Chapter 14

Buffy sat in her car idling in front of the house. She looked past him to the open front door then back to her fingers gripping the steering wheel. She tightened her fists around the leather grips of the steering wheel and twisted. Alaric reached up and touched her fingers lightly. Her head snapped up and looked him dead in the eyes. He stared back, he did not flinch or look away. He touched her fingers again and gently lifted them off the wheel. Buffy felt a knot in her chest. She held herself together, breathing through the burning sensation of holding back tears. She looked again to the front door. She gripped Alaric's hand in hers, lacing her fingers with his.

"I don't want to go in there." she said slowly. "I don't want to seeā€¦" she broke off. She started to pull her hand away from his but he held tight.
"He has her. You spoke to her. She's ok." he assured her.
"She's ok. This sick fucker has her and she's ok." she said angrily and pulled her hand from his.
"This is all my fault Alaric. If I wasn't so wrapped up inwhatever I would have seen this coming. I could have stopped it. This would have never happened."

She looked up in his eyes and instantly felt horrible for what she said. He shrunk back in his seat. He was reached for the door handle and opened it then stepped out onto the sidewalk. She saw Damon and Elena pull up behind them finally.

Elena joined her first and looked at her with sympathetic eyes. She knew how this felt. The horrible feeling of knowing that something terrible had happened to someone that you loved there was nothing you could do about it. Then the wave of guilt washed over Buffy.

Alaric knew the feeling too. Jenna. He was not there when Jenna died and that would haunt him looked back towards her car and watched as he emerged and stood, leaning against the car door. She broke of gaze off quickly and looked towards the front door.

She took a deep breath and walked towards the door. She saw the coffee table flipped over, papers and Dawn's school books were all over the floor. Buffy felt a heavy lump in her throat and swallowed hard. She walked forward and she saw some glass broken on the floor. She almost felt like she would pass out. She felt Alaric standing close to her and was comforted by it. She turned and looked at him and smiled a small smile at him. He copied her smile. She saw Elena walk through the door and then Damon. He stopped short and the threshold.

"Hey can someone invite me in please." he asked from the door way. Buffy turned slowly and looked at Damon. She thought for a minute then invited him in.

"Wait a minute. Something is not right." he said. "Someone is still here." he said and moved lightening fast towards Buffy's room.

He fell to the floor suddenly in a heap and writhed in pain. He was able to reach up and grab his head between his hand. Alaric put his hand out and stopped Elena from running to him. Buffy stepped forward ready to stepped out of the hallway into the light. The recognition hit Buffy and she ran towards Damon's attacker and flung her arms around her.

"WILLOW." she yelled and hugged her tighter. Willow hugged back. Then Buffy remembered Damon on the ground.

"Oh no Will he's ok." she said and reached for Willow's hand. Damon stopped grunting in pain and recovered quickly. He shot up fast and faced off against Willow.

"NO!" yelled Buffy and moved in front of Willow shielding her from Damon's attack.

"NO Damon." Damon stopped short again and stood inched from Buffy's face. His breath heavy and fast.

"Guys this is Willow. She's my best friend." Buffy said introducing her to Elena and Alaric. Buffy turned back to Willow and hugged her red-haired friend again."

You got here so quickly."

"I had to." she said pulling back and looking at Buffy's face. She smoothed her hair away and tried to smile.

"Are you ok?" Willow asked Buffy. All Buffy could do was look up at her and smile a very weak smile at her friend. Willow could see the tears glistening in her eyes. Buffy breathed deep and swallowed hard then turned understood and walked towards Damon. She extended her hand to him.

"Sorry." she said. Damon looked at Willow as he leaned back on the wall. He looked down at her hand then back up.

"A vampire has been here. In my haste I thought it was you. You have to understand that."Damon stood straight and stepped towards Willow.

He looked at her from head to toe. He towered over her. Willow stared back at him, not flinching, not faltering.

"So there is another witch in town then huh." he said and walked past turned and looked at Buffy.

"I have some information for you about Klaus, or Niklaus as he was called back a few thousand years ago."

Buffy walked toward Willow and stood facing her.

"OK like what." she said folding her arms in front of her chest.

"Original vampires are hard to kill." Willow said slowly.

"No shit." snapped Damon as he walked and stood next to Elena.

"Right." Willow said looking at him then back to Buffy.

"Is this another 'No weapon forged' kind of hard to kill." Buffy asked.

"I am sure if you had a rocket launcher you could kill him but I thought you were more discrete lately."

"True." said Buffy.

"You have already told me about the dagger and white oak ash but that does not kill an original, just puts them to sleep so to speak." Willow walked towards the windows and looked out to the street.

"I have read about a stake. Carved from the ancient white oak that will kill an original." Willow turned back to the group.

"But now we have to find that." said Elena. "Where is the stake?"

"I don't know." said Willow. "That's as far as I got before getting here. I still have a few people looking for more info for me in England. We will find out where it is." she said and looked at Buffy again and smiled half-heartedly.

"Have you heard from Klaus again since the first phone call?" Willow asked moved across the room and sat slowly on the couch.

"No nothing."

"You should expect another one Buffy." said Damon. "What we know about Klaus is that he is a control freak. He gets off on it. He loves having the upper hand. He is going to make a move and we have to be ready."