Spike was furious. Just for once he had decided to act in a calm, rational manner and look where it got him. Angel had gone with commando-boy and left him holding the bag. He was going to have to rescue the whole soddin' lot of them himself.
He sighed, lit a cigarette and started to pace. *Can't blame Angelus. If anyone'd done that to Dru, I'd been raving right along wi' `im. Soldier boy should've shown a more level head though. Probably just following Angel's orders. Trust the soulful wuss to choose now to grow a pair.*
Spike paced some more, he usually thought better when he was moving and today was no different. He stopped and spoke aloud to the room. "Half a'mo. I got an idea…. Yeah, that'll work. That'll work just grand."
He picked up the cell phone Angel had dropped on the couch earlier that day and dialed a number. Spike raced around the room as he waited for someone to pick up the phone.
"Come on. Come on… Watcher? Listen to me. Get that rag-tag group of yours together and meet me at the mansion in half an hour….. What?… We've got a problem."
Spike waited impatiently as the last of them straggled in. Well, not exactly straggled, the last one was five minutes early. Guess they were just as eager to hear what he had to say as he was to tell them.
Xander, being the last one there, turned to Spike. "Okay, what's the what?"
"Angel and Riley just went charging out like the bleedin' cavalry, that's the what, mate." He leaned against the wall by the fireplace to gauge all their reactions to his bald announcement. He was not disappointed.
"WHAT?" Xander gaped at him, unable to believe what he had just heard. The boy dropped into the couch next to his girlfriend, absent-mindedly putting his arm around her.
"Would you mind explaining exactly what has happened since last night that would make them do such a thing?" Giles rose from his seat on the coffee table to face the blonde vampire, his elegant face composed, his concern over Spike's revelation carefully masked. Spike nodded, moving away from the wall to square off against the Watcher.
The children were not any real concern to him, the dangerous one in the room was the cool collected Englishman standing in front of him. This man had withstood hours on Angelus' most advanced torture techniques and walked away almost unscathed.
Spike needed that strength to pull his plan off, but first it would be a treat to shake his foundations a little….. All in the interest of rescuing their foolish companions, of course… "Yeah, Angelu…..Angel and I were havin' a…..talk and suddenly he started screaming bloody murder and tried to immolate himself. He almost ran out into broad daylight. It took both me and Riley to stop `im."
Giles straightened his glasses and cleared his throat. "Why in the world would he try to do that?
"Coz someone was messin' wi' his mate, Watcher."
His head rose sharply, green eyes boring into Spike's. "Adam has had her for the better part of a week. He probably has devised all sorts of t-tortures for her….." The disturbed Brit moved closer to the vampire, his voice laced with suspicion. "I thought Angel could only feel her if she was close."
"Well, mate, there are some things you can feel no matter how far away they're happenin'." Spike watched Giles' lips tighten. *There, that got you where you live. You might have ice-water for blood, Rupert Giles, but every man should understand this.*
"What do you mean?…..Oh…Oh.." Willow's eye became huge and filled with tears. Tara hugged her tightly.
"Spike, I feel it is best that you be specific on exactly what Angel was feeling and what would cause him to react in such a headstrong and foolish manner." Giles looked at the blond vampire, praying that his fears were unfounded. *No, it couldn't be….. They wouldn't dare……*
"Well, to be specific, Rupert." Spike hooked his thumbs in his waistline and tilted his head toward Giles. His blue eyes narrowed, his voice a sibilant hiss, reminding them all of his vampiric nature. "A whole cadre of vampires were havin' a go at his mate and he could feel every single bit o' it….."
The group drew a collective gasp of shock, Spike raised his scarred eyebrow and smirked. "That specific enough for you now?"
Their reaction was satisfying to the extreme, every one of them paled except the Watcher. The two witches hugged each other tighter. Anya rose to follow Xander as he retched and ran for the bathroom. They got what he was aiming at, their friend, their hero was being killed and there was nothing they could do about it.
Giles bit his lower lip as he tried to control his raging temper. He had to maintain calm, maintain calm. It would not do for him to go rushing into the fray like Angel and Riley. "Were they trying to turn her? Is she still alive?"
Spike snorted in disgust, how like a human to think death was the worst thing that could happen. His reply was harsh. "They weren't feeding' from her, Watcher." The look of relief on the Giles' face was almost enough to make him laugh, he leaned forward to enjoy delivering the rest of it. Time to drop the other shoe.
