Oz froze in place. This hadn’t been planned...... it hadn’t been expected... but there they stood. He regained his senses as they pulled back, exchanging some words. As soon as she left, his instincts took over.
Angel didn’t know what
Willow found Amy talking intimately with Xander on one of the lush sofas right outside of the hallway. She coughed, making her presence known, before she stood in front of them.
“Willow,” Amy said as she looked up.
“Having fun?” she asked mischievously.
“We were....” Xander began to say as he looked at how Amy was blushing.
“I just wanted to steal her for a minute,” she told him.
“Be right back,” Amy told him, with a kiss on the cheek.
Amy and Willow headed to the study and closed the door behind them.
“Did something happen?” Amy asked her excited.
“Something...” she replied with a smile.
Then the lights went
Angel crashed to the floor as his head hit against the cement ground below him. He quickly rolled over before Oz would fall on top of him.
“You touched her!” Oz screamed as he tried to kick him.
Angel rolled over before his ribs were crushed in by his foot. He quickly got up, but wasn’t able to deflect the right hand headed to the face. He fell back, but was able to block the next blow headed to his chin.
“What the hell...” Angel began to say, but decided to defend himself instead.
Angel’s right hook landed firmly on his left cheek, striking him down. Oz didn’t expect the blow to be so hard and fell back. That did not deter him and continued to threw as many punches, not landing many.
It was Giles who stopped them, holding back Oz as Xander rushed in.
“Someone took them...in the study....” Xander told them breathless.
“Took who?” Angel asked.
“Willow... Amy... I tried to stop them, but there were too many....” Xander replied ashamed that he had failed them.
“Did you see where they went?” Giles asked him.
“Across the field. I saw them running..... they want Buffy...” Xander told them.
“Buffy?” Angel asked as his mind tried to think of any potential enemies in the area.
Angel left, running to the study, trying to find any clue as to who had taken them. They hadn’t been in New Orleans long enough for anyone to know about his return.
Xander was the first to reach him as he entered the darkened study.
“I tried to stop them.... but there were just too many... they all jumped on top of me.. I couldn’t stop....” Xander replied in a strained voice.
“What did they say?” Angel asked as he scanned the room, trying to pick up any door and material.
“When they were kicking me, they told me they wanted the slayer,” he replied as he wiped some of the blood off his lips.
“They said slayer?” he asked rather surprised.
“Yeah, they said they wanted the slayer for them, if not they would have to do.”
“I don’t know what they meant. It was so fast. I came in when I heard the screams, but it was to late. I saw them carry Willow and Amy out through the window.... I was on the floor by then getting the shit beaten out of me.”
That was when Angel detected two interesting scents in the room, one that he had smelled before, but couldn’t quite recognize.
He followed the scent,
climbing out through the broken window, across the field, to front gate.
He quickened his step, remembering he had placed guards at the gate. He
found both guards unconscious, they’re hearts still beating. They were
still alive. He detected one the smells stronger among both men and
realized what it was:
chloriniphine. He looked down the deserted, semi-dark street and found it empty.
After placing both men under a tree, he headed back, seeing the lights on in the study. His mind tried to recognize the second smell, knowing it was important. He was greeted with a barrage of questions from too many people.
“Did you find something?” Xander asked him anxiously.
“No. Whoever took them are long gone.”
“Who could have done this?” Merle asked fidgeted.
“Why don’t you ask Angel, I’m sure he knows,” Oz commented as he stepped forward into the room.
“How would I know?” Angel asked deadly.
“Why would he know?” Buffy asked surprised.
“Because that’s the only way Willow would want you, by force.”
“What?!” Buffy said, her eyes wide from shock.
Angel couldn’t contain himself and lurched after him, his hand grasping his throat tightly.
“I would never, ever hurt her,” he replied as he began squeezing tighter.
Xander pulled them apart, glaring down at the werewolf.
“Angel would never hurt Willow or Amy. If you aren’t going to help us find them, then leave,” Xander warned him as he pushed Oz.
Angel looked on a bit surprised. This was something he never expected, Xander defending him.
