“Don’t! It’s fine, leave it!”
“See? This is what I’m talking about. Let me
see!” I reached for his side.
“No!” he stumbled down the stairs to escape me.
“I bloody told you it’s fine! Now, sod off!”
I chuckled. “You always get all English when
“Not mad,” he turned around. “Just don’t need
you being all touchy.”
I followed him to the floor. He crossed to the
“I can help.” I told him as he began to lift his
“Don’t want…” he froze halfway up, obviously
I stepped closer, and he yanked the shirt off.
I couldn’t see his face, but I knew it had hurt. He threw the shirt and
clenched his hands hard to the sink, mumbling nonsense I couldn’t hear. I
stepped behind him.
“Slipping…” he muttered. “Can’t keep up. Drag
you down. Make you weak.”
“You don’t, Spike…turn around.”
He shook his head. “Stake me.”
God, I am getting sick of this. “Spike, you
need to listen to me. Now turn around and face me.”
“Now, if I stake you, you think
it’s gonna make things better? With you, or me? Or between us?” Oh God, I
hope that came out right.
He didn’t answer, just stared back at me.
“I was gone, Spike. I was gone, for
months—dead, for months. Did that help you?” I watched him open his mouth to
speak, but he held back as I continued. “It didn’t help, Spike. Every night
you saved me, remember?”
His eyes fell. “That is different.”
“How? Tell me how—”
“Because I love you.”
He said it again. How many times would I have
to hear him say that before I die…again? I couldn’t say anything back—my mouth
clamped shut. Nothing short of those three words said right back at him would
work, and I was not going to say them. Over my dead body…the final dead body.
Any man—or vamp—I said those words to was gone. And I don’t want Spike to go.
I need his help. Besides, I don’t love him…so I shouldn’t say it…right?
He was looking into my eyes now as he spoke. “It’s not the
same…not like it was with him.”
I realized who he was talking about and sighed.
“Spike, please don’t bring him into this.”
“He’s always bloody in it, Slayer!” his eyes
closed and he stepped past me, holding his side. “Always! Just then, I could
see him in your eyes. You never let him out…and you never will…”
I started past him. No way I was sticking
around to hear him tell me what I think and feel. But he grabbed my arm, his
cold fingers digging into me.
“He’s the one who makes you walk away now.”
I wrestled for my arm, but he held strong. “Let
His eyes met mine. “Why don’t you see?”
I felt my heart burn. Why does he have to look
like that? Doesn’t he know how hard this is? “Let go!” I slammed my fist
into his side, and he cried out, crumbling to the floor.
Guilt singed my eyes as I watched him fall. Why
did I do that? He balled up at my feet, coughing. What now? God, just get
out of here. He was struggling to his feet as I struggled up the stairs.
“Sweet dreams, Slayer.”
I slammed the door shut.
“At least you’re sleeping more these days.”
It was her. I opened my eyes, and her gentle
eyes stared back at me. Her warm smile, and a flowing white gown. She looked
“What’s going on?”
“You’re having a well-deserved rest.” She
smoothed my hair. She felt like warm air—smelled sweet. It was her.
“Mom?” I tried to touch her hand, but passed
through it. “I know I’m being all nosey and big-sistery, but…what did you tell
Her eyes saddened. “The truth.”
“Okay, but…could I get the actual words?”
She leaned forward and whispered, “You're weak.
I gasped, her words all too
familiar. I tried to place them as she continued.
“Maybe this evil power did bring
you back, but if it did it's because it needs you. And that means you can hurt
It hit me then. Those were my words…to… “Angel?”
And Mom stood, smiling.
I sat up to my empty room.
“C’mon Buff, or you school-girls are gonna be
late.” Xander warned.
“Just a second…” I stepped down into the basement.
Spike was stretched across the top of the
blanket. His side was wrapped. Poorly. Stubborn…should’ve let me help him.
He kept his eyes closed until I was next to him.
“Don’t talk. Just listen.”
He squinted up at me, stretching his arms over
his head. He winced, bringing them back down again quickly.
