Secrets & Lies


by: Lynn
Continuation of The Chains Series



Willow hit the save button and quickly printed out the newly translated entries. She stared at them again, her heart pounding as she called out, "Giles!"

He looked up at the urgency in her voice. "What is it?"

She handed him the printout. "Anne was in love with a vampire. The Master of Rouen."

His startled gaze met hers. "What?" He quickly began scanning the pages.

"It's all right there. His name was Guillaume. Giles, this could be what we've been looking for."

Giles nodded absently as he continued reading. "A Slayer and a vampire...the parallel between Angel and Buffy."

Willow said nothing. The name Guillaume kept repeating itself over and over in her mind. *Guillaume...William...William the Bloody...Spike. Is Guillaume the man in Buffy's dreams? Is Buffy dreaming about Anne's life?* She wanted more than anything to tell Giles, to let him know about Buffy's dreams, but she'd given her word that she wouldn't. Suddenly, she realized that Giles had been speaking.

"Keep translating, see how far you can get tonight. I'd like to have more information before Buffy comes in tomorrow."

Willow nodded. "I'll get back to work. I'm anxious to find out what happened to them." She hurried back to the journal and began trying to unravel the mystery of Anne and Guillaume's relationship.

~~~~~~~~~~~

From the Journal of Anne LeMaire

29 April, 1435

Guillaume and I have been meeting nearly every night- in stables, in the woods, anywhere that we can be alone. He must be careful that his followers do not find out about us. He cannot afford to lose control over them. Many of them are fledglings and would freely give in to the bloodlust, killing all in their path. He has a hold over them that prevents them from taking too many victims.

I have learned so much about him in such a short time. He did follow Jehanne's army, and he also spied for her under cover of the night. He said that being a vampire did not prevent him from being loyal to the Dauphin, nor did it prevent him from wanting what was best for his country. There is a nobility in him, a sense of honor that I would not have thought possible in his kind.

~~~~~~~~~~

6 May, 1435

I am fearful every day that Oncle Lucien or Tante Marie-Therese will take notice that something has changed. I have often wondered if I am somehow different, now that I am no longer a maiden...no longer pure. I still continue to slay the undead and other demons who dare to enter Rouen. Guillaume and I do not speak of it, just as we do not speak of his need to drink blood. We spend most of our time together making love, or talking of experiences that have nothing to do with being Slayer and vampire.

He is a tender lover and yet, there are times when we make love so fiercely, as if we are afraid it will be the last time. I know that I should feel shame for consorting with my enemy, but I do not. He is not a monster like the rest.

I have begun to wonder...could Guillaume still have his soul? Uncle Lucien says that the soul leaves when the demon takes over, but what if he is wrong? Guillaume controls his demon much of the time, only changing form when upset, or greatly aroused. Even then, the demon does not make him into an animal. He could have killed me many times over, and yet he has not.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

14 May, 1435

Oncle Lucien is wrong about vampires not having souls- he must be. Guillaume has a soul- I can see it clearly each time that I look at him. I can feel it when he is inside me, and when he drinks from me, I believe that my blood gives his soul strength.

Guillaume has said that he does not feel the bloodlust as he once did. That it has lessened since our first time together. I believe him, for there are far less dead than there was before we met. I know that he still feeds, but something prevents him from draining his victims. Part of me wants to tell Oncle Lucien about Guillaume, but I know that I cannot. I have no proof of his soul, there is only my belief that it is so.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She was lying next to a hard body, wrapped in a pair of strong arms. His hand stroked her hair and she snuggled closer, not minding the cold chill of his skin against hers. She softly spoke his name, just to hear the sound of it. "Guillaume, mon amour..."

His arms tightened around her and he pressed his lips to her forehead. "It is getting dangerous, cherie. He is going to find out if we are not careful. I should take you away from here."

"Non, I do not want to leave Marie-Therese. Not yet. Perhaps if Lucien knew that you had a soul..."

He frowned. "He would not believe you. Nosferatu are demons, that is all he knows."

"It does not matter...we know the truth." She smiled as her hand came up to stroke his cheek. " And now there is proof..."

Buffy's eyes shot open and she lay there for a moment, disoriented. Another dream- so vivid- just like the ones before. The words that she'd spoken echoed in her head. *Soul, proof...what proof?* Was she dreaming about Anne...or someone else?

She rolled over and her hand fell on the empty space next to her. "Spike?" Where was he? The clock read 3:30 am. There was plenty of time before dawn; he wouldn't have just left without saying goodbye. Hurriedly, she threw a nightshirt on and wrapped a blanket around herself, heading downstairs to look for him.

