I smile softly as I watch Giles walk away towards the ambulance. Wesley is inside, whimpering and moaning. I shake my head in amusement, amazed at all the fuss he was making over a few bruises and scratches.
Suddenly I feel a tingle up my spine, a chill of anticipation, my Slayer senses are on red alert. I turn slowly, my eyes searching for what my body can already feel. I look through the smoke and the crowd of people milling around the emergency vehicles, I know he is here somewhere, waiting, watching, just like he always does.
Then I see him, a few yards away shrouded in smoke, his dark clothing helping him blend into the night. I swallow the suddenly painful lump in my throat as I stare at him, I can’t look away, I’m afraid if I blink he will just disappear. His eyes are bright, and I realize he is struggling not to cry.
This comes as a surprise, he is always so in control, so calm and collected, the only other time I have seen him close to tears was that time on the cliff, when the first evil tormented him with visions of those he had murdered.
He is not in control now. I sigh softly, and wipe a stray tear from my cheeks, he always made it sound so easy and I hated him for that. I hated how he could just walk away, and not seem to care. Clearly I was wrong; obviously love has the same profound all-consuming effect on vampires as it does on humans.
It makes me wonder just how much this affects him, how much of all this sorrow and rage and misery is just simmering under the surface, waiting to be released…
It’s been tough; god has it been tough! It was touch and go there for a while; at times I wasn’t sure I would make it. I didn’t think I could live without him, I didn’t want to live without him!
But now I realize that it’s for the best, Nothing but pain and misery can come from us being together, no one can be expected to put up with that, not even a Slayer or a vampire with a soul. Everyone deserves some happiness, and if that means we need to stay apart…well…then I think it is for the best. Our love consumed us, like a fire it burned and burned until all that was left was a pile of ashes.
I’m crying softly as I watch him turn and walk away into the night. It won’t be the last time I see him, but things will be different now. They will always be different now… as much as it hurts I need to let him go. I let the fire consume me; I let it turn me to ash. Now it’s time to be reborn, like a phoenix, I will rise from the ashes…
And I’ll be stronger for it.