set to go on a hunt. On an Angelus hunt. Buffy could not be sure which hurt worse, the morning after when she had woken up to find Angel gone only to encounter him later that night and have him say the things he said or this time. "So much for caring about your baby," she muttered to herself.

"What was that, Buffy?" she heard her ask.

"Nothing, Mom, sorry," she said softly. "I'll talk to you in a few days. I'm going to go to bed now," she said and hung up the phone.

"So, you think you can just come and go from my life as you wish, huh," she said bitterly. "You should know better." She walked to her closet and picked out what she hoped was an effective outfit. She would not be doing any slaying tonight, so she dressed to look good not for practicality.

She slid into a form fitting black mini-dress with a scoop neck that revealed a good deal of cleavage and left her entire back so bare she had to be careful which panties she wore or they could be seen. She took off the choker chain she had taken to wearing and put the silver chain with the cross on it Angel had given her around her neck.

The past week had been horrible not because Angelus had not visited her, but because whatever connection they shared seemed to have grown stronger since that morning. For a day or two after her friends confronted her about her being pregnant she had felt Angel with her and it had soothed her, calmed her. Angel was gone now all she got when she sought him out was Angelus. While he did not necessarily try and deflect her mental invasions she was not warmly received either when she initiated them.

She sensed it was because Angelus was actually concerned about Buffy and the baby and he wanted her out of his head afraid she would know this. It was sort of too late for that, but Buffy still had a problem differentiating between thoughts that were Angel's and those that were Angelus'. "So you want me out of you mind, Lover?" she said as she worked at styling and teasing her hair before applying her makeup. After that was done she put on her black leather knee-high boots, which served to emphasize just how short her dress was.

Normally, she sort of enjoyed the thoughts and dreams they shared, for brief moments in time she had Angel again and she did not feel so utterly alone. As Willow had pointed out, Angelus obviously thought about Buffy as much as Angel had. Today while at school, though, it was Buffy who had to sever their connection and close her mind to the mental images Angelus was sending her. They were sexual and wicked enough to make Buffy blush. Ordinarily, she might not have minded, but she had been in chemistry class and needed to concentrate. She could still hear his howl of frustration and protest when she began shutting him out.

Her friends in LA would have called her outfit an ‘out to get picked up or laid' outfit. She was not trying to do either, but she did want Angelus to notice she was still the same person that Angel could not keep his hands off of. She walked to her mother's bedroom and looked at herself in the full-length mirror. She looked good, which was the point.

She turned to her side, both hands falling to her abdomen and resting there as she studied her profile. She was about seven weeks along now and she appreciated like never before being able to wear dresses and outfits like this. In a matter of weeks she would not be able to anymore, and while it devastated Buffy she could not help but realize that Angelus could not take this part of Angel away from her. No matter what he said, and despite her realizing that they were the same man just with and without the soul, the baby was Angel's. "Well, baby, let's go make sure Daddy realizes that he can't invade Mommy's thoughts like that while she's at school," she mused to herself and the fetus as she left the house and headed in the direction of The Bronze and Angel's old apartment.

"Well, lookie, who we have here. I guess the rumors that you are dead or took a hike since your boyfriend turned bad weren't true after all."

Buffy turned to face the vampire. "Stupid," she muttered to herself when she realized she had left without a weapon of any kind. She had no intentions of slaying tonight, but obviously her intentions had no bearing on whether or not she would have to slay. "How do you know I'm not dead? Maybe he turned me," she said hoping to either buy some time or confuse the vamp enough to avoid his engaging her in battle. He was newly risen, not fresh from the grave but he had an air about him that Buffy recognized well as someone new to the world of vampirism.

"I would have heard."

"You think? You think Angelus, the Scourge of Europe, would swagger around town bragging about turning me?"

"I think he would, yeah. Who wouldn't want a turned Slayer under their belt?"

"Angelus wouldn't," she said simply, her eyes scanning the alleyway for anything she could use as a weapon or a shield in case he attacked. "To turn me would mean he couldn't live without me."

"From what I've heard that's basically the truth."

She scoffed. "No offense, but I really don't want to stand here and talk about my ex with a blood sucker tonight."

"I heard you like blood suckers, Slayer," he said, his eyes traveling the length of her body. "You certainly do look like you had other things in mind, sweetheart. You know when Angelus is done with you," he said in what Buffy imagined was supposed to be a seductive tone of voice. Buffy was too busy listening to the low but threatening nonetheless growl coming from the other end of the alley to pay the vamp much attention beyond boredom and disdain. She could not see who it was but she did not need to see him to know it was Angelus. "I know a few who would volunteer to give you a go."

