Connor didn't have to ask what was going on when Spike burst into his room, grabbed him, and shoved him against the wall. He saw a flash of gold in the other man's eyes, and knew he wasn't going to get off with a warning.

"She's my little girl," Spike growled. "How dare you touch her like that?"

Connor swallowed, unable to think of anything to say. Spike probably wanted to kill him, and Connor didn't blame him for it. He'd be feeling the same way if had a sixteen year old daughter and he found out she'd been sleeping with a man twenty years her senior. He knew he couldn't say he was sorry. And not just because it wouldn't be enough for Spike. Connor did feel guilty for sleeping with Anne when her age and his marriage were factors, but he couldn't bring himself to feel exactly apologetic. He knew if given the chance, he'd probably make the same decisions all over again.

Spike didn't wait for the answer Connor couldn't and didn't give. He threw him into the hall, then stalked towards where he'd landed. Connor pulled himself up, but made no further move as Spike lunged at him and pinned him against the wall. Connor didn't struggle, didn't fight back, even as Spike punched him in the face, leaving blood in the wake of his fist.

"You won't even defend yourself? Won't say anything—won't do anything?"

"You're right," Connor said, wiping the blood from his mouth. "I slept with your daughter. I don't have a defense."

Spike roared, throwing Connor down the hall. He started towards him again when he stopped short, his eyes widening as he realized who was standing in his way. "Anne?"

"Stop this," Anne demanded. "Now."

Spike's jaw twitched. "He shouldn't have touched you."

"I wanted him to."

"That doesn't..." Spike stopped, his eyes closing for a moment before they opened and he spoke again. "That doesn't matter. You're sixteen years old. He should've known better." Spike started to go towards Connor again, but Anne kept herself in front of him so he couldn't.

"I won't let you hurt Connor," Anne said. "You'll have to fight me to get to him."

Spike froze, a look of shock and hurt on his face. "Annie..."

"I mean it."

Spike stepped back from her. "I know you do."

Anne went to Connor then, helping him to his feet. "I have to get him cleaned up," she said, helping him to the bedroom and shutting the door behind them.

Spike stared at the door, the urge to bust back in tempered by the fact that he knew Anne was serious about fighting to protect Connor. Nothing could get him to fight his own daughter, not even this. He turned around, glaring when he saw Angel behind him. "You got her," Spike accused.

"I did," Angel admitted.

"She shouldn't have gotten into this. I didn't want her here."

"And I didn't want you beating my son to a bloody pulp. I knew she could stop you."

"You still shouldn't have done it. I wouldn't have killed your boy." Spike walked past Angel.

"Where are you going?" Angel called after him.

"Out."

"Those demons are still looking for her. Shouldn't you be here in case she needs protection?"

Spike didn't stop walking as he replied. "She has Connor for that now."


"You don't have to do this," Connor said as Anne washed the blood from his face with a warm rag.

"I know. I want to," Anne replied. "Besides, it was my father who hit you. And he did it because of me."

"You didn't have to come between us like that. He's your father. I know what you just did hurt him."

"It did. And it hurt me, too. But…but I couldn't let him do that to you. I told you I loved you, Connor, and I meant it." Anne wiped the last bit of blood from his mouth. "Besides, I knew he wouldn't fight me to get to you. It was just the one thing that would get him to stop. An impassioned 'but Daddy, I love him' plea wasn't going to cut it."

"What if he had been willing to fight you?" Connor asked.

"Wouldn't have happened," Anne replied. "For one thing, it would be pretty silly to hurt me so he could hurt you, since the whole attacking you thing was about defending me. But I know my father would never hurt me like that. Ever."

"Can't say the same for my father. He never misses a chance to smack me around. Not that I don't hit back, but still…"

"Well, he does tend to think along the same lines as an enraged bull half the time…" Anne said.

"So I've noticed," Connor replied dryly.

"Any other places busted up, or is it just the face?"

"He threw me around some, but that's the only hit that drew blood. Everything else is just sore." Connor winced. "Really sore."

Anne brushed his hair off his forehead. "Poor baby. You want me to get you something for the pain?"

"No. I just need some rest." Connor frowned. "You know, I would've thought you'd be more than willing to let me get my ass kicked after the way we left things in the lobby."

Anne shook her head. "No. I can forgive you for that. It hurt, but… I know why you said what you did."

"So you know I'm right?"

"No, I know you're wrong. But you're all injured now, so I'll let it slide." Anne went into the bathroom before he could respond, rinsing off the rag and stretching it out over the edge of the sink. When she came back, Connor was lying on the bed, staring up at the ceiling.

"You're sleeping in here tonight, aren't you," Connor said. It wasn't really a question.

"I was planning to. Figured it's probably safer for you if I do. He won't come after you if I'm here to get in the way."

"You still shouldn't."

"I know." Anne climbed into the bed, lying on her side with her head on Connor's chest. "I'm not mashing any of your bruises, am I?"

"No. You're fine where you are."

"Am I?" Anne asked, glancing up.

"Let's have this conversation when I didn't just have a blow to the head, okay?"

"Great," Anne muttered. "With you, that'll be like never."

