When she heard the key turn in the lock, Willow shrank back against the wall, without even fully realizing what she was doing; she had stopped crying a while ago, but still her heart and mind were filled with fear, a feeling which only increased when the man stepped into the room again, the amused glint in his eyes not helping to take any of that fear away.

"I didn't do anything", she brought out in a trembling voice, hating how weak this made her appear and feel, but knowing that the smallest wrong move would only make her get hurt again, "what do you want now…?"

In response, the man raised one hand, making her flinch involuntarily as she anticipated another painful spell; instead, he moved his arm in a wide arch, the witch's eyes going wide again when moments later, a flickering square of bright light appeared in the air between the man and herself, an image appearing on it moments later, her breath getting caught in her throat when she recognized her girlfriend and her best friend, standing in some dark hallway, Pat just turning a key in a door that looked much like the one keeping her in this room.

With her heart beating up to her throat again, she noticed the glowing lines on the ground of said hallway, making her realize that her friends had performed some kind of spell to find her; she just had a moment to wonder where it had led them, if it hadn't taken them here, then the demon pushed the door open and a large, ferocious looking beast came bursting out of the room and tackled her, both of them ending up on the ground, a cry escaping Willow as she watched the scene with horror.

"No!" she shouted when she saw the beast open a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth, then bite down; before she could see if her partner had been hurt though, the man snapped his fingers and the image was gone, a smile appearing on his face again as the witch stared at him wide-eyed, one of her hands coming up to cover her mouth.

Holding her gaze, he brought up his hand again, pointing his index finger at her for a second before he started moving it in complicated looking swirls; again, the redhead's eyes widened when glowing lines appeared, forming words in the air, making her wonder if this was the only way he could communicate with her and if he really was mute – or if it was just for show and he only remained quiet to freak her out.

That attempt to rescue you didn't work out so well, did it? the words in the air read, accompanied by another nasty smirk from the man; he waited long enough so he could be sure Willow had read them, then wiped them into nothingness with a quick move of his hand and started writing again, new words quickly forming in the air.

I won't punish you for their indolence, no worries. Just wanted to make sure you all at once, Willow realized that he was looking at the words he was writing, and not at her; and within the blink of an eye, she let her instincts take over, catapulting herself forward and tackling him, his eyes briefly widening when her body crashed into his and he lost his footing, ending up on the ground beneath her.

Remembering the fact that she wasn't exactly a prize fist fighter, Willow grabbed his hair instead of punching him, pulling his head up and smashing it back down, against the concrete floor, as hard as she could; to her shock and dismay, this didn't seem to faze him much though, since he bared his teeth at her in a silent snarl, then grabbed her with one hand, the pain which rushed through her moments later making her cry out.

Determined not to let him stop her though, she grit her teeth as well, tightening her grip on him; instead of using physical violence once more, she made use of the lightning spell she had hurt him with earlier, glad to see that this was having a much better effect on him than the hit – his eyes widened again, and he let go of her, the pain stopping the moment his hand had vanished from her arm.

"My friends might not have been able to rescue me, but now, I'll rescue myself", she pressed out between grit teeth, increasing the strength of her spell so she'd hurt him even more, feeling how the dark powers she had absorbed so long ago stirred in the back of her mind, eager to be used, to show that man what she really could do, "and if that beast you hid there harmed my girlfriend, I'll make you pay…"

In response, he kept gritting his teeth in pain from the lightning that still shot through him; she noticed that he was blindly groping along with his pants with one hand, realizing a second too late what he was looking for, the knife slashing over her leg moments later, the pain breaking her concentration and forcing her to stop the spell.

Panting heavily and still snarling at her, the killer pulled the knife back and rammed it into her leg again, smiling a psychotic smile at her when she cried out in pain; then, she wiped that smile off his face again by grabbing his head with both hands, blocking out the pain as she unleashed the spell on him once more, his eyes rolling back into his head moments later as he couldn't take it and passed out.

