Million Dollar Bachelor


Part Twenty-One

Two o’clock in the morning came and Lindsey decided this was the time to make his move. William was obviously still upset over his comments about Gunn and that was bad for him. Did William honestly believe that they should all pretend to be buddy buddy? How did that benefit him? It didn’t, so Lindsey wasn’t going to play. The only thing he had to do was make William think he loved him and Lindsey was going to do just that.

He snuck out of his room and quietly made it to William’s room. Lindsey lightly tapped on the door, loud enough to wake or gain William’s attention but not loud enough to attract any unwanted attention from Xander. Rustling could be heard before William opened his door slightly. He was clearly shocked to see Lindsey standing there.

“Lindsey?” William asked a frown marred his face. He opened his door wider; he wore only pajama bottoms. “Is something wrong?”

“Yeah there is,” Lindsey replied. “Can I come in? We need to talk.” William looked like he was going to say no. “Please, I won’t be able to sleep until I say what I need to.”

“Come in,” William said inviting Lindsey in. He closed the door behind them. “What’s so urgent that it couldn’t wait until the morning?”

Lindsey sat on the chair instead of the bed. He needed to play this right. “Well, tomorrow is your day with Xander,” he explained. “I’ve been thinking about this while you and Xander were discussing items you’d need for your date.”

“Thinking about what?” William asked. He ran a hand through his hair; it had to be a mess.

“I know you’re mad at me about that whole Gunn thing,” Lindsey said. “I want you to know that I don’t blame you for hating me. And I’m sorry.”

“I don’t hate you,” William said. “Gunn is a good guy; you didn’t get to know him like I did.”

Lindsey looked up at William with big eyes, almost to the point that there would be tears. Being a lawyer you had to be an actor. Care about what your clients were going through and all that crap. “I’ll leave if you want me to.”

William squatted down in front of Lindsey. “I don’t want you to leave. I know you’re a lawyer but you don’t have to be so cold with everyone.”

Chick flick moment passed through Lindsey’s brain. “I’ll try,” he said. William stood and he followed. “I was hoping to make it up to you,” Lindsey said and ran his hands over William’s bare chest. He leaned in and kissed William. His hands ran down William’s back and over his ass.

William kissed Lindsey back, enjoying it until he felt Lindsey’s hands on his ass and he had to pull away. He couldn’t do this. Not with Xander staying with him. It would be like he was cheating. “Lindsey,” he moaned.

“Come on, Will,” Lindsey panted. “I want you and you want me. Nothing wrong with that.” He went in for another kiss.

“I can’t,” William said and moved away from Lindsey. “It’s not fair to Xander.”

Lindsey groaned and walked toward William who kept backing away. “In case you haven’t noticed this has nothing to do with Xander.” He grinned when he walked William back into the bed and he fell on in. “Perfect.” He climbed on top of William. When Lindsey dove in for another kiss ready to start something hot and heavy he was pushed off.

“Bloody hell!”

Lindsey looked over at William clearly confused. “What’s the matter?”

“You need to go back to your room,” William said, panting and obviously aroused.

“But...” Lindsey started but was cut off.

William sat up. “I am going to wait until this is over and not a second before,” William stated firmly, leaving no room for argument. “Now please go back to your room. I’ll see you before Xander and I leave in the morning.” He walked over to the door, opened it and waited for Lindsey to leave.

“Are you sure, William?” Lindsey tried coaxing a final time. When he saw William was sticking to his word he huffed and stormed out, not saying another word.

William closed the door. Obviously he'd hurt Lindsey by rejecting him but what would Xander think if he found out if they'd had sex? That would be unforgiveable and William would have only himself to blame. He turned and walked into his ensuite bathroom to take a cold shower before going back to bed.


As soon as Xander and Sparky entered their room, Sparky jumped on the bed, rolled over, and rubbed his back on the covers. Xander watched his antics. “Was sleeping on the floor really that bad?”

Sparky stopped and stared at Xander like he was an idiot.

After Xander changed he pushed Sparky onto the right side of the bed and fought for the blankets that Sparky was laying on. He turned to look at Sparky who came over to him and laid his head on the pillow looking upset.

“My poor boy,” Xander said and petted him. “You miss your old man?” Sparky let out a little whimper. “What if I talked to Will about after our date at the pizza place taking you to the doggy park?” Sparky’s ears perked up. “I thought you’d like that,” Xander said, while yawning. “Now it’s time for bed so no snoring.”

