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Chapter Twenty Three

"There's nothing here, B. It's dead. Like really dead." Of course it's dead, it's a cemetery. And since when does Faith say 'like really dead?' It sounds really weird. I think we've been hanging out too much. That's right, Faith and I have been hanging out everyday for the last week, and things are pretty perfect.

"Let's just look for a little longer, ok?" We've patrolled every cemetery tonight, and we've found nothing. No demons, no vampires, not even any stray dogs or cats. I hate it when the hell mouth is quiet. It always means something is coming, and I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the Nazi vamps.

"You're so tense, B," she says and I glance over at her. She has that little smirk on her face that means she's up to no good. She grabs onto my arm and we both stop walking. She looks into my eyes and hers are so intense right now, and I know exactly what she's thinking. "Why don't you let me help you unwind?" God, she could not be any sexier right now if she tried. She tries to kiss me, but I pull away.

Remember when I said things were 'pretty perfect'? Well pretty perfect doesn't mean absolutely perfect. I don't really know what's wrong with me, but I just can't have sex with Faith. I want to, and she wants to, but there's just something that feels really weird about it. We made out a little bit yesterday and it felt so wrong, and dirty. Deep down I know what the problem is but I'm too afraid to say.

"What's wrong, B? We're all alone, not a living thing is around. So what's the problem?" I don't want to just be your sex buddy. That's the problem. I'm in love with her, and I know she loves me. She said so herself at Willow's house that time we spent the night. I don't want to be her dirty little secret that she writes down on a post card and uses it to block her face for some lame video by a dumb band. But I don't say any of that.

"It's just really weird to do that here. It's a cemetery. We should respect the dead, not have sex by their graves." The look in her eyes changes a little. There's still plenty of lust, but now there's something else that I can't quite put my finger on.

"Last time you didn't seem to mind." What the fuck did she just say? "Come on, B, let's see if I can make you scream again." In the blink of an eye she's kissing me. Her arms wrap around me, and her hands instantly go to my shoulder blades and ass. I hate that this feels so good because it makes that much harder to say no. By a sheer act of God I pull back from that very hot kiss.

"Faith, no," I say and I sound very breathless. Probably because I can't seem to catch my breath. She looks turned on, and confused, and a little irritated. She deserves to know how I really feel. I know she does, but I just can't force myself to say the words. So instead I say, "Last time it was the heat of the moment. I completely forgot where we were. The next time we're together…like that, I want it to be in a house. A bed preferably." She sighs and the confused look goes away.

"Alright, B. You win." She sounds frustrated and it hurts a little bit. I know she's not mad at me. At least I hope she's not mad at me. I think she's just frustrated because she has all this pent up sexual need, and she hasn't had any release. She leaves a little kiss on my lips and lets me go.

"Want to go to the Bronze? I think a band from LA is playing there tonight." We haven't been to the Bronze together in a while. Once or twice since I declared my love for her but that was only so Xander and Willow wouldn't get all suspicious. I really want to dance with her, and maybe this time I won't use the L word and she won't storm off.

"No. I don't really feel like going tonight." I feel her eyes scan my body, and I can't help but shiver at the feeling. "There's nothing out here tonight, B. I'm gonna call it a night. Sam's probably still awake buggin your mom. Maybe I'll read her a couple stories or somethin." I nod my head a little bit and look down at my shoes. "You comin?" I would be if I could just let myself be with you.

"No. I'm not ready to go home yet. I'm gonna check out the Bronze and see if that band is playing." She says goodnight and I say it back, and just like that she's gone. I let out a very

frustrated sigh, and start walking. I'm not really going to the Bronze, but I didn't want her to feel bad about leaving me alone. I don't like going to the Bronze by myself. That's just plain depressing. So I think I'll just walk around for a little while.

Not a whole lot has happened in the last week but at the same time tons has happened. Yeah, I'm just as confused. Things between Faith and my mom have definitely changed. After my mom got home from her trip Faith had a talk with her in the kitchen while I watched Sam upstairs. I was up there for two hours and when I came down for something to drink they were in the living room, Faith was curled up against my mom, and she was asleep. The tear stains on her face made it obvious that she cried until she passed out.

Ever since then Faith and my mom have been even closer then they were before. I really don't want to think this because when I do I'm filled with a very violent rage, but I think maybe my mom was abused by someone too. It would explain why they're so close now.

Faith is definitely treating my mom more like a mom, which I don't mind. The other night I heard Faith crying so I got up to go comfort her, but I opened my door just in time to see her sneaking into my mom's room. I know it's sad and everything that she was crying, but Faith sneaking into my mom's room like a little kid was pretty cute. Just don't tell her I said that.

Willow and Xander are starting to get suspicious. They haven't been to my house since Faith moved in, and every time they suggest coming over I always suggest something else. Plus Willow is totally fishing for info about me and Faith. I guess she thinks something is up. I would too. Ok, so first I totally hate Faith, and then we become sort of friends and she starts hanging out with us more, then she stops coming around altogether, and now we're like BFF's or something.

Willow is definitely getting jealous of that little development. She hasn't said anything but I can tell. Whenever Faith comes around Willow always gets all tense and uppity. And whenever Faith suggests we do something together Willow jumps in and says something like "me and Buffy are going to study tonight, right Buff?" And then Faith gets this irritated look on her face, and then they start bickering about the dumbest stuff. Why can't they just get along?

Things between me and Faith are definitely different. You saw what happened earlier, right? There was potential for some hot girl on girl action, of course you were paying attention. Like I said before, I really want to be with her but I want it to be for real. I don't want anymore secrets. I feel like I'm suffocating I'm keeping so many already.

