Still Bluer by slaymesoftly
Chapter #1 - Chapters 1 - 5
Chapter One

It was two weeks after Willow’s “my will be done spell” and Giles had insisted that Xander take Spike to his place so that he and Olivia could have some privacy. The vampire was incredibly bored living in the Harris’s basement with Xander.

“At least at the Watcher’s I had somebody with a bloody brain to talk to,” he grumbled as he threw himself down on the bed and stared at the ceiling. He crossed his arms behind his head and resigned himself to another boring afternoon of TV before Xander got home from work and there was more boring TV, spiced with their usual exchange of insults.

Suddenly the door was flung open and an agitated Slayer burst into the room. “Xander! We need to-”

Buffy’s sentence ended abruptly at the sight of Spike lying on the bed. He raised his head briefly, then dropped it back down when he saw who it was. (Great, just what I need. The Slayer to come in here and make me remember things I don’t want to. Like perky little breasts, silky hair, smooth skin, soft, full lips....Argh!) He quickly began a litany to himself of disgusting things, (Watcher’s taste in music, the Whelp’s clothes, chip in my head, soldiers, cold pig’s blood....)

Buffy froze a few feet from the bed, trying desperately to look somewhere else besides the lean, muscular body in front of her. With his arms behind his head, Spike’s biceps were on display, as was his washboard stomach. (Ok, sooo not responding to that body. Spell is over and inappropriate dreams to the contrary, I do not crave that body. I don’t. I won’t. that a bulge in his pants?)

“Whelp’s not here, Slayer. Won’t be back for a couple of hours yet. What’s the big emergency? Not that I really care,” he hastened to add.

“What are you doing here?” she said in a voice that sounded much squeakier than she intended it to.

“Watcher kicked me out. Has a friend coming into town and didn’t fancy me listenin’ to them shag, I guess.”

“Please do not use the words Giles and shag in the same sentence! Eeeww!”

Buffy groaned as she shook herself and tried to lose the image of her watcher having sex. Spike sat up and looked at her curiously.

“Why not? D’you think he’s a monk?”

“He’s, he’s OLD!”

“So am I, love. Older than he is really, and if you recall I still-”

“Don’t say it!”

(Because if you say it, I’ll think about it and I am sooo not going to think about it.)

The blond vampire smiled slowly as he heard her heart rate increase and felt her body temperature go up.

(Well, well. Maybe I’m not the only one with fond memories of our little romp on the floor.)

“Why not, Slayer? Does it remind you of something? Something you might want to try again?” He flowed off the bed and came to stand in front of her, breathing in her scent. He could feel himself getting harder as she filled his senses.

(Damn, she smells good. Haven’t been this close to her since......)

“Don’t flatter yourself, Spike,” She tried to sneer even as she felt moisture dampening her underwear.

(I never noticed how blue his eyes were. I don’t think we’ve been this close together since....don’t go there, Buffy)

"You disgust me! I wouldn’t-“ She stopped as he slid his hand up her bare arm, causing her to shiver as she struggled to ignore how she was responding to his nearness.

“That so, Slayer? Not what my nose says,” he tapped the side of his nose to remind her that she couldn’t hide her growing arousal from him.

“Remember what happened to your nose that last time you tried that,” she snapped, pulling her arm back to punch him. Unafraid, he moved closer to her and lowered his lips to her ear.

“I remember what came after that better,” he breathed. “Do you remember, Buffy? Do you remember how good we were together? I can’t think about anything else. I can’t be around you without wantin’ you, wantin’ to feel you, touch you, make you moan, feel you around me”

As he murmured to her, he was slowly pulling her unresisting body closer to his.

(Evil vampire here. Must move away before he touches me again – oh! Too late. He’s touching me. Bodies are touching. Ummmm. Nice body. No! NO! Bad Buffy. Bad.)

Buffy’s conscience was screaming at her, but her body was pressing up against the cool muscular one in front of her. When she felt his erection pressing against her stomach she tensed and brought her hands up to his chest to push him away. To her surprise, her hands seemed to be doing their own thinking as they slid up his chest and around his neck, thus bringing her lips into close proximity to his. Before she could do anything but mentally groan at her disobedient hands, he had swooped in and captured her mouth with his.

(OK, this is really bad. Kissing Spike – mmmmmm – No! No mmmmmm! Kissing Spike leads to nothing but badness........ Maybe it’ll be OK if there’s no tongue..........Damn, now there’s tongue. Where did he learn to do those things with his tongue? And why am I still kissing him? Just because it feels wonderful, is no reason to abandon my.......)

His cool tongue slid into and around her mouth, briefly tangling with hers, then continuing his exploration of her mouth and lips. His lips were soft and moist and their mouths fit together so perfectly it seemed as though they were made for each other. Buffy’s brain decided to go on complete vacation as she sank into the bone-melting kisses that Spike was only pausing when she needed to take quick breaths. While she gasped for air, he continued placing soft, feathery kisses along her neck and face, murmuring the whole time about how badly he wanted her, how wonderful she felt, how often he had dreamed of kissing her again. The sound of his deep voice was mesmerizing and she abandoned herself to the sensations he was creating in her body.

Without realizing it, she allowed him to back all the way to the bed, pulling her with him as he went. When he turned her so that her knees were pressed against the side of the bed, it just seemed reasonable to allow herself to sink down onto the soft mattress with him. As soon as he didn’t have to hold her up anymore, Spike’s hands began moving around her body, leaving heat and tingling everywhere his cool fingers touched. When he pushed his hands up under her shirt and stroked the bare skin on her back without protest, he began to hope this would be more than a heavy make out session.

(Bloody hell, she wants me as much as I want her. I can tell she’s fighting it, know she thinks it’s wrong. Please, baby, please, let me touch you, let me feel you around me again, let me love you...)

He could tell the effect his kisses were having on her and he made a point of maintaining lip contact as he tentatively pulled her shirt off and undid her bra. When she didn’t pull away or hit him, he relaxed and slid his mouth down her neck, across her collarbone and down to take one rosy nipple in his mouth.

Buffy gave up any pretense that this wasn’t going to happen and arched up into his mouth, moaning as she did so. She began yanking on his tee shirt, anxious to feel his cool, hard chest against her bare skin. With both of them now desperate for skin on skin contact, their clothes were soon lying on the floor and their hands were free to move around wherever they wanted them. Spike was running his talented mouth and hands down her body, keeping up his running commentary of how it felt as he did so. “So beautiful, so soft, so strong, so warm. Got to taste you, love. Got to taste you now.”

(Taste me? What does he mean he wants to taste me? What is he doing down there? Is he going to bite me? What is he.....? Gaaah! Not biting. Definitely not biting! Oh my god!)

Buffy’s hips came up off the bed as Spike’s cool tongue licked her back to front, then began teasing her clit with short, hard strokes. Her whimpers quickly turned to mewing gasps as he brought her to climax with just a few seconds of attention to her throbbing clit.

Before she could get her breath back, he quickly slid up her body and positioned himself between her legs. He was mentally telling himself to take it slow and make it last, just in case he didn’t get another chance, but as soon as he felt her warm walls close around him he groaned and started thrusting hard. The Slayer met him thrust for thrust, raising her hips to meet his and grinding her pelvis into him. It didn’t take very long for both of them to be climbing toward orgasm and Buffy’s keening wail was matched by the vampire’s roar.

For the next several minutes, they lay comfortably on their sides with their arms around each other, struggling to come down from the incredible highs they had both experienced. Finally, Spike said in a shaky voice, “You are bleedin’ amazing, pet. Absolutely amazing.”

“You’re not so bad yourself, vampire,” she said shyly.

Her obvious embarrassment reminded him that she was really very inexperienced –
(Nothing but one time with the bloody poof and that soddin’ frat boy who dumped her. Hell, she’s been with me more than she has with any of her boyfriends!).

With no urge to examine his motives, he found himself wanting to make her feel appreciated and he pulled her in closer and kissed the top of her head.

“I was bloody inspired, love. Bloody inspired.”

They rested quietly a little while longer; Buffy’s hand resting on his chest as he gently stroked her arm and shoulder. He could tell by the change in her heart rate that she was thinking hard about something.

(Don’t let her be wanting to jump up and run away like last time. Not yet, Buffy, not yet, please.)

While he worried that she was regretting what they’d done, she began rubbing small circles on his chest with her hand. When she rubbed across his nipple, it hardened and she stopped to flick it with her fingernail. His hiss of pleasure brought a smile to her face and she looked up to see him gazing at her like she was something precious.

“So, then, you think I might.....might be worth a second go?”

As she spoke, she mentally cringed at leaving herself so vulnerable in front of her mortal enemy. Remembering how he had cruelly mocked her after the Parker fiasco, she immediately regretted saying anything and started to pull away from him, turning her head so he couldn’t see her face.

She was so sure he was going to cut her down and insult her that it took her a minute to notice he was trembling. Before she could ask him what was wrong, he grabbed her chin and turned her face so that he could look her in the eye. His eyes were flashing back and forth between blue and gold and he began speaking as if he could read her thoughts.

“Don’t you ever believe what that bleedin’ bastard Angelus said about you. He was just being his usual psycho self and messing with your head. He didn’t lose that soul because you weren’t any good. Use your common sense, Slayer. You made him so happy he lost his bloody soul! Not worth a second go? I don’t think so.”

Buffy just stared at him in astonishment. (Is Spike trying to make me feel better? William the Bloody is feeding my ego?)

“And don’t even get me started on that ponce of a college boy,” he growled as he settled back down onto the bed. “Not a gentlemanly bone in his body. I get this chip out – he’s dead.”

Spike turned his head to see the Slayer staring at him with her mouth open and very confused eyes. (Sod it all! Now I’ve gone and done it. Sounding like a poof myself now.)
He peered up at her carefully, waiting to see how she was going to respond to his rant. When she leaned forward and pressed her lips to his in a chaste, but warm kiss, he swore he felt his dead heart skip a beat. “Thank you, Spike.” She said softly as she settled back down beside him and resumed rubbing his chest. “That was very sweet.”

“Well, don’t be spreadin’ it around, Slayer. Got a reputation to protect,” he said gruffly.
She giggled and he marveled at how different she sounded from the grim Slayer he was used to. “Don’t worry, I don’t think anyone would believe me if I did tell them. William the Bloody being nice to a Slayer? Not likely,” she snorted.

“Just so we’re clear on that,” he growled.

The growl sent vibrations shivering through her body, vibrations that reminded her that she was lying next to a naked and very sexy vampire. She nuzzled his chest, drinking in the unique combination of tobacco, alcohol and musk that was Spike. She ran her tongue over his nipple, bringing on another growl; this one lower and not at all threatening. “I’ll bet there’s something in the Slayer handbook that says I shouldn’t think that’s sexy,” she murmured into his neck as she slid her leg over his and shifted her body to press it against him.

“There’s a Slayer handbook?” he asked as he nibbled on her ear and pulled her completely up on top of him. “Is this in it?” he added as he positioned her over his ready cock. Buffy moaned as he held her hips, keeping her in place but not letting her lower herself onto the hard shaft that was teasing her entrance.

“Well, Slayer?” he insisted as he kept her from moving. “What would they think of this?”
Suddenly her face changed, her moans stopped and she looked at him in horror.

(Oh my god, I’m about to climb on top of Spike! Spike who has killed two slayers and is only not killing because of the chip in his head. What is wrong with me? He has no soul, he’s a killer, a mass murderer and I’m in bed with him.)

(Bloody hell, I have got to be the stupidest git on the planet. You’d think after 125 years I’d have learned to keep my big mouth shut.)

While she struggled to move away from him and he tried to pull her back down onto his throbbing cock, he babbled whatever he could think of trying to take the shocked and disgusted look off her face.

“No, love, don’t go. Please, Slayer, Buffy, I didn’t mean to.....Please, baby, please, stay. Let me –“ he cringed at the pleading tone in voice, but couldn’t stop himself as she continued to pull away from him shaking her head vigorously.

“No!” she shouted, wrenching herself free and frantically reaching for her clothes. “I don’t know what I was thinking. I can’t believe I actually.....that we....”

She was almost sobbing as she pulled her clothes on, refusing to look at him. Anger at herself and at him was the only thing keeping her from dissolving in tears. He moved off the bed ignoring his nudity and tried to pull her into an embrace.

“Please, Slayer. I never should have said that. I was just playing with you. Don’t leave like this – at least look at me,” he finished as she edged away from him, shaking her head and refusing to meet his eyes. When he moved toward her again, she shoved him hard – sending him flying across the room into the wall.

“Stay away from me, Spike! This was wrong on so many levels I can’t count them. Stay away. I don’t want you touching me again. Do you understand?”

“Oh I understand all right, Slayer. I understand that you got what you wanted and now you’re taking it out on me because you’re feeling guilty about it. There was nothing wrong with what we did. It was bloody brilliant and you damn well know it!”

He stalked toward her like a jungle cat, his eyes flashing gold as he put a hand on either side of her head and leaned in toward her face.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t want it, didn’t enjoy it and don’t you bloody well tell me you didn’t feel something between us while we were doing it! We’re not done yet, Slayer. Not by a long shot!”

