Pain. It still radiates through Willow’s body as she cries in Angel’s arms. She wishes he would just let her go. His touch is odious to her, only slightly less terrible now than when he was inside her. Why won’t he just let her leave?
But he isn’t finished with her yet, apparently, and Willow is terrified. What more could Angel possibly want from her? He has already taken her virginity. Does he mean to torture her? Kill her? Turn her? In spite of his soul? Of course, having his soul hadn’t stopped him from raping her, so Willow isn’t sure what his limits are now.
And then she hears the words.
“Love.” Angel says, his voice hoarse from disuse. “Mine.”
She is trapped in the bonds of his embrace when he says this, and she struggles to gain the small amount of movement needed to look into his face, to see if he is even talking to her, or about her. Apparently he senses her need to see his expression and he relaxes his hold on her ever so slightly, just enough for her to pull back enough to look up into his eyes.
She stares into the now-chocolate-brown eyes of the creature who had just moments ago brutalized her, and she is stunned by what she sees, or rather, by what she doesn’t see. There is no hate or cruelty in the vampire’s visage. Maybe it was never there at all. She isn’t sure now. The pain and the terror she felt while Angel was inside her are all she can remember. That and the sound of him purring, and the feel of his hand on her cheek.
Still frightened and in pain, Willow is also hopelessly at sea. She doesn’t understand what is happening or what Angel is thinking. A part of her is even more angry at Angel now than she was before. A straightforward rape would at least be comprehensible. Willow has read books and newspaper articles, seen women on TV talking about being raped, and it is always about power, domination, and humiliation of the victim. There is a bad guy and a good guy and the roles are clear. But now, somehow, it feels like the lines are being hopelessly blurred and it only compounds Willow’s fear and burgeoning sense of rage.
She hears a rasping, rumbling sound come from him. An odd sound, one that tells her that he is trying to say more. And he is looking at her with what looks like sorrow in his eyes...sorrow and longing.
But what does it mean? Is he sorry for what he did to her? Sorry that she isn’t Buffy? Is that what the look of longing means?
Willow is more distraught than ever now. How dare he look at her with caring in his eyes and talk about love after what he’s done to her. How can he not know what he has done, what he is? He’s a rapist and a monster, even with his soul. He has no right to look so hurt and so human and so concerned. If only she had a stake right now, Willow thinks to herself, she would happily ram it right through Angel’s undead heart But all she really wants to do is go home, take the longest, hottest shower of her life and cry. Alone. She doesn’t think she’ll ever want anyone to touch her ever again, not even Oz.
She wonders what to do about her boyfriend. Worries that, with his werewolf senses, he’ll figure out that she’s not a virgin anymore. She doesn’t want to tell anyone what happened to her, but...
“Oz,” she softly murmurs, and is surprised by the growl that comes from Angel.
“Mine,” he croaks out, clasping Willow tightly to him once more.
Confusion once again wins the battle among all her emotions for dominance of Willow’s mind. Angel thinks she is his? No, that can’t be right. And even if he thinks that, it isn’t so. How could he think that, anyway? If you love someone, you don’t do to them what Angel has done to her, do you? She fought him. Angel had to see that she didn’t want him.
Or is it that, in his feral, tortured state, he has mistaken her for Buffy? No, that can’t be right either. Willow doesn’t understand anything anymore. But she knows one thing. She doesn’t want to belong to Angel.
“No, Angel,” she says, trying to keep her tone calm, but firm, despite the fear that is rapidly rising within her at the thought of what the vampire might yet do to her if she angers him. “I’m not yours. Don’t you remember?”