Title: HEARTBEAT - Chapter 13
AUTHOR: Mistress Ace
EMAIL: rosewood@inreach.com
FEEDBACK: Need it, keeps me going.......
DISCLAIMER: Don't own the characters at all. They belong to Joss Whedon et al. *Nope, would like to own them…. Would have to get a much bigger house though….* Hey, Amy what about Riley as the pool-boy? Please don't sue… My furry little companions need me right where I am, typing away……
RATING: NC-17 (I am an adult and if you are reading this you should be too.) graphic violence
SPOILERS: The I in Team and Goodbye Iowa
SUMMARY: This story takes place in my universe, not Joss'. What if Adam decided on using Buffy for his little experiments instead of the human/demon population of Sunnydale… (And if you've read this from the beginning, you know the reason why….)
DISTRIBUTION: FINNactics, FINNSmut, Jen, it's yours……anyone else, just ask
EXPLANATION: Anything within ** denotes internal thought
DEDICATION: To Amy……. There is no such thing as black and white, just many shades of grey…..


Forrest cut the throat of the single demon guarding the doorway, easing the suddenly limp body to the ground. His squad coalesced out of the shadows in response to his hand signal, their weapons at the ready. They flowed silently into the complex.


"So you walked right in the front door? Only you would have the audacity to pull such a stunt, Will." Angelus laughed in quiet amusement.

The two vampires were still talking; their tones even more hushed since they no longer had their audible cover.

Buffy and Riley were curled up together asleep, their exhausted bodies sated. Angelus was impressed; the boy managed to ride out three of her orgasms before he finally succumbed. And the noise he made had been more than loud enough to drown out Spike's bark of laughter as he heard about Angel's initial reaction to the drug and the dumb-founded expression on Buffy's face when she came out of her shell-shocked trance to find him spilling inside her as he roared her name.

Spike was still chuckling about it when the two human lovers collapsed beside one another on the bed. He especially liked the part about the Slayer's berating of her two men for the ruination of their fine plan. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall for that particular discussion.

"Yeah, big ugly just let me walk right in. Even brought me to your door himself.... It's unguarded, door's not even locked."

"So do you have any idea how to get us out of here?"

"Figured I'd wait until all hell broke loose and drag you out by your collar if I had to."

"So this was one of your usual well-thought out plans, right?" Angelus rose from the chair, it was time to wake them. If Spike was right on his judging of time, all hell was just about to break loose.

"Hey! It's worked so far."

Riley woke with a start at the feel of Angelus' cool hand on his shoulder. He wasn't even aware he had drifted off to sleep. Angelus spoke in a quiet, urgent whisper. "Time to wake and dress. We have company coming."

Buffy lifted her head from Riley's shoulder, instantly awake. She accepted her dress from Angelus with a timid smile. The effect of the drug was finally wearing off, her head felt much clearer and she was currently promising to have a long talk with herself about her recent appalling behavior. A really long talk, complete with diagrams and pie-charts....

How could she have done those things, any of those things and especially with him? He had always made it so clear how undesirable she was.

Angelus was more than aware of her discomfort; the delicious smell of the drug was rapidly fading from her skin. He caught her embarrassed flush and leaned over to give her a long, luxurious kiss. Not for the first time, he felt bitter remorse for his behavior on that evening so long ago after Angel had taken her virginity.

She had been so deliciously vulnerable and he wanted to hurt her so badly, to destroy her for giving that precious gift to Angel's soul and not to him. It was time to make amends. "Don't, lover..... You've been magnificent. You are the most enticing, beautiful, beguiling creature on this earth. With or without that drug, I crave you more than anything, even blood."

Buffy flushed even more, her eyes downcast.

He released her chin; his chest tightening with regret, he'd lost her to her human conscience and morality. There was no hope for them to remain together, not without force and as he had always told Spike, with this girl force wouldn't get it done.....*Maybe I could just grab her, take her somewhere where they would never find us and keep her on that drug until she lets me turn her…. No, I want her this way, warm, breathing.... defiant.....*

He contemplated the top of her bowed head and sighed in resignation. *She'll never allow me to stay in her life. It's you Angel, it's always been you she wanted....* Angelus turned away from her, his thrice-damned soul had won again.

Her softly spoken words stopped him from leaving. "A-Angelus.... Thank you."

"Thank you? For what?" He turned back, waiting for a further response.