Sparky growled and closed his eye. He did not snore.


Xander was up before everyone, already showered and dressed. He and Sparky went outside so Sparky could do his morning ritual and then they came back inside to start the coffee. Sparky sat at his food dish chowing down on his food.

“Xander?” Buffy asked, shocked to see him up so early. “What are you doing up?”

Xander looked up and smile. “Morning. I couldn’t sleep. There’s coffee.”

“Oh coffee!” Buffy said excitedly. It was nice to come in and have coffee already made. She was not a morning person until she’d had a cup or two. Buffy grabbed a cup, added two spoonfuls of sugar, and sat with Xander. “So are you excited?”

“I am,” Xander said and blushed. It seemed like he’d waited forever for his day with William. “Do you think our date is too corny?” he asked worriedly.

Buffy patted Xander’s hand. “I think it’s a great idea. Plus William loves pizza so it will be fun.”

Xander smiled. “I can’t believe I finally get him to myself.”

“I know, it’s taken forever!” Buffy said with annoyance and received a confused look from Xander. “For you. It took forever for you.”

“Do I smell coffee?” Liam asked and walked in.

“Xander made it,” Buffy said excitedly.

Liam’s eyes lit up. “Great!” Buffy’s coffee was horrible and that was putting it politely. He and Will never had the heart to tell her though. “What time are you and Will leaving?”

“As soon as we have breakfast,” William said, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He thought he'd heard Xander’s voice.

Buffy jumped up and started making scrambled eggs and cooking sausages. She wanted William and Xander’s date to start as soon as possible.

Xander’s eyes lit up when he saw William. “Morning.”

“Morning, Xan,” William said and a shiver went down Xander’s spine at the nickname. “Are you ready for our outing?”

“Most definitely!” Xander said enthusiastically. Sparky nudged his leg making him remember his promise. “Oh! I was wondering if we could add something to the agenda.”

William looked curious. “What’s that?”

“Well Sparky here has been feeling neglected so I was hoping we could take him to the doggy park near our place,” Xander said.

Sparky looked up at William and placed a paw on his knee.

William looked down and how could he say no to Sparky? “We’ll come back for him once we’re done at the pizzeria.”

“Come back for who?” Lindsey asked walking in. William wanted to spend more time with him!

“Sparky,” Xander said beating William to it. “We’re going to take him for a walk.”

Lindsey glowered. “It seems like you are going to have a lot more alone time with Will than I did,” he stated.

Xander shrugged with a slight smirk. “Sparky wants some time with Will too.”

“Breakfast is served!” Buffy chirped before anything could get started that would upset William. “Eat up and get out,” she said with a grin.

William raised an eyebrow at her eagerness to have them leave but didn’t comment.

“I can’t wait to go grocery shopping,” Xander said around a mouthful of egg.

“You enjoy grocery shopping?” Lindsey asked with disgust. “I have someone from the law firm do that for me.”

Xander wondered if Lindsey realized what a big douche he sounded like. “I do. I find it relaxing.”

“I can’t wait,” William said and finished off his sausages. He stood up, wiped his mouth clean, and pulled Xander out of his seat. “Let’s get this show on the road.”

Lindsey stood and walked over to William. “Not going to say goodbye?” he asked with a pout.

William smiled slightly awkwardly; the night before sizzled in his brain. “We’ll see you later today. Have a good day,” he said formally before walking out.

Xander said goodbye to everyone and petted Sparky before following behind William. He was confused at what happened between the two but shrugged it off. Lindsey was the last thing he wanted on his mind. The only thing he wanted to think about was William.

Part Twenty-Two

The grocery store wasn’t overly busy, which made William happy. He hated when people would be just standing in an aisle, hogging it while talking. They never moved even when they saw you standing there and it made William want to smack them for being so inconsiderate. “Where do we start first?” he asked.

“Well, I talked to that friend of yours last night and he said we could use some of his dough and sauce so we just have to worry about the toppings,” Xander said happily. “So let’s get the cheese and meat from the deli before going for the vegetables.”

Most people wouldn’t think it but William was a meat lover. He snickered at that. “How do you feel about a meat lover’s pizza?”

Xander sniggered at that as well. “Sounds good to me.”

