The Deal, part 6

By Tango

Three months into their business agreement and Buffy was beginning to wonder what was going on. It was almost as if Angelus could read her heart. The moment she felt any kindness toward him, any slight bit of caring, he would revert from a gentle lover to some cold, cruel snarling beast. If he made her smile, he’d make her frown a moment later. If she snuggled up against him in some rare moment of true intimacy, he’d hold her just long enough for her to think they were having a nice moment and then do or say something utterly uncalled for. He was by far the most confusing man she had ever known.

He disappeared at most unexpected moments, some times rushing out in the middle of the night with no explanations of where he was going. He kept her excluded from everything in his life that didn’t have to do with sex.

The servants waited on her hand and foot. They cooked and cleaned for her, even did her laundry. Once when she offered to make herself a sandwich and the cook got so upset that Buffy finally just asked for a bowl of soup and quickly left the cook’s territory, seeking sanity in another part of the house. Wesley was a frequent visitor, coming and going at odd times of the day and night. He was just as secretive as Angelus, but always kind and polite.

Despite the newness and all of the oddities surrounding her new life, she was starting to fall into a sort of pattern. She was getting used to the weirdness that was Angelus’ life. There was a wrench in the works, however. She had been avoiding Xander and Willow.

She told them that she was moving in with Angelus and that she had fallen in love with him. Neither one of her best friends were even slightly tempted to believe this lie. She had two days off per week as agreed, but she hadn’t spent them with her friends. She used the excuse that she was so in love with him, that she was wrapped up in his life, she didn’t have time for very many other things but they weren’t buying it.

Finally, one Saturday, having no choice if she wanted to keep her friends, she invited them over for a movie night at the mansion. It was a difficult conversation with Angelus when she asked him first not to be around at all and then finally to at least act like he was her lover and not her daily trick. He agreed with the most innocent expression on his face, as if he just couldn’t imagine why she thought he would ruin things for her.

She ordered pizza for her friends and they sat around eating quietly at first. The awkwardness hung around their necks like some great, puffing albatross. Finally, Buffy broke the silence.

“I’m sorry I haven’t been around much,” she said, keeping her eyes on her food. “I know you guys must be mad at me.”

“Buffy, it’s not that,” Willow promised. “It’s just that…you know, there was no warning at all. You moved out of your mom’s house and everything.”

“And we saw Riley,” Xander said, his face hardening. “He told us what Angelus did to him.”

”Riley was angry,” Buffy said, her eyes welling with tears. “It just started out with them talking and then it was bad.”

“I don’t believe that you fell in love with that creep,” Xander blurted out. “We know you better than that Buffy. You’ve hated him for years.”

Angelus leaned against the wall and eavesdropped on Buffy’s friends. In the beginning, part of his plan was to humiliate and use her, to make her sorry for every moment she made him want her and every moment she treated him like he was nothing. But that was before he had her in his bed every night and woke up with her every morning. That was before finding new ways to make love to her hadn’t been a full time occupation. And now, seeing her being drilled by her friends was making his blood pressure rise. She didn’t need to answer to anyone but him! How dare they demand answers of her?

He plastered a pleasant expression on his face and strolled into the Great Room where they were eating pizza and preparing to watch movies.

“I’m sorry to interrupt,” he said with a gracious smile. “Can I talk to you for a second, sweetheart?”

Buffy stood up and when her back was turned so that Willow and Xander couldn’t see her, she mouthed the word “sweetheart” at him with a bewildered expression on her face. He smiled brightly at her and kept her within hearing distance of her friends.

“I’m going to have some drinks with the guys,” he said, holding one of her hands in his and pretending to be some henpecked boyfriend. “You don’t mind if I go out for a while, do you, my love?”

“You know I don’t, honey bunch,” she said through gritted teeth. Her annoyance always had the same effect on him – it was like an aphrodisiac. He leaned in and gave her a gentle kiss, caressing her cheek as he did.

“I’ll have my cell phone on if you need me, sweetness,” he said. Another dazzling smile.

“I’m pretty sure I won’t need you, baby,” she snarled back. Buffy turned back to her friends and hurried away from Angelus, but not quickly enough. He reached out just as she turned and squeezed her ass. She yelped and jumped about a foot in the air. It was totally unexpected.

“Sorry, princess, couldn’t help myself,” he said. He was trying so hard not to laugh there were tears in his eyes.

“Try harder, sugar lips,” she crooned back.

He chuckled all the way to his car. When he reached his car, jingling his keys and laughing to himself, his cell phone rang. He picked it out of his pocket and put his key in the door of his car, still smiling.