I took a deep breath. “Last night...can’t
happen again. Do you understand me? We can’t talk like that anymore.…”
He was going to say something, but probably
remembered my warning him not to talk. He nodded, urging me to keep going.
“It makes us weak, Spike…Takes away our
strength.” I looked at his bandages. “When we…talk…like that, we don’t pay
attention to what’s going on around us, and…”
A slight smile crossed his face, and quickly disappeared.
“And we lose control of the power.” I finished.
He sat up slowly, biting his lip as he bent his
middle. It was quiet for a few minutes before he spoke, “Can I say something
“You sure? Not gonna punch me in the gut now,
“Okay…” he sighed, “So, here goes…” he placed
his feet at mine and stood, moving his body close—too close.
I stopped breathing. God, what is he doing? I
closed my eyes.
He tipped his head towards my ear, cold air
brushing as his words came out, “You prefer the fighter to the lover, then?”
Something inside of me shivered, and I gave him
a slight nod.
His quiet eyes watched me, pulling himself
away. He stared in silence for a moment, biting his lip, before he seemed to
find his words. “Right then. There’s something I need you to do…”
I stumbled down the stairs. Dust pillowed up
around my head, choking in my throat. I glanced around when I reached the
dirt-floor. Something is seriously wrong with this basement. I clicked on the
flashlight and began to tiptoe through the halls.
It wasn’t long before I found some
crates and boxes. I rummaged through the wood. Nothing. A screeching rat
scurried across a lid as I went to pick it up, and I jumped back. Ew. That
box can stay open.
I wandered down more dark hallways,
shadows passing over the weak walls. I came to another opening—a more familiar
one. The light flashed over the bloodied rack that had held Spike…tortured
I ran my fingers across the dirt
where Supervamp was born. It was hardened now. I stepped to the stained wood,
touching where the beams met. Blood began to pour down the wood. This isn’t
it. Isn’t where I need to be. I backed away and turned, and two Bringers
waited for me.
They charged. I threw the
flashlight at one, but he must’ve blocked it. They still came at me, so I
rolled across the floor. The continued past me and vanished into the wall.
I felt my heart in my throat. It’s
okay…nothing to worry about. Just get it and…
“GET OUT!” a dark scream boomed in
my ears, pushing me to the gound.
Oh God. I felt it all around me. Just like
that night with Miss Calendar…when she changed into that…
Run. I pushed out of the room, or the fiery air
pushed me out. I didn’t look back at it. What if it’s the Hellmouth? What
was I thinking? Coming down here all by…
But then I saw it, out of the corner of my eye.
Draped across an old bookshelf. Just get it. Run over there and get it!
I sprinted towards the shelf. A beam fell, pushing dirt up into
the air. I jumped and finally reached it. Spike’s lousy leather jacket! I
clenched tight, pulling it up the stairs. Boiling wind smoldered around me
when I reached the door. I went to yell as I pulled the knob, bolted or locked
on the other side, and the wind pulled the air from my lungs.
I fell to the floor, pulling the coat over my
head. The wind swirled around, trying to lift it away, as the dark voice
roared and echoed in my head. My hand deep buried into a pocket, where I found
the cold metal of Spike’s lighter.
Spike stepped into the living room. I was at
the weapons chest, pushing stakes and holy water aside for my axe. I grabbed
it out, and looked to Spike.
“See you’ve got what you want…” he nodded to the
axe. “What ’bout me? Do I get what I want?”
I gripped the axe and went towards the door. He
followed, stopping with me at the closet. I pulled the door open.
There it was. His Big-Bad leather duster.
I watched his face. His eyes seemed to gaze in
wonderment before he lifted his hands to pull it out. “Thanks,” he said
“Alright,” I said as he pulled it on. “Ready to
kick some ass?”
A playful smile popped up. “After you, Slayer.”
I turned, smiling with my back to him, and
He shut the front door. “So, was it hard to
My boots clicked against the steps. “Nope. Not
hard at all.”
Continued in Part 5