“Hi, how can I help you today?” The deli worker asked before popping her gum.

“Hi!” Xander said happily. “Can we get some pepperoni, salami, ham, Italian sausage and mozzarella cheese?” he asked and turned to William to see if he had any objections or additions to their order. William nodded in approval and they waited for their order. “So how did you meet Clem?”

William smiled. “I met him in high school. He was the one who showed me around.”

“Is that when you moved to the states?” Xander asked.

“Yes, my dad got sick of living in England. He always complained about the weather,” William explained. “Clem was my best friend all through high school. We drifted apart a little but I know if I ever need him he’ll be there for me just like I’d be there for him.”

Xander smiled at the girl and accepted their order. “Jesse is like that, though we're still really close. We’ve known each other since grade school.”

“I hope I can meet him,” William replied.

“I am sure you will. Be warned, he's protective,” Xander said as they made their way to the vegetables. “So what kind of veggies do you want?” he asked as he checked out the freshness of the green peppers.

William wandered around looking at all the vegetables. “Green peppers, white onions, and mushrooms.”

“Sounds good to me!” Xander said and began collecting the vegetables. William stayed clear of the picking. “So how did you get into writing?”

“I always loved writing. Short stories, poetry, anything. They were never very good but I enjoyed them. My English teacher took every chance he could get criticizing my work, telling me I would never aspire to anything. Once I graduated I enrolled in UCLA and their writing class and they helped me improve my writing skills, something my teacher never did. Soon after I met Rupert Giles, he's a publisher. He saw real potential in me and helped me get a foot in the door so to speak,” William said.

Xander blinked. “Wow. You’re a babbler.”

William blushed. “Not normally.”

They paid for their items and made their way over to Clem’s Pizzeria.

“What about you?” William asked.

“I’m a babbler also,” Xander confessed.

William laughed. “No, I meant how did you get into construction.”

“Oh! I always loved building things. I’ve done yard work for the neighbors and saved up all the money I could and then I’d buy and build model airplanes. It also kept me out of the way of my dad,” Xander explained, not looking at William.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked,” William said feeling stupid. He parked in front of the pizzeria where Clem met them.

“Will!” Clem said and clasped William’s hand. “How are you?”

William pulled Clem into a hug. “I’m doing all right. I want you to meet Xander.”

Clem drew away from William to get a good look at Xander. “Nice to meet you, Xander.”

“It’s nice to meet you too. William’s told me you’ve been friends for a long time,” Xander said.

“We have. He even helped me open my business,” Clem told Xander.

William waved his hand. “All I did was loan you the money, you were the one that made it a success.”

“You’re a good friend,” Clem said. “Now, let’s get you ready for your date!” he said excitedly. William had told him about Xander and he was happy to allow them to use his establishment.

Twenty minutes later they had all the equipment they required out and ready to be used and before Clem left them to work he told them he'd got their dough and sauce ready.

William washed his hands and started to poke at the lump of dough. “Isn’t it supposed to be flat and circular?”

“You didn’t want Clem to do all the work, did you?” Xander asked as he dried off his own hands. He then sprinkled some flour onto the large cutting block before placing the lump of dough on it.

“,” William said and he watched as Xander kneaded the dough, softening it up.

Xander smiled at him. “Good. Do you want to flatten it?” Not waiting for an answer he took hold of William’s hands and they both started to flatten the dough together. After a few minutes of stretching and flattening the dough Xander pinched the edges for a lip for the crust.

William watched as Xander brushed some olive oil on the top of the dough. “What should I do?”

“Do you wanna start cutting up the vegetables?” Xander asked.

“Okay,” William said and pulled out the vegetables they had bought and began cleaning them. “So... do you want to talk about it?”

Xander spooned on the sauce before spreading it around and adding a little more. He loved pizza sauce. “Talk about what?”

“Your dad,” William said. He was slow on cutting the mushrooms, having no desire to cut himself and having to find the tip of his finger or something.

“Oh...” Xander was quiet for a little bit. “He wasn’t always abusive. He was actually a really good dad until I turned thirteen.”

William looked up at Xander who had his complete attention on the pizza. “What changed when you turned thirteen?”

“I told him I thought I was gay,” Xander said with a sigh. He decided the pizza had more than enough sauce.

“What happened?” William asked.

“He beat me with a belt,” Xander confessed.

