Rough Diamond


by
BmblBee



Part Thirty-One

It is seldom noticed, yet often the case, that a person's eyes are not usually the first part of the body to awaken in the morning. It may be a cramped leg or a back that has twisted into an unnatural position. It could be the ears, reacting to an insistent sound that seeps in to the brain and shakes the dreamer from their peaceful repose. In this case, and on this morning, the offending part that startled Spike from his warm and heavenly deep sleep was his nose.

Like a 300 linebacker tackling him to the floor, the smell of his own foul body shook him awake with a sudden alertness that nearly knocked him unconscious. Giving no consideration to his bedmate or the fact that it was their combined fluids of passion that he so desperately needed to sponge and sterilize from his flesh, Spike leapt form the bedroom, gagging, stark naked and holding his hand over his mouth.

Xander rolled over and watched him go. By now, he knew Spike well and took no offense. He simply lifted his arm and mumbled in the direction of the retreating man. "Morning." Before rolling over to go back to sleep. A full hour later, when he did emerge from the odorous nest, Xander was amused to see Spike just then dumping the pan, his skin pink and glowing from the heat of the water and the force of the
scrub. While Spike dressed, Xander made coffee.

During breakfast, Xander was literally bouncing in his seat like a five year old who constantly squiggles his butt from side to side. Spike beamed with pride. He couldn't remember the last time someone had complimented him on his sexual prowess. Actually no one had ever mentioned it. That was why the light in Xander's eyes went straight to Spike's ego and he thought a discussion of it was in order.

"Last night was amazing, wasn't it?"

Xander blinked. Last night?

"Oh, you mean the blow job. Yeah, that was great, but I can't wait for tonight. It's going to be fucking fantastic!"

This time Spike blinked. Had he missed something? If Xander wasn't floating on a cloud of gratitude at Spike's benevolent carnal gifts, what the hell was it? What was tonight? He had a feeling he shouldn't ask. He did anyway.

"What the bloody hell are you talking about?"

Xander tried to look hurt with just a touch of childhood innocence thrown in. He knew how he handled this would make the difference between a night of cards by the fire or a rip roaring woohoo at the local watering hole. Possibly even picking up some good 'ole mountain man for a thorough reaming.

"You forgot? Wow, Spike, I didn't take you for the type of guy to make a bunch of promises while you're getting your cock sucked, then once you get your rocks off, deny, deny deny. That's pretty cold."

Spike set his coffee cup down and sputtered. A cad? Was he being accused of being a cad? Didn't Xander realize the depth of Spike's affection? How could he ever assume that Spike would cheapen their physical relationship? Spike was stunned.

"Now see here, I can honestly say that I have NEVER made any promises during the commission of an oral sexual encounter and I certainly would not treat you so shabbily. So what is it that you think I agreed to?"

Xander sighed deeply and went to the coffee pot for another cup, giving Spike amoment of insecurity. Finally, he sat back down. "Just before your imitation of a sperm whale, which I might add, that I swallowed without complaint, you agreed that we could sneak in town, drink a quick beer, listen to some music and slip back out unseen."

Spike slammed down his cup as his brain scrambled to remember. Yes, Xander had swallowed. That much was crystal clear. The rest was not. "I never said such a thing!"

"Yes you did!"

"DID NOT!"

"DID TOO!"

The two men stared at each other, neither intended to back down. Reverting to his norm, Spike went for rationalization. "Xander, Dear boy, we are up here to stay incognito."

Xander leaned forward in his seat. "No one there has a clue as to who we are."

Spike remained calm. "The glasses are contaminated."

Xander expertly returned the volley. "Drink a bottle of beer. Just think about it. The bottles are sterilized in the brewery then sealed against germs. You can wear your gloves while we shoot pool. Come on Spike. Take a chance. We can work around your little quirks and still have a hell of a good time."

Spike frowned.

"Quirks?"

This was it. Xander could see the man wavering and he went for the kill. Leaving his chair, Xander went over and knelt by where Spike sat, swimming in indecision.