"They were shaggin' her rotten, mate…….Hard and brutal like……." He relished the look on Giles' face as the Watcher blanched and swallowed the bile rising from his stomach. *Good, glad to see that got through to you, you cold bastard. The thought of your pristine little girl getting royally fucked by a bunch of us a bit too much, eh?*
"Angel could feel every bit o' it and he was bleedin' frantic to get to her….." Spike continued, enjoying the shock on their faces. The chip in his head kept him from hurting humans physically, but emotional pain was fair game and her little gang of do-gooders pissed him off most of the time. The girls were usually a bit of all right, especially the ex-demoness but he couldn't stand the Watcher or the boy.
He stretched, moving away from the stunned man. "After I thought he'd calmed down, I let him up and told him to clean himself up, get a bit of a feed in him. I went to take a shower and when I got back the tosser was gone. And he took soldier boy with him."
"Are you sure they went after Adam?" Sweat and tears were trickling down Giles' face, he wiped at them absently, promising himself a good long howling drunk after all this was over. He sat back down on the coffee table, his legs would no longer hold him as images of Buffy being raped filled his head. *Oh God, how could you have forsaken her….*
"They took enough weapons from Angel's stash back there to take down `er Majesty's entire Horse Guard, includin' the horses. Yeah. I'm sure they went after Adam." Spike lit a cigarette and sucked the nicotine into his lungs. "Now Adam's got your Angel and Riley…..."
"Well, how do you know he's got them? I mean Angel and Riley could have already rescued Buffy and they're on their way here right now." Willow's face was shining with hope but then clouded over. Tears formed again in her expressive green eyes. "Or…or they could have gone and Adam killed them both……"
Spike shot her an irritated glance. "Trust me, I would know if my sire died. He's still alive and since he and soldier boy haven't made it back yet, they must be Adam's prisoners….. just like the Slayer." His blue eyes now encompassed the entire group as he spoke in a conspiratorial tone. "And we've got to get them out."
"Any suggestions on how we might accomplish that? Without Angel and Riley, we are definitely out-numbered." Giles took off his glasses, wiping them carefully, trying to hide his tears from the children as he waited for Spike to answer. Xander came back from the bathroom, his face flushed and wet, Anya trailed behind him. They sat back down on the couch and Anya put her arms around him, comforting him as he shook against her.
"Yeah, I do at that….Red, you know some of Riley's mates, don't you?"
Willow brightened. "Yes. I know Forest and Graham and some of the others. They're pretty nice for a bunch of commandoey types."
"Good. You got to that house of theirs and let them know their mate is in trouble. Get as many of them as you can to meet you at the caves and go in that way. Watcher, you take as many weapons as you can up to those caves. Harris, you and Anya go with him."
"What are you going to do, Spike?" Giles looked up at him wearily, he had aged twenty years during the course of this conversation. He had never felt so old and helpless in his life.
"Well Rupert, I'm going to walk right in the front door." He blew a plume of smoke out, waiting for the reaction.
"May I ask why you think that will work?"
"I'm still a bleedin' vampire, Watcher. I may have a chip in my head but I am still evil. Adam should welcome me with open arms…. Wi' a bit of luck, I can distract him long enough for you to get them out." He walked over to where the older man sat and squatted in front of him. "He's got your girl and that farm boy she's so fond of…..He has my sire and I want him back."
*C'mon Ripper, come out and play….. We'll need your rage now to pull this off. *
"And why, pray tell, should I trust you?" Giles' voice as dry as the Sahara and his green eyes glittered in a very dangerous fashion as he regarded Spike coldly. His alter-ego was now at the fore, the Ripper had replaced the normally cautious ex-librarian. The vampire nodded in satisfaction, this was the person he wanted to lead the band of rescuers while he attended to the matter of saving his sire.
"Because, Watcher, I'm all you've got."
Abandoning Riley's still panting body, Angelus rose from the floor and stood to face Adam. His nudity did nothing to detract from the aura of absolute power surrounding him; he seemed to tower over the much larger creature. Angelus pulled his rage around him as if it were the richest clothing in the world and stared at the monstrous thing. "So, I understand I have you to thank for my freedom."
"Precisely. Master Angelus, I presume?"
Angelus folded his arms and cocked one hip, his vampiric visage still firmly in place. "You presume correctly. And you are…."
"My name is Adam."
