Part 6

Time flew by ever so swiftly, much to Angelus' exasperation and dissatisfaction. The innumerable amount of demon private detectives - not to mention Spike and some of his minions - that he had tracking down one elusive little witch was astonishing and still none of them had been able to find even the slightest clue leading to her whereabouts. Needing a diversion from his anguish, Angelus headed off to Sunnydale, a small town a few hours outside of Los Angeles of which the entire population was more or less exclusively vampire. One of his childer, Penn, was in charge there and had been begging him to visit - plus there was the added fascination of the rumor.

The gem of Amara, the vampire's translation of the Holy Grail and the one item that would make him beyond doubt immortal, was believed to be concealed somewhere beneath the cursed town. He was confident - well round about convinced - that the gem was going to be his. After all amid the exceedingly erotic dreams of his mate and he intertwined, he had been dreaming of the gem. If he added his dreams to Dru's visions then he was about to become the most prominent vampire of all time.

After the prolific welcome party that Penn had thrown in his honor, Angelus retired to the outsized bedchamber that Penn had, had equipped for him. He flopped down naked onto the black silk dressed king-sized bed and closed his eyes to begin his gratifying dreams of Buffy. His dream became so real that he could feel the wetness of her mouth upon him, but the wetness alone - without the heat - confused him to no end.

Opening his heavy lidded eyes he saw that in fact a blond was in his bed endeavoring to gratify him, sorry to say it was not his mate and was instead one of Penn's vapid little playthings. Pushing the blond viciously away from his nude body, he grabbed his blood red silk kimono and stalked off in the direction of his childe's rooms. He did not even bother to knock on the closed door, choosing instead to simply barge in. Angelus cared little about the scene that greeted him, Penn in the bed with five of his playthings, - he had in his vampiric early days done much more - and simply concentrated on his purpose.


Penn removed his concentration from his many companions, "Yes, sire?"

"The blond -"

"Was she not to your liking? I can of course arrange another - or you could of course join us," Penn suggested as he resumed full interest in his prior activity.

"Remove her or she will be dust," Angelus threatened as his fragile reign on his temper reached breaking point.

Heaving a sigh Penn eventually complied with his sire's wishes. "Rashta, go collect Harmony. She can join us instead of entertaining our company."

Angelus watched in silence as Penn's first childe - a slinky, sensual brunette - strolled past him with a seductive smile. "I did not come here to fuck your cast offs, Penn. I came for a specific purpose."

"And that would be?"

The lie slipped naturally over his lips, "To visit my favorite childe."

Penn laughter was acerbic in nature, "I had no idea that Dru was in Sunnydale."

"Penn -"

"Don't look so worried sire. The truth is I learned to accept my place in your life a very long time ago."

Angelus elaborately produced his trademark smirk, "I wasn't worried. I was merely visualizing cleaving out your spine for bitch-like whining." Without even a glimpse back at Penn's distressed face, Angelus headed back to his room to sleep and to dream of his mate and bona fide immortality.

In Buffy's estimation her study gathering was going fantastic. The gang and Jake were all behaving like well-behaved teenagers and for once nothing bizarre was going on with her cousins. She could more or less envision being able to invite people over on a recurrent basis, like any other teenager could.

The five teenagers had almost finished the group project that they had been assigned in history class and were starting to goof off a small amount with relief of the burden. Jake, being affectionate with his new girlfriend, pushed Buffy's hair back from her shoulder and leaned in to lay a quick kiss there when he noticed something that he had not noticed before.

"What's that on your neck?" Jake asked at full volume forgetting that they were not alone.

"What's what?" Buffy replied, turning away from the gossip that Willow was telling her about Melody Martin her arch enemy.

Without a verbal explanation, Jake took a hold of her hand and placed it over the area in question. "That!"

"You - uh - mean the scar?" At Jake's nod and her other friends' sudden fascination, Buffy continued with her explanation, totally unaware of Prue's silent scrutiny. "You see there was this puppy - an angry puppy -"

"And it bit you." Willow finished for her friend.


Jake kissed the scar quickly, mistaking Buffy's shiver as one of delight and not one of immense guilt. "Yikes!"

