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It started with the fish.

I guess that some might suggest that it started that first night, in the school, when he tried to kill me, but I know that that is wrong. No, it started with the fish. Not many people can pick an exact time that their life started to change, but I can. Considering the circumstances, I wouldn't call myself lucky for being able to do so. You see, all that stuff at the school was all show. He had just come back, wanted to make Buffy pay, was a bit of a drama queen, if you must know. He had it all planned, go to the school and torment her friends, possibly kill one of us just to get to her. All the grandiose speeches and snide comments, the arm around me as he casually mentioned ending my life, all designed to make Buffy suffer. None of us were important except as a way to get back at the slayer, to be used as a means to an end, that end being Buffy dead and broken at his feet.

That's how it was at first. He ambushed us, seemed to find his amusement verbally assaulting Buffy, threatening all of us to make her feel weak and helpless. It's funny. I wasn't that scared. I mean, c'mon, best friends with a slayer here! We'd had over a year of dealing with demons and vampires and all the nasty threats at this point. Angelus scared me, don't get me wrong, but it was never anything personal, just the usual threats that were constantly surrounding us since we'd become friends with the slayer. He wasn't after us, he was after her. I was there for her, the shoulder to cry on, the silent support when she needed it most, the best friend was doing her best to remain strong for the strongest person she knew. Then it changed. As I said, it started with the fish.

Those damn fish! Finding them dead, a nasty little present from Angelus meant to make me feel vulnerable and scared. He'd been in my room! I wasn't supposed to have boys in my room, that innocent quote coming back to me the moment I saw the dead fish. I'd invited Angel inside my house, that night I'd helped him look into Buffy's old friend. I'd forgotten it, truth be known. It hadn't seemed important and I'd never realized that that simple action would allow this monster access to my personal space. I felt violated in a way that I'd never felt before, knowing he had been in my room. His plan had worked. I'd been scared, because he'd made it personal. He'd killed my fish! What kind of person killed innocent little fish? Okay, wrong question considering that seafood was such a hugely popular culinary choice. I'd not told Buffy about the fish, not wanting to give her anything else to worry about, knowing that it was just Angelus playing his stupid games of 'break the slayer' by using her friends.

Or so I thought. Things had changed, though, somewhere along the way. I don't know why or how, but I knew things were different. That morning when I had gotten out of bed, I found it. A sketch. Of me. Sleeping. The sketch left on my dresser. He'd been in my room again, while I had been there! He'd sat, perhaps in my desk chair or perhaps even on the bed beside me, and he'd sketched me. A part of my mind noted how well he sketched, his ability to capture the smallest detail, wondering if he saw me as being as beautiful as the girl in the drawing, thinking that I was lucky he'd just sketched me instead of killing me. The rest of my mind was freaked out. One of the scariest vampires in the entire world had been in my room as I was sleeping. He could have killed me in my sleep and I'd have never felt a thing. I finally decided that he was just trying to scare me, maybe hoping I'd desert Buffy so she'd be an easier target, thinking that a few dead fish and a sketch would cause me to stop helping my best friend. So, I gathered up the surprising amount of strength that I had just realized I had and put the sketch away, never saying a word to Buffy about it.

I thought it would be over. That he'd move on to plan B or whatever letter of the alphabet he happened to be on concerning his entire plot to defeat Buffy. Then I found another sketch. And another. And another. Every morning there was a sketch waiting for me. Sleeping Willow, laughing Willow, studious Willow, pensive Willow. He was watching me, obviously, putting in enough detail to let me know where he sketched each picture. The Bronze, the library, the park, my front porch. By this time, it had been over a week since I'd found those stupid fish. Giles was looking for a spell, some kind of un-invite spell that would renege the invitations made to Angel. It was for Buffy's house and Giles' apartment and Cordelia's car, of all things, but I planned to copy it to use on my house. I didn't want my friends to worry, knowing that they had far more important things to worry about than Angelus' latest plan of bothering me just to get to Buffy. I wasn't going to let it work because I didn't plan on telling Buffy. I never once considered that his plan was no longer about Buffy, never once thought that he had changed obsessions, replacing getting revenge on the slayer with, what, getting me?