I guess a big part of that is because Faith still isn't over Tanner. They were together for a long time, and they had a kid together. It's going to take more then a week for her to move on. And when I'm with her, when we make love, I want her to be mine. I don't want her heart to be anyone else's. Well, ok, Sam gets a piece too, but you get what I mean, right? I don't want to sound selfish, it just happens.

I do feel like I'm being crushed, though. It isn't just the Faith stuff either. Those vampires are still out there, and they took another little girl. Well, it's safe to say that they did it. We won't know for sure until I find them. Giles told me that I have to kill them if they've been turned, and I told him I could, but I don't know if I can or not.

Everything is just piling up, and I feel like I can't breathe. I know Faith is a slayer too so she shares the responsibility, but I've been doing this alone for so long, what if I can't let part of the burden go? What if I always feel like this is all mine to take care of? Those little girls are dead, ripped away from their families, and it's all my fault. It's all my fault. It's all my fault. It's all my fault.

When I start climbing the tree I'm on total auto pilot. I've done this probably a thousand times before. Everything is getting to be too much. I just can't take it anymore. If I try to keep all of this bottled up inside I know something bad is going to happen. Either I'll have some type of mental breakdown, or be distracted while I'm patrolling and die. And trust me that would suck.

I take a deep breath and gather up as much courage as I can. How come I can slay vampires, kill demons, and save the earth from certain doom without thinking twice but when it

comes to the normal teenage girl stuff I'm just as lost as everyone else? It's almost like I'm stuck inside a TV show. It'll show me slay vampires by night, go to school by day, and every season will have a different shot of me looking totally badass at the end of the opening credits. Yeah right. Like anyone would want to watch that.

I knock on the door and instantly my palms start sweating really bad. Why am I so fucking nervous? I've never been this nervous before. At least not because of being here. Coming here has always made me feel a little safer. Like as soon as I step inside those French doors it's harder for the things I'm afraid of to get me. The door opens and I can't stop myself from holding my breath.

"Buffy, hi. Not that it's not nice to see you, but what are you doing here in the middle of the night?" Willow asks and gives me one of those little Willow-smiles. I guess she's just trying to let me know she's joking. She knows sometimes I need some best friend time after a long night's patrol.

"Oh, you know, just stopped by to see a certain perky redhead. I could really use some perkiness right about now," I say and she steps to the side so I can have space to walk into the room. I sit down on the foot of the bed, and watch her close the door. Now that I'm in here I have no idea what to say.

"So how was patrol tonight? Kill any big nasties or just the normal variety?" she asks. I give her a little smile, and she sits down at her desk but turns in the chair so she can face me.

"A big fat zero on both. It seems like ever since those vampires showed up all of the other baddies disappeared. I don't know if I should be glad that the death rate is slowing down or worried about what it could mean. I just…don't really want to think about it anymore." She gives me an understanding nod, but then her eyebrows furrow a little.

"Yeah, I can see your point. You have enough stuff on your mind with everything else that's going on." I can tell she wants to say something but for whatever reason she's holding back. I know exactly what to do in this type of situation: say nothing and eventually she'll crack. About a minute goes of silence goes by and then she sighs. "So did you patrol with Faith tonight?" I nod and now she looks a little nervous.

I know exactly what she's doing. She's trying to pump me for information without actually pumping. Ok, that came out totally wrong. She's asking me to spill my guts, and tell her what's been going on with Faith and me without actually saying 'I know something's been going on, now spill'. And I came here with every intention to tell her everything, but now that I'm sitting here I know I can't. Telling her those things would hurt Faith, and that's the last thing I want to do.

"You and Faith have been hanging out a lot lately." Again all I do is nod. I'm afraid if I open my mouth then I'll let something slip and I really don't want to do that. "Look, I don't really know how to say this." Oh God, she knows. How did she find out? Oh my God. "But if you want Faith to be your best friend now then I get it. I don't like it, but you guys have more in common 'cause of the slaying. So you don't have to be sneaky about it." What the fuck?

"Willow, no. I don't want Faith to be my best friend." She gives me a skeptical look. "You're Willow, why would I want anyone else for the job?" I raise my eyebrow a little bit but I keep going before she can answer. "Faith and I have been getting a little closer, and a little friendlier." Totally friendlier. As in 'I wanna see you naked'. "But that doesn't mean she could ever replace you, and I don't want her to try." She gets that type of smile on her face when her tongue sticks out a little bit and that makes me smile.

"Ok, but Buff, something has definitely been going on, right? I can't figure out exactly what, but there's something about the way you two look at each other that just screams there's something going on." The smile is gone and now she's a mix of curiosity and concern. Those two things put together can lead to her resolve face, and that's never a good thing.

"There is something," I say, and look down at my fingernails. Wow, I have a lot of dirt under there. I'm going to have to start scrubbing under them to get all of that dirt out. Ok, I need

to stop avoiding this. The only way I'm going to feel better is by talking about it. That's what everyone is always saying, right? Conflict resolution and whatnot.

"What is it, Buffy? You can tell me. You can tell me anything," she says and sits down on the bed next to me. I know I can tell her most things. I can't tell her the whole story. But I have to try and tell her as much as possible. She's my best friend, if anyone can help me with this problem it's her.

"I can't tell you everything," I say, and she looks like she's going to get upset. "I want to tell you everything, but I promised Faith I would keep some things to myself. I can't break those promises." She nods a little, and I sigh in relief that she understands, and isn't going to make a big deal out of it.

"Ok, so what can you tell me?" she sounds a little hurt, and I think I know why. We're best friends. Best friends are supposed to tell each other everything, and I'm keeping things from her, and she knows I have to. I know Willow very well, so I know she'll want to ask, and not asking might drive her a little crazy. I do feel bad about keeping things from her, but I can't break my promise.

