A single rose, identical to the one she'd found at the front door as she'd went for the morning paper, bright red on the inside of the petal, snowy white on the outside. It fell from Willow's locker as she opened the door. Buffy walked up next to her as Willow bent to pick it up.
"Ooh, pretty. You must have been a very good girl for Oz to leave that for you."
Willow stood. "Buffy! Um, yeah, I guess so."
"I don't think I've seen one like it before. What kind of rose is that?"
"It's called Fire & Ice. They're not very common."
Buffy grinned. "Oz is a man of hidden depths, eh? Or are you a woman who's been keeping secrets?"
Willow blushed. If Buffy only knew the secrets Willow had been keeping...oh, boy!
"Buffy, please don't mention it to Oz. It might not be from him. I mean... what if Xander left it?"
"So you have been keeping secrets. I thought you and Xander were just doing the best buds thing again." Buffy looked a little miffed. She didn't like being out of the loop.
"Oh, we are! But, well, if it isn't from Oz...everything's going so great right now. I don't want it messed up. Please, Buffy. Can you just forget about the rose."
Buffy smiled gently at her friend. "It's forgotten. New subject. Bronzing tonight?"
"Yeah. I could use a little R and R to take my mind off things. School things! A mythology research paper I'm working on. I'm gonna ask Giles for help later."
"Asking Mr. 'I have several books on the subject. Sit down and I'll bore you with them for several hours.' Must be a tough paper"
Willow nodded, "Yeah, extremely tough. Puzzling even." She paused, "So what's up with you. Seen our favourite vampire lately?" God, she hoped that sounded casual.
Buffy rolled her eyes. "Last night. He was acting sort of weird...preoccupied. He was great the night before that. Xander's right, sometimes the man lives to brood."
"Distant. Not soul-less or anything like that?"
"Nope. The soul's intact. Maybe he drank a pint of sour blood. I saw Snyder donating at the last blood drive. That'd be enough to put anyone in a bad mood."
"Yes, it would. Oops, there's the bell. I'll see you at lunch, Buffy. I'm heading for the library."
Willow had been in the library for an hour. She'd told Giles she was doing a research paper on vampire mythology, seeing as how that was a subject they all knew quite a bit about. He'd been regaling her with a story of how the first vampire was supposed to have come about. Good story, just not what she was after.
"Giles, this is kind of not what I'm looking for. What about vampires and humans? Mrs. Wilson thinks she's in her sexual prime, you know. I need something racier. What would happen, say, if a vampire slept with a...virgin? And then maybe tasted her blood. I mean... that blood...down there?
Giles stared at her. "Willow, I hardly think that topic is suitable for a research paper. Even for Mrs. Wilson at her, um, peak, shall we say. I'm sure we can find something of a less risqué nature."
Willow was dying from
embarrassment. "Probably. I'm sorry. I was just... <Think Willow, think!>
just wondering what would have happened if Spike would have decided that
he'd wanted more than a spell from me." < Good
"I don't really think it's healthy for one to dwell on such things. However, you are very lucky that none of what you've suggested happened. I'm afraid you'd have had a permanent admirer in Spike. At least a once a month admirer."
Willow looked at Giles in anticipation. Finally! He was getting to the right stuff. Unfortunately, Willow didn't think that this stuff was what she'd wanted to hear.
"You see, if a human virgin were to sleep with a vampire her first time, and allow him to, ah, how did you put it? To taste her." Giles was blushing. "There would follow a cycle of obsession for the vampire. Every lunar month, following the timeline of the original joining, he would find himself drawn to the woman, become sexually obsessed with her. Approximately two days prior to their anniversary he would become driven by thoughts of her. The union would be consummated again exactly one lunar month after that first time, then again the next month."
Willow leaned forward and spoke, "But what about the woman. She's not, I mean, she wouldn't be feeling the same thing. What if she doesn't want to do it again?" She didn't want it again, did she?
Giles continued, "That's
really not going to be of much concern to the vampire. They're not
known for their gentle wooing techniques. Besides, if he feeds
from her at their next encounter, the...the...oh, spell, for lack of a
more correct term, comes full circle. She'll experience the same
obsession. And as vampires are creatures without
soul or conscience, he'll inevitably turn her. They're monthly need for one another will not be a hindrance. Not a pleasant scenario."