“Yes, we are, Spike.” She said in a calm tone of voice he found more frightening than her earlier yelling. “We have to be. I’m the Slayer. I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this and I won’t.” she finished firmly, finally meeting his eyes.

His stomach clenched at the resolve he read there and his anger evaporated as quickly as it had exploded. He leaned in and touched his forehead to hers. “Alright, love. I won’t push you. But if – when - you change your mind, I’ll be waitin’ for you.”

“I’m not going to change my mind, Spike. This was a mistake and I don’t intend to repeat it. It’s never going to happen again.”

Before she could turn and open the door, he tilted his head and captured her lips, kissing her gently until he felt her mouth soften and respond to him. He kept the kiss soft and tender, just lightly running his tongue over her lower lip and pulling on it gently as he stood up straight and took his hands away from the door.

“Told you the last time, Slayer. Never’s a long, long time.” With a final smirk, he turned back to bed and starting pulling on his pants. He winced as he heard the door slam shut and he dropped back onto the rumpled bed with a sigh.

Chapter Two

Several Weeks later

Riley glanced at the blond man at the back of the room and forgot about Buffy’s accusation against Maggie Walsh for a moment.

“That’s Hostile 17! We’ve been searching for him for weeks.”

Spike’s attempt to pretend he was a friend of Xander’s was obviously not going to work with him back in his own distinctive black clothes and he quickly gave up. “Yeah, I’m your guy.” He agreed with a shrug.

“Why have you been hiding a hostile from us?” the soldier demanded, turning to Buffy. He went on at some length about their having hidden one of the Initiative’s escaped prisoners from him until Spike got tired of the tirade and interrupted, “A little off-topic there aren’t you, Capt’n? Your sleazy boss tried to kill the Slayer and you can’t think of anything to do about it except yell at her about me? The important thing is she could’ve been killed by a couple of your tame demons!”

“You’re a vampire. What do you care what happens to her?”

“I care because she’s mine,” Spike growled with a hint of yellow in his eyes and a furrowed forehead.

Every eyebrow in the room went up as high as was physically possible when they all turned to stare at the vampire incredulously.

“Yours?” Riley said coldly. “You think she’s yours?”

Buffy’s stomach clenched in fear as she waited for his answer, knowing it could reveal much more than she wanted Riley or her friends to know about her.

(Bloody Hell! Did I say that out loud? How do I get out of this one?)

“To kill, I mean. She’s mine to kill.” Spike amended quickly as he felt the hostility in the room increase tremendously. “It’s what I do. I kill Slayers and this one my list. Just waiting to get this soddin’ chip out.”

Riley looked at Buffy who was rolling her eyes and shaking her head at Spike’s stammered explanation.

“Buffy, he says he wants to kill you. Why would you shelter something like that?”

Buffy rolled her eyes again and asked, “Spike, how many times have you tried to kill me? Rough estimate.”

“Uh- don’t rightly know, Slayer. Let’s see, there was Back to School Night, then the Judge and ......bugger all. I don’t know. Lots?”

“Am I dead yet?”

“Obviously not,” he grumbled. “Only a question of time, though, Cutie. Only a question of time.”

Ignoring the implied threat, Buffy turned to Riley and said, “See? What he wants to do is irrelevant. It isn’t going to happen. He hasn’t been able to kill me yet and I doubt he’s gotten any smarter or stronger lately.”

“Hey! You take that back!” the indignant vampire stood up and came up to glare at her from close range.

Standing toe to toe and meeting him glare for glare, the Slayer snapped back at him, “I don’t think so! Who was so stupid he got himself captured and chipped, huh?”

Riley gaped at the two blonds standing so close they were practically touching while they glared at each other and exchanged insults. To his surprise, no one else seemed particularly interested in or bothered by their behavior. “Uh, guys? Shouldn’t we...” he gestured at the two arguing killers and looked to the Scoobies for help.

Anya looked up briefly and shrugged, “No, we shouldn’t get in the way. They do that all the time. One of them will get really mad and stop in a minute. There! See”

Riley turned back to see that Buffy had thrown up her hands and stamped away growling “Moron!” over her shoulder at the equally disgusted vampire who was stomping in the other direction and snarling, “Bitch!”

Buffy was still breathing hard when she turned back to Riley and said, “So, you see, Spike is not nearly as dangerous to me as your boss is.”

Riley refused to let it go, asking, “Well, if he’s tried so many times and hasn’t been able to kill you, why isn’t he a pile of dust? Isn’t slaying the vampires you fight what you do?”

Buffy blinked several times as she struggled for an answer that made sense.

(OK, there are some perfectly good reasons why Spike isn’t dust. I just have to think of them.)

“Well,” she started, “I....I....guess I just had more important things to worry about at the time, so as long as he wasn’t a danger any more...... Look, he just got away a lot, OK?”

(Good job, Buffy. He got away a lot. That’ll show him!)

“And you couldn’t be bothered to chase him down?” her boy friend asked suspiciously.
“You know what, Riley? Spike really isn’t the topic we need to be discussing here. Your boss and whatever she’s hiding in 314 are what need to be investigated, not my decisions to slay or not to slay.”

While Buffy had Riley’s attention as she argued for an investigation into the hidden parts of the Initiative, Spike took the opportunity to slip out the door and run away. Buffy tried very hard to convince herself that she hadn’t been worried about him and wasn’t glad that he had escaped.

(I’m just worried about him because he’s helpless. This has nothing to do with the fact that he’s the best kisser I’ve ever met.)

Chapter Three

“Giles! This is not fair. I’m perfectly capable of handling whatever I find in those tunnels all by myself. I got out okay the first time, didn’t I?” the Slayer glared at her Watcher and stamped her foot.

“Yes, you did, but just barely as I recall. Having Spike with you means an extra set of eyes and ears – enhanced ones, I might add – as well as back up that is almost as strong as you.” Giles shook his head slightly and pleaded with his slayer, “I’m not trying to insult you, Buffy. I’m just trying to ensure that you have help with you in the event that the tunnels are guarded.”

Buffy snorted in disgust, but knew that Giles was making sense. He was beginning to look at her with real curiosity as she argued against taking Spike with her and she knew it was time to stop arguing.

(Telling my Watcher that I’m afraid to be alone with Spike because I might jump his bones again is definitely of the bad. Better to just do what he wants and exert some self control. I can do that. I’m all about the self-control. Slayer strength and all that....)

Her thoughts became less coherent as the blond topic of discussion came into the room, pulling on his duster. She was grateful that he insisted on wearing the billowing coat everywhere as it covered his lean, muscular body and helped her avoid un-Slayerly thoughts.

(Okay, I can do this. As long as he keeps his coat on and doesn’t give me any of those sexy smiles, or .......)

“Hey, Slayer. You ready to go kill stuff? The watcher tells me I get to go along this time. You don’t mind, do you pet?” he asked, giving her one of those smiles.

“If I have to, I have to,” she said haughtily. “But don’t get in my way, and you have to do what I tell you.”

“I’ll be your willing slave, love.” He smirked at her, managing to make it sound like it had nothing to do with killing demons.

Several hours and a few dead demons later, they were no closer to learning more about the Initiative’s secrets then they had been when they went in. They were also, apparently, lost.

Buffy groaned as she sank down with her back against the wall, stretching her legs out in front of her.

“Note to self. Do not wear new boots with heels for cave exploring.” She tried to rub her foot through the leather, then flinched when Spike reached for her foot and pulled it into his lap.

“What are you doing?” she demanded, trying to sound angry but too tired to bother yanking her foot back.

(It’s just a foot. What can he do to a foot? This is perfectly safe.)

“Relax, Slayer. Jus’ goin’ to help those cute little feet feel better,” he said as he slid his hand up her leg and unzipped her boot. Buffy’s brain was telling her not to let him touch her, and certainly not to let him start removing items of clothing, but her body was sinking into a pleasant stupor as his talented hands began massaging her foot.

Against her will, a moan of pleasure slipped out of her mouth as he rubbed the ball of her foot, massaged each toe, gently caressed her arch and worked his fingers into the soft areas on either side of her Achilles tendon. She didn’t even stir as he set that foot down and began to unzip the other boot.

Time seemed to stand still as the vampire worked both feet until they were warm and tingling with renewed vigor.

“Is that better, love?” he asked softly as he planted a gentle kiss on her big toe. She noted that she was no longer wearing socks and wondered when he’d taken them off and why she hadn’t noticed. In response to his question, she just slid a little further down the wall and murmured, “Oh yeah. You could do that all night.”

Spike gave a soft chuckle and kissed her other toes. Buffy struggled to sit up, groaning, “Tell me I didn’t just say that out loud.”

“Fraid so, pet. All night it is, then,” he said as he continued rubbing and kissing her feet. Suddenly, instead of putting her to sleep, his formerly soothing hands were causing unwanted sensations in entirely unrelated parts of her body.

When his hands moved up to start massaging her calves, she tried to tell herself to make him stop, but the gentle kneading of her sore muscles was too wonderful and she decided to see how far he would go. When he got to her thighs and began smoothly stroking the aching muscles, she tried to pretend she wasn’t noticing that each stroke got closer to her now-damp crotch, but she knew the hitch in her breath every time his thumbs brushed against her was giving her away.

Buffy opened her eyes to tell him to stop and was paralyzed by the raw desire she saw reflected in his face. There was another emotion there too, one she wasn’t sure she wanted to identify. Spike held her gaze for just a moment, then quickly regained his usual cocky smirk.

“Somethin’ you want, love?” he drawled as his thumbs stroked her outer lips through her jeans. He gave up any pretense that he wasn’t trying to turn her on and slid closer to her. Buffy’s body was at complete war with her brain. Her senses were filled with him – his scent – cigarettes, leather and something that was uniquely Spike. Before she could succumb to her raging hormones, he suddenly stiffened and raised his head, listening.

“What it is?” The Slayer immediately took over and Buffy grabbed her socks and boots as the vampire stood up and stared intently down the tunnel.

“Let’s go, pet.” He said without any trace of affection or lust. “Now!”

Zipping up her last boot, Buffy took his outstretched hand and allowed him to pull her up. As soon as she was on her feet, he took off running, pulling her along with him. Using speed that no ordinary human could match, vampire and slayer had soon outdistanced whatever had been approaching them in the tunnel.

They stopped briefly so that Spike could listen. When he relaxed a little and started walking normally, Buffy finally ventured, “What was it? What did you hear?” They had gone some distance before she noticed that he hadn’t released her hand yet and they were basically strolling along hand-in-hand like a couple.

Buffy reluctantly pulled her hand out of his; smothering the little pang of loss she felt when her fingers were no longer linked with his. He sighed, then shook himself and answered her.

“Not completely sure, pet. Heard a lot of footsteps. Mostly human, but some were too heavy to be human. Maybe some of those tame demons, or something else heavy. Didn’t sound like anything we needed to be takin’ on by ourselves if we didn’t have to.”

Buffy nodded her head in agreement. “I guess that’s why Giles was so adamant that I take you with me. I never would have heard them in time...”

The vampire shot her a sideways look and murmured, “Almost didn’t hear them myself. What with being distracted.....”

Buffy blushed and looked away from him. She wanted to tell him there hadn’t been anything to be distracted by, but even her uncanny ability to live in denial wasn’t strong enough to ignore the truth in his words.

“Spike, about that.....”

(About that what, Buffy? What are you going to say? I wasn’t responding to you? I don’t want you touching me? I don’t want...)

To Buffy’s complete amazement, instead of the argument she was expecting about giving in to what her body clearly wanted, he tipped her face up to his and looked at her intently.

“I said I wouldn’t push you, Slayer. And I meant it. If you’re not comfortable with........with whatever it is between us, then nothin’s going to happen. I really didn’t mean for that to go where it did back there. You were in pain and I only wanted to make you more comfortable. Just don’t have as much self-control as I’d like to sometimes and I got carried away. I’m sorry. Won’t happen again.”

Buffy’s head was whirling. (Is this Spike? Evil, soulless, piggy Spike? He’s apologizing? To me?)

“Did we fall into an alternate dimension? Who are you and what have you done with Spike?”

The vampire snorted and shook his head. “You just don’t know me as well as you think you do, pet.” He shot her a look from under his thick lashes. “You don’t know me very well at all.”

Buffy was looking up at him with confusion, her full lips slightly parted and a small frown creasing her brow. For a second she was sure the vampire was going to kiss her. He leaned forward, eyes on her lips, then suddenly straightened and pulled away.

“Right then. That’s all settled. Let’s get out of here.”

She hastened to catch up with him as he strode off, duster billowing behind him. She was torn between being grateful to him for not kissing her and indignant that he was able not to when she knew she would have fallen right into his lips if given a chance.

Chapter Four

As they sat around the table in Giles’ apartment the next evening, Buffy found herself wondering briefly where Spike was. She mentally gave herself a shake and chided herself for including him in their group.

(He’s not one of us. Never was, never will be. Just because he can help me slay demons once in a while, doesn’t mean he...)

Apparently she wasn’t the only one thinking that way as Willow looked around and asked Xander, “Where’s Spike?”

“I dunno. Out doing creature-of-the-night kinds of things, I guess. He said something about checking on a place to live.”

“He’s not going to stay with you anymore?” Buffy asked more sharply than she intended.

