Chapter 1 pt. 3 cont.

~~~~~~~~~~~ (another dream)


Buffy was standing in the doorway to Erin's bedroom, watching her daughter toss and turn in her sleep. The child started whimpering, her dreams more intense and frightening, prompting Buffy into action. She took several steps toward the bed, intending to wake her baby when a gentle but firm hand settled on her shoulder, stopping her. "You can't stop the dreams. No matter how much you want to. If you wake her, they'll just come back later. You know that."

Angel's smooth, sympathetic voice sent a shiver down Buffy's spine, and she wanted so badly to lose herself in the safety and oblivion his arms offered. But this was her baby they were talking about, and she couldn't just wish the problems away. "I hate this. I hate watching her lose sleep over dreams she doesn't understand, dreams she shouldn't be having for years. Hell, she shouldn't be facing them at all!" Buffy's voice had been rising with each sentence, and she was starting to choke on the sobs she was trying to push away.

"I know Sweetheart," cool lips whispered against her ear as strong arms wrapped around her waist, offering comfort. Angel started tugging her towards the door, so they didn't disturb the sleeping figure as he continued. "Neither of us wants this for Erin. No one wants to watch their daughter grow up to be the Slayer." They closed the door, and tightened their embrace at those words, deeply disturbed at the thought that Erin would face the same horrors they both did. "We shouldn't have to lose her to the darkness, too. On the other hand, she's got so much going for her. Buffy, she has you to learn from, to help prepare her. Erin's got all of us, willing and able to help her, protect her. There isn't anything I wouldn't do to help keep her from being called. And one of the best ways is to keep you alive and healthy, for as long as possible. I won't let her lose you, not even if it means-"

"No Angel," Buffy interrupted, turning in his embrace. Her eyes were full of pain, but still determined. "I know you'll do just about anything to keep me alive, for a lot of reasons. So she won't be called. So I won't lose out on life. So she doesn't lose me. So *you* don't lose me. But, if I fall, Erin will need you to help protect her." Angel's eyes slipped away guiltily, not willing to let her see the pain that welled at the thought of losing her. No matter how much he loved Erin, and he did - she'd wrapped herself around his battered heart just as her mother had - Angel simply couldn't face the idea of an unending, tortuous existence without Buffy. His eternal love reached up to lay her palm against his cheek, relishing the way he unconsciously leaned into her touch. "Angel, please," Buffy whispered, silently asking him to look at her again. When chocolate brown eyes met glowing hazel ones again, both pairs were filled with tears.

A sad smile slipped across Buffy's face as she tugged him into the big bedroom she'd renovated for the both of them. "I'll let it go for now, but this isn't over with," she warned him, drawing him into her arms for a hug that helped ease the pain in both their souls. "You're right, I can't stop her from having the dreams. So, why don't you come help me keep *my* dreams away?" Buffy whispered in Angel's ear, smiling triumphantly at the shiver that went through his cool body as her warm breath puffed against his skin. "I know things still haven't been resolved completely, but I think we can handle a *little* distraction, don't you?" Buffy leaned back in Angel's strong embrace, letting just a hint of the desire she felt for him slide into her eyes.

An anticipatory shudder racked her small frame when Angel's brown eyes darkened further with answering passion. His voice was a silky caress as he growled out, "Oh I think I can be more than a *little* distracting." With that, Angel ducked his head and brushed her lips with a soft kiss. It was feather light, barely there before he lifted away from Buffy's warmth. Again, Angel lightly rubbed his lips against hers, exerting no pressure, yet darting his tongue out to lick at her lower lip. Buffy sighed, parting her lips to deepen the kiss, but after one swift plunge into her warm mouth, Angel pulled back.

"Angel..." He smiled slyly at the whine in her voice as Buffy pouted up at him, and began scattering kisses across her forehead, down her cheek and behind an ear. "Angel..." This time her tone of voice was more demanding, and Angel obliged her by snaking out his tongue for a quick taste of the delicate skin. Moist, wet kisses were pressed down the side of Buffy's neck, and she was breathless with anticipation of his mouth on hers. She grabbed Angel's head and pulled him away from his place at her neck, breathing his name yet again, this time threatening him if he failed to satisfy her. His cool lips were soon pressed fiercely against hers, and then, oooh and then, finally, his strong, cool tongue was teasing hers. The kiss went on, and on, as Angel's hands started to brush gently against her breasts, coming closer, and then moving away, teasing her again. Sudden tension flashed through Buffy, making her tense in his arms. She tried to press closer, hoping to ease the tension, but Angel gently held her away from his body, whispering, "Easy love. Slow down." Buffy took a deep breath to help slow her thundering heart, relaxing slowly into his embrace.

