***AUTHOR'S NOTE***

So, I'm currently writing a different Angel story from this one called Conversations with Demons, and I decided that the character I introduced into that would work well in this one too, so I've sort of made the other one a bit of a prequel to this one. I haven't finished the other one yet, but you're welcome to look it up to get a more detailed picture if you'd like :)


"Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it." - P.J. O'Rourke


"Hey, has anyone seen Wesley today?"

Cordelia and Connor both looked up at me, frowning.

"No," they both said.

"Heard from Wesley?"

Both shook their heads.

"Checked to find out whether Wesley was alive or not?" I asked pointedly.

"Well, yesterday he said he'd just gotten hold of one of those types of books that Watchers would kill each other over, so I assume he's at home, reading," said Cordelia. "What's the big deal? Clearly we're not missing him."

"I'm missing him," I said pointedly.

"Okay, let me rephrase. No one important is missing him," said Cordelia.

"Cordelia, I own you."

"We should go and make sure Wesley's alright because the very important boss is worried," said Cordelia quickly, hitting Connor until he got to his feet as well. "Road trip!"

...

"Wesley? Wes, you here?"

I leant against the invisible barrier stopping me from entering Wesley's apartment. Well, at least he was alive. He had never invited me into his apartment. Probably a good thing. If I ever turned, ever did something terrible, there would be one safe place for everyone to go. Cordelia and Connor were walking in, calling for Wesley.

"Check the library," I said.

"Angel, this is an apartment. There's no library," said Cordelia.

"Wesley would have a library," I said simply. "Hence why the bed's out here."

Connor shrugged.

"Can't argue with that logic. Man doesn't even call, misses a day of work in a business like this, just to read a book. Gotta have a library. Only door I see is to a bathroom though."

"Check in that cupboard," I said, pointing to the overly large cupboard. "Push on the back wall."

"You really think that Wesley has a secret library?" asked Cordelia.

"If you were Watcher, wouldn't you?" I asked.

"So glad I'm not a Watcher," Cordelia muttered.

Connor pressed on the wall of the cupboard and it swung open, showing a large room lined with bookshelves and Wesley sitting in an armchair, head lolled back in sleep, book on his lap.

"Wes?"

Connor moved over to the sleeping Wesley and yelped slightly.

"What?" I asked urgently.

"He's...old."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean he's old! He looks like...a hundred years old or something!"

"What's he reading?" asked Cordelia, moving to pick up the book.

"Don't touch it!"

Cordelia and Connor both looked at me.

"Do touch it with your bare skin," I warned. "Fine a towel or something, pick it up with that, bring it to me. Do not let your skin touch it."

Cordelia did as I instructed, grabbing a couple of dish cloths and picking up the book.

"Connor, get him in the car. He's still alive, take him to a hospital."

"Dad, if this is magic-"

"He's dying of old age Connor. He's human, he needs a hospital," I said as Cordelia brought the book over to me.

"Do you want a towel or something?" she asked.

"I'm dead already," I said simply, taking the book from her and closing it. "And I don't age."

The book was leather bound and heavy and the inside cover read...

"'The Lives of All Those Before You'," I read out. "Kinda catchy, I guess."

"Try kinda creepy," said Cordelia pointedly, helping Connor drag Wesley out to the car.

I shrugged, pulling out my phone and dialing Mirany's number.

"I dunno. I've seen creepier."

"What do you want now?"

"Why are you so grumpy? I haven't even opened my mouth and you're ripping into me. Come on Mir, lay off a little."

"Sorry, I'm tired."

"Is Farthington there?"

"Excuse me?"

"We have a problem and he's probably the best guy to deal with it."

"So you call me? Why not just call him?"

"Because if he's anything like Wesley, he doesn't own a mobile phone. Is he there?"

"You called just in time. He was about to leave. Damn you."

"Put him on."

"Not even a 'sorry, I love you'? I'm not sure I even wanna talk to you."