“No,” Anya piped up. “We need our privacy so that Xander can give me more orgasms. Spike has been inhibiting Xander. He had to go.”

“It’s all right, Buffster. We know he can’t hurt anybody. Nobody human, anyway. Maybe he’ll just leave town and we won’t have to worry about him anymore.”

Buffy tried very hard to ignore the way her stomach was clenching at the thought of Spike’s being gone from Sunnydale.

(I don’t care if he leaves. Leaving is good. It means no more kissing, or touching, or....)

She leaped to her feet and in a shrill voice announced a sudden need to patrol. When her friends just looked at her incredulously, she flinched and added lamely, “I mean, if I want to find the commandos as well as stake vampires, I need to get an early start. Evil is afoot and I need it.”

She bolted from the house before anyone could ask her any more questions, and let her feet carry her toward the closest cemetery. She told herself very sternly that she was not looking for Spike, did not want to find Spike, and certainly wasn’t worried because she wasn’t finding him. As the night wore on and she found no trace of the bleached vampire anywhere, she repeated her litany of denials as though saying it often enough would make it so.

As she was skirting the edge of campus and muttering to herself, “I don’t care where he is. I don’t want to see him. I don’t need him. I don’t –“ she was interrupted by her head’s abrupt collision with a large, heavily armored chest. She looked up in surprise and fell back in to a fighting stance.

She found herself looking up into what seemed to be the face of one of Riley’s friends. However, the face she remembered had not had artificial eyes and pieces of metal embedded in it.

“F-Forrest?” she asked carefully. “Is that you?”

Without answering her, the zombie-like soldier swung his fist and connected with her unsuspecting chin. Buffy flew backwards and landed hard on the ground, staring up at the creature in front of her. She kipped back to her feet and took another fighting stance.

She aimed a roundhouse kick at Forrest’s head and smiled when she felt it connect. Her smile quickly faded when he appeared to barely register the blow and continued toward her. A series of punches and kicks later, and she found herself tiring as the former commando repeatedly aimed his owns punches and kicks at her. When a particularly hard punch connected with the side of her head and sent her back to the ground, she felt the first tinge of fear.

Giving her an inhuman smile, the creature that looked like Forrest lifted a large rock over his head and prepared to smash it down on her. As Buffy frantically rolled to the side, she thought she saw a flash of platinum hair shoot past her and she heard a thud as something connected with robotic man, knocking him back from her.

If she’d had any doubt as to Forrest’ apparent loss of humanity, it was quelled as she saw Spike exchanging punches with the creature. There was no sign that his chip was firing at all. There was also no sign that he was going to be able to take the half-robot, half-man by himself. As he came flying back to join her on the ground, he shook his head and growled, “I don’t think we’re winnin’ here, pet.”

“Yeah, got that message when he knocked me down for the third time,” Buffy agreed.

They both leaped back to their feet and went into fighting stances as the creature that used to be Forrest charged them

“I’ve got a plan, luv,” the blond vampire said as he dodged a haymaker.

“Oh good. Cause those always work out so well for you-” Buffy leaped into the air and planted both feet in Forrest’s chest, knocking him to the ground briefly.

Before she could ask what the plan was, Spike had grabbed her hand and was pulling her after his swiftly moving feet.

“Good plan,” she gasped out as they rapidly outdistanced the former commando.

Once again, as soon as they appeared to be safe, they slowed down and began walking. This time, he started to release her hand as soon as they stopped running, but was surprised when she laced her fingers through his. Spike took a quick glance at her out of the corner of his eye, but she stared determinedly ahead and refused to meet his eyes.

After several minutes of uncomfortable silence, Buffy said softly, without pausing to look at him, “Thank you.”

Spike squeezed her hand gently and replied, “You’re welcome, pet.” He waited another minute then asked, “What were you doing out there anyway? Thought you guys had a Scoobie meeting tonight at the Watcher’s.”

Buffy mumbled something unintelligible and hoped it was too dark for him to see the rush of blood to her face. He couldn’t actually see it, but he could hear the increase in her heart beat and feel the extra heat coming off her body.

“What was that, pet? I don’t think I heard you.”

“I said, ‘Iwaslookingforyou’,” she got out quickly, then stiffened in anticipation of what he would say next.

He stopped abruptly, shocked by her admission.


“Why, what?”

“Why were you looking for me?” He waited patiently; wondering if she was even aware that their hands were still linked, but unwilling to let go until he had to.

Buffy looked around frantically for something else to talk about. She looked at the sky, behind her at the campus lights, down on the ground as though there was something terribly interesting crawling on her boots. When she ran out of other things to look at, she finally raised her eyes to his and said reluctantly, “Xander said you might be leaving Sunnydale and I just didn’t want....I mean, you can go wherever you want to....but I..... Look. I just was! OK?”

He looked at her embarrassed face for a few seconds then, surprised her by nodding his head and continuing their walk. “OK, pet. That’s all right, then.”

They walked on slowly, neither one paying much attention to their surroundings and neither one ready to stop holding hands. Suddenly Spike’s vampire hearing picked up another sound besides the soft noise of their feet in the leaves and he went into game face in an effort to see better in the dark. He threw his head up and sniffed the air, then yanked Buffy with him into the shadow of a large crypt.

His cool hand over her mouth smothered her angry questions and when she realized he was listening intently, she stopped struggling and relaxed against his chest. He dropped his hand from her mouth, but kept his arms around her, pulling her tightly against his body as he shrank back against the rough stones.

Using his vampiric ability to be perfectly still, he blended into the shadows on the building. He knew whatever was coming toward them, if it was human, would never be able to spot him. Just then, the approaching men got close enough for him to see that they were commandos with infrared goggles on. While he would remain invisible to them, Buffy’s heat signature would stand right out, shadows or no. Without questioning why it would be necessary for Buffy to hide from the Initiative, he quickly he turned them both so that she was pressed up against the side of the crypt, completely hidden by his body and his flowing leather coat.

Buffy’s face was pressed uncomfortably against the rough stones in front of her, but she remained silent and still as she felt Spike become completely immobile. She had no idea the hyper active vampire could be so still for such a long period of time and wondered briefly what else she didn’t know about his capabilities. She tried hard not to squirm, as she remained flattened between Spike’s hard body and the wall.

(Potentially dangerous situation here. Not going to be distracted by the hard body pressed up against me. Nope. Slayer here. Totally focused on the situation. Can’t even feel that object pressing itself into my butt......oh my god. There’s something long and hard pressing into my butt!)

As luck would have it, the soldiers chose the area in front of the crypt to stop and discuss their mission. They casually glanced around periodically, looking for signs of activity, but completely overlooked the immobile vampire and the human he was sheltering. Even without vampire hearing, Buffy was able to pick up a word here and there. She startled slightly when she thought she heard them say “Slayer”, but from her position behind Spike she couldn’t really hear what they were saying.

When they finally moved on and Spike could no longer see or hear them, he shifted his weight and pulled Buffy away from the wall. She turned around, trying not to notice that his arms were still encircling her, and rubbed at her cheek where it had been pressed against the stones for so long.

“Whew! And Ow,” she said as she gingerly touched the scratch on her cheek. “

“Sorry, love. I didn’t mean to mash your face into it; was just tryin’ to.....”

“It’s Ok, Spike. It’s not like you haven’t done more damage than that throwing me into walls through the years. At least this time you weren’t trying to hurt me.” She gave him a small smile to show she wasn’t mad. In the shadow of the crypt, she couldn’t really see his face, but she could feel his eyes on her and she felt the heat as blood rushed to her cheeks.

Spike almost groaned as he felt her temperature go up and smelled the blood seeping from the scratch on her face. His arms were around her loosely, not really touching her, but keeping her within his reach. He was sure he was trembling as he leaned in slowly and offered, “Could stop that bleedin’ for you, Slayer.” He paused with his lips not quite touching her cheek and waited to see what she would say.

“Why?” she asked breathlessly. “It’s just a scratch. It’ll stop by itself any second now.”

Before he answered her, he ran his tongue quickly over the small cut, effectively stopping the bleeding and closing it.

Buffy gave a surprised squeal and pushed him away asking, “Why’d you do that?”

“Because,” he growled, dropping his arms, “I’m having a hard enough time just being this close to you without having to smell your blood too!”

Buffy gasped and flinched back from him, suddenly remembering what had been pressed up against her when she was against the wall. Spike stepped away, struggling to gain some control over his demon.

The easy camaraderie that they had been sharing before they ran into the commandos was gone as both Slayer and vampire tried to pretend they weren’t being affected by the other’s close proximity. In an effort to change the subject, Buffy asked, “Could you hear what they were saying? I thought I heard them mention the Slayer, but I wasn’t sure.”

“You heard it all right. Seems like your soldier boy toy is having a hard time convincing them that you’re for real. They think the Slayer is a fairy tale to frighten baby demons with and they want to prove it to him by capturing you.”

“What! What good would that do them? I wouldn’t let them-”

Spike made her look at him and see the seriousness of his expression as he reminded her, “That place is a giant prison and laboratory designed to hold supernatural creatures. Remember what they did to me? I don’t want you takin’ any chances around those wankers, Bu-Slayer. I can’t help you fight off humans. Much as I might want to rip their throats out.....”

Buffy smacked him on the arm and said, almost absently, “Don’t talk about killing humans, Spike.” She was thinking rapidly and trying to decide what her next move should be.

“I need to get back to Giles’ and tell him about Forrest and....what you heard just now. Let’s go!”

She turned and started off at a brisk trot, not even looking back to see if the vampire was following her. It took Spike a minute to realize that he was following her obediently, and another one to decide he was indignant about her casual assumption that he would come. He opened his mouth to protest, then shrugged as he admitted to himself that he would have gone with her anyway.

(Turnin’ into a bloody ponce, I am. Couple of quick shags and I’m the Slayer’s lap dog.)
Chapter Five

By the time Buffy and Spike returned to Giles’ apartment, the others had given up waiting for her and gone home for the night. The older man shook his head as Spike told him about the overheard conversation concerning his surrogate daughter.

He suddenly shot a suspicious look at the vampire. “Exactly why were you hiding Buffy, anyway? You had no reason then to think she had anything to fear from the Initiative. It is her boy friend’s unit; after all, “ he huffed. He was still annoyed that Buffy had begun another romantic relationship without his knowledge and the fact that Riley belonged to a covert group of soldiers had done nothing to allay his concerns.

Spike was momentarily at a loss for an explanation for his actions, then perked up as he reminded Giles, “Well, we’d just finished fightin’ with Frankenstein, hadn’t we? Not like I knew for sure what was comin’. Coulda been more of those....things.”

“Ah, yes, quite. Well then. Buffy, we’re going to have to keep you out of sight until we find out exactly what those men have in mind. I suppose you could stay here, but I would guess they know to look for you here....”

“I could go home, Giles. My mom was expecting me this weekend anyway. She’s got to go on a buying trip and I told her I’d watch the house for her. No one from the college knows where I live......”

“Not even Capt’n Cardboard?” Spike grumbled.

She gave him a glare, then snapped, “No, I’ve been too busy to introduce him to my mother yet.”

“I suppose that’s as good as anything, “ her Watcher said dubiously. “But it would be very easy to get your mother’s address through the school. I really think we need to find someplace less....obvious.”

Spike shuffled his feet for a minute then offered softly, “There’s an apartment on the edge of town, she could use. They won’t look for her there.”

“An apartment? What apartment? Whose?” Both Slayer and Watcher looked at him expectantly.

“Uh, well, it’’s mine, actually.” At Buffy’s skeptical look, he quickly said, “Being aroun’ Harmony too long can...wear on you, you know? I just needed someplace to get away, so I rented this place. Haven’t been back since the chip, but no reason why it shouldn’t still be empty.”

“You RENTED it?” The Slayer looked at him in disbelief. “Or you killed the rightful owner and moved in?”

Spike rolled his eyes and stretched his neck as he fought down his irritation. “I rented it, you stupid bint. It’s in a demon-owned building.” He paused and tried to look uninterested as he said, “Look, I’m just offerin’. Do you want it or not?”

He thought if he had a beating heart it would be thudding hard as he waited for her to decide. Buffy looked at Giles questioningly and he studied the vampire for a second then said, “They certainly won’t be looking for you in a demon’s apartment.”

Buffy stared hard at Spike, but he showed nothing but mild curiosity as he waited for her decision. There was no trace of guile or lust on his face, just a willingness to help.

(Ok, he said he’d give me space. I’m an adult. We can do this. I can stay in Spike’s apartment without wanting to get him naked. I can do that.)

“Well,” she exhaled forcefully. “I guess that’s a plan, then. I’ll just run by the dorm and get some clothes and my toothbrush-“

“Do you think that’s wise, Buffy? Your dorm would be an obvious place to look.”

“Fine, I’ll call Willow in the morning and ask her to bring me some things. Let’s go, Spike. I’d like to get at least a few hours’ sleep tonight.”

Giles offered to drive them to the apartment building so as to avoid any more potential run-ins with Initiative personnel. The trip only took a few minutes in his car and once again Buffy reminded herself that she really needed to learn how to drive some day. He dropped them off with an admonition to check in frequently and drove away leaving them on the sidewalk arguing about who had actually stopped Forrest long enough for them to get away.

