DISCLAIMER: The characters are Joss’, of course, and the chapter title comes from Shakespeare’s “Sonnet LX.”
PREVIOUSLY ON BUFFY: Willow showed up at Giles’ with Spike and, together, they confronted the trio of Watchers and Joyce about the pregnancy…

*************

Chapter 14: In the Main of Light

Willow expected to be confronted as soon as they left Giles’, but as they walked down the sidewalk toward campus, Buffy remained as silent and withdrawn as she’d been during those weeks before they’d left for London. As the minutes stretched the anticipation to greater fidgets than anything she imagined Buffy could actually say, though, Willow decided to take the Slayer by the horns and bring it up herself.

“I know you didn’t want Spike there,” she said, “but I think it turned out pretty well, considering. And that accent! Is that how William sounded? He makes Giles sound like those guys we heard on-.”

“You shouldn’t have interfered.”

Buffy didn’t raise her voice, and she didn’t look at her friend when she spoke, but even without such demonstrations, Willow heard the reprobation in her words. She flushed in spite of the day’s rising heat. “I’m sorry,” she hurried to say. “And, I know you don’t want to hear this, and I can’t believe I’m going to say it, but Spike…he wants only the best for you, Buffy. He was the best ally you could’ve had in there. You’ve got to admit, he was pretty convincing. I mean, I completely get what it was you saw in him now. It sounded like you two really did a lot for each other.”

“I told you that when we were in London. Since when are you such a Spike supporter?”

Willow bit her lip. She didn’t dare tell Buffy about the small spell she’d done on the letters. Not only would it demonstrate a lack of trust, but Buffy was already worried about her use of the stolen magic. If she found out that Willow was using it like she was, she’d tell Giles, and that was one detail the witch wanted to keep private.

“Since he became the father of your baby,” she replied instead. “You weren’t watching him. You didn’t see his face. He’s head over heels for this baby and it’s not even born yet.”

She thought she’d overstepped the boundaries of their friendship until Buffy whispered, “I know.”

“Then why didn’t you want him there?” Willow asked gently.

“Because nobody knows him like I do. You heard Giles. They still think there’s such a difference between the human and the vampire, but…I don’t know. Angel without his soul was a completely new person, but Spike…there’s so much William in him, and I have absolutely no idea how that can be. He looks at me, and I see William. He talks to me, and I hear him. And when he touches me…”

Her voice trailed off, lost in some memories known only to her. When Willow stole a glance sideways, she saw the wistful longing softening Buffy’s face, the sad upturn of her mouth. She may not have said the words out loud, and she might have fled his presence after getting the truth told, but there was no doubt in Willow’s mind that Buffy loved Spike, too. She just needed to admit it to herself.

“Do you think Spike would be different if he had a soul?”

The Slayer’s question came out of the blue, and Willow stopped in her tracks as she gaped at her friend. Buffy continued walking for a few paces before realizing she was alone, and stopped to look back.

“What? I was just wondering.”

“Wondering, as in intellectual speculation, or wondering, as in ‘Willow, can you give Spike back his soul?’”

“Just…wondering.”

She wasn’t, and it was written all over her face.

“You can’t get William back, Buffy.” Willow kept her tone as gentle as possible, and began walking again in order to get back to her friend’s side. “Putting a soul in him isn’t going to make Spike forget about the last century of being a vampire.”

“It would make Giles and Mom accept him easier, though.”

She couldn’t argue with that. She had a sneaky suspicion Buffy was right.

“But would it be worth it to potentially lose him?” Willow asked. “It’s possible Spike with a soul wouldn’t be anything at all like how you know him. Do you really want to risk that?”

Tentatively, Buffy shook her head, and the girls resumed their walking. They were on the edge of campus before either of them spoke again.

“Do you think there’s any way Spike can be a good thing for this baby?” Buffy asked.

Remembering the fiery torrent of emotion that flooded through her when she’d scanned Spike’s letters, Willow smiled. “Yeah,” she said softly. “I think he could be a good thing for both of you.”

*************

The moment Buffy left, Giles rose to his feet.

“Spike, a word with you in the kitchen, please?”

The words were polite, but the tone was cold, and the danger flashing in the Watcher’s eyes was enough to make Spike tense.

“Not really all that private in there,” he said. He hooked his thumbs through his belt loops in cocky defiance. “So, if you have something to say to me, you might as well have at it out here.”

