“William, I try to do one simple thing. I try to have one night, just one night off to spend with my boyfriend and his family during the holidays, and we’re not even pouring the first glass of eggnog before you screw it up.”
“Oh, eggnog? Why didn’t you bring us a pint? Was it spiked? Eggnog’s only good if you add in a splash of rum or maybe even whiskey--.”
“Am I really here to discuss eggnog? Seriously?”
“Well, of course not!” William laughed, sounding a bit on edge. “Please! Like I’d do such a thing! Bring you here for a chat—besides, you brought it up and,” he looked up from his desk, clearing his throat after seeing Buffy’s scowl, “eh, I have a perfectly good reason to why I called you in.”
“Oh, you’d better, or, do you see my shoes?”
“Yes, they’re quite nice…”
“If you’re scheming to keep me away from Riley, I will take off one of these stilettos and beat you with it.”
“Is that right? Well, bring it on then,” William chuckled, looking Buffy up and down. She was gorgeous, head to toe in black. The dress was form fitting with a plunging neckline. A faux fur coat, tiny purse and strappy heels finished off the perfectly sexy outfit.
“In fact,” he continued softly, “come and get me. Though something tells me I may find pleasure in the pain.”
Buffy stiffened, not taking his words lightly. “Just tell me why I’m here and why I’m not spending Christmas with the people that I like.”
“Well, we’ve got a lead.”
“A lead? Why didn’t you say something sooner?”
“Don’t know; maybe because you were too busy bitching about eggnog and threatening to do me bodily harm with your shoes. What do you think?”
“What did you find out, wise-ass?”
“Two of Angel’s goons are holed up in a warehouse downtown. If we hurry--.”
“Give me five minutes to change my clothes. Seven max.”
“We haven’t got five minutes, you know that. Remember how fast they’ve moved in the past?”
“Shit…shit. You’re right.”
“Am I? God, it really must be the time for miracles, the bloody Christmas spirit and all that drivel. I can’t even count on one hand--.”
“Go to hell, William. Now, if I stay in this dress we’re going to have to set up some ground rules.”
“If I stay in this dress,” she repeated through clenched teeth, “keep your eyes, lips, hands and all other—just keep everything to yourself, alright?”
“Do those rules apply to me too?”
“Why would I want to touch you?”
“I don’t know, why did you? I recall you coming at me first.”
The color drained from Buffy’s face and she propped her hands on her hips. “I am not going to answer that.”
“Well…fine. Suit yourself,” William said, standing to put on his coat. “Are there any more rules and regulations, milady, or can we get out there and nab us some bad guys?”
“So, are you and the beefcake still leaving tomorrow?” William asked, once they were settled in the car. After a brief argument over who would drive, he sat behind the wheel, watching as Buffy sulked in the passenger seat.
“That’s the plan; we’re Sunnydale bound—unless you mess that up too like tonight’s dinner party.”
“Let me get this straight. You were meeting Riley’s parents, for the first time, dressed like that?”
“You have a problem with my dress?”
“Uh, no, not me personally.”
Buffy narrowed her eyes, not saying a word until they parked a block from the warehouse. “It looks quiet. You sure this is the place?”
“We storming in now, or later?”
“Um, later sounds like the best bet to me. Let’s watch them a bit. Who knows how many could be in there.”
“You said only two.”
“Yes, I did, but we don’t know for sure. It’s better to be safe than sorry, yeah?”
“I guess,” she answered, crossing her arms.
“Until then…” William leaned over to reach into the glove box. The simple gesture caused Buffy to hiss and jerk her body back. “God, pet, settle down. You want a drink?”
“Ew.” Her nose wrinkled once he opened the flask, took a swig, and offered her the bottle.
“Come on, it’s bourbon.”
“Again, ew. We shouldn’t drink on the job.”
“Brilliant. You would say that. It’s because of last time, isn’t it?”
“Shut up. We agreed not to talk about that,” she snapped, taking a long sip of the bourbon. “Put this away. Now.”
William nodded, reaching across her again to return the flask to the glove box. “It’s too bad we couldn’t talk about it.”
“There’s nothing to say. We kissed. It was wrong. We were drunk. Moving on.”
“Oh, but we weren’t that drunk, and we did a hell of a lot more than just kiss. You shouldn’t cheapen what happened. It was quite an important moment to me. A bloody revelation.”
“God, will you just shut up? Look!” she whispered, pointing out two figures as they walked out of the warehouse.
William’s eyes could barely register on the men before Buffy jumped out of the car.
“Buffy! Wait up!”