“Hey Wes,” he said and moments later, the smile ran away from his face.


It was past midnight, after a viewing of *The Princess Bride* and *The Rocky Horror Picture Show* in which, Willow and Buffy forced Xander to participate in the Time Warp, Buffy walked her friends to the door, yawning. After Angelus’ little show, Willow and Xander had started to believe that Buffy and Angelus were a couple. When he called to check on her twice during the night, they believed it.

Although Buffy was very glad they had taken the bait, she felt guilty about deceiving her friends. It was better, however, than the alternative. She didn’t want them to ever, ever know that she was being paid to have sex with Angelus Roarke.

She headed up to bed, stretching as she climbed the wide staircase. She had arranged to have two days off a week, but Angelus rarely observed that when she was sleeping in his bed. Initially, she had asked for a separate bedroom for her nights off, which, naturally, had ended in an argument. He flat out denied her another place to sleep, demanding that she stay in his bed and finally, she realized why he had wanted her house completely empty. If there was no furniture there, chances were not good that she would sleep somewhere else. Tricky man, that Angelus Roarke.

She was halfway up the stairs when a hand reached out and grabbed her. She was far too used to Angelus sneaking up on her in the house, on the stairs, in the bedroom and at work to think anything of it. It didn’t occur to her to fight, until she realized that the body she was pressed against wasn’t at all familiar and the smell of the man holding a calloused hand over her mouth was nothing like her lover’s. She tried to turn her head, but moments later everything went black.


Angelus paced around a small, dingy apartment anxiously. He had never been in this particular apartment, but he had visited many like it over the years. It was dark with very few windows. A tall lamp stood in the corner casting barely enough light to illuminate the room. The carpet was threadbare and had holes in several places. There were no adornments, no pictures on the wall, nothing that said anything about the person who lived here. It reeked of poverty. The few windows available showed the brick walls of neighboring buildings and none of the poor Los Angeles neighborhood surrounding it.

“Dad, I’m sorry.”

Angelus turned to see his son, Connor, huddled in a chair at a rickety black table that had many scratches on the surface. Connor was overly thin and had a sickly pallor that betrayed his habits. His hands were trembling around a plastic cup of water. Wesley sat at the table as well, grim faced, but not speaking.

“Connor,” Angelus said, lowering himself into a chair, “I’ve tried to help you. I’ve spent thousands of dollars bailing you out of trouble this year alone.”

“I know,” the boy said quietly. His blue eyes seemed large and innocent compared to the life he lived. They seemed to illuminate his whole face.

“The last time, I bought the building they were dealing out of and had it demolished. I personally saw to it that four of them went to prison, but you find more of them.”

“I know,” Connor said, his face hardening. “Everyone thinks I’m a NARC because of that. I didn’t tell anyone anything – except your watchdog.” Connor jerked his head in Wesley’s direction.

“Wesley is likely the reason you’re still alive,” Angelus growled. “He lets me know when you get in too deep. Money is one thing, Connor, but they’ve taken Buffy. They don’t just want payment for what you owe them. They want a million dollars!”

“Dad, I’m sorry!” Connor ranted, rising from the table. “What the hell do you want me to do?”

“I want you to quit doing drugs!” Angelus roared. “How long before they just kill you? How long before I get a call late one night and find out that my only son was found in some abandoned warehouse with his throat cut from ear to ear? What do I do then? WHAT DO I DO THEN?”

“I DON’T CARE!” Connor roared back. Both of them were standing on either side of the table, hands flat against the scarred surface. Eyes narrowed, mouths set in snarls, they were equally furious with one another.

Angelus circled the table and slammed his son against the wall, tears burning in his eyes. “I love you, Connor. If I didn’t, I’d have let them kill you years ago. Now they’ve taken Buffy! They thought she was Darla. How would you feel if it was your mother in danger right now?”

“When has Mom ever given a shit about me?” Connor rasped, trying to shake his father off.

“Connor, I love you,” Angelus repeated, slamming him against the wall again. “Do you understand?”

Connor’s big blue eyes filled with tears and Angelus pulled him into his arms, hugging him tightly. “I love you, Connor,” Angelus said into his son’s ear. He let Connor pull back and held his face in his hands. “You need help, son. Promise me that you’ll let me take you to rehab.”

“Aren’t you going to bribe me?” Connor asked with a sneer.

“I’ve tried everything else. What do you want? My soul? You can have a car, a house, money, anything, just no more drugs. I’ll do anything for you, but I can’t stand another day of waiting for that phone call to find out that my son is dead.”