William stared at him. He had already known that Xander was abused as a kid but to actually hear it from Xander made it so much more real. “Is that where that scar across your eye came from?”

“No,” Xander said and grabbed the peppers and started chopping them up. “That was when I was seventeen and he caught me and my boyfriend making out in the basement.”

“Bloody hell,” William whispered. He set his knife down, went to Xander and took his knife away before pulling him into a hug. “I’m sorry.”

Xander wrapped his arms around William’s waist and buried his face in his shoulder. “It wasn’t your fault.”

“I’m still sorry,” William whispered.

They stood there embracing until Xander finally pulled away. “We should finish this pizza. I’m sure Clem would like his place back before the lunch rush.”

Fifteen minutes later their pizza was created and in the oven. Xander couldn’t wait to dive into the cheesy goodness. “Can I ask you about your books?”

“Ask away,” William said he wiped down the counters.

“You are going to be writing another one right?” Xander asked leaning in closer. “I mean you can’t leave us hanging on Drusilla’s future!”

William bit his lip. He had been thinking about the next book. But he wanted a change in direction, one that could either bring in new readers or draw the readers away from the series. “I do have some plans but they're a lot different from what the stories have been.”

“Can you tell me?” Xander asked, truly interested. “You don’t have to, I know I’m being nosy.”

“I think I am going to draw the attention slightly away from Spike and Drusilla. I want to bring in new characters who will bring in new problems for Spike,” William explained.

Xander grinned at that. “What kind of new characters?”

“I was thinking of having a vampire slayer, a girl who is the only one strong enough to defeat the evil in the world. She’d be a high school student wanting to be a regular girl only to find out that there are more dangers lurking in her new town,” William explained, wondering what Xander would think of the change of pace. “But no one knows what she is or about the demons of the world.”

“She kills demons?” Xander asked. William nodded. “You’re not planning on killing off Spike...are you?”

William looked utterly horrified. “Are you mad man? I could never kill Spike!”

Xander let out a sigh of relief. “Thank God.” The timer buzzed for the pizza and he turned the oven off and carefully pulled the pizza out. “It would be cool to see this slayer have friends, you know regular people helping her carry the burden the demons,” Xander suggested. He looked up to see William staring at him. “Sorry.”

“No. That’s a good idea. I like it,” William said with a bright smile. “I’d really like to see if I could work that in somehow. If it’s all right with you, of course.”

“Wow, really?” Xander asked excitedly he cut the pizza into four slices. “That would be awesome! You know a great name for a character would be Xander.”

William laughed out loud.

Part Twenty-Three

They had stuffed themselves with their delicious pizza. William burped and Xander laughed. “We should go into business,” Xander said.

“I don’t think Clem would like that,” William said with a smile. He washed up the dishes while Xander dried them. “I think we need that walk.”

“Oh yeah,” Xander said rubbing his stomach. “I’m sure Sparky will love it.”

Clem walked in just as they were finishing up. “I’m not... interrupting am I?” he asked, winking at William.

William rolled his eyes. “No, we were just heading out.”

“Oh,” Clem said, disappointed. He shook Xander’s hand. “I hope you had a good time.” He leaned in. “You treat him right.”

“I will,” Xander promised and patted Clem’s shoulder. “Thanks for letting us use your place.”

Clem waved him off. “I’m always happy to help a friend. Now you two get out of here. I’m sure your plans don’t involve me.” He turned away from them and started setting up for the lunch rush.


They returned to the house and Lindsey was at the door instantly. “William!” He pulled William away from Xander. “I’ve missed you.”

“Oh brother,” Xander muttered. “I’m going to go get Sparky. I’ll be right back for our walk.”

“I’ll be here, pet,” William said, not realizing he'd used a pet name. “Are you having a good day to yourself, Lindsey?”

Lindsey shrugged. “I’ve been poolside. Working on my tan. What do you think?” he asked and pulled up his shirt, revealing his taut stomach.

“I-It’s very nice,” William stumbled out.

“You don’t think I’m fat do you?” Lindsey asked, playing with his stomach.

William’s jaw fell open. “Of course not! You are in very good shape.”

“Really?” Lindsey asked shyly. “I thought maybe after last night,” he whispered leaning in close to William.

“I told you the reason,” William whispered back. “You are an amazing looking creature but I am not in this purely for sex.”