Willow felt queasy. Stupid! She'd done a stupid, rash, unforgivable thing. She hadn't meant for anything like this to happen. Her mind spun as she tried to think of a way out of the mess she'd created.
"Giles, isn't there some ritual that could be performed. Something to undo it?"
"As I've said, the vampire would turn the woman. I don't think anyone has even thought to research the matter."
Giles looked at the girl. She didn't look at all well. Surely...
"Willow, this is really not what you want to do a paper on. Is there something you want to tell me? About the factory, with Spike?"
"Spike?? Eew!! No!! I...I'm really thinking about a story for this...this adult web-site I found. That's all. Please...you won't tell anyone, right?
Giles was relieved. Teenagers and their uncontrollable hormones. Fiction was a safe enough outlet. "No, Willow, I won't mention it. Perhaps you'd best return to your class?"
"Thank you, thank you, Giles! I'll get back to class."
Willow gathered her books and left the library. Giles watched her go thinking he definitely needed a cup of tea.
Willow did not go back
to her class. She was sitting in the middle of her bed, clutching
a pillow as tightly as she could. What Giles had said had made perfect
sense. That weekend with Angel. She'd barely been asleep
an hour before he'd woke her with gentle kisses down her back. They'd
made love two more times before dawn. The last time she hadn't really
wanted to. She'd felt like she'd been in a car accident. Still, under
his ministrations she'd had not one, but two orgasms. As dawn had
started to break, he'd went and drew her a bath and carried her to it.
The water was scented with vanilla. Angel had told her he'd put some
salts in it to help ease her sore muscles. He'd
sat beside the tub and told her about Paris in the springtime and fed her bits of cheese and grapes. Then they went to bed and slept for hours. They spent the next evening talking and playing Gin Rummy. They'd had
sex again, but it was a much more gentle lovemaking. The next day, they slept together one final time. It had been sweet and slow. Making another memory, he'd said. And that had been that.
Willow had seen him once in the days following. He was with Buffy, she was with Oz. He acted as he always had done before. Excepting for one wink and a smile, when Buffy had gone to the ladies and Oz for drinks.
Now, here she was.
Sitting alone in her room, clinging to the hope that she could reason with
Angel. He still had a soul, still had a conscience. She knew
he'd be coming for her tonight. She'd face him, tell him why he was
behaving so strangely. She could make him understand, she'd find
a way to make it stop. She sat on her bed, in
her room, listening to a tape that had been delivered Fed Ex to her house that morning. One song, recorded again and again. Willow had the CD. She didn't know if she'd be able to listen to it again now.
Willow was standing alone in the doorway of a local coffee shop. She was only two blocks down from the Bronze, but it felt more like a thousand miles. She'd went to the Bronze with the gang, but had only stayed about an hour. She'd cried off, claiming a severe headache. Completely believable, as she had missed most of school that day.
And now she was waiting.
Willow knew Angel would be coming <bad choice of words!>, looking for
her tonight. That was better. He'd be looking for her.
She hoped he'd listen to reason. Willow knew they could work
through this problem, if Angel would only give it a chance. After all, if souls can be restored, surely obsession could be ended.
Willow started walking
down the street, towards her home. There was no way she was going
to try to talk to Angel at the mansion. That's where the whole mess
had started. If he really was under some compulsion to
have her, he was going to have to come to her.
Really under some kind of compulsion, now that was a joke. The significance of the roses, Fire and Ice, had not been lost on her. She knew they weren't from Oz. Pez and stickers were more in keeping with that relationship. And the tape with the song, if that didn't scream fixation, nothing did.
Willow's train of thought was suddenly broken when a hand reached out from the shadows of the alley she was passing and grasped her arm. She squeaked in surprise and turned to face Angel.
"Willow. I've been waiting for you." He drew her back into the darkness of the alley. "You've kept me waiting long enough."
Angel reached up and caressed her cheek with his hand, running his thumb erotically over her lower lip. <Ooh, that feels good. Bad, bad Willow! Down girl.>
Taking a composing
breath she spoke hurriedly, trying to get everything out before he could
interrupt, "Angel, I know you were looking for me. And I know why
you've been sending me things. It's not your fault; it's my
fault. That blood...my blood has created some sort of attachment
to me. But we can fight it. There's got to be a ritual or a
spell to undo it. You just can't give in to the urges you're feeling.