"For being so thoughtful..." Her eyes were filled with unshed tears as she finally looked up at his face. "For being so gentle, so accepting of the one thing you never wanted... me... or my love."

His heart leapt again, had she just admitted what he thought? Even without the drug percolating her hormones? *She loves me? She loves me. She loves me! Not just you Angel, she loves me too.*

Buffy swallowed and dropped her eyes from his, not seeing the joy that suffused his usually sardonic features. Her hands twisted in the bedclothes, her voice a mere breath of sound. "For going against your nature and allowing Riley and I to... to."

He knelt beside Buffy and drew her into his embrace. "My sweet little mate. Haven't you figured it out yet? I..would... do..anything.. anything.... for..you." Each word was punctuated with a fierce kiss before he released her. "Now be a good girl and get dressed." Angelus stood, moving slightly away from the bed so she could stand.

She obeyed swiftly, the dress sliding down over her head with a minimum of effort. In a moment, she was beside Angelus, her little hand half-raised toward him. He took it in his own large one and placed a kiss in her palm, causing her to flush all over again.

Riley dressed much more slowly, his body ached everywhere. The combination of extreme physical exertion, his healing injury, lack of decent sleep and blood loss was impacting his system. He knew once they were out of this place, he would need some serious recuperation time. As he dragged his shirt on over his arms, the material scraped against one of the bites and he hissed in pain.

Angelus moved faster than thought, he was beside Riley instantly assessing his condition. He took the injured arm in his hands and brought the wound to his mouth. Riley tensed, expecting to feel the sting of his fangs and was surprised when his cool tongue swiped over the wound, sealing it. Silently Angelus inspected his bites, making certain to seal each one with the application of his cool mouth. He was amazed just how many times he had bitten the young man, no wonder he was so weak.

Buffy's eyes moistened with tears as she watched Angelus tend to Riley's wounds. He was being tender, so unlike his usual caustic self. Angel had been right, the demon had changed since his release from hell. She made a mental note to talk with him about it once they were free.

After the last bite was licked clean and sealed over, Angelus released Riley. The boy swayed for a moment before regaining his balance and murmured, "Thank you."

The vampire nodded, staying close to watch him finish dressing. With the painful wounds sealed, Riley found it a little easier to move. Angelus nodded again in satisfaction before stepping away from him. It wouldn't do for his obedient slave to pass out in the middle of a rescue attempt. He knew he could easily carry him out but it would be best for all of them if the boy could move under his own power.

Buffy was acutely aware of Spike's silent regard but couldn't bring herself to meet his eyes. Even though Angelus had been so unexpectedly supportive, she knew she would not be able to withstand Spike's cruel comments.

It was disconcerting enough that she had just spent the last several hours being made love to by Angel, by Riley, by Angel and Riley and even by Angelus. Strange enough to have been shared so intimately by the three of them, albeit vicariously where the two halves of Angel were concerned but for Spike to have witnessed any of it, was mortifying.

*I can just hear it now. `Oh hullo, here's Slutty the Vampire Shagger.' * After the events of the last week, her ego was just too fragile to deal with his usual sarcastic sense of humor. Why couldn't the ground just swallow her whole right now?

Spike's mind was racing as he watched her shrink before his very eyes. He was trying to find the right words, ones that wouldn't hurt her. Angelus was watching him with cool detachment but he knew if he caused her one more moment of shame his sire would pull him apart, piece by piece.

But just what could you say to your mortal enemy after you watched her get thoroughly shagged by your sire and then her over-grown Boy Scout? Not to mention the fact that if his sire had been the least bit amenable, he knew he would have been right there between her perfectly shaped thighs himself. Still wanted to be there, desperately.

At least then he wouldn't have to talk to her.

Spike coughed and cleared his throat, catching the highly amused look on his sire's face. Damn bastard is really enjoying this. Forgot how much of a prick he can be when the mood strikes him. *Cor, not matter what I say, one of them is going to flatten me.*

The frozen moment in time was broken when Buffy shivered. Without the benefit of another warm body or the insulating comfort of the bedclothes, the room was icy cold. Angelus caught her movement and felt a pang of concern. It would not do for his beloved little mate to catch a chill.

He wrapped his leather duster tenderly around her body, bringing immediate tears to her luminous hazel eyes. Angel had once done the very same thing with his leather jacket years ago, she still kept it in the back of her closet, curling up with it whenever her loneliness became unbearable. Buffy studied his face looking for Angel but only found Angelus, his eyes glowing with something akin to adoration. She lifted an eyebrow at him, questioning his kindness. He shrugged.