Once he sensed that Buffy was calmer, more in control, Angle set about destroying that control, slowly but surely, torturing her with anticipation. His large hands barely traced her soft curves, his lips and tongue teasing hers gently. Buffy whimpered, trying once again to press closer, and Angel relented, enfolding her in a close embrace, pulling her up against his body. Running his hands lightly up and down her back, Angel lifted his mouth form hers to survey his surroundings, eventually finding something that would suit his needs. He ducked his head back towards Buffy, engaging her in a deep, slow, drugging kiss before entwining the fingers of one hand with hers, and drawing her to a wide, comfortable armchair.

Angel settled into the chair, looking up into Buffy's eyes that slow sexy smile that made her knees weak slipping across his handsome face. He brought their entwined hands to his mouth, gently kissing each of her knuckles as he continued to study Buffy's eyes, looking for something within them. Buffy pouted at him, her nerve endings singing as each open mouthed kiss drew the coiling tension tighter, until the heat he was producing pooled between her legs, and her eyes went unfocused with desire. Apparently that's what Angel was looking for, as his tongue slipped between two of her fingers, curling around them and causing Buffy's knees to buckle. He gathered her into his lap, shifting her so she was sideways in the chair, sitting between his legs, with hers over the arm of the chair. Buffy found herself tilted back over the other arm, cradled securely by Angel's left arm as his right settled lightly across her knees.

Angel returned to his teasing, brushing more kisses across Buffy's face, rubbing noses with her lightly, nibbling gently on her earlobe as he leaned over her in the chair. Buffy quickly grew frustrated with Angel's barely there caresses, and tangled her fingers in the short hair at the nape of his neck, drawing his head to the hollow between her neck and shoulder, urging him to nuzzle against her racing pulse. She knew his keen senses could hear the rush of blood in her veins and smell the blood that had rushed to the surface of her skin as her body flushed with desire. Buffy wanted him to feel the same heat she did, while at the same time needing his cool touch to keep her from overheating.

The scent of her blood, the rushing of it in the veins so close to his mouth, along with the agonizing memory of the sweet taste of Buffy's lifeblood loosened some of Angel's iron restraint, just as Buffy had intended. Angel's left hand moved up her back and fisted in Buffy's hair, and she obligingly tipped her head back at his unspoken request, granting him gather access to her neck and collarbone. Angel thanked her for her amazing trust in him with hot, wet kisses pressed to every inch of flesh, darting his tongue out occasionally to taste the perfumed salt of her skin. Buffy wiggled in his lap as her passion rose, trying to both ease the ache inside her with closer contact, as well as find some relief from the incredible heat rising in her body. She let out a low moan as she pressed her buttocks against the prodding evidence of Angel's own rising passion, and shuddered in appreciation when his right hand left off it's undemanding caress of her knee and thigh in favor of slipping open the buttons of her blouse.

Angel solemnly folded the edges of Buffy's blouse back to reveal her lace clad breasts, savoring every moment, every flutter of her heart against her chest. Angel shifted her a bit higher in the chair, resting his cheek against the tempting fullness, determined to drag their pleasure out as long as possible, letting the steady thrumming of her heart calm the urgency. He gradually started nuzzling against her softness, barely brushing the aching peak of her nipple with his nose, blowing gently on the rapidly tightening nub. All too soon, the need to taste her overcame him, and Angel slowly drew one taut bud into his mouth, holding it gently between his lips for a moment before laving her gently with his tongue through the lace. When Buffy mewled in the back of her throat and arched against him, eager for more, Angel switched to her other breast and brought his free hand up to open the front catch of her bra.

Angel sat up and back as he bared her to his heated gaze, his dark eyes starting to slip into gold at the beautiful sight before him. Buffy took advantage of his distraction, using one hand to draw Angel's mouth back to hers, and the other to fumble with the buttons of his shirt, pressing herself against the cool expanse of his chest once she'd succeeded. A low, rumbling growl escaped Angel at the heated contact, his tongue sweeping demandingly into Buffy's mouth, the sound and his actions coiling the tension tighter within her body. Buffy relished his kisses, but was soon writhing in his lap, hating the thought of releasing his lips, but needing not only to breathe, but his cool mouth and tongue on her now painfully aroused nipples.

The feeling of Buffy's warm body alternately pressing down on his painfully aroused flesh and then up to rub her breasts against his chest drove Angel to the edge of his control. He couldn't keep his hips from lunging towards her, pushing his erection against the firm curve of her behind, trying to ease the pressure building inside him. The sharp, pleasurable rake of her fingernails across his chest forced a pleased snarl from his throat, but the harsh sound brought Angel back to himself, and he forced himself to subside back into the chair, his right hand clamping firmly on Buffy's hip to help still her movements. No matter how much pleasure he derived from her response to him, Angel was all too conscious of the fact that Buffy had been seriously traumatized in the past. He was determined not to push her and risk frightening her. "Baby, keep still, please. I love it, but we're going to take this slowly," he rumbled deeply as he tried to focus his control once again.