It would be a disaster for both of us. Think of Buffy and Oz!"
"I do think of Buffy. I think of her all the time! And I want her all of the time. Right now I want you more."
He grabbed her in a fierce embrace, kneading her back with one hand and her ass with the other. He was kissing her greedily, like a man who was starving. Willow couldn't help but to respond, grabbing him around the neck, running her hands through his hair. She'd almost forgotten how much she'd loved his hands on her body.
Mustering a bit of free will, Willow pushed him away from her. Having felt her responding, he now allowed her to hold him at arm's length.
You're not listening! And you're not helping by kissing me like that.
What you're feeling isn't real. It's just what this, this spell-thingy
is doing to you. You don't really want me; it's making you want me.
Tomorrow it will all be better." <At least she hoped it would be better.>
"We just can't do this. I can't do
this." She gave him what she hoped was a reasonable facsimile of the resolve face.
Angel released his grip on her arms and stepped away from her and hung his head. Willow sighed with relief, and just the slightest hint of disappointment.
Angel looked up at her and started walking towards her. She backed away from him, but found herself caught between him and the hood of an old car.
"Willow, I don't give a damn about what's causing this. I'm going to have you and I'm going to have you now. Didn't you listen to that song I sent you? I won't be denied. You can't stop me from taking what I want." His voice softened slightly, "Don't fight me Willow. I'm not going to hurt you. You know how good I can make you feel."
Willow knew she had lost, knew she was lost. He moved his hands beneath her top and pushed her bra up over her breasts. He was rubbing her nipples intently, but with tenderness. She shuddered and drew his mouth to hers, biting his lips, sucking his tongue into her mouth. He groaned and moved one hand up under her skirt, fondling her through her panties, which were becoming wetter by the moment.
Willow had a brief moment of clear thought. A skirt! Why had she worn a skirt tonight? She knew. Easier access. Despite all of her level- headed plans, her id had had other plans for her all along.
She reached out and undid his pants, sliding her hand inside, touching his pulsing, silky cock. Another groan, this time from Willow, as Angel tore the crotch of her panties apart with a sudden, fluid movement. He took his finger and slid it in and out of her. Her hips began to move in rhythm with his hand. She was going to come...just a little more...<What???>>>
Angel had stepped away from her. He was looking down at her, his dark eyes almost glowing.
"Lay down for me, Willow."
She could do nothing buy obey. She pushed her skirt up over her waist and slid back on the hood of the car. Briefly, she thought of how insane this was. She was in an alley, not 30 feet from the street, for Pete's Sake! Anyone could walk past, look in. But, she just didn't care anymore. She couldn't think beyond the thought of how he had made her feel before. How he would make her feel again.
Angel pushed his pants down far enough to let his cock and balls escape. He moved over her, his cock gently prodding her, then pushed himself into the warmth that was Willow. He kissed her face, eyes, nose, chin, and mouth and started moving at a pace that she was setting with the thrusting of her hips. She was soft and warm and all that he could want. The thought that his desire for her was something magical was absurd to him.
Willow felt the strength of him as he moved in and out of her. She should have known that this was what would happen. He had been right. There was no denying him. She'd been a fool to think otherwise.
Angel was nuzzling her neck and shoulders, placing intent kisses all over them. The pressure building from her groin was unbelievable. An echo of something Giles had told her flitted through her mind, but the orgasm she was seconds away from drove all thought from her brain. She was writhing wildly beneath him, like a drowning swimmer. She reached back and grabbed the antennae of the car.
Angel was close to coming. He could feel Willow's walls tightening around him. He needed just a little more...he needed...
Willow never saw it. Angel morphed with his game face pushed into her neck. Willow felt Angel start to spasm inside of her. It was enough. She cried out as her own orgasm started to hit...and felt Angel sick his fangs into her neck.
Ecstasy. Pure and simple ecstasy. Her mind felt as if it were exploding. She snapped the antennae off the car, dropped it, and clawed his back. If she was dying, it had been worth it.
Angel's own orgasm
hit him like a freight train. He was feeding and fucking. Something
he'd only done as Angelus until now. He moaned and tore his mouth
away from Willow's neck, afraid he would murder her with
the intensity of his own lust. He kissed her, letting her taste her blood on his lips.