"Come on, Spike. You can do this. Step out of your comfort zone and take a walk on the wild side. Now, it's your job to protect me and I want to go to town for a beer. If you look at it from that angle, you have no choice but to go along and make sure nothing happens to me. Besides, it's a small town tavern. Probably won't be more than two or three other people in there. I just need to see some civilization. Please, Spike? Please?"

Spike could feel himself cave. He didn't know if it was the desire to make Xander happy or that tiny, childish spot inside himself that craved adventure. It was that fantasy part of him that still believed anything was possible. It was the corner that had not been totally squelched by his life controlling 'quirks' as Xander calls them.

He knew he should say NO. He knew this was a mistake and could be a total disaster. Still, like Xander had said, what could go wrong? In and out. Unseen and unnoticed. Maybe they really could pull this off.

"Weeelllllll."

"YES!!" Xander snatched the cowboy hat off his head and waved it high in the air as he whooped in glee





Part Thirty-Two

"Where the fuck are they?"

The older man sat impatiently behind his desk, drumming his fingers and clutching the phone receiver in his hand. He had listened to it ring about a hundred times already but kept thinking that just a few times more would give one of them time to come in from outside and answer it. Finally, he gave up and hung up.

'No answer, Sir?"

Mayor Ethan Rayne looked up at his second in command, Police Chief Rupert Giles who stood blocking his office doorway.

"No, and I don't understand it. I had the operator check and she said the line was working properly. They should have answered. I told them that if anything happened in the case, I would call. They couldn't have gone far from the cabin. They need to know that we have apprehended three of the suspects but that Carlos slipped through our net. They can't risk coming back. Not yet."

Giles entered the office and sat in the chair across the desk from the concerned Mayor.

"I remember that cabin. We used to have some great hunting trips up there. I wouldn't worry too much, Sir. We can try to call again tomorrow. As long as they stay where they are, they should be safe. Carlos has no idea where they are hiding and just to be sure, I
am on my way down to the holding cells to interrogate the others myself."

Mayor Rayne nodded his thanks, then, picked up the phone and dialed once more as Giles left the room.


~*~*~*~*~


"Are you sure you know the way?"

Xander rolled his eyes. Spike had already asked that same question twice and gotten his assurance that yes, considering this was the only fucking road to town, they were headed in the right direction.

"It's already late. They may have closed for the night."

That comment was fucked up even for Spike so Xander turned in his seat and stared at the driver of the car that was cruising down the rough and bumpy county road.

"It's 9 o'clock, Spike. What kind of self respecting bar closes at 9?"

Spike glanced over. While the only bars he was ever in were crime scenes and he was fairly certain they were not self respecting establishments, he had to concede that most drinking places probably did remain open until well towards, what? midnight?

They had spent the entire day on a point/counter point that Spike lost on each issue. Every protest he could think of was immediately shot down by Xander's rational response. Xander could be very persuasive. Still, Spike felt he should voice each concern as it came to mind and several did. Truth was, Spike did not want to share the boy's company. Not even in the time it took for a quick beer.

"Did Andrew say what sort of......"

Before Spike completed his latest query, Xander shot up straight in his seat and pointed straight ahead.

"There! That's got to be it!"

When he saw the building, Spike mentally cursed his agreement. It was a huge, white washed converted barn surrounded by a gravel parking lot that was packed to the max with vehicles that Spike imagined spent a lot of time in the county welfare office parking garage. There were rusty pick up trucks, Pinto station wagons, and one lime green Gremlin with cardboard over the rear window.

The entire building was no doubt infested with mice, rats and cockroaches. A violent shudder ran through the detective's body

The barn itself was lit up with colored neon bar signs in every window and a weather worn sign on the outside that had the picture of a parrot with the name 'Cracker' neatly printed around it.

"Cracker's. That's what Andrew said it was called. We're here. Hurry up. Park the fucking car."