"How….original. Care to tell me why you have my mate?" His voice was soft and silky, but full of malice as he regarded his enemy. This was the creature that had almost broken her. She was his possession; her pain, her terror was his providence, he was the only one allowed that exquisite pleasure. Anyone or anything else that tried, he would destroy.
"It seemed to be the best way to get you…. She has been an annoyance to me."
"I understand, she has a tendency to be that way. So why did you want me? From what Spike has told me, you seem to be doing quite well by yourself."
"Spike? Oh yes, William the Bloody, correct…. He's part of the reason I wanted you."
Angelus moved away from him, picking up his clothes casually and pulling them on. "So you wanted me to get to Spike? Why didn't you go to him yourself?"
"I wanted so much more than Spike…..I wanted you. You're the oldest surviving member of the Order of Aurelius and before you had a soul, the favorite of Master Nest."
"Yeah, I used to run with him. Ugly mother, but he did have some of the most beautiful childer." Angelus shrugged his duster into place, smiling at the wealth of aroma coming off the old leather. *She still smells so damn good. I love having her scent spread all over my clothes. The only thing I like better is to smell her on my skin.*
His gaze came to rest on the bowed head of his mate. The tiny Slayer remained on her knees, in the proper position of subservience. *Clever girl.* He walked over to her and placed his hand on her golden head, she trembled but stayed in place. *Really clever girl.* He pulled her tight against his leg and looked casually at Adam.
"So, you capture my mate… You beat her, you have her raped, you inject her with a drug meant to make soul-boy lose it and fuck her senseless at the first opportunity. You do all that to get me. Is that the drill?" Adam nodded. "Looks like it worked…. Now what?"
"Now you and I will discuss plans for our combined future. I have some ideas on how to reshape this planet to meet our needs."
"So you're looking at world domination? I can get into that. What about my toys here?" He stroked Buffy's hair, watching Riley where he remained on his hands and knees, eyes downcast as well. *Clever boy. Just as clever as my girl here.*
"I have uses for them. I'm not quite done studying the Slayer."
"You're done now. She's mine." Angelus snarled at him, drawing himself up to his full height. "You want me as an ally, she's the price. She and that pup of hers belong to me."
"Why do you want Finn? Isn't he a rival for her affections?" Adam watched him curiously.
"That's the point. I want him so I can teach her what will happen if she ever strays again….. I'm going to break that boy." Riley shook and shot him a look of smoldering defiance.
Angelus smiled, walked over to him and grabbed his hair. "I'll break you completely, boy and when I'm done, I'll own your ass. I'll beat you until you can't stand, fuck you until you scream, make you lick me clean and you'll beg me for more. You're mine!"
"Never!" Riley glared at him, searching his face for a sign of Angel and found none. A deep atavistic terror rose within his gorge, had the ensouled vampire underestimated his control of the demon?
"Better rethink that statement, boy. Never is a very very long time and I have nothing but time, remember?" Angelus pulled him to his knees and leaned over him. He licked his lips slowly before taking possession of Riley's mouth.
Riley jerked his head away, raising his fists and was knocked to the ground by a vicious punch. Angelus placed his booted foot on his shoulder, snarling at him. "You'll break, boy. You'll break and you'll love me for it."
He turned his back on the prostrate boy and faced Adam again. "My toys come with me or no deal."
"I like you Angelus. You are vicious, a magnificent animal. I concede, you can have them."
"Good. Have them cleaned up and brought to me. Let's go talk about these plans of yours." He walked past Adam and the guards, then turned back to them and raised an eyebrow.
Adam laughed at his presumption. Oh, he liked this vampire.
Willow was vastly relieved when Forest and Graham listened to her. They'd had their differences with Riley over Buffy but they were happy to help. Especially since they would be rescuing one of their own. They mobilized several squads and met the group at the entrance to the caves. Giles grimly handed out extra weapons, briefing them on the situation.
"Gentlemen, here are the tunnel systems. The entry points are here and here. We have reason to believe they are holding at least three of our friends hostage, perhaps four. Buffy and Riley you know. They also have a vampire named Angel who must be rescued."
"Why should we worry about a vampire? He's just another hostile, isn't he?" Forest looked up from assembling one of the guns.
"Angel isn't a hostile….He's special. He has a soul." Willow was working on a spell with Tara to provide the group with extra protection but she took a moment to defend her friend.
"Vampires don't have souls." Graham eyed her curiously; he liked the little redhead.
