I couldn’t. Was that because I didn’t know I loved her? I could shove a stake in my mistress’ heart, surprised when she didn’t explode into a miasma of dust. I had no feelings for that one at all. But my mortal enemy? Her I could never really touch.
Angelus’ words turn over in my mind. I wonder at their veracity. He did not love her, of that I have no doubt. Whether he had, in the guise of Angel, I couldn’t say. He never killed her.
I wish that I could say the same. That long night on the tower, I should have saved her. If I was just a little quicker, a little braver, maybe...But she died. I loved her, and she died. I do not think that is what Angelus meant, though.
The little death, that I gave her. Many, many times. And she returned the favor. Every time, I felt that connection. Felt the love she wouldn’t, couldn’t admit. That I loved her goes without saying. But I know that is not what Angelus meant.
When she ended it, she said it was killing her. I was killing her, by inches. Truth be told, it was killing us both, but I didn’t want to see it. I should have left it at that. Would I had left it at that.
Seeing her lying on the linoleum, looking down into her tear-soaked face, I felt death. Death of all we’d had. Death of all we could have been.
I lie here under the dark African sky, a gentle breeze soothing my battered, seared chest. “To kill this girl you have to love her.” Perhaps. But I know this truth. To love this girl, you have to die for her.