"You are cold. I will not allow you to be uncomfortable unless it is to please me....." Angelus kissed her neck, licking his mark with the tip of his tongue. "Your shivering only pleases me when I'm its cause......." One hand brushed her breasts, trailed down her stomach, finally coming to rest on the covered mound of her sex as he whispered in her ear. "When I'm inside you, making you shake."

She flushed, feeling heat rise through her as she met his blatantly carnal look. Rather than being embarrassed, his obvious desire was feeding her damaged confidence. Buffy could now meet Spike's eyes. Angelus had given her his approval.

Spike almost laughed at her sudden surge of determination but stopped to study her face, realizing she was growing more beautiful and beguiling by the moment. What a surprise, Angelus was just as good for her as Angel. He gave her a tentative smile and spread his arms out to her. Buffy started in shock, was Spike asking her for a hug?

Angelus pushed her toward the blonde vampire and she found herself being hugged tightly against Spike's chest. "Good to see you're still among the breathin', pet. Your mates have been sore worried about you and Angel was drivin' me up a wall. Glad to see you sent soul-boy packin'."

Spike held her tight as she tried to struggle out of his grasp, burning with indignation at his words. He placed his cool mouth against her ear, resisting the desire to suckle on the lobe. "Now, now Slayer, calm down an' listen t' me. I'm just drippin' wi' weapons, pet. Couldn't pass them to me sire while we were talkin' what wi' big ugly watchin' and all. But why don't you take some of `em and hide them in that great big coat o' his, hmmm?"

Buffy stopped fighting him to glare at him suspiciously. He greeted her look with a quick kiss, ignoring Angelus' possessive rumble. Her hands raised to his chest to push him away and she felt a stake taped there under her fingers.

He deepened the kiss to cover her movements while her hands searched his clothing, pulling stakes, knives, throwing stars, all myriad of sharp instruments and transferring them to the internal pockets in Angelus' coat. His sire's rumbling had risen to a snarl, Spike knew he had pushed his luck far enough and he disentangled from her embrace.

Her hair was tousled and her lips a vibrant pink from the force of his kiss. Spike felt an irrational urge to throw caution to the wind and grab her again. But a quick glance at his sire's face convinced him just how suicidal a move that would prove to be. Not only that, but her nancy soldier boy was glowering right beside Angelus, his fists balled up and ready for action.

Spike chose the best way out of the situation; he fell back on vampiric tradition.

Dropping to his knees in front of the Slayer, he took both of her hands in his and kissed them. Spike placed them on his head, then his shoulders and finally his breast as he repeated the ancient words. "My sire's mate. I acknowledge you. I acknowledge your power over me. I pledge you the keenness of my mind, the strength of my body and the constancy of my undead heart...."

Spike turned her hands over and kissed the palms. "I will give my life to defend you, I will kill anyone who touches you. You will be the first to feed from my kills, you will be the first in my thoughts until I am dust." His blue eyes raised to meet hers, she felt a frisson of power flow through her from the intensity of his gaze. "I am yours to command."

Angelus' tightly coiled frame relaxed, he was relieved he wasn't going to have to kill his childe. He placed his hands on Buffy's shoulders, knowing she would not be able to make the proper response to Spike's formal declaration. "We accept your pledge, William the Bloody, Childe of Angelus. We swear to defend you with our lives, we will protect you and yours forever....." He met Spike's serious regard with a somber nod. "Rise William."

Spike rose to his feet to be embraced by both Buffy and Angelus. Forgetting his earlier anger with him, she brought his head down for a quick kiss. Then a big hand gripped the back of his neck, he closed his eyes in supplication as he felt the sureness of his sire's touch.

The larger vampire gave him a mock growl before giving him a punishing open-mouthed kiss. When he was released Spike's heart was singing, his sire and his sire's mate had accepted him.

Riley watched them in silence, wondering if he could be part of that tight group. Angelus caught his look of speculation and beckoned him with a small jerk of his head. Buffy released Spike to open a space for him, which he gratefully accepted.

She kissed him tenderly, then Angelus possessed his mouth with determined force, still exerting his dominance over him. Riley stood there gasping for breath after Angelus released him, he jumped in surprise when a different cool hand touched his chin. He was turned slowly until he met Spike's speculative look and raised eyebrow.