The entire idea was almost funny. I was just Willow. Shy, rambling, insecure, pretty damn smart if I do say so myself, and kind of cute, I guess, but nothing really exceptional. There was no way that Angelus was after me for any reason other than the fact that I was Buffy's friend. I was nothing special, definitely not an object of obsession for a master vampire that was cunning and sinister and dangerous and scary and sexy. Hey, c'mon. Anyone with eyes could see that Angelus was gorgeous. He was sexy as sin and used that to his advantage many a time, I'm sure. I could admit he was attractive in the same way that I could admit that Spike was drop dead gorgeous in that wickedly tempting way that had you sort of rubbing your thighs together as he licked his lips and promised all sorts of horrible things. Okay, sue me! It's true. When Spike was threatening us, I was often a bit, um, distracted by how he quirked his eyebrow and his lips and the way he'd practically purr when discussing Buffy's death and, fuck, I'm a horrible person. But, the random thought of the sexiness of the two evil vampires that were currently planning our deaths didn't mean anything except that I was a female with eyes and a teenager's hormones. I hadn't forgotten the truth, the knowledge that they were evil and would love nothing more than to kill me for fun. Something about the idea of being killed for fun sort of took away from the sexy factor, ya know?

After a week of sketches, of trying not to sleep because I knew he'd be in my room, because I was never sure if that would be the night he finally just killed me and that I wouldn't be waking up in the morning, things changed again. Now, in the morning, I found things. Gifts, if you will. A beautiful necklace with an emerald pendant, earrings to match, a book of obscure demons that I'd coveted at the magic store but couldn't afford, a bottle of jasmine perfume that I'd smelled while shopping with Buffy. More fear because, hey, nice gesture and all but he had picked specific things that I had wanted, that I'd looked at, that I'd touched. Well, everything except the jewelry. That was all definitely Angelus. It was the fifth day, looking at the perfume, that I realized he couldn't have possibly seen me look at this because we'd gone to the mall during the afternoon, after class.

If he hadn't been there to see me smell it and mention how I wish I could afford it, who had? Did he have someone watching me? If so, why I hadn't realized it? And why would he have someone following me? When I got the perfume, that's when I decided that I needed to tell someone. By this time, nearly three weeks had passed. Sleepless nights and fear and worry had started to take their toll. I was getting scared, beginning to wonder why he would go to so much trouble to go after me when he was trying to hurt Buffy. Wondering why Buffy hadn't had any confrontations with him since the fish. I didn't want to tell Giles, not sure how he would react and what he'd say, scared that he might be angry that I'd taken so long to tell them. I couldn't tell Buffy, knowing the blonde was already super stressed. So, I went to the only other person I trusted that might be able to help. I'd gone to Miss. Calendar.

She had been shocked when I'd told her about the last few weeks, muttering something about Angelus up to his old tricks and how she needed to figure out a way to recurse him before he did something to hurt me. In the end, I felt even more confused and worried than I had been before talking to her. She'd tried to help, assuring me that she was close to finding a way to restore the curse, telling me to be very careful, reminding me that Angelus was dangerous and that I needed to be alert at all times. She'd told me she thought she had an uninvite spell, that she'd given it to Giles to check and that I had to promise to use it as soon as he confirmed it would work. She knew it would work, but he didn't trust her anymore so he was double checking it. She didn't say this, but I knew. She vowed that she would find a way to stop him before he got me.


Got me? That was the first time I seriously began to wonder if there was a chance that Angelus was actually after me, intending to, what? I didn't know, not even sure if I wanted to know. I left Jenny at the school, intent on finding a way to fix everything. That night, she died. I have to wonder if it was my fault. I know Angelus did it because she'd gotten close to figuring out a spell to recurse him and he wanted all the loose ends gone so that he'd never have to worry about having a soul again, but part of me felt guilty because I'd just gone to her. I told her about Angelus and his gifts and then she dies. That wasn't a very good night for any of us. It was a reminder of how easily Angelus could kill any of us, a reminder of what a sadistic bastard he was, and did I mention drama queen? He set up Jenny's body at Giles' apartment, setting the scene to hurt Giles as much as possible. That night, I didn't sleep at all. I kept my light on and my curtains drawn and refused to shut my eyes for fear that I'd be next.

