When he heard Willow enter the house, Angelus stepped out of her bedroom. Hidden by the darkness on the balcony, he watched as she dumped her books on the bed and started feeding her fish. She told them all the trivial details of her day. Such a dull existence, he thought. She should thank me.

Opening the balcony doors got her attention. She dropped the jar, scattering fish food across the floor, when she saw him standing there. "I had planned to just kill your fish, but if you're going to up and volunteer . . . "

"No! No volunteering. I totally didn't mean to volunteer," she babbled.

He took a step forward. Willow bolted for the door, but Angelus leaped over the bed and was there before her. He held her off easily as she struggled to get past him. Fiesty. Who knew meek little Willow would be so much fun? She drew a deep breath, obviously to scream. He slapped a hand over her mouth and shoved her against the wall before she could blink. "Willow," he said in his gentlest voice. "You don't want to watch your mother and father die, do you? Their hands stretched out towards you, pleading for life as I paint the walls . . . " He paused and then said, "red."

She shook her head in response. Releasing her mouth, he stroked a hand down her long hair. "My pretty little volunteer."

"No," she said. "Not volunteering. Not for death." She paused as he raised a lock of her hair and inhaled its scent. "Not for . . . anything."

"Oh, you did pay attention in class." He drew a finger across her breast, touching but barely. "What else did the Watcher teach you?"

"Nothing! Nothing! He didn't teach me anything."

Angelus shifted into vamp-face. "If you won't volunteer . . . " As fangs descended towards her neck, Willow scrunched her eyes closed. "I'll just have to leave you . . . for . . . last."

He left here there. Watching from the balcony again, Angelus waited the long moments until Willow opened her eyes. She sighed her relief when she saw he was gone. Stupid little ostrich, thinking you're safe just because you can't see me. He thought of how her terror would look if he stepped back into the room, but no. Terror like Willow's should be savored, drunk in the tiniest of sips. Maybe I will leave her for last.