He collapsed on top of her, gently licking the wound he had inflicted. She just lay there, tears of joy and immense sadness flowing down her flushed cheeks.
She spoke, "Well, that's it then. It's full circle. You bit me, now I get to be your stalker every month, too."
"Is it stalking if the other person is a willing participant?"
She laughed despite
her sorrow. "I guess not." She pushed him gently away from
her and started to rearrange her clothing. The panties were a lost
cause. She pushed them down and off of her, crumpling them into a
and stuffing them in her skirt pocket.
Angel had tucked himself back in and zipped his jeans.
"Let's call your parents and tell them you're staying with Buffy. We should talk."
"Yeah, talking is good. I love Oz. I think you should know that." The strange thing was, it was starting again. She wanted him. They'd better make it a quick call.
He shrugged. "And I'm in love with Buffy."
They walked in silence to the nearest phone booth. Willow dialed her number. The answering machine picked up. Good. Easier to lie to a machine than to either parent.
Angel was watching her as she spoke. Without thought, he started running his hands over her butt. She pushed back against him, wiggling. She hung up the phone and turned to him, unbuttoning his shirt. He pulled her in for a kiss.
"Now, Willow? Here?"
"Right now. Right here."
Angel drew her in close, shielding her body. He smashed his fist into the light fixture, raining plastic and glass down on both of them.
Willow had flinched at the shattering glass. She now shook the tiny bits of the bulb out of her hair and brushed off her clothing. Angel did likewise. His knuckles were bleeding slightly. He licked them.
Angel pushed her back against the wall of the darkened booth, running his hands between her legs. Obsession. What a perfect word.
Rupert Giles was driving
to his favourite Chinese restaurant. The only decent Chinese restaurant
in the entire town. General Tso's Chicken was one of his hidden passions.
He only allowed himself the pleasure of that
meal infrequently. It made it that more tantalising.
He passed a phone booth, glancing at the couple inside of it. It looked like...he braked his car as the light in the booth went dark. > From the light of a nearby streetlight he could tell who the couple, now passionately kissing, were. Willow and Angel.
He slammed his fist onto the steering wheel. "Bloody Hell!"
He moved the car forward again, turning right at the next street and heading back to his home. He had to have time to think and to get a few things. It was hopeless. He was sure they'd be gone before he returned. But, considering his earlier conversation with Willow, he knew where he would find the lovers.
Giles ran a red light
and swore softly to himself, again.
It tickled. Willow roused herself from her sated drowsing to wipe her forehead. She looked at her hand, then over at her sleeping lover. It was water. Now where had that come from? A slight noise at her side of the bed made her look over.
<God! Giles!> Standing over her with a stake in one hand and a vial of holy water in the other.
He whispered, " I had to be sure. Other room, now!" He turned and stalked out of Angel's bedroom.
<Damn! Damn it,
damn it, and damn it!> Willow carefully disentangled herself from Angel's
arms. She spotted a pair of pyjamas draped over the dresser.
Moving as quietly as she could, she tiptoed over to the dresser and pulled
the top over her head. Black silk. It felt lovely.
Smelling Angel's scent, she pulled the top up to her face and breathed
deeply. Without a thought in her head except for her desire, she
started to walk towards the bed. Willow heard Giles discreetly clear
his throat outside the door. <Oh, boy! Geeze, can't I get
my mind off
sex for even ten minutes! She padded softly out the door and motioned for Giles to follow her to the sofa.
Willow sat at the end closest to the bedroom. If she couldn't be in Angel's arms, she'd be as close to him as possible. Giles sat at the opposite end of the sofa. He looked very stern. This was not going to be a pleasant conversation.
Giles spoke first,
"I guess I know why you made your way to the library today. Sod all,
girl! What have you done! I warned you, or at least told you
today, what would happen if you took a vampire to your virgin bed.
And you went and immediately sought it out. How could you possibly do such a thing? How could you do this to Oz, to Buffy?"
"Giles, it wasn't like that. I mean, tonight wasn't the first time. Not the first time I asked Angel to have sex with me. That was last month. I came to the library to find out a way to stop this. I tried to talk him down, it was just... I couldn't help it."
Giles shook his head. "Maybe the two of you couldn't control your urges this time. What about the first time, Willow? You don't expect me to believe that you were under some enchantment then, do you? Why didn't you tell me the truth? I might have been able to forestall this. You knew I could be trusted."