"Sorry, I love you," I said.

"I love you too," said Farthington sarcastically.

"That was fast."

"She was literally pushing me out of the door. I wasn't far away. What can I do for you Angel?"

"Ever heard of a very rare book dubbed 'The Lives of All Those...'"

"'...Before You'. It's famous. I know many Watchers who would kill just to lay eyes on it."

"Yeah well, better hope that's all they do," I muttered. "I need your help. Will you come to the hotel?"

"You have the book, don't you?"

"Yeah."

"I'll be there in fifteen minutes," said Farthington.

"Can you put Mirany back on?"

"She doesn't want to talk to you."

"Didn't think so," I muttered. "Alright, could you bring her over?"

"I'll do my best."

...

"Show me the book," said Farthington, the moment he and Mirany got to the hotel.

"Please, please, please, show him the book," Mirany groaned.

I raised an eyebrow at her.

"He's been talking non-stop about it," she groaned.

"Let me see it," Farthington ordered.

"First you need to see Wesley."

"Wyndam-Pryce? What about him?" Farthington growled.

"He's a hundred years old," I said.

Mirany snorted.

"In theory, damn right he is. Dude's worse than you."

"Thank you," I said coolly. "No, he's literally a hundred years old. He's at the hospital a few blocks away."

"I don't understand," said Mirany.

"Let me show you a picture," said Cordelia, taking out her phone and handing it to Mirany. "Recognize him? Found him in his secret library reading your special book."

Mirany stared at the phone in shock.

"That's...no. Is that really...?"

"Yeah," I said as she passed the phone to Farthington. "He looks ancient, I know. But it's true. And it's because he was reading that book. You can look at it, fine, but whatever you do, don't touch it."

"How did a book do this?" Mirany asked as I collected the book.

"Magic, what else?" asked Cordelia.

"Oh, great," Mirany muttered enthusiastically.

"Mirany, if you don't wanna help on this one, that's fine," I said, coming back with the book in my hands. "It's not exactly your area of expertise and you've seen your fair share of magic already."

"Oh thank God," Mirany muttered. "So I'm not needed here?"

"Uh...no," I said.

"Good."

Mirany turned to leave but I grabbed her hand before she could.

"I'd still like to have a word, if that's alright," I said.

"Oh. Okay," Mirany muttered.

"Can I please have the book?" asked Farthington impatiently.

"Oh for God's sake, give him the fucking book," Mirany groaned, moving over to the couch and flopping down into the cushions.

"If you touch this, at all, it will turn you into the same old man that it turned Wesley into," I warning, glancing over at Mirany with concern. She was usually grumpy, but not usually this grumpy. "I know you're getting on in age already, but you're not quite there yet so Cordelia could you get him some gloves or something to wear?"

Farthington scowled when I called him old, and I was expecting him to come back with some form of remark about my age, but apparently he was too interested in the book to care about anything other than getting hold of it and he snatched the gloves eagerly from Cordelia, hurriedly putting them on so that two of his fingers were in the same finger of the glove before taking the book from me and disappearing into Wesley's office.

"How did he even know that was Wesley's office?" I asked.

"Because he comes around when you're not here," said Cordelia, picking up a magazine. "You don't need me right? I mean, research is much more your area of expertise than mine."

I rolled my eyes.

"I doubt that I'd be able to get you to any research anyway," I muttered. "Mirany, walk with me."

Mirany huffed and got grudgingly to her feet, following me out into the courtyard and around the edge. She made certain she was walking in the sun.

"Mirany, what's bothering you?" I asked, sticking to the shade so as not to set fire.

"Nothing. I'm fine."

"No you're not."

"Yes I am."

"No, you're not. Don't lie to me Mirany."

"Yes, I am," said Mirany firmly.

"Mirany, I have all eternity to play this game," I pointed out.

"I'm fine Angel," Mirany growled.

"Don't make me do it Mirany," I said.

