Wife For A Day

By: Angel

 

In life, you come to expect things. You'd think that after 29 years of bad experiences, false truths, and complete screw-ups you'd expect the bad things to happen even more. But then again, sometimes even people like me drift into a fantasy world where we see things as how we want them to be, instead of how they really are.

That's what she told me.

My fiancé-the only woman I've ever allowed myself to be engaged to, told me that I simply didn't see the "signs". But now as I sit alone, pondering what in the Hell that meant, I have to wonder if maybe she was just looking too hard to find them.

She always was a bit of a perfectionist...And a bitch...And to be perfectly honest, a bad lay. But I had been willing, as strange as it may seem, to overlook those things. Why? might you ask. Because she made my sister happy.

True, my sister had never met my bride-to-be, but the idea that I was settling down with someone to watch over me constantly, had made her beyond happy. Beyond thrilled...Hell! She seemed happier to hear that I was getting hitched, then to get engaged herself! So you can imagine how bad I'm going to feel when I tell her that I'm not engaged anymore, when I show up at her own engagement party, with no fiancé on my arm.

How can I be such an ass to her? I can't go and ruin her big night like that!

But then again, what choice do I have? I can't lie to her and tell her that my fiancé got sick or something. She'd see right through me and spend the rest of the night drilling me with questions to see if I'd slip up and reveal the truth. Then she'd look hurt, betrayed, and above all: disappointed. And that was, oddly enough, the one thing in life that I couldn't stand.

My father leaving me to raise my sister and take care of our sick mother? Fine. Being forced into date after date with countless airhead beauties? Who cares? Getting yelled at and dumped by my fiancé? Whatever.

But disappointing my little sister? Just the thought of it made me inwardly cringe.

She was really the only reason I'd asked my fiancé to marry me in the first place. I just wanted to make my sister happy. It seemed that was all I ever wanted. My friends said that it seemed I spent my entire life trying to make it up to my sister, for the fact that our father left. Maybe it's true, in the end. But who can tell?

So now here I am, two hours from my sister's engagement party, supposed to bring the woman I'm 'happily in love with', and I'm completely alone. What the Hell am I going to do? Sadly, my options are limited to

A.) faking an illness and not going.
B.) telling her my fiancé is sick, and going.
C.) sitting here and pretending I forgot.
D.) jumping out my penthouse suite window.

At the moment, I'm thinking D would be the best solution. I ruled out C, because I had just talked to my sister an hour ago, and she'd know I hadn't forgot, and know immediately that something was wrong, which would then make her leave her party early to come over to my penthouse suite and find out what was wrong. In fact, she'd probably do the same if I went with choice A. If I told her B, she'd watch me like a hawk until I said something to reveal myself.

Which brings me back to D.

I was knocked from my suicidal thoughts by a loud knock on the door. "Seamstress!" the butler announced chirpily.

"Send her in!" I sighed and stood up. Walking over to the window, I looked down at the world passing me by. Maybe I could jump when the seamstress came close, and then it would look like I'd been pushed. Then my sister wouldn't think I'd had no other excuse for my lack-of-fiancé but to jump to an untimely death in the middle of rush hour traffic.

The door to the elevator outside the suite opened, and I heard high-heeled shoes clicking on the marble flooring. The butler at the door spoke briefly to the woman, and then he opened the door and she entered.

I kept my back to her for as long as politely possible, and perhaps a little longer. Why should I be bothered to care if the seamstress knows I'm a bad man? The entire party will know tonight when I break my sister's heart in front of everyone, so why not go ahead and get started with the rest of the Palm Beach community?

**

Entering the suite, I tried to remind myself everything that mama had taught me about having polite manners around the rich and powerful. It was amazing that Edmunds, the tailor I worked for, had the guts to let me do this expensive job so fresh off starting to work for him. But he assured me that I could do it, and that all would be fine, as long as I was back in time to close the shop.

That'd be no problem, of course. The sooner I got out of this stuffy rich man's stuffy rich abode, the better. The words of the butler flashed through my mind's memory, "He's not in the best mood at the moment, Miss. Best keep chit chatting to a minimum, get your job done, and get out before he takes off your head."

I had appreciated that advice, but at the same time I'd hated it. It almost made me sound like a call-girl of some kind. "Get your job done and get out"! That could be the slogan of my company. Buffy the Rich Layer. Not the best sounding ring to it, but I can work on it.

Upon entering the suite, I have to work to keep my jaw from dropping. There's expensive, designer garments tossed everywhere, and file contents dumped over every single table. Where am I going to set my sewing machine in all this mess?

Lifting my gaze to the inhabitor of the room, I had to work twice as hard to keep my jaw from dropping. I could only see his back, as he had rudely decided to ignore me for the time being, but that was enough to shock me into awe. Under his crisp, white dress shirt, his muscled chest rippled as he breathed, sagging a little more than it probably did when he was in a better mood. His broad shoulders, strong arms, and finely sculpted back promised that the rest of him would look just as wonderful.

"Good afternoon!" I found my voice, a little more nervous than I'd hoped it would sound.

When he turned around, I found that his back and arms had kept their promise. For the man before me, was without a doubt...Gorgeous.

**

"Good afternoon!" a young girl's sweet, charming voice said.

Turning to face her, my jaw did something extremely uncharacteristic of it...It dropped. The woman before me, though short and blonde wasn't usually my taste-was absolutely stunning! Darla's shoulder-length, brown hair, and tall form, had always fit well at my side. Natural. It was just comfortable. But this bodacious blonde, would demand the attention of an audience, and keep me on my toes if she stood next to me, tucked under my arm. In my car. In my bed...

I swerved my mind back to reality, avoiding the low-cut collar of her red silk blouse, and the gentle huge of her black pants to her hips and voluptuous behind.

"Hi," I grumbled, my voice sounding a little harsher than I wished. She almost flinched at the sound of my negative tone, but she maintained her strong position before me. Trying to keep my mood low and down, despite how happy I wanted to be upon seeing her, I continued, "you can set up your things on the dining room table." I waved my hand toward it, dismissing her for the moment, and oddly enough feeling like an ass for it.

I'd never felt like an ass for dismissing Darla after sex...

"If it's possible, can you change into your pants as well," she motioned to my dark jeans. "I'd like to get started right away."

I almost smiled. 'Almost', being the keyword. She'd taken my dismissal without a flinch, and fired an order of her own in my face. Not many would dare, but I was delighted to see that she did. For the moment, I forgot about my impending doom, and allowed myself to smirk.

**

I left him to change, going to the dining room connected to the unused kitchen, to set up my sewing machine and other supplies. As I worked, I couldn't help letting my mind wander to thoughts of his dark eyes, his perfect mouth, his fine teeth, his spiky hair...The evidently large manhood hidden under his jeans. Bad as it was, it felt good to be aroused by the idea of sex for once. I'd heard from friends, that it could be great, but never had the interest to go that far with any of my previous boyfriends. They'd all been pretty bad during other sexual acts, so I'd basically figured there was no reason to rush into some painful and boring experience for the first time.

That's usually why they left by the third month.

Oh but once I had a guy stick around for five months! True, it was sixth grade, but still...Okay. Bad example. I know. I'm working on it.

Pushed from my memories when Mr.Delicious walked into the room, I shook my head disapprovingly at some of my thoughts. "All set," he announced to me, holding out his arms for me to see that he had indeed changed his pants.

I nodded, "I'm almost ready." I finished with the sewing machine, and then pointed him to the centre of the room so that I could begin. Dropping to my knees before him, I felt a little strange. I was so close to him, and in this position I felt oddly intimate with him, despite the fact that I barely knew this man, and I'd done this a thousand times.

I tried to assure myself it was just his appealing looks that made me desperate to taste him, and I went about my work.

Becoming deeply involved in my work like I usually did, it startled me when he began to speak in that low, rumbling, handsomely seductive voice of his. "Have you been doing this long?" he asked, trying to sound casual.

**

In all honesty, I was trying to distract myself from the idea of pulling down my pants and thrusting in to those red lips. If I could just hear her talking, maybe I'd be able to focus...Maybe I'd be able to resist...'Maybe' being another one of those key words.

"A few weeks," came her answer. Holding a pin in her mouth, her voice was muffled slightly as she clenched her lips to keep from dropping the thin piece of metal. Oh God! Why can't I be that piece of metal right now? She distracted me then, continuing, "I've worked as a seamstress before though. So don't worry. You're in good hands."

I smirked, feeling oddly flirtatious as I responded, "that's good to hear." There was a moment of awkward silence then as I inwardly cursed myself for sounding so forward about what I wanted. The again, this is a beautiful woman, so she probably gets comments like that all the time. Hell, maybe she even does more than adjust suits...

"What else have you done?" I asked, smacking myself once again with words, to keep my mind on track and out of trouble with the rest of my body.

"Umm...Waited tables. Worked as a make-up artist at a theatre. Been a secretary. For three gruelling hours, I was a dental assistant. And once, I was a nurse at a free health clinic, but I was let go when I fainted at the sight of blood," she smiled at the memory, making me feel warm inside for so many different reasons.

Still I teased, "so I guess you have a reason of your for being careful with those pins, hmm?"

She laughed, sending music to my ears, "I guess you could say that." Wait a minute...Music to my ears? What the Hell am I thinking? She's a seamstress! Not some woman I've been in love with for the past five years! I've never even been in love, for that matter.

"Okay!" she announced, climbing to her feet with a hop in her step. "Go change out of those extremely carefully, and I'll start working on the adjustments." Without another word or though, I left the room.

I was in quite the predicament here. If I talked to her, I started thinking like a schoolboy. If I didn't talk, I started getting dirty raunchy thoughts about her. What the Hell is wrong with me? I've fought physical attraction before. So why is this one any different than all of those?

As I changed my pants as carefully as possible, I couldn't keep my devious mind from forming a plan. What if...No. That will never work. But still, it could...What if I asked her-payment would be necessary of course...Do you think she would?