"I think…." Oh come on, you big coward, just say it! "I don't just think, I know, that I'm in love with Faith." There I said it. I stare at my lap and don't say another word. I don't think Willow's breathing anymore. I shouldn't have told her. She's going to think I'm some weird freak now.

"Ok, that was really unexpected. Because you're a girl, and she's a girl, and you've never been in love with a girl before. At least not that you've told me." Oh yeah, she's totally freaking out. I should've just kept my mouth shut. "But I guess if you take the fact that she's a girl out of the equation, it's not that surprising. You didn't really like her when she got here and complained that she bugged you. And you did the same things with Angel." Wow, didn't see that coming.

"It's not the same," I say, and look at her face for the first time since I admitted my love for Faith. "Will, I think I screwed up and I don't know what to do." She looks even more concerned then before, and I can see the panic and shock start to leave her eyes. I'm still freaking out a little from actually telling her. I don't think I can say the rest. "If you're freaked out I can just go." I go to get up but she puts her hand on my arm and I stop.

"I'm not freaked," she says and I give her a skeptical look. "Ok, so I'm a little freaked, but I'll get over it. You can still tell me anything, Buffy." She stops talking and I nod my head a little. I don't say anything though. I don't know why this is so hard, but I can't change the fact that it is. "Why do you think screwed up? What happened?" I don't even know where to begin. "Did you tell her that you love her?" Yay, an easy question.

"Yeah, I did. I didn't mean to it just sort of slipped out, and she completely freaked. She wouldn't talk to me after that. Remember that night at the Bronze when Faith and I were dancing and she stormed out? That's when I said it." Her eyebrows almost touch her hairline, and her eyes get a little big.

"That was a month ago, Buffy," she says, and she sounds a little hurt. I guess she thought it happened tonight or maybe a couple of days ago. I feel bad for making her feel this way, but what else was I supposed to do?

"There's more," I say, and run a hand through my hair. This is the part that she's really not going to like. "About a week before I told her I love her, we…." I trail off and give her a meaningful look. Hopefully she'll get it. And apparently she does because her eyes just tripled in size. If they were opened any wider they'd fall out of her head.

"You had sex with Faith?" she asks and puts emphasis on every word. I sigh and nod my head. I can practically hear the wheels turning inside her brain. "Oh my God, I don't even know what to say, or think, or what to feel. I mean, this is like huge, and I can't believe you didn't tell me. Why didn't you tell me?" She sounds curious, so she's taking it better then I thought she would.

"It's just so damn complicated, Will. We didn't mean for it to happen, it just happened. She didn't want anybody to find out, and we couldn't be together. She has…." Fuck, almost slipped. That would've been bad. "…a lot of stuff going on. But now things are different and she wants to be with me again, and I want to be with her too, I really do, but I don't just want to be a sex buddy."

"Ok, ok, Buffy, breathe. I think you just stole my title of fasted talker in the world." I can't help but smile for a second, but then I go back to being confused and frustrated. "Do you know if Faith has feelings for you or not?" I take in a deep breath, and it actually calms me down a little.

"Yeah, she does. But she thought I was asleep. She told me to stop thinking that she hates me because she loves me, but she hasn't said anything officially. I'm just so lost. I want to be with her, but it just doesn't feel right. I don't know what it would mean to her." I sigh a very deep, emoish sigh, and rub my face with both my hands.

"I know I'm stating the obvious, but the only way you're going to know for sure is if you talk to her about it," she says and I can hear the little smile on her face. "I hate to bring this up and make even more confused, but what are you going to do about Scott? If you're all in love with Faith, shouldn't you break up with him? I mean, you kinda did cheat on him. And by 'kinda' I mean 'totally, completely'." Make me feel worst why doncha? Willow is a really good friend, but she knows how to make a person feel horrible about themselves.

"I'm going to break up with him. I never really wanted to date him in the first place. I was just trying to distract myself from all of the confusing feelings I had for Faith." She nods her head a little and I can tell by the look on her face that she wants to ask me something. "What?" She blushes a little bit, and looks all shy.

"How was it?" How was what? She's totally confusing me right now. "When you and Faith…" she gives me the same meaningful look that I gave her. "…what was it like?" I can't believe she just asked me that question. I blush and smile as I think back and remember what it was like having Faith on top of me like that.

"It was…intense, and amazing. Everything happened so fast, but when we started to…." I trail off and blush about a thousand times more then I already was. "It felt like time stopped, and everything just melted away. She made me feel so…I can't even describe it. It just felt so right, like our bodies were made for each other, and well, I already told you that I want to be with her again."

"Wow," she says with this total awestruck voice. I guess I got a little carried away with the description. "Well my official best friend advice would be to talk to her. You need to tell her what you want so she doesn't have different expectations." She's right. The only way to resolve this is by talking to Faith about it instead of giving her lame excuses for why I won't have sex with her.

"I think that's what I'm going to do. She's probably still awake. She was a little frustrated tonight so she probably won't be able to fall asleep for a while." I hope I don't walk in on her doing anything dirty…nevermind, I totally hope I walk in on her doing something dirty. That would be so hot to see.

"Ok, but don't you think you should break up with Scott first?" she asks and she's wearing her worried face that reminds me of my mom when I tell her I can do my homework later, and it's already nine o'clock at night.

"I'm not going to put it off forever, but I want to talk to her tonight while I'm still determined. If I put it off I might chicken out." I know if I put it off for after I break up with Scott then I'll chicken out. Then again, if Faith rejects me and she doesn't want to be more then sex buddies, then I might not break up with Scott. Ok, don't think that far ahead or you will chicken out.