Up until that moment Riley never realized Spike had such deep blue eyes, they were swallowing him whole, he was lost in them. Then cool lips covered his own, teasing him gently, nibbling at him with tender little nips.

Spike's kiss was so different from Angelus'. The older vampire was a raging storm, all passion, anger and death. Spike was full of humor, companionship, drunken abandon and laughter. It was almost like kissing Buffy; he relaxed, opened his mouth and swirled his tongue around the cool one as it slipped through his lips.

He broke the kiss with a start when he felt Spike's hand cup his ass, this was just going a little too far, too fast for him. Having sex with Angel, even with Angelus was one thing, but with Spike? His mind rebelled at the thought and then he realized the hand on his ass was actually slipping a knife into his back pocket.

Riley glanced up at Angelus who watched him in amusement as both Buffy and Spike quickly stowed weapons on the two of them. The older vampire whispered to him. "William is such a resourceful childe, isn't he? No wonder I chose to turn him all those years ago."

Spike snorted at that thought. "Don't lie to the boy. You didn't turn me `coz you liked me for my mind, Angelus. You turned me so you could shag me for an eternity and you know it."

Buffy gave a strangled noise. "Spike, do me a favor?"

"Anything, pet."

"Never mention that again in my presence. And I do mean never." That earlier image of Angelus thrusting up into Spike's willing mouth was with her again. It was much too distracting for her to contemplate in their current situation. Maybe later......

"Why? It's the truth."

"It's too much truth for me right now." She pulled out of their combined embrace, hands planted firmly on her hips as she glared at him.

"Not makin' any promises on that front, pet." He was highly amused by her reaction. Especially since he knew without a doubt Angelus had already shagged Riley long and hard. In fact knowing his taste for dominance games, he probably did it while she watched. But for now, he would indulge her need for a semblance of normalcy. Though how normal could her relationship be with his sire anyway? "Just remember that denial ain't just a river in Egypt."

"Well, right now denial is my friend. We will deal with that whole issue once we're out of this mess." She was pulling on her boots, surreptitiously tucking knives into the top of them. Buffy tucked the long sleeves of the duster up around her elbows. Angelus was so damned big; she was practically swimming in his coat.

"Fair enough." There was a scuffling noise in the hallway. Angelus was instantly at attention, sweeping the other duster up over his shoulders to conceal the weapons he was now carrying. Riley and Buffy took up fighting stances behind him. The door opened to reveal some of Adam's guards, one of them Spike's minion.

"Master Spike, Master Angelus.... We are under attack."

"We're ready. Lead us there."

"But Master Angelus, the Slayer......" His eyes were watching Buffy with obvious fear. She flashed him a deadly smile then turned her head to give Angelus a blatantly adoring look. He felt his admiration for the girl grow even more. So damned clever!

"No longer the Slayer.... She is my mate, she fights with me. My toy as well." Riley nodded, remembering Spike's earlier behavior. He fell to his knees and kissed Angelus' outstretched hand. Angelus accepted his homage without looking away from the guards. "Come, we are wasting time."

The vampire shot a glance at Spike who ignored him. It hurt to betray one of his own making but he was just a minion, not a childe. Spike was intent on his sire, reminding himself of his oath to Angelus and his mate. Nothing else mattered but their safety. The other vampire nodded and silently led them away.


The maze was full of struggling bodies, the commandos were fighting with precision, taking demons out right and left. Angelus and Spike took a quick assessment of the room; their rescuers were doing quite well but could always use some help. They skirted the edges of the battle, regretting their enforced inaction but they had to get close to Adam to take him out. Buffy and Riley fell in step behind them, dodging bodies as they flew past in the dim light.

Adam was up against one of the maze walls directing his troops from a safe vantage point, the two vampires reached him with a minimum of effort. Angelus controlled his mate and her lover with a surreptitious movement of his left hand, motioning them to keep a safe distance.

They obeyed, crouching low so as not to be seen. Buffy slid a knife out of her boot and slit the throat of a fallen demon next to her who was struggling to rise. Riley covered her action from sight with the intervention of his body.

Adam turned to his new generals with a look of relief; here were the reinforcements he needed. "Good. Seems we have a bit of a problem."

