AN: I'm sooooo sorry it took so long.
Warning: Quite short and not beta-ed.
Angelus stood in the middle of the Arena, talking with the other dozen contestants, comparing and evaluating the Chosen virgins who had already arrived. Not that he was interested in any of them. He already knew who he wanted and she wasn’t there. Not yet anyway. But the other fighters didn’t need to know that. Why give his plans away when it was much more fun and a bigger challenge to distract them from asking why exactly he’d decided to participate in the Spring Games after all this time?!
He just loved to keep people wondering about him and his intentions. And he also loved being the center of attention.
He had achieved both, judging by the reactions he elicited from everyone around him and the noise it resulted in. Gossip, indignation, gasps of shock and surprise greeted his ears from all sides. He ignored that. At least on the outside. Inwardly he reveled in it.
He knew he was driving them crazy and he couldn’t help but tease them a little more. He alerted the other contestants – and thereby the audience - to each Chosen virgin that arrived before they even noticed the girls. Then he let his gaze slide repentantly over their forms as if contemplating, but he never praised them outright.
And why should he?! He’d already found perfection exactly one year ago.
He’d seen her frolicking in the streets with her human female friends after the Spring Games – he’d not taken part in and she had obviously neither been chosen as mate nor taken one.
The tiny, beautiful and powerful blonde had immediately drawn his attention. Not just because she’d worn red. No. One look at her had been enough to rouse his need for her, enough to override the biological imperative to either stay away from her – the Chosen One, his natural enemy – or kill her. She was his mate, the one creature in the whole world completing and belonging solely to him.
The Powers That Be certainly had a wicked sense of humor, an abundance of irony where he was concerned.
Buffy’s brothers had served – two still did – under his command and he’d heard many stories about their family and Buffy from them, yet he’d never met her until that fateful night.
The irony didn’t stop there though.
Buffy was of the royal bloodline, a direct descendant of the last Vampire Slayer as the Chosen Ones had once been called when there’d been only one in the whole world per generation chosen to fight vampires and demons. And it was that very last Vampire Slayer Angelus had intended to kill centuries ago.
Barely in his 150s, bored with his Childer and his life in general, Angelus had set out to kill the Vampire Slayer.
It was a sport among vampires that was as popular as it was feared for only the strongest and most cunning survived an encounter with these warrior women. It was a testament to the power the Slayers wielded and a warning to never underestimate them even though they were female and more human than vampires.
But it was not only the glory, fame and prestige killing a Vampire Slayer brought and the fear and respect that came with it that attracted many reckless vampires. It was rumored that Slayer blood would enable a vampire to morph back into his human features. Although Angelus didn’t believe in this myth – and really why would vampires want to look like helpless humans!? - he couldn’t resist the alluring challenge besting a Vampire Slayer presented because he was too arrogant and cocky for his own good. Yet no one could deny he was cunning, strong and powerful for one so young as well.
He sought her out, stalked her for weeks, sired new Childer and minions left and right as he played a game of cat and mouse with her, teasing, provoking and testing her for he liked foreplay as much as the kill. And he just knew that her already potent blood would be so much sweeter and more powerful if he prolonged the chase and only drank her down once she’d reached full maturity.
But before he could destroy her and his only chance of ever finding his mate, his mad Childe Drusilla showed up. In a jealous fit the deranged vampires freed Acathla – a demon trapped in stone – and brought hell to earth.
Pure demons from another dimension overran the world, maiming, eating and killing everything that was not as pure as them: animals, humans and half-demons, vampires included.
Angelus and his clan fought the pure demons with all their might, killed dozens of them, but in the end he lost all his Childer and minions. The humans and all the other half-breeds didn’t fair much better. And it was then that he realized that as long as they all fought alone, they’d never win.
Irony reared its head and Angelus ended up helping the Slayer he’d meant to kill.
She and her group of potential Slayers and watchers had been searching for a powerful artifact called the Scythe. It was a weapon that had belonged to the very first Vampire Slayer and it was in Angelus’ possession. He gladly exchanged it for the Slayer’s guarantee to not kill him or any half-demons that agreed to help them fight.
Needing any help she could get, she quickly agreed.
The witch in the group used the Scythe to magically divide the Slayer’s power among all potentials. But the ritual not only affected the potentials, the caster herself was involuntarily turned into a goddess. And it was exactly what the army of humans and half-breeds needed to finally change the tide. They killed nearly all pure demons, but unfortunately some escaped. They went into hiding, procreated and returned, only to lose the next battle and all those that followed.
This never-ending circle continued into the present. And although there were losses on both sides, the humans and half-demons thrived, rebuilt cities and recreated society to fit their new lives, species intermingled and reproduced, but the most advantageous unions were those of Chosen Ones and half-breeds. They provided the future generations of formidable fighters.
But with this discovery the need to shelter the Chosen Ones arose. From then on they were under the obligation to remain within the walls surrounding their cities, but their male offspring and the other half-breeds went into battle, patrolled and defended the borders of the land or protected the city walls.
Their duties were organized in a shift system, but Angelus and the few other remaining vampires spent more time at the borders than anyone else. And if Angelus hadn’t needed to feed that fateful night of the Spring Games, he would’ve never met Buffy and he would’ve never participated in the games.
In every way.
And he didn’t mind.
He watched the roses she’d thrown rain down around him, then snatched the virgin red one from the air, mindless of the thorns pricking his skin and drawing blood. He closed his eyes, raised the blossom to his nose and inhaled deeply. Ignoring the heavy sweetness of the flower itself, he searched for any lingering trace of Buffy’s smell.
And yes, there it was.
Vanilla, peaches and innocence.
His eyes snapped open and immediately focused on her.
She gasped and froze on the spot, her nails digging into the mortar of the balustrade, hard enough to loosen a few small chunks.
Oh yes, she’d watched him. Just as he’d expected. And he’d make sure her sole attention remained on him.
He lowered the rose to his belt buckle and tucked it under, so that the petals brushed against the stomach and the long, thorny stem rested right above the fly of his leather pants.
She blushed deeply at the sight and then her eyes snapped back to his in indignation. She opened her mouth, no doubt meaning to reprimand him and he just grinned in response, baring his deadly fangs, and saluted her.
She gasped and took a step back in shock.
He suppressed a growl of pleasure.
He had to have her.
And he would.
There was no doubt in his mind and it was not undue arrogance either. He was the oldest, the strongest and most powerful creature among them all – pure demons excluded for no one knew if even one of the firsts was still alive – and only the witchgoddess came close, and she was at least 140 years younger than him.
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