The Master pinched the bridge of his nose. Dealing with the irritating warlock was possibly the most painful experience of his life. The vexatious imbecile departed moments before the sunrise, leaving the Master twitching with the intense desire to throttle him.
"He was a pain in the ass," Darcy said as she stretched her weary muscles. She wasn't used to being up past sunrise.
"Yes, but if we are to gain anything, we must play patty cake for now."
"Master, why are you letting him order you around?" Darcy's dimwitted childe, Brian, or Ryan, asked.
The Master growled. "I just told you."
His mouth hung open partially as he thought over the Master's words. "Yes, but why are you doing what he tells you to?
Darcy sensed her sire's anger. "Brian, shut up," she hissed at her chide
"Huh? I just wanna know why the pipsqueak is bossing around the Master."
"To get something in return," she grounded out through clenched teeth. He was dull, but loyal and hella cute. She didn't want to lose him to her sire's temper.
"I don't get it," Brian said and blinked at the elder vampire, truly confused.
Too much happened in the previous hours for the Master to show his childe's pup any mercy. He gripped either side or Brian's head and with a sharp twist the vampire deteriorated into ash.
Darcy bit her cheeks in an attempt to quell the indignant defiance that boiled in her stomach. She had a great affinity for Brian, as well as the last three childes she created; all who died at the Master's hands.
"Hope you don't mind. I couldn't stand his idiotic babbling any longer," the Master said.
Darcy shook her head. "Of course not, Master." She pushed down the rebellious thoughts. "He was yours to kill if it pleased you."
"Excellent. And Darcy, Really, you must turn more intelligent humans, or at least one smart enough to stay quiet and do as he is instructed."
She nodded curtly. "May I be excused to my room?"
He waved his hand. "Go, sleep, tomorrow we kill the slayer."
William traced Buffy's jawline with his index finger. She looked so peaceful in her sleep. Like a normal girl, one without the weight of the world on her shoulders. She was Atlas to the world, should she shrug, act selfish, be anything other than perfect then the world would end.
He brushed his cheek against hers. He couldn't believe she let him in. Let him love her body, and then allowed him to lay with her, even curled into him, seeking his touch in her slumber. He knew, deep down in the recesses if his mind that she had never let him do something as simple as hold her before. He cherished it, soaking up every second he could. He didn't know how she would react once she awoke, and whatever glorious haze she was in the night before faded, and left her in the arms of the man who attacked her.
William swallowed hard and grimaced. He couldn't understand how he could have ever hurt the beautiful woman laying beside him.
She shifted and buried her face into his chest. "Mmm, Mister Gordo, you feel different," she mumbled, still half dreaming.
William whispered in her ear, "Sweetheart, go back to sleep, I've got you."
Buffy stiffened and William braced himself for her reaction.
Whatever he expected, that was not it. The sight tremor in her voice told him she was close to tears. He licked him lips nervously. He couldn't leave it like this. He wouldn't.
She rolled away from him, her back to him as she coiled the sheet tightly around her body.
William pushed his finger through his hair, gripping the short ones near his nape as his arms pressed against the sides of his head. He didn't what to do. He was lost in a sea of half complete memories and emotions that he didn't understand. He was so far gone he couldn't see land.
"Please, just go," Buffy beg softly, her voice broken and desolate.
"No, Buffy, we need to talk." He touched her shoulder and she flinched away. "Buffy, sweetie, don't cry."
She put her hands over her ear. "Leave, leave leave!"
William pulled back but didn't follow her command. He put his hand on her shoulder, rubbing her skin softly.
"Buffy, I love you. I know now. I love you. Please, don't regret last night, it was perfect. Don't push me away, please," he pleaded.
She twisted around and sat up. "I don't love you. I couldn't. Last night was a perversion, it won't happen again. Get out of my room so I can pretend it didn't happen."
William gasped at the coldness of her tone, the cruel words sliced deep and true, leaving his heart in tattered pieces. He harshly scrubbed the tears from his eyes as he quickly got up and dressed. Once his rumpled clothes were on her looked back at Buffy; she had her back to him again. His jaw flexed and he closed his eyes.
"I'm sorry." He wanted to say more. To apologize for being weak, for making love with her, and for loving her, but the words stuck in his throat. He turned and quietly left.
He stayed stoic until he reached the safety of the basement. As soon as his let his body hit the cot he cried. Tears slid from his clenched lids and his hands covered his face. He's had too much in too short a time. He felt like he was losing his grip on reality. Torn from Heaven, forced to see snippets of himself committing heinous crimes, then he was betrayed and forced into hell, the torture followed him into him dreams, dreams that described how he needed to kill Buffy in order to save not only the world, but his mother. And to cap it all off Buffy got him to let himself go; convinced him to sleep with her, and then pushed him away. She said vicious things, coolly tore him apart.