"Ah yes, my mate's friends came for her.... You should have anticipated that possibility." Angelus replied, his cold eyes assessing the demon's defenses. He and Spike had him flanked, they were edging ever closer, keeping Adam's focus away from their companions.

Riley recognized their slow, deliberate movements from the first evening in Giles' apartment. The master vampires were hunting, engaged in their centuries old dance of stalking an unsuspecting victim. A grim smile crept across his face, Adam would never know what hit him.

Another demon fell with an arrow in its chest next to them and Buffy quietly dispatched it. She and Riley waited for an outcry but none came. The battle was too pitched for their actions to be noticed.

Willow stood in the back of the room, her red hair haloing her face as she chanted. Green fire shot from her fingertips and a fyrahl demon burst into flames. It careened around the room catching others on fire as it tried to escape its own inferno. Giles was steadily firing his crossbow, carefully avoiding the two vampires flanking Adam. He couldn't see Buffy or Riley and prayed they were safe.

Angelus shifted closer to Adam, his handsome human mask lit with his usual sardonic smile. There was an axe at on the ground in front of him, definitely a suitable weapon to meet his needs.

He slid one foot under it to flip it up into the air and it landed easily in his hands. Angelus held the heavy instrument negligently as he waited for an opening. Adam looked away for a moment and screamed when a blade bit into his shoulder, numbing his arm. He gazed in amazement at the vampire, who was casually spinning the axe while watching his victim with a charming smile.

The next blow came from Spike; he drove a large dagger in the demon's side, sinking it in past ribs and into one of his power centers. Sparks flew and Spike spun away from him, out of their path. The skewer in Adam's arm descended and he swung it at Angelus. The older vampire spun on his heel, the axe flashing as it cut through the weapon and it skittered away, coming to rest at Riley's feet.

Riley picked it up, this was the damned thing that had been used to kill Maggie Walsh, not to mention putting a painful hole in his own side two weeks earlier. He rose to his feet with a snarl and charged the monster. Angelus stepped out of his path, understanding intimately the reason behind the boy's fury. The skewer made a rather impressive wound in the injured monster.

Adam's followers finally realized the two Master vampires were not on their side and turned on them. As a myriad of weapons suddenly appeared from the concealment of their clothing, Angelus and Spike met them with fierce determination. Vampires fell to dust, demons careened away from them missing limbs, clutching gaping wounds.

Buffy was a whirling blonde dervish, dealing death with every graceful movement of her tiny body. She was clearing a path for the members of the rescue team to reach them. Riley found a sword and laid waste around him until he noticed a member of his own Initiative team aiming a crossbow directly at Angelus' unprotected back.

"Angelus!" Riley screamed his name and threw himself into the way of the shot. It struck him high in the chest, embedding deeply in muscle and bone. He fell to the ground clutching the wound. Buffy immediately took up a position straddling his fallen body, guarding him from the onslaught of Adam's followers.

Angelus was stunned, the boy had taken a wooden bolt meant for him, had placed his mortal body in the way of certain pain and possible death to protect him. Riley's instinctive action defied all reason, he had beaten the young man, had brutally torn away the last of his virginity in this very maze, had bent him to his will and the boy reacted to his master's endangerment like a true vampiric childe.

He had put his own body in harm's way to protect his sire. At that very moment it mattered not to Angelus that the young man was still human, Riley was now his childe and entitled to his protection and regard.

Using the distraction provided by Riley's injury, Adam staggered to his feet, moving away from the battle. Spike glanced over his shoulder as the Initiative teams started to close in on them. He grabbed Angelus' shoulder to get his attention. "Angelus, Angelus, time to go, sire. Big ugly is getting away and Riley's mates are almost on us. Trust me, you really don't want to share their hospitality."

Angelus caught Buffy's eyes and she nodded grimly. Her stance hardened, Riley's sword now tightly clenched in her hands as she turned away from him. The voice that issued from her was full of command. "Go... Go now. I'll take care of this."

Spike dragged Angelus away and they raced through the maze, tracking Adam by the blood he left on the walls. They followed him through the twists and turns and finally out into the tunnels, stopping to taste the air, to catch his scent. The hunt was on in earnest, all was forgotten in the necessity of finding their prey and taking it down. It was time Adam paid for his insult to Angelus and his mate.

They found him near the entrance, using the wall to hold himself upright and armed with a blaster. Adam was weakened, badly injured but still willing to put up a fight. The vampires watched him warily, fanning out into their standard pattern. Angelus to the right, Spike to the left. Adam's eyes tried to track both of them as they slowly advanced.