"When it comes to talking to people about your feelings, you do tend to resemble poultry," she says with a teasing smile on her face. I roll my eyes and the look on her face changes. "Oh stop, you know I'm just teasing." The look on her face changes again, only this

time she looks serious. "Are you going to tell your mom that you're a lesbian? Or bisexual? Or…what are you exactly?" Good question. I think 'head case' sums it up nicely.

"I have no idea. A bisexual, I guess. I've never felt this way about another girl before, let alone slept with one. And I'm still attracted to some guys, but Faith is the only one I really want." She has a little smirk on her face and I know exactly what it means. "Go ahead, let it out."

"Awwwww, you're so cute. I can so see it now: you and Faith walking thorough all the cemeteries hand in hand, and going out for ice cream afterwards and getting one big milkshake and drinking out of it with two straws. She'll make a joke about her little double h rule and you'll blush and look away. She'll make you stakes and let you use that knife she takes almost everywhere, and you'll braid flowers into her hair, and read her love poems." I roll my eyes and sigh.

"Ok, that's enough. You better not tell any of that to Faith. She might die laughing," I say around my giggles. I can totally picture us doing all of those things that Willow just mentioned, and I have to admit it sounds really nice. I think the only way I'll ever get Faith to let me braid flowers in her hair is with sexual favors.

"You do realize that if you start dating and you tell Xander he's going to die from dehydration from all the drooling, right?" she says, and we both start laughing. Oh man, I can see the look on his face now. His eyes will get all big, and his mouth will hang open, and he'll be totally speechless. Then the shock will wear off, and he'll probably make a joke about a threesome, and ask for details. After we calm down, I give Willow a big hug.

"Thanks for letting me hang out. I feel tons better," I say, and she hugs me back. That was totally cheesy, but I had to say it. Talking actually made me feel a little better, and she helped me get all determined about talking to Faith. "Ok, hug fest over." We both laugh and I stand up. "I should go. I need to talk to Faith before she goes to bed." I leave Willow's house with tingly anticipation growing in my belly. Well, here goes nothin'.



Chapter Twenty Four

Here goes nothin'? Here goes nothin'! What in the hell was I thinking? This isn't nothing that we're talking about. We're talking about Faith, and me, and me talking to Faith. So how could I just say it's nothing? You can probably tell all of that confidence I had at Willow's house is gone now. It left as soon as I stepped onto the sidewalk.

It took about forty-five minutes to walk home. I ran into a vampire on the way here and totally kicked his ass. I'll admit I dragged the fight out a little. I was using the vampire as an excuse. It's not my fault it took me so long to get home, I was saving someone's life. Ok, so the vamp jumped out at me but every time you kill a vamp you save his next victim.

None of that matters now, though. I've been standing here in front of Faith's door for God knows how long. I know she's in there because I can feel the little tingles I get whenever she's around. It feels a little like the prickles I get on the back of my neck whenever a vampire or demon is around, but these are warm, not harsh and slightly uncomfortable.

I don't feel any of that whenever I'm around Faith. The tingles make me feel calm, and safe. They're kind of like a security blanket. At least they are now. Before when Faith was mad at me they were an alert to let me know she was coming. I would either leave the room or avoid eye contact. It depended on how well I could control my emotions that day.

Ok, I need to stop being so chicken. I need to go in there and tell her how I feel and what I really want to do. I need to tell her that I want to go out on dates, and be more than friends with benefits, or whatever it is we have going on. I need to tell her that I love her, and I need to make her hear me this time. I mean really hear me. She needs to understand what I mean when I say the words instead of taking them at face value.

This is it, the moment of truth. I raise my fist and gently knock on the door. I know she's awake because she's listening to music. She does that when she can't get to sleep. I have no idea what she's listening to. She tried to educate me on the stuff she listen to but it just sounds like noise to me. Why am I thinking about this? I need to focus on what's going on right now.

"Come in," I hear her say, and my palms get all sweaty. I wipe them off on my pants, and open the door. There's a soft glow in the room from the lamp on her bedside table. I don't recognize this song but it doesn't sound that bad. It sounds pretty good, actually. "Hey." She doesn't sound surprised to see me. Maybe she get tingles whenever I'm around too? Hopefully Giles doesn't find out. He'll want to do a bunch of tests.

"Hi," I say as I walk into the room and shut the door. Ok, I can do this. I can have a conversation with Faith. I can have a conversation with Faith that doesn't lead to sex and accomplishes nothing. I can have a conversation with Faith and…wow those are really tiny bed shorts. And her legs look so silky. I just want to run my hands all over them.

"Did you need something, B?" Huh? Oh, right! I'm supposed to be talking to her, not staring at her legs like some perverted freak. That's just what happens when I'm around Faith. Rational-Buffy always leaves the room and pervo-Buffy takes center stage.

"Yeah, I need to talk to you about something. It's important," I tell her and step closer to the bed. She sits up straight and uses the remote to turn the stereo off. I kinda liked that song. I'll have to remember to ask her what it is.

"Alright. So what's up? There some baddie you need help takin down?" she asks and crosses her ankles. How does she look so damn sexy? I mean, she's just sitting there, in her pajamas, with no makeup on, and her hair looks a little wild, and all I can think about is lying on top of her and kissing her soft lips.

"No, no baddies," I say and pick at my cuticles. Why am I so fucking nervous? Because I'm about to pour heart out to her. Right, that could be it. "I just wanted to talk…about us." Her eyebrows furrow a little bit. Yeah, I'm starting to confuse myself.

"What about us?" she asks and swings her legs over the side of the bed. She looks a little worried, and I can't even imagine what she's thinking. I think it's better that I don't try because my head is already jumbled up enough as it is.