"This one does. He was cursed with it by gypsies. He's helped us for years and saved our lives many times. Now we have to save him." The spell was complete and it washed over the people in the caves, filling them with a sense of inner peace and purpose.
"How will we know him?" Forest flicked a switch on the blaster he held and listened to the hum as it warmed up.
"That's easy, look for the tall broody guy falling all over Buffy…. He's in love with her." Xander finished clipping smoke grenades to his belt and slipped a knife in his boot.
"Man, ex-boyfriend, ouch. Wonder how Rye is takin' that?" Graham grinned at Forest, laughing at his friend's expense.
"Probably not real well. Bet they're at each other's throats right about now."
Riley wasn't at the vampire's throat; he was on the floor at his feet.
He and Buffy had been taken to the showers and were scrubbed thoroughly. Once the guards were satisfied as to their cleanliness, they were fed, given fresh clothing, and led to a surprisingly comfortable office. Adam was seated behind several television monitors which he was scanning. One of them showed the maze, Buffy exchanged a quick look with Riley. Angel had been right about that detail.
Angelus was sprawled in a chair across from Adam, dominating the room with his hypnotic presence. It was as if all the light in the room was being sucked into his darkness, being forced to admit he was the true power in that space. Like his two companions, he was freshly showered and dressed in clean clothes, although he still wore the leather duster. The other coat was thrown over the end of a couch in the corner.
Angelus beckoned to them.
They approached him cautiously, he gestured for Riley to take a place at his feet. Riley hesitated for a moment then acquiesced, after all the demon had gotten them this far. Angelus was well pleased with his behavior and rewarded him by idly stroking his hair. He pulled Buffy into his lap, openly admiring the short red dress she wore. "Mmm. Lover, you look good."
He placed his head between her breasts and took a deep breath. "You smell good too. Hey Adam, any chance I can get a supply of that stuff you shot her up with? I like what it does for her."
Adam turned from the monitors to face him. "Easily done. But be careful. It can be habit-forming."
"Hell, she's been a habit I've had for a while. I just like how pliable it makes her……I like her better this way." Buffy snuggled into his arms, wrapping her arms around his neck. During the brief separation she had decided to trust him, it was so difficult to resist the seductive power emanating from him.
It had been her fascination with his power that had stayed her hand from killing him years ago; it had influenced her almost as much as her love for Angel. She licked his jugular vein, making him laugh. "Later, lover. Let the nice monster talk, hmmm?"
"Yes…. Are you sure it's safe to speak in front of them?"
"Don't worry. I'll turn them soon and they won't have any need for humans any more. Go ahead." Angelus buried his face in Buffy's hair and sucked on her earlobe. He wanted her so badly, it was difficult concentrating on what Adam was saying. *Not that it matters. When I'm done with this freak they have to use tweezers to find the biggest parts of him. Hmm, where did I leave that chain saw?*
Buffy giggled in his ear distracting him from his happy thoughts of destruction. Her little hands slid her down his chest, coming to rest in his lap. She traced the outline of his rapidly rising penis with her fingers. *Oh yeah, I really like what this stuff does to her. Sure wish she'd been this way two years ago. Might not have tried so hard to kill her……Truth be told, I'd rather fuck her than kill her any day. Damn Angel, how the hell did you keep our hands off her?*
"I understand the pull of the drug is strong. Are you sure you want to talk about this now? We could talk later." Adam was not uncomfortable with the situation; he had witnessed far worse during the testing of the substance. He just wanted to make sure he had Angelus' attention.
"No, I'm good. Believe me, I can do more than one thing at a time. Get on your knees, lover." Buffy obeyed instantly, sliding down his body to the floor until she was kneeling on the plush carpet. Angelus opened the zipper to his pants, pulled his hard cock out and pushed her head down into his lap.
Buffy took him into her mouth, swirling her head over the tip, trying to relax her jaws as he slid in. *Yeah, lover. I love your little mouth.* He massaged her tight neck and jaw muscles as he continued to talk with Adam. "So you want to start a war between humans and demons."
"Yes. Humans are weak; they're destroying this world. With sufficient leadership, demons will always defeat them. If I wipe them out, then demon kind can take over and repair some of the damage done to this poor planet."
"So you're concerned about the environment?…Oh yeah baby, right like that. Mmm, that's my good girl." Buffy circled the head with her tongue before pushing slowly down on his length, listening very carefully to the discussion going on around her and following Angelus' signals, both verbal and physical. She was getting better at this, she able take him a little deeper with each stroke.