Buffy did not see Angelus move until it was too late. He had the much younger vampire by the throat, his back pressed against the building's brick wall and a stake to his heart. His game face was in play and his eyes were more frightening than Buffy had ever seen them before. It was not the deep amber color that scared her, but rather the look of complete fury and rage in them. She had never seen him look so angry, and it made her realize that the anger he had toward her was because he shared Angel's feelings for her. He was angry with her because he could not move on anymore than she could.

"That's my mate you're propositioning, Rudy. What are you even doing talking to her?"

"No one said anything about talking to her being off-limits." Buffy noticed that Angelus did not seem too pleased the vampire had just said that, and she realized why. It sounded as if Angelus had put the word out in Sunnydale that the Slayer was off limits to all vampires. Interesting, she thought and wondered if there was any way she could test her theory out without pissing off the already furious vampire.

"She's mine, that means no one talks to her, no one looks at her, no one walks near her, no one even thinks about her. You see her, you make yourself scarce."

"Angelus," Buffy said softly.

"Stay out of this, Buffy," he said shortly. Buffy noticed he used her true name, not Buff or Lover, but Buffy. He regarded her briefly, glancing at her from his peripheral vision at first and then he turned his full attention to her. Without any apparent thought or remorse, Angelus drove the stake home, right through the younger vampire's heart and they both watched until the dust was gone. "What in the hell are you doing walking around dressed like that," he bellowed. "Are you trying to attract the attention of every male, breathing or otherwise, in town?"

"I dress like this all of the time, Angelus. You never complained before."

"That fool Soul Boy never complained. You're dealing with me now, and I am complaining. You're not a whore, Buff, and no mother of my child is going to dress like a bitch in heat."

"What in the hell are you talking about? You have some nerve thinking you can tell me what I can and cannot wear. There is nothing wrong with my outfit."

"Oh no," he said, grabbing her and pushing her back up against the wall in the same spot the vampire he had just dusted had been.

"No," she said as his hand dropped the stake he had been holding and clutched her lower thigh. Her breath hitched and her eyes fell closed as his hand slid higher along her bare thigh, reaching underneath her skirt. "Oh god, no, no you don't. You haven't been around for a week. You can't just do this to me when you feel like it, Angelus. You proved I still want you, that I still love you, there's nothing left for you to prove to yourself about me or my feelings for you."

"I've been around, Buff, you know I have. How do you think I came to be here tonight?"

"I," she paused and frowned, her eyes flew open. "You were following me?"

"I was watching you."

"You were following me. That still doesn't give you the right."

"You're carrying my child, Buff, that gives me every right," he said using his finger to push the fabric of her panties away from her womanhood. She tried not to move against him, tried not to encourage him to enter her, but when his fingertip pushed against her opening she could not help but thrust against him. "See," he said in a low whisper as he kissed her ear. "Even your body knows I have every right."

"No, not here," she said breathlessly, surprised she was capable of protesting any longer. He was right, she wanted him, recognized him, and she began crying at the realization that he had such complete control over her mind and her body. She shuddered almost violently as the crying increased.

"Buff?" he asked, drawing his hand away from her womanly core. God, she was on fire for him, she knew she was wet without having to touch herself. She watched as his still amber eyes met hers and he licked his finger clean, a pleasurably wicked grin on his lips.

"I hate you. I hate this. I hate that I want you. I hate that I still love you. I hate that I still need you. I hate it. Why can't you just leave me alone?"

"And had I not come along, who would have killed that vamp for you, Lover?"

"I could have handled it."

"With what weapon?" Busted, she realized and she had no reply, she was in no position to do acrobatic Slayer stunts. "I will leave you alone when the babe comes, Lover, not a day sooner. If you continue walking around Sunnydale dressed like a whore I will take matters into my own hands."

"What matters?"

"Proper training in how to respect your mate, of course."

"You don't respect me, so why should I respect you?"

"I respect you enough to try and help you get information. I respect you enough not to kill you and the unborn child we created. I respect you enough to look out for you even though it goes against everything I should be doing."

"What should you be doing?"

"I should be plotting your death, your demise, something to bring you down."

"Instead you're dreaming about me."