Mirany sighed.

"Saria and I were talking this morning. Well, fighting."

"Ah, the Wicked Witch of the West," I muttered. "What digging insult did she make this time?"

"She said she didn't want me around Tori because I'm a cold hearted, manipulative player," Mirany whined.

"Tori huh? What did you do to her?"

Mirany scratched the back of her neck sheepishly.

"Took over about a quarter of her company," she muttered, "by...using my assets effectively on some of her corporate spies."

"Using your assets effectively?"

"I didn't do anything, I just...implied that I might," said Mirany carefully, biting her lip.

"So, you seduced her spies into blabbing secrets about her company, and then you took it over?" I summed up.

"Only a quarter of it. Barely enough to keep the wolf from the door."

I raised an eyebrow at her.

"You are the wolf at the door," I said.

Mirany scowled and made a rude gesture at me. I chuckled.

"Mirany, you're a business tycoon. You're going to get insults. Why are you letting this one bother you? It's not like it's the first time she's insulted you."

"Because she's not letting me near Tori," said Mirany. "And I'm not a tycoon!"

"Mirany, she says that every week. And tycoon just means that you're wealthy and powerful doofus."

"Yeah well, this time I think she means it!" said Mirany. "She's really pissed off at me. But I don't understand why my business with her company should affect me and Tori."

"It's not the business Mirany, it's the attitude, it's the personality traits your trading tends to bring out in you," I said.

"What? You don't think it brings out undesirable traits in Saria?" Mirany shot angrily.

"Saria's a bitch to everyone already. You're...well you're a bitch too, but it gets more extreme when you're doing business."

Mirany was not at all impressed with that statement.

"And you wonder why I'm pissed," she growled.

I bit my lip.

"Well it's true," I muttered. "Look, it was one comment. Just look past it and move on."

"Oh, no. She's declared war," said Mirany fervently.

"No, I think that was you. And I completely forbid your 'declaring war' on Saria's company."

"And you'll be stopping me how?"

I scowled.

"By...appealing to your better judgement, if such a creature exists," I muttered.

"You're not helping my mood," said Mirany pointedly.

"Mirany, come on, you're just being stupid now. She's just protecting her kid."

"She's being a total bitch about it," said Mirany.

"I thought we already established that you should be able to take that."

Mirany glowered at me.

"Why do I even talk to you anymore?" she asked.

"Because without me, you'd be a very lonely person."

"You're not the only person I'm friends with you know," Mirany growled.

"Oh really? List five people that you talk to on a regular, friendly basis, not including me."

"Connor. Tori. Thomas...hang on a second! You're one to talk! Outside of this business you don't know a single living soul that doesn't hate your guts."

I chuckled.

"Living? No. But most of the people who can still stand me are undead anyway," I said.

"And they only put up with you so that you won't drive a stake through their chests."

"How did we get onto me? We were talking about you and Saria. Mirany, if you really want to continue to hang around with Tori, you might have to work on changing your personality and your mannerisms a little."

"Speak English."

"Mannerisms is a word Mirany, you're just lacking in an education."

"That's it. I'm leaving," said Mirany simply, turning on her heel and heading for the door, but I blocked it. She stopped just short of where the sunlight was unable to reach, still insisting on my not being able to touch her. I still could have. I was able to enter the sun for a few seconds, certainly long enough to pull her into the shade, but I decided infuriating her even more was probably a bad idea at this point.

"Sorry, that was uncalled for," I said. "However, you cannot deny that you're a complete bitch when you're around Saria, and that she probably thinks you're like that all the time. If you weren't so...you, while you talked to her, Saria would likely allow you to be around Tori again."

"But-"

"Mirany, what do you want me to tell you? If you want to hang around an eight-year-old, you'd have to act differently. Kids are...fragile, and Saria's trying to protect her kid from the vicious weapon which is your mouth."