"Angel, please!" Buffy pleaded, her eyes wild with unfulfilled desire. She tried to still herself as her lover requested, but the Slayer felt as though she was about to fly apart. Her small fingers clutched at his shoulders and ran up his neck to tangle in his hair once again, unable to focus her thoughts enough to tell him what she so desperately needed. But, Angel knew what Buffy needed; he always knew. The vampire whispered soothingly to his Slayer, assuring her that he could ease the ache inside her, before ducking his dark head back to her golden body, finally taking one of her nipples between his lips and starting to suckle lightly. Points of fire raced through Buffy's body at the sensation, and she held tightly to Angel's neck and shoulders, determined to keep him from teasing her as he had before.

This time, however, Angel had no intention of teasing. Enraptured by the sweet taste of her in his mouth, and the racing beat of her heart, Angel could not bring himself to pull away again. He simply shifted his mouth towards her neglected nipple, drawing on her much more strongly. A strangled plea for more brought Angel's hand off Buffy's hip to the breast he'd just left, gently kneading her flesh, rolling the still damp nipple with the pad of his thumb. He could hear her body singing; the soft sounds she was making, the rush of blood through her veins, the whisper of her thighs rubbing together all signaled her race towards completion. Eager to see her body flushed with satisfaction, to hear his love's voice purr in the aftermath of her pleasure as he hadn't in so very long, Angel sought to end Buffy's sweet torment. He shifted breasts again, this time nibbling lightly on the sweet bud in his mouth, shifting his hand away to drift lightly across her belly. The tickling caress caused her inner muscles to clench wildly, and, when coupled with the insistent tug on her nipple, was enough to tip Buffy over the edge. Her body shuddered with the sweet wave of her climax, the delight sweeping through her, her voice calling "Angel!"




For the second time, Buffy bolted upright in bed, heart pounding. Her throat was raw from her scream, and the Slayer could practically hear an echo of his name in the small room. Buffy scrambled out of bed, unable to stay there once she realized that Angel wasn't holding her. She moved towards the door to Giles's room, not wanting to be alone, when she saw the note propped on the table near the window, next to a carafe. Learning that Giles had taken Erin to a nearby park to burn off some of the child's energy reassured Buffy that her child was safe, but also left her without someone to talk to. Because her dreams had disturbed her, deeply, and on more than one level.

Buffy dug through her backpack for the diary she kept there, wanting to record every detail of both dreams before she forgot. They had seemed extremely real, and Buffy was all too aware of the prophetic nature some of her dreams had. The first dream had convinced her that she was making the right choice in returning to Sunnydale. Buffy desperately needed to resolve things with everyone, as soon as possible. Though she had no intention of dying, the tiny blond was well aware that she could be caught unprepared or by surprise at anytime. She'd lasted longer than any other active Slayer, and was living on borrowed time, just as Spike had said.

As her pen scratched quickly across the page, Buffy shifted uncomfortably in her chair. As the fabric of her clothes rasped against her skin, Buffy's pen stopped. The little Slayer was suddenly uncomfortably aware of the coiled tension in her belly, and the aching emptiness between her thighs. A small, wry smile slipped across her face as she recognized the arousal still pulsing through her body as a result of the second dream, followed quickly by a sigh of relief. Because that dream had been the first erotic dream she'd had since she'd been raped. It eased one of her deepest fears; Buffy had been afraid that she wouldn't be able to respond to Angel if they were able to work things out between them. The pleasant warmth that flushed through her system reassured Buffy that she could still feel desire. Buffy knew that there were still limits on the kind of relationship she could have with Angel, but she hoped that part of her dream had been prophetic.

Shaking herself out of those thoughts, Buffy forced herself to focus on the most disturbing part of her dreams. The fact that both dreams, the erotic dream and the nightmare, had indicated that Erin was destined to be a Slayer. The horror that gripped Buffy's heart at the thought pushed the last of her doubts about returning to the Hellmouth away. Erin didn't bear the mark, but it seemed she had been chosen anyway, and Buffy's fierce protectiveness came to the fore. She needed answers, and a way to keep that part of her dream from coming true, as soon as possible. So, no more stalling. Buffy finished her diary entry and grabbed for the note pad on the table, starting a new list. It would be difficult to get things done, but she would do anything to keep Erin from following in her footsteps.

Pushing her pride to the side, Buffy reached for the phone and started making calls. Getting everything done in one month rather than three would mean spreading money around, money she and Giles just didn't have on hand. So, Buffy did what she had sworn she'd never do unless it was an emergency. Buffy accessed the accounts Angel had left for her, and made them accessible for Willow and Oz, and then called the hacker and her werewolf to inform them of her change in plans. Buffy knew she had a little breathing room; the dreams felt real, but not immediate. Still this was Erin, and Buffy wanted answers *now*. So Buffy would swallow her pride and beg for everyone's help if she had to, though it wasn't likely to come to that. Estranged they may be, but Buffy knew that when one of their circle was in trouble, everyone could put their feelings aside to help. It was time to bring the family back together, to solve the big problems, just as they always had in the past. It was time to go home and get some answers.



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