It got worse after Jenny's death. Angelus wasn't interested in Buffy at all, that much evident when he didn't even bother to fight her when they crossed paths on one of her patrols. He'd just smiled, a sinister smile according to her, and said that he'd moved on and really she should too and then he'd simply walked away, whistling according to her. She said that his eyes had scared her more that night than during any of their previous meetings. She didn't know what he meant by having moved on, but I had a sneaky suspicion that it involved me and the last month of nightly visits and, what would the word be, stalking? I'd gotten to the point where I didn't want to go out at all, school and home was about it.

I'd told Jenny and she'd been killed. I couldn't tell anyone else, not sure if she had died because of the curse or because of me, not wanting anyone else's death on my hands. I was pushing those I loved away from me, scared that he might decide to kill them just for fun. I hated doing it, but I couldn't see any other choice. Jenny's words echoed in my head, 'he's up to his old tricks'. Old tricks possibly meaning Drusilla. Jenny hadn't said anything, but I knew there was something that scared her when I was telling her what he'd been doing. It did take me a couple of days to remember what we'd heard about his obsession with Drusilla, stealing the watcher's journal from Giles one day when he was in a meeting, wanting to see what it said concerning Angelus' courtship of the beautiful but crazy woman.

As I read, there was a sinking feeling in my stomach. There was much more detail than what Giles had told us, the watcher obviously giving us an abridged version. It had been horrific, the things he'd done to her. Cruel and evil didn't even begin to describe it. He'd been ruthless, and it was even worse when I read that he'd been amused by it all, thinking it a fun game. Only, he'd gone too far, taking a woman that was already mentally fragile and doing all those things, it had broken her into too many pieces to be put back together. I shut the book abruptly when I read that he'd raped her as she'd been about to take her vows, after slaughtering an entire convent in front of the poor creature. I hated to admit it, but I felt sorry for Drusilla. She'd never had a chance. Angelus had been bored and decided to play a game and she was the unwilling participant, much like myself. I now understood what Jenny had meant, the sketches and the gifts had started his twisted courtship of Drusilla. Then there'd been the blood and the screams and he'd taken what he wanted. My parents are never home and I'm an only child so there was only one family that I have for him to go after.

Thinking back over what had happened with Drusilla, I can see some differences. He learned from his mistakes, obviously. He doesn't want to break my mind, he just wants to break me. Angel and I had never really been friends, but we had had many conversations concerning a wide variety of topics. He'd remarked in that quiet voice of his that I was one of the smartest people he'd met, a huge compliment coming from a vampire that was over two centuries old, and that he could enjoy talking with me for hours. Obviously, Angelus had remembered that. Lucky me? After reading what I had, I became even more determined to distance myself from Buffy and Xander and Giles, not wanting Angelus to go after them in his pursuit of me. I was the one being hunted, stalked, and I didn't want anyone else getting caught in the crossfire. I had no idea that Angelus had planned it, knowing that I would not want to endanger any of my friends, deliberately isolating me from them. All part of the game, it seemed. Easier to break me when I'm alone, I guess.

It wasn't long after Jenny's death that Angelus made his next move. A voice from my balcony, seductive and husky, telling me the things that he wanted to do to me, with me, promising forever. All I had to do was give in, surrender, give myself to him. He didn't want to take me, having made that mistake with Drusilla. She was a 'lovely girl, beautiful and ruthless', but he wanted me to come willingly. Maybe he knew that it would hurt me far more to go to him by choice than to be raped and forced, always playing his mind games. I ignored him, did my best to pretend he wasn't there, tried not to listen to the threats that were said in the same purring voice designed to tempt me into surrendering. He seemed amused by my actions, telling me he found my stubbornness attractive, that he couldn't wait to have me on my knees begging for him. He seemed so confident that I would break, that I would give in.