He smiled wickedly, a gleam in his eyes as his game face disappeared. "Yes, pleasant dreams wouldn't you say? You tuned me out before I could finish that one, Lover."

"I was in chem. class," she protested.

"So you liked it then? You wouldn't have closed me out if you hadn't been in class?"

"No," she admitted almost involuntarily. Angel had told her that Drusilla had the ability to put people under thrall with her eyes and she wondered sometimes if Angelus had that ability as well. It was the only reason she could explain her need to speak to him so frankly.

"So you're back in school then, Lover?"

"Yeah," she said, missing his body as soon as he pulled away from her and hating herself for missing him.

"Good, that's one thing I don't need to be concerned about then."

"Concerned about?"

"You can't very well raise a child without an education, Buff, surely you know that."

"I'm not going to be able to get much of a job with a high school diploma, either," she replied bitterly. She had thought about this at length. She was due in late September, which would mean that she would be out of school for a little while at least. Hopefully, the school would let Willow tutor her like they did recently so that Buffy could stay current.

"You'll go to college when you're done."

"Oh, right, and who's going to take care of the baby while I'm at class? You? For that matter, you know full well Slayer's don't live past the age of eighteen very often. So, I could very well have this baby and die within a matter of months."

He growled, his eyes flashing yellow though his human disguise stayed intact. "You will not die, do you hear me?"

"You're powerful enough to prevent me from dying?"

"I'm powerful enough, Lover, powerful enough. You will not die, at least if you do it won't have anything to do with your being the Slayer."

"How can you be so sure of that?"

"I grow tired of repeating myself, Buff, I've told you this already. You are mine and I won't let anyone but me kill you."

"How could I forget."

"What are you doing here exactly? And where are your little do gooder friends?" he asked, seeming to realize for the first time that she was alone.

"They're patrolling I imagine, and I was looking for you."

"Miss me, Lover?"

"Hardly, you hadn't been by in a week, I was worried you were dead."

"Right, you know damned well you'd know if I was dead, Lover. Why can't you admit that you still want me?"

"Why can't you?" she spat back.

"I do want you, Lover, but it would never work. Again, I'm repeating myself as I told you this in your room last week. Unless you're up to my turning you there's no point."

"What about this mate thing?"

"It has nothing to do with it."

"What does it mean exactly? I let you feed off of me, I'm not, you didn't?"

"No, Lover, you're educated enough about the ways of my kind to know that I did not come close to draining you and you did not drink from me."

"So what does it mean? Why can I feel you? Why can you communicate with me, plant your thoughts and dreams in my head as if they were my own? Why do I feel Angel?"

"You've described it as best as I can, Buff, I don't know that I can give you an explanation. Perhaps your Watcher could. As far as feeling the pathetic being that inhabited my body for close to a century, I imagine it's his soul you're connected to as you are connected to the rest of me. The soul is gone, but it's still there in the etherworld, and it would still call to you I imagine."

"Oh," she said softly. His soul was still out there? Could it be restored? Oh God, why had she paid so little attention to his story about the curse when he had told it? Of course, his sire and former lover was attacking her moments later, so that could be the reason she had forgotten most of what he had said beyond the girl he had fed off of was a gypsy. A gypsy who was related in some fashion to Jenny Calendar, Buffy knew now.

"What are you thinking, Buff?"

"Nothing," she said softly.

"You're lying."

"I'm not."

"You never answered my question. What are you doing here?"

"I did, I told you I was looking for you."

"Dressed like that?"

"Well, yeah, I wanted to punish you," she said feebly, realizing how lame that sounded now. She was not quite sure how dressing like this was supposed to punish him, but at the time it had seemed like a good idea.

He gleamed wickedly at her once again, and Buffy was reminded of Little Red Riding Hood and what she must have felt like looking into the eyes of the Big Bad Wolf. "Whom are you trying to punish exactly?" he asked, reaching into the scoop top of her dress to cup a bare breast with his hand. He rolled the hardening peak in between his thumb and forefinger and Buffy could not help but whimper at the sensation. She groaned in frustration as her body betrayed her, her nipples grew harder under his touch when they were supposed to not react to him at all. He pressed against her, his body crushing hers into the wall and she felt his hardness at the juncture between his legs and moaned as he lowered his mouth to kiss her. His other hand reached for the hem of her dress while he continued his attention to her breasts with his other hand.

"Someone will see," she mewled in protest against his mouth.