Angelus released him so suddenly, that Connor stumbled back against the wall again. He circled the table and sat down in his chair again, hands curled into fists. His head was pounding and he was having trouble breathing. Buffy was in danger and it was his fault. He ran his fingers through his hair and he looked at Wesley.

“How long until they call?”

Wesley checked his watch. “An hour,” Wesley said calmly. He had seen this show many times before, although normally if there was a hostage, it was Connor.

Angelus turned to his son. “If they touch a hair on her head, all of your little friends are going to hell.”

Connor stared back, glassy eyed. He looked for the world as if nothing mattered. Not his life, not Buffy’s life, no one’s.


Buffy opened her eyes slowly and looked around. She felt drowsy and shaky and her heart was pounding in her chest. Her hands were bound tightly behind her back and her ankles were tied together so tightly she was sure the ropes were cutting off her circulation. She was lying in the corner of what looked like an abandoned building. Dirt and debris covered the floor. It looked like some homeless people had taken refuge here. There were three men standing nearby talking in low voices.

She strained to hear what they were saying but her head hurt so badly, she could barely do anything except focus on the pain. She slumped back and closed her eyes, recounting her evening. She had been at home, heading for bed. Willow and Xander had just left. Angelus was out for the evening.

She felt panic rise in her chest. How long would Angelus stay out? Would he look for her if she wasn’t home when he got there or would he assume she was with Willow? She tried to take deep breaths. No, someone kidnapped her for money. They would call Angelus for a ransom. Tears filled her eyes. They would call Angelus for a ransom, wouldn’t they?

“Lookie, she’s awake,” one of the men said, turning around to face her. He was wearing a cowboy hat, blue jeans and cowboy boots. The look in his eyes told her that his vices lay outside of the rodeo. “You’re a pretty little thing.”

“If you call Angelus Roarke, he’ll pay to get me back,” she said, glaring at the man who was bent over her. “So just untie me and we’ll all wait for him to get here.”

“She’s so cute, Tector. Come look,” he said, ignoring her.

“She’s a whore,” Tector said, grinning. “Bet it wouldn’t make a lick of difference if we had some fun while we’re waiting for the boy’s daddy to get his money together.”

“No!” Buffy shouted as they moved nearer, trying to scoot desperately away. “He’ll kill you if you touch me,” she swore, keeping her eyes darting from one to the other. She knew it wasn’t true but they had to believe it if she was going to come out unscathed.

The third man stepped out from the shadows. “Now why don’t I believe that?” he asked, in a gravely voice. His face was ravaged with scars and his eyes had insane brutality in them. She felt an icy terror dripping through her veins.

“W-who are you people?” she managed to choke.

“I’m Rack,” he said with a flourish of his hands. He stepped closer and the other two shifted aside, giving him room, as if they didn’t want to be in his focus, as if being in this man’s way was an error you didn’t want to make. Since they didn’t seem all that bright, she was betting Rack was very, very scary. “You’ve met Tector and Lyle, the unfortunate brothers in my employ.”

“No, I mean why am I here?” she asked, keeping her voice bravely steady. She was trying not to think about the fact that they hadn’t hidden their faces and now she knew their names. Panic was rising inside her and an almost hysterical fear was fighting to break free. She was going to die here. She was going to die right here in this nasty, dirty room. Even if Angelus found her, it would too late.

“Because Connor owes us money,” he said smoothly. “He owes us a lot of money.”

“You’ve obviously made a mistake,” Buffy said. “I don’t know any Connor.”

“Oh no,” Rack said, shaking his shaggy head of hair. He pulled a knife out of his pocket and unfolded it to reveal a wicked looking blade. He turned it in his hand. “There’s no mistake. Connor Roarke is the junky son of Angelus Roarke. You mean to tell me he’s had you in his bed for this long and hasn’t aired the family’s dirty laundry?” His last words were almost a whisper. “I’m not completely convinced we’re going to get our money for you,” he added, stepping closer. Rack settled down on one knee and traced the side of her face with the knife. Not pressing down to cut, but just so she could feel the cold metal. “We meant to get the boy’s mother, not his father’s fuck toy. Do you really think he’d kill me for touching you?”

“Yes,” she whispered in horror, eyes wide.

“Why’s that?” Rack asked in a voice that clearly showed his sarcasm. As if he didn’t care about her answer, he began slicing through the front of her shirt. The blade was so sharp, it cut away like butter.

“Because he thinks I belong to him,” she answered.

Rack stilled and looked up at her. “And finally, we have the truth.” Carefully, as to not cut her, not yet, he kept slicing. Buffy tried not to breathe. Maybe if she was still enough, he would forget she was there.