"Oh my mouth's the vicious weapon?" asked Mirany pointedly.

"You know what? I'm gonna just leave you alone until you've cooled down," I said simply.

"You do that," Mirany growled.

"I will," I said, turning to the door.

"No wait!" said Mirany quickly, finally crossing the sunlight barrier to grab my arm.

I whipped her around and held her fast in a choke hold.

"Saria's daughter is named Toni, a mistake Mirany would never make," I hissed in her ear. "Who are you, what do you want?"

Mirany chuckled evilly.

"Been a long time Fang Face."

I sighed and let her go. Mirany slowly transformed into a nineteen-year-old, with long black hair, bottle green eyes and porcelain skin.

"Kegan."

"You miss me?" asked Kegan, her eyes glinting evilly.

"No wonder you stuck to the sun. I'd imagine transforming like that requires an awful amount of heat energy."

"You'd be correct," said Kegan coolly. "But I'm not here to discuss my powers."

"You want the book."

"No kidding Sherlock."

"Why do you want it?"

"Do you have any idea the bargain your Watcher got on that book? It's worth millions."

"Who's your buyer?"

"None of your concern Pretty Boy. Now if you just give me the book, I'll walk away, and return your busty Slayer. You really do like the Slayers, don't you? Little creepy, actually."

"You can't have the book."

"Why not?"

"I don't deal with you any more Kegan."

"That's not a reason," said Kegan.

"I don't want it falling into the wrong hands. It's dangerous."

"What do you intend to do with it?" asked Kegan.

"Once I figure out how to get Wesley's years back, burn it. And while we're one the subject of getting things back-"

"I told you. Give me the book, and I'll give you the Slayer."

"Sorry if I don't take your word for it," I said coolly. "You know, you've gotten more evil since last we met."

"And whose fault is that?" asked Kegan pointedly.

"You forced my hand."

"You broke your word."

"Because you forced my hand."

"We both have eternity to play this game Blood Boy."

"No you don't. You just have an extra long life. I could out last you."

"Could being the operative word here, meaning that I'd stake you long before then."

"I'm not letting you anywhere near that book," I said. "Where's Mirany?"

"Nowhere you'll ever find her," said Kegan simply, turning away.

"Where is she?" I snarled, grabbing her collar and slamming her up against the wall.

Kegan started laughing.

"You have a fucking blood bond and you're standing here threatening me?" she chuckled. "What is wrong with you?"

"You've knocked her out."

"I'm not that barbaric."

"Why should I trust you?"

"I'm not stopping you from leaving Angel."

I glared at her. If I left, she'd take the book. If I didn't, who knew what might happen to Mirany?

"You're coming with me," I growled.

Mirany? Mirany, where are you?

Who's the girlfriend Angel? She's a bitch.

I know. Where are you?

Some dark warehouse place, tied to a chair, trying to charm my way out of being hit by a fist full of fire. They don't even want anything from me, they just think it'll be fun.

"You've been recruiting," I commented.

Kegan shrugged.

"Girl's gotta have her posse."

"Show me where she is, and I'll let you touch the book."

"I'm not an idiot kiddo."

"Show me where Mirany is, I'll give you the book."

"Give me the book, I'll show you where the girl is."

"She's not a girl. She's a woman, and the next time you touch her, I'll kill you," I growled.

"What if I kill her first?"

I let her go abruptly. Kegan smirked.

"You're still so easy. I have no need to kill her Angel, otherwise I would have done it already. But honestly, you should think about moving in. It's a lot harder to kidnap someone if there's someone else there."

Angel scowled.

"Come on. You're taking me to her. Now."

"Bring the book. You don't have to give it to me until your have your precious princess, but it's just a nice way of showing that you are going to give it to me."

"I actively try not to be nice to you."

"Angel, I don't want to hurt your girl, but I will."

At that exact moment pain erupted on the left side of my face. I growled as it seared at my skin and Kegan smirked.