"Not just the environment. Humans have diluted the bloodlines. No offense against vampires."
"None taken." Angelus placed his hand on Buffy's head and took a short, shallow thrust. She opened further and he almost purred at how good it felt. He looked up at Adam expectantly.
"I want to create a new order. Remove humanity from the picture, except perhaps as spare parts or toys."
"They do make good toys. But perhaps you shouldn't wipe them out entirely, some of us need them for food." Angelus moved further back into the chair, unbuttoned his pants and guided her little hand to cup his balls. *Good girl. Keep sucking while I talk to this ugly mother.*
"Can't you drink animal blood?"
"Yeah. Tastes like shit but we can survive on it. Human blood is better, it enhances our strength, helps us heal faster. Plus the hunt keeps us active….Eternity can be a boring. Without the hunt, all that's left is reading, movies and art museums." Angelus took Buffy's hand in his and wet two of her fingers, without taking his eyes off Adam.
She slipped her hand into the opening of his trousers, up underneath his balls and slid them into him. He made no sound, but pushed into her hand, encouraging her to go further. "Let me tell you, I suffered through far too much of that crap when Angel's soul was in residence."
"Well. We could keep some of them for that purpose. Perhaps as breeding stock." Adam was willing to concede his point.
"So where do I fit into all these plans?" Buffy was moving her head quickly in his lap and her fingers were stroking just the right spot. He knew he wouldn't last much longer but he was enjoying the power trip of continuing this inane discussion while being so well pleasured by his mate.
"Like I mentioned, we need leadership... I need you for your contacts, mainly in Europe. I have the United States covered but the European cadres are still very suspicious."
"Why me? I haven't been exactly in the loop for this sort of thing." He laid his hand gently on the back of his mate's head, holding her in place as he thrust forward into her mouth. Her fingers were stroking harder inside him. *Mmmm, just a little more, baby. Yeah, right there....*
"Your vicious reputation precedes you, Master Angelus. Even after a hundred years of dormancy, you are still spoken of with utmost respect. You have the most recognizable name of any vampire on the West Coast. If you spoke on my behalf I know the other masters of Europe would fall in line."
"I imagine that is true." Angelus reached for Riley, lifted his hand and bit his wrist. The blood he received was just enough and Buffy swallowed quickly.
Adam waited politely for them to finish.
Angelus dropped Riley's arm, pushing Buffy away. He tucked himself back in and fastened his clothes. "So when do we start?"
"Tomorrow will suffice…. Master Angelus? Just out of curiosity, why do you take his blood and not hers?"
"I need a clear head for talking with you. Once we retire for the evening, I plan on finding out just how potent this stuff really is..... It's been a long time since I tasted her blood, I'm looking forward to enjoying it in privacy." He shrugged at the blank look on Adam's face. "She's my mate, there are some things that are just too personal to share."
"I see. So are we agreed?"
"Yes, but with one last condition." Angelus stroked Buffy's hair as she laid her head on his leg.
"What might that be?"
"I want the vampires that you used for her rape." Buffy stiffened and Angelus kept his hand in place, soothing her.
His tone was perfectly reasonable and held not a trace of anger as Angelus replied. "To kill them of course."
"I would think you would rather thank them. It was their actions that led your counterpart here and brought about your freedom." Adam was genuinely puzzled by Angelus' simple declaration.
"A master's mate is inviolate. They stepped over a line that must never be crossed and they have to pay the consequences...... If you want to use vampires as allies, you'll need to know where the lines are drawn." Now his voice changed, the tone had become. Angelus would brook no argument on this point.
Adam considered his argument for a moment and agreed. The others were mere fledglings, he could afford to lose them if it meant sealing this Master Vampire to his cause. "I concede. I will bring them to your room personally. Will there be anything else?"
"No. I'm sure I can manage." Buffy and Riley remained kneeling with their heads bowed while Angelus stood. *Oh such clever, clever children. Pity Angel won't let me turn them, they would make wonderful vampires.* He snapped his fingers and both of their heads shot up. "Slave, carry my mate and follow me."
Angelus stepped past them before they rose to their feet. He picked up the spare duster from the chair and slung it over his arm, knowing without looking behind him that Riley had obeyed his order. Angelus smiled, this was going to be so much fun.