His visits continued for three days, each night him telling me in vivid detail, and boy can that man get descriptive, what he was going to do to me, how I'd be begging for his lips and his tongue and his hands and his cock, that he'd fuck me until I was too exhausted to move and then he'd fuck me some more, because I'd be begging him for it, because I'd want nothing more than to have him inside me, because I was his and would belong to him. I didn't want to listen, I really tried to ignore it, but Angelus wasn't bad at the seduction thing. I knew it was wrong to listen, I knew it was wrong to lay in my bed touching myself as he spoke, but I couldn't stop it. He could have come inside, could have just walked in and raped me, raped? Who am I kidding. By that point, I was practically aching from need. And the bastard knew it. He knew what to say to cause my body to react, knew the right tone of voice to use that would cause my tummy to knot up and my thighs to grow sticky from wetness.

Still I resisted. He seemed to grow tired of the seduction, annoyed that I wasn't spreading my legs and begging him to take me. The thought had crossed my mind, admittedly, but I wasn't that stupid. He was an evil and sadistic vampire, dangerous and ruthless and cunning and I was just some game. He'd fuck me and then kill me, leave me for Buffy to find probably. Hunting me was a cure for his boredom. It didn't mean anything, it wasn't forever, not that I wanted it to be. Angelus was sexy as sin, but I could resist. It took more than a few seductive words to break me, and he seemed to realize that. If anything, he seemed pleased, whispering that he'd known I was special, that I was meant to be his, that I was the one. The one what I wasn't really sure and I didn't ask, hoping that he'd just stop playing his game and go back to hunting Buffy. I know, that's a terrible thing to admit, but it is the truth. I was getting so tired of fighting, my friends avoiding me at school because I was rude to them and pushing them away, seeing the hurt and pain in their eyes as I tried to ignore them, not knowing if Angelus had someone watching me all the time. I was always alone now, my only contact with someone during those conversations with Angelus on the balcony, and since he did all the talking they couldn't really be classified as conversations.

Angelus continued to visit, his words weaving a spell that had my body feeling things it shouldn't even as my mind rebelled against his blatant seduction, but I knew he had to be thinking of another plan. For some reason, he wanted me and I knew that he wasn't going to just give up. I was scared what he would try next, flashes of what he'd done to Drusilla in my head, knowing that he was going to have to get tired of waiting. He'd have to take me, though. I was not going to go to him willingly. There was no way I'd give myself to him, allow him that victory. He'd been talking about forever again, his tone seemingly sincere. Did he really intend to turn me? And he thought this was the way to convince me to go to him? I didn't want to be a vampire! Hello, helped slay vampires for over a year! I certainly didn't want to become one, remembering Jesse and how horrible it had been to see one of my best friends become a monster. Okay, confession time. Angelus was starting to wear me down with all his stories of what he wanted to do to me. Horrible, isn't it? He was talking about making me beg, of fucking me roughly and doing all sorts of things to me that should have disgusted me but I was starting to get really turned on. When I did sleep, dreams of him doing those things to me haunted my thoughts. I'd wake up with an ache and wetness between my thighs, feeling even worse because I was wanting those perverted and naughty things he talked about.

It wasn't always really rough images. He seemed to like pain and dominance, though, not surprising since he was a master vampire and they weren't really known for being soft and sweet. But, there were times, his voice would lower and he'd talk about laying me out on a bed and tasting me for hours, of giving me so much pleasure that I'd pass out, of holding me against him as he slept, of wanting me in his arms every day when he woke up. He told me about the happenings at the mansion, of Drusilla's excitement at meeting her new mummy and her disappointment every night that he returned without me, of Spike and his grumbling about why Angelus just didn't force me, of perhaps sharing me with Spike occasionally as a treat for the bleached blond that Angelus cared about even if he'd never admit it. I knew it was horrible to consider the idea of being given to Spike for a few hours of fucking as a reward to him as erotic, but I couldn't help myself. Images of Spike and Angelus sharing me, well, that was a common fantasy in the darkest corners of my mind. To hear Angelus speak about it so nonchalantly, it felt kind of good, thinking that he'd consider a few hours with me as a rewarding experience. I still resisted though, asking him to stop, to leave me alone. He'd laugh and tell me to say it again with more conviction then he'd blow me a kiss and disappear until the next night. He was wearing me down and the smug bastard knew it.


