Chapter 1

Sometimes forgetting is the hardest thing a person can do in their life. Life with Spike could have been perfect… if Elizabeth would stop trying to sabotage herself. It was not always enough that he adored her. She always felt like she was missing something but could never really put her finger on it. She knew one thing though… she wanted to see the world and what it offered. She wouldn't be shackled to one place and it was always hard for her to find someone to share that with. Most guys wanted either a bed buddy or a "little woman" at home ironing their shirts while they worked all day. That was not enough for Elizabeth in the least. She wanted the whole world and she was not about to wait for someone to hand it to her.

She tried the whole domestic scene for most of her life and it never sat well with her. She would always end up bouncing from one dead end customer service job to the other. It was never enough. Making money was nice but sooner or later enough was enough and she knew there had to be more out there for her.

She loved real, real hard once but the love was never returned and it broke her heart. She was the sensitive type, always wearing her heart on her sleeve that she ended up with the worst of the worst for men; and Riley was the worst of the worst. See, he was a nice guy. Good family values and respected other people but the problem was he didn't know himself. He didn't know what he was capable of since he had never really hit rock bottom before. You have to watch out for those types because if you don't know you have anything to lose, you'll try anything. And he did just that.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Rewind Six Months~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Elizabeth wasn't very doting and always had a hard time showing how she felt to others because really, if you don't give then no one has anything to take…right? Wrong. Riley wanted to take everything Elizabeth had and it still wasn't enough. He eventually got tired of the cold shoulder he felt he was receiving and ended up in the arms of her best friend, Faith. Sure, I know the question you're asking; if they were best friends, how could Faith do something like that? Well really neither of them knew. What Faith knew was that Riley was feeding her some sob story about how Elizabeth never really understood him and it was okay because they were just breaking up anyway and he would date Faith. Sure Faith, keep telling yourself that it's justified. Never thought they would get caught until Elizabeth came home early from visiting her sister Dawn to find Riley and Faith together in their bed.

She was mortified. If she had really loved Riley she probably would have stayed and fought it out with the two. In reality, she was kind of glad so she glared for a moment and then took off. Tears running down her face as she ran, she was so preoccupied, she never noticed the person in her way into she had already knocked him over.

"OOF-BLOODY HELL WOMAN WATCH WHERE YOU'- his voice cut off as he saw the woman crying. He softened his expression and adjusted his volume to be much gentler. He always hated seeing a beautiful woman cry.

"Is there anything I can do, love" he whispered gently as he stood to help the poor woman up.

"No, I just-I'm so sorry. I just-I wasn't…..I'm sorry" she tried to get the words out but she was so embarrassed that someone caught her in her upset.

"No harm, no foul pet. I just hate to imagine what could make such a beauty shed any tears" his face was full of concern for the woman as he gently led her over to the nearest bench.

She was hesitant to sit down but something about him told her that he was one to be trusted. "I don't want to take up any of your time, I'll just be more careful next time…" she started to move to get away but she saw that his hand had gone to her wrist, gently holding her there.

"Wait-I would feel terrible if you wouldn't stay and talk with me. I'm William Pratt, but you can call me Spike" he spoke with a toothy grin that actually kind of made her smile.

"I-well I should really go but… I'm Elizabeth Summers or Buffy if you will."

"So Buffy, why don't you tell me what has you so upset, love. I'm sure it's not as bad as you really think it is." She smiled finally at him, showing him that she was a lot more beautiful than he had originally thought. At that moment, it became his mission to make sure he always saw that smile on her.

"I don't want to bore you…" she said uncertainly. She hoped this wasn't a pickup, the last thing she needed in her life was another bum that would only want her for one thing. She had just literally run away from just such a stellar guy; she wasn't about to latch onto another one. But just looking into Spike's eyes, she knew he would never treat her that way. Why she knew that completely baffled her but there was just something about the way he handled being near her, it was almost like he thought she would break if he touched her the wrong way. It was endearing.

"Don't even think. Just spill the beans, I will not hear of you leaving without getting it off your chest. Confession is good for the soul after all" he flashed her another sparkling grin and waited for her to start with the talking.