"I just…I think we should…what do I…mean to you?" Oh yeah, way to go Buffy. You didn't sound like a rambling idiot at all. Nope, not you. The way you made yourself perfectly clear and now she knows exactly what you want will be marveled for years to come.

"What?" she asks and her eyebrows furrow even more. She sounds surprised and confused. Well now that I've completely confused the hell out of the both of us maybe I should try to explain. I take in a deep, supposedly calming, breath and sit down next to her on the bed. I resist the urge to hold onto her hand because that can lead to all kind of touching that I don't want right now. Ok, here it goes.

"I need to know what I, what all of this, means to you," I say, and resist another urge. This one is the urge to rub my thumb over that little wrinkle between her eyebrows until she relaxes them and it goes away. "Am I just a fling, or is this something more?" She licks her lips and gets this look in her eyes like a little light bulb just went off.

"This is why you won't have sex," she says. It's not a question like you'd think. No, she's stating a fact. Even if Faith acts a little dumb sometimes, she's not stupid. Sometimes I think she's like one of those scary smart people. You know, the kind that drop out of school because it's not challenging enough, and then grow up to be serial killers? Only I don't think Faith is going to be a serial killer.

"Yeah, it's why," I confirm and look down at my lap. I don't think I could be any more tense right now. "I have feelings for you, Faith. Strong feelings that aren't going to go away and I can't stand the thought of this not meaning anything to you." Ok, so I don't think I worded that very well. Hopefully she doesn't get offended. I hold my breath as she brings her hand up to my face. She gently cups my cheek and caresses my skin with her thumb.

"I don't know what to say, B," she says, and I lean into her touch. She doesn't sound or look offended, and she isn't acting like she's about to tell me anything bad. "I'm not good at the whole 'share my feelings' thing." Her thumb moves from my cheek and she lightly runs it across my bottom lip.

"Do you want to be with me?" I ask, and I sound a little out of breath. How could something as simple as a soft caress leave my feeling so weak? "Not just sex, I mean, do you want to date me?" It feels like my brain is being wrapped in a wet towel. The rational part of my brain feels like it's being muffle, and the part that's screaming at me to shut up and let Faith have her way with me is coming through loud and clear.

"I don't know if I'm ready for something like that, B. Everything that happened with Tanner is still too fresh. I don't think I'm ready for something serious right now." Time freezes and all I can see is that look in her eyes. She's so torn, like she wants to be with me so badly but she can't. I put my hand on top of hers and gently pull it away from my face. If I'm going to summon up the courage to ask this question then I need to her to stop distracting me.

"Do you love me?" The sounds in the room fade out and all I can hear is my heart thudding loudly in my chest. If I were breathing I would probably hear that too. It feels like my eyelids have been glued open and all I can do is look deeply into Faith's eyes as I wait for her to answer.

"Yes, I do," she says and all of the tension leaves my body. That big breath I was holding slowly exhales. I honestly didn't know if she would admit it or not. She didn't tell me the first time until she thought I was asleep. But she told me, and I feel like I'm floating. "But that doesn't mean we can be together." And just like that, everything comes crashing down around me.

"But Faith, you love me, and I love you. That should be enough. We don't have to jump into anything serious right away. We can go slow." I don't' care if I sound a little desperate. Tanner's out of the picture, things were supposed to be easy now, but they're almost as bad as before.

"I'm not saying never, Buffy." She's using my full name, which means she's dead serious. "But I have to put Sam first now, and her dad just left, and she's confused, and stressed out, and she misses him. Seeing me with someone new this soon might fuck her up, and I don't want her to think that I'm trying to replace him or something." I would be the world's most terrible person if I got mad at her for being a good mom.

I don't really know how to feel right now. She isn't doing anything wrong, she's isn't turning me down because of some bullshit excuse, and she's not saying we'll never be together. She's just asking me to be patient and give Sam time to adjust to all of this. And Faith still needs time to adjust to all of this. I guess it was a little unfair of me to just expect her to be with me. I put pressure on her and I'm an asshole for doing that.

"Hey," she says and squeezes my hand a little. I stop staring at my lap and look into her eyes. "There's always right now." My eyebrows furrow a little bit, and she gently caresses my cheek with her free hand. She moves her hand very slowly until her fingertips are resting on my neck and her thumb is lightly rubbing my earlobe.

I hold my breath when she leans towards me. My heart flutters when her lips softly touch mine, and I close my eyes. There's nothing in the world like kissing Faith. The feeling that I get inside when her lips are pressed to mine and she's using just the right amount of pressure and her fingers are lightly rubbing the back of my neck is the most perfect feeling in the world.

I pull back when oxygen becomes a serious issue. I look into her eyes that are sparkling in the dim light of the room and I can see more than just the lust that we have for each other. I can see all of the feelings has for me in those dark orbs, and she's right. Tonight we should forget about everything else and just be us.

I wrap my arms around her and pull her closer to me. I need to feel her right now. Even if it's just like this, even if it doesn't turn into anything more than us pressed together and kissing slowly, but so deeply. I'd give anything to just stay right here in this moment forever with her. Because right now we're not slayer, the weight of the world isn't on our shoulders. I'm not a high school senior who's going to fail an English test tomorrow because I should be studying. Right now she's Faith, and I'm Buffy, and nothing else matters.

I don't know how long we're like this, it could've been three hours or thirty seconds. Time doesn't have any meaning anymore. But it's not enough for me anymore, and I'm willing to bet it's not enough for her either. I guess I was wrong when I said I could just hug and kiss her forever.

I feel her hands toying with the hem of my shirt and I get little butterflies in my stomach. This isn't anything like the first time we were together. The other time it was all hormones and repressed sexual tension. We know exactly what we're doing now. I want to be with her, so don't get me wrong. I'm just really, really nervous. Last time Faith was in complete control, but this time I want to give as much as I take but I don't really know what I'm doing.