Even in high heels, William was no match for Buffy’s speed. By the time he caught her in the warehouse, she was calmly searching one of the rooms.
“Hey,” he panted, “Where’d they go?”
“Probably that way,” Buffy said with an uninterested wave of her hand.
“You don’t know?”
“They were just kids. God, will you look at this place? They were watching movies…making popcorn.”
“Well, bad guys watch movies too, you know. And sometimes they even get the munchies—oh, bloody—hey!”
Buffy whirled around, grabbing William and shoving him into the nearest wall. “I can’t believe you did this!”
“What? What did I do?!”
“The boys had nothing to do with Angel! Absolutely nothing! You took me away from Riley on purpose and for no good reason!”
“Yes! The late-night stakeout, the bogus suspects, the stupid flask? What is this, your sick and twisted version of a hot date?”
“A d—please! A date? You’re completely off your bird! I mean,” he paused, his voice lowering, “would you like it to be a date?”
“No!” she answered, grunting in frustration and disgust. “God, how could you do this?”
Once she released him, William bit his lip, watching as she paced the small area. “Guess you can say if I did anything tonight it’s, uh, it’s because I love you, Buffy.”
“Oh…oh no. Are you out of your mind?!”
“It’s not so unusual. Two people…in the workplace…feelings develop.”
“It’s because we kissed, isn’t it? I allowed you to feel me up once, and now you only think that you love me.”
“No, no, my feelings are very real. There is something between us. Even you can’t deny that--.”
“You’re my partner, my work partner, but other than that, there is nothing between us.”
“Oh, sod that. There’s passion, heat, desire. I know you can feel it. Come on, just give us a chance.”
“I have a boyfriend,” Buffy said, saying each word slowly before turning to stomp out of the warehouse.
“But if he were out of the picture--.”
“Riley will never be out of the picture! Never!”
“But…I-I can’t stop thinking about you.”
“You’ll get over it.”
“Yes, now stop following me!”
“I love you,” he insisted, holding her arm, keeping her still. “You’re all I bloody think about. Dream about. You’re in my gut…my throat…my—I’m drowning in you, Summers. I’m drowning in you!”
“Leave me alone!”
“Buffy! You can’t just run away! I love you!”
She sprinted towards the car, determined to ignore William’s shouts.
“What?” Something in his voice made her turn, looking back at William just as the sound of gunfire filled the air.
Buffy knew she had died, but it didn’t bother her much because she was in heaven. She was floating on a cloud, warm and safe, her naked skin covered with soft sheets and the body of the man who was curled along her backside.
I wonder who he is? she thought, keeping her eyes closed. What he looks like…
The faces of handsome celebrities came to mind as she stroked the long, slender fingers that possessively held her stomach.
“Mmmm,” he hummed, purring in her ear, causing Buffy’s toes to curl.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.” Snuggling closer, she sighed in pleasure as the mystery man kissed the tops of her shoulders.
Damn, whoever this guy is, I’m keeping him.
As the kisses continued, Buffy held her breath when the hand on her stomach slipped between her thighs. His touch ranged from feathery to firm, and in no time he had her panting, in awe of his talented fingers. She couldn’t believe that he knew exactly where and how she wanted to be touched.
“You’re amazing,” she croaked, twisting blindly to kiss his mouth. The joining of their lips and the mingling of their tongues was brief, but it didn’t put a damper on the shot of recognition that shocked her body.
I’ve kissed this guy before!
Still amused with guessing the man’s identity, Buffy was lost in thought, ruling out crushes, flings, and former boyfriends when he moved her onto her back. He sheltered her under his weight and positioned his erection at her opening.
“Mmmm…my God, pet.”
Pet? Only one person has called me that…
Forfeiting her game, Buffy’s eyes fluttered open. She saw white-blonde hair, pale flawless skin and the body of her lean-muscled partner as she took him inside.
“Wondered if you were going to open your eyes.” William smiled and brushed his lips against her nose. “Good morning, baby.”
Frozen in shock, Buffy tried to remember the night before as they made love.
We were at the warehouse. He made me upset. I ran. He yelled. I was shot.
“Yeah?” he chuckled. “Why do you sound as if you were expecting someone else?”
“I-I…can’t. This can’t be happening.”
“Are you alright?”
“Stop. You need to stop.”
“Buffy? What’s wrong?” he asked, pulling away, but staying close.
“I…God, get away from me!”
“A-are you sick? Hurt? What--.”
Not able to sort her thoughts with William staring at her, his eyes big with worry, she hastily shoved him off the bed. The blankets soon joined him on the floor as Buffy frantically searched her stomach.