Connor chuckled, kissing the top of her head. "Go to sleep, sweetheart."

Anne smiled, closing her eyes.


Connor woke up suddenly with the intuitive knowledge that something was wrong.

He figured out exactly what that was pretty quickly as he saw a clawed hand coming down towards him. Connor grabbed the demon's arm, snapping it as he jumped out of the bed. The room was full of the robed demons, and he figured they must be capable of being quite stealthy if they'd gotten this close to him undetected.

Several of the demons charged him, but Connor didn't flinch. He'd fought enough of these by now to know their weaknesses. Even with their much higher numbers, he had no doubt that he'd be victorious.

"Connor!"

Connor's blood ran cold at the sound of Anne calling for him. He looked over to see two of the demons dragging Anne out of the room despite her struggles to get free. He tried to get to her, only to have the remaining demons all advance on him, keeping him away from the door. Connor's need to get Anne fueled his anger at the creatures who dared to keep him from his mate, and he fought with everything he had until he'd cleared a path through the door.

But it was too late.

Anne was gone.


Angel came downstairs to find Connor with the weapons cabinet open, sword in hand.

"What's going on?" Angel asked. "I heard something happening down here and…" He stopped short as he caught sight of the several dead demons on the floor of the lobby. Or more like chunks of demons… They'd been torn apart. "What the hell happened?"

"They snuck in. There's more dead ones in the bedroom."

"If they're all dead, where are you going?"

Connor pulled out a dagger, sticking it in the holster on the side of his boot. "They took Anne. I'm going to get her back."

"Do you have any idea where they took her?" Angel asked.

"No. But I can track her. That's one scent I'd know anywhere," Connor shut the door to the weapons cabinet and headed towards the door.

"Whoa, wait just a minute," Angel said, running in front of his son. "You can't just barge out of here by yourself with no plan. You have no idea what you could be walking in to."

"I don't care. The last time those things were alone with Anne, they ripped into her. I'm not going to stand around here and wait while she could be dying."

"I don't think they're planning just to kill her," Angel said. "If that were the case, they wouldn't have bothered with taking her out of here."

"They're not dragging her off to a tea party, Angel. They want her dead. Whatever they're doing to her, it's bad, and I'm wasting time standing here debating this with you."

"Rushing in like this is just going to get you both killed. We need to find Spike. He left after he attacked you."

"Then he's gone. Anne doesn't have the time for us to be waiting around."

"You could cause more damage by rushing in like this."

"You'd do the same thing if it was Cordelia." Connor pushed past his father, continuing on his way towards the front door.

"Connor!" Angel called after him. "We'll save her, we just need to do this the right way."

"Your way isn't always the right way, Dad," Connor called back before walking out.

"Dammit…" Angel muttered, turning back towards the stairs. Cordy was on her way down, and met him halfway.

"What's going on? Why are there dead demons all over the place?" she asked.

"They came and took Anne. Connor's going after her."

"Oh god." Cordelia leaned against the railing. "He doesn't even know where they are, does he?"

"He's tracking her."

"This isn't good, Angel," Cordelia said, shaking her head.

Angel rested his hand on her shoulder. "Did you see something?"

"No. I just have a feeling." She met his eyes. "Something bad is going to happen."

"Do you have any idea what?" Angel asked with a frown.

"No. Just…" Cordelia paled. "Connor…no. That can't be right…"

Angel gripped Cordelia's arms with both hands. "Cordy, what is it? Are you seeing something now?"

"It's not clear. But he's in trouble, Angel. You have to…" Cordelia trailed off.

"Have to what? Cordy, what…"

"Angel…behind you."

Angel turned slowly, finding his lobby quickly filling with demons. "We won't let you interfere with our plans for the vessel," one hissed.

"I'm thinking they'd changed their no attacking anyone who isn't Anne or Connor policy," Angel said, turning his body so he was guarding Cordelia.

"Looks like. You up for a fight, Champ?"

"Always."

Connor could see the demons making their way into the Hyperion, but he didn't stop. Cordelia and Angel could handle themselves, he knew. Anne was his priority.

He stayed to the shadows, moving quickly to stay undetected by the demons. He didn't have time to fight his way out of there. Instead, he breathed in deep, catching Anne's scent.

Luckily for him, the demons seemed to be traveling by foot. It kept the trail fresh and also let him know that wherever they were taking her, it wasn't far from there. Shouldn't take him long to find them at all.

He'd get her to safety, and then he'd kill every single one of them, no matter how many there were.

Nothing was going to stand between him and his mate.


Another cliffhanger… What do you think of that?

Just a little note on something I was seeing a lot of in reviews from the last chapter. Yes, part of Anne's insistence that they can make it is because of her age. But a lot of it is coming from the fact that she not only knows of a prophecy that most likely links her to Connor, but was told by a psychic higher being that she and Connor have a future together. That's why she's convinced that they can work things out. She's been told as much by what she believes to be a reliable source. Hope that clears things up for everybody!

Also, I wrote a little drabble today that fans of this fic might be interested in. It's called "As She Lays Sleeping," and can be found on my profile.

And, as always, please, please review.