I pull back from the kiss and lift my arms up. She pulls the shirt over my head, and starts kissing my neck. I lean my head back and arch my neck towards her to give her more to kiss. Wherever her lips touch feels like it's being lit on fire and all of these sensations are going straight to my groin. I want to hurry, to rush and get right to the really good stuff but I'm fighting like hell not to. Tonight we're going to take our time even if it kills me.

Her tender kisses start to move from my neck to my chest. I can feel my pulse quickening as I think about what she's going to do. I run my fingers through her hair, and she unhooks my bra with one hand. She's not wearing a bra so I don't have to worry about that. I haven't had any practice at unhooking other girls' bras and I don't want to look like a fool. I don't think she would care, or spoil the mood, but I don't want to take any chances.

Anyway, she drops my bra to the floor and it joins my shirt. I get goosebumps all over my exposed skin and it's not because of the draft created by the air conditioner. It's because of the way she's looking at me. I can see her pupils getting bigger and the desire in them…I don't think I've seen anything like it, ever.

My hands find their way back into her hair and I gently encourage her forward. I know I said I wanted slow, but something a little faster than a snail in a three-legged race would be nice too. Her eyes quickly flick upwards and now she's gazing deeply into mine. I thought her expression was intense just a minute ago but that was before I saw this. Her eyes feel like they're burning straight through me and all of my nerve endings feeling like they're being ignited all at once.

Slow might have to take a backseat 'cause I feel like if she doesn't touch me now I might explode into little Buffy-pieces all over this bedroom, and not in a good way. I don't have to wait very long, though. She holds my gazed for another couple of seconds, the look in her eyes seem to be crackling and growing hotter. I didn't think the flood in my panties could get any bigger but I think it's time for Noah to build another boat.

Faith leans forward and everything feels like it's gone into slow motion as she wraps her lips around one of my rock hard nipples and starts to suck. My fingers tighten around her hair and I hope her scalp isn't sensitive because there's no way in hell I could loosen my grip if she needed me to. I feel her tongue tease the tip of my nipple, and I suck in a huge breath and it makes a hissing sound on its way to my lungs.

One of her hands that had been softly rubbing my back, snakes its way to my chest and Faith's fingers start toying with my other, previously neglected, breast. I let out a deep moan at the feel of it that reverberates through my entire body. I feel more than hear her moan against me in response and the vibrations of it shock my entire nervous system. I've never felt anything like that before.

A loud groan escapes the back of my throat and it echoes off the walls. Faith pulls herself away from my breast but I don't have time to protest because now she's kissing me so deeply it's almost like s he's trying to reach my soul. My hands untangle themselves from her hair and start rubbing all over the place. They start with her back but when I build up enough courage they reach down and squeeze her perfect ass. I've never thought of another girl's ass as perfect but hers totally is.

My hands explore the exposed skin on the backs of her thighs. The shorts she's wearing show so much skin, I don't think they really qualify for shorts. I feel her gasp against my mouth when I run my short fingernails along the backs of her thighs. I don't want to hurt her but for some reason I just couldn't resist doing that and I don't think she has a problem with it. I'm sure she would say something if she did.

I pull back from the kiss because I couldn't breathe at all and I feel so light headed I think I might pass out. I should be used to it by now because she always manages to take my breath away even though she doesn't know it. We're both panting heavily, it's the only sound in the room, and I can feel her both breath puff against my skin.

Her eyes are so dark and her skin is so flushed she barely looks like the same person anymore. She's so beautiful, though, and I want to see more of her. I snake my fingers up her thighs and across her ass. She lets out a gasp and her eyelids start to flutter but she forces them to stay open. I grab the hem of her shirt and slowly pull it up. She lifts her arms up and she has a little smirk on her face but it's gone by the time the shirt is completely off.

A little part of me wants to ask about it but the part that's in control of me right now is screaming at me to ignore it since Faith's almost completely naked body is waiting for me. I don't touch her yet, even though every fiber of my being is yelling at me to reach out and touch all of that silky looking skin that she's offering. I let my eyes roam, first over her flushed face and down her perfect body. Her breasts look even better than I remember.

Her skin is so flushed and pink, her chest is moving quickly along with her breathing and her dark nipples are rock hard. I want to do what she did to me but at the same time I want to just look and commit all of this, all of her, to memory. Since she wants things between us to go slow, I don't know when I'm going to get another change like this and there's no way in hell I'm going to pass this up. I would be crazy to just dive right in and skip over the little details.

Faith kisses me and I'm caught off guard because I was too distracted by her breasts. Her hands are all over me now. One is on my back pulling me closer to her and the other is trapped between our bodies and squeezing one of my breasts. The feel of her skin against mine is amazing and I can't help all of the little whimpers and moans that are pouring out of me in between our heated kisses. I feel a little embarrassed, being this vocal when all we're doing is kissing and she's only squeezing my breast and kind of teasing my nipple but it feels too good to want to stop.

She pulls back from the kiss and we're panting. That's the only way to describe it. She starts kissing my neck, slowly making her way from my pulse point up towards my ear. I can hear her breathing hard, it's so loud it's almost drowning out the sound of my racing heartbeat. I can feel her strong breath puffing out against the shell of my ear, and my neck and arm erupt with goosebumps.

I feel the tip of her tongue touch my earlobe before she gently wraps her lips around it and softly sucks. I feel her teeth scrape against my earring and can hear the strange sound of metal rubbing against bone and it sends shivers running down my spine. She gently bites down and at the same time she pinches my nipple between her index finger and thumb. Not enough to hurt, just enough to make my back arch and a loud moan rips through my bed. It echoes off the walls and Faith pulls away from me.

