The Council gits weren’t exactly known for their stealth, but this was bloody ridiculous.
Spike supposed he would humor them some. Buffy wasn’t expecting him for another thirty minutes or so, and while he didn’t like to keep her waiting, there was something to be said for the hunt.
Especially with prey like this, prey who thought they were the hunters. Honestly, with as many of these prats as he offed on a weekly basis, he would think the Council would get its head out of its ass and try something other than offering up fresh meat every other day.
“Come out, come out, wherever you are.”
They wouldn’t come out. They never did. Instead, they lurked in the shadows, pretending they could still manage to wrangle the upper hand before everything else went to shit. Spike knew; he and the Council wankers had played out this scene a time or two. Just as well, though if they buggered his date with his slayer, his mood wouldn’t be quite so forgiving.
Any second not spent with Buffy was a second wasted.
Spike honestly didn’t know how he’d managed to live so long without her at his side. The past few months had been so blessedly good to them, be it stalking those who would hunt them down at night and dancing until the sun came up or shagging until they accused each other of being tired just so they could sneak in a wink of sleep before starting up again. She was a fiery spitball, his slayer, and he was the lucky bloke who got to take her home tonight.
Tonight and every night thereafter.
Spike grinned. “Oi!” he called. “What sorry sort of watchers are you, anyway? Dangerous vampire, here. Does a bloke really need to bite someone to get a little attention?”
Something flew fast across his cheek. Spike whirled around, his demon emerging in full force. Seemed taunting them had paid off. There were two of them, both bearing crossbows.
“’Bout bloody time,” he snarled. “Come on, boys. Come to daddy.”
The watcher to his right stood slightly taller than the other, thicker around the middle with a handlebar moustache. His friend was lanky with a heavy dose of priss and struck Spike as the sort of bloke who spent more on fancy leather shoes than others did on rent. He doubted either of them had ever done so much as pump their own gas, let alone tote heavy weapons in search of a dangerous pair of vamps. Pickings were getting slim, he suspected. The Wanker’s Council had likely run out of viable candidates on the East coast. Had to happen sooner or later.
“Let’s make this fast, yeah?” Spike drawled. “Gotta date with a lady.”
Tall and Lanky took a nervous step forward. “N-not go-going far, vampire.”
He barked a laugh. “Real convincing, that. Practice that speech in front of a mirror?”
“Where is the Slayer?” Handlebar demanded with bravado he didn’t clearly possess. His sweaty hands grappled clumsily at his crossbow, his eyes wide and frightened. “Tell us where she is, Vampire, and we’ll—”
Spike snorted, sticking a fag between his lips. “Piss yourselves?”
“She is property of—”
“Finish that sentence, mate, and I’ll rip out your insides.” He lit up and inhaled, eyes bouncing between the so-called hunters and the weapons they carried. “What’s that they say about the broad side of a barn?” he drawled. “Or are you hoping to get in some target practice with yours truly?”
“We only want the Slayer,” Lanky chirped, his voice shrill and wobbly. “She is w-wanted for questioning regarding the d-disappearance of Kendra Young.”
“You mean what happened last week when your replacement slayer snuffed it.” Spike’s brows arched and he blew out a pillar of smoke. “Way the lady tells it, she did everything she could to not kill the dumb twig. Your girl couldn’t get it through her head that all we want is to be left alone.”
“Now, now,” said Handlebar. “You’re familiar with slayers, aren’t you, William?”
“Didn’t know we were getting so friendly, chubs. Yeah, I’ve done in a slayer or two in my time. You lot want to arrest me, too?” He snorted. “Bloody pathetic. This really the game you’re playing, now? Gonna cuff her and try to sweat her out? She’s tried explaining it to you thick gits a hundred times.”
“She’s an abomination!” cried Lanky, firing a wayward arrow in his excitement. It soared far over Spike’s shoulder, disappearing into the blackness behind him.
“Smart move,” Spike snarled, tossing his cigarette to the ground and stomping it out. “See, boys, here’s what I figure…you two are the bottom of the barrel. Council’s lost its best men, and now the reserves are being called to the front line.
Lanky’s eyes went wide and his sweaty hands quickly made to reload the weapon.