Spike found a roomy spot on the end that offered some safety against a car door being opened against his paint job and he pulled in.
"Now, remember, you said one beer then we......"

But it was too late. Xander was gone. Frantically, Spike threw the car into 'park' and he ran, catching up to him just as they reached the door. When the barn door swung open, the men were bombarded with the sounds of music, shouting, glasses clinking and general fun being shared by a packed mob of happy, drunken patrons. Cracker's was apparently THE place to be in Harrison County.

The interior was long with the expansive bar running the length of the far wall and lined with padded, well worn stools. The right side of the room was round tables and chairs and the left side a small square wooden dance area with a large, blasting juke box.

The men all wore tight jeans, plaid flannel shirts and pointy toed cowboy boots. The women obviously all shopped at the little girls department of J.C.Penney as nothing fit properly and every inch of skin that could poke out, protrude or hang, did. Spike wondered if they had somewhere along the line crossed the border into another country, or planet.

Xander did not share his companion's discomfort. To the contrary, he sparked. He felt the excitement charge through him and he sauntered in with a smile on his face, a fifty dollar bill he had swiped from Spike in his pocket and a half hard dick in his jeans. Both men and women alike smiled, nodded and greeted the handsome young man as though he were a nightly regular and they had all congregated in hopes of seeing him.

They were not as taken with Spike who was clearly a fish out of water. Despite his down home attire, any good old boy who has smoked a fair share of weed can spot a cop a mile away. Spike might as well have been in uniform with a sign that read, 'You are all about to be busted".

Fidgeting, Spike stayed as close behind Xander as he could. This was not his comfort zone and the situation was made worse by the fact that Xander had prohibited him from wearing his service revolver suggesting that a loaded gun was probably not a good accessory to wear in a place like Cracker's.

When he stopped short, Spike ran into Xander's back and bounced off him awkwardly only to be spun around and planted in a vacant seat at the last available table. Immediately, Spike ripped open a small packet of sterile wipes and he scoured the table top as well as was possible. Within seconds, a busty, over painted waitress appeared at their side.

"Evening, boys. My name's Amy. What can I get for ya'll?"

With a grin that Spike thought showed far too many teeth, Xander winked at the girl. "Evenin' Amy. How about you bring my friend a Bud Light and get me a shot and a beer."

Amy tucked her arms up under her artificially round tits and she let her eyes dance all over Xander's chest and face. "Sure thing Handsome. You got some I.D?"

Xander laughed easily.

"I do indeed, Darlin'. I got an idee that you're the hottest woman in this place and I may just have a hell of a time keeping my hands off you."

Amy threw back her head and whooped out a laugh before she left to bring their drinks. The night was off and running





Part Thirty-Three

Spike sat by himself at the small round bar table and considered where he had gone wrong. As a general rule, he avoided places that had a higher germ and contamination rate per square inch than the county land fill, yet here he sat in this disgusting bar. Why? Spike easily knew the answer to that one. Because he wanted to please Xander and, on that front, he had obviously succeeded admirably.

As soon as they got there, Xander had slammed back one whisky and followed it with a glass of beer before promptly ordering a second. Apparently, despite his age, Xander and jack were on a first name basis. Spike continued to nurse his one bottle of beer and fight the urge to snap on the gloves.

Xander had stayed by Spike's side for as long as he was able but the constant parade of men and women coaxing him away was finally too much to resist. By the third beer, and by Spike's accurate count, the tenth time Xander had leaned over and shouted "Ain't this place the tits?" the boy was lured away.

It all began with a blond floozie in a pair of Daisy Duke shorts and a tank top that displayed her nipples through the too tight stretch fabric. She had popped out of nowhere and flopped down to sit on Xander's lap, wiggling and squiggling her ass on his knee. She acted as though Spike did not exist. Spike was stunned by the force of the jealousy that raged through him.

With her arm around his shoulder, she leaned in and kissed Xander lightly on the lips.

"Hi, I'm Janet and you are hot as a fucking bon fire. Want to come......dance with me?"