Spike wasn't anywhere on the first floor. Buffy checked the front porch and then walked around the side of the house to the back yard. He was facing away from her, sprawled in one of the heavy lawn chairs- head tilted back, smoking, as he gazed up at the sky. She silently moved closer, the damp grass cold against her bare feet.

He spoke without turning around. "You should be sleeping, pet. You're bloody exhausted as it is."

Buffy continued walking toward him. "I had another dream."

"I know." He turned his head to look at her as she stopped next to the chair. "You were talking in your sleep again." He took another drag on his cigarette, then tossed it away when she wrinkled her nose. "You didn't tell me that you were still having them."

"I didn't think it mattered."

Spike opened his arms and Buffy climbed into his lap, still wrapped in the blanket. "What's wrong, Spike? Why did you come out here alone?" She lay her head on his chest and he rested his chin on top of it.

"You said a name this time. Guillaume."

"That's the man in my dreams. The one that I thought was you." She looked up at him, puzzled by the closed expression on his face. She was unprepared for what he said next.

"When you were in L.A., I had a dream about a girl. A Slayer. We were in a stable...she called me Guillaume." He felt her stiffen in his arms and she pulled back, studying his face in the moonlight.

"I- I had a dream like that, in a stable. We were making love..." The chill night air made her shiver and she burrowed against him again, her face in the crook of his neck.

"What in the bloody hell is going on, Slayer? How can we be having the same dreams?" He would have understood if it had been Drusilla. She had sometimes been able to do that, get into his dreams, get inside his head. But this was the Slayer. It shouldn't be possible- neither of them had that kind of power.

"I don't know." Buffy took a deep breath. "Willow and Giles are translating journals belonging to a Watcher and Slayer from the fifteenth century- Anne LeMaire and Lucien Aubry. They're in French."

"And you think- ?"

She shrugged. "I don't know if they have anything to do with my dreams. But I felt so strange when I touched the Slayer's journal, as if it belonged to me. And her name, Anne...it's my middle name."

"Guillaume is French for William." He sighed. "This is all too fucking weird, pet. I know this is the Hellmouth, but-" Spike shook his head.

"I need to see if Willow found out anything else. Maybe the journals will tell us what's going on." She shivered again, and he tightened his embrace.

"You're cold, luv...let's go back inside." He stood up and carried her back into the house, back to her waiting bed. They still had an hour or so before he had to leave. An hour that he wasn't about to waste worrying about bloody stupid dreams that he had no control over. An hour that could be better spent buried deep inside her, where he belonged.


****************


In the library later that afternoon, Buffy put the pages she had been reading down on the table and stared into space.

She had slept for half of the day, arriving at school a short time ago to find Willow bouncing up and down with excitement. Giles had stepped out for a moment, giving the two girls some time alone to go over the journal entries. Now, Buffy sat there, stunned at what she'd found.

Willow looked at the Slayer in concern, not liking the blank look on her face. "Buffy? Are you all right?" She laid her hand on the Slayer's arm and sighed with relief when the girl responded, her eyes coming back into focus as she turned to look at the redhead.

Buffy shook her head slightly. "I- I don't understand." She looked back down at the papers in front of her. "I dreamt this, all of it. The man in my dreams...I call him Guillaume. And Spike told me that he dreamt about a Slayer who called him that. It has to be- but how could it?" Her eyes were huge as she stared Willow. "How can it be possible that Spike and I are having the same dreams, about people who lived five hundred years ago?"

"I don't know how it's possible, but maybe it's time we told Giles- "

"No! I can't, not yet. Not until we know more. Please, Willow, don't tell him..." Buffy pleaded.

Willow closed her eyes, sighing. "All right. I won't tell yet. But eventually, he's gonna have to know. You can't keep this from him forever."

"I know...and I will tell him, soon. I promise." Buffy ran her fingers over the pages. "The dream I had this morning...I said there was proof...proof that Guillaume had a soul."

"Really? I haven't come across anything yet. There must be something in later entries..." Willow looked at the clock and jumped up. "Ack! I have to go meet Oz. We're going to dinner and then to the Bronze...Dingoes are playing tonight, are you gonna come?"

Buffy shook her head. "Not tonight. I have to patrol and then meet Spike. I need to tell him about the journals."

Willow looked at her closely. "If you're sure..."

"I'm sure."

