Previously: It's now early November 2003. Kara and Spike have twin girls, nine months old. Sebastian and Buffy are finally on the same page. Dawn is a senior in high school. Willow and Tara have graduated college and are now finding jobs and living in their own apartment.

At the end of Daylight Comes Swiftly, Kara and the twins were visiting at the Hyperion in Los Angeles so they could play with Connor. It's been pouring buckets, leaving her stuck there for the time being until it eases up. The girls had been asleep in Connor's crib while he played quietly in his room, when Drusilla came to get Lillian. Once she left, Connor went running to the staircase to find the adults.

Kara just discovered that only one of her daughters is still in the crib.

Chapter 1


"Kara? What's going on? Connor is so upset, I can't get a word out of him," Cordelia said, entering the room.

"Lillian's gone," she replied quietly, standing as still as stone. Kara deeply inhaled, catching the scent of lilacs and blood that hadn't been in the room earlier.

"What? Where! Did she manage to climb out?"

"Cordelia…summon Angel, and don't let Anastasia out of your sight," Kara said, her voice eerily calm. Cordelia gasped when her friend turned around, revealing glowing silver eyes.

Kara's appearance shimmered, her body now garbed in black armor molded to her body. She moved to the window and flung it open.

"Where are you going?" Cordelia yelled against the noise of the storm.

"For reinforcements."

Cordy rushed to the window upon seeing Kara dive out of it, just in time to see her land gracefully in the alleyway below. Picking up Anastasia, she left the room and ran down the stairs to where Wes and Fred were trying to calm Connor down.

"Where's Kara?"

"Out the window and on a mission. Lillian's gone. Did Angel take his cellphone tonight?"

"No, but Charles did," Fred replied.

"Good. Call him."


Kara looked around for a moment to make sure no one could see, before opening a portal and walking through.


Spike sensed something terribly wrong as he drove up the highway. Kara had suddenly shut off her emotions, and then her presence had disappeared. He was only 15 minutes from the hotel, but couldn't wait. He pulled out his cell and cycled through the presets with one hand until he found Wesley's office.

"Angel Investigations."

"What the bloody hell's going on there, Wesley?"

"Spike? Um…err…are you still on the road?"

"Yeah…" he warily replied.

"Then perhaps we should wait until you arrive. The situation might have even resolved itself by then."

"Fine. I'll be there in five."


"Empress! This is a very sudden surprise. What can I do for you? You look ready to wage war," the General stated, standing from behind his desk. He quickly crossed the room to bow before her.

"I want you and two of your finest trackers to come with me, now. We have no time to lose."

He nodded and went out to the hallway to speak with his attaché. "Get me Nar and Orod immediately, and tell them to suit up."

"Yes, sir!"

"They are on their way, Empress. Tell me, what is this all about?"

"Do you have children, Belegurth?" she began.

"I did. A son. He died in battle. He was one of the finest lieutenants I ever led. I was very proud of him."

"Then you understand. My daughter was just stolen from me, and I want her back before daybreak. I'll show you where to start and you will comb the city, leaving no stone unturned. Are you familiar with Los Angeles, on Earth?"

"We don't need to be, Madame. The Valaraukar are never lost."

The two soldiers summoned entered the office after a short knock on the door.

"Reporting for duty, as requested, General. What are our orders?"

"Whatever the Empress requests of you, even your death. Whenever you are ready, my Sovereign." Belegurth grabbed his sword and prepared to follow his mistress.

Kara opened another portal to the alley and waved them through, then stepped in, herself.

"This is the Hyperion hotel. Consider this headquarters, and report whatever you find, here. There is a back entrance at the end of this alley. I believe this is where the kidnapper entered, and left, with my daughter. Line up, please." Kara touched each of their foreheads, bestowing knowledge of Lillian's appearance, and the scent Kara had detected in the bedroom. "I want my daughter back, unharmed, by sunrise. Use any means necessary. You are dismissed."

The two soldiers bowed, then ran off to begin the search. The general stayed behind.

"Yes, Belegurth?"

"With all respect, Empress, I was wondering what your plans are? I assumed you have more than one idea in mind, since traditional tracking will be very difficult in this amount of rain."

"I do. Since you stayed behind, you might as well come with me. I believe I know exactly who is behind this."

Kara touched his shoulder and teleported them to a new location.


Spike threw the door of the Hyperion open with a bang.

"Alright, where's my wife!"

"Um…she's not here at the moment. Perhaps I could explain more to you in my office, Spike?" Wesley asked, indicating it was best not to upset the children further.

The vampire paused, then nodded to Wesley. He stopped to gently run his hand over Ana's curls, then followed the ex-Watcher into the office. As soon as the door shut, he turned to the younger Brit.

"What's going on? I can feel that Kara's somewhere in this blasted city, but she's shut me out, only one of my daughters is in the lobby, and the boy's obviously been cryin'."