Letting go of him again, Willow came to her feet, groaning at the pain in her leg; she could feel how the blood from the wounds started to soak her pants, some of it dripping to the floor as she limped away from the killer's unconscious body, knowing that she had to get out now before he'd wake up, well aware of how much energy she had put into the last lightning spell and that she wouldn't be able to do that again for an hour or two, not wanting to imagine what he might do to her if he'd end up waking up before she was far enough away from him and would capture her again.


When Pat had unlocked and opened that door, Buffy had been bracing herself for a lot of unpleasant options, among them finding her best friend seriously hurt or maybe even dead; what she hadn't been expecting though was a huge monster to come bursting out and tackle the demon, snarling and splattering saliva over her as it bared horribly sharp teeth and tried to tear out her throat.

With a startled yelp, Pat somehow managed to bring the axe up in time to make the dog-like thing bite the wooden handle instead of her throat; the strong jaws of the thing closed on it and easily bit through it, the sound of the wood breaking between the monster's teeth being enough to tear Buffy out of her shock. Bringing up the sword, the Slayer rushed forward, stabbing the sharp blade into the beast's body with all her strength; simultaneously, Pat did the same with the splintered end of the broken handle, snarling and growling at the thing as she rammed the wood upwards and felt it break the skin and enter muscle.

Letting out a high-pitched whimpering sound, the beast tried to get away, but neither the Slayer, nor the demon would let it; instead, Buffy pulled the sword out and brought it down again, the blade biting into the creature's neck and making it whine again while Pat let go of the useless piece of handle and swung the axe upwards, grim satisfaction on her face as her hit connected as well, slashing into the monster's throat.

With another whimper, the beast managed to move away a few steps, trembling visibly; then, it slumped to the ground and died, bright red blood seeping from its wounds and drying on the concrete while Buffy helped the demon to her feet and concernedly asked her if she was okay.

"Yeah I'm fine, it didn't bite me", Pat reassured her, then grimaced as she wiped a blob of saliva off her shirt and threw it on the ground.

"It just drooled on me", she added, sounding and looking so grossed out that Buffy couldn't help it, but just had to smile, "ew, gross! And why does that stink so bad? What has this thing been eating?"

"I think I know", Buffy gave back, her smile fading away from her face as she looked into the room where the monster had been locked up; next to a pile of just as bad smelling excrement, several pieces of clothing laid on the ground, torn and bloodied, the Slayer and the demon realizing in the same second that this was how the killer had gotten rid of the bodies.

"So, he kills them in some other place and then takes the bodies here for his little pet to eat them", Pat muttered, grimacing at the thought, "how come no one ever noticed? And why did the trail just lead us here, but not to the other place he must have here somewhere?"

"He must have set that up", Buffy sighed, "so he can't be found. If he can block locator spells from working, he surely can do that, too."

"At least we got rid of his little pet", Pat muttered, dismayed now that their plan had failed, "but we still have no idea where—"

The sound of heavy e-guitars suddenly came from her pocket, making both her and Buffy jump; it took her a second to realize that it was her cell phone, and she quickly pulled it out, ignoring the disbelieving look the Slayer was giving her – if the man had been in this house and someone had called her while she was sneaking around, all the stealth would have been for nothing.

"It's from your house", the demon told the blonde after a look at the display, where "Buffy – Home" was flashing; then, she pushed the button which took the call and held the phone to her ear, Buffy watching curiously how she listened in silence after her short greeting, her good eye going wide a short time later.

"Okay", she finally brought out, the mixture of disbelief and joy in her voice making the Slayer's heart beat faster, "we're on our way, see you in a few… Yeah, of course… Okay. Bye."

Quickly, she ended the call, then tugged the phone back into her pocket before she looked at Buffy, her voice still filled with that odd mix of disbelief and happiness when she spoke on, the Slayer feeling her heart beat faster at the news as well. "That was Giles. Willow's back at the house, she knocked him out somehow and came back…"

"Wow", Buffy gave back, "is she okay?"

"Apparently he hurt her with his knife", the demon grimaced, "but Giles said it should be okay once she borrowed my healing…"

"Well, what are we waiting for then", the Slayer smirked, making the taller woman nod; together, they hurried out of the cellar and of the house, walking as fast as they could without actually running, both of them eager to get back to Buffy's house as fast as possible so they could see for themselves that Willow really would be okay.