***Part Fourteen***

Mid-June 1998

Angelus had waited for what seemed like an eternity for the day his mate finished school for the year so he could take her away until after the babe was born. Joyce had been easy enough to lead into staying late at the gallery tonight, one phone call from a potential big spending buyer was all it had taken. Angelus had been in his mate's mind when she talked to Willow about looking forward to having the house to herself, so he knew tonight was it. Perhaps she had expected him to visit, but he knew she had no idea what he had in mind. He had been very careful about not revealing anything to her.

He and his mate had grown quite proficient at their mind communication by now and Angelus found it somewhat reassuring at times when he was cooped up indoors waiting for the sun to go down. They still entered one another's thoughts at inopportune times occasionally, but overall both seemed to recognize when they encountered a barrier that they were meant to be kept out.

Usually it was Angelus who needed to keep his mate out. He had managed over the past few months to convince Spike and Dru that he was merely biding time until his mate believed she was safe and then he would strike. Angelus had never been into team playing anyway, so it was not too farfetched. Of course he was not the pussy whipped Soul Boy. If his mate was not pregnant with his child things would have taken a different turn. How Buff's condition had escaped Drusilla's visions was beyond Angelus, but he was not about to tempt fate any more than he had to.

Angelus had learned after a good deal of pain and suffering on Doctor Gagne's part that he had informed Buffy's Watcher's Council of her condition. Why the doctor had done that, Angelus could not fathom. A doctor being involved in the prenatal care and delivery of a baby between vampire and Slayer had to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Angelus had allowed Doctor Gagne to live, but only after the Watcher's Council had been contacted and told Buffy Summers had decided not to have the baby and her medical records were marked accordingly.

It had been a fluke, Angelus going to LA to visit Doctor Gagne about his mate. He had been curious to know how Buff was doing now that she was into her second trimester, and in his attempt to avoid direct contact with her he had sought out the one person who could answer his questions. That had been last night, and Angelus was not sure he would have waited until school had let out for the summer once he knew her Council knew.

He entered her house through the back door where she stood in the kitchen, apparently waiting for him. Would she argue with him? He was not sure, but believed her Council of Watchers knowing might be incentive to get her to leave with him.

"Well, look what the cat dragged in," she said sarcastically, her arms crossed over her chest.

"It's not like I disappeared on you, Lover."

"No, but I can't exactly seek you out if I need to."

"Do you ever stop bitching? You can seek me out whenever you want to, all the damned time, and you complain because I haven't seen you in a while."


"I didn't know you were keeping track."

"Well, I have been."

"You left me last, remember? You were the one to walk out the door after we had watched the sunset together, so don't blame it on me."

"And had I stayed, then what? I was feeling better, Mom was coming home from her trip and there was no reason for you to stay with me anymore. I left before you could send me away. You've made it clear you're leaving once this is done."

"Well, I'm here to take you away again."

"What? I can't go with you."

"Yes, you can, and you will. If I have to tie you up, gag you and drag you by your hair, you're coming with me."

"Why all cavemanish on me all of the sudden? The baby is fine, the doctor said I'm fine."

"Your doctor told the Council."

"He did what?" Buffy asked wide-eyed.

He let her digest that for a bit, he could see the realization of just what that might mean when she got to that point. "Yes, I paid him a visit yesterday and discovered that piece of information. I want to get you out of here before they come for you."

"I have to tell Mom. I should call Giles and let him know, so he expects them if they come."

"I'll call Giles, you go pack some things. Only the essentials, I'll buy you whatever you need when we get where we're going."

"You're going to call Giles? That will go over real well."

He glanced at his mate's growing abdominal area and smirked. "And I have no idea what fits you anymore, so if you want clothes that fit you need to get them yourself while I call your Watcher, Lover."

"Where are we going?"

"I don't know."

"The mansion you brought me to before?"

"Did you tell anyone about it?"

"No," she admitted and seemed almost shy about it. "I couldn't. It was the nicest you'd been to me since Angel left; I didn't want to tell anyone about that place."

He grimaced. "I'm not nice, Lover. Now, go get your things and we can go there at least for a night or two, if you're sure no one knows. Not even Willow or Xander?"

"No, Angelus, I swear I didn't."

"Go. Pack. Get ready and be back down here as quick as you can."

"You are not giving me orders, Angelus."

"Don't argue with me on this one, Buff. Go. Now," he growled his demon close to the surface. He was not used to insubordination by those he told what to do.

She opened her mouth to argue again but all that came out was, "rude much," before she went upstairs.

Angelus had no intentions on calling her Watcher, he would allow her to write a note to her mother but that was as much as he was going to allow. The less Giles knew the better as far as Angelus was concerned.

"All set," she said about twenty minutes later. "We're going to look rather obvious walking around carrying bags."

"That's why I brought a car, Buff."

"You drive?"

"Yes, I drive. Soul Boy did not completely live under a rock for all of those years before you."

"I didn't think he did," his mate replied defensively.

"I'll get the bags, write your mother a note, just tell her you went somewhere safe. Don't mention the mansion or me. I'm not sure she'd think you were safe with me."

"She doesn't know what you are, Angelus."

"Right, I forget sometimes that she doesn't know you're the Slayer. Hurry it up. I tried to buy us some time, had the doctor call whoever he had contacted about you and tell them you had decided to have an abortion."

"You did what?"

"Buff, I had to do something. They may not buy it, and the doctor may have gotten back on the telephone as soon as I left and called them back to tell them he lied. Even if they do believe you had an abortion, they may come here to find out for themselves."

"Shit," she muttered under her breath as she began writing a note to her mother.

"Exactly," Angelus said as he grabbed the two bags she had packed. "Is this all you are bringing?"

"You said to pack lightly. I don't have a huge selection of maternity clothes anyway, a few outfits that I just keep washing. Mom didn't want to spend too much money on clothes I'll only be wearing for a couple of months."

"Right," Angelus said. He guessed it made sense. "I'll be out in the car." He paused at the back door and turned to look at her. "You are coming, right? You're not going to run off on your own."

"As much as I'd love to do just that just to get back at you for everything you've done and said the past few months, I'm in no position to defend myself. Giles can't do it, Willow and Xander can't do it either. Once again, I have to trust you to keep me safe."

"I'm glad you see things my way."

"You aren't keeping me, are you? I mean, once the baby is born, you are going to bring me back here, right?"

"Yes, Lover, believe me I'll be glad to be rid of this whole ordeal. I can't tell you how depressing and upsetting it is to actually feel the need to protect you, the Slayer."


"He's right. You'd better go out to the car before you insult me enough that I do leave on my own." She turned her back to him, to finish writing the note he assumed.

Angelus paused briefly at the threshold. He had seen unshed tears in her eyes. What in god's name was she crying about now, he mused to himself as he left. He chalked it up to pregnancy and hormones.

{She knows that with the baby comes your leaving.}

"Damn right I'm getting the fuck out of here as soon as the child is born. This town is not big enough for the both of us, and you know it, Soul Boy, so get used to it."

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