“I hope they don’t kill each other before tomorrow,” he muttered as he watched them in his rear view mirror.

As the argument tapered off into growls and mutters, the two blonds turned and started into the building. Spike held up his hand and stopped Buffy before she opened the door.

“Let me go first, Slayer. Wouldn’t do for you to be seen here – or for me to be seen bringing you in. Be worth my head, it would.”

When he could see that there was no one around, he gestured for Buffy to follow him and led her up the stairs to a second-floor apartment. He pulled out a key and unlocked the heavy oak door, holding it for her so that she could precede him into the room.

Buffy almost laughed at the thought of Spike holding a door for her, but bit back the sarcastic remark she wanted to make and just smiled her thanks at him.

(Spike holds doors for women. Who knew?)

She stopped abruptly as she got inside and stared around the apartment. Instead of the garish blacks and reds she expected, it was tastefully, if soberly, decorated in what appeared to be genuine Victorian era furniture. The walls were muted shades of gray and green, with heavy dark green curtains hanging over the windows. One wall was completely lined with built in shelves full of books and there was a large comfortable-looking chair set under a reading lamp.

The room smelled a little musty from being closed up for so long, and Spike pulled the drapes and opened the windows to allow some fresh air in the room. He showed Buffy to the small bedroom and the bathroom attached to it but didn’t actually enter the room himself.

He waited in the doorway as she surveyed the large bed and then sat down to remove her shoes. Without looking up from her feet, she asked carefully, “And where will you.....?”

“Vampire, pet. Not ready to go to sleep yet. You get some kip and I’ll see you in the morning.”

Before she could register her surprise and disappointment, he blew her a kiss and walked out, shutting her door softly behind him.

Buffy was too tired to dwell on his unusual behavior and just crawled under the crimson sheets and covers and closed her eyes. Her last thought was that the pillow smelled like Spike and she found that oddly comforting.

Chapter #2 - Chapters 6 - Epilogue
Chapter Six

Buffy was startled awake several hours later by a whispered, “Bloody hell!” from the bathroom. She got up and sleepily walked to the door to see Spike trying to put toilet paper in the holder. On the sink top she could see newly purchased (or stolen, let’s not look too closely) toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, herbal shampoo (my brand!) and body wash. Spike looked up guiltily from where he was kneeling beside the toilet and met her stunned eyes. “Sorry, pet. I didn’t mean to wake you. Don’t have a need for this stuff, so I didn’t know how to get it on there.”

“That’s okay, Spike,” she said softly as she took it from his hand and put it on the holder. “I appreciate the thought.”

“Yeah, well, didn’t want you to be too uncomfortable...” his voice trailed off and she realized that she had moved much closer to him than was good for either of them. For several tense seconds they remained frozen in place, their faces only inches apart. There was no way for Spike to get out of the bathroom unless Buffy moved out of the way.

Instead of backing up, she continued to stare at him, trying not to focus on his full lower lip. Finally, using every shred of self-control at his disposal, Spike put his hands lightly on her shoulders and gently moved her back so that he could get out the door. As soon as he had room to move past her, he dropped his hands as though they were being scalded and fled to the bedroom doorway.

“Go...go back to sleep, Slayer. I’ll see you in the morning.”

He turned and shut the door behind him, leaning against it from the other side and taking deep, unnecessary breaths. He wanted to rush back into the bedroom and pin her down on the bed beneath him. He wanted to feel her on top of him again, wanted to kiss her moist lips, look into her sleepy eyes. He wanted to wake up with his arms wrapped around her warm body and his cock pressed against her firm butt.

Instead, he forced himself into the other room and threw himself down on the couch. He tried to replace visions of the warm, supple body in his bed with things that would allow him to sleep. He thought about the Initiative labs, the cage he’d been in, and the chip in his head. He was determined to wait her out and let her make the first move this time.

For her part, Buffy was left stupefied at Spike’s abrupt exit. She wasn’t sure if she was grateful that he wasn’t pushing the issue, or angry that he was able to walk away. She knew he was as aroused as she was, if not more so.

(I might not be able to hear or smell arousal like he can, but I know it when I see it looking at me.... and he wants me. I know he does. So what the hell is wrong with him? Okay, so I told him he could never touch me again. Big deal! Since when does Spike do anything I say? He’s just TRYING to aggravate me.)

She flounced back to the bed and threw herself on it angrily.

“Two can play at this game,” she grumbled angrily to herself. “Walk out on me, will he? Let’s just see how good those vampire senses really are....”

Deliberately, she allowed herself to think about the blond man in the next room. She pictured his rock hard stomach, his bulging biceps, and his firm ass. She buried her nose in the bedding and inhaled the scent of tobacco, whiskey, leather and the unmistakable musk that said, “Spike” to her. She moaned softly and pressed her body into the mattress as she imagined those cool, talented fingers trailing over her body and thought about the things he had done to her with his tongue.

She was soon breathing hard and could feel the heated flush she knew was making her body warmer than usual. Kicking off her jeans, she slid her hand into her lacy underwear and touched herself. She was soon writhing on the bed, gasping and pushing her hips down onto her hand as hard as she could. As she worked her fingers, bringing herself to a welcome release, she completely forgot that her original purpose was to punish the vampire in the other room.

Said vampire was groaning and stroking his aching cock as he listened to the sounds of Buffy pleasuring herself in his bed. He could smell her sweet juices as she moaned and shuddered with her orgasm and he pulled on himself in an effort to relieve the ache in his balls.

The sound of a broken bottle being thrown against the wall broke into Buffy’s drowsy satisfaction and she grinned as she remembered the original purpose to her self-seduction.

Her self-satisfied smile faded as the bedroom door was thrown open and a thoroughly angry and aroused vampire burst into her room. Making no attempt to hide the raging hard-on sticking out of his unzipped pants, he stalked into the bedroom and stood over her. She unconsciously shrank back from the flashing amber eyes glaring at her.

“That’s it, bitch,” he snarled as he threw himself at her, pressing her down into the mattress with the force of his leap.

Buffy was so startled, she didn’t react at first. Before she could decide whether she wanted to be indignant and throw him across the room, or giggle triumphantly and wrap her legs around him, she found herself effectively held in place by a furious master vampire in full game face.

He held her hands in one of his, pinning them up over her head so that she couldn’t get the leverage she needed to push him off, and his strong legs around hers kept them from bending to kick at him.

While the Slayer part of her was frantic at being held down by a vampire whose mouth was centimeters from her throat, another – totally unsuspected – part of her was being incredibly turned on at the sensation of being helplessly at the mercy of this angry creature.

(Allll right. Something is majorly wrong with me that this is turning me on. Come on, Buffy. Vampire here. Should be throwing him across the room, not growling back at him. Ummmmm.... Kiss now. Wig later. )

Spike crushed his mouth into hers, not noticing or caring that his fangs were slicing into her lips and tongue. It wasn’t until the blood from the cuts on her tongue began to run down his throat that he realized how hard he was kissing her and that she was kissing him back. In fact, it was the presence of her tongue in his mouth, swirling around and dueling with his, that caused it to be cut.

The bleeding wounds on her tongue didn’t seem to faze the Slayer at all, as she continued to meet his mouth with as much force and passion as he was pouring into her. Her body writhed under his; her strong but feminine torso undulating against his body as she moaned into his mouth.

When he realized she wasn’t trying to get away, Spike relaxed his legs a little and she immediately opened her thighs, allowing him to press up against the wet fabric of her underwear. When the tip of his cock brushed against her opening, they both groaned and the vampire took his free hand and ripped her panties off her body. He immediately pushed into her moist warmth, sheathing himself completely in one hard stroke.

Giving her no time to adjust to him, he began slamming into her as hard as he could. It briefly crossed his mind that this was a human girl, not a vampire and he could be hurting her, but the Slayer’s gasps and grunts as she thrust her pelvis up into his gave his chip no reason to think she was in pain.

As the two mortal enemies rocked together, setting a frenetic rhythm that brought them closer and closer to a mutual growling, snarling finish, an onlooker would have been hard-pressed to say for sure what was going on in the thoroughly disheveled bed. Every snarling thrust made by the demon was met with a growling counter-thrust by the Slayer. Her hands clutched at his back and shoulders, leaving bleeding welts everywhere they touched.

The pressure in her lower body grew and grew as their bodies continued to pound together and she felt her muscles begin to clench and tremble. Just when she was sure she was going to shake apart, she grabbed his shoulder with her teeth and screamed into it as she fell over the edge and into an abyss.

When Spike felt her teeth on his skin, he lost control of the demon and buried his fangs in her throat, taking several hard pulls of her blood as he felt himself exploding into her. The sensations were overwhelming – hot Slayer blood in his mouth, the warmth, strength and scent of Buffy around and under him. Over and over he spent himself inside her, until he was sure there was nothing left to spend. And even then, his hips continued to pump slowly as he relaxed back into his human visage.

When Spike’s teeth entered her throat and she felt the blood leaving her body, Buffy arched up off the bed as another orgasm followed so closely behind the first one that she couldn’t say for sure where one stopped and another began. Wave after wave of shuddering ecstasy went through her and she clung to the cool body on top of her as though it was her only anchor to the earth. She was dimly aware of his teeth pulling out of her neck and the quick swipe of his tongue that closed the wounds, but she continued to tremble from the after effects for several minutes.

With a shuddering exhalation, she finally released her hold on his body and he rolled away from her to lie on his back, taking quick, shallow and unnecessary breaths. His face had gone back into its human form as he struggled to understand what had happened to them. For minutes the only sounds in the room were the panting noises made by the two exhausted and satiated super beings lying on the bed.

When Buffy’s breathing had dropped back to something approaching normal, and Spike could hear that her heart beat was slowing down he squeezed his eyes shut for a second, then focused on the ceiling as he said quietly, “I’m sorry, Buffy.”

Buffy blinked rapidly several times as she tried to absorb what he’d said.

(He’s sorry? He’s SORRY? Sorry for what? That he just gave me two mind-blowing orgasms in a row? That he let me tear into him the way I never could with a human man? That I’ll never be able to enjoy......oh crap! He’s ruined sex for me with anyone else. Of all the despicable, evil.......)

She turned her head toward him and said with more indignation than she felt, “Well, you oughta be!”

He winced and sat up slowly, allowing her to see the still oozing marks from her nails on his back, as well as the very obvious tooth marks on his shoulder. She gasped at the sight of what she had done and immediately forgot her pretend anger. At the same time that Buffy was reaching toward his bleeding back, an apology on her lips, he was standing up and zipping up his pants.

“I am, love.” His shoulders were slumped and he kept his head down as he struggled to make his tired legs hold him up long enough to get his pants fastened. “I know you won’t believe me, but I never meant to .... I’ll just get out now....”

She looked at him with dismay and astonishment. In a small voice she asked, “You’re sorry? You didn’t mean to? You’re leaving? Don’t – didn’t you want me?”

(He’s leaving? What just happened here?)

(Don’t I want her? Can’t the stupid bint feel the truth of that on her neck? I’ve never wanted anything – anyone so much in my unlife. But I guess that’s the last I’ll see of her. If she doesn’t stake me, she’ll want me out of town)

He turned haunted eyes toward her and she flinched at the anguish on his face.

He turned eyes that glimmered with barely controlled tears towards her and she flinched at the anguish on his face.

“Don’t I want you? How can you ask that? I want you so much my demon tried to claim you!”

He sank to his knees at the edge of the bed, reached for her hands and pleaded, “Please don’t hate me, love. I never meant to hurt you. Only wanted to feel you again, to hold you, kiss you......I didn’t mean to bite you. I swear. I’m sorry, Buffy, so sorry.”

He held on to her hands and pressed his forehead down on to the bed, struggling not to give in to the sobs he could feel in the back of his throat. Buffy suddenly realized what he was talking about and freed up one hand to touch his head gently.

“Spike, look at me.” She tugged gently on his curls, trying to raise his head so that she could look him in the eye. “Please,” she added softly when he kept his head down between his outstretched arms. He slowly raised his head and she winced at the pain and sorrow she saw in his eyes. Tugging gently on his hands, she tried to pull him back up on the bed with her, but he stubbornly refused to leave the floor, kneeling at the side of the bed and gazing at her mournfully.

“Spike,” she began firmly. “Were you trying to hurt me?”

“N-no. Jus’ forgot you were human is all. Chip didn’t fire. It knew I wasn’t trying to hurt you.”

“If I were another vampire, would you be apologizing for biting me?” she asked slowly.

“No, of course not,” he answered quickly, “But –“

“Why not?” she interrupted him.

“Well, because it’’s what we do would mean......” he felt a small glimmer of hope as he saw the encouraging look on her face. “It would mean we that we were sharing....”

“Did you not want to share with me?” she asked softly.

“You have no idea how much I wa -, but it’s out of the question. You made that pretty clear. You’re the Slayer. I’m a soulless demon. You know, evil, vampire, mortal enemy.....Is any of this ringing a bell, Slayer?”

(Maybe if I say it first, it won’t hurt so much when she snaps out of it and starts throwing it at me. Know it’s comin’, don’t I?)