Re-entering the dining room in my jeans, with my pants and shirt in-hand, my mind was still whirling. I handed them to her, and without another word, she went to work. Taking a seat at the kitchen bar, I watched her hunched over her little sewing machine. She looked cute with her brow furrowed in concentration. Maybe this little plan of mine could have some extra perks to it...

Or maybe it'll screw me over even more.

**

I was trying to concentrate. I had my concentrate face on, and I was working well, but there was a lingering distraction in the back of my mind. I guessed rather quickly that it was brought up by the scrutinizingly intense gaze of the gorgeous man sitting only ten feet away from me on a bar stool. Or it could be my electrical bill. It needs to be paid.

No. It's definitely the hottie on the stool.

**

After taking what seemed like forever on my pants, she shut off her sewing machine. "Here. Try these on and I'll make whatever adjustments are necessary." I took them from her, and did as she asked.

Coming back from the changing, I had my mind made up about asking for her help. I had to do it. There was no other way to relieve the stress of this situation.

She dropped to her knees once again, making my insides jerk in aroused response. Beginning to check over her work, she seemed oblivious to me as I fiddled with my hands, trying to come up with the words to use.

"Looks good!" she stood then, and went to her sewing machine. She began working on my shirt then.

Still I stood thee, swaying a little nervously from foot to foot. "Um..." I began to speak. "W-What's your name?" I finally asked, figuring that an honest approach with which I could use her actual name, would be the best.

She shut off the sewing machine and turned her head to smile at me. "I'm Buffy."

"Buffy," I repeated it, smiling. I kind of liked the sound of it. It was sweet and tough, all at once. "Um, Buffy?" I asked before she could start working again. "I uh... I have a question for you."

She turned to look at me. "And that would be...?" she trailed off, waiting for me to fill in with an answer.

"I have this...Thing. And I, uh...I had plans for it, but...They sort of fell through. I have this thing that kind of depends on me, and it...Well, I have a proposition for you. I mean, there'll be money. I can pay you. That's no problem whatsoever! But it's just-"

**

Oh My God! He's asking me to sleep with him like some three-dollar-hoe!

I stood up immediately. I began packing up my things. I don't care how big the tip from this job can be, Edmunds will just have to come over and finish it himself. I don't have to take this shit from rich men who think they can get anything from me.

"W-Where are you going?" he asked.

"I'm sorry," I apologized with no meaning in my voice. "But pride is not exclusive to those of you that use valet parking. I'll be sending my boss to finish this job. Good day, sir," I nodded curtly at him, and then headed for the door.

**

By the time I realized what she must have thought I meant, she was already at the elevator, pounding the button frantically.

"Oh no!" I gasped.

I ran from the room, and threw myself in front of the elevator. "I wasn't asking you for sex!" I blurted out. She looked taken a-back, and I rushed to add, "I mean, not that you're not attractive or anything but...Dammit, this isn't what I mean. Can you please just come back inside so I can explain what I mean? I promise I won't try anything stupid. And I can pay you for the pants."

She looked hesitant, but agreed nonetheless.

I shut the door behind her, and asked her to set her things down so that I could explain what I meant when I said "proposition".

"I wasn't implying that you do...That sort of thing," I frowned, fiddling with my hands nervously. "I just...Well, my problem is this," I cleared my throat, and began. "My sister has an engagement party this evening, that I'm supposed to attend."

"Hence the fact that you need this tux done right away," she crossed her arms over her chest, and waited for me to continue.

"Exactly!" I confirmed. "But my problem is that...My fiancé decided to break off our entire relationship, about three hours ago. If my sister knew this, she'd just die. She's been looking so forward to meeting my fiancé, because it means a lot to her that I have someone to-I don't know-take care of me?" I shrugged. "Anyways, so here I am about two hours before this party, with no fiancé to introduce to my sister at her engagement party. I can't not go to the party, because then my sister will be suspicious and all, and I can't fake an illness for my ex-fiancé, whom she believes I'm still engaged with, so I thought up a plan."

"Which would be...?" Again she waited for me to fill in the blanks.

"If I could bring my just-just for tonight, then!-then I wouldn't ruin my little sister's engagement party for her. She'd be happy," I explained.

Buffy raised a hand tentatively and said, "sorry to interrupt and all, but...Didn't you just tell me your fiancé dumped you?"

"Well, she didn't dump me, parsay," I sighed then as I gave in to the fact that she had, "okay. She dumped me. But you don't know what I mean here! I'm thinking that if I can bring someone in her place, and say that she's my fiancée, then my sister will be happy for the night. Then I can tell her in the morning. But it's really important that I keep her happy on the night of her engagement party and all..." I trailed off, hoping she'd see how desperate I was.

Realization dawned in her eyes. "Oh, I get it!" she smiled. "You want me to find someone to go in the place of your fiancé, and act like her, so that at least for tonight-your sister will be happy, knowing that you're engaged."

I swayed my weight again, and looked up at her through a hunched gaze, "actually, I was sort of hoping that you'd do it."

She started laughing at this, but then she saw I was serious. "What?!" she was astounded. "You want me to go as your fiancé?" she pointed to herself, and then to me. "Are you serious?"

"Y-Yes," I was actually shaking at the idea that she would reject my proposal. I wanted so badly to be able to show off this hottie for the night.

"They'd never buy that!" she exclaimed then. "I mean, first of all-I don't even know your name. And secondly, your girlfriend's probably tall, and gorgeous, and brunette. And I’m not! I don't have a thing to wear to the type of party you're thinking about taking me to! And to top it all off, I'd slip up and introduce myself as Buffy, instead of...Whoever you were engaged to!" she looked totally flustered.

"My name's Angelus. They've never seen a picture of Darla, and they don't know her name. It's been a very brief romance. I can have a dress ordered for you right away-along with stylists and such to get you read. And I think as far as looks go, you'd do just fine," I couldn't help smiling slightly as I spoke the last part.

She stopped panicking then. "A-Are you sure?" she asked, frowning at me. She didn't look like she believed me. She looked like she was trying to read my soul in my eyes to see if I was playing a practical joke on her. She lightened then and said, "well, if you put it that way..." she leaned her head to the side. Then a huge smile wrapped around her picture-perfect face, and she said, "okay."

I felt like jumping for joy.

**

Angelus (what an awesome name, huh?) stayed true to his word about the stylists. About twenty minutes after agreeing to this crazy idea, I was being fitted for a dress. I had made quick work of finishing his tux, despite the fact that he said he could call someone else to do it.

I knew this idea was crazy, but something inside of me couldn't resist, despite the fact that I barely knew this man, hated the society he was a part of, and I was probably going to get fired for being late.

But all of those major things seemed so small and unimportant when he looked at me and said that my looks would be 'just fine'. Sure, it was no big compliment, but I've definitely had worse. There's been, 'Wow, Buffy! You look like crap!' and there was, 'I've definitely seen better'. In comparison, 'fine' is probably one of the best compliments I've ever received from a man. It's definitely the first I've received from a man like Angelus.

The dress they had designed was an emerald green color with lots of sparkles. It set off my tanned skin, and the smoky green of my eyes just right. It was a halter-style, that dipped low into my chest, and gripped my body tightly. The back left little to the imagination, as it dipped to just above the rise of my derriere.

The stylists, who I'd come to know as Macy and Jasmine, worked with the base they had and created a beautiful woman that I never dreamed I could look like. They set my eyes off with smoky colors, and they bronzed my skin to a beautiful tan color. They hid that scar on my left jaw to the point where I'd momentarily forgotten that I had it.

For my hair, they curled it all loosely, and then pinned it all atop my head with an emerald butterfly clip, leaving a few loose tendrils curled around my face.

For shoes, the designer found some expensive Gucci, open-toe stilettos in an emerald green color to match my dress, which he informed me was very hard because Gucci wasn't known for working with such a color, and such small feet. They lifted me a considerable three inches, so I was a better height for my extremely tall 'date'.

**

What was taking so long? What were they doing to her? What did she look like? Why the Hell am I so nervous? All of these questions, plus thousands more, were racing through my head as I paced back and forth in my tuxedo in the living area of the hotel room.

I tried to assure myself that I was nervous about pulling off the Scam of the Century, but I knew deep down that wasn't true. My body was aching for that gorgeous woman, and I was finding it extremely hard to resist her.

It dawned on me that I didn't give a damn that Darla wasn't here, confirming my earlier suspicions that I was just marrying her to make my sister happy. It was the truth, after all. And it didn't bother me one bit to face it. I had never had the intention of settling down. I was a bachelor to the bone. I was filthy rich, I had friends, and a million beautiful women throwing themselves at my feet and in my bed...Why did I need to get married?

To make my sister happy, of course.

No doubt that Darla and I wouldn't have been faithful to each other. We never were. I would have undoubtedly slept with more women after getting married, then I would have before I was actually married and free to explore the wonders of the female body...Or for that matter, a population of female bodies.

Something inside of me wanted to say that had I been engaged to Buffy, I would have been faithful. But I ignored that like every other thought about asking her out for a normal date if everything went well on this 'fake' one.

To be perfectly honest, I'm hoping to at least get something out of this gorgeous woman. The fact that I may not, seemingly intrigues me further. A challenge could arise, and that's something new for me. But new could be good, right? Maybe it would be nice to have to pursue for a change.

My thoughts were interrupted as the doors to the bedroom opened, and the three designers and stylists came out. Behind them, I saw a masterpiece.

Buffy looked to kill for in that emerald dress that hugged her firm chest, ample behind, and beautiful curves. She had a body unlike any other woman I'd ever seen(and trust me, I've seen a lot of female bodies). Her curves were defined and well-proportioned, despite the fact that she was rather short and slender.

Her eyes captured my attention first, and I couldn't help smiling at their smoky depths. She was so beautiful, standing before me. It dawned on me that her outfit was not complete, and I shook my head to clear my head of dirty thoughts.

"You look stunning," I informed her honestly. "But there's one more thing..." I trailed off and went to the dining room. Picking up the large, velvet box, I came back in. "No fiancé of mine would never leave for an engagement party without being suitably dressed in expensive jewellery, so I called the jeweller for a favour."