Lindsey pulled back. “Nothing wrong with things being purely about sex though.”

“Of course not but that is not all I want. I hope it is not what you are only here for,”
William said, looking at Lindsey intently.

“No! It’s just, well, you are so damn sexy. How am I supposed to resist?” Lindsey asked. “Are you sure you have to go?”

Xander came back, Sparky leashed up and ready to go. “We ready?”

“I was just asking William if I could tag along,” Lindsey said with a grin.

“What?” Xander said with a frown. William wouldn’t do that, would he? “Will?”

William looked between the two of them, hating that Lindsey put him in that situation. “He asked but I think since I already promised you and Sparky here my attention that plans should stay the way they were made.”

Lindsey pouted and stormed off in a huff up to his room. William sighed and shook his head.

“You okay?” Xander asked worriedly. “I mean if you want Lindsey to come...”

“No!” William said and cleared his throat. “No, I promised you more time and that is what you’re going to get.” He took Sparky’s leash and started out on their journey.


The dog park was near Xander’s apartment. They walked into the gated area and Xander released Sparky allowing him to go and play with the other dogs. “Let’s sit,” Xander said and pointed to a vacant bench.

William sat with his eyes trained on Sparky who seemed totally at ease in this environment. He seemed to have no problems with other dogs. “He seems happy,” William commented.

“Oh yeah, that’s what I love about animals, they don’t judge you,” Xander replied, watching as Sparky got chased by a little wiener dog.

William smiled. “Not all humans judge either, pet.”

“That’s the second time you’ve called me that,” Xander said with a smile.

William blushed. “I’m sorry.”

“I like it,” Xander confessed making William smile.

“Most people find it...offensive,” William said. “By most I mean men. They have no problem being gay but pet names make them feel emasculated.”

Xander shook his head and grabbed hold of William’s hand. “Then obviously they aren’t the men they think they are.”

“You are a very unique man, Xander Harris,” William replied, leaned in and brushed his lips against Xander’s. “Thank you.”

Xander’s eyes fluttered open. “For what?”

“For being you. I know this has all been very difficult,” William stated. “A lot of people would have basically said fuck this and left after the first night.”

“I’m not that easy to scare off,” Xander replied. He looked over to see Sparky sniffing the wiener dog’s butt. “Sparky!” he didn’t shout but said it sternly enough that Sparky instantly rushed over to his master. “You get us kicked out of this park and you can kiss your steak dinners goodbye, buster!”

Sparky bent his head down and used his front paw to hide his muzzle. It wasn’t his fault; the wiener dog did it first. Xander ended up fondling his ears. “Go. Play.”

“Do you always talk to him like that?” William asked his head tilted slightly.

“Like what?” Xander asked he leaned against William.

“Like he can fully understand what you’re saying,” William replied. He'd never had a dog before so he didn’t understand a lot of Xander’s and Sparky’s relationship.

Xander’s face scrunched up. “Why wouldn’t he?”

“I don’t know. I always thought they couldn’t, you know, understand us but just the tone of our voice,” William explained what he thought he knew.

“Oh. I don’t know. He seems to understand me well enough. I’d like to think he understands me and I understand him,” Xander said with a shrug.

William kissed him again. “Like I said, you are a unique man.”


Hours later found Lindsey fuming as he paced back and forth in his room. Why the hell didn’t William want him to join them? What were they doing? How long did it take to walk some dumb mutt anyway? Finally he pulled out his cell phone and decided to phone the one person who could help him figure out what he was doing wrong. “Lilah?”

Part Twenty-Four

“Lindsey?” Lilah asked, shocked to believe Lindsey would have the nerve to phone her. They weren’t friends, all they were was colleagues and if she had it her way they wouldn’t be even that. “Why the fuck are you calling me? Aren’t you supposed to be with that British idiot?”

“That is exactly where I am. He’s out on a date with the other guy,” Lindsey said with distaste.

Lilah filed her nails. “And the reason you are calling me? I don’t want to hear about your sex life with the guy.”

“I’m not calling you about that. I need your advice,” Lindsey told her. Oh, how much did that hurt to say out loud?

“Really?” Lilah stopped filing and leaned forward. “Do tell.”

Lindsey told her about the last few days about how he’d reel William in but the how William would pull away. He’d tried everything he could think of to get William’s complete attention and in the end it was always a complete fail. “So what do you think?”