Spike's eyes bugged and he waited for Xander to shoo the disease ridden harlot away. He wished they had never left the cabin. He wondered if he would ever be able to kiss Xander's lips again knowing that he had allowed those red painted ones to touch him. It only served to remind Spike of some of the other things Xander had pressed against his mouth and Spike had to fight the urge to gag.

He hated this place and he wanted them to leave. When his companion just whooped and actually started to get up, Spike panicked and grabbed the boy's wrist, shouting to be heard over the din of the room. "NO! Xander, you can't. You have to stay here where I can watch you."

Xander leaned down so his face was close enough to Spike's that the detective could smell the rich heady whisky on the boy's breath. It was a startlingly erotic odor that went straight to Spike's crotch. "Then come with me Spike. Dance with me."

Spike shrank back. It was inconceivable. It was impossible. It was tempting but he knew it was out of the question. His expression and lack of response was all the answer Xander needed. Before they could discuss it, Janet grabbed the boy's arm and shouted back. "You just sit tight Mister and I'll take real good care of your son."

Spike was flustered and unaccustomed to catty insults. "WHA? Wha? I'll have you know....."

Anything else Spike could have sputtered out was lost as his Xander was dragged to the far side of the room where a large gathering of both men and women slapped him on the back and welcomed him warmly into their circle. Spike fumed and fussed as he scooted his chair around to assure himself a clear line of sight to where Xander was.

He watched as a disconnected arm seemed to come out of nowhere and hand Xander another shot of whisky that he tossed back in one gulp as the slutty Janet went to the jukebox and dropped in some money.

Within seconds, the volume of voices seemed to be turned down as the driving booming beat of the music began. Slowly and rhythmically, like jungle drums it started with a 'boom, boom, boom' that had the circle of new friends reacting with a deep dip on each sound. Spike's eyes never left his charge as he sipped his beer.

When the tempo picked up, so did the responding movement of the crowd until they were one writhing, churning mass of sweat and sexual gyration. Gradually, however, as the song played on, the people started to fall back. Beginning with those on the outside fringe of the circle, they stopped dancing and contented themselves to watch those closest to the music machine. Spike was confused.

From where he sat, the detective was no longer able to see anything more of Xander than the top of his cowboy hat and it was hard to discern why the others were no longer moving to the beat. As the rest of the group stepped back and parted like the Red Sea, Spike knew.

There in the center of the dance floor, with the sleazy Janet in front of him and a tall, bald, black man plastered to his back, was Xander. His Xander. Moving and dancing in a way Spike had never seen anyone dance. His whole body flowed, rolled, and identified the synchronism of the beat.

Without realizing what he was doing, Spike slowly rose out of his chair to get a better look. At this point, it would have seemed odd if he hadn't. Every eye in the bar was on the young man who was dancing like sex on legs.

With his head thrown back and his eyes closed, Xander was clearly lost in the sound that vibrated from the wooden floor, up this thighs and settled in his obvious erection. His hips would hump forward then circle and grind back on the man behind him. He rolled and slithered like a snake.

The temperature in the room rose as every observant, Spike included, felt the heat of sexuality pour from the dance floor. It swamped and encompassed the entire bar as the three dancers continued to engage in the pseudo act of sex.

Spike was vaguely aware of the others who were now groped, kissing and dry humping in couples and groups as the erotic sight continued to feed and fuel them. Spike's was only slightly aware of his own raging erection as his feet carried him forward, one small step at a time.

Suddenly, when he was halfway across the room, the music stopped and the spell was broken. For a second or two, the room fell silent before a collective shout and cheer rocked the walls of the barn and the mob circled the three entertainers.

When that happened, Spike lost all sight of Xander and he panicked. Forgetting his gloves and the potential for infection, he shoved through the cluster of bodies, pushing people aside as his eyes sought the familiar face. When he reached the center of the circle, he realized Xander was gone.

