His human mask gave way to his true demonic visage as he thought on Buffy being in danger. He had been so preoccupied with the seriousness in Spike hiring the assassins at the skating rink he had not paid attention to anything else. He should have smelled another person on the premises and his carelessness could very well get both he and Buffy killed.
He grabbed hold of the bars and rattled them as a primal roar emitted from his lungs at the thought of his time with her being cut short. He had just started getting the hang of actually dating her. He had never dreamed that the assignment Whistler sent him on would take the path it had. He was no longer hiding in the shadows, frightened of what he might do to anyone who took pity on him or was kind to him.
"Think," he growled aloud as he rattled the cage. The cage was secure, and with the hinges on the opposite side there was little hope of his getting out that way. Still in his game face, he scanned the area around him for anything he might use to aid him in escaping.
He banged his head in frustration against the cage door when it became apparent that there was little there to begin with and nothing to offer him assistance. He was stuck and Buffy probably would not have any idea what happened to him. Would she think that he had abandoned her? That he had left without even so much as telling her good bye? When they had last parted he had been incredibly short with her, but it was out of worry for her safety. She rarely took things seriously and sometimes her callous disregard for things when either he or Giles told her something grated on his every nerve.
The sun was getting close to rising, he could smell it. He was not prepared to die yet, there was so much yet he had to do. He knew there was still much he had to do to help Buffy but there was his penance for past sins. He had not come close to making up for all the wrong he had done, for embracing evil so willingly.
When it got down to it, he had been more willing to accept evil into his life and his heart than he had Buffy. It was not a comparison he should be making he knew, after almost one hundred years it was hard to allow anyone near him.
This was so not the way he should go. Despite all of the things he had done and relished in them while doing them he was not ready to move on to whatever waited for him on the other side once he had met his demise. He was not done yet and he firmly believed that. If nothing else, he at least wanted a chance to say good bye. Was that too much to ask?
As if in answer to his prayer someone came into the little room where he was being held prisoner, sentenced to death by someone he did not even know. Willy was a sight for sore eyes.
"Angel, my buddy ol' pal. Looks like you've got yourself into quite a predicament here."
"Willy," he growled in a low warning tone. He was not at all in the mood to play.
"No problem, Willy's here to help," he said as he reached for the keys that Angel hoped would be his salvation. He would live to see another night, to help Buffy another night.
"Thanks, Willy," Angel said as soon as the cage was opened. And not a moment too soon, five more minutes in that cage and he would have been dust. He almost wished he had been turned to dust when he opened the door leading from the room outside.
"Well, well, lookie what we have here," Spike said. "I believe you're on today's menu."
"What menu's that?"
"The cure for that which ails Drusilla," he replied as Willy came up from behind him and pushed him into the waiting arms of Spike's minions.
"You'll pay for this, Willy," Angel yelled as he struggled to gain his freedom but the minions together were strong enough to prevent him from escaping.
"You bet, Angel," Willy said. Angel would never forget the look in the bar owner's eyes, he felt no remorse for turning him over to Spike. What was worse, Willy believed he would never see Angel again to worry about revenge.
"You're human, Willy, how can you turn me over to Spike?"
"Cash-ola, Angel," he said as he fanned a stack of bills. It was the last thing Angel saw before he was taken underground to the sewers.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com