"Okay, but if you change your mind..." At Buffy's nod, Willow continued, "I'll do some more translating tomorrow. We'll find your proof, don't worry." She gave Buffy a reassuring smile and turned to grab her things. "Tell Giles I'll see him in the morning, kay?" Willow looked at the clock once more and said goodbye, hurrying so that she wouldn't be late.

"Bye, Will." Buffy's gaze drifted back to the journal entries.

*Guillaume...Spike...Anne...me. What happened to them? What's going to happen to us?* A tear snuck out of the corner of her eye and she listlessly brushed it away. Her life felt like it was spinning out of control, and she suspected that it was only going to get worse.


Oz took Willow's hand and led her to the dance floor as a slow song came over the sound system. The Dingoes had finished an early set, which left the rest of his evening free to do as he pleased. And right now, what pleased him was dancing with his girlfriend.

I love the time and in between the calm inside me
In the space where I can breathe
I believe there is a distance I have wandered
To touch upon the years of reaching out and reaching in

Willow sighed with pleasure as he took her in his arms, resting her head against his and winding her arms around his neck as they swayed to the music. All she could think about was how perfectly they fit together, and how wonderfully right everything seemed when he held her. She snuggled closer and smiled dreamily as she listened to the song that seemed chosen just for them.

Holding out, holding in
I believe this is heaven to no one else but me
And I'll defend it as long as I can be
Left here to linger in silence

Oz rubbed his cheek against Willow's hair and breathed in her scent- so clean and fresh, with just the faintest hint of apple. Since becoming a werewolf, he'd noticed a higher awareness of all of his senses- not to mention a greater need for physical contact.

I know this love is passing time
Passing through like liquid
I am drunk in my desire...

He often found himself burying his face in Willow's hair, nuzzling her neck at the pulse point, or just letting his fingers roam over her silky soft skin. Wolf traits- pack behavior, he knew from his research. It was becoming more and more difficult to keep from claiming Willow as his mate- in every way possible. He wondered if she knew just how much he and the wolf wanted her.

But I love the way you smile at me
I love the way your hands reach out
And hold me near
I believe

A low rumbling sound was coming from deep in Oz's chest. Willow smiled and wondered if Oz was even aware of it. She had noticed that he sometimes made small animal noises of contentment when he held her or kissed her. It gave her a warm feeling in her belly when he did that...and often led to her imagining the two of them rolling around naked together, like puppies. She'd never admitted it to anyone, but she liked some of his wolf qualities. Especially the ones that drove him to nuzzle her as he was doing now.

I believe
This is heaven to no one else but me

Unconsciously, Willow began nuzzling him back, rubbing her face in the hollow of his throat. Oz tightened his hold around her as he felt himself harden. The heady scent of her arousal hit him then, and he knew that it wouldn't be long before they passed the point of no return. Already, their makeout sessions were growing more passionate, more desperate. He'd been ready ages ago and hadn't wanted to rush her, but now, it finally seemed as though she had caught up with him. A slight whimper escaped his lips as he brushed them across hers. *Soon, please, baby...I don't know how much longer I can hold out.*

Oh the quiet child awaits the day
When she can break free the mold
That clings like desperation

Willow felt his hardness pressing against her and she shivered at the pleasure of it. She knew that things were changing between her and Oz- getting more serious, more passionate- and she welcomed it. 'Carpe diem', she'd told Buffy once. Seizing was becoming as inevitable for her as it had been for the Slayer. She almost giggled at the thought. She, Willow Rosenberg- the good one- was going to have sex. And probably soon, by the looks of things. It felt right, and she wanted it so much, more than she had ever thought possible.

It was true that she'd fantasized about Giles, but that was all it was- fantasy. Oz was real. Real and warm and hard- *So very hard...how can he stand it?* He'd been so patient with her. Willow remembered a time when she'd despaired of ever getting smoochies. *How long ago that seems. So many things have changed since then.*

She sighed and sank further into Oz, letting her fingers play with the hair at the back of his neck. It had been such a perfect evening that she was sorry to see it end. But she'd promised to be home early tonight and since her mom was actually paying attention for once, she didn't want to disappoint her. *One more dance and then we'll go...just one more...*

I believe This is heaven to no one else but me
And I'll defend it as long as I can be
Left here to linger in silence...


****************


Buffy paced around her room impatiently- picking up her stuffed animals, putting them back down, glancing toward the clock- waiting...waiting for Spike. It was already nearly midnight, where the hell could he be?