“What I’m thinking is... why the fuck would I even help you bag some millionaire fag?” Lilah asked. What the hell would she be getting out of it? Lindsey gets some millionaire boy-toy making his life easier. She didn’t want his life easier!

“Because if you help me get William I can quit my job and live off of his money. Which means you get that nice big office of mine you’ve been eyeing for years,” Lindsey informed her. He knew he had her.

Lilah’s eyes lit up. “Your office?”

“Including my pay,” Lindsey added. “So are you going to help me or not?”

“Hell yes, I’m going to help you!” Lilah yelled, making Lindsey have to pull the phone away from his ear. “Now do you even love this bozo?”

Lindsey snorted in disgust. “Love? Are you fucking kidding me? I can’t even stand the guy. The only thing he really has going for him is his looks. And of course his money.”

“Is that so?” William said glaring at Lindsey.

“Uh oh,” Lindsey said. “I’ll call you back.” He hung up and chuckled awkwardly. “Hey, Will! I wasn’t expecting you back. Did you have fun?”

William continued to glare. “So you’re only after my money?”

“No!” Lindsey rushed over to William, trying to salvage this. “I was just joking with a friend.”

William pushed Lindsey away. “I want you out,” William said before turning and leaving the room. Lindsey chased after him.

They ended in the kitchen where Xander and Sparky were having a nice cold drink and Buffy was making chili.

“Come on, Will! You don’t mean that,” Lindsey said, drawing everyone’s attention including Liam who had been outside with the pool boy.

“You have wasted almost a week of my life because you are here for money!” William turned around and screamed in Lindsey’s face, frightening them all. “There is nothing you can bloody say. Pack up and leave.”

“So what? You’re picking Xander?” Lindsey said with revulsion. “At least with me you wouldn’t have some dimwitted construction dolt!”

Xander stomped over to them having no clue as to what had happened. “Dimwitted? At least I know wrong from right. I guess that’s why you make a perfect lawyer; you’ll do anything to win.”

“I’m not picking Xander!” William shouted. Everyone started at him in utter shock. “I’m not picking anyone,” he said more softly. “I want you to both leave now.”

“Will,” Xander said softly staring at William.

“I’m sorry, Xander. I’m done,” William said. With a final look between the two men William turned and went to his study.

Lindsey smirked. He may not have gotten William but neither had Xander. “I guess I’ll be leaving now.”

“You fucking bastard!” Xander yelled but Lindsey just waved his hand and jogged up the stairs to get his stuff and get the hell out of dodge.

“Xander,” Liam said coming over to Xander. “I’m sure William didn’t mean it. He’s just upset.”

Xander tried to smile but failed. “He has every right to be upset. Lindsey played with his emotions and he didn’t give a fuck who he hurt. I can’t blame William for calling an end to this,” Xander said, his voice wavering. “I should go get packed. Make sure I have everything.” He whistled and Sparky was by his side instantly, confused as to what was going on. “Come on, buddy.”

“Xander.” Buffy tried to stop him but she was pulled into a hug.

“I’ve got to go,” Xander whispered not trusting his voice. “Take care of him.”

Buffy sniffled. “I will,” she promised. “Maybe you could come back in a few days? Once he’s calmed down.”

“I don’t think so,” Xander replied. “I don’t think William would want that.”

“But you love him,” Buffy said.

Xander’s jaw dropped. It had only been a few days and he did love William. “I do. How could I not? But I think he needs to move on from this. With me around it will only be a reminder of the despicable thing that Lindsey did to him. It was nice meeting you both and I’m sorry it didn’t work out.” He turned and walked away, Sparky at his heels.


William heard the front door close and knew that he’d never see Xander again. He’d fucked things up by sending him away but it was for the best wasn’t it? With a shuddering breath he booted up his computer. Right now he needed to get his mind on other things and the best way for that was to work.

In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against
the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.

There was a knock on the door, disturbing William from his concentration. Liam opened the door, not waiting for an invitation. He set a cup of tea down in front of William before sitting down opposite him. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“No,” William replied taking a sip of his tea. “There’s nothing to talk about.”

“Really?” Liam said. “So you have no problem that Xander left? For good?”

William slammed the tea cup down making the saucer clatter against it. “Of course I have a bloody problem with it!” he hissed at Liam. “Do you really think I am some cold hearted brute?”