Stepping up close to her, closer than I'd ever been before, I opened the box. She gasped at the site of the emerald and diamond choker before her. The matching earrings were encrusted with thousands of jewels, just like the choker. "Do you like it?" I asked, suddenly nervous that she wouldn't.

"It's beautiful," she whispered, her voice barely loud enough for me to hear her.

I smiled, "then I chose right." I set down the box, and as she put on the earrings, I made short work of doing up the choker behind her. I allowed my fingers to trace over the smooth nape of her neck. Her bare skin made me more aroused than I'd ever remembered being at the sight of bare skin. The tanned color suited her so well, and once the choker was done up, I allowed my eyes to skim over the rest of her bare back.

It dawned on me that I felt a tinge of jealousy at the idea of someone else looking at my 'fiancé', but I passed it off as having a shred of decency in my blood to the idea that this was my bride to be.

Then came the final part to the jewels.

The engagement ring.

No one would believe that my fiancé wasn't wearing the most fabulous ring, so I went all-out on this one. It was a huge Harry Winston, with diamonds encrusted in the platinum band around the huge diamond.

At the sound of the box opening behind her, she turned to look at me. Her eyes met mine for a brief moment, and then her gaze flicked down to the ring in my hand. Without words, I took her left hand, and slid the ring on her left finger.

I couldn't help whispering, "that looks so good on you."

She smiled faintly and whispered back, "it feels good." Looking up at me, her eyes were shining with excitement. It would be so easy to lean down and capture her lips with my own. After a gift like that, I doubted that she would reject. This moment was completely perfect for a kiss! But she blinked and disrupted the gaze, assuring my with that slight movement, that she didn't want to be kissed by a stranger...At least not right now.

**

I was so incredibly nervous and excited in the back of the white limousine as Angelus informed me of a few basic facts that he had told his sister. His ex-fiancé liked spas. His ex-fiancé liked Steven Tyler. His ex-fiancé loved Maui. His ex-fiancé had two parents, and they'd never separated. His ex-fiancé had one sister. His ex-fiancé wasn't nearly as beautiful as me...

That last one made my jaw want to drop. Beautiful? Well, that was certainly a step up from 'fine'! And here I'd thought 'fine' was the mother of all compliments to be received from a man like this!

Pulling up to the front steps of the HUGE mansion his sister resided in, Angelus gave me a reassuring smile. "You'll do great," he said. "If nothing else works and you're in a jam, just take my hand and ask me to dance."

I almost blushed then. The idea of dancing closely to this beautiful man was making me giddy. Giddy! It made me actually giddy! I'd never experienced a feeling of giddiness before. It was a damn nice feeling!

Angelus helped me out of the car, and I took the arm he offered as we headed up the steps to the beautiful home of his sister.

Angelus had told me a bit about his sister. Her name was Willow. She had red hair. She was really charming and sweet. Her fiancé, James, was in to oil, with dig sites in twenty different states, making him an extremely wealthy man. He also let it slip that she had had one broken engagement before this one, to a high school boyfriend named Xander, but that he was such an ass that she finally saw through her temporary blindness, to dump him six days before the wedding was to take place.

Upon first entering the house, I was in awe. Actually, from the moment I'd first seen the house off in the distance, I was in awe. But now I was in an even greater awe then the awe I'd been in before. The house was decorated elegantly, with gold and white carvings in the marble walls and pillar, and expensively framed portraits of family members all over the fantastic walls.

Angelus informed me in the car, that this was the home he'd grown up in with his sister, and his mother before she'd passed away. He moved out when he was eighteen, to attend a school of architectural design in New York, and afterwards he'd moved to Los Angeles to set up a firm of his own, and live in a swanky bachelor pad. He visited home often though, so he saw his sister all the time.

**

Walking into the large ballroom on the left of the grand staircase, I felt extremely powerful with a woman like Buffy on my arm. I was compelled to say 'woman', because one glance at her standing next to me in all her beautiful, elegant glory, she indeed was a woman despite the fact that I guessed her to only be about twenty.

I introduced Buffy to a million people as my fiancé, and they all looked her over with a politely critical eye. I knew they had been wondering what kind of woman would be able to tie me down long enough for marriage. By the approving nods of their head at me, and their flirty styles of speaking to Buffy, I guessed that they had their answers, and they approved of the union of Buffy and I.

It took about twenty minutes for me to find my sister. She was in the corner of the room, with people crowded all around her to examine her ring and congratulate her on the engagement. James was standing sturdy next to her, with a beam of pride in his stance. Obviously he was happy to be marrying Willow...But his motives still made me question him. True, Willow was a wonderful person, but she just didn't seem like James' type.

I asked Buffy to stay alert of him, and let me know what she thought of him. Buffy had laughed and made a sarcastic comment about looking like a stalker, but agreed to it in the end. I was glad that she had. Surely a woman like Buffy, dressed like she was, would be able to get information out of ANY man in this room.

Suave, ultra-cool James included.

"Willow!" I called as I led Buffy to her. Buffy hung a little tighter to my arm when she realized she was about to meet my sister, but her bright smile and polite manner never failed. She was extremely well at acting, but not many would be able to fool my sister. I was curious to see if Buffy could.

"Angelus!" she shrieked excitedly, her face lighting up when she saw me. She released James' hand, and rushed over to me, giving me a warm hug and a kiss on the cheek. "Oh I'm so glad you're here!" she looked to Buffy then, as she stood next to me with a smile on her gorgeous face. "And this must be the woman that's captured my brother's heart!" To me she said with a wry grin, "and I can certainly see why."

Buffy laughed, "oh you're every bit as charming as he assured me you would be."

Oh perfect!

Willow melted even more. "I'm Willow. It's so nice to meet you." She hugged Buffy then, surprising Buffy at first.

"I'm Buffy," Buffy smiled brightly at her. "I was so excited about meeting you tonight. You have no idea! I changed my outfit three times before Angelus told me it didn't matter, and to please hurry up before we were late!" Buffy laughed.

"Oh that sounds like my big brother alright!" Willow laughed. "He has no respect for the art of finding just the right outfit." Willow was liking Buffy immediately. I could tell. "And hey! Just think!" she said, touching Buffy's arm affectionately. "You and I are going to be like sisters!"

Buffy smiled, "that'll be wonderful, Willow."

I noticed James was watching my interaction with Buffy very intensely. He was as wary of me, as I was of him, and that didn't help my opinion of his motives. I hated the way he was eyeing Buffy for two reasons.

1.) he was supposed to be engaged to my sister, and wandering eyes are not permitted.
and 2.) I felt jealous that he was eyeing up the woman that I was helplessly falling for.

Falling? No. That's not right. Forget I said that.

Nonetheless, I felt compelled to ward him off without being too forward. So I moved behind Buffy, and placed my arms on her bare shoulders. She shivered under my sudden touch, and I leaned close to whisper huskily in her ear, "would you care for a glass of champagne, my love?"

She smiled over her shoulder at me, playing along despite how nervous she had suddenly become. "That would be wonderful, thank-you."

"It's my pleasure," I assured her, and placed a gentle kiss to her shoulder before leaving to get a drink for her.

**

Left alone with Willow, she seemed to be in awe. "Wow!" she breathed out. "I've never seen him like that! He looked so romantic!"

I smiled, allowing a blush to take over me for my act, "he is."

**

An hour or so later, after downing her first glass of champagne rather quickly, I led Buffy to the side of the dance floor to talk. Holding her around the waist, I leaned close to whisper in a low voice, "you're doing wonderful."

"I don't know about you," she said back. "There's a fine line between being romantically affectionate, and publicly groping. I think you're verging on it when you fondle my ass in front of your sister's fiancé."

"He was eyeing you!" I defended my actions. "Which makes me wonder about his honesty for loving my sister."

"You think he's a fraud?" Buffy asked.

I shrugged, "could be." Taking a sip of my champagne, I sighed, "there is one way to find out, however." I raised my brow at her.

She sighed. "Yeah, yeah. I know. After they finish dancing I'll see what I can find out about him without looking too conspicuous."

"Why wait until they're finished dancing?" I asked. "Just do this for me. Go out onto the balcony off the side of the dance floor over there, and I assure you that he'll be there momentarily. Okay?"

She looked unsure, but she agreed. I watched her as she walked away, the sexy swerve to her hips apparent and enticing. Oh what I wouldn't give for a woman like her to actually be my fiancé. Wait a minute...What? Forget I said that too. Must be the champagne or something. Or my nerves.

One of the two.

**

Sure enough, James stepped out onto the balcony where I was. "A nice night to watch the stars," he said, though I was sure that he wasn't looking at the stars. I turned to face him and smiled brightly. "I thought I might find you out here," he said, stepping closer. "Your fiancé has recently whisked my fiancé off her small feet, and they are indeed...Floating...around the dance floor."

"I'm sure he has," I smiled despite the fact that my Creep Alert was going off in many ways when he stepped closer.

"Might I ask what you're doing out here...Unattended?" he looked from my cleavage to my eyes, really not bothering to hide the fact that he was ogling me. This guy had absolutely no shame! What a creep!

"Just getting a breath of fresh air," I answered. "That champagne went right to my head, you know." I touched my head for emphasis.

"I see," he smiled in that try-to-be-sexy way of his. "Have you known Angelus long, then?"

A few hours. I didn't say that. I shrugged gently and said, "not too long. I haven't known him as long as you've known Willow, I'm sure." I was attempting rather lamely, to remind him that he was engaged to sweet, wonderful Willow. My heart went out to her. She was falling for a complete loser!

"Willow is very intriguing." he caught on to my train of thought. But then his eyes glazed and he said, "much like yourself." Stepping one more step into my zone of comfort, he whispered, "how much do you think a man should have to work at charming you, before you take his bed?"

My eyes widened slightly, but I kept my attitude calm. "As long as it takes," I said levelly, wanting to add that there wasn't enough time left to the existence of mankind for James to get anything from me.

"Perhaps we have a future together then," he smirked and trailed a finger over my shoulder blade.