For a moment, Giles’ eyes flickered among the room’s other occupants. Oz still stood near the door, observing the group in silence, while Wesley and Lydia hung back behind the Watcher, curious as to which decision he would make. It was Joyce who received the longest consideration, and as she lifted her chin to stare him down, Giles sighed, his shoulders sagging slightly.

“I want to know why you’re here,” he said.

Spike couldn’t help his grin. “Checkin’ out my intentions, eh? Guess I couldn’t expect any less.”

“You could’ve stayed away.”

“No, I couldn’t. I promised Buffy that I’d come, so come I did.”

“But that was nearly eight weeks ago,” said Joyce. “How can you expect me to believe that you’re so concerned about Buffy’s wellbeing when you didn’t even bother to come with her?”

Spike glanced at Lydia, and could tell from the slight rush in her heart rate that she was anxious about his response. Giles, too, seemed already to be aware of what the answer to the question would be, his hands disappearing into his pockets and fiddling with the coins they found there.

“Because what kept me away was for Buffy’s sake,” Spike replied. Sod the rest of them, he decided. Of everyone in the room, the one he needed to be concerned with the most was Joyce, and to a lesser extent, Rupert. These were the two who the Slayer looked to for guidance, for support. These were the two he most needed to get onto his side. Without them, any future he and Buffy might have would be difficult, if not impossible, to endure.

Carefully, Spike closed the distance between him and Joyce, watching as she stiffened upon his approach. Easing back onto the stool next to her, he turned to face her directly, blocking out everybody else in the room.

“Buffy is an amazing woman,” he said. “And she’s an even more amazing Slayer. Some of the credit for that goes to Rupert, but some of that also goes to you. Mums are the most incredible creatures, you know? Mine did so much to try and make up for some of the hardships I had back in the day, just like I know you do for Buffy.”

“I don’t see-.”

“Let me finish.” The eyes of others in the room were heavy upon him, but he deliberately ignored them. “The thing of it is, though, it’s not enough. To you, she’s still your little girl, but to a good number out there, she’s the Big Bad Kickass Slayer. Which means there’s always going to be someone gunning for her, and there’ll always be some nasty lurking around the corner, just waiting for his chance to get a taste of her. We might not like it, but the truth of the matter is, Buffy beats the odds against her every single night she makes it back to crawl between her cozy little sheets. So, I just decided to make sure that that happens for as long as possible, is all. I was off tryin’ to find something I thought would help her out with her slaying, and when it didn’t pan out, I came straight here. To help her fight. To stand by her and behind her for as long as I can. For as long as she lets me.”

“Because you love her.”

There was no question in her voice, no blame. Her eyes as they regarded his were solemn, but the coldness that had been present upon his arrival seemed to have waned.

The corner of his mouth lifted. “Yeah,” Spike agreed softly. “Because I love her.”

Giles cleared his throat. “As…passionate as you appear, Spike,” he said, “why should we believe you? How do we know you’re not here with ulterior motives?”

“Ask him.” Spike pointed to Oz. “Go on, tell him how I saved you and Red last night. And the Slayer wasn’t anywhere around, was she?”

“He’s right,” Oz said. “He saved our lives.”

Giles’ attention immediately shifted, and he frowned in concern. “What happened? Was it vampires?”

“More vigilantes. Willow and I were on a stakeout for Buffy and they showed up.”

“But why would they attack you? I thought they were only interested in vampires.”

“Looks like they decided they wanted a werewolf to toss in the mix,” Spike said.

Speaking drew Giles’ focus back to Spike, and the Watcher’s eyes narrowed. “Buffy said the vigilantes were human,” he said carefully. “If you saved Willow and-.”

“It was self-defense.” Oz remained unflappable when attention was drawn to him. “Spike knocked out the last one, but when he turned his back, the guy pulled a knife. Spike didn’t have a choice.”

He hadn’t expected the show of support from the werewolf, even though Buffy had told him about what had been said at the graveyard after Spike had scarpered off, so he nodded to Oz in gratitude. An unexpected ally. It made for a nice change.

“Still,” Giles was saying, “it doesn’t change the fact that you’re still a vampire, Spike. Your instinct is to kill. Do you expect me to believe that you can just ignore that because of your love for Buffy?”

At least he wasn’t questioning the validity of his emotions, Spike thought. Rupert wasn’t calling it his presumed love; he was phrasing his doubts in such a way that there was no mistaking he believed the feelings to be real.