His deliberate use of her title rather than her name jarred Buffy back to reality and her face fell as she acknowledged the truth to what he was saying. As soon as Spike saw her face change from concern to dismay, he began to pull away from her, mentally preparing himself for rejection.

,i>(Holy crap. He’s repeating back to me what I said to him. How did I forget that so quickly? No matter how hot he is, no matter how good he is in bed – and, oh my god is he good! – He is a soulless vampire and I am the Slayer. This has got to stop. Now.)

Buffy reluctantly released his hands and moved away. She deliberately refused to look at him so as not to see the hurt in his eyes. Suddenly the rapidly healing cuts on her lips and tongue became a reminder of how hard and rough their coupling had been and she felt the first ripples of shame go through her.

(What came over me? That’s not me – I don’t bite and claw and....I don’t do things like that! It must be his fault. It’s because he’s a vampire and I.....oh my god....and I responded to him like another vampire would have.).

Without warning, tears were falling down her cheeks and she shook all over with the force of her emotion. Every lecture from Giles about the inherent evilness of vampires, every Council admonition about using Slayer powers only in the defense of good and innocent, every memory of Faith’s slide into evil; all these things flooded her with the wrongness of what they’d just done.

(I let a vampire bite me and I got off on it! I bit him back – no, I bit him FIRST! I ripped his back to shreds and knew I was doing it. I wanted him as much as he wanted me. I teased him into attacking me and enjoyed every second of it. I fucked a demon and I loved it.)

Gut wrenching sobs from the small girl huddled in a miserable heap on the bed sent Spike into a panic. He wanted so badly to hold and comfort her that it was making him tremble; but somehow he guessed what was tearing her up inside and knew that she would take no comfort from him.

(Made her see the darkness in her. She’s made for the light and now she knows what else is there. She’s never goin’ to forgive me for this. Might as well dust myself now, before she does.)

As Buffy’s heartbroken sobs subsided to gulps and sniffles, she became aware of her surroundings again and noticed that Spike was no longer in the room. She tried very hard to tell herself he was just a demon; that nothing she said or did could hurt him, but she couldn’t put his whispered apology or the stricken look on his face when she pulled away from him out of her mind.

She curled up in the bed that still smelled like Spike and sex, and pulled the covers over her head. Conflicting emotions of guilt and satisfaction were leading to the beginning of a headache and she decided avoiding the situation by going to sleep was her best option.

AN: I apologize for making free with the events of season IV, but as I said before, there is really no plot here except whatever it takes to get Spike and Buffy together.

Chapter Seven

In the other room, the vampire was swallowing as much whiskey as he could force down his throat in an unsuccessful attempt to forget what had just taken place.

(Had the Slayer six ways to Sunday and lost her again all in the space of a few minutes. Not too many vamps can say that, are there? Got to concentrate on what went right. Had the best sex of my un-life; shared blood with a Slayer; made Buffy come harder than any white-bread human will ever be able to; and made her hate me forever for doing those things to her. Okay, so that part didn’t go so right.....could very easily result in my dust blowin’ in the wind tomorrow. Wish there was a way to convince her I can control the demon. Wish she’d let me just make love to her; show her I can be gentle. That I can love her like she deserves....never goin’ to happen now. I’ll be lucky if she even speaks to me again.)

Between his morose thoughts and the two bottles of whiskey he’d downed, the vampire was soon fighting to hold back sobs as he contemplated an eternity of regret for the evening’s events. The more he tried to smother his grief, the harder it was to be quiet. He finally leaped to his feet and began to pace from one end of the living room to the other, bottle of whiskey in one hand and a wooden stake in the other.

Buffy awoke again to the sound of cursing and sobbing from the other room, along with the sound of Spike’s boots wearing a path from one side of the room to the other. She listened to him for as long as she could stand it, then leaped to her feet and started toward the door. She stopped when she touched the doorknob, realizing she had no idea what she was going to say or do.

(What he –I-- we did was wrong.- so wrong even he knows it. How can I fix this? And why is he so upset? He’s a demon. He was just being what he is. I’m the one that....)

She stood there with her hand on the doorknob for what seemed like hours; listening to the sounds from the other room, but afraid to face the man making them. When she couldn’t take it any longer, she yanked the door open and strode into the other room shouting, “Stop it. Just stop it, now!”

The startled vampire whirled to face her and she gasped when she saw the stake in his hand. Her eyes flew to his anguished face and she paled at the resolve she saw there. He crossed the room to her in two strides, holding the stake out to her and spreading his arms to expose his chest.

“Do it, Slayer,” he said calmly. “Just bloody do it. You know you want to. I deserve it.”

When Buffy just stared at him with her mouth open, making no move to take the stake, he pressed it into her hand and said more softly, “ It’s a’right, love. I know you need put this behind you. Just make it quick, Buffy. Please?” he added so quietly that she almost couldn’t hear him.

Once again her eyes were stinging with unshed tears as she grasped what he was offering. With a flick of her wrist, she threw the stake across the room and shuddered at the thought of what he wanted her to do. She raised her damp eyes to his and looked into his beautiful human face for several seconds before she moved closer and rested a tentative hand on his chest.

“I don’t want to stake you, Spike. This wasn’t your fault. I’m the one....”

“Bloody hell, Buffy. I practically raped you! I let the demon out and I bit you. Drank your blood, I did.”

“You did what comes naturally to you. I’m the one who brought out the demon and made him think it was okay to bite me.” She gestured at his still bleeding torso and the bite mark on his shoulder. “Looks like the Slayer did a lot more damage than the demon did.”

He tilted his head and looked at her curiously. “What are you sayin’, pet? That Buffy and the Slayer aren’t the same person?”

“Are William and the demon the same?” she countered, remembering how Angel and Angelus seemed to be two entirely different beings.

He studied her for a minute, then said softly, “Yes, love. It’s all me. I’m William and I’m the demon. I just usually have more control over it than that.”

“Well, more than I do over the Slayer, apparently. But I don’t usually go into Slayer mode unless I’m really mad or fighting....”

“You had a snarlin’ vampire on top of you, Buffy. I’m guessing if anything would bring out the Slayer, that would do it.” He gave her a small, shy grin. “Can’t really blame her for that, can you?”

She flushed as she replied, “Well, it’s not like she was exactly defending herself...”

As she dropped her embarrassed gaze to the floor, she realized that her hand was still resting on Spike’s muscular chest and she quickly snatched it back down to her side, blushing again. After several minutes of mutually admiring the pattern in the rug, they laughed softly as they gave matching sighs.

“So, now what, Sla-Buffy? If you’re not gonna stake me, how are we gonna make this go away?”

Buffy chewed her lower lip for a minute, struggling to put into words what she was intuitively feeling.

“The...demon is what.....I mean, that I.....we..... That was the demon, right?”

“Yeah, love,” he answered her softly. “That was all the demon.”

“Well...”she hesitated then said slowly, “What if I hadn’t brought the demon out? What would William have done?”

Spike scoffed as he answered, “That ponce? He’d have brought you flowers and recited bloody awful poetry to you.”

She looked at him keenly as she said wryly, “Or gone out to buy toilet paper and shampoo in the middle of the night?”

Spike looked away and mumbled, “Or that, maybe.”

“What did Spike want to do?”

She stepped up closer to him, but didn’t touch his bare chest. They had both been ignoring the fact that she was wearing nothing but her sweatshirt, which barely covered the tops of her legs. Suddenly he was very aware of her lack of clothing as she stepped into his space and he gulped as he looked down into her waiting face.

“He wanted to make love to you. Wanted it really bad, he did. But I promised you I’d give you space and I was tryin’ to keep my promise. Didn’t want to do anything to make you regret...”

“Yeah, well, I think that ship’s pretty much sailed, don’t you?” she snarked.

He flinched, then caught the glint of mischief in her eyes. He answered her with a hopeful grin. “Well, maybe we can replace those memories with something more...pleasant.”

In spite of his outwardly appearing to have recovered his snark and his cockiness, inside he was trembling as he waited to be sure that he was not misunderstanding the message she was sending. When she reached up and gently pressed her mouth to his, whispering, “sounds like a plan...” he gave in to the need that was flooding his body and swept her up in his arms.

Without taking his mouth off hers, he carried her back into the bedroom and stood over the bed. He stopped at the edge of the bed, staring down at the blood stained sheets and cringing at the sight.

Buffy turned her head to see what he was staring at, then looked up at him and ordered, “New memories. Now.”

“As you wish, Slayer.” He regained his smile and deposited her feet gently on the floor. He reached over and pulled the top sheet and blanket up to cover the signs of their earlier activity.

He turned to face her and she looked up at him trustingly as she suggested, “help me out of my sweatshirt?”

Smothering the growl in his chest, Spike reached for the bottom hem and pulled the shirt up and off, tossing it over his shoulder heedlessly. His admiring stare and whispered, “You are so beautiful, Buffy.” sent electricity throughout her body and she felt her temperature increase with her heart rate.

She reached for the belt on his jeans and unbuckled it with one hand. She slowly drew it out of the loops and threw it on the floor to join her shirt. She ran her warm hands over his cool chest, following them with her lip as she traced a path down to the waistband of his pants. With deft fingers she popped the button and pulled the zipper down, freeing his fully recovered cock. She watched for a second, fascinated by how it seemed to be reaching toward her as it bobbed up and down.

When Spike moved to step out of his jeans, she brought her attention back to his face and almost had to look away from the raw desire she saw there, tempered by something she couldn’t put a name to. He pulled her in to his body gently and whispered in her ear, “Gonna do it right this time, love. Take it nice and slow like I been wantin’ to. I’m gonna love you like you’ve never been loved before....”

The sound of his rich baritone in her ear made her shiver all over with anticipation. She could feel his erection pushing against her stomach, but he made no attempt to lift her on to it. With his mouth still murmuring in her ear, he gently picked her up again and knelt on the bed, holding her in his arms. He gave her another bone-melting kiss and placed her on the bed in front of him.

He followed her down to the bed, continuing to explore her mouth with his tongue and lips as he covered her body with his. When she arched up into him and tried to spread her thighs, he stopped kissing long enough to smile at her and chide, “Ah, ah. Not this time, love. This time we’re going to take all night.”

He slid slowly down her body, planting moist, light kisses as he went and pausing to lavish attention on each breast. When he pulled a nipple into his mouth and began suckling on it, Buffy felt the tugging all way down to her lower abdomen. She moaned and put her hand on the back of his head, holding it to her breast and reveling in the sensations he was creating.

When he had sucked both nipples to swollen, rosy points he began kissing his way further down her body. He paused at her navel to run his tongue around it. She giggled briefly at the feel of his cool tongue poking into her belly button then sighed as he continued running his mouth down and across her abdomen. He paused when he reached the curls covering her mound and kissed his way across the hairline and into the soft skin where her thigh joined her torso. He gently licked the area long enough to make her breathing begin to sound more like panting, then moved on to continue planting his gentle kisses along the top of her thigh and down the sensitive skin on the inside.

When he got to her knees, he switched legs and slowly worked his way back up the other leg until he was once again rubbing his nose gently in her soft curls. The feel of his cool breath on her outer lips made Buffy gasp and she pushed her hips up in an effort to make more contact, but he just chuckled and held her down with one hand while he ran his tongue lightly up the center of her folds. He applied just enough pressure to make her moan, but not enough to actually part the folds and touch her by-now-throbbing clit.

For minutes he continued to kiss and lick his way around, never quite touching the places she was moaning for. When she was throwing her head from side to side and began muttering curses, he surrendered and used the hand that wasn’t holding her hips in place to part her folds so that his tongue could reach her soaking center. Still, he teased her with licks and kisses that touched everything except the one swollen nub that was crying for attention.

His tongue went everywhere. Stroking up and down her inner and outer lips, and plunging into her opening to lick up the juices he found there. When Buffy’s hands buried themselves in the hair on his head and forced his face to stay in place while she pushed into it, he gave in and began forcefully licking her clit with his cool, hard tongue. In no time she was trembling and crying as he brought her to release, only to renew his ministrations and send her over the edge again and again.

His cock was so hard he felt like he could use it to batter a door down. When the ache became more than he could stand, he slid back up her body and let his hips drop between her open thighs. Buffy opened one weary, satisfied eye at him and asked in a sleepy voice, “Something you want, vampire? I think I’m too–“ she was interrupted by his mouth on hers and his tongue gently swirling around her open lips. She could taste herself on him and wondered briefly why he seemed to like it so much.

(Must have something to do with vampires being such oral creatures. Riley certainly doesn’t like it. Acts like he’s doing me a big favor).

As the kiss went on and deepened, she found that she wasn’t quite as satiated as she had thought and she pushed all thoughts of her supposed boy friend out of her head. She was soon pulling Spike’s lean, muscular body to her and urging him to bury his aching cock in her waiting warmth.

Spike slid into her moist heat, but this time he waited and allowed her time to adjust to his size. As much as he wanted to pound into her, he also wanted to stay connected and quiet and just savor the feeling of having her around him again. While Buffy wrapped her legs around his thighs and rubbed her hands softly on his back, he let himself indulge in the fantasy that this was only the first in a lifetime’s worth of lovemaking.

(Yeah, you tell yourself that, you stupid ponce. Go ahead and dream it’s gonna be all hearts and flowers from here on. You know when you leave this apartment it’s gonna be all over. One look at her Watcher’s face. One shocked look from the Scoobies and she’s going right back into denial.)