"I'll smell them before they get close enough and if they dare come near us I'll rip their heart out," he growled as he slid his fingertips into the waistband of her panties at her hip. He cupped her behind, palming it with his large hand and drew her against him. "Did it work," he whispered against her ear before seeking the spot on her neck he had bitten a week ago. He laved the mark with his tongue.

"Yes," she cried out as he trailed his elongated fangs lower from her neck and throat to her breast, imbedding his fangs into the swell of her breast. His hand at her backside slid lower along her ass and she whimpered as he entered her once again with the tip of his finger. Had this been what she wanted all along? Not to punish him but to attract him? She had no idea and she felt herself just give into the sensation his feeding off of her created in her.

She was aware distantly of the hand that had been at her breast working the fastenings on his leather pants. "Here?" she cried out knowing he could not answer her unless he stopped feeding. "Don't stop," she groaned, not wanting him to stop. She had her answer soon enough anyway as both hands cupped her behind, his strong arms lifted her up high enough so that he could enter her.

He was violent as he entered her, an uncontrollable animal that impaled her body with his hard length causing her to cry out again from the pain. It hurt, but it was a good kind of hurt, something Buffy did not bother to try and understand. She was growing weak, he was taking too much from her as he pounded into her again and again. She would have bruises on her back from the brick wall behind her and on her thighs and bottom because of the vice-like grip his hands had on her there.

He came inside of her, spilling his seed inside of her with a roar as he retracted his fangs from her breast. His eyes met hers, holding her gaze as he continued to pump into her battered body. The visual of seeing her blood on his fangs and around his mouth should have repulsed her, should have sickened her but it did not. "Should I stop yet?" he bit out apparently sensing she was close to her own release.

"No," she said and he laughed.

He ran his fangs over his wrist, tearing at the flesh to open a wound and offered it to her. "Drink," he said. "Drink of me as I have drunk from you, Buffy," he said uncertainly, the look in his eyes just then raw and vulnerable. She could not grab a hold of his wrist without losing the precious balance she had at the moment, but she nodded her head and he brought his wrist to her mouth which she licked. After a moment she clamped down with her mouth, sucking hard as if trying to give him a hickey for lack of knowing what else to do given she had no fangs. He let out a primal king of the jungle like roar just as her orgasm rocked her to her very core. Her muscles tightened around him, including the one around his now spent length and she whimpered, ashamed at what she had just done. He set her down on the ground, releasing her without bothering to ensure she was okay to stand and began to lap at the puncture wounds on her breast, closing them.

"Taste so good," he murmured, and for a moment she sensed that he was troubled, caught between wanting her and wanting to wreak havoc on the world as revenge on Miss Calendar's clan for forcing him to spend the last century tamed.

"What if I offered myself to you?"

"What?" he asked, glancing up at her sharply.

"I don't want to be turned, but what if we could be together, you could feed off me, so you wouldn't have to feed off anyone else?"

"What makes you think I want to be with you, Buff?"

"What is this then?" she demanded.

"Good sex, Lover, with a warm human who can take me without my killing her." He was lying, she knew he was, she could see it in his eyes. She could see the conflict there, too, he knew what she had just offered him had not been easy for her to offer. A look of knowing passed between the two confused lovers, both knowing what the other was thinking but afraid to confront the other for fear whatever this was they were doing would come to a screeching halt. Buffy had to admit this was better than no Angel in her life. How pathetic is that? she mused to herself.

"That's it?" she asked.

"I hate to disappoint you, Buff, but that's it. No white picket fences for us. I'm through being housebroken," he said stepping away. He adjusted his shirt, tucking it into his leather pants before fastening them. "Straighten up," he said curtly.

"What?" she asked stunned at the change in him.

"No one came by but we don't need to give anyone who might happen by now a peep show."

Tears formed in her eyes again. Why did she let him do this to her? Why did she give into him and allow herself to hope that he wanted her? That his love for her would overcome his love for blood, the hunt and the kill. She adjusted her dress, smoothed it down and fixed the top before running a hand through her hair. His back was to her, his shoulders slumped as he lit a cigarette. The cigarette was a ruse, a distraction, Buffy knew it was. He was thinking about what she had just offered him. He was thinking about the fact that he could not seem to stay away from her anymore than she could stay away from him.

She took a step toward him when a sharp pain ripped through her body. "Angelus," she cried out when she experienced another stabbing pain totally different from the somewhat pleasurable one she had experienced minutes ago. "Angelus," she cried out again, clutching her abdomen before everything around her faded into darkness.

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