Spike made a hard feint and Adam aimed the blaster at his chest, leaving the opportunity Angelus had anticipated. He threw the heavy axe; it spun lazily through the air before catching the creature full in the chest and pinning him to the wall. His knees buckled, a trickle of blood leaked from the edge of his mouth and the gun fell from his nerveless fingers to the ground. The vampires approached cautiously, Spike drew a knife from behind his back as the two studied the creature pinned to the wall.

Although the pain radiating from his chest was excruciating, Adam felt quite detached from the sensation. He was astonished by the unexpected turn of events, he could not believe how badly his plan had backfired. This was not how it was supposed to happen.

His keen mind spun with a barrage of questions. Why had Angelus turned on him? Had he not freed him from his prison? Did he not gift the vampire with his mate's rapists when he asked, allowing the five members of his army to be sacrificed to Angelus' ego? Where had he gone wrong?

Adam could not die without knowing the answers, so he spoke to his grim executioners. "Why?... I freed you, why?"

"I told you earlier. No one touches my mate...... No one fucks my mate but me... Your boys learned that lesson earlier tonight. " Angelus pulled the axe out of the wall, careless of the flesh rent asunder by his action. His voice was a sibilant hiss as he watched Adam stagger and fall to his knees. "Now it's your turn.... You were responsible for her violation. Time to pay the price of admission."

Adam's eyes locked with the saffron gaze of the dark-haired vampire. He knew his death was imminent but his insatiable curiosity drove him onwards. He needed to understand. "Why should that be so important? She has had sexual congress with others, why have you not killed them as well?" Adam panted, trying to rise to his feet and failing miserably.

"Believe me, both of her lovers have been punished for their trespass....... I beat one of them into unconsciousness and I fucked the other. It's not likely either of them will forget my lessons anytime soon." Angelus smiled, baring his fangs at the slowly dying creature kneeling before him.

The sounds of the battle were still far behind, he had time to enjoy this kill. "I will deal with her later regarding those infidelities. But unlike the treatment she received at your hands, with them she was not forced, she did it of her own free will..... You forced her."

He hefted the axe, considering which edge to use first. Would it be the sharply honed blade on the left, the serrated edge of the right, or the long pike at the top? Decisions, decisions......

Spike leant over Adam, his serious tone belied by a broad grin as he casually sliced a piece of flesh from the meat of the monster's right shoulder. He intended on peeling him like a grape if his sire would allow. "Here's the problem where you're concerned, Mister Bits. The Slayer's an independent little thing, she won't brook bein' owned, not even by Angelus. Little Miss Tiny'll do as she pleases." He took off another slice, this time from the right arm. "But you took away her choice....."

"Actually, you took away the illusion of choice...." Angelus chose the pike and sank it into Adam's thigh, thrusting it into the muscle, the action an echo of the violation he had shared with his mate through their bond. He slowly withdrew the weapon, twisting it as it slid from the bleeding wound. Adam was not screaming, his eyes were still avidly fixed on Angelus.

"She's mine, no matter what she says, she's mine. Her body is mine to command, her life is mine to take, her spirit is mine to break.... You violated my prerogative..... You took her fear, you gave what belonged to me and me alone to the slobbering fools." Angelus chose a spot in the lower abdomen and thrust again, drawing a hiss of pain from his victim. "You fed them the most exquisite combination of my mate's hot, tight sex and the power of her terror..... That mixture belongs only to me!"

Spike nodded in agreement with his sire's statement. He knew he himself had frightened Buffy when they first faced each other but she had never shown him the depth of emotion Angelus inspired. That part of the Slayer did belong to his sire and his sire alone.

His knife peeled off another layer of flesh, the blood flowed down Adam's chest, forming pretty patterns as it painted his skin red. Adam moaned, gritting his teeth against the pain, this was not the time to succumb to his mounting injuries. He had to know.

"You insist that you own her yet you abandoned her......" The sharp pike pierced his arm, shredding flesh and exposing bone. "You left her."

"Wrong, Angel left her.... I never would have. " Angelus chose another spot and thrust the weapon forward, impaling Adam's other thigh and severing an artery. "My soul couldn't live near her for fear of surrendering to his own desires and releasing me into the world. Angel was afraid I would hurt her again..."