“Here’s what I can’t suss out. Maybe the two of you can lend an ear.” He offered a toothy grin and hooked his thumbs through his belt loops, taking broad, casual steps in their direction. Whether or not the wonder twins were conscious of the fact that for every step Spike took, they went in reverse, he didn’t know or particularly care. This was fun. The thicker the sportsmen, the more entertaining the sport. “Council’s not known for getting involved personally, and yet every other night I’m having to off another one of you namby-pamby stiffs just to get in a decent night’s kill. Like digging through cereal just to get the toy at the bottom of the box, you know? Gotta say, I’ve been around for a while now, and I’m a little offended it took the siring of one little slayer to become so bloody important.”
Handlebar glanced quickly to Lanky, who did not look back.
“But here we are, the three of us. You boys got sent out to bring in yours truly—”
“We only want the Slayer!” Handlebar protested.
“Yeah, and you know that I’m standing between you and her, and I’m not too keen on moving.” Spike kicked at a clump of grass and plastered on a wide, phony smile. “Why’s it that I became so sodding popular all of a sudden? Killed two slayers in my time and you lot just send another my way. Feed one a little blood and the rules change.”
He swung casually on his heel before coming to a stop before them.
“You’re here because I’m here, and I know where she is.” He shrugged. “Or I could find her in a hurry. Bit unpredictable, that one. It’s what makes it so exciting, you know? So fresh. Worth getting up for at night.”
“She killed a slayer,” Lanky hissed.
Spike rolled his eyes and threw his hands in the air. “Have you gits been listening? Why is Buffy all the rage when you have William the Bloody right the bleeding hell in front of you! Buffy bagged a slayer. I’ve done in three in my time. Council doesn’t see it fit to send the coppers after me, though, do they? Had I just drained my third and left on my merry way, we wouldn’t be here now, would we? You’d be kicking it back in some cushy office and some other daft chit would be meeting her untimely end. It’s insulting, is what it is!”
“This is different,” Handlebar said.
Lanky shot his friend a worried, almost manic glance. “Tom, don’t engage it!”
“Yeah, Tom,” Spike mimed. “Stick to the script.”
“This is a sired slayer. The Council has to take every precaution, and what’s more, you knew it. You knew by siring her, you’d be bringing hell upon yourself.” Tom raised his crossbow higher, fat beads of sweat dribbling into his eyes. “They’re too dangerous to be left in the wild.”
Spike growled and stepped forward. “Slayer’s not a rabid animal, mate.”
“She killed Kendra Young.”
“Yeah, that’s what we do. We kill slayers. It’s only fair, right? They’re here to kill us.”
“She’s stronger than you,” Tom warned, his voice climbing in octaves. “Only a matter of time before she views you as a threat.”
“You do your vamp research at a Drac film fest?”
“Shut up!” Lanky spat, firing another wayward arrow. Spike didn’t bother to track where it fell; its aim was way off its mark.
“And if it’s sour grapes that brought you here, well…” He took another step forward, which they recovered in the opposite direction. Then another, and another. “How’s about next time you make sure to send your slayers off to annoy someone else. Might help in keeping them alive.”
“We’ll send as many as we need!” Tom cried.
“Then you’re gonna have a bloody massive turnover rate. We haven’t reaped much damage, Buffy and I. She loves the hunt. Loves her games, loves excitement, and while she’ll have a bloody ball doing whatever it is she does, she’s not one for playing with her food.” Spike’s brows perked. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta date with my lady…”
He felt her, then, and fuck if that wasn’t a brilliant sensation. Spike wasn’t the sort of bloke who had ever given thought to what it would be like to be perfectly in sync with someone, but the awareness was so damn rich he couldn’t work out how he’d ever managed without it. He also didn’t know how he hadn’t realized what a connection they had the second he set eyes on her. Weeks of moping around after his final split with Dru seemed aimless and wasted now. He had pure life at his fingertips rather than the staged play he’d lived with his sire, and while he’d broached the subject of claiming his once black beauty on more than one occasion, it seemed beyond a foolish venture now. He couldn’t contemplate experiencing the oneness of being that he shared with Buffy with anyone else. He hadn’t known what to expect beyond what he read in his many Rituals for Wankers rags and the like, but what he’d gained in Buffy far exceeded his greatest expectations.
Like now. He felt her now. Felt her moseying through the graveyard, gravitating toward him as though magnetized. He felt her smile, felt her amusement, felt her fire as though it were his own. The claim was still fresh, of course, and they were still working out the kinks, but being able to feel her wherever she was definitely warranted a big fat check in the bonus column.