After a week of those conversations, now about six weeks since he'd killed my fish, I found out what his next plan was going to be. I left the house for school, trying not to scream when I walked inside and found my latest 'gift'. He'd killed Harmony, one of my greatest enemies, trussing her up against a tree, her neck ripped open, her face and body bruised. He'd been on my balcony until nearly dawn, how had he done it? I noticed that some of the bruises were fresh while others looked at least a day old, thinking back and not remembering seeing her at the school the previous day. He'd taken her, beaten her during the day, and then killed her. Leaving her for me as a gift of what? His devotion? I went inside and called the police, my voice flat and resigned. He'd done it.

He'd figured out the way to get me, to break me. I couldn't have him killing people because of me. I had hated Harmony, but I'd never have wished that kind of death on anyone, even her. Judging from her appearance, she'd been beaten for hours. It looked like she might have been raped by someone or something, blood dripping down her legs. I couldn't look at her anymore, seeing now the flip side of the handsome man that sat for hours casting a spell on me with his intelligence and seductive words. He was a monster, a violent and sadistic monster. And he wanted me. Was willing to kill to get me. And he wasn't going to stop, he wasn't going to give up, until he had me. Who would be next? Cordelia? Xander? Buffy? Did it matter that I'd pushed all my friends away in hopes of keeping them safe? Would he go after them anyway because he knew it would break me?

I didn't go to school that day. Instead, I packed a bag. I passed the mirror and looked, not surprised to see the resigned look on my face, the look of surrender in my eyes. Once I was finished packing, I sat on my bed and waited. I spent hours thinking, wondering if there was any way out of this, a part of asking the blunt question of whether I really wanted a way out of this or not. I'd been wavering for a week, since he'd come to me and made his intentions known, since I'd realized that it was me that he wanted, that he believed that I was special, that he was talking about forever.

Angelus was smart enough to know that I was close to surrendering. Had he killed Harmony, choosing someone that he knew I hated, as a way to push me over the edge? Had he figured out in that clever mind of his that I blamed myself for Jenny and didn't want to see anyone else die? Somehow, I think he did. I think he used those nights of verbal seduction to study me, to see what it would take to break me, to find the key to his victory. He'd found it, he'd won. I would not longer be hunted by him. When he arrived that night, I planned to admit defeat and go to him. Which is exactly what I did. I will give him credit. He didn't gloat, that much, instead simply smiling and taking my hand, his eyes moving over me in a way that caused my heartbeat to race. He told me that he'd given Harmony to the minions, let them have their fun and then he'd killed her, seeming to know that I wondered if he'd been responsible for the torture and rape. Was it bad of me to be relieved that he'd only killed her? I took his hand and followed him.

He took me to the mansion, his eyes never leaving me, his hands constantly touching me in any way possible, reminding me that I was now his, that I had given myself to him. He was really big on the fact that I had willingly surrendered, that I'd chosen to come to him. I met Drusilla, feeling pity for the beautiful woman that I had read about, selfishly thanking the Gods that he'd not played the exact same game with me, knowing that I'd be okay as long as my mind was not broken. Angelus' touch was almost gentle, caressing my arms as he proudly showed me off, tightening whenever he could sense my fear of the minions. Drusilla was rambling on about her pretty new mummy and the stars and then dancing around and showing me her dollies. Through it all, Angelus was there, giving no doubts of his ownership.

Spike did not ramble or dance. Instead, he lazily looked me over, his eyes able to do things that Angelus' had, his beautiful lips quirking into a knowing smirk before he'd winked, declaring that he was pleased with Angelus' choice, not that I figured Angelus gave a damn what Spike thought about me, but it kind of felt nice to have the gorgeous blond's approval. Angelus had laughed at Spike's behavior, merely saying that he'd said I was special and reminding everyone again that I belonged to him before moving me away from Spike. I guessed that sharing thing wasn't going to be happening yet, since he seemed a bit jealous and ticked off at Spike's blatant flirting and my reaction to said flirting, even though he'd tried to cover it with a laugh.