Willow looked at him, tears starting to well up in her eyes. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I couldn't tell you the truth. I'm sorry that I'm hurting Buffy and Oz. I'm sorry that Xander and Oz made me feel like I was a slave girl being auctioned off to the highest bidder. I'm sorry.
She paused. "But, I'm not sorry Angel was my first lover. And I'm not sorry that he makes me feel the way I do. Maybe I will be tomorrow, when the agency fades away until next month. I'm just not sorry for that now."
Giles sighed, "Best we move forward. What do you intend to do? When are you going to tell Buffy and Oz?"
"I can't think of that right now. I know we can't tell them anytime soon. I have to think of the right way to approach it. And you won't tell them, will you, Giles?"
"Buffy has had enough misery in her young life. I'm her Watcher. I've sworn to protect her. Even if I have to protect her from the people she loves. Besides, I may think of a way to stop this madness."
A soft voice spoke from behind them, "No, you're not going to have time to concentrate on that for awhile."
Angel walked towards the sofa wearing the bottoms that matched Willow's top. He motioned for Willow to slide over and sat next to her, pulling her back against him. He leaned towards her, sniffing her hair, and wiped the tears from her face.
Angel whispered into her ear, "I think that's enough tears for one night? Don't you?"
Willow nestled against him. "I didn't mean to wake you."
"You didn't. I heard Giles the moment he walked into the house. I decided that the two of you needed to talk things over. I came out when I smelled your tears." He gave her a gentle kiss on the cheek.
Giles was doing what he did best. Watching. He observed their behaviour, noting it for future use in research on breaking the enchantment.
Giles spoke, "Pardon me, but we should deal with the matter at hand. What do you mean, Angel, when you say I won't have time to concentrate on curing your obsession? Is that a threat?
Angel chuckled, "That would be a concern, wouldn't it. No, I don't feel any desire to stop that research. But, you won't be researching that. You will be finding a way to bind my soul to my body."
"I will, will I?"
Angel was running his fingers through Willow's hair. It was silky and gleamed like copper in the firelight.
looked at Giles. "Yes, you will. What happens to Willow if, for some
reason, I lose my soul again? Do you want her bound to Angelus?
Have him turn her? That's exactly what would happen. And neither
Willow nor I would be able, or want to stop it. Not to mention the
other pains he would inflict on Buffy and all of you.
That's what we need to take care of first."
Giles nodded, "I'm supposing that you still love Buffy? Although your current actions are not indicating it?"
Willow chimed in, "Oh, he loves Buffy. And I love Oz. I know that now."
Giles couldn't help but see the irony in the situation. Even as she spoke, Willow was caressing Angel's thigh.
"Yes, Willow, I can see that. Do you mind, Angel? I am sitting right in front of you."
Angel had been unconsciously fondling Willow's right breast. He stopped.
"Um, sorry Giles. So you'll help?"
"Yes, Angel, God help
me, I'll help the pair of you. I'm afraid there will have to be some
planning on your part. Arrangements will need to be made to keep
this a secret. I'd suggest you not be around each other for two days
prior and one day after the height of the cycle. Not unless it's a...um...private
meeting. Will you do this? And do
try to keep from biting her again. You might lose control."
Angel was kissing the bite mark he'd left on Willow's neck. Willow's hand was moving higher on Angel's thigh.
Giles spoke harshly, "I said, can you do these things?"
Willow answered, "Sure, Giles. Piece of cake. Kind of like Oz's wolf thing." Neither one had stopped their attentions towards the other.
Giles rose to leave. "Well, you'll excuse me then. I'll be leaving before my retinas are permanently scarred." He started walking towards the door.
The lovers spoke in unison, "Bye, Giles."
As soon as Giles was gone, Angel laid Willow down on the sofa, kissing her with urgency the entire time. Willow broke the kiss.
"Angel, how soon until dawn?"
"Four hours, twelve minutes."
"Plenty of time." She reached around and started pulling off his pyjama bottoms. Angel, how long do you think it will take Giles to bind your soul and 'cure' our obsession?"
Angel slid into her. "Mmm. Months for the soul. Who knows how long for the cure?"
Willow moaned and thrust
upwards, bringing him deeper inside. She spoke in little gasps, "More...than