“A date, he calls it,” Buffy said airily, swinging into sight from behind a mausoleum. “Any other guy, I would have eaten by now.”
“So this is where you’ve been,” she said casually as she neared the scene, taking long, swinging steps toward the mismatched hunters. “I told you…three nights in a row and someone gets a spanking.”
“Oh, golly, I hope it’s me,” Spike said, smirking.
“There should be a rule, you know? Standing me up gets you all kinds of punished.” She flashed him a grin, then leaned against his shoulder to peck his cheek. “So,” she drawled, “what’s my boy been doing? Making new friends, I see?”
“Was just having a little chat with these blokes,” he said, waving at their audience. “Seems they want a word with you.”
Lanky and Tom looked like they had shat themselves. They stared at Buffy as though she were the incarnation of Lucifer, but with the same awed reverence one might give the Pope. Fear and wonder were two very powerful emotions that often went hand-in-hand, and though their sudden muteness amused him, Spike couldn’t particularly say he was surprised. Buffy was poetry in motion, a piece of living art. She took his proverbial breath away just by batting those killer eyes of hers. What it must be to see her in person for the first time…he almost envied them.
“Hmmm,” Buffy mused, pressing a finger to her lips. “Let me guess. Tweed—check. Blank expressions—check. Crossbows—check. Pitiful lack of aim—check and check. Either you two are lobbyists, or the Council’s sending me more fan-mail.”
“S-slayer,” one of them managed to stutter; Spike didn’t catch which.
“In the past-tense form of the word, I suppose,” she agreed, nodding. “I was at one point the one you call Slayer, or Chosen One, comma, the. Now it’s just…what did we decide upon, honey? Your majesty? Goddess Extraordinaire? Buffy the Great and Powerful?”
Spike shrugged. “I call her kitten.”
“Yeah, but that’s just you. I don’t think these boys wanna see what happens if they get cutesy…” She leaned toward them conspiratorially. “Do you?”
“Hint,” Spike said with a wide grin. “You don’t.”
Neither men spoke. They only stood, staring dumbly as though thinking they couldn’t be spotted if they didn’t move.
“So,” Buffy said, resting an elbow on his shoulder. “What’d you boys wanna chat about?”
Still no response. She might as well have addressed a rock.
“Something about a bird named Kendra,” Spike supplied helpfully. “Little fuzzy on the details.”
Buffy frowned. “Oh. Was this girl spunky, about my age…” She held up a hand an inch or so above her head. “Yay tall, thick accent, and, oh, dead?”
Lanky murmured something, though for the vacant expression on his face, Spike wagered that much would be news to him.
“What was that?” the vixen at his side demanded. “Say again?”
“Why, yes,” Buffy said. “Now that you mention it, I believe she was a slayer. Emphasis on the was. As I said, she’s kinda of the dead.”
The gits just stared at her, apparently floored by her candor.
“What?” she asked, shrugging. “Is this breaking news?”
“These gents are of the opinion that you were a bit rash in drawing the girl’s blood,” Spike muttered, rocking on the balls of his feet. God, he loved seeing her like this. She was a natural, his slayer. Most young vamps were sloppy and awkward during the first few years, but not Buffy. No, she took to it like a bloody duck to water. She was made for this—made for the night. A spirit like Buffy’s couldn’t be confined to just one lifetime; every step she took, every coy twitch of her lips, every excited flicker to light her eyes spoke of promises larger than the whole of his meager existence. Things he would see to fruition, things he wanted with such desperation it was all he could do to keep from falling to his knees and begging her for whatever it was she held out of reach—whatever she had yet to give him.
He had her until the end of days. Exploring her would be a never-ending journey.
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Ah, crap, this again?” She tossed him a worn glance and planted her hands on her hips. “You told them it was self-defense, right?”
He nodded. “Seems it’s a matter of popular opinion, pidge. Vamps don’t bite outta self-defense.”
“I told her I didn’t want to kill her, but she kept coming after me with a stake.” She shrugged and turned back to the watchers as though asking them to settle a bet. “You can’t tell me that wouldn’t annoy you after a while.”
Tom’s chin wobbled. “She was just doing her—”
“Yeah, that line? You don’t wanna feed it to me.” Buffy grinned, her eyes rolling back to Spike. “Speaking of feeding…have you had dinner yet?”