I was about to push him back, when Angelus saved me. "Buffy!" he called sweetly. "Darling, there you are." He came around to us, and stood behind me, wrapping an arm firmly around my waist. "I was beginning to worry," he said as his thumb slid over the fabric of my dress, warning off James' advances.

James stepped back, "I was watching her. She was in no danger."

"That's good," Angelus kissed the side of my head. "Because I'd hate to have to start something at this party with a man who overstepped his boundaries."

I stroked my hand lovingly over Angelus' and couldn't help smiling teasingly at James. What a loser he is!

"Indeed it would be a tragedy," James agreed.

"But you know how I hate it when you fight," I stepped in, looking directly into Angelus' eyes. I turned my face to look at James again. "Why, once a man simply looked at me, and Angelus broke his nose."

"Oh darling, it was an accident," Angelus played along.

"An incredibly sexy accident," I smiled at him.

"If you don't mind, I'll be excusing myself now to find my bride-to-be," James nodded politely at the both of us, and then left to find Willow.

"I'm glad I got here when I did," Angelus said. "That guys exactly what I thought he was. No good for my sister."

"Angelus, when you said to get information from him, I had no idea you meant this!" I pushed away from him. "That man is downright disgusting! I can't believe you just set me up like that!"

Angelus stepped up to me again and whispered, "he's watching us. Don't make a scene here, okay? I'm sorry. I didn't know if he'd go for it, and I didn't want you to know and then try to hard, and make him suspicious of us. I didn't think he'd actually do it at his own engagement party. I'm sorry. Okay?" his eyes revealed his honesty.

I nodded my forgiveness. I suddenly realized then, how very close Angelus was to me, and how natural it felt. His arms were wrapped around my back, holding me right up against him. Lifting my head, I looked into his dark eyes. I felt my teeth begin to shake as my heartbeat increased.

Would he kiss me? Did I want him to? Yes. I knew I did.

"This could get out-of-hand," he whispered in that low voice, managing to hold the mood as sensual as possible.

I shook my head, mesmerized by his lips. "I don't care," I whispered, and did the unthinkable. I leaned up, and kissed him. The instantaneous attraction I'd felt upon first meeting him, was too overwhelming to ignore. And the little hints of seduction that he'd been passing to me all night, were telling me that he felt the same.

The kiss we began burned my mouth like an inferno. I was damning my soul to Hell by giving in to this sensual man, who had just hours ago been engaged to another woman...But I didn't care. As his left hand held my chin tenderly, and his right pulled me flush to his hardening groin, I couldn't help but give in.

Wouldn't you?

I gripped his shoulders tightly, wanting to be closer to him. I wanted to seduce him right here and now, but a piece of my mind remained. It vanished, however, when his tongue parted my lips and slid inside for a taste.

My insides began to scream as his tongue caressed the inside of my cheek, earning a heart-felt moan from deep in my chest. He smiled as he kissed me, drawing me even closer to his hardening member. His arousal gave me a unique sense of power, and I couldn't help feeling like I was on top of the world.

Wrapping my arms around his neck to pull him closer to me, I pressed my breasts into his chest, hoping that he could appease the ache of them. They were so hard that it hurt. God, why can't he just make love to me right here?!

His left hand slid up my hip, to squeeze between our chests and latch on to my breast. Fondling me in the moonlight, he kissed me breathless.

Leaving my breast, the only term I could come up with was "Reckless Abandonment." It was as much a crime in a courtroom as it was now. He'd teased me to a peak, and now his hand slid up to cradle my chin once again. And when the kiss finally-regretfully-ended, I was left gazing into his dark, lust-filled eyes.

The question he was asking me without words, made me want to die. I had to refuse. I knew that. But it would be next to impossible to do so. "I can't," I shook my head softly, looking down.

"Why not?" his voice was so quiet. It sounded as if he was pleading with me.

I looked into his eyes and whispered, "because I want you so much...And this will only last for one night. If I don't stop now, I'll never get over it." That was true. Completely true. I knew that if I didn't keep a check on my desire, I was never going to desire another. And I knew Angelus wouldn't want to be with me, so there was no way I could devote myself to him, and be forced to spend the rest of my life without desire for another man.

"So don't," he whispered his suggestion, placing a kiss to my jaw, on the small scar that I new was completely covered. Did he know it was there anyways? Had he seen it before it was covered by make-up?

**

Several hours later, Buffy and I said our good-byes to my sister and her scumbag fiancé, James. Driving away from the mansion, Buffy was so quiet as she gazed out the window. I doubted she was seeing anything that interesting, so I wondered what it was that she was thinking about.

"Will you stay with me?" I finally asked the question weighing on my mind. I had to have her. Some way or another, I had to have her. I was leaving tomorrow, yes...But what about tonight? Couldn't we just have now?...And every other time I was within a hundred miles of her body?

She looked to me from the seat opposite my own, not seeming surprised by my question in the slightest. She took a deep breath, the movement causing her beautiful breasts to rise and fall gracefully. "You know I can't."

I moved closer to her, leaning forward in the spacious backseat of the limo. "Why can't you?" I asked, gazing into her eyes, holding her gaze.

"Because you're leaving tomorrow, and I won't be able to deal with that if we do something tonight," she confessed. "I'm not like you. You can probably get up and leave without a care in the morning. But I won't be able to walk away from you if we do something tonight. What I'm feeling..." she trailed off and looked down for just a moment. "It's too intense, too fast. I'll be even worse off than I am now, if I let things get out of control with you."

I hated the answer, but I appreciated her honesty. At least I could be sure that she was feeling the same for me, as I was for her. It also comforted me slightly to know that she didn't 'put out' to just anyone. Maybe one day I'd have a chance with her...

"Besides," she attempted to lighten the mood. "I'm already going to lose my job for this. I can't lose my mind as well."

**

Arriving back at the hotel suite, I realized I still hadn't said anything in response to Buffy's earlier answer. She picked up her clothes and said, "I guess I should, um...get changed now."

I reached a hand to stop her, pressing into her taut stomach tenderly. I pulled her back to me and whispered, "stay. Please." Begging was on my agenda for the evening, but I was so desperate for another taste of her. "Please."

Before she could protest, I captured her lips in another kiss. Pulling her firmly against me, I allowed her to feel how much I wanted her, craved her, needed her. I slipped my tongue in between her full, pouty lips, teasing her breathless. Pulling her flush against my groin, I couldn't help moaning into her mouth.

Her hands were placed on my shoulders, and I remembered what that meant. It meant she wasn't caving. It meant that at any second, she could push me back and leave me standing here, with a complete hard-on, which was simply screaming for her attention.

I had a mental image of stripping that form-fitting dress from her beautiful body. Sliding my lips down her chest, to her perfect breasts. Nibbling, suckling, until she came from my ministrations to her breasts alone. Then slipping my fingers into her wet depths. Yes, she would be dripping for me.

Pumping my fingers in and out of her, knowing that soon I can do exactly the same thing with another part of my male anatomy. I could almost hear her gasping my name in that sweet, sweet voice of hers. Dripping with satisfaction...Desire...Need.

She pushed me back a few feet, and stared at me breathlessly. Gathering the discarded clothing that she had dropped to the floor when we kissed, she went to the bathroom. I watched the door shut, and wondered the million-dollar question...

Does she want me to follow her?

**

Do I want him to follow me? God, it would be such a perfectly passionate night. It could be wonderful...But then again, afterwards could be a living Hell.

Making up my mind, I flicked the lock shut.

**

The sound of the lock answered my question. She didn't want me to follow her. I left the bedroom, and headed for the bar in the kitchen. God, I need a drink!

I poured myself a glass of brandy, and drank it down in one swig. It would take a lot more than that to appease the pain in my pants, but it was a start. I decided to write her a cheque for her help tonight, before I got too shit-faced. I wrote it out for a grand, figuring that she was worth more than the eight hundred that I'd promised.

I set it next to her sewing machine and purse, and went back to the bar. I listened closely as she left the bathroom and entered the living area. I kept partially in-sight, to make sure that she knew I was there for her in case she changed her mind in the bathroom. If only she'd just say yes...

I heard her set down the dress and shoes, and pick up her things. A moment later, the sound of the door shutting made my spirits drop that final notch.

Left alone in the dark, without her, I felt like shit.

Great. Life was just great.

~~

Gazing at the phone the next morning, I sighed. I had to call Willow and tell her that James was a creep, and that Buffy and I had broken the engagement. But how could I tell her something like that? Sure, I had no problem telling her about James, but what about Buffy? If I told her that, then it really would be over between Buffy and I...Forever.

I couldn't do it. I couldn't make the call. I'd make it as soon as I got back to La, I assured myself. I just couldn't do it now. If I did, I'd be able to feel her sadness through the short distance from the hotel to the house. No, I had to wait and do it when I wouldn't be able to feel the tug of her heart breaking as she sobbed on the bathroom floor.

I'm such a bad man.

**

The next few days flew by in an unemployed, heart-broken mess. I should have guessed this much would come from my stupidity. I needed money to pay the electrical bill, but still I couldn't find it in myself to cash Angelus' cheque. I stared at it three nights in a row, falling asleep to the sight of his signature.

I knew I wouldn't cash it.

I couldn't.

That left me to the eternal nightmare of hunting for a new job. I hurried all over the city, looking for a place of employment, but to my dismay, I was having no luck. For lunch, I stopped in a little cafe on main street, hoping to distract myself from my woes with a fresh salad and a steaming cup of coffee to calm my nerves.

That's when tragedy became death.

"Buffy!" a familiar voice called happily. I turned, and almost stopped breathing at the site of Willow coming towards me, locking her BMW and jogging down the street towards where I was sitting on the patio of the little cafe.

She came over and sat down in the empty seat across from me. "Imagine seeing you here!" she said, more than happy to see me. "This is my favourite cafe! They have amazing Greek pasta salad here. What did you have?"

I motioned to my empty salad bowl, "a sprinkle of blue cheese and I'm good to go," I told her with a smile.