"Why didn't you..... hurt her now?"

"I know you were watching us, weren't you paying attention?.... I did hurt her, I shattered her little world. She no longer hates me..... She loves me and in doing so has betrayed her own calling....." Angelus spun the axe, watching as Spike carved a large portion of muscle from Adam's side and rumbled his approval.

His childe gave him a beatific smile, Angelus returned that smile before continuing. "The Slayer has accepted me as her mate. She has chosen what that pathetic excuse for an organization known as the Watcher's Council considers to be the very worst of my race as her lover.... She is a traitor to their cause." His voice dropped to a silken purr as he considered the truth of his statements.

The Watcher's Council had abandoned her when she needed their help to cure Angel from Faith's poison, it was not in their precious plan to help a vampire. Once the Slayer formally accepted him as her mate, he fully intended on rubbing their snooty English noises in that fact. He knew Angel would be happy to help, especially after they had run her through that barbaric test on her 18th birthday and almost killed her. Buffy had to physically restrain him from doing harm to the Council representatives when he discovered that fact.

His victim stared up at him, eyes glazed with pain, he moved closer to lay his hand on one of Spike's cuts. His fingernails tore through the ragged skin and Adam gave a guttural cry. Angelus smiled, his tone still that silken purr. "You have no idea how delicious her love is to me. How a great a triumph it is to own her heart." He stopped for a moment to savor the open acknowledgment of her love.

Adam stared at Angelus in amazement, he had glimpsed the true emotion lurking behind the vampire's golden eyes. It was something he never suspected, he knew Angelus had marked her as his mate but his sources insisted only the ensouled part of him loved the Slayer. It was common knowledge in demonic circles that Angelus despised the girl. Unfortunately his sources had been wrong.

While it was true the soul obviously loved the Slayer, the demon loved her as well. Herein lay the ultimate downfall of his plan. "You love her...."

"With every fiber of my being." The pike pierced his pectoral muscle, dangerously close to another internal power source. Adam felt his energy failing.

"She's your weakness, Angelus..... She..will...always make... you... weak." Adam struggled to keep his eyes open as Spike's knife slid through the tattered cloth covering his right leg. The blade tore the material open and he finally screamed in agony when the blonde vampire silently sliced his leg from knee to inner thigh. His voice was thready, barely above a whisper. "Someone.... else will.... find her.... and use her against.... you."

The battle sounds had faded and the two vampires became aware of the tramp of booted feet behind them. It was time to finish the game..... Angelus raised the axe above his head. "Guess that just means I'll have to stay with her forever..... Not a such bad prospect, all things considered."

He brought the axe down, slicing through muscle and bone and spraying the wall with blood. Adam's body twitched and lay still, his severed head coming to rest a few feet away.

Still not satisfied, Angelus knelt beside the slumped body and punched through its chest. He was seeking the creature's heart, the ultimate prize of victory for a vampire. Instead his hand encountered a metal object which he tore loose with a grunt. He pulled it out of the ragged hole, this had to be the main power source Riley had told him about. Angelus crushed it with his bare hands and nodded in silent satisfaction, his mate had been avenged.

"Angelus, soldier boys are comin'. Let's go." The sounds were getting closer, Spike was frantic to get them out of harm's way. But Angelus was not willing to leave without knowing how his mate fared.

"Not until I know she's safe."

"Who the hell do you think is leadin' them? Now come on." His childe was right, a familiar blond head emerged from a tunnel on the left. Buffy slowed her progress, signaling for them to leave as quickly as possible. There were soldiers behind her, moving toward them at a good clip. It was time to go.

Spike dragged Angelus through the tunnels, passing fallen bodies as they ran. Fear and thirst drove him onward into the night. There was so much blood, all colors of blood. He was being driven crazy by the smell. It was time to feed and there was some really good stuff waiting for him at mansion. Spike gripped his sire's arm tighter as they ran through the dark.


Buffy slowed her headlong rush through the tunnels when she spotted the two vampires hovering over Adam's body. They were safe, the enemy was dead and they were safe.

Spike's head shot up and he grabbed Angelus, urging him to leave. Thank God he was being levelheaded, it was too dangerous for them to stay. Buffy wasn't sure she could control the commandos pounding down the hall behind her. The testosterone pouring out of them was over-powering. They had already proved the shoot first, ask questions later mentality.

They were safe and now they were gone. Time to focus on clean-up.