His smirk widened and his stomach rumbled. Bloody good timing, that. “Was waiting for you,” he drawled. “Feel like Italian?”
“Meh. The last one I ate didn’t go down too well.” She made a face and flattened a hand against her stomach. “I think I’m in the mood for something dry, boring, and stiff.”
“You’ll just be hungry again in an hour,” he pointed out.
Buffy shrugged. “Yeah, but until then, at least I won’t be bored.”
Her sparkling eyes met his again just before bursting into the gorgeous golden sheen of her inner demon. Christ, he loved her like this. Loved the fire she exuded, loved the passion and energy she poured into every action.
He loved the way she made them scream.
His darling little monster.
Hours later, on a bed several blocks away, Buffy drew a line down Spike’s abdomen, lapping up the stream of blood she’d drizzled onto his sinfully delicious flesh. She loved this game—well, she loved every game, but this one was among her favorites. Every time her tongue touched his skin, he hissed and arched and murmured nasty little things, and all it did was encourage her to tease him more.
“Further south,” he whispered, lifting his hips.
Buffy giggled and wrapped her hand around his cock. “Is this where it hurts?”
“Yeah. Think I might need something warm and wet to dip it into.”
“You think so?”
“Only one way to find out.”
She laughed again and took him into her mouth, rolling his foreskin around his sensitive head. God, she loved his scent. Musky, masculine, everything that made him Spike. She loved the way he purred and cooed, the way he panted and begged. He was such an enigma to her—both cocky and insecure, confident and desperate. He contradicted himself on every turn, and the more she got to know him, the more she wanted to know.
They had a long time to explore each other, but she suspected it would never be long enough.
“Mmm,” she murmured, kissing his steely flesh. “Yummy.”
“You like that?”
“Fuck, yes. Do it again.”
Buffy grinned and ran her tongue along the underside of his cock, her eyes wandering up his pale, blood-smeared torso until colliding with his own. He was so fucking pretty, and that wasn’t something she’d once found attractive. Men couldn’t be pretty, else they weren’t manly. They had to be tough and morose. They had to have huge biceps to flex, a large brooding brow, and at least two feet on her in height.
Spike was all man, there was no doubt about it. His wiry build gave way to lean, roped muscles he managed to hide and emphasize at the same time. His strength was deceptive at times—though hers almost always surpassed his, he had surprised her a time or two by flipping her under him when she would have thought it impossible. Furthermore, the man had abs of marble, a thoroughly lickable bellybutton, and a smirk that could moisten her panties just by thinking about it.
Yeah, this was the good life. Right here, in this apartment they’d stolen from two strung out dope fiends who had tasted surprisingly, well, psychedelic. She loved this—every fucking minute of it.
“You took the good one,” Buffy informed him before sucking the thick head of his prick between her lips. Spike’s eyes had widened under the accusation, but the second her mouth touched him, his head had crashed against the pillow and his hips rolled under her, sliding himself across her tongue. He was so passionate in everything he did. He never ceased to meet her halfway.
And the boy tasted good. Damn good.
“Don’t think,” she said, releasing him with a wet plop, “I’m gonna let you get away with that.”
He blinked several times, ostensibly chasing his thought. “Which one was the good one, again?”
“Moustache. The other one tasted all…stale.”
Spike smirked and funneled his fingers through her hair. “You said that’s what you were in the mood for.”
“I meant metaphoric. Tomorrow, I’m so choosing the restaurant.”
“Oi! Tonight didn’t count as my pick. I still get tomorrow.”
Buffy shrugged. “I don’t make up the rules. You stood me up.”
“You weren’t where you said you’d be when you said you’d be there. Ergo…”
“The gits bloody cornered me. I—”
“Couldn’t handle two dummies who might as well have been wielding water guns?” She arched a brow, licking the head of his prick again. Then she was up on all fours, slowly prowling her way up the length of his sinful body until his mouth was beneath her mouth and his cock was rubbing her wet, needy flesh. “’Cause honey,” she murmured, “if you can’t handle it—”
Spike’s eyes flashed. “Oh, I can handle it,” he growled, seizing her by the wrists and flipping her under him so fast it knocked the proverbial wind out of her body. “Mmm, such a naughty slayer.”
“I need to be punished.”
He rubbed himself against her slick folds, then slammed into her with force so sweet she nearly wept. “I think we can manage that,” he purred.
Oh, yeah. Oh, fuck yeah.
This was the only way to live.
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