"What are you doing in Palm Beach still?" she asked curiously. "Angelus went home three days ago. I thought you went with him."

It took me less than a second to realize what that meant. Angelus hadn't told her we weren't engaged just yet. Oh great. That's just great! Not.

I covered easily, figuring it wasn't my place to let her in on the little secret that I wasn't actually engaged to her brother. "No," I shrugged, "I thought I'd stick around for a while and do some shopping and such. You know? Take in the sights."

"That's great!" she said happily. "I'm doing the same right now. We can shop together for the afternoon! Get to know each other a little bit better."

"I guess so," I smiled, despite the fact that inwardly, I was about to scream.

~~

Willow shocked me further, by insisting on buying some new thongs and bras for the honeymoon with James in Tahiti, Fiji, and Maui. I almost cringed at the mention of her sleezeball, dirty fiancé, but I checked my anger and hostility, and agreed to go along shopping with her.

She insisted that we model everything we tried on, a bit like a movie montage, and I hesitantly agreed. She was so insistent on it, despite how nervous and shy she could seem at times, so how could I say no? She was opening up to me, and it felt good to be a friend to her. I understood now why Angelus only wanted to make her happy. She was just so sweet and innocent, that the idea of hurting her or letting her feel bad, was completely disgusting and appalling.

Goofing around with Willow in the Ladies change rooms, turned out be funner than I expected. I hated the idea that soon she wouldn't want to talk to me when she found out that I wasn't really engaged to her brother, and I'd lied to her. But for now, I simply enjoyed dancing around like a complete goof with her.

Dancing to the Thong Song, we modeled sexy lingerie, crazy push-up bras, and even corset-style outfits that we both confessed to never having the confidence to wear, even in front of our 'future significant others'.

I had no money to buy anything, and despite the fact that I found several things I liked, I had to put them back. Willow noticed and asked, "what are you doing? I thought you said things worked for you."

"I, um...I realized I forgot my card," I played it off by acting like I hated my own stupidity. "I feel like I left home without my head or something."

Willow laughed. "That's no problem. Just charge it to my brother's card. I have the number and everything. After all, you're still engaged, aren't you?"

I smiled then as I realized just how to get back at Angelus for not telling Willow the truth. "Yes," my smiled broadened, "we're still engaged."

~~

I was still trying to get my mind in order, and forget about Buffy, six days after arriving home. I shocked myself completely, by actually buying the engagement ring that she had worn when she was my bride-to-be for a night. Three nights in a row now, I had held it in my hand as I fell into an exhausted slumber.

What was wrong with me? It was like I was feeling what heart break must feel like. Plus, there was the added fact that in Willow's mind, I was still engaged to Buffy. Every day that I let this faux marriage continue, I knew I would only be hurting my sister more when she finally found out the truth.

Why can't things just be simple?

My cell phone rang then, and I remembered that I had been expecting a call from my accountant. I opened it and sighed, "D'Aestas here."

"Sir," my accountant, Tim, spoke in that stuffy British accent of his. "You wanted to know if any cheques had been cashed, yes?"

"Yes," I answered, holding my breath to hear the answer. Had she cashed it? So far, she hadn't, which made me wonder if maybe she was holding on to it in the frame of mind that it was a memory of me.

It was wishful thinking, but it couldn't be helped.

"No cheques have been cashed, sir," he told me. "But there have been some charges added to your tab in a lingerie store in Palm Beach."

Probably Willow. She has millions of her own, but she still likes charging things to my account from time to time. "Who signed for them, Tim?" I asked with a sigh, sitting back in my chair and putting my feet up on my desk.

"A Miss. Buffy Summers."

I fell backwards in my chair.

~~

What was little Miss. Buffy up to? Why was she spending my money, but not cashing my cheque? Was she some type of scammer that got to my sister and finagled the number to my charge accounts from her? According to my sister, they'd spent a wonderful afternoon together, and gone shopping.

Of course, I still didn't tell Willow the truth.

Without a second thought, I boarded a flight to Palm Beach. I had to know just what the devious little blonde girl was up to. Through my contacts, I'd found little information about my preciously fake bride, except that she had just gotten a job at a coffee shop in the city, and that she lived alone in an apartment in the south end.

Not the best conditions for a fantastic scam artist, but definitely possible.

I handed the address of the coffee shop to the limo driver, and watched the nightlife of Palm Beach's main strip pass me by. I told the driver to stop a block or so down from the shop, so that I could walk in without causing a scene in the limo, or being too obvious about coming to find Buffy.

Walking into the coffee shop, I was met with the sight of Buffy Summers, the woman my heart was yearning for, in a short, black dress; serving coffee to a bunch of strangers. I took a seat in one of the booths in the back of the room, and waited for her to come over to me. She looked so tired when she finally came and placed the menu in front of me.

Good. She should look tired. Serves her right.

"What can I get for you?" she asked, trying to sound cheerful but failing miserably due to her current state of exhaustion.

"I'd like an order of Truth, with some Explanation, and My Money Back, on the side. Thanks so much," I smiled brightly at her as her eyes lifted to meet my own.

"Oh my God!" she gasped.

"That's right, Buffy." I smiled and let my eyes widen in a maniacal way. "It's God!" I was on a natural high with this whole 'intimidation' thing. I knew that I was enjoying this way too much.

She dropped into the seat across from me and said, "Willow pushed me to do it. I didn't even want to shop with her! But you didn't tell her the truth, and I couldn't openly hurt her like that, so I went along with it." Her words came out in a frantic rush that sounded like she had planned her explanation. "I can pay you back if you want. I haven't even cashed the cheque yet! You can have it back, if you want."

"When do you get off?" I asked calmly.

"I get off at two," she said, "but I have a break in ten minutes."

"Good," I took off my jacket. "You'll spend that break, and every other break, here with me. Then you'll come somewhere with me when you get off work."

"What?" she was confused. Shaking her head, "no. I won't. You didn't tell your sister the truth, so I had to deal with the repercussions of it. I think you should leave now, before I remember that I'm pissed off at you, and I don't owe you a damn thing." With that, she got up and went back to serving coffee.

She'd be back. I knew.

Feisty little one though, isn't she?

**

My break came, and I slumped into the seat across from Angelus, knowing that I'd regret it later. "So what are you doing here?" I started the conversation to keep myself from thinking about how damn good he looked, sitting across from me in all black.

"Enjoying some coffee, talking with my fiancé. What about you?" I raised my cup and took a sip of the hot, steamy liquid.

She sighed, "look, can you just tell me what you want? You've already gotten me fired from one job. I don't need the bother of having to look for another. What are you doing here, Angelus?" I could tell be the look in her eyes that she was serious, and she was dead tired. Poor little thing. So tired. So worn-out.

Me too.

"I'm not going anywhere with you later," she said slowly. "I have to get to bed, cause I get up early. I'd go with you, but...I just can't." She stood up then. "I'm sorry. I have things to do now."

"You're on your break!" I protested.

"Not anymore," she said, and started to walk away.

"Buffy!" I called to her, and she stopped and turned to face me once again. "I'll be back in a week or so...Will you do something with me then?"

She smiled and said, "let's see what happens. Maybe."

**

I was surprised beyond belief when I left the coffee shop promptly at 2:15 AM, to see Angelus leaning against a limousine, waiting for me. His left ankle was crossed casually over his right, and his arms were folded comfortably at his chest. He smiled when he saw me and said, "you're late."

"I told you I can't go anywhere," I reminded him, hating that he could make me want him so badly despite how annoying I should think he was.

He grinned then, "I know." Coming over to where I was, he took my hand. he led me to the limousine with no room for protests. He opened the door and helped me in. "But that doesn't mean I can't make sure you get home safely."

The limo ride was long, and generally uneventful. About five minutes into the ride, Angelus slid to the seat next to me, and slid an arm around my shoulders. I knew I shouldn't give in, but the larger part of my brain was-momentarily, of course-caught up in the feel of his strong arms pulling me close. I didn't move to make his job easier, but I allowed him to pull me into his embrace entirely.

I was so tired from working these night shifts. Why did I have to go and get myself fired from my normal job at Edmunds, in the first place? Angelus sensed how tired I was, and he leaned down to whisper in my ear, "lie down." He sealed his words with a flick of his tongue over my ear lobe, making me shiver.

It was wrong to do as he said, but I did it anyways. I stretched my feet out on the seat, and laid down on my side, so that my head-I admit now-was directly in his lap. He stroked his hands through my long hair, putting me to sleep with his motions. It wasn't fair that he could do this to me. Why couldn't I be this powerful over him?

**

By the time my driver informed me that we were at Buffy's apartment building, Buffy had fallen asleep. I hated the thought of waking her, so I carried her bridegroom style, into her apartment building. I whispered in her ear as we rode the elevator to the apartment that matched the number on the key that I had found in her purse.

The most difficult task was manoeuvring the door open with her in my arms. But somehow, I managed just fine.

Buffy's apartment was basic and small. There wasn't a lot along the lines of decoration. Some pictures of her, of people in her life. A few plants here and there. A living room couch, a small TV, a stereo and a rack of various CDs. Her kitchen and bathroom were equipped with the basic necessities. Her bedroom was decorated more than the rest of her house, with trophies from school competitions, more pictures, girly things, and boxes of things everywhere, giving me the distinct impression that she had moved in just recently.

I pulled back the large, white duvet of her double-sized bed, and went about the task of taking off her little dress. I moved very slow, so as not to wake her as I revealed her precious little body clad only in basic, dark blue panties and bra. I respected her privacy enough, to resist stealing a peak beneath the lacy material of her lingerie. I dressed her again, in a blue tank top, and some black jogging pants. Then I carefully settled her under the blankets.

She looked so peaceful there. So sweet. So innocent. So young. I couldn't resist looking for some paper and a pencil to sketch her image. Finding some computer paper in the living room where her small computer was set up, and a pencil in the corner of the room, I sat down next to her on the bed, and took the time to sketch her image onto the paper, and into my memory.