“Been baggin’ it ever since London,” he said proudly, and jabbed a finger in Lydia’s direction. “She’s my proof of that.”

“Yes,” she confirmed. “And as far as I’m aware, William hasn’t killed beyond the realm of his duty, either.”

He winced at her casual use of the word “duty,” and noticed Giles doing the same. It made him sound like a ponce, when, really, it was just about making sure that Buffy stayed safe and able to rely on him. She couldn’t very well do that if he was arbitrarily slaughtering half the humans he came across.

“And now that I’ve said my piece,” Spike said, rising to his feet again, “I got a bone to pick with you.” He moved until he faced off with Giles. “What’s with riding Buffy so hard about this baby? Me, I can understand, but you’re s’posed to be her bloody Watcher-.”

“Exactly. Buffy’s the Slayer. Which means everything she does gets examined in excruciating detail by the Council, especially now that I’m back in their employ and she’s presumably back under their control. Trust me. They look none too fondly on Slayers who choose to have children. They believe it diverts the Slayer’s focus from their mission, which is why they do everything in their power to discourage any such thing happening in the first place. How do you think Quentin Travers is going to react when he learns about her state? I’m trying to protect her.”

“You tried talking her into an abortion,” Joyce said quietly.

His reaction was instinctual.

Plaster rained around their heads when Spike slammed Giles into the wall, his forearm crushing into the older man’s throat as he pinned him in place.

“That’s mine you’re tryin’ to get rid of there,” Spike growled. He ignored the Watcher’s clawing at his arm. “But that doesn’t even matter. The one who gets to make that decision is Buffy, not you and not those wankers back in merry ol’, understand?”

There was a rustle of activity behind him, but out of the corner of his eye, he saw Lydia stop Wesley from approaching. It didn’t, however, stop Oz from coming up and curling a hand around the elbow of the arm that held Giles against the wall.

“Spike, man, maybe we should go.”

The realization that he was being pulled off a potentially volatile situation took a moment to sink into Spike’s skull. His eyes flashing, he released his hold, taking a step back and glaring as Giles spluttered and sagged. He shook off Oz’s grip and stalked back to where he’d dropped his blanket, wrapping it around his shoulders without even a glance at the others in the room.

“And you wonder why we worry about Buffy’s involvement with another vampire,” Giles said softly.

Stopping in the doorway, Spike turned and locked gazes with the Watcher’s. “That wasn’t a demon’s reaction you got there,” he said, his voice low and dangerous. “That was a father’s. If it had been the demon’s, you’d be dead.”

He whirled and made a dash for the van, smirking beneath his blanket for getting the last word in. Maybe they’d realize he was serious now; he wasn’t about to let anybody hurt Buffy any more, and he especially wasn’t going to let anyone hurt the baby. If this didn’t prove it to them, he didn’t know what would.

Oz didn’t say a word until they had pulled away from the curb.

“Not that I’m criticizing your methods here,” he said, and his eyes never strayed from the road ahead, “but maybe manhandling Giles isn’t the best way to get him on your side.”

“Wanker was threatening the baby. He got what was comin’ to him.”

Silence.

“You think Buffy’s going to see it that way?”

The simple wording of Oz’s question forced Spike to shake off the rush of adrenaline he’d felt at the small victory over Giles. As he began to imagine how the scene would’ve played out if Buffy had been present, his glee faded, to be replaced with a growing sense of dread as to how she would take the news when her Watcher called to gloat about how he’d been right about Spike.

“There’s a covered walkway that connects Buffy’s dorm with the hall next to it,” Oz observed. “There’s usually a lot of parking spots right near by.”

The casual offer was all the confirmation he needed. “Thanks, mate,” Spike said. Leaning against the interior wall of the van, he closed his eyes as he lost himself in the rhythm of the vehicle against the road. This was going to be a lot harder than just showing up and thinking Buffy was going to let him fall into her life and bed. He needed to start thinking a little quicker, be a little more careful in what he said and did around her friends and family.

But he could still save this.

*************

Her silence was beginning to weigh on Giles, and he watched her out of the corner of his eye as he finished examining the non-existent bruises on his neck in the mirror. “You’re upset,” he said quietly, and stilled until Joyce looked up to meet his eyes in his reflection.

“I’m…baffled,” she countered. Slowly, she shook her head. “I just don’t understand how you could’ve kept this from me for the past two months. Buffy closing off, I get. She knew how I felt about Angel, so it’s natural that she’d be scared about telling me about Spike. But, you, Rupert? I thought we’d finally come to an agreement about what our roles were, about how we functioned in Buffy’s life. How could you not tell me what happened to her in England?”

