She doesn't know.

She doesn't know that I know.

She doesn't know that her visions may as well be mine.

She doesn't know that I feel her pain, and the rage rises in me until I feel sick.

She doesn't know I cherish each wound, each cut, because it's the only way I'll ever feel her hands on me.

She doesn't know that her touching makes me whole, and makes me yearn, and makes me feel.

She doesn't know that I hate her sometimes, that I curse her and Doyle and the Powers That Be for knitting us together.

I hate Groosalugg.

Another thing she doesn't know.

He's a jerk. He's young. He's immature. He's a demon. He loves her.

I love her.

But because this is not a movie, not a fairy tale, the dark monster with the pretty face doesn't turn into a handsome prince. He doesn't get the girl and take her off to his castle forever and ever.

He just watches.

He watches her laugh, watches her smile, watches her eyes light up, watches her hold Conner.

He watches her watch him.

Because she does care.

Maybe not in the right way. Maybe not in the safest, completely casual friends way. Maybe not like I want her to.

Maybe it's not love. Maybe I won't turn into a handsome prince and live happily ever after.

Maybe I don't want to.

The sunlight mane has turned to mahogany in my dreams. Eyes have changed from blue-green to piercing hazel. The dark form has lengthened, softened, become smooth silk instead of disciplined muscle.

The Slayer no longer haunts me at every turn.

She has been replaced by my seer.

Mine. How good that sounds.

She's looking for a place of her own. With Groo.

I want to kill him.

I did the forever and ever, soul mate, true love gig.

I walked the walk, talked the talk, danced the dance.

I fell in love.

And I left.

I can't remember why I stayed so long.

Love is promises wrapped up in pretty ribbons.

It is also pain.

Maybe you would argue that I didn't really love her. If I had, I'd've stayed.

But what good would that have done?

So I left her.

I miss her sometimes.

It was a romantic notion. The Slayer and the soulled vamp, both strangers in their worlds, both never really belonging anywhere.

That's why I left.

So maybe you could say I don't really love Cordelia. Maybe I just need her. Maybe I just want her.

But you'd be wrong.

I am a vampire.

I loved Buffy with all my humanity, with all my soul.

I love Cordelia with all of me.

So yes, I am possessive. Yes, I entertain fantasies of suffocating Groo and all of her other boyfriends, all those people who touched her lips like I never can.

But I don't.

Because she holds my soul.

She doesn't know how I feel about her.

She doesn't realize Buffy is a buffer and a faded memory.

She doesn't know I slept with Darla to attempt to get her off my mind.

She doesn't know it didn't work.

She doesn't know I love her.

But sometimes she feels my gaze and looks up. Sometimes she sees my embarrassed smile. And sometimes she smiles back.

Sometimes she knows.