I studied-memorized-every line of her face, from the slight curve of her nose, to the firm cuts of her jaw. The small scar under her chin. I wondered where she got that. How old was she? Who did it to her? I was aware that I'd never bothered-or cared-before, to find out these things about the women that I lusted after. But then again, I already knew that Buffy was as different from those women as anyone could be.

And I loved that about her.

Slipping from the room, leaving the picture next to her pillow with a note that promised, "Soon"-I left her to her dreams. I could only hope-I knew now-that I would be in them.

**

Waking up, the first thing I realized was that I didn't remember the night before. I got off work, and then what?...Angelus. Oh no! I must have fallen asleep on his lap like some skank! So where the Hell am I now? Opening my eyes, I looked around at the familiar setting of my room. Now the next question...Had I done anything with him? I looked down, and was surprised to find myself dressed in jogging pants and a tank. Had he changed me? The feeling of my underwear and bra still on, made me breathe a temporary sigh of relief. Maybe he hadn't looked...Maybe.

That's when I noticed the paper on the pillow next to me. I flipped it over and examined the picture of me as I slept. I was in awe at the image before me. He made me look so peaceful. He made me look so beautiful. He saw things in me that I'd never seen, and he drew them to perfection's peak. The note attached promised, "Soon" and I had to wonder whether 'soon' would be soon enough.

For 'soon'...I would be going mad.

**

I didn't sleep at all the night before, and now over my morning coffee and paper, I'm starting to regret it. Looking down at the engagement ring that had once adorned Buffy's elegant fingers, I couldn't help feeling almost sad. Why was it that she could affect me like this? It wasn't fair. Why can't I have the abilities to wave such a powerful affect over her every move...Every breath...Every heart beat.

~~

I was expecting to tell Willow soon. I was expecting to see Buffy again. I was expecting something to go wrong. But what I wasn't expecting, was a phone call from a distraught Willow three days later. She sobbed into the phone in such a loud tone, that I could barely make out the words she was crying.

Only one sentence was apparent. "He cheated on me!"

It took me several hours to calm down my little sister. I said many times, "he wasn't good enough for you." And I said, "he didn't deserve you.," along with, " you're better off without him, Wil."

"Angelus, can I come stay with you and Buffy for a few days?" came her quaky voice at the end of her hysterics.

Oh boy.

**

Arriving home, I felt completely exhausted. Why couldn't I work a basic day shift like everybody else instead of working my entire night away? I had next to no social life already, and now I didn't even have the time to support one in the event that I gained a few friends. Life sucked. Except for the possibility of seeing Angelus again...

No. Don't think about him. Thinking about him is bad. Bad Buffy. Bad bad girl. Don't think about Mr.Gorgeous. But how could I not when he was sitting on my couch, his arms spread over the back looking sexy and scandalous in a way that only someone like him could pull off.

"What are you doing here?" I asked, my voice failing me. Just seeing him sitting there was tearing on my already depleted defences. I was going to give in to him now, for sure. There was no way I could resist.

"James cheated on Willow," he said.

Well, that would help me resist. It wasn't the most seductive way to start a conversation. Why did he always do that to me? He'd get me so ready, then give me some reason to fight my attraction. James, was a perfect reason. Who would want anything to do with him? He was the worst kind of man...Well, boy. Little boy. Little, immature, dirty, disgusting, cheating, filthy...Oh no! Poor Willow.

"Is Willow okay?" I asked quietly.

"She's asked to come and stay with me and...You," he kept his gaze locked on me as he spoke the words that I SO didn't want to hear.

"Great. The scam again," I sighed and dropped my keys and bag onto the table next to me. "Angelus, I don't want to go through all of that again. I feel bad enough as it is, about lying to her. Can't you take care of this yourself, and leave me out of it?"

"You know you don't want that," he hadn't moved from his place. A sexy smirk crept over his features. "You don't want to be left out of this, Buffy. My guess? You're intrigued, and dying for me to force you into it so you have an excuse for giving in."

"You don't know that," I said, hoping to God that it sounded more convincing to him than it did to me. "You don't know me."

"No?" he raised a brow. He smiled then, "come here."

I had to resist. This was stupid. This was pointless...This was everything I wanted. Who am I kidding? I can't keep going like this. It's been, like, a week, and I'm already willing to sell my soul for just a taste of him. My feet, of course, move of their own accord until I'm standing in front of him.

**

I lifted a hand and trailed it down Buffy's firm stomach, to linger under the hem of her black pants. "I'm going to make love to you, Buffy," I whispered, and leaned forward to pull her stomach to my face. Kissing her through the silk of her top, I felt her heart beat increasing. She twined her fingers through my hair and pulled me closer.

Taking off her shirt was so simple, and all that was left was her black, lacy bra. It went the way of the skirt; tossed across the room and abandoned to the floor. Latching my mouth on to one of her pert nipples, my fingers began to work on the buttons of her pants. She gripped my head closer to her chest, hoping to help with the ache in her perfect breast. Hearing her gasp my name encouraged me on as my fingers made short work of pulling down her black pants, and revealing the black thongs that matched her discarded bra. Her pants pooled at her feet, and she stood before me; next to naked.

"Is this what you bought with my account number?" I smirked up at her. At her smile and nod, I knew it was. "I'll have to make you shop with my money more often, lover. You look stunning." As I spoke, I lifted her to straddle my lap.

She leaned down and kissed me tenderly, tasting me. She licked her tongue through my lips, smiling at something. She took control now, sliding her fingers to the buttons in my black silk shirt, until she could run her hands over the firm expanse of my chest. She smiled sexily, and slid the fabric from my shoulders. She raised it in the air, and broke the kiss to gaze at me with a grin plastered to her gorgeous face.

She twirled the top around in the air on her finger, and said, "my turn." Getting rid of the top, she returned to fondling my chest. Leaning down, she licked and nipped along my collarbone, down to my nipples. Flicking one with her fingers, she tasted the other. She moaned against my skin, echoing the moan I had just released when she sucked my skin firmly, and nibbled oh-so-gently with her teeth.

As she continued to lick and nip my skin, she trailed her fingers down my sides, to the belt of my pants. Taking her sweet time, and driving me out of whatever was left of my mind, she undid my buckle, and the top button to my pants. I wished to Hell that she would simply hurry thing sup a bit. I was aching for her, and if she didn't let me slide into her moist channel soon, I was going to flip out.

She slid down my zipper just enough to free my straining erection. Her hands closed over it, and I moaned outwardly. "Yes," I whispered, locking my gaze with her own. her eyes were almost black with a passion that matched my own, and it made me shake with desire. God, I wanted this woman so much.

More than anything I'd ever wanted in this lifetime, or any other lifetime before. This was my idea of paradise. My idea of heaven. My ecstasy.

I couldn't wait any longer. I broke her thong off her, and at her protest of the ripping of the material, I answered, "I'll take you shopping for more." I slipped a finger into her heated depths then, revealing at the feeling of her tight wetness suctioning to my fingers. OH this was going to be so good!

She moaned and spread her legs wider, allowing me access. Much to her chagrin, however, I removed my fingers and lifted them to my lips. Licking one digit slowly, sensually, she almost exploded in front of me. She leaned forward and captured my lips in a tantalizing kiss that left both of us crying out for more.

Lifting her slowly, I slid her down onto my hard cock. "Buffy!" I shouted her name as she slid down on me even more. But then I felt my surprise overwhelm me, when I encountered her virgin barrier. There was no way she was a virgin! Her eyes spoke that she knew a lot about sex, yet her hymen told me otherwise. The look in her eyes as she slid down even more, and I ripped through the barrier, told me that she was indeed new to making love.

I was going to be her first.

I thrust into her completely, swallowing her scream of combined pleasure and pain in my mouth. Ending the kiss, she looked down into my eyes and whispered, "I never knew before tonight."

I lifted her up again, until I was almost completely out of her. Then I pulled her back down onto me. She gasped again, the pain lessened now. Kissing her once again, I lifted her off, and pushed back in. The next time I did it, she helped me, pushing in to me with a passion and a desire of her own.

Rising this time on her own, she stabled herself by settling her hands on my shoulders. Her eyes locked with mine as she pushed down again, making us both moan at the friction it created. She was losing herself in the rhythm we were creating, and as she gave in, I took over once more.

Holding her to me with one hand, I brought us down to the floor, and thrust into her. She screamed at the new position; her nerve endings erupting in pools of seemingly endless pleasure. "Angelus!" she gasped against my lips, making me even harder for her. I wasn't going to last much longer, and I wanted her to be there with me for when I exploded into paradise.

I slid a hand between our bodies as we settled in to a driving rhythm. I pinched her tight little nubbin until she was screaming, "harder!" I complied, adding an extra burst of energy to my thrust as she exploded into her orgasm; her inner walls clenching me tightly as she came, shaking violently.

"Angelus! Oh my God!" she clutched me tighter as her second orgasm hit, and I joined her this time. I captured her lips with my own as I pumped into her wildly, drawing out our joined pleasure for as long as humanly possible.

~~

"Will you come with me to Los Angeles?" I asked, holding her in my arms in her bed, about twenty minutes later.

She nodded, leaning up to kiss me; still breathless from our second round of love-making. It shocked me that I didn't cringe at the idea of making love to someone. This wasn't meaningless sex. It wasn't fucking. This was making love. Making love to a woman I knew I could fall for if I didn't watch what I was doing. But with her right in front of me, I knew I wouldn't be watching anything but her.

**

Arriving in Los Angeles, or 'Los Angelus' as Angelus liked to refer to it as, I was met at the airport with Angelus, by his token limousine. On the way to his mansion, he explained what he knew about the entire 'James' incident...Which wasn't much, truth be told. Basically, he just knew that Willow had caught James in the act, and told him to get out before she pulled out a gun and lost her temper.

Angelus' home was every bit as large and elegant as Willow's home was in Palm Beach, but Angelus' had a style that was all his own. He used darker, more masculine colors, like maroon and brown, whereas most of Willow's home was white and gold. It dawned on me that I'd never seen Angelus in light-colored clothing, and I had to wonder why that was. He would look to-kill-for in baby blue. But no, he was always in black, or maroon, or brown, or a very dark shade of blue.