She had finished patrolling an hour ago and figured that he'd be waiting for her when she returned. She was anxious to show him the journal entries, although she wasn't sure what his reaction would be. And she still needed to find out what the so-called 'proof' was, before she could tell him that he still had his soul. Hopefully, Willow would come across the information tomorrow, when she continued the translation.

Buffy looked at the phone and sighed for the twentieth time. Where was he?


****************


Oz and Willow were driving home in comfortable silence, just listening to the radio. It was still early- not even midnight, yet. Oz liked it when the band played the first set; it gave him more time to spend with Willow.

She had already told him about the journals and Buffy's response and he had agreed with her decision to abide by the Slayer's wishes. "They always shoot the messenger," was what he'd said. And he was right- there was nothing to be gained by telling Giles, only friendships to be lost.

Oz broke the silence, saying casually, "How does a picnic next Saturday sound, at Breaker's Woods?" He was staring straight ahead; the only sign of tension was the tightening of his hands on the steering wheel.

Willow looked over at him. "The whole gang?"

"Actually, I was thinking it would be nice if it was, you know, just the two of us." He glanced over at her and his lips quirked up in that half-smile that always made her heart skip a couple of beats.

Willow swallowed and tried not to squeak as she answered, "It sounds wonderful." *We're going to do it, we're going to do it...*

Oz started to say something else, but was interrupted by a thump and slight listing of the van, signaling a blown tire. "Damn!" he swore, and pulled over, casting uneasy glances out the window at the street around them.

They were still in the industrial district, surrounded by factories and warehouses- not the ideal place to be stopping your vehicle. The broken windows of the deserted buildings only added to the sinister feel of the place. Oz considered trying to make it home on a flat tire, but quickly discarded that idea as he calculated the cost of a new rim. "Stay in the van," he ordered, reaching behind the seat for his tools.

"I'm coming with you," Willow replied calmly.

"Willow, don't argue-"

"Forget it, Oz. You're not going alone. Besides, you need someone to keep an eye out...and hand you stuff." She smiled, then opened the door and stepped out, pulling her cross from her pocket. Oz ran a hand through his hair in frustration and followed her, trying to see into the dark alleyways around them. It was quiet...almost too quiet.

As they walked around the van, Oz couldn't shake the feeling that they were being watched. He opened the back and pulled out the spare, stiffening as the hair on the back of his neck rose, alerting him to danger. "Willow, get out of here," he said softly.

"What-?" She turned to look at him and caught the movement out of the corner of her eye. Shadows in the distance, creeping between the buildings. *No, oh please, not now...* she pleaded silently as she moved closer to Oz, her cross held in a death grip.

"There are too many of them, you have to run," Oz said under his breath. *Ambush, fuck! They must have followed us.* He was trying to calculate how much time they had before the vampires struck.

Willow shook her head vehemently. "I'm not leaving you-" Oz grabbed her arm, his fingers biting into her skin painfully. "Listen to me, Willow...you're getting the fuck out of here now! I'm not gonna let anything happen to you..." He pulled her close for a quick, hard kiss. "I love you." His green gaze was luminescent in the darkness.

Willow's eyes filled with tears. "Oz..." she choked out.

He gave her a shove in the opposite direction. "Go..." At her hesitation, he growled, his voice no longer human. "GO!" He pushed her hard and turned to face the coming onslaught, determined to stay between them and Willow.

Willow stumbled, then righted herself, trying to see through her tears. She took off in the direction that Oz had pointed her to...and ran right into one of the vampires.

She screamed and out of reflex, shoved her cross in his face, feeling satisfaction at the sizzling sound it made when it connected with undead flesh. The vampire screeched and threw up his hands, giving her the opportunity to slip by him. She ran as fast as she could, the word 'coward' playing itself over and over in her head.

Oz counted six of them and swore silently. He tightened his grip on the stake in his hand and braced himself. He knew that unless help arrived, he was fucked, but he was going to do his damnedest to take some of them with him. The thought ran through his mind that it was too bad he didn't have more control over the change. As a wolf, he'd have a lot better chance of getting out of this alive.

They came closer, flanking him on all sides. The vampires were young in appearance, mostly teens, probably fledglings. It didn't make them any less dangerous. He slid the cross from his pocket and held it out in front of him, moving it slowly back and forth, trying to keep them all within his line of vision.

The vampire directly in front of him smiled. "I wonder if the Slayer's friends taste better than the rest of the cattle around here?"

Displaying an outward calm that he didn't feel, Oz replied, "Would you believe me if I said no?"