Buffy was more than content to lie still for a while and just enjoy the feeling of his cool length filling her up. It crossed her mind that their bodies fit so well together that it was as though they had been made for each other. She gave him a soft squeeze with her internal muscles and smiled when it elicited a groan from the vampire.

The gentle pressure from the Slayer’s walls was enough to bring Spike’s hips in motion without any conscious effort on his part. As he moved slowly and sensuously against her, he ran his mouth along her jaw and pulled gently on her earlobe. Soft, whispered endearments flowed over her as they moved in tandem, neither one in any hurry to end what felt so comfortable and so extraordinary at the same time.

As Spike’s thrusts became stronger and harder, his passionate murmuring increased along with them. At some point, Buffy stopped allowing his soothing voice to flow through her subconscious and she actually began to hear individual words and phrases. Along with the praise that she had come to expect for her effect on his physical senses, she started to pick up some totally unexpected things.

“ golden goddess. Never leave you. Want you forever, my Slayer, my love. “ As his movements increased and his drive for release got stronger, he drove into her and his voice took on a desperate tone as he cried out into her neck. “I Love you, Buffy. Want you, need you to be mine forever. Never leave me. Love me, please, love me....” He shook with the force of his orgasm and collapsed on top of her, his tongue unconsciously licking at the closed wounds on her neck.

When his tongue touched the marks left from his bite, Buffy immediately clenched around him as she experienced a completely unexpected and powerful orgasm. Even as she was allowing her boneless body to fall into the most relaxed sleep she’d had since she was a child, her mind was struggling to understand and absorb what she’d heard.

(Spike loves me? He loves me? He can’t love - he’s got no soul. The demon can’t love....can it? What about Drusilla? One hundred years together? Was that love? What did he mean when he said his demon tried to claim me? Spike loves me? Spike loves me. He loves me.....)

She drifted off to sleep with his arms around her and a warm feeling suffusing her body from the inside out.

When Spike collapsed against her, his tongue laving the marks he’d left on her neck, his demon struggled to emerge and finish the claim. As soon as the vampire realized what he had done, he froze and stared at the sleeping girl in his arms.

(Bloody hell! Did I just claim her? Why didn’t she stop me? I am so buggered! If she doesn’t kill me, her Watcher will for sure. I claimed the Slayer! I claimed the Slayer. I. Claimed. The. Slayer. No, I claimed Buffy. I made Buffy mine. Slayer be damned. I claimed the woman I love. Oh shit. I claimed Buffy. She’s gonna stake me for sure now.)

With a groan, he allowed the fatigue he felt after the long night to overcome him and pulled the bedspread up over them, allowing himself to sleep, his Slayer in his arms.

Chapter Eight

Buffy awoke to the feeling of complete contentment. She felt cherished and safe. She could feel a muscular arm lying across her body and an equally strong leg in between hers. Spike’s head was pressed to hers and his face was buried in her hair. She closed her eyes and tried to block out memories of the things they’d done during the night, but the pleasant aches in her body, as well as the almost healed cuts on her lips and tongue were impossible to ignore.

(This cannot be happening to me again. Slayer/Vampire. Not so mixey things and yet here we are....all naked and comfy and.....Holy crap. I’m in Spike’s bed. Naked. With his fang marks on my neck. And I never felt better in my life. And, hey, big plus, he’s still here. And probably no more evil than he ever was. At least he doesn’t have any soul to lose.

Will Giles and my friends buy that argument? Kinda don’t think so. Major wiggage is going to ensue when we can finally leave here. Maybe we can just stay here? Order take-out and just stay in bed all the time? Let somebody else save the world. Let those stupid soldiers of Riley’s handle it....oh shit! Riley! How do you tell your demon-hunting boyfriend that you’re dumping him for one of the demons? He’s going to try to kill Spike. No question. Staking Spike will become the mission and forget tame demons and robot/zombie soldiers. Argh!)

Spike woke up gradually as he felt Buffy’s heart rate increasing. He tightened his arm around her very slightly and tensed up, waiting to see what she would do. He had no idea how strong the claim might be, with it being unintentional and her not even knowing it was happening. He almost hoped it had worn off during the night so that he wouldn’t have to explain to her what happened.

When Buffy felt his arm tighten around her, she rolled over slowly and looked up at his worried face.

“Hey,” she said softly.

“Hey to you,” he whispered back at her, dipping his head down cautiously for a quick kiss. When she responded enthusiastically and put her arms around him, he sighed and relaxed onto his back, pulling her over on to his chest.

“So, Slayer, last night wasn’t just a wet dream, huh?”

“Eeww! And no. Not unless I had the same dream.”

(Got to tell her. It’s only right.)

“When I finish sayin’ what I’ve got to say, you might be wishin’ it was.”

He felt her stiffen and tightened his grip slightly so that she wouldn’t pull away from him. “Easy, pet. Wait till I’m done and then you can decide if you want to stake me or not.”

(Please stay here, Buffy. Stay with me, love.)

(Why does he think I’ll want to stake him? What is he going to say? Is he going to leave me too?)

He kissed the top of her head, took a deep breath and without looking at her face, began, “I don’t know if you were listenin’ last night when I told you I wanted you so much that my demon almost claimed you – or if you even know what it means. For a vampire to claim...”

“Not really,” she said, blushing. “I think that’s one of those ‘Slayer’s need to know this’ kinda things that I tuned out when Giles was trying to explain it.”

“I figured,” he said with a small smile. “Uneducated little chit that you are.”

“Hey!” she said indignantly. “1300 SATs here, thank you very much!”

“Didn’t say you were stupid, love. Just don’t know much.”

He laughed and grabbed her hand when she tried to smack him. He brought it to his mouth, kissed her fingers and then put it back down on his chest, cradling it in his larger one. Growing serious again, he continued with his explanation.

“When a vampire bites another during love-making and says anything possessive or.....or that would indicate strong feelings, the demon is marking that person as his –or hers, as the case might be. It sets up a connection between the two that can last anywhere from a few weeks to....eternity.”

“A few weeks to eternity? Sounds like a lot of room for error there.”

“Depends a lot on if the claim is renewed regularly and if it’s returned. If it isn’t repeated, and if the’t reciprocate, it fades after a while. If both... lovers...make and return the claim; and if they stay together long enough to renew it regularly, they can stay connected for as long as they live.”

“Define ‘connected’,” she said with tension in her voice.

He blew out another unnecessary breath and ran one hand up and down her arm soothingly. When she relaxed against him and almost purred, he sighed and said, “That’s part of it.”

“Like wha- oh!” Buffy’s sudden realization of the soothing effect his touch had on her was enough to send her pulse skyrocketing again. When he nuzzled her neck, thereby calming her down again immediately, she started to relax, then shot up in bed growling, “Stop that!”

“Stop what, love?” he asked innocently as he stroked her hand gently and smiled as she started to curl back into him.

“Stop calming me down!” She moved away from him as far as she could without falling off the bed and stared at him in shock. When she felt her body yearning toward him, even as she glared at his worried face, she began to tremble.

“What have you done to me, Spike?” she whispered. “What have you done?”

Trying not to look as crestfallen as he felt, he tried to explain. “When I bit you the first time, it started a claim. The only thing missing were the words. When we...made love...later...I licked the wounds while I was thinking...I said...”

“You said, ‘I love you,’” she finished for him, not meeting his eyes.

“I did. And to the demon it sounded like I was completing the claim.”

He reached for her chin and turned her to face him. His eyes begged her to believe him, even as his touch made it almost impossible for her not to.

“I never meant to do that, Buffy. I swear to you. It’s why I was so freaked the first time. I knew the demon was trying to mark you as mine. And...” He faltered and let go of her chin, “And I knew you wouldn’t want that. To be mine.” He tried to keep the pain that admission cost him from reaching his voice and eyes, but when Buffy looked away, he knew he hadn’t been successful.

“I never said I didn’t,” she said so softly he wouldn’t have heard her without his vampiric hearing ability. “I just don’t think you should have done it without explaining it to me first and asking me if I wanted it.”

He gaped at the small blond woman who was pulling on a thread in the bedspread and refusing to look at him. While his unbeating heart threatened to leap out of his chest, he fought to keep his hands from reaching for her and demanding she repeat herself. He knew they needed to get this settled without any chance that the claim was influencing Buffy’s feelings.

He got off the bed and walked to the other side of the room, putting as much distance as he could between them. Buffy was still turned away from him, although she had stopped pulling on the thread and was just sitting quietly with her hands in her lap.

“Don’t play with me, Slayer,” he growled. “I meant what I said. I wasn’t intendin’ to claim you, but I meant what I said about lovin’ you. If you give me some small sign, just a crumb is all I’m askin’, that you might...someday, maybe... I’ll wait forever. But if you don’t.., if you can’t...If I’m too far beneath you, tell me now and I’ll leave Sunnydale. It’s not a strong claim. With me not here, it should fade in a couple of days.”

Instead of answering his implied question, Buffy chose to ask another one of her own. “Is there anything else? Besides the calming down thing?”

“Yeah – there are some other side effects. I’ll be able to feel you, even if you’re not close by. I’ll know if somethin’s botherin’ you, or hurtin’ you. And, you’ll be able to feel me. You’ll know when I’m close by.”

“I already do that,” she admitted, then put her hands over her mouth in dismay at admitting it outloud.

“Yeah, pet. Me too,” he gave her a wry grin. “but now we’ll be able to do it from farther away. It’s not quite like being able to read each other’s minds, but we’ll be able to have an idea what’s going on.”

“Makes it kinda hard to cheat, doesn’t it?” she tried to joke.

“Uh, yeah, pet. Kinda the point, in a way. It’s not likely two peop- vamps with a mutual claim would be lookin’ to hook up with anybody else. Would sorta spoil the whole ‘life-long commitment’ thing”

Buffy studied him carefully. “Vampires make life-long commitments? Demons can love? How is that possible? You – they don’t have souls.”

Spike just stared back at her. She could see a muscle in his jaw clench and unclench and knew he knew she was thinking about Angel. He glared at her just long enough to be sure she knew what he was thinking, then he shrugged and looked away. He did not want to have an argument about his grandsire this morning.

Buffy smothered the little burst of pain she felt at knowing that Angel’s excuse of not being able to love her without his soul was bogus. There was a tiny twinge and then she realized it didn’t really matter that much any more. Somebody else did love her.

“Anything else I should know? Are we going to start to look alike or anything like that? I’m not going to start wanting to drink blood am I?” she whirled to look at him with panic-stricken eyes.

“Relax, Slayer. You’re not gonna do anything. We’ll just stay apart for a while and it’ll fade away. It’s not like you returned it or anything...”

“We have to stay apart?” she asked in a small voice. “Why?”

“I explained that, you stupid chit – if we don’t renew it, it goes away!”

“I don’t want to stay apart.” She stuck her lower lip out in a pout and he groaned to himself. “And don’t call me stupid!”

“Slayer – Buffy – love of my life, if we start shagging again, it’ll never go away. Every time we make love, the claim gets stronger. Why do you think I’m all the way over here on this side of the room?”

“Well, that” she crossed her arms over her chest and continued to pout like a small child.

“So,” he began slowly, “you’re sayin’ if we didn’t have to worry about the would...I could...we might...”

“Spit it out, Spike! If we could be, we would be. Now. In this bed. More than once. Is that clear enough for you?”

His eyes darkened with desire and she thought she saw gold flecks in them as he turned away and grabbed his pants. He tried to pull them on before she could see the hard-on he got when she said she wanted him again, but he could tell from her giggles that he wasn’t fooling her.

“’S not funny, Slayer,” he growled. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to stay away from you? And, would you please put some soddin’ clothes on?”

Buffy blushed all over as she realized they had been carrying on the entire conversation while she was stark naked. She hastily grabbed her sweatshirt and jeans and pulled them on. Then she looked over at Spike and ordered, “Go put a shirt on.”

He smirked at her and pulled a tee shirt from a drawer to cover his chest. She noticed idly that the tooth marks she’d left on his shoulder and the gouges in his back were almost healed. Soon the only signs of their violent love making would be the bloody sheets and the memories she couldn’t get out of her head.

“Why didn’t I notice I was naked?” she asked suddenly.

“What?” Spike gawked at her. “Why didn’t you what?”

“Notice that I was naked. We had that whole conversation and we were both naked and it didn’t even bother me. I didn’t even notice. Is that because of the claim? Does it make me more comfortable around you?”

“I don’t know, love,” he said slowly. “Being naked has never bothered me –well, not since I was a poncy Victorian poet anyway,” he gave her a shy smile. “But I don’t know why you weren’t bothered. Not that you should be,” he added hastily. “You’re so bloody beautiful, you should go around naked all the time. Around me, anyway.”

Buffy rolled her eyes at him, but inside she was warmed by his praise. Then she looked at him with frightened eyes again.

“I hate this!” she burst out; then froze when she saw the stricken look on his face. Forgetting that she wanted to stay away from him, she flew across the room and threw her arms around his waist.

“Not you, Spike. I don’t hate you. I hate that I can’t tell if the things I’m feeling are real or because you claimed me. I don’t know what to trust.”