"Oh right, it hurts you too. Cool."

"Fine," I snarled. "Change back and let's go."

Kegan obeyed, for once, changing slowly back into Mirany's form.

"Isn't it great that we're working together again?" she asked, smiling innocently at me as she passed.

...

"How does the book work?" I asked as Kegan drove Mirany's Maserati to wherever it was we were going.

"Spell," said Kegan simply.

"No kidding," I said coolly. "What sort of spell?"

"Nobody's really sure," said Kegan. "It's some sort of soul-eating spell, as far as I can tell. If you touch that book, it'll immediately begin to record your life, up until the moment you die. Essentially, that means it records your life up until the moment you touch that book. I think the idea is you're being immortalised in the pages, so you don't need your crappy little life any more."

"Who started this?" I asked.

"An alchemist from the fourteenth century. Lord Havish. He was so obsessed with finding the elixir of life, the idea that he could last forever that he made a deal with Wolfram and Hart. No one knows what he had to deliver except for someone at Wolfram and Hart, but they agreed to make him immortal. They just didn't outline how. He thought he'd live forever. Instead, his legacy does, in this book. It has a very fascinating history I'm told, not to mention some of the people who are now trapped within it's pages."

"So how do you reverse the spell's effects?"

"Well, normally for a spell like this, you'd just burn the object, only this book has been burnt so many times and come out unscathed that I'm thinking that won't work, which is good for me, because that means you can't destroy it before you give it to me."

"Is there any other way?"

"Not that I know of. Luckily for your boy, you got that book away before it could completely drain him. There's the possibility he'll slowly go back to normal, but if he doesn't...he didn't look like he had much time left."

"So what do I do?" I asked.

"I dunno. You're the one that cares," said Kegan.

"Kegan."

"Well, I might be able dig something up," Kegan muttered.

"What do you want?"

"Lodgings."

I stared at her.

"What?"

"At your girlfriend's. Look at it this way. I will be right on hand should you ever need my assistance, and I get to stay in the most prestigious mansion in LA, with access to money and cars. We both win."

"I can't invite you to stay at a house that's not mine," I said.

"Oh, and you're so not invited into my room," said Kegan simply.

"No. What else do you want?"

"Nothing. Either you pull this favour for me, or your thirty-year-old friend dies of old age. How exactly did you explain that to the doctors?"

"We just...pretended he'd collapsed in the street in front of us. I'm not letting you stay anywhere near Mirany."

"I won't touch her."

"Why don't I believe you?" I growled.

"How should I know?" asked Kegan pointedly. "Do we have a deal or not?"

I bit my lip.

"I'll try."

"You'll try?"

"Well Kegan, unless you haven't noticed, I'm not Mirany."

"You better try very, very hard."

...

"Back off boys, I've got what I want. And next time, wait until I tell you to hit her. Idiots," Kegan muttered.

"Mirany," I breathed, kneeling in front of her as I untied her. "You alright?"

"I'll be fine," Mirany muttered, "after I kill her."

"I'd like to see you try Slayer. I have more of you on my record than your vampire does."

"Yeah, I've been up against people like that before, I still beat them," Mirany growled. "And guess what? You, like all the others, made it personal."

"Mirany wait," I muttered in her ear, holding her back. "She's more powerful than she looks. And she has the keys to your Maserati."

"What?" Mirany hissed.

"Oh yeah," said Kegan, tossing the keys to Mirany. "Just took her for a spin. Hope you don't mind. Oh, you're gonna need to fill it up."

"Who are you?" Mirany growled.

"Your new roommate," said Kegan brightly. "Don't worry, I won't bring my goons, and you don't have to remain tied to a chair the entire time."

Mirany raised an eyebrow at her.

"You're kidding right?"

Mir, she knows how to help Wes.

She stole my car and she kidnapped me just to get her hands on a book.

