This story is very much based off of 'Once / Always A Thief.' I do not own anything Buffy related, nor those books.

Here's another re-posted story...

"You seem oh-so sure of yourself, and that scares me. No one has even been close to catching him. What makes you think you can?"

"With the right bait, you can catch anything. Or anyone."

OoOoO

Buffy knew that she was driving the security team insane, but really she didn't care. She had a very good reason to be paranoid, she was about to be under the same roof as 'The Darkest Magicks Collection.' Anyone would be paranoid.

The Orb of Thesulah, Urn of Osiris, Cross of du Lac, Gem of Amara... They were all going to be together in one place for crying out loud. And with her, no less.

And not only that, but she was sure someone was following her.

She was glad she finally said something about it and that they took her seriously. Security had been upped, but she still felt like something was off. She just couldn't seem to shake it.

OoOoO

There was a sound of a crash in the not-so-far distance and it had Buffy bolting awake, staring out into the darkness of her room, her heartbeat frantic. She listened for a few moments, then slowly began to creep up out of her bed and went across the room to the door.

She pressed herself up against it, straining to hear any sort of noise. When she didn't, she carefully and oh-so quietly started to open the door, peeking her head through it, not that she could really see anything.

Taking a few deep breaths, she came out and into the hall, slipping down the side of the wall and stairs, towards the area where she guessed the crash had came from.

When she all but tripped over something, assumingly a body, in the hall, she made enough noise to get the attention of whoever happened to there.

Buffy wasted no time after that and went sprinting away, footsteps chasing after her.

OoOoO

When they were close, but far enough behind to not see her, or at least that was what she hoped, she ducked into the closest room she could get to. Softly closing it behind her, she rushed to try and steady her breathing, though that was something pretty useless.

She started taking slow steps away from the door, looking to find where would be the best place for her to try and hide. She was about to turn around and look into the room when she found a pair of strong arms grabbing her.

They pulled her back into the shadows and up against a hard body. A large hand also came flying down across her mouth.

Buffy was terrified and her imagination had already gotten to her once. The other day she could have sworn that some of Giles' statues had moved, even chuckled at her as she stared around, mumbling to herself. Just another point of her paranoia. Now, she had a fleeting thought that now one had been who'd just attacked her. But then, whoever or whatever it was, bent into her ear, shushing her and her thoughts.

She was noticing his hand, covering her mouth, covered in black, and what she could see of his arm, covered in black as well, when suddenly she was pulled even closer to the figure.

It was a second later that she heard the footsteps.

She wasn't sure why, but she didn't struggle against the man holding her. She just tried, once more, to control her breathing, not wanting to be found. Her eyes stopped staring at his hand and went flying to the door.

The room they were in only had entrance, if you didn't include the windows, which she wouldn't suggest trying. And from where they were, she was pretty sure they were well hidden. She still felt terrified though.

The footsteps were slowing and even closer. She soon saw an angry face open the door which made her stiffen. The unknown man searched the room from the doorway, not seeing anything pop out at him, so he cursed under his breath before walking away.

Once that happened, Buffy started to struggle against the arms biding her, but he only tightened his grip almost to the point of cracking some ribs this go around. And once she realized why, she stopped struggling and did her best to remain completely still as footsteps and angry voices returned.

"Damnit! I thought she came this way. This place is too fucking huge to check everywhere in every room!"

"Do you think she got a good enough look at you?"

"No, it's too dark."

"Well then, we'll keep checking some, you go back to your post. I thought she wasn't even supposed to be here tonight," the man grumbled. "Oh well, just go."

The two complained for a bit more, then finally started to fade away. And after a few too long minutes, the man loosened his grip on her and eased her down to her feet.

"I'm not going to hurt you, do you understand?" his voice came, hardly even a whisper. "You're going to have to remain still and very quiet, otherwise they'll come back and find us. Okay?"

She nodded her understanding, then as soon as he released her, she took a step away from him and turned to face him. "If you aren't with those creeps then what are you... oh." After seeing him, she knew what he was doing here.

The man was tall, much taller than she, and much bigger too, which she already knew. He was completely covered in black, which included a ski mask covering his face. He had the most expensive looking tool belt she'd ever seen and the deepest, most soulful brown eyes she'd ever seen as well.

"Well, Jesus Christ," she breathed.

"Hardly."

"Obviously!" she hissed, throwing her hands up, "Another thief! How lucky can one girl get?"

"That's such an ugly word, don't you think?"

"What?"

"Thief. It's an ugly word."

She huffed and scowled at him. "Oh, I'm sorry, would you prefer criminal?"

"If you must, you can call me a 'cat burglar,' he offered. "Or, even better, you can call me Angelus."

"Oh hell."