Deliberately, he stepped around the wall and into the kitchen, grabbing the kettle to fill it in the sink. “It wasn’t my tale to tell,” he said.

He kept his eyes averted. If he met her gaze, Giles was fairly certain she would see the truth in them for herself.

“That’s bullshit.” He heard her stand and come into the kitchen. “I know for a fact that both Wesley and that Lydia know everything that happened, and I’m fairly certain Buffy didn’t include them in her little show-and-tell circle, which means you’re the reason they know. How could you tell them and not me? I’m her mother. I have the right to know.”

“To begin with, I told Lydia nothing. She was involved in the events in London herself so she had it all firsthand. As for Wesley…” Stepping to the cupboard, he took out a clean cup. “He’s going to be working with Willow, and indirectly, with Buffy. I thought it best he be aware.”

“But not me.”

“Why does it sound like you’re angrier with me than you are with Spike?”

“Because Spike was honest with me. I may not be happy about the fact that Buffy’s pregnant, or that it looks like she’s in love with him, or even that the father of my unborn grandchild is a vampire, but at least neither of them chose to keep me in the dark once they learned the truth.”

Taking a deep breath, Giles maintained his silence while he waited for the water to boil, pouring it into the teapot when it did and trying to ignore the guilt Joyce’s words was inducing. “Perhaps I made the wrong decision,” he said carefully. “And for that, I apologize. But I meant what I said to Spike. When the Council discovers that Buffy’s pregnant, things could get very difficult for her. And if they learn the truth of the paternity…”

“What will they do?”

He filled the cup and handed it to Joyce, finally lifting his gaze to hers. “I don’t know,” he admitted. “It’s been over twenty years since they’ve had a Slayer with a child, and Buffy’s circumstances are…unique, to say the least. I fear there are too many variables to make any credible speculation as to their potential actions. But knowing Travers as I do…I have to assume the worst. My only concern is Buffy’s wellbeing, Joyce. You have to believe that.”

Her nod was slow. “All right,” she replied. “I suppose I can understand some of it. But I think you’re wrong about one thing.”

“What’s that?”

“Buffy’s not giving up on this pregnancy, and from what I can see, Spike’s more than ready to fight for it just as hard as she is. That means it’s not just her you have to be concerned for. It’s the baby, too.”

As she carried her tea back into the living room, she left Giles to stand alone with the warm teapot. Her conclusion was exactly the one he’d been fighting inside his own head ever since hearing Buffy’s announcement about her new condition. In his heart, he’d known that aborting would never be an option for his Slayer, and while he may not be pleased with who the baby’s father was, he couldn’t deny that it had been conceived in love, or that the father-in his original form-was a good and decent man.

It was the current incarnation that frightened Giles.

It was the current incarnation with which he was going to have to contend.

It was the current incarnation whose unpredictability made the next nine months a nightmare to consider.

Prior to his arrival in Sunnydale, Giles had always believed he understood the nature of vampires. Then, Angel had become a part of their lives and he’d been forced to reconsider some of his assumptions, bending them to fit with the soul that changed so much. Some of it had reverted back when Angelus had stripped and slaughtered his swathe through their lives, and Giles had to admit that his animosity toward vampires as a group had swelled to astronomic proportions after Jenny’s death. Not even Angel’s tortured return and subsequent adieu was enough to temper it to any great degree.

Yet, now there was Spike, and all his notions were being choked into re-evaluation again. He didn’t mean the Spike who had terrorized them at Angelus’ side, nor the Spike who had returned for the brief sojourn the previous year.

No, the Spike who gave Giles such a headache was the one who revealed himself in love letters written to a Slayer. The one who traveled across continents in search of a woman he believed held the key to helping the Slayer he adored. The one who renounced his instincts-or seemingly attempted to-in order to not only better the odds that the Slayer would survive just one day longer, but that she would do so and look upon him favorably as well.

This was a Spike he didn’t understand.

Which meant this was a Spike he had to tread lightly with.

He had liked William. He had liked the young man from Anne’s first descriptions, and it had been furthered by his only meeting with him. He’d been impressed by the decorum and respect that pervaded young William’s being, and, under any other circumstances, he would’ve welcomed Buffy’s involvement with such a man.

But William was not Spike.