“Oh my God,” she whispered, realizing that where William had held her so tenderly was a healed wound the size of a bullet hole. “I-I didn’t die.”
“What the hell are you talking about? Of course you didn’t die! You just might though, when I get my hands on you. I can’t believe you pushed me off the bloody bed!”
Moving quickly, Buffy covered her body with a pillow, shielding it from William’s gaze as he pulled himself off the floor.
“What is going on here? Where am I? What did you do, William?!”
“If this is some kind of joke—if you’re trying to be funny--.”
“There has to be some explanation. There has to be some reason. I wouldn’t have done this out of my own free will. I wouldn’t.” Words flooded from Buffy’s mouth as she thought out loud. “I wouldn’t just do this. I—oh my God, what was in that bourbon?!”
“You drugged me! What was it a date rape drug? A roofie?!” Reaching for the other bed pillow, she hurled it at William’s head. “You are unbelievable!”
“No, you’re fucking insane!”
Buffy’s chest heaved as she looked for something else to throw. “I’m insane?! I’m insane?! Where are my clothes?!”
“Where do you think?!”
She scanned the floor and found it free of discarded clothing. “William, I need to get out of here! I need to go home! Where are my clothes?!”
“You need to go home?” William repeated, voice quieter, but still angry. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Do I have to spell it out for you? I want to get away from you. I want to go home, where I’ll plead with my boyfriend not to leave me, and then he and I will go to the station together to get your ass thrown behind bars!”
William opened his mouth and closed it. All his rage was replaced by a look of genuine sadness. “Your boyfriend? Oh, Buffy, you can’t be serious.”
“Did something happen? Did I do something?” he whispered, extending his hand to touch her knee. When she hissed, he slowly drew the hand back. “Can’t we talk about this? Can’t we sort this out?”
“Why do you always want to talk?” Buffy demanded. “I just want my clothes!”
“You, you should keep it down,” William said, biting his lower lip. “Your clothes are in the closet, the dresser… Stay put and I’ll get you something to wear.”
Buffy’s thoughts were racing as he walked around the room with a blanket secured around his waist.
Why would I have clothes here? If I was shot last night, why is my wound already a scar?
“I don’t want you to leave me.”
She raised her head, finding William looking down at her, his jaw set.
“I don’t have a fucking clue what I did, but I take it back. I love you and--.”
“I love you. You’re all I bloody think about. Dream about. You’re in my gut…my throat…my—I’m drowning in you, Summers. I’m drowning in you!”
“Leave me alone!”
Buffy jumped, burned by flashes of their argument. “Well, I don’t love you! I’m not leaving you, b-because I was never here! Not by choice! I don’t know what you did, but you’ll pay for this! I will never, never love you!”
“I don’t understand. I thought we were happy. I thought,” he paused, looking away as his eyes filled with tears. “You loved me yesterday. You told me so.”
“I told you to stay away from me yesterday. I told you that I had Riley.”
“Riley? What does that tosser have to do with—oh, you’ve got to be kidding me!”
“God, he’s probably worried sick. I need to see him! I need to go home!”
William stopped, the sound of light knocking on the door grabbing his attention. “Now you’ve done it,” he whispered. “I got your bloody clothes, go in the bathroom and get them on. When you come out, I don’t want to hear any more yelling from you, alright? You’ll scare them to death.”
“Get in the bathroom.”
“You can’t order me--.”
“Yes, I bloody well can! You’re under my roof; I won’t have you terrifying our children!”
“Fuck you, Summers,” he snapped with a venom she’d never heard him direct towards her. “You can continue with this game. You can tell me whatever you want. You don’t love me anymore? Fine! You want to cheat on me with Finn of all people? Fine again! But don’t drag our kids into your shit!”
Nostrils flaring in anger, he yanked the blanket from his hips and tossed it at Buffy before quickly pulling on a pair of drawstring pants.
“Just give us a minute!” he yelled through the walls.
Confused beyond all comprehension, Buffy modestly wrapped her body and waited, anxious to see what could be waiting behind the door.
Kids? We have kids? William and I have children?
As he opened the door, she glanced at her left hand and groaned at the sight of two bands: a diamond engagement ring and simple golden ring.
“Oh, my, God,” she breathed.
“Mom! Mom! Mom!”
“Good morning, Mrs. Giles.”
Buffy looked at the two toddlers, to William, to the stranger that was holding another baby in her arms, and then back to William.
“Three? Not just one, but three?”
“Last night we were working on our fourth.”
“Oh,” Buffy muttered before fainting.