"Let me just worn you that she's really upset," Angelus said as he helped me out of the back of the limo. "So she's really-"

He was cut off by the sound of someone shrieking my name, and running down the steps of the front of the mansion. I found myself swamped in a blur of red hair and blue sweat shirt as Willow clung to me. "Oh Buffy!" she sobbed, breaking down against my chest. "Oh Buffy, I'm so glad you're here!"

I held her back, trying to offer some form of comfort to this openly hurt and sobbing girl in my eyes. I looked to Angelus to watch his reaction, as he finally finished his sentence, "-needy."

"Oh my," I sighed. This was going to be intense.

~~

I finally found the time a little later, to sneak away from Willow while she had a nap, to have a much-needed bath, which Angelus-without any prompting from me-made up for me, complete with roses and bath milk.

Stretching out in the luxurious tub, with candles lit all around me, I felt like a princess. Just imagine that a few weeks ago, life has been so depressingly boring...So uneventful. Well, things do come in unexpected ways, I guess.

Willow had been so distressed earlier. All she'd done was cry. I still had absolutely no idea what had happened between her and James, but I was secretly dying to know. How exactly had she caught him? There was a gossip-starved woman inside of me, ready to sit and hate at men for a few days on-end. Maybe this would be a good time to let her out to make a bit of a scene with Willow.

Also, I had no idea where my relationship with Angelus was going...If you could call it a relationship. He doesn't seem like he's exactly "in" to getting married and such. He'd gotten over his ex-fiancé rather fast. But then again, he looked at me in a way that made me want to lay in his bed, in his arms, for the rest of forever. Was he meaning to do that? Did he want me to fall for him? I knew I wanted him to fall for me. But of course, that wouldn’t be the easiest task in the world. Especially with-

"Buffy?!" Willow called, waltzing in to the bathroom. "There you are!" she exclaimed. She pulled up a chair next to the bath tub and sat down, seemingly unconcerned with the fact that I was relaxing, naked, in a bath tub. Under the milky surface of the water, I had nothing on. But if Willow was fine with it, I wasn't going to complain. This way, I could relax, and get the dirt on James, all at once.

By the look on her face, I knew what had happened. "Did he call?" I asked sympathetically. Poor Willow.

She shook her head. "Not once. It's like he doesn't care. I guess in a way, he doesn't. I just never got the chance to see it before. I was too blinded by my 'love' for him, to see what he really was...Did you know, Buffy? When you met him at the engagement party, did you know what he was really like?"

I nodded, and she sighed. "It figures that I'm the last to know." She paused, and then said, "I guess you want to know what happened, huh?"

I answered honestly, "I'm curious, I'll admit, but I can wait if you'd rather not talk about it right now. I'll understand, Wil."

"No, I can talk about it. I should talk about it. Get it off my chest, you know?" she took a moment, and then began. "Well, James had to go to New York for business last week. And he came home two days ago. I thought I'd surprise him by modeling some of that new underwear. You know the stuff! I bought it with you. I was going to model the blue pair, with the dark lace on it. So anyways...I said I'd be home at around noon, and then he and I could spend some time together. Hence, the underwear."

She took a breath and continued, "anyways, I finished my errands early, so I went home a little before eleven. I found out from Laurice, my house assistant, that he was taking a 'nap' in the bedroom. So I got changed into the underwear and everything, and I had a bottle of champagne in my hand." The tears formed in her eyes. "And I went in to our room...And there was some girl on him. I didn't see her at first, but I recognized her from our engagement party. I'd thought before that she was eyeing James a little too close for comfort, but of course, I was so in love with him that I ignored it." She took a moment to wipe the river of tears from her face.

"Oh my God, Wil. I'm so sorry." I paused, and then asked rather curiously, "what did you do?"

She laughed. "I threw the girl out, dumped the champagne on the bed, called the fire department, and lit it on fire." We both laughed at this. "They probably have everything fixed and replaced by now, but...It just hurt so much, you know? I mean, I trusted him with everything I had, and he just turned his back to it all."

Suddenly, the door to the bathroom opened, and Angelus walked in. Seeing the little congregation going on, he asked with a frown, "is this a meeting I wasn't invited to?" He looked so cute when confusion showed on his face.

"No, it's okay," I smiled at him. "We're just chit-chatting."

He walked into the room, and set a glass of champagne next to the tub. "Do you want me to get some, Wil?" he asked.

I noticed that the mention of champagne sent more tears to her eyes. "Angelus?" I asked, getting his attention again. "Babe, can you hand me that towel there?" he went to get the one I pointed to, and Willow got to her feet.

"I'll let you two alone for now. I'll see you later, okay?" she turned then, and left the room without another word.

"What was that all about?" Angelus asked.

"Champagne is a bad memory for her now," I explained, taking the towel from him as I got to my feet and climbed out of the tub. He pulled me into his arms and held me close; running his hands over the terrycloth towel to dry me off.

"I remembered something when you were in the bath," he said, and reached into his pocket. He revealed a diamond engagement ring. But not just any ring...It was the one he'd ordered for the night of our scam. "You need this on your finger," he smiled, sliding it on for me. "There. Now you're mine."

"I'm surprised they didn't sell it when it was returned. It's so beautiful," I said as I looked down at it on my hand. The added weight of the diamond was a comforting reminder that for now, at least, Angelus was mine.

"They didn't have a chance to," Angelus spoke in a low, almost uncertain voice. "I never took it back. I couldn't bare the thought of someone else wearing it. I think...It's better on you, then on anyone else."

"What are you saying?" I asked, searching his eyes for an answer.

"I want you to marry me for real," he whispered. "Not for Willow. For me. I want to marry you, Buffy. Actually marry you. I swear over anything that I'll be faithful, and I'll give you anything you want."

"Anything?" I asked.

"Anything," he confirmed.

I paused, and then asked in a shaken voice, "can I have your heart?"

**

I didn't know what to say. I wanted to blurt out that the idea of that submission was making me terrified...But I didn't. "Buffy..." I began, looking down at the ring on her finger. Her gaze followed it, and she began to shake. "I...I was only engaged before, because I knew it was what I had to do to keep my sister happy."

"You're always trying to make it up to her!" Buffy exclaimed suddenly. "What did you do that hurt her so badly in the past? She loves you so much, and yet you're still yearning to make her proud. What did you do?"

"I told our father to leave," I confessed for the first time in fifteen years. I remembered that day so clearly. "My mom had been so sick, and my father had gone too far by making a comment about how lazy she was by staying in bed all day. He was always so inconsiderate. So selfish. I'd lost it and punched my father so hard that I felt his nose break with the force of my punch. Then I'd told him to leave. To never come back. And he didn't. Willow cried for days on end. I raised her when our mother died, and ever since that day...I just can't make it up to her. She had depended on having a strong male there for her."

**

"She did," I told him. "She had you." I took a deep breath, and then threw caution to the wind. I had to tell him how I felt. Honesty time. "Angelus, I want you. I want to marry you. To love you...But if you can't love me in return, I can't have anything from you. I want everything, or nothing."

He surprised me then by whispering, "so take all of me."

**The strands in your eyes that color them wonderful
Stop me and steal my breath
Emeralds from mountains thrust toward the sky
Never revealing their depth**

Angelus lifted me into his arms, keeping his eyes locked on mine; his gaze never wavering. He carried me from the bathroom, into the adjoining bedroom. I slid my fingers up and down the back of his neck, unable to keep a small smile from creeping onto my face. Who could have thought that I'd ever find someone like him? He was everything I ever dreamed of, and everything I dreaded finding for fear that I'd lose myself and fall helplessly in love. Now that I'm there, I can't imagine being anywhere else but in his arms.

His movements were slow, and I didn't once feel as if his step was burdened by my weight, or that he was rushing. He was taking his time, floating across the room with me in his arms. Finally reaching the bed, he laid me down, taking the time to remove the towel from around my chest. He smiled then, and leaned down to kiss me.

I move up the bed to the pillows, laying back as he continued to kiss me; making no move to deepen the kiss. His lips were like a prayer against my own; gentle and worshipping, taking the time to show respect and thankfulness, as well as asking for an eternity of love and peace. I wanted to pray back, but this was his time. He was in control. And for now, all I could do was enjoy.

**Tell me that we belong together
Dress it up with the trappings of love
I'll be captivated. I'll hang from your lips
Instead of the gallows of heartache that hang from above**

His left hand slid down the shallow valley between my breasts, making me quiver in nervous anticipation. Our first time had been passionate and all-consuming, with fires burning inside of us that couldn't be put out slowly. This time, we had time for everything. There was no desperation, just an overall need to satisfy one another, and express the love that we felt burning deep inside.

Moving his hand to my breast, he abandoned my lips and moved down my jaw, placing tender kisses everywhere. I laid my head back and shut my eyes, giving in to the urge of simply feeling him. A smile crept over my face as he blew a breath of air across my skin. He was teasing me!

Moving downwards, he placed kisses along the undersides of my breasts, making me sigh and moan in contentment. His fingers guided his way down my stomach, tickling my skin with teasing touches and gentle caresses. He took time to dip his tongue into my belly button and swirling it around the sensitive skin of my stomach. He kissed my hip bones, making me shake. I was so incredibly nervous. Every fibre of my being was dancing in excitement, and I couldn't get my heartbeat to return to normal. Nothing was normal. I wished this could be the way I'd always feel, but for now I simply accepted it as a piece of heaven. A piece of heaven that could be my own.

**I'll be your crying shoulder
I'll be love suicide
I'll be better when I'm older
I'll be the greatest fan of your life**

At the first touch of his tongue to my heated depths, I screamed. I'd never imagined that one touch could make me shiver so much. I tried to pull his head closer, but he wouldn't let me. Linking his fingers through my own, he continued his assault, licking me from top to bottom, and ending with a little swirl in my core.