I'm confused as hell at first. This was her idea. She's the one who said we still have right now. Is she backing out? Was she lying when she said she wants to be with me? My insecurities are smothered when I see that adorable and sexy smirk on her face. She leaves a little kiss on my lips and then she grabs the stereo remote off the end table and turns it on. The song she was listening to when I walked in starts playing and she pressed the repeat-one button before she tosses the remote to the floor.

Thank God she has more common sense than I do right now. It's already hard for me to control my voice and we're only rounding second base. She gets a soft smile on her face and looks deeply into my eyes. This song repeating mixed with the dim light from the lamp has changed the atmosphere, the energy between us but that's not a bad thing. I don't feel like I need to rush, which is good because I don't want to skip a moment.

She grabs onto my arms and gently pulls me onto her lap. She softly holds the side of my neck, her thumb lightly caressing my skin and I kiss her, slow but deep. Our breasts are pressed together and the feeling is shooting tiny shockwaves of pleasure straight to my groin and I can't stop my hips from lightly grinding against her. Ok, I probably could stop if I tried but why the fuck would I want to try?

I feel more than hear her moan against me and I can't help but smile. Partly because the vibrations tickled and mostly because it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who's voice box is out of control. I start grinding a little harder, rubbing myself against her stomach and the seam of my jeans is creating a delicious friction. She moans against me and it makes me grind a little faster. I don't know why, exactly, but I love the fact that I'm affecting her like this.

She pulls away from the kiss and before I have a chance to look into her eyes she pushes me back on the bed. She wasn't very gentle about it but I like that better. I like that I'm making her lose control because Faith is normally in control of herself and what she does, so it's making me feel less nervous that I'm doing something to make her lose control. Of herself, at least, because right now she is in complete control of me.

She quickly pulls off my shoes and it hurts a little because they were tied kind of tight. She drops them to the floor and soon my socks are with them. Time seems to freeze when she leans forward and starts to unbuckle my belt. Not for the reasons anyone else would be thinking, though. The sound of the metal lightly clinking fades away as I stare at her amazing breasts. They're so round, and perfect, and her nipples are so hard and because she's leaning forward they're kind of…dangling but in a totally sexy way. Like they're teasing me to touch them.

Ow! What the hell was that? My eyes fly from Faith's chest to her face and she's smirking. Why did she just pinch me? That was completely uncalled for. As soon as my eyes travel down to my waist I see why she did that. She has my pants unbuckled, unbuttoned and unzipped, but she can't get them off because I'm lying down. So she pinched my thigh, like she's too good to ask or something.

I don't say anything, though, because I know if I open my mouth it will completely destroy our moment and I'm not giving this up for the world. She slips her fingers around the waistband of my jeans and I lift my hips up to give her enough space to pull them off. My heart is beating so fast I can hear it pounding in my ears and all of the other sounds in the room are faintly in the background. I watch her face as she quickly pulls the denim off my body and her eyes feel like they're burning holes through my skin.

As soon as my jeans are discarded like the rest of my clothes, Faith lies on top of me. Our bodies meet in all of the right places, fitting together perfectly like puzzle pieces that didn't even know they belong together. Her right thigh is snug against my soaked sex and the same goes for my thigh against hers. She feels so right, so scorching, so tempting, so scary, and my senses are having trouble sticking with just one adjective.

She's looking at me with those eyes that are normally whiskey colored but right now her pupils are so large they look almost completely black. Her irises are darker than normal too, but I can still see the little flecks of gold. I feel her softly move some of my hair with her fingers and she gently tucks it behind my ear. We're just lying here, staring into each other's eyes, breathing heavily against each other's mouths, and I don't think I've ever been a part of a moment this perfect before.

She kisses me and as soon as her lips touch mine, my eyes flutter close. This kiss is soft, almost timid at first, like she's letting our lips get reacquainted after those two or three minutes apart. I deepen the kiss by adding some pressure and letting just the tip of my tongue softly caress her upper lip, tasting it, teasing it, and silently asking hers to come out and play. And I'm not disappointed at all by her reaction.

Faith parts her lips and gently sucks on the tip of my tongue. She's done this before when we had sex the first time but for some reason this feels different. It feels more intense. Almost like my tongue has a direct link to my pussy and I'm getting wetter, which I didn't think was physically possible. I should probably rethink my position on the definition of possible because I'm learning when it comes to Faith that all bets are off.

My hips start grinding against her thigh and she flexes the muscle, pressing her very toned leg harder against me. A low moan rumbles out of the back of my throat and she starts grinding against me too. I can feel a hint of her wetness through the bed shorts and she must be completely soaked if I can feel it through the cotton material. I wonder for a second what I feel like to her. Do I feel as wet? Is she getting even more turned on by it like I am? Sometimes I really wish I could read minds. That would be helpful and probably very entertaining.

I feel her hands travel down my body and my confusion goes away almost instantly. Her thumbs slip under the waistband of my panties and I lift my hips up to try and help her get them off. I moan loudly when my pussy grinds against her thigh harder than it was before. My eyes try to shut but I force them to stay open and my eyelids start fluttering because of it. She gets a smirk on her face that would normally annoy me but right now I think it looks so sexy.

She finally lifts her body off of mine and pulls my underwear off. I don't think I've ever felt more nervous about something in my entire life. I watch as she slowly slides the soaked cotton blend down my legs and drops them to the floor with the rest of my clothes. She also takes her bed shorts off and my eyes widen. I would say they get comically large but there's nothing funny about this situation.

I don't know why I'm so nervous or shocked. I can't really see much of her except for a neatly trimmed patch of pubic hair and lots of silky looking skin. I can see her wetness glistening on her thighs where it dripped down. This feels too real all of a sudden. She's so exposed, so bare, and I'm not just talking about her naked body. The look on her face, the emotion coming through so clearly from her eyes almost feels like too much to deal with.