I was taken upstairs, to his room. The bed was huge, king size, the sheets black silk and the comforter burgundy, velvet it appeared to be. Sensual materials, not that surprising since it was Angelus' room. I was more scared being in this room, with just him, than I'd been meeting the minions. I was a virgin, hadn't even been kissed. Now I was about to give myself to a ruthless vampire that had stalked me for over a month until I'd been worn down and finally broken. I'd read about vampires and sex before, sneaking a few looks at the books we weren't supposed to read that Giles kept locked up. While part of me found the topics arousing, the pain and pleasure and biting and possession, a part of me was scared to death that I wouldn't be good enough for Angelus to want to keep, that he'd just fuck me and decide to kill me rather than keep me. You see, by this point, I'd acknowledged that I'd much rather be kept than die. Survival meant adapting. I could be whatever Angelus wanted if it meant that I wasn't dead.

I felt his hands on my back, surprised by how gentle he was being. I'd expected him to toss me on the bed, rip my clothes off, and pretty much just force me. This, the kiss on the back of my neck, the motion of his hands rubbing against my back and around to my stomach, the feel of his hard body behind me, this was unexpected.

He told me then, his words whispering in my ear, to get undressed, pointing out the bathroom in case I felt like taking a shower or cleaning up before bed. He must have sensed my confusion, giving me the sexiest smile I've ever in my life seen as he moved past me to sit on the edge of the bed, his eyes moving over me as he told me that he'd waited for me for months, that one more night wasn't going to kill him, his lips quirking at his own joke. I didn't know if that meant he didn't want me or if it was just part of the game, my insecurities obviously showing in my eyes because he'd growled softly, asking how I could doubt his desire and his need after everything he'd done. He said that we were leaving Sunnydale the next day, that he wanted to be out before Buffy and the others realized I was gone and possibly figured out what had happened. He wanted me rested for the trip, knowing I'd not been sleeping very well, his lips again smirking slightly at his eyes had moved down my body, letting me know exactly what was meant by being mentally undressed, before sliding back up to catch my eyes. He told me that we'd be somewhere safe the next night, that I'd give myself to him and that, when he was finished with me, I wouldn't be able to move for days.

Normally such a statement would sound threatening, but not when accompanied by the desire filled look from those gorgeous chocolate brown eyes and the way he ran his tongue over his lips and looked at me like a hungry man who had just found dessert. Oh, yeah, he wanted me, but he didn't want to rush it, probably wanted to torture me for hours like he'd promised to pay me back for making him wait so long. I went to the bathroom and changed into a nightgown, relieved when he didn't make me take it off. Somehow I didn't think I'd be wearing clothes to bed after this night, thinking about how the silk would feel against my bare skin. He kissed me then, deep, explorative, rough but gentle, just like Angelus. When the kiss was finished, he smiled that little smirk that never failed to arouse me and told me to get some sleep. I obeyed him, closing my eyes as he laid down behind me, pulling me against him and holding me tightly as I drifted off to sleep.

I am glad we are leaving Sunnydale. I didn't want to risk running into my friends, didn't know if forever was going to be now, didn't want to kill anyone that I had loved when he turned me. Yes, I said when. There is no doubt in my mind now that I am going to die. He's going to kill me. Only, it's not going to be the killing the way I originally thought. He is going to turn me. I, Willow Rosenberg, best friend of Buffy the vampire slayer, am going to be a vampire someday soon. Not a minion, but a true childe, a mate.

Angelus said I was special, that I was meant to be his, that I was his equal, his partner, his mate, and he meant it. It's evident in the way he looks at me, almost tenderly, lovingly in a way, the way he touches me, the way he speaks to me. To the others, he is harsh and demanding, rude and arrogant, strong and powerful, but to me he is those things and so much more. He cares for Drusilla and Spike, considers them family, includes them in his activities, wants me to get along with them, though he watches Spike closely, growling whenever the blond looks my way for too long. We are driving away from Sunnydale, headed to LA to catch a flight to New York. Then, we'll be flying to England, going to stay at an estate somewhere in the country, close enough to London to feed, but far enough away for true privacy. I leaned back against Angelus, feel his hand on my shoulder, my eyes moving to look out the darkly tinted windows as the car moves. I do not see the content smile on my face, but I do know that I feel loved, cherished, for the first time in my life. Angelus has given me that, evil master vampire or not, he has made me special and wanted. I am his, he is mine. My lips quirk slightly as I close my eyes and leaned my head against his shoulder as I realize that it all started with those damn fish.