I released his hands to grip the sheets beneath me. With his hands free, he was able to hold my hips down so that I couldn't move. He wanted full power over me. He thrust his tongue deep inside of me as his thumb moved to my clit to massage me gently. I moaned, feeling the pleasure building. Circling his tongue firmly over the skin beneath his thumb, I gasped his name. He started a rhythm of circles around my clit, his thumb continuing to apply pressure to me while his free hand held me down.

"Oh please," I whispered, my eyes clamping shut and my teeth nipping at my lips for release. "Angelus, please!" Upon hearing his name, he removed his thumb, and thrust two fingers into my wet channel. Applying his tongue to my clit to feel my reactions, he smiled. His fingers began a firm, driving rhythm that made me gasp in time to his thrusts.

I found my release then; lights exploding behind my eyes as I screamed his name, grabbing a pillow to bury my face in. I shrieked as he drew out my pleasure, moving the direction of his fingers slightly and initiating a second orgasm. Just when I thought I couldn't take anymore, he nipped at my bud, sending me into a third wave of intensity. I began to sob, needing to get away from his lips and his fingers before I exploded.

"No, please no," I whispered, sitting up to try to lift his head with my hands. He would have none of it, releasing a growl against my clit, which sent me into a fourth climax with the next thrust of his fingers. I fell back on the pillows, giving up my fights and convulsing through my fourth wave of ecstasy.

**Rain falls angry on the tin roof,
As we lie awake in my bed.
You're my survival; you're my living proof,
My love is alive not dead.**

Licking me clean, Angelus slid back up my body, to smile down at me. "You're wearing too much," was all I could say as my fingers moved to the bottom of his sweater, ready to take over some of our love-making. He'd had the control for entirely too long.

Pulling his shirt over his head and throwing it away, I was free to explore the firm muscles of his back. He held himself over me by bracing his hands on either side of my head. That wasn't right. I wanted to feel him crushing me, pressing down onto me. I a quick motion, I knocked his hands out from the bed, and he fell onto me.

Chuckling, he told me, "all you had to do was ask." Capturing my lips for a kiss, he rolled us over so that I was laying on his stomach. I could feel him poking at the confines of his pants, and I wanted nothing more than to release him. But I was intrigued by the taste of myself on his lips, so I lingered; tasting and teasing his tongue with my own.

Finally releasing from the kiss, I slid down his long, muscular body. I kissed over his chest, taking time to lay praise to his tight male nipples. He was so incredible. Every delectable inch of him. I took my time to lick over his hard ab muscles, perfected from years of physical activity in one way or another. Hooking my fingers in his pants, I began working on the buttons of his jeans. Unzipping him slowly, to make him wait a little longer, I began to slide his pants off of him. He lifted his hips to assist me, and I couldn't help laughing once. His eager attitude was beginning to weigh on his calm, collected demeanour.

**Tell me that we belong together,
Dress it up with the trappings of love.
I'll be captivated-I'll hang from your lips,
And stand at the gallows of heartache, that hang from above.**

Removing his clothing completely, I gazed up at him from where I was. His eyes showed so many things. Adoration. Hope. Passion. Desire. Need. I saw a flicker of Love, and I couldn't help smiling. Some people said you can't see someone's thoughts through their eyes. I say 'they' were wrong. I could see everything Angelus was feeling, everything he was thinking, and everything he was hoping. It was so simple to see, because I felt exactly the same way that I knew he did.

Lowering my head again, I placed a tender kiss to the tip of his erection, making him jump at the contact. Smiling, I did it again. He chuckled and said, "you're enjoying this way too much, aren't you?"

"You have no idea," I placed another kiss to the base of him. Continuing my gentle ministrations, I placed kisses and licks all around him. He groaned deep in the back of his throat, encouraging me on. I finally gave pity to him, and took him in my mouth. He gasped at the contact. He was so cold between my lips, and so large. It was hard to take him in without gagging, but I dealt with it by swallowing down when I felt my gag reflex kicking, allowing me to take more of him. My hands began a gentle stroking rhythm, which sent his head back onto the pillows in submission.

Moments later, I could feel how ready he was. He was so close to the edge, and for some reason he was holding back on me. I felt his hands then, lifting my head ever-so-gently so that he could stroke his fingers over the lines of my jaw. "Baby, you have to stop. I want to feel you around me." With that, he lifted me up to him, kissing me with a hungry passion that left me breathless.

**I'll be your crying shoulder
I'll be love suicide
I'll be better when I'm older
I'll be the greatest fan of your life**

He flipped us again, remembering that I wanted his weight on me, and opting for not holding himself off my chest. I nipped at his lips as I felt him hard against my thigh, asking for entrance. I spread my legs wider for him and cradled his hips between my knees. He nodded his head at the question in my eyes, and began to slide into me.

I gasped as he slid in all the way, feeling my muscles trying to take him deeper than humanly possible for me. Once in all the way, he kissed me tenderly. "Angelus?" I asked after the kiss ended.

He looked down at me, and it was like he just knew what I was asking, without having to speak the words. "I love you," he whispered. "I don't know when it happened," he smirked, "but I love you."

"I love you," I whispered as he drew out of me again. "So much," as I finished the words, he thrust back inside of me, removing all other thoughts or possible doubts from my mind. All I wanted, was to feel him.

**I've been dropped out, burned up,
fought my way back from the dead.
Tuned in, turned on,
Remembered the things that you said.**

His rhythm began to pick up speed with every thrust into me. Every time he pulled out, I felt like I wasn't right. I wasn't complete. Sensing this, he didn't linger long before pushing back inside of me. Kissing me with all he had in his soul, his pace increased that final notch, sending me into spasm as his fingers slid to pinch my nipples.

"Angelus!" I gasped against his lips, shutting my eyes tightly. He placed his lips over my jaw as he came. Looking back, I realize he was kissing my scar. He wasn't cringing at my small imperfection, but laying his claim to it. "Buffy," he gasped as he pumped into me, filling me, making me complete.

**If you try and don't succeed, cheat.
Then lie.**

I sighed in Angelus' arms, feeling like the sated, loved woman that I'd come to realize I was. Kissing his neck, I shut my eyes and allowed my mind to drift away to thoughts of what we'd done together.

"Where'd you get that scar?" Angelus' voice broke through the misty fog of peace that I'd been floating around in. "The one under your jaw."

"You really want to know?" I asked, a brief blanket of doubt muddling my gaze. At his nod, I took a deep breath. "I was engaged when I was eighteen. I know, it's hard to believe, but trust me. It happened. I even had the ring. This crummy little thing that had a flake of a diamond, promising nothing." I laughed at the pathetic memory. "And one night, I found my fiancé cheating on me. I took off the ring and gave it back to him. But that sort of pissed him off. He threw the ring at me, and it skimmed my jaw. I had two stitches. He threw it kinda hard," I sighed, "it's weird though, cause...I felt worse about breaking the engagement, then he did about losing me or hurting me." I looked up at him and said. "I guess that goes to show you that you can't trust just anyone."

"Will you trust me?" he asked, his voice low as he watched my eyes.

I nodded. "I already do."

"Will you marry me?" his voice was hesitant, unsure of what I would say in response. I could see the mottled colors of his eyes, telling me that he wanted me to say 'yes'. But saying 'yes', I knew, would be too easy.

So instead, I lifted my left hand and said, "I already am."

He smiled, taking my hand in his hand, and placing a gentle kiss over the large ring on my finger. "I'm going to spoil you rotten, baby," he kissed my knuckles. "Anything you ever want-you'll get ten of."

"I don't need that," I told him honestly. "I just need you."

Suddenly, the door burst open and an enraged Willow flew into the room. "You!" she pointed at me accusingly, "get out of my brother's bed, you...you...imposter!" She was extremely flustered.

"What?" I sat up, clutching the sheets to my naked chest. Angelus simply chuckled behind me, stretching his arms to pillow his head. "Wil, what are you talking about? What's wrong?" I asked.

"James left a big message that it turns out that a Miss Buffy Summers, was never engaged to Angelus D'Aestas. He was engaged to Darla DeLaine!" She spoke to me in a snotty, peeved manner. Looking to her amused brother, she said, "just what do you have to say for yourself? I mean, I thought Buffy was your fiancé! Now I find out she's not! What am I supposed to believe?" Turning back to me, she said, "so you! You...Whoever you are!-Get out of my brother's bed, and get out of this house!"

Sighing, I lifted my left hand and showed Willow the ring, which made her stop. "Wil, there's a few things your brother needs to explain," I said that part forcefully, looking back at Angelus to let him know what I meant. "But trust me, your brother and I are engaged. He was engaged to someone else before, but now he's engaged to me. So relax, okay?"

"I feel like such a spaz," her face dropped. "I'm a...a...A spaz monkey. I spaz at people, and they don't need to be spazzed at." She looked so remorseful over having yelled like she did. "I'm sorry Buffy. I'm a spaz. A bad spazzer. Can you forgive m-Oh my God! You guys are naked!" Her eyes widened in horror. "We'll talk later," she assured us, holding her hands in front of her eyes as she headed back towards the door. "Oh my God they're naked!" she exclaimed as she shut the door behind her.

As she walked from the door, we could hear her talking to herself, "good job, Willow. Waltz right in on a big sex fest! Good job. You have a knack for disturbing people. No wonder no one wants to sleep with you. You always ruin the moment!"

I ran a hand through my now-dry hair. "I'm thinking of writing a book," I chuckled. "Maybe a How-To guide for messing up scams by falling in love with your scam-ee and then befriending his family."

Angelus held out his arms and pulled me back into his chest. "What would this book be called, lover?"

I smiled, "I don't know. Something catchy, though. Maybe something like...Wife For A Day." I laughed. "What do you think?"

"A day's not long enough," he told me. "I'm thinking something a Hell of a lot longer. Maybe something like...'Fiancé For A Day, Lover For A Life Time'. How's that one sound to you?"

"Mm, catchy ring," I agreed. Leaning down, I kissed him softly, "I guess we better get started on that whole 'lifetime' thing then, hmm?"

"Definitely," he agreed.

~~
That's The End, Folks!



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