He couldn’t be.

And it was that last, nebulous straw to which Giles was grasping. Because to let it go was untenable.

*************

She didn’t know why she couldn’t let it go. Maybe it was because of the unexpectedly harsh response she’d gotten from Giles about the pregnancy. She’d known he would be disappointed, but his nearly violent reaction to Spike being the father had shocked her, almost into silence, and then to hear his arguments after Spike had told his side of the story… Buffy wasn’t sure why he was being so stubborn about it all, especially since he’d been seemingly on her side ever since their return from London.

But it was that one statement of his that hooked the questions firmly inside Buffy’s mind, the reason she’d starting thinking about them in the first place.

“Angel had a soul.”

Deep down, she didn’t want Spike any different than he already was. Well, maybe except for not being a vampire but hello, there was no getting away from that particular fact. But neither Joyce nor Giles had had the opportunity to get to know him the way she had, and accepting him at face value when not even a year ago he’d been kidnapping her friends and threatening them with broken bottles was too much for them to stomach. Buffy knew that. It was the only reason she was pondering the question of a souled Spike at all.

Willow was probably right. There was no way to guarantee that Spike would be remotely similar with a soul; she could lose him for good if he did it. And how would he react if she even asked? Would he be hurt about not being good enough the way he was? That had been William’s biggest fear and failing. So many people had denigrated his existence when there was so much good he had to give to them; surely, asking Spike to get a soul just so that her friends and family would accept him more easily was pretty much saying the same thing.

And yet, the niggle remained. She wanted everyone to get along. For her sake, but most importantly, for the baby’s sake. And Willow had all this extra power now. Maybe she could figure out a way to do the souling spell so that it didn’t have the no-happiness clause built in like Angel’s.

She was jostled from her thoughts by a surreptitious poke in the side by said witch. Jerking, Buffy looked up in time to see Dr. Walsh turn back toward the lecture hall as the kids around her started packing up their books. Damn it. She’d zoned out through most of psych class again. She was going to have to stop doing that.

“Before you go,” Dr. Walsh said, and a hush fell across the room, “I have a small announcement to make.” She leaned against the front edge of her desk as her gaze swept over the students. “Some of you may have been awake enough during class to notice that Riley Finn, my teaching assistant, wasn’t here today. Unfortunately, he won’t be returning. Last night, Riley was assaulted on his way home from the library. He died before he was found. There will be a small memorial service at his fraternity on Wednesday for those of you who had the chance to get to know him. As for his position, I’m replacing him with a former student of mine from back East. He starts on Wednesday and I expect all of you to treat him with the utmost respect. Dismissed.”

Buffy and Willow exchanged looks as they rose from their seats, but they held their tongues until they were beyond the walls of the lecture hall. “The library?” Willow asked. “Do they really expect us to believe that?”

“Professor Walsh does,” Buffy replied. “I’m just wondering who Riley was working for that would come up with such a story.”

“Somebody who doesn’t want what he was really doing to get out, obviously.”

Each lost in her thoughts, the girls lapsed into silence until they reached the step of their dorm. “What’re your plans for the rest of the day?” Willow asked.

Buffy glanced at her friend, noting the nervous smile. “I think I’m just going to take it easy,” she said. She didn’t need to elaborate. They both knew it had been a crazy twenty-four hours. “You’re meeting with Giles and Wesley tonight, aren’t you?”

Willow nodded. “The witch from the coven should be in town now. It’ll probably be another big intro-palooza. Which is good, but what I really want is to get to work on the whole controlling the magic thing. After what happened with that vamp attack the other night-.”

“What did happen?”

“Got me. Except I think that somehow I set him on fire. I just don’t know how. That’s what I’m hoping I’m going to be able to figure out.”

They stepped from the stairwell into the hall that led to their room, and Buffy froze as she saw the black-clad figure leaning against the wall next to her door. He was doing everything he could to appear casual, but the way he kept flicking his Zippo open and shut betrayed his nerves.

Willow’s eyes widened at the sight. “Oh,” she breathed, and stepped away from Buffy as if the Slayer needed more physical room to process the arrival. “I’m… just… going to go to the library,” she said. She backed off. “OK?”

Buffy didn’t answer. She was too busy watching as Spike’s head turned to meet her gaze.

*************

The dingy apartment was dead quiet as Baltozar fell through the front door. Fucking thing stuck every time it closed, and he invariably had to kick it in order to get inside. He would’ve preferring having a real nice place to stay while he and Havi were in Sunnydale, but as they neither knew how long they’d be around nor had a shitload of cash to be throwing about, this was the best they could do.