She felt him trembling with the effort of keeping his arms from going around her. She rubbed her face on his chest, inhaling his scent, and then forced herself to let go and step back. His body was rigid and his face showed the massive struggle going on inside.

“I...I’m sorry,” she stammered. “I didn’t mean to make it harder. I was just afraid you thought I meant...”

“It’s alright, love,” he said with effort. “You should hate it. It’s ...I’ve taken away your free will in a way. Demons are very possessive. It won’t - I won’t – want to let you fret, won’t let you be in danger, won’t want anyone else touch you, won’t want to be away from you for any length of time, will want to be touching you all the time.... It’s goin’ to be a bit of problem, innit?”

“You think?” she rolled her eyes.

There was silence for a minute as she moved slowly away from the still-immobile vampire. She wanted nothing more than to pull him back down on to the bed and curl up at his side, but she fought the urge and moved back to the other side of the small bedroom.

“Those things – the things you say you feel. Should I be feeling them too?”

“Dunno, pet. There aren’t very many instances of vampires claiming humans – and you’re not even a normal human. You’re the Slayer. Who knows what that throws into the mix. You didn’t claim me back – you didn’t even acknowledge the claim--”

Buffy wondered if she was really seeing the flash of pain in his eyes as he said that or if she had just imagined it.

“I want to be close to you,” she said softly. “I...I want to touch you. I want you to hold me, but I’m afraid to. I’m afraid it’s just the claim making me want those things. I don’t know if it’s real. It’s like being under that stupid spell all over again!”

“I don’t know what’s real either, love. I can tell you I’m not feeling anything now that I wasn’t already feeling weeks ago – it’s just harder to hide it is all. But....I can’t say for you—“ He tried to hide the spark of hope he could feel trying to break out of his chest.

“How will we know if – when it’s gone? How will I know what I want? I don’t want to be with you because of some mystical bond. I want it to be because I...I...” Her voice trailed off. There was no way she was going to admit to falling in love with another vampire. At least not until she was sure that she wasn’t being influenced by something outside her control.

Chapter Nine

“It WILL fade, love. I promise. And soon.” He stared at her for minutes just drinking in the sight of her in his bedroom. The uncertainty in her face decided him and he moved across the room to touch her face gently.

“I’m going to leave for a while, Buffy. I won’t go far – and I’ll leave a number to call in case you need to reach me; but I’m going to go far enough away that we shouldn’t be able to feel each other at all and I’m going to stay there until I don’t feel the claim pullin’ on me anymore.

“It’ll give you time to suss out what you want without any outside influence on you. I doubt you’ll even notice anything if I get far enough way. You’ll be all back to normal by tomorrow and you can go on....” he took a deep, ragged breath, “and you can go on with your life.” He turned and began to move away from her.

He reached the dresser and took out a cell phone, laying it on the top within easy reach.

“You’re leaving me.” She said it flatly, with no hint of the ache behind it.

“It’s for your own good, love. You need time to—“

“Oh, that always makes it much better. That it’s for my own good. Because my own good couldn’t possible include anything that might actually make me happy, could it?” She spit the words out bitterly and turned her back to him.

“I make you happy?” he asked tremulously. “You want me here?”

She whirled around and snapped at him. “Oh no. I have mind-blowing, all night sex with guys I don’t care about all the time. It’s no problem. Not like I’m not used to it. Have sex with Buffy; leave her immediately. Isn’t that the way everybody does it?”

She tried to keep her face closed and hide the pain she was feeling, but Spike could feel her hurt through the claim. He crossed the room too fast for human eyes to see and folded her in his arms.

“I’ll never leave you, Buffy. Never. I’m yours forever. Don’t cry, love. It kills me to feel you unhappy. Especially because of somethin’ I did or said. If you don’t want me to go, I won’t go. I promise, love. Never leave you.”

As soon as she felt his strong, cool arms encircle her body, Buffy relaxed and felt the pain and anxiety begin to ebb. He kept his head pressed to hers and rubbed small soothing circles on her back as he repeated his promise to stay with her forever.

Her arms crept around his waist and she kept her face buried in his chest as she allowed his soothing touch and warm voice to ease her fears. When she no longer felt the need to cling to him, she stepped back slightly and looked up into his worried eyes.

“So, was that the claim talking or just self-absorbed Buffy feeling abused?”

“The claim wouldn’t make you feel like that, love. That was the righteous anger of a beautiful woman who’s never been appreciated by the men in her life. The claim let me feel the hurt underneath the anger and it wouldn’t let me stay away from you. It’’s why I need to leave....” He tightened his arms as he felt her stiffen against him.

“You’ve got to understand, Buffy. As long as I’m where I can feel you, I won’t be able to stop myself from tryin’ to protect you from whatever’s wrong. Won’t matter if someone’s hurtin’ you physically or emotionally, the demon’s goin’ want to tear them apart. I’m not sure the chip would be able to stop me before I-“

Buffy leaned back and looked up at him. “You said you weren’t feeling anything that wasn’t already there. What did that mean?”

“Meant I already was willin’ to risk brain damage to protect you – jus’ knew I didn’t need to before. I was able to make rational decisions about how much I needed to stay out of the way of the Slayer. Now, I’m not goin’ to have that much control. If something threatens you, the demon will try to protect you. Won’t matter if you can handle it yourself or not.”

“Is that all?” she asked quietly.

“No, that’s not all.” He took a deep breath and said, “Before, seein’ you with your...boyfriend...just made me jealous. Jus’ made me wish I was him. Now? Now, the demon sees you as his property. He touches you and.....”

“Okay, okay, I think I’m getting the picture.” She looked up at him demurely for a second as she added, “It’s kind a way.” Then the Slayer was glaring back at him as she added, “But I’m not anybody’s property! Yours OR Riley’s. And I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.”

“I know that, pet,” he smiled at her indignant expression. “Tell you the truth, I don’t think I’d know what to do with a demon-whipped Buffy. Wouldn’t be you now, would it?”

“No,” she sighed, “it wouldn’t be me. And I’d hate it.”

She leaned against him for a minute, enjoying the feeling of being loved and cherished that being close to him gave her. The love was almost palpable and she knew she was going to miss that feeling when it was gone. She basked in it for a few more minutes, allowing Spike to hold her and plant light kisses on her face and murmur in her ear while he inhaled her scent.

Finally, she reluctantly pushed away from him and spoke firmly. “You’re right, Spike. We can’t do this. I can’t be owned by a demon and be the Slayer, no matter how much Buffy might like it sometimes.”

Spike moved back over to the dresser, trying to hide the joy that filled him at the thought that Buffy might have welcomed the claim if she were not the Slayer. He took a piece of paper out and carefully wrote the cell phone number on it in flowing script.

He picked up the phone and put in the pocket of his duster as he shrugged into it. He placed the paper with the phone number on it on the dresser and looked back over to the small blond girl standing on the other side of the room with her arms wrapped tightly around herself.

“Jus’ knowin’ Buffy might have liked it will keep me warm for the next few days,” he said almost shyly as he prepared to leave.

Huge green eyes shiny with tears that threatened to spill any minute looked at him from across the room. He felt his own eyes prickle with unshed tears as the two powerful beings stared at each other for long minutes; their eyes saying everything they were feeling and couldn’t say.

“See you in few days, love,” he said gruffly as he left the room and hastened out the door.

“I’ll be waiting,” Buffy whispered as she heard the outside door pull shut behind him. When she was sure he was out of the building, she fell onto the bed and breathed in the mingled smells from their night of passion. She forced herself to remember how wonderful the night had been, knowing that any sense of pain on her part would make it that much harder on Spike.

She tried to project feelings of contentment and happiness; wondering if he could feel her. Since she wasn’t sure, she allowed herself to feel the growing love that she had tried so hard to deny for the last few days. She drifted back to sleep clutching the pillow that smelled of tobacco, whiskey and Spike.

Spike could feel her contentment as he sped through the sewers to the garage where his car was hidden. As Spike wheeled the old Desoto out of Sunnydale, he felt the warmth coming from Buffy’s thoughts and almost drove off the road when he picked up the first hint of affection there. He pulled off the road and allowed his head to fall back against the back of the seat as he let the tentative feelings of new love wash over him.

When he could tell that Buffy had gone back to sleep and was comfortable in his bed, he restarted the car and continued out into the desert. In spite of what he’d told Buffy, he had no intention of going any further away than he absolutely had to. Claim or not claim, at the first hint that anything was wrong with her, he was heading back to Sunnydale as fast as his old car could get him there.

Chapter 10

One week later

“Well, I think I’ve fixed the Initiative problem,” Buffy announced as she walked into Giles’ apartment.

Her Watcher and friends looked up and raised their eyebrows in inquiry.

“Yes? And how did you do that?” Giles asked with a worried frown.

“I ran into Riley and his unit on campus and they tried to take me to Professor Walsh for ‘evaluation’ of my strength.”

“Good Lord! Did you...?”

“Relax, Giles. I just gave them a chance to ‘evaluate’ my strength themselves.” She smiled slightly and added, “And my speed, and my reflexes, and my punches and my ki—“

“I think we’re getting the picture, Buff,” said Xander, wincing in sympathy for the commandos. “So, you think they’re gonna leave you alone now?”

“If they know what’s good for them, they will.” The rumbling growl from the doorway took the attention off Buffy as they all whirled around to see Spike entering the room.

The vampire paused just inside the door and asked quietly, “Is it alright if I come in?”

Giles started to stammer out an answer, then stopped as Spike said, “Wasn’t talkin’ to you, Watcher.” He spoke to the other Brit, but his eyes never left the petite blond frozen across the room from him.

Buffy knew her heart was pounding as she drank in the lanky, muscular body by the door. She met his questioning eyes and smiled warmly.

“Come in, Spike. It’s fine.”

“You sure, Slayer?” Even as he ran his eyes over her, looking for signs of damage from her fight with the commandos, he remained where he was until she moved toward him and gently put her hand on his arm.

“I’m sure. It’s okay. I promise.”

With an audible sigh of relief, he relaxed and moved closer to her. Just before he reached down to kiss her uplifted face, he remembered where they were and stopped himself. He straightened up and squeezed her hand gently as he said, “Well, that’s good then, love. So, we’re good?”

“Yeah, Spike,” she said softly, “We’re good.”

“What the hell is going on here?” Xander looked at the other Scoobies for an explanation of the unusual behavior the two blonds were demonstrating.

Giles cleared his throat and asked, “Buffy? Does this have anything to do with what we were talking about yesterday?” He fixed her with a hard eye and she thought she saw the Ripper for a second.

“Uh, yeah...yes, it does. Maybe we should....?” She looked at the other young people in the room and raised her eyebrows at her Watcher.

“Oh no, you don’t!” Willow put on her resolve face and stood up. “You are not kicking us out of here. We want to know too.”

“Guys, I know you’re curious, but this is something – something slayery. It involves slayers know, vampires....and...and...”

“And that’s all you need to know right now.” Giles spoke firmly as he ushered them toward the door, ignoring their protests.

When the room was quiet again, he turned to his surrogate daughter and the master vampire standing much closer to her than he would have liked.

“Now then. I want an explanation, and I want it now.”

(Yep, that’s Ripper all right. I hope he doesn’t have any stakes hidden around the room. Maybe Spike should stay near the door...”)

Buffy and Spike looked at each other, shrugged in unison and asked, “What do you want to know?”

Crossing his arms and fixing Buffy with a stern glare, he said, “I want to know why I had to spend much of the last two days researching vampire claiming rituals.” He shot a vicious look at Spike before adding, “And I want to know why you have been wearing turtleneck shirts all week – in spite of the unusually warm temperatures.”

Buffy gulped audibly as the vampire slid behind her and rested his hands lightly on her shoulders.

“I think you already know the answer to that, Rupert,” he said quietly.

As quickly as he’d arrived, the Ripper was gone and a worried middle-aged man was sinking into a chair, shaking his head.

“I was hoping I was wrong.” He lifted his head to look at the two super beings facing him and asked softly, “How did this happen?” He looked at Buffy pleadingly and begged, “How could you let this happen? You know what he is.”

Buffy felt Spike’s hands tighten on her shoulders as Giles shook his head in despair.

“Giles....I didn’t let it happen. I...I caused it. I didn’t mean to and I didn’t know what it was.” She gave her Watcher a guilty smile and she admitted, “I didn’t really pay any attention when you were trying to teach me about vampire lore and their rituals. I didn’t think I needed to know that stuff. All I ever needed to know was the best way to kill things.”

Her watcher sent another cold look toward the vampire. “And your excuse for this inexcusable behavior?” He continued to fix Spike with a hard stare.

To his amazement, the vampire lowered his head and looked like he was struggling to hold back tears.

“Don’t have an excuse Watcher. Jus’ lost control and bit her. Didn’t mean to bite her, didn’t realize I was claiming her until it was too late. I’m sorry,” he added so softly Giles wasn’t sure if he’d really heard him.

(William the Bloody is sorry for biting a Slayer? I don’t think I have enough Scotch to make that one go down!)

He looked back and forth between the miserable vampire and the Slayer who was stroking his hands and whispering to him soothingly. He listened to her for a minute and was shocked at what he heard.