"Spike…Lillian is missing," Wes said gently.

"What do you mean, missing?" he growled.

"We think she was abducted, or at least Kara did. Connor hasn't been able to tell us, yet, what happened. Kara told Cordelia not to let Anastasia out of her sight, and dove out the window. I assume she's…hunting," Wes uncomfortably relayed.

The muscles in Spike's jaw were twitching in his attempt to remain calm. "What about the wards? Didn't they go off?"

"No. We don't know how, but someone must have bypassed them to remove her from Connor's bedroom. The boy came running down the hall to get us, and that's how we knew something was wrong. Kara was the first to the room."

"I want to see it."

Wesley nodded, and opened the door to lead the way up to the third floor.


The limo pulled into the underground parking garage and stopped in a parking stall close to the elevator.

"Thank you for your help, Drusilla. You will be compensated as agreed upon. We'll take it from here," Ms. Morgan stated.

Drusilla waited until the lawyer had turned her back to her to exit the vehicle, then struck, burying her fangs in Lilah's neck and drinking her down before the driver opened the door for them. She pounced on him in the same way, then licked at her fangs and wiped her mouth clean. Dru reached back into the limousine and pulled out the baby carrier.

"We didn't like the nasty lawyer's plans, did we, sweet darling? Don't you worry. Grand-mummy's got lots of wonderful treats in store for you," she cooed to the infant.

Drusilla walked out of the parking structure and disappeared into the night.


Buffy fumbled with her key, trying to get it in the door without removing her lips from Sebastian's. Finally, it turned in the lock, and they stumbled into the hall.

"Shhh! They might not be asleep yet," she whispered, stifling a giggle. Their jackets were tossed haphazardly on the coat rack before she started leading him upstairs to her room.

Sebastian made a brief detour before following her through the open door. Buffy quizzically arched a brow.

"Towels," he whispered, holding up two from the linen closet.

"Oh, good idea. Get in here."

Buffy yanked him in by the collar, then shut and locked the door.

"You're shivering," he said, stepping forward to rub her arms.

"It's not only from the cold."

"Hmm, really..."

"I want you," she purred, moving into his space.

Sebastian smirked with renewed confidence, now that he knew she loved him. "How much?" he murmured.

"Since the first time I saw you in normal light. I was a very naughty lust bunny before I even liked you. And now…You're really here to stay?"

"Really and truly, Buffy. And I'll be here in the morning."

He remembered. Buffy let out a joyful cry before claiming his lips again. Suddenly, there were too many barriers, too many layers of clothing for her taste, and she started peeling off his sweater. His undershirt was next, before Sebastian had a chance to return the favor. With his muscular chest finally bare to her gaze, Buffy set in to tasting his skin. He moaned when she took his nipple in her mouth for a good suckling.

"Sweetheart…I love what you're doing, but we have all night," he said gently, tilting her face up. "I'm not going to disappear."

She caught on to his meaning, and slid her hands around his back, reveling in his embrace and inhaling his scent. Sebastian's hands slid under her sweater and rubbed her back. It was calming and arousing at the same time. Buffy raised her arms over her head so he could remove her top. He slid it slowly up her torso, savoring the first time this gift would be offered. It joined the pile on the floor, leaving her in a sheer embroidered bra.

His hands, both soft and calloused, slid over her shoulders and under the bra straps until they fell down her arms. His mouth followed, placing sensual kisses along her neck, collarbone, and shoulders while he unhooked the garment. It fell to the floor, and then they were flesh to flesh, cool and hot, silk to velvet. Buffy's arms wrapped around his neck again as they kissed. The passionate frenzy ignited again, and hands rushed to undo belt buckles and snaps.

"Aaaah…boots!" Buffy cursed, trying to pull them off as her jeans fell to her knees.

"Here." Sebastian picked her up and laid her on the bed, then pulled off her shoes, and the jeans, leaving her in the matching skimpy thong to the bra. "Dear God, you're beautiful," he whispered reverently.

His combat boots took a little longer to remove, and then his pants joined the pile of wet clothes by the door, leaving him fully nude. Sebastian started to join her on the bed, but Buffy held up her hand for him to stay where he was.

"Not yet. Just let me look at you," she requested. Buffy stood, and began to take visual inventory of her new…boyfriend? The term didn't sound like enough. She walked all the way around him, gliding her hand over his skin with a feather-light touch, inciting goosebumps. Coming back to his front again, she dropped to her knees, and looked up shyly. "Can I…taste you?" she asked. His stellar night vision revealed that she was blushing.

"You may do whatever you like, Buffy. I'm yours."

His encouragement was all she needed to hear, before trying something she didn't have much experience at. She'd never been allowed to finish the job, her boyfriends always pulling her up so they could get to the full deed. All night, huh? Then, I really want to play. Sebastian's gasps and moans told her she'd made the right choice.