What do you want me to do Mirany? If she can take you without knocking you out, yet somehow without alerting me either, surely that tells you she's good. And she's one of the most powerful half-demons I've ever known. She's dangerous. But she's not necessarily bad. She does things if there's something in it for her. We could use someone like her.

What? I'm not powerful enough for you?

Mirany.

"How long?" asked Mirany.

"Until I get bored of your place," said Kegan. "But since there's an awful lot of fun to be had in that big old mansion of yours, that could be a while."

Angel!

You don't have to, but we might not find a way to help Wesley if you don't. I'm sorry, I fell into the trap before I knew what she was doing.

Some protector you are.

"Fine," Mirany sighed. "If you help Wesley."

Kegan held out a flaming hand.

"Shake on it?" she asked, smirking.

Mirany glared at her before taking her hand. I growled as pain shot up my hand and wrist, but Mirany had decided the surprise on Kegan's face was worth the pain. They only shook for a moment, but it was long enough to leave a searing burn on Mirany's hand to match the slowly healing one on her face.

She can use her powers in her human form!?

Okay, so Mirany's defiant look was a complete charade, and Kegan probably knew it, but I was damn proud that she had the guts to stand up to the half-demon.

I did tell you she was powerful.

I didn't think you meant that powerful!

Sorry, next time I'll be more specific. Is your hand okay?

I'll live.

"Alright. Take me to the hospital. I'll fix your boy," said Kegan, moving to the door. "Oh, we're going to have to stop at a magick shop. Oh, Mirany, is it? I need your credit card pin."

Mirany glared at me.

"I don't think Wesley's worth this," she muttered.

"It doesn't get better," I warned her, steering her after Kegan.

...

"What are you doing?" asked Mirany.

"Painting an ancient symbol on an ancient book in ancient dragon blood so revive your ancient friend," said Kegan coolly. "Now shut up and hold your candle."

"Excuse me?"

"You're excused," said Kegan simply, dipping her fingers back in the jar of blood and beginning to paint the same symbol on Wesley's face. "Fang Face, grab a knife."

"What?"

"I need someone who's already dead," said Kegan. "Start bleeding."

Mirany handed me a flick knife, a smirk on her face.

"She actually reminds me of me," she said.

"I figured you might warm up to her," I muttered, taking the knife and moving over to Kegan. "Where do you want it?"

"In there," said Kegan, gesturing at the stone bowl beside her. "'Bout half a quart."

"Half a quart! Why not just slit my throat and be done with it?" I asked indignantly.

"Okay," said Kegan, snatching up the knife and slashing at me. I ducked out of the way with a yelp. Mirany snickered.

"This might just be fun," she said as I took the knife off Kegan, scowling. "Start cutting. I can hang you upside down if you want."

I raised an eyebrow at her.

"I'd like to see you try."

"I'll hold him while you tie him," Kegan offered.

I sighed as I pressed the blade into my skin. I knew Mirany would get along with Kegan, but I had hoped that they wouldn't start ganging up on me for a little while to come.

"This was a bad idea," I muttered.

"Yeah, I'm sure your dad said the same thing about you," Kegan commented absentmindedly.

I growled at her but there was no point. She knew perfectly well I wasn't going to touch her.

"Alright, stop bleeding, take her candle. Mirany, over here."

"How come you'll use her name but I'm vampire or Fang Face?" I complained.

"I like her," said Kegan simply. "She has money."

Mirany smirked.

"Ah, who says money can't buy love?" she asked, moving over to Kegan. "What do you want?"

"Fur."

"Fur? I don't have fur."

Kegan looked her up and down and plucked a couple of white strands off Mirany's clothes.

"Your dog does," she said.

"What are you, the female version of Sherlock Holmes?" Mirany asked.

"Close enough," said Kegan, shrugging.

"Cool," Mirany shrugged.

"Okay, I need you to go distract the nurse. This is only going to take a minute but just in case. He's male."

"Well then, distractions I can do," said Mirany, undoing the top button of her shirt.