His eyes darted about wildly till he spotted the familiar bent over ass hanging out of the cut off denim shorts by the juke box and he rushed to her, demanding. "Where is he? Where did he go?"

Janet turned to face the undercover cop and she laughed as she made a point of straightening the very familiar cowboy hat that was obviously too large for her head.

"What's the matter, Pops? Lose your son? Last time I saw him, he was headed out back with Charlie Gunn. Give them a few minutes, they'll be back. Charlie don't never take long."

She then turned her back on him as a wave of fury and nausea swept him away. Immediately, Spike ran for the direction of the back door.





Part Thirty-Four

Spike rushed for the rear exit. He couldn't believe it. Xander had fooled him into coming here and now he was turning tricks and cumming in the filth of the back alley. Spike didn't know which hurt more, his pride, his stomach or his broken heart.

Without pause, he ran through the dark bar, shoving aside the crowd of drunken slobs till he reached the small door at the far side of the juke box. Slamming his hand against the long metal bar, he pushed it open and charged out into the cool night air.

It didn't take long to spot them. Xander stood with his back flat against the side of the building while the larger man pressed the full length of his body against him. He was kissing down the side of Xander's neck as he ground and humped their crotches together. Their clothes were disheveled and open. Xander's eyes were closed, his breathing was raspy and erratic and his hands were holding Good time Charlie by the cheeks of his ass trying to pull him even closer.

Spike felt like he had been punched in the stomach. Even knowing what he would find didn't make its visual impact any less. He considered turning quietly and slinking away. And the fact is, that is exactly what he would have done just one week ago.

But not tonight. Tonight, Spike would not go away quietly.

Xander moaned. His entire body felt hot, flushed and surging with the power of a wild sexual craving that had been building for days. He couldn't think, he couldn't speak, he was overtaken by the incredible need to be fucked.

Before tonight, he had hoped he would share the orgasm with Spike, but the combination of the whisky, the music and the charged sexual dry humping on the dance floor had shut down his brain and the only parts of his body that could function were his cock and his hungry, grasping hole.

Neither of the men who were rapidly working towards a fast, satisfying, back alley fuck were aware of the small, angry man rushing toward them. Just as Gunn fumbled in his pocket for the foil pack, Spike grabbed his arm and jerked him away. When the heat and weight of the black man disappeared, Xander opened his eyes and they stared into the blue ones.

Xander whined, his voice was breathless and pitiful. "Spike. I'm sorry. Please. Spike I need him. Just go back inside. Wait for me there. I'm sorry. I need it."

Gunn scowled at the intrusion. He glanced at the blond pip squeak with disgust, then dismissed him as unimportant and returned to the writhing, hot man with the ass he couldn't wait to ream.  "That's right, Shorty, beat it. You can have sloppy seconds when I'm done."

Spike hesitated for less than a nanosecond before he made his move. In one swift motion, the trained detective clamped his fingers around Gunn's wrist and wrenched him back. He then snatched the sealed packet in one hand as his other fist came around and landed squarely on Gunn's chin knocking him, dazed, to the ground.

Xander was stunned, both by what Spike had just done and by the expression of fury and possession on the detective's face. Ten minutes ago he would have sworn he could not be hornier without imploding, now Spike had just shot him to a whole new level of need. A need for Spike! "Oh, holy FUCK! Spike! That was so fucking HOT!"

Spike wasted no time for conversation. By punching Gunn, he was effectively taking the man's place and there was no turning back. Remembering his rookie days, Spike spun his boy around and slammed him face first against the wall. Xander immediately placed his hands flat and spread his legs. He had been roughed up and arrested before but it sure as hell never felt like this.

Xander turned his face to the side to seek his detective. His cock was so hard it ached and throbbed in his pants. He prayed the man wouldn't get an attack of professional conscience and he wasn't above begging. "Fuck, Spike, please, help me. Please don't stop."

Spike leaned in till his lips brushed Xander's earlobe as he whispered. "Shhh. It's all right. I'm going to take care of you. I promised, didn't I?"

Xander nodded and whimpered.