He wanted to rage, to scream, to sob and beg God to explain why he was in this hell. He wanted to break his fists against the wall, but all he could do was lay there as his life spun off course and smashed into a million pieces. His eyes squeezed closed and he let the blissful darkness take over before the dreaded dreams took its place.
Buffy could taste the saline as her face wettened and the pillow under her became saturated with her tears. She let him touch her, hold her, and she liked it. It was wrong. She shouldn't have let him near her. He was the man… monster that tried to rape her. She knew she shouldn't seek the comfort of a rapist. Yet down in her stomach, and in the dark, hidden places in her heart she knew that she would always want him. With a soul it was so hard to resist him. She could almost fall in love with him. Almost.
Why did she let him into her bed again? He would only hurt her. He already had, just like every other man in her life. She huddled into herself and wished she could take back the night before. How could she face Dawn, or Xander and Willow? Giles would never forgive her. She was weak, and she made the mistake of letting another vampire into her life, into bed, and it would end the same; with death and pain. Vampires, demons, spirits and anything else supernatural was a no go for dating.
A knock caught her attention. She hoped it wasn't William; she couldn't take seeing him, especially not after what she said to him.
"Buffy?" Willow's voice sounded muffled from behind the door.
Buffy sat up and rubbed the tears off her face, not that Willow wouldn't see her red, puffy eyes and immediately know she's been crying.
"Come in," Buffy said, she sounded hoarse to her own ears, her throat sore from crying.
Willow entered, shifting nervously as she closed the door behind her.
"Hey, Will. What do you need?"
Willow sat on the edge of the bed, but decided to stand instead. "I…I heard you yell, then Spik— um, William left your room. Buffy, are you okay?" She sat again.
"Yeah…. No. I screwed up again, Willow." She started to shake and sob.
Willow's eyes widened and she stuttered as she moved to her friend's side. She put her arms around Buffy's slim shoulders and held her.
"Oh Buffy, shh, it's okay. What happened? Did he hurt you?" Willow rocked her. She tried to remember what her mother used to do to comfort her when she was little, but remembered that the nanny was closer to a mother than her real one. She thought about Joyce then, and attempted to recreate the comfort Buffy's mother was so good at giving.
"No. No Willow. I had sex with him again. I'm so stupid. He started telling me he loved me, and his eyes, god he looked so hurt. I shouldn't have slept with him. Stupid. Giles and Xander are right. I can't see past my hormones."
Willow rubbed her shoulder. "Forget Xander and Giles. They're…crap heads. Buffy, stop blaming yourself, you did nothing wrong. You're a grown woman, William is a souled vampire, and not a faulty, sex equals worlds of bad soul either."
Buffy pressed her face against Willow's shoulder. "But after what he tried to do…."
Willow nodded grimly. "It was bad, and wrong, but Angelus tried to kill you, and the world. You forgave him. I'm not saying that you have to be with William, or even that it's a good idea, but you shouldn't beat yourself up for having sex with a charming, handsome man."
"But I used him," Buffy argued and Willow wondered if she just wanted to feel bad.
"He's a grown …vampire, I'm sure he'll live… unlive."
"But I was so mean. I said really mean things," buffy whined, her lips trembling.
Willow blew out a long stream of air. "Listen," she pulled her back and looked in her eyes, "You screwed up. William's probably hurt. You're hurt. But the mistake you made, the big one, was being mean, right? So apologize. Admit you were wrong. Hug, um, shake hands and call it a truce. I'm sure he'll be fine. Now what else do you have? Come on, I'm on a hot streak, lay it on me."
"Giles and Xander betrayed William and gave him to the demons."
Willow paled. "Are you, uh, sure a-about that?"
Buffy frowned. "Giles admitted it after I overheard him talking to William. That's what started the whole sex thing."
Willow ran a shaky hand through her hair, her fingers got caught in a snarl and she careful removed them.
"Willow, are you okay?" Buffy asked. Willow looked whiter than usual, and Willow didn't tan, so that was saying something.
"Uh-huh. Right as rain. Uh, Giles and Xander, man, I told you they weren't to be taken under consideration with your personal life."
Buffy noticed she was naked and smile meekly at Willow as she covered her chest. Willow's cheeks burned red and she got off the bed.
"I forgot that you and… and sex means… I'm just gonna…yeah, go. Uh, seeing later, dressed hopefully."
Willow scurried out of the room, the door clicked shut and Buffy was alone again with her thoughts.
"I definitely need to shower," she said to herself. It was, after all, the first step to washing William out of her head. Despite Willow's speech Buffy was reluctant to accept that she didn't do something horribly bad.
She rose from the bed that still held the scent of her vampire, and made her way to the bathroom, covered in her robe and armed with a change of clothes.