“You know I don’t. But I find it insane that you will let him walk out of your life,” Liam replied openly.

“I really don’t feel like talking about this right now,” William said. “Thank you for the tea. If I need anything else I’ll call for you.”

Liam was stunned. Never since he started working for William had he ever actually been dismissed. “I’ll be around if you need anything. What time would you like to eat?”

“I’m not hungry,” William said and went back to his work. With a sigh Liam left him. William leaned back and rubbed his face; his hands ruffled up his hair. “Fuck!”

Part Twenty-Five

“Dude, that’s fucked up,” Jesse said as he watched Xander pace the room. “What are you going to do?”

“Do?” Xander repeated, looking at Jesse as if he were insane. “Nothing.”

Jesse sat up straight. “Nothing? What the fuck is wrong with you?”

“What? Nothing is wrong with me!” Xander said, annoyed. He had called Jesse for company and understanding not the third degree.

“You’re head over heels in love with this guy and you let him push you away without even a fight,” Jesse said with a shake of his head. “I know you're a lot of things Xander but scared isn’t one of them.”

Xander stared at Jesse. “What are you talking about? I’m not scared. What would I be scared about?”

“Because you think William liked Lindsey more and he stopped it because the one he really wanted fucked him over,” Jesse said, stating what Xander wouldn’t.

“Fine! You’re right, are you happy?” Xander asked, short-tempered.

Jesse stood and pulled Xander into a hug. “No.”

“How did things get so messed up, Jess?” Xander questioned.

“Love does that to you. Love’s a fucking bitch,” Jesse replied. “So what are you going to do?”

Xander pulled away. “I have no fucking idea. I just want to get back to work and back to my life. A life that was lonely but made sense.”

Sparky barked and scratched at the door. Why wasn’t William with them?

“Good luck with that,” Jesse said.


“Buffy, I don’t have to bloody talk about it!” William growled. He loved the girl but she was a nag and just couldn’t let things go.

“Of course you do!” Buffy replied, following him up the stairs. “I don’t know why you're being so stubborn about this. You love him!”

William stopped and turned just as Buffy smacked into him. “Pet, I love you. You are like a sister to me and I would do anything for you...” he held up his hand when she opened her mouth. “But I will not talk about Xander.”

Buffy glared at him. “You can’t keep it all bottled inside. You’ll get ulcers! And don’t think I didn’t notice how you didn’t disagree with me.”

“Well then it’s a good thing that there are things called doctors that can help me with that,” William replied snottily. “There is nothing to disagree about. Now I’m going to take a shower... ALONE!”

“Fine,” Buffy turned, her blonde hair flipping over her shoulder as she turned and stomped down the stairs, muttering about how stupid men were. She found Liam. “Your friend is an idiot!”

Liam looked up. “No he isn’t. He’s hurting.”

Buffy sighed. “I know but he could fix that! Why won’t he?”

“He’s scared,” Liam replied.

“Of what? Xander doesn’t appear to be scary,” Buffy commented. “It’s been two weeks. Shouldn’t he just, you know, man up and go to Xander?”

Liam shook his head. “William dismissed Xander without as much as a goodbye. How do you think Xander will feel if William comes to his home and says he wants to be with him?”

“Happy?” Buffy guessed. Hoped.

“Or pissed off and he tells Will to fuck off,” Liam told her.

Buffy huffed in annoyance. “But if he waits too long that is exactly what will happen!” She looked worried. “All he does is hide in his study and write that new book.”

“We can’t make him confront Xander,” Liam told her and kissed her. “No meddling.”

“Why not? Why does everyone always think meddling is bad? Meddling can be good!”

“And if meddling isn’t good do you wanna be the one responsible for the mess to be cleaned up?” Liam asked. He understood Buffy wanting to help William, she was protective of him. It was one of the things that made him fall in love with her but he wouldn’t allow her to get into the middle of this. “William is a big boy and he has to make his own decisions. He’ll just have to live with the consequences.”

Buffy’s eyes shone with tears. “I just want him to be happy. I hate seeing him like this.”

“I know, baby,” Liam whispered and pulled her into a hug. “All we can do is be there for him. He doesn’t need us pushing our opinions on him.”

“Even if our opinions are right?” Buffy’s question was muffled.

Liam chuckled. “Even if our opinions are right.”