Spike had made his decision and had no intention of changing his mind. Not without suffering a severe case of blue balls. He spent no time considering the fact that this was the most bizarre, out of character moment of his life.

For once he put on blinders that blocked out all the germs and filth that surrounded them and he focused on only one thing. All he knew was that his libido was boiling hot and threatening to reach the same level of desperation as his boy's if he didn't act fast.

In one swift sudden move, Spike gripped Xander's loose, baggy jeans at the hips and he jerked them down, exposing the naked, full round cheeks to the cool night air and causing his rigid, hard cock to spring free. The sight of the ass poised high and waiting nearly sent Spike over the edge. His hands fumbled to unzip and tug his own thick, dripping meat free before he ripped open the foil pack and slid the condom over himself.

Xander bent at the waist and bowed his legs as far apart as they would go. His hole felt deep and empty but he refused to touch himself till Spike was pounding into his body. He was already too close.

Spike poised his ready, rock hard dick at the winking hole, but stopped. He couldn't do it, not dry, it would be too painful. Quickly, he spun around and slammed his foot down on the chest of the man who was finally regaining consciousness.

"Hey!"

Spike increased the pressure. "Shut the fuck up. You came here to fuck tonight which means you got lube. Hand it the fuck over!"

"WHAT? You gotta be fucking kidding me!"

"NOW! Or this foot slides up and crushes your fucking throat."

The force and power in the detective's voice was like fuel to Xander's fire and he wasn't the least surprised to see the man on the ground hand over another small packet in exchange for not having anything broken or mashed.

Wasting no time on 'thanks' Spike squeezed it out, spread it thick and turning back to his charge, shoved it in. Xander howled at the delicious pain and burn of the intrusion as Spike went balls deep up the boy's ass with no warning or preparation. It was exactly what both of them needed.

"Fuck me, Spike. Hard. Make me feel it."

With his hand coated in slick, Spike reached around and wrapped his fist tightly around Xander's cock and he began pumping, pulling back and ramming forward in a move he knew would leave the boy's ass sore and raw for days. And that was exactly what Spike wanted.

Xander was his! His to fuck, his to kiss and his to protect.

Within minutes, he felt the cock in his fingers grow harder and begin to twitch and jerk. As the first shot of hot cum spattered against the brick wall, Spike shoved his dick in as far as it would go and held tight while it unloaded, ballooning out the tip of the rubber condom. Both men held still and road out the waves of pleasure that rocked them. It seemed like they had both waited on this for years.

When his brain cleared, Spike carefully pulled out and removed the full, stretched condom and he dropped it next to Gunn who just snorted and shook his head. He then soundly smacked Xander on the bare ass. "Pull up your trousers and make yourself presentable. I'm taking you home NOW and I don't want any back talk!"

Xander turned around and tugged up with a relaxed, goofy grin on his face. "Yes, sir. You're the boss."





Part Thirty-Five

Buffy had to admit, she was impressed. She had heard about Mystique from all her friends, but never thought she would actually be here. The men she usually dated were more along the lines of pizza at Chucky Cheese and a rented video from Blockbuster rather than a night at the hottest dance club in town.

The room was huge and dim. The decorations that hung from every inch of the ceiling and lined the walls gave the impression that they were in the middle of a dark and dangerous carnival. There were even game booths set up in a side alcove where you could win stuffed animals as souvenirs. Buffy had her eye on a black bat and she just knew that someone with an athletic body like Angel's could toss a ball and win her anything she wanted.

Every corner of the club had high tech speakers that pumped dance music from live bands throughout the entire building including, Buffy discovered, the bathrooms. She had happily tapped her feet while she peed. It was her vision of heaven

The night she had been called out of bed to do the drawings for the INS had been long and strenuous. So much so that they had given her the rest of the day off to go home and sleep. When she finally awoke around two in the afternoon, she was surprised to find twelve missed calls on her cell phone.

All from the handsome agent who had insisted she call him 'Angel'.