“I thought we were past this, Spike.” As she spoke, Buffy turned around and ran her hands up and down his arms gently. “It’s fixed, remember? We’re okay now. I’m not....not claimed anymore.”

She felt him wince as she said that, and before he could pull away from her she leaned in and whispered in his ear, “but I am still yours.”

Giles watched as the vampire’s head shot up and he stared into Buffy’s eyes, hope and fear battling on his face. The Watcher wondered uncomfortably what Buffy had said to him to get that reaction, but decided to concentrate on what he’d actually heard.

“Ahem,” he cleared his throat to bring their attention back to him. “If I have overheard you correctly, Buffy, you were claimed, but now you are not? How is that possible? I understood claims were quite...binding.” He looked at the vampire for an explanation.

“I told you, the claim was an accident. I didn’t mean to do it. I didn’t tell her it was happening, and she never accepted it or returned it. All we had to do was stay apart for a little while and let it wear off.”

“Ah, I suppose that explains why we haven’t had the dubious pleasure of your company for the past several days?”

“Yeah,” Spike said gruffly. “I left Sunnydale for a little while. Jus’ long enough to let her...”

Buffy broke in firmly, “Just long enough that I could be sure that anything I feel for Spike is real and not a result of the claim.” She looked at her Watcher’s horrified face defiantly.

“And,” Giles shut his eyes for a moment as he tried to calm himself, “what exactly is it that you think you feel for THIS vampire?”

Buffy winced mentally as she remembered what had happened to his Jenny the last time she was involved with a vampire. Then she reminded herself that Spike didn’t have a soul to lose and that he was nothing like Angel.

“Giles,” she said gently, “Spike has no soul to lose. He isn’t going to hurt me – or anyone else. Even if he would,” she shot a quick look at the glowering vampire, “he can’t because of the chip. No one is in danger this time.”

“Losing the chip would be just like Angel losing his soul, Buffy. It could happen at any time.”

“Won’t lose MY soul, Watcher,” the vampire growled as he put his arms around Buffy. “Claim or no claim, my soul is right here.” He pulled the willing girl against his chest and stared over her head at the older man.

Giles studied them carefully for several minutes, then sighed and relaxed back into the chair.

“I hope you know what you’re doing, Buffy. I can’t say I approve of this...relationship; but I know better than to argue about it. Just be careful. Please,” he concluded with a sigh.

“We’ll be fine, Giles. I promise.” She turned to the man holding her and said, “Let me run to the bathroom and then we can go, Okay?”

“Okay,” he said nuzzling her neck. “Don’t be long, love,” he whispered into her ear as he pressed the reason for his urgency against her ass.

As soon as Buffy was out of the room, Giles whirled on Spike and the Ripper was once more in residence.

“The only reason I’m not staking you right now, is because you let that claim lapse. You had no right—“

“Know that, Rupert. Why do you think I let it go? I want her – make no mistake about that. But I want the whole package – not a thralled slave who wouldn’t want to be with me if she had a choice. She’ll either love me back or she won’t. It’s up to her.”

“If you ever...” the Watcher began in a growl that would have done credit to a vampire.

“Never. I will never hurt her. If I do, I’ll hand you the stake myself.”

“What about the biting?”

“That’s her call – not yours. I can love her without biting her. She knows that.”

The two men stared at each other in silence. One doing his best to look intimidating and the other doing his best to appear harmless. The staring contest ended with Buffy’s cheery, “Okay. Let’s go Spike. We have...things to do...evil to fight...demons to kill. Bye, Giles!”

She grabbed Spike’s arm and pulled him out of the apartment; not waiting to see if her Watcher had anything else he wanted to say to her.


They made it as far as the patio outside the apartment before he stopped her with a yank and pulled her into his arms. The kiss they both had been desperate for began with a hungry clash of lips and tongues. Noses, teeth, chins – all were unimportant features to be ignored to bumped out of the way if necessary in order that lips could move around as desired. Tongues probed and twirled, tangled and untangled, sucked and were sucked on. Lips were smashed together, pulled on and bitten. A week’s worth of passion denied exploded into fierce kisses that would have injured ordinary people.

Eventually, they fell into a sweet rhythm and the kisses became gentler and more erotic as their initial hunger was somewhat appeased. As the kisses became the sensuous, bone-melting ones she was used to from the vampire, Buffy began to recognize other parts of her body and found that she was straddling one of Spikes legs. His muscular thigh was pressed up against her crotch and she was rubbing herself against it, her wetness soaking through her underwear to his denim covered leg. She was wrapped in his leather coat, which he held in place as he kept his arms around her body.

The feel of her heated dampness on his leg and the smell of her arousal had the vampire growling softly as he pushed his thigh against her.

“That’s it, love. Ride me. Come for me, sweetheart. Show me how much you missed me, Buffy.”

Heedless of where they were standing, or who might be watching, Buffy ground her pelvis into his leg until she felt the waves of sensation take over and she collapsed in his arms, shuddering with the aftereffects of her release. She slid the leg she had wrapped around his thigh down slowly and tried to stand up.

He grinned at her rubbery legs and breathed in the heady scent of her juices as he held her close to his chest and rubbed her back.

“So, I take you did miss me?” he breathed into her neck.

“A little, maybe.” She smiled up at him, then rested her head on his chest and slid her arms around his waist. She could feel his desire for her pressing into her stomach and she reluctantly pushed herself out of his embrace to reach down and stroke him through his jeans.

He hissed his pleasure and pushed his hips into her hand. He groaned as she unzipped his pants and slid her warm hand inside to grasp the velvet hardness in there. He tried to get her to stop, saying, “Not here, love. Let’s go somewhere....”

“Shhh,” she said as she slid down his body. “Put your coat around me again.”

The vampire groaned again as he realized what she was planning and he braced his back against the shadowed wall as he enveloped her in dark leather. When her warm mouth covered the head of his cock, he gasped and almost came right then. Her unskilled, but enthusiastic attentions soon had him babbling and clutching the wall with his free hand as he exploded and pumped into her mouth.

It was his turn to sag against the wall on rubbery legs as she looked up at him with satisfaction and asked, “So, was that okay then? Did I do it right?” She licked her lips which had traces of him still on them and he became hard again almost immediately at the sight.

“God, yes, love. Any more right and I would have awakened your Watcher’s neighbors.”

Five minutes of movement at super speed had them back in the old apartment building and running up the stairs, stopping every few steps to exchange hungry kisses and caresses. Finally they were pushing open the door to Spike’s apartment and pulling at each other’s clothes as they staggered toward the bedroom together. In a replay of their time in Xander’s basement, Spike backed toward the bed pulling the willing Slayer he was kissing with him. When his knees hit the edge of the mattress he fell backwards and Buffy landed on top of him.

“Oof! Slayer. Watch those knees! You almost removed somethin’ you might be wanting in a few minutes.”

Her only response was to squirm further up his body until she could look him in the eye as she said seriously, “No Slayer. No vampire. Just Buffy and Spike.”

“I can do that, pet. I can make love to Buffy.” He pushed a piece of hair behind her ear and stroked her face.

(Want to ask her if Buffy can love Spike, but I guess I’d best leave that alone. It’s enough that she’s here and admits to feelin’ something.)

“Good,” she replied as she fastened her lips on his and coaxed his tongue into her mouth. She could feel his erection pressing into her hip and shifted slightly so that it was between her thighs and nudging at her entrance. She captured his cool length between her muscular thighs and squeezed gently. His muffled groan made her smile and she slid her mouth down to his chest and began sucking gently on one nipple.

“Want you, love. Want you now. Can’t wait. Let me in, Buffy. Please, love, please.”

His whispered pleas in her ear sent a thrill all the way from her ear to where he was rubbing his cock against her and she willingly released him from the grip she had and allowed him to push against her opening. He moved his hips gently and pushed his cool length into her. He slid in slowly, inch by cool inch.

As her wet warmth swallowed up his throbbing cock, Buffy moaned and nibbled on his ear lobe. When he was finally filling her perfectly, she whispered, “I missed this, Spike. I missed you.”

“I missed you too, Buffy. Was the longest week on my life, love. Never want to be without you that long again. Never.”

As he murmured into her neck, his mouth brushed against the scar from his bite and she shivered and gasped. They both froze when they felt her reaction.

“Wha- what does that mean, Spike? Why did just touching my scar with your lips make me...all...tingly” She tried to keep the fear from her voice, but he could feel her trembling and he rested his forehead against hers as he tried to come up with an answer.

“I don’t know, love...” When she snorted and tried to puch herself off, he grabbed her hands and held them tightly.

“I don’t, Buffy!” The fear in his voice made her stop struggling while he continued. “I don’t know why. Maybe just because...because there was a claim and it’s just...I don’t know, love. I don’t feel any different. I’m not feeling any more pull toward you than I ... than I usually do. Which is pretty powerful all by itself,” he added with a small smile.

“Do it again,” she demanded softly.

He eyed her carefully before he gently ran his tongue over the scar. Once again, a shiver went through her whole body and she unconsciously tightened her muscles around him. Spike’s hips shot up and he gave a strangled yelp as he felt her clench around him.

“So....maybe we can sort of...kinda...get the same sort of...of...feeling without actual biting? Do you think so?”

“Dunno, love; but I’m willin’ if you are. I’ll just have to be real careful what I’m saying and thinking.”

They had fallen into an easy, familiar rhythm while they were talking; a rhythm that was quickly building toward another pounding conclusion. As Buffy’s whimpers and moans turned to gasping and panting, she put her mouth on Spike’s neck and sucked on the skin there.

The vampire felt himself approaching his release and fastened his mouth over the scars, growling and thrusting into her. He deliberately pushed down the urge to tell her he loved her as he pulled on his mark. He wanted to take no chances that the claim would be reactivated.

As soon as he began pulling on the scars, Buffy felt herself shattering into pieces and she clutched him hard as she screamed into his neck in ecstasy. When Spike felt her muffled scream on his throat, he roared and pumped into her, never taking his mouth off the bite marks until they were both lying still and panting for air.

“Wow,” Buffy gasped out. “That”

“I’ll see your ‘wow’ and raise you a ‘bloody hell’, “ he muttered, his chest rising and falling with totally unnecessary gulps of air.

He kept her tightly wrapped in his arms as he shifted her off and to the side so that he could see her face.

“Are we still okay?” he asked with more than a little worry in his voice.

“I think so. I don’t feel any of those spooky, can’t-stay-away-from-you feelings this time.”

“Well, that’s good then,” he said in a flat tone of voice. “Can’t have the slayer having feelings for a vampire.”

Buffy reached up and grabbed his chin, turning his head to look at her directly.

“I HAVE feelings. Feelings are good. It’s magical, can’t-control-what-I’m-doing feelings that are wrong. I can’t let anything get in the way of my duty. Even you.”

“I know, pet,” he sighed as he stroked the side of her face gently. “I wouldn’t expect you to. Hell, I wouldn’t want you to. The way you meet your obligations is part of what makes you who you are. You’re Buffy, but you’re also the Slayer. I love both of you; jus’ know I have to be a little careful around the Slayer. Bloodthirsty little bint that she is...” His smile took the sting out of his words and she leaned into his hand as she answered.

“And I know the Slayer has to be careful around the demon. If she bites him, he bites back.” She smiled up at him shyly. “And I don’t want to do anything that would make you have to go away again.”

“Not goin’ anywhere, love. You’re stuck with me till you dust me.”

“Don’t wanna dust you...” she said, running her hand down his chisled torso and tangling her fingers in the soft curls at the bottom of his abdomen.

“What do you want , love?” he rumbled as his cock sprang back into action.

She stroked him with her warm little hand until he was thrusting his hips up and hissing with pleasure. She climbed on top of him and lowered herself slowly on to his eager cock, throwing her head back and reveling in the sensation of being cooled and filled. Suddenly she brought her head forward and stared down on him intently.

“I want to be your girl. Not because your demon thinks he owns me, but because Spike – no, William, wants Buffy. I want you to love me.” She dropped her head down onto his chest and began licking his nipples. “Tell me you love me, William,” she breathed onto his skin.

Spike had to fight back unmanly tears again as she whispered her request onto his chest.

(She’s turning me into William. Sod it all! I’m turnin’ right back into that ponce.)

He put his arms around her tightly and even as he began thrusting in and out of her, he was whispering in her ear, telling her she was his golden goddess, his queen, the love of his life. He almost let the word “effulgent” slip out, but bit his tongue on that one.

“I love you, Buffy. More than you can imagine. I will never leave you. Will love you forever, if you let me.”

He carefully rolled them over so that he was looking down into those amazing green eyes which stared back at him tremulously. Buffy felt the look he gave her down to her soul. There was no way to deny the truth of what he was saying. He loved her. She could see it, she could feel it and it filled her with peace and warmth.

“’K, then,” she smiled and closed her eyes as his tongue once again laved the bite marks on her neck, increasing the already body-shaking sensations he was creating inside her.

The urge to sink his fangs into her throat and re-instate his claim was almost overwhelming. As though she could read his mind, Buffy murmured to him as she pulled him closer, “Someday, my love. Someday. But not today.”

“Not today,” he agreed and moved up to capture her lips with his.

(Someday. She said someday. I can wait.)

The End.