The only time I've ever seen her look so scared and vulnerable was the night Tanner turned into a monster. I don't want to hurt her or disappoint her and there's a little part of me that's yelling and screaming at me to run before I do. The larger part, the part that's in control is telling me to reach out to her, to take her in my arms and sooth away her insecurities. So I do. I hold out my arms and give her my patent pending half smile.

She lays her body down on mine and I wrap my arms around her. I think the temperature in the room just sky rocketed. It almost feels like I'm trapped in a sauna. The air around me feels hot and sticky and Faith's soft body feels scorching against mine. But I wouldn't change any of this and I'm definitely not going to stop until she tells me to, but I don't think she's going to. She wants this as much as I do, I can feel it, and there's no stopping now.

She kisses me and I don't know how but it feels so much more intense than anything we've shared before. I wrap my legs around her hips and grind against her. It feels so amazing and I can't stop moaning. She's moving too, rubbing her toned abdomen against my slick sex and I really want to do what we did before in the cemetery but I'm too afraid to ask, especially if she has something else in mind that might feel better than that.

I feel one of her hands start to slowly move along my body. It runs down my side from the side of my breast down to my hip than back. She does that a couple of times and my hips start grinding a little harder against her. She's being such a tease and if I had the guts I'd do something about it but I don't want to scare her off. This time when her hand rubs over my hip it doesn't come back up. Instead she lifts off me just enough to slide her hand between the two of us and between my legs.

I pull back from the kiss and I think I just whimpered. I can't really remember what a whimper sounds like but I think that was one. Her fingers are softly exploring. Gently running along my lips but not slipping between. I can't believe a touch so simple and barely there can feel so good and make my whole body tingle. She starts kissing my neck, slowly making her way up to my ear. She places little kisses in the spot right behind it and nips at the lobe. That makes me moan very deep.

She finally slips a finger between my folds and it feels amazing. These soft, simple touches are something I do to myself after almost every patrol, even though I won't admit it, but it feels so different and so new now that Faith's doing it. When her finger touches my painfully hard clit my hips buck and I moan so loud it bounces off the walls and vibrates in my ears.

She keeps touching it, slipping and sliding her finger softly and slowly over it and I'm grinding against her as best I can. I've never felt anything like this before. My hands start running all over her back, down to her ass, back up her spine, and I dig my nails into the flesh covering her shoulder blades when she gently bites my neck. Her finger moves down away from my clit and she softly teases my hole. There's only one person, including me, I've ever allowed in there and now that she's about to my whole body is tense with apprehension.

"Wait," I whisper out against her ear and she pulls her head back away from my neck. Her hand and hips stop moving and my whole body freezes when I see the scared look on her face. She's probably afraid I'm going to stay I've changed my mind which is so far from the truth. "Say it, please?" Is that my voice? I didn't think it could get that deep and husky. "I need you to say it." Her eyebrows furrow in confusion but it only lasts for a few seconds before she gets a look of understanding in her eyes.

"I love you," she says and she's looking me straight in the eyes and there's so much emotion swirling around in them I think I might cry. She kisses me but it's short and I didn't really get the chance to reciprocate. I told you she's being a major tease tonight. After the kiss she looks me in the eyes and before I can say anything she slowly pushes her finger inside me. It doesn't hurt but it feels kind of strange, and I can't make myself relax so my muscles are clenched and tight and I cry out anyway.

"I love you," she says again as she slowly pulls her finger out and pushes it back in. "I love you, I love you, I love you." I start moving my hips trying to build up a rhythm but it's hard because I've only done this once before and even then I wasn't too sure what I was doing. But if I'm doing something wrong she's not complaining. "Buffy, I love you so fucking much." She has tears in her eyes and I think my heart is going to explode.

"I love you too," I manage to get out between moans. My legs lock around her hips and our slow and gentle rhythm starts to become a little less gentle. She starts kissing my neck again and I scratch my nails down her back. She isn't reacting to it at all. I wonder if she can even feel it. She thrusts her hips, using her body to pump inside me a little harder. It makes me cry out again and my nails dig in so hard I think they drew blood. She lets out a loud wince and bites my neck. I guess he felt that one.

"You feel so fucking good, B," she whispers right in my ear and the feel of her breath brushing over me sends goosebumps down my arm. "You're so hot and amazing around me." My hips start pumping faster. I never knew hearing her talk dirty would turn me on like this. But then she stops talking and she starts leaving these open mouthed kisses on my neck. She stops thrusting into me so hard but she doesn't slow down. I'm glad she did that because it was starting to hurt a little and the last thing I want is to tell her to stop.

"You're the closet to heaven that I'll ever be," she says right against my ear as the words from the song filter out through the speakers. I moan a little louder, my hands squeeze her ass, trying to get her to start thrusting harder but she's not listening. She kisses me and her thumb presses against my clit. My hips jerk so quickly and sharply at the feel that if my legs weren't wrapped around her she would have been bucked off. She pulls back and looks into my eyes. Hers are red with her unshed tears and I think my heart just stopped for a second.

"And all I can taste is this moment, and all I can breathe is your life," she says and one of those tears slips out and slowly slides down her cheek. "'Cause sooner or later it's over. I just don't want to miss you tonight." Her voice cracks on the last word and I can't take it anymore. I lean up and kiss her so hard our teeth crash together. We start moving against each other faster and I'm holding onto her so hard I might break bones. It's desperate and needy and I don't care that it's pathetic. I just don't want tonight to end because I know I'm never going to feel this perfect again and that thought is too scary to handle right now.



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