Willow was in the kitchen making tea when the doorbell rang. Dawn was at a sleep over, and Buffy was patrolling, so Willow went to answer the door. She was surprised when she saw Spike standing on the porch.
"Spike! What are you doing here?"
"You trust me, Red?" Spike asked.
Willow gave him a look, her eyebrows raised. "Sure I trust you, Spike. Why do you ask?"
"I want you to come with me," he said simply.
"Go with you where?"
"Just come on." Spike held out his hand and after a moments hesitation, Willow took it, and allowed herself to be lead out of the house and on to the street.
"Where I we going, Spike?" Willow asked again.
"You'll see when we get there."
"Is this some sort of game?" Willow was starting to get a little worried. What in the hell was going on.
"Not a game, Pet."
"Then what is going on?"
Willow's question was greeted by silence. She thought about pushing the issue, but realized it probably wouldn't do any good. Spike could be very stubborn when he wanted to be.
The pair walked in silence for a while. After several minutes the arrived in front of a motel. Willow was extremely confused, but let Spike lead her to one of the rooms.
"Okay, now tell me what's going on," Willow demanded as Spike knocked on the door. Spike said nothing and Willow was about to say something more when the door opened.
"Willow, this is Jarod." Spike gestured to the man who had opened the door.
"Jarod!" She whirled on Spike, anger flashing in her eyes. "What in the hell is going on Spike?"
Spike put up his hands defensively. "Hey now, luv. Calm down. I'll explain. But please just go on inside."
"Are you insane. I'm not going into this guys room. He's trying to kill Robert!"
Jarod spoke up. "Ms. Rosenberg, I assure you, I am not trying to kill Mr. Lyle. I'm trying to save you from him."
Willow turned to go, but Spike stepped in her way. "Willow, listen to me. I know you like Robert, but I don't trust him. I think you should listen to Jarod. He was proof of what he's claiming. Please, trust me."
Willow stared into Spike's eyes for a moment, trying to see if he was telling the truth. After a long moment she nodded. "Fine," she said softly.
Jarod stepped aside and Willow entered the room, followed closely by Spike.
"Please, have a seat," Jarod said as he entered and shut the door behind him.
"I'd rather stand," Willow replied angrily.
"All right. But what I have to tell you is a rather long story."
"Fine." Willow threw up he hands in resignation, and sat on the bed. Spike sat close beside her.
Jarod took a seat and began his story. "Ms. Rosenberg, Mr. Lyle told you that he works for an organization called the Centre." When Willow nodded her head slightly, he continued. "Spike informed me of what Mr. Lyle told you about it. I'm here to inform you that you have been told nothing but lies."
"I'm not listening to this," Willow made a move to stand up, but Spike restrained her with a gentle hand on her shoulder. "Just listen Willow, please."
Once Willow sat back down, Jarod began speaking again. "The Centre took me from my parents when I as very young. I'm what they call a Pretender. I can become anyone I want to be. They used me to work out scenarios. They used the information I came up with. They sold it to all sorts of unscrupulous people, often resulting in the deaths of innocent people. Some members of the Centre also performed many types of psychological, and physical experiments on me, many of which were very painful. One of those people was Mr. Lyle."
Willow looked at him with cold eyes, disbelieving his every word. "Show me your proof," she said harshly.