The vampire shook his head, still smiling. "No."

Without warning, one of vampires rushed at Oz, hitting him in the side, while another rolled toward his legs. The cross was knocked from his hand and he went down hard, still gripping the stake. Oz curled into a ball and then sprang up, driving the stake into the chest of one of his attackers. *One down.*

While his back was turned, the others closed in and as one, they rushed him. Oz felt his joints pop as his arms were wrenched painfully out of their sockets and he was forced to the ground. The vampires swarmed over him, teeth bared, laughing evilly as he looked up into their yellow eyes. *Game over.*

Oz focused on the one that had spoken earlier, figuring him for the leader. "You do know that this is gonna royally piss off the Slayer, don't you?" he said through gritted teeth, stalling for time.

The leader laughed. "That's what I'm counting on. She killed our Sire and now you get to pay for it." He leaned closer, saying as he did, "Feeding time boys. Let's remember to share..."

Oz tried desperately to will the change, using his pain and fear as a motivator. He felt a shifting in his bones, but it was too little, too late as fangs tore open his wrists and throat. An unearthly sound echoed in the deserted street- half howl, half scream- that was suddenly choked off under an arc of crimson that sprayed from punctured arteries.

Pain. Like a thousand needles stabbing into him, he felt their fangs rend his flesh. They were ripping his skin as they fed savagely, sometimes snarling at each other as they jostled for position. Like hyenas- feral and bloodthirsty- completely mindless in the face of their ravening hunger. He felt transported by the pain, as if he was watching his last moments from a distance, dimly registering the sucking and swallowing sounds that drifted into the air around him.

As his lifeblood drained away, Oz consoled himself with the knowledge that Willow was safe. He'd protected her, and that was all that mattered. The pain that had been so intense just moments before was fading, leaving behind a numbness that spread through his entire body. His last conscious thought was regret that he'd waited to make Willow his mate. That he never had the chance to taste all of her, to bury himself inside her. Never got the chance to show her how much he really loved her. *WillowWillowWillowWillow...*


****************


Willow stopped running after a couple of blocks and just stood there gasping, tears running down her face. Her hands were clenched in fists, as fear, anger and shame all threatened to overwhelm her. *I just left him there, left him to die...*

Taking a deep breath, she steeled herself and turned back in the direction of the van, ignoring the stabbing pain in her side as she ran. *Please be all right, Oz...please, oh god, don't be dead...*

As she neared the street where she'd left him, Willow slowed and moved into the shadows, trying to find a way to get close without being noticed. She spotted an alley and crept down it as silently as possible. It opened up right near where the van was parked, affording her a clear view of the street. Willow slunk down behind some boxes and peered through the spaces between them and the building.

Oz was lying on the ground, motionless. The vampires were feeding on him- from his arms, his throat, his thighs. Willow choked back a sob. *Too many, I can't do anything...stop, please stop...* She shoved her fist in her mouth to keep from screaming, wanting to close her eyes, but unable to look away.

One of them stood up and wiped his hand across his mouth. His voice carried to the alley as he looked down at Oz, saying, "Werewolf blood...now that's some powerful shit! Better than that Wiccan we caught last week..." He looked up at his followers. "This should send a message to the Slayer...and let Spike know that he's finished as Master. It's time to take control and do what should have been done months ago...kill the bitch who staked our Sire."

*Werewolf...* It suddenly occured to Willow that werewolves were hard to kill. *Do they have to be in wolf-form?* Would he survive being drained? A tiny thread of hope began winding its way through her. *C'mon, Oz...you can make it. Please don't die...* If only the vamps would leave!

The leader pulled something from his pocket and tossed it to one of the others. "Here, don't forget to finish the job. Just in case." He grinned as the minion raised the silver knife and plunged it into Oz's heart.

*NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!* She didn't know how she managed to keep the scream from hurtling into the air. The tears flowed freely as her body slumped to the ground behind the boxes, fist still in her mouth to stifle the sobs building in her throat.

The vampires laughed as they walked off into the night, leaving behind a scene of carnage. When she was positive they wouldn't be returning, Willow let the first of many moans escape her. "Oz..." She stumbled to her feet and ran to him, dropping to the ground and cradling his head in her lap. There was so much blood...

"Oz, no...please...you can't...don't leave me...OOOZZZZ!!!" Her anguished wail rang in the street around her as she rocked and moaned, combing her fingers through his blood matted hair. And the words of self-loathing began to slam through her brain, over and over.. *Coward...coward...coward...coward...*


Continued