"Er, well, I was dating this guy, Riley, and it was going great for awhile but then he started getting distant and I knew something was wrong. Never would have guessed what was wrong was I wasn't giving him enough time to sleep with my best friend behind my back…I am such an idiot" she was sobbing now into her hands at the image of Faith and Riley together.

Spike was stunned. "What kind of a ponce would do something like that to someone as sweet and gorgeous as you are?" he wondered out loud. He could tell already that he didn't like this Riley guy and should like to meet him in a back alley sometime.

"I just don't understand why he couldn't just break up with me rather than sneak around. It's not like I would have refused him that, if he wanted to go then he could have just gone and been with his skank." She spit out bitterly. It wasn't the fact that he was unhappy that bothered her, it was the fact that he felt he had to lie to her that really got to her. And it didn't help he choice her now ex best friend to have fun with.

"He's a right git is what he is and I say you don't need him. Woman as pretty as you'd have a whole line a' blokes just linin' up outside your door to take you out. Myself included." At his last words, he looked her in the eyes showing the truth of everything he had said. He knew he could never have a chance with someone like her but he was damn well going to try to be her friend at least. Seemed to him that she didn't have very many of those if the one she was speaking of was an example.

Buffy blushed at his words, she actually never really got noticed. She had a tendency to keep to herself in her room, typing away on her computer. Only time she really got out was when she, Riley and Faith would go to The Bronze on Friday nights. What a joke that seemed like now, knowing that they were probably going at it while she was in the bathroom or something.

"Me? No I don't tend to attract many guys actually." She blushed again. "I'm what you would call the bookish type. I go out once in awhile but I prefer the company of Mary Shelley over half the idiots that live around here" she blurted out. She hadn't meant to seem so negative but since she had gone to high school here, she knew half the guys and they were no prize. She was surprised in fact that she had never met Spike before… he must be new.

"Well if you're not noticed, then the guys in this town need to get their eyes checked. There's nothing wrong with being into books though, I'm somewhat of a reader myself so I speak on authority." He smiled encouragingly at her. He was relieved she wasn't one of those cheerleader type bints who usually flocked to him. He cursed himself for adopting a bad boy look sometimes. At least when he was William the bloody awful poet, he knew the pretty but vain girls would have nothing to do with him. Course, being the nancy boy only got him so far so out came Spike.

"You are? What do you read?" she asked hopefully. She always loved hearing what people were reading so she might pick up new authors to try. She knew she shouldn't have done it, when he looked at her she met his eyes. She was taken aback because they were such a vibrant blue but she found she couldn't stop looking into them. She suddenly had the feeling she could stare into his eyes forever.

"Well I'm partial to the classics like Shakespeare or Emily Bronte. It might not seem it but Wuthering Heights is a bloody thriller" he beamed. This was turning out to be the best encounter he'd had with a woman in awhile.

"Oh I love Wuthering Heights! I also really like Dracula and Cask of the Amontillado… they're just so creepy" she shivered at remembering the stories she read growing up. She would camp out in the backyard every Friday night and read a new horror story before bedtime. It was a tradition for a lot of years but lately she found she didn't have the time anymore with college classes going on all the time.

"I don't know how you knew about my absolutely favorites but I am just shocked" he laughed. It was amazing to him that she had so much in common with him and they'd only really been talking for a few minutes. He had to choose that moment to look at his watch though and realized he was late. Angel was not going to let it go either… he didn't want to but he knew if he didn't leave now, he'd never make it.

"I really hate to do this but I need to be somewhere right now" he said regrettably.

"Oh- well I won't keep you any longer. I really enjoyed our chat" she said quickly as she got up and started to walk away.

"Unless… you wanted to have lunch with me and my friends?" he asked hopefully. He didn't think they would mind if he brought a date… not that this would be a date. Would it be a date? Bugger.

"I-sure I would love to tag along" she smiled. She was enjoying the conversation about literature and really this would keep her mind off things just a little bit longer.

"Oh-okay, well right this way then!" he said leading the way to the café. He was so happy she decided to go along; he was really starting to like this girl.