When she had first met him, he reminded her of a bloodhound, always sniffing her up and down and looking like he was about to raise his leg and mark his territory at any minute. At first it creeped her out, but to be honest, she hadn't had anyone who cared enough to want to pee on her leg in a long time. So, she thought, what the hell.

Now she was thrilled. He had picked her up in a black, shiny Mercedes, wearing a sharp, silk suit and looking like a million dollars. Well, maybe $900,000. She had to take points off for the bizarre, spiky hair, but they could work on that later. Then, when he actually flashed his badge to get them in the door, she thought she would dampen her panties. If she wore any.

Angel finished giving the girl, dressed in the skimpy carnival outfit, their drink orders and smiled smugly. He knew coming here was the right choice and if he was going to plant his pole beans in her little patch of garden, Mystique was the perfect way to assure her little garden gate would be swung wide open for him.

Ordinarily, he wouldn't have spent this much money on a first date but, for some odd reason, he really liked Buffy. She was cute, fairly smart, and her talent for drawing fascinated him. That, and the fact that since they both worked on a case together he could write this off as a business meeting, made tonight perfect.

From there, it only got better. They danced for hours. Fast, hip hop songs that made him jerk and flop like a chicken with it's head cut off and slow gropey ones that gave him the opportunity to plot out which areas of her land he would plow through first.

When they were finally too pooped to pop, they dragged their happy, sweaty, exhausted bodies back to the table for another round of drinks.

"Wow, Angel, this is amazing. I can't remember the last time I had such a great date."

Angel subtly checked his hair to make sure that the heat and humidity in the room hadn't caused his hair gel to relax. Nope, spiked to perfection.

"Hey, you deserve the best. If it weren't for your drawings, we never would have found those guys so fast."

Buffy beamed with pride at the praise. This was the reason she gave up drawing landscapes, fruit bowls and unicorns. She went into law enforcement to make a difference. "I'm so glad it helped. Did you ever find the ring leader?"

Angel scowled. "No, so far he's slipped away. That's why we have the other three under such tight security. They're refusing to say where he is and they won't say why they killed the boy. We still don't know what they want with the witness we have squirreled away and until we find Carlos or one of the others talks, they're on total segregation. No phone calls, no visitors, no nothing."

Buffy's face suddenly fell. It was an expression shift that just screamed "uh oh" and caused Angel's heart to sink. He wanted to pretend he hadn't noticed. He wanted to go on with their date and his horticultural plans for later but the little part of him that wore the badge 24/7 wouldn't let him.

"What."

Buffy cringed. Maybe it was unimportant. Maybe she was about to ruin a wonderful evening for nothing. Maybe she was about to renew her membership in the Chucky Cheese Frequent Flyer Club.

"Well. It probably isn't anything. I really shouldn't even have brought it up."

"Buffy."

"O.k, well since I didn't work the next day, I ran in to the station late that night. I was so tired after talking to Xander and doing all the sketches that I had left my book and pencils there and wanted to pick them up before they turned up missing."

Angel could feel the black cloud over his head getting darker by the moment and knew the sound of thunder wasn't far off.

"Yeah, yeah, cops are sticky fingered. Get to the point Buffy."

With a sigh, she let it out.

"When I was leaving, I ran into Danny, Daniel Osborn, in the lower level hallway. He was just standing there looking nervous as hell and I asked him what he was doing. He said he was on the special security detail monitoring the INS detainees. He said he had strict orders to maintain visual contact with them at all times and not leave them, but the police Chief, Rupert Giles came in and told him to get the hell out. Said the Chief wanted to talk to them alone for a few minutes and to keep his fucking mouth shut about it. It probably isn't anything but............Hey! Where are you going?"

Buffy watched as Angel dashed off toward the front door and she knew her date had just ended. Luckily, this wasn't the first time this had happened so she came prepared. Reaching for her purse, she counted out enough money to pay the bill and headed out to catch a cab.

"Damn. Guess there won't be any black bats tonight."




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