Gunn stood up and hovered over Buffy to get a good look. "I know you said this was a dog bite, but it looks sort of like one of those vampire bites - like out of the movies."

A couple of hours later after everyone had departed and all Buffy wanted to do was soak in a hot, vanilla scented bubble bath for hours; she instead found herself facing her three cousins. "What did I do now?"

Prue was the one to step forward to speak and Buffy guessed that since Prue was the oldest that this was just another duty she had inherited. "Where did you get that scar?"

Buffy sighed and rolled her eyes at them and their more or less predictably parental gang-up move. "Since you were apparently eavesdropping, then you know how it happened."

"No, we know the bullshit account that you told your friends," Phoebe chimed in. "Now we want the truth."

"Was it a vampire?" Piper asked calmly.

Buffy thrashed about on the inside with the disbelief that accompanied their guess, she was not about to come clean to her cousins about Angelus. After all it had taken her mother and Oz long enough to grow accustomed to their untraditional liaison, never mind her cousins who she still barely knew being in on it. Besides it wasn't like he was around anymore anyway, she rationalized.

"Guys, don't you think that if a vampire had been the one to leave this scar - to bite me - that I would not be here talking to you today. Let's face it I would be long dead if that had happened. I know that the puppy-thing sounds exceedingly lame, but it's the truth."

Prue eyed her suspiciously, but eventually seemed to accept her blatant lie as being the truth. "All right. Why don't you clean up the living room and then finish off your homework upstairs."

Appreciative of the unanticipated amnesty, Buffy rushed away and did not observe the looks that her cousins were exchanging behind her back. Looks which spoke louder than mere words ever could, each one resonating with skepticism and the need for added investigation of Buffy's rationalization.

The cavern was damp, shadowy and reeked of a concoction of rodents, blood and mortality; which of course was emblematic of most of the places veiled underneath the streets of Sunnydale. However Angelus had long gone beyond caring about it, his mind was sharply focused on the task at hand - finding and laying claim to the Gem of Amara. Hours and hours of endless searching had netted him nothing in the way of results, but had earned him a tag-along in the form of Penn's moronic childe, Harmony. She was slowly driving him into the evils of madness with her incessant chatter about nothing and he almost prayed for a ray of sunlight to burst into the chamber and destroy him.

Deciding to check out just one more of the numerous passage ways before heading back to Penn's for the evening's festivities, Angelus found himself in a generously proportioned room that had been ornamentally decorated - somewhat like a throne room. A feeling that began to coil in the pit of his stomach told him that this was the moment that he would find the gem. He commenced to tear the place apart searching for what he had imagined the gem to look like and paying little or no consideration to the aggravating vampiress dancing around the room, playing with the bits and baubles that she had found scattered about the room.

When more or less a half dozen hours later he had still found naught, his temper - which he was renowned for - began to boil. Angelus' patience was long ended and his childe's exasperating bitch would just not shut the hell up. Pulling a wooden chair apart, he picked up one of the legs which had conveniently broken off at a point and came up behind Harmony. Using the advantage of surprise he spun the bimbo around and plunged the make-shift stake into her unbeating heart. Unfortunately for him, Angelus was the one who got the surprise. Harmony - who for all intents and purposes should be dust - was simply standing there staring at him, the stake still protruding from her amply padded chest.

At his shocked expression, Harmony unknowingly asked, "What?"

"This cannot be happening," Angelus muttered to himself. Then suddenly without a word of warning, he pulled the stake out of her chest and plunged it back in and once again the bitch did not turn to dust.

"What the hell do you think you are doing?" she began to shriek. "I have holes in my shirt. I love this shirt!"

"Shut the fuck up all ready," he told her forcefully. "I cannot believe that I staked you twice and yet you are still talking."

A sudden flash of inspiration hit him and he grabbed hold of her and scrutinized the jewellery that she was wearing. Only one item - a ring - contained a jewel and as you would expect it was nothing like he had imagined. He with brute force pulled the ring from her finger and chuckled evilly as Harmony ultimately turned to dust. The gem was at long last his, he was invulnerable and now he could take his plan to the next level, but first he had one more thing left to do - reclaim his mate.