"Hey!" I objected.

"Don't worry sweetie," said Mirany, kissing me swiftly. "I won't do anything you wouldn't have done back when you knew how to flaunt your sex appeal."

"That doesn't comfort me," I said fervently.

Mirany rolled her eyes and walked out of the room.

"Hold his hand," Kegan ordered.

I did so, and a moment later, a flame popped up on the candle. Kegan took up the knife and began to chant.

"ego compello Vox Ut Exsisto. solvo animus ut erant pallium. reverto ut suum vox proprietas. plaga is libri of vomica. sino captus praecessi solvo."

She sliced into her hand, holding the wound above the bowl, trickling her blood into it. The contents of the bowl sparked and flashed as the boiling red liquid hit it. The symbols painted on the book and on Wesley's face glowed a soft purple colour, then the book lit up with a blinding white light. Shielding my eyes, I tried to see what was happening, but the light was too intense. When it died down, I saw that the symbols had disappeared, along with the contents of the bowl, and Wesley's body was quickly rejuvenating.

"You're welcome," said Kegan, closing the book. "Hope I can still fence this."

"Sorry to ruin your product while saving my friend's life," I said sarcastically.

"No, it should be alright. The buyer's not stupid enough to touch it himself, and if he tries to use it on anyone...well, he's never gonna find me again."

"Thank you. Kegan I-"

"I don't wanna hear it Fang Face. I'm not hanging around to help you."

"Then why are you hanging around? It's not just because you can drive some cool cars and spend a bit of money."

"Because the Slayer and I happen to have a common enemy," said Kegan. "Saria Overwood."

"Wait. You're hanging around to help Mirany?"

Kegan raised her eyebrows as an affirmation of my question before hefting the book and walking out of the room without another word.

"See you later then!" I called after her.

...

"I think I could get used to her," said Mirany. "She can be a little...evil, but she's alright. I dunno about the fire pit in what used to be my wine cellar, but otherwise...she's cool."

"Well I'm glad you like her, because I have a feeling you won't be getting rid of her any time soon," I said, sitting down on the bed beside her. "Oh, I'd keep an eye on here around Maia. There's every possibility she'll want to dissect her at some point."

"What? Why?"

"She's a mad scientist at heart," I said, shrugging as I brushed her fringe out of her eyes.

"I'll take your word for it. Do you wanna stay?"

"Actually, I've been meaning to talk to you about that. I've been thinking. Maybe it's time we discussed actually living together."

"You want to move in too?" asked Mirany. "Why? You already spend three quarters of your life here."

"Look, you were kidnapped, and I didn't know a thing about it until Kegan approached me. What sort of a protector am I if I'm not around to protect?"

"It wasn't your fault Angel."

"Maybe, but it still highlights the problem. When you're here but I'm not, you're open to attack."

"I can hold my own Angel."

"I know, and I'm not saying that you're helpless without me, but you are more vulnerable. And like you said, I spend most of my time here anyway. It makes sense for me to move in. It made sense for me to move in months ago."

"What about the hotel?"

"Most people drive to work Mirany. It's a fifteen minute drive, and most of the time, it's Wesley that takes the cases anyway. I just do the leg work. And Connor will still be there. Mirany, it works."

"Angel, you don't have to convince me," said Mirany, smirking as she propped herself up on her elbows. "I just want to make sure that you've actually thought about everything that needs to be thought about."

"I have," I said firmly. "Besides, now that you've got a raving lunatic in your wine cellar who you happen to like, you're going to need someone around here who'll be cautious when dealing with Kegan. Someone who's able to actually break down the 'friendly suggestions' into what they really are."

"Well Angel, if you're sure this is what you want, of course you can move in. But on one condition."

"What's that?" I asked.

"If you lose your sex appeal, I'm tossing you to the curb."

I grinned and leant in to kiss her.

"Well then, we better make sure that doesn't happen."