“Merle, Giles, tell the guests to leave. We’ll meet in the parlor once everyone is gone,” Angel instructed.
Merle and Giles did as they were told, pulling a reluctant Buffy and Oz out the room with them.
“Who would have done this?” Xander said a loud, his mind trying to remember anything suspicious since they had arrived in New Orleans.
“I don’t know,” Angel replied worried.
“I found this,” Xander said as he handed him a silver bracelets.
Angel took it, his anger and dread rising.
“It’s Willow’s,” he replied a he took it and looked at it, remembered the first night he had given it to her and taken it off for the first.
Who ever had dared
touch her had marked there own death, a message conveyed through his eyes,
one which Xander saw and felt his blood run cold.
“Ahhh.... my head...” Amy moaned as she came to.
“Mine too,” Willow said as she helped Amy up to a sitting position.
“Where are we?” Amy asked.
“I’m not sure,” she replied as they both looked around the empty room.
“What did they use?” Amy asked, her mouth nauseous.
“Chloriniphine I think.”
“There nice kidnappers?”
“I’m not sure there
are any nice kidnappers.”
“Neither do I”
“Has any one come in?”
“No. The door is locked, there no windows, no nothing.”
“What are we going to do?”
“I’m sure their looking for us....”
“How can they find us, if we haven’t even seen who took us?”
Willow didn’t have an answer. She bit her lower lip as she looked at her a bit worried.
“I don’t know.”
“There has to be a way.....”
“...there might be,” Willow interrupted her as she began to take the pins out of her hair.
“Ever pick a lock?” Willow asked her with a smile.
Amy smiled as she began to do the same.
“Let’s hope I remember.”
“Do you remember anything else about them?” Giles asked Xander once more.
“They were dressed in black.. I could hardly see them, it was dark. But I’m sure they were human. Once of guys whined when I punched him on the cheek. He almost started to complain.”
“Humans? What would they want with Willow and Amy?” Renee asked.
“They wanted Buffy,” Xander answered.
“What did they exactly say?” Angel asked.
“The first guy who punched me said they wanted Buffy.”
“They named her?” Giles asked.
“Yep. The second guy who kicked me hissed rather badly, saying something about the ‘we want the layeeerrrrr’.”
“Who knows Buffy’s here, other then us?” Oz asked, growing frustrated.
“No one....” Buffy replied.
That was when everything fell into place for Angel. His fist hit the table startling the group.
“That’s it. Renee, find out who’s name the rooms in the hotel that are holding the watcher’s are under.”
Renee quickly stood up, taking her seat in front of the computer.
“Why are we doing that?” Xander asked confused.
“No one other then the Watcher’s know about us, know about this house. Vampires or demons would have killed the guards instantly, maybe even Xander without a second thought, not go through the trouble of using cholofine. Not even today’s kidnappers use that.”
“But why would they take them?” Merle asked confused.
“There testing us...” Giles replied through clenched teeth.
“What a bunch of assholes, after all we’ve done.....” Xander replied angrily.
“Then let’s go to the hotel,” Oz told them getting up.
“They wouldn’t be stupid enough to take them there,” Angel told him as he looked over to see what Renee was doing.
“They were stupid enough to take them,” Buffy reasoned.
“Found it. They have three buildings in New Orleans, on three different sides of the city,” Renee replied triumphantly.
“Print out the addresses.”
“Done,” she replied as she handed him the sheet.
“Buffy, Oz, go to the west side. Giles, Merle head to the north side. Renee you stay here in cause they call. Xander and I will head to East side.”
They all nodded in
agreement, not bothering to change as they left, hoping to find the girls
safe, for the watcher’s sake.
“Got it,” Willow whispered triumphantly.
Willow opened the door carefully and peeked her head out to see if anyone was outside in the hallway.
Both ladies stepped outside, taking off their shoes, trying to make the least amount of noise as possible.
“Which way?” Amy asked.
“Left,” Willow told her, having a feeling about it.
Unfortunately, that feeling landed them in front of two surprised men turning the corner.