The ratty curtains were still drawn against the midday sun, and when he crossed to pull them, Baltozar saw a cockroach skitter beneath the sagging cushions of the couch when the deadly sunlight struck the stained carpet. Almost as bad as vampires, he thought, though the sight hardly disgusted him. In his line of work, it was a common one and far down on the list of creepy crawlies that got under his skin. Sometimes, even, just the sight of one almost made him feel like he was at home.

His muscles gleamed with sweat as he strode into the galley kitchen, opening the refrigerator and grabbing the carton of milk from inside. Swigging down the remainder of its contents, he tossed the empty carton on top of the pizza box next to the sink, and noted the faint line of red trailing down the interior of the white fixture. Leaning in, he dabbed at it with a fingertip, bringing it to his nose to sniff before cautiously giving it a quick lick.

Blood.

Havi’s.

He hadn’t noticed it there before he’d gone out for his workout. Then again, he hadn’t come into the kitchen, either.

Slowly, Baltozar crept down the hall to the single bedroom, nudging the door open with a toe in order to better peek inside. Havi was still asleep on the bed, nude, lying on her stomach atop the blankets with her head at the foot of the mattress. They’d flipped for how the sleeping arrangements were going to be, and sleeping backwards on the bed had won over turning it completely around. Because of the piercings in her neck, Havi slept on her stomach, but she couldn’t sleep without being able to see the door when she woke up. It was a survival mechanism for her, ingrained over the years, but if Baltozar didn’t love the girl so much, he would’ve thought the bitch was a real nutcase for needing the odd order.

Silently, he slipped through the crack and stepped to her side. She’d been covered up with the sheet when he left, so he hadn’t seen the various scrapes and scratches that adorned her flesh. What the hell has she been doing? Baltozar wondered. Esme’s questions came haunting back, and his breathing quickened as he began to play out the possibilities.

Maybe the old witch was right. Maybe the Hellmouth held some significance for the Guardians after all. Havi had been driven ever since they’d arrived, and clammed up whenever he pressed. Whatever excursion she’d gone on the previous night had to be a part of that.

Slowly, he peeled off the clothes he’d worn for his run, standing over her with his cock semi-hard and his nerves dancing for release. Reaching down, he slid his hand down her muscled back, past the tattoo on the left cheek of her ass, and cupped the firm flesh with a growing desire for more. Havi grunted in her sleep, her head turning to face him, and she blinked up at him as his other hand began to stroke the side of her exposed breast.

“Stop it,” she mumbled.

“Make me,” he taunted.

His fingers slipped beneath her torso to pinch her nipple, and Havi gasped as the sharp pain pulled her the rest of the way from her slumber. “You’re all sweaty,” she complained, and tried to roll away, but his powerful hands sank into her body and tugged her back.

“I’ll clean up later.”

He ducked when her elbow came flying back, and used the vulnerable arch of her body to yank her against his burgeoning erection. Immediately, Havi’s struggles increased, but he could feel the slickness between her legs when he buried his hand between her thighs, and heard her gasp when his cock slipped between her hot folds.

The mattress squeaked as Baltozar pounded into her from behind, the only sound in the room beyond the slap of their skin until Havi began begging him to let her come. It just drove him harder, and he shouted when his release arrived, his muscles tense and burning as he buried himself in her hot slit. Somehow, his fingers found her clit, and he pinched as he rode out his orgasm, giving her the relief she so desperately sought.

Havi’s scream faded with the sounds of the slowing mattress and she slumped against him, her bare skin just as slick as his now. “Bastard,” she muttered, but her eyes were already drifting closed again.

Baltozar chuckled, and slid out of her, bending to run his tongue over her nape piercings as he rose to his feet. Getting one of the Guardians’ Protectorate as part of his arrangement with Esme was most definitely the highlight of this particular job. He hadn’t really believed when he’d set out to seduce Havi that he’d be able to get her to turn so effectively against the seer she was assigned to safeguard, so he’d been more than a little shocked when it had happened so quickly.

He’d been even more shocked to realize he’d fallen head over heels for her.

He hoped Esme found her fucking Slayer artifacts in this hellhole soon. The quicker he could get Havi out of here and all to himself, the happier he was going to be.

 

To be continued in Chapter 15: Love Is My Sin