They faced each other for a full minute, exchanging looks of mutual animosity before Riley stood as tall as he could and glared down at Spike, saying, "I suppose you think she's yours for the taking now."
Spike shook his head. "She isn't anybody's, you git. But if and when she chooses to share what she can of herself, at least I have enough sense to know it’s a gift to be treasured, not something to be putting conditions on.”He snorted his disgust at Riley.
“I know you want her,”Riley said.
Spike shrugged without answering.
“If I find out you’ve touched her, I’ll be back.”
“An’I’ll be waiting,”Spike said calmly, only the flicker of yellow in his eyes giving away how much he was holding back.
Riley started toward him, halting when Spike’s fangs dropped. He glared, unwilling to back down but not willing to risk angering Buffy even more or being bested again in front of his men. He settled for using words: “She won’t love a monster.”
Spike shrugged again and dropped back into his human mein. “Girl likes a little monster in her man,”he said. “Thought you might have figured that out by now. Needs somebody who can match her…or almost match her. “He pretended to be thinking. “I’d say she’s stronger than I am by now, and getting stronger every day.”He looked Riley up and down with contempt. “Sooner or later you’d have left her anyway. Your ego wouldn’t take it.”
“And yours will?”
Spike grinned. “I like strong women. Always have. I know where my place is when it comes to the Slayer.”
“Her name is Buffy,”Riley said. “She’s not just another slayer for you to add to your tally.” He gave a smirk at Spike’s obvious surprise. “Did you think I don’t know about your hobby of killing slayers? The only reason you haven’t killed this one is because of that chip we put in your head. Now that it’s gone—”
Spike shook his head and interrupted.
“There’s two reasons I haven’t killed this one, neither one of which has a soddin’thing to do with your chip. One is because she’s so bloody good at her job. And already was, way back when she was just sweet sixteen and not half as good as she is now. And the other is because I love her…even when she’s being a bitch.”
“Hey!”Buffy had walked closer to them in time to hear what they were saying. “It’s not my fault you bring out the worst in me.”
“It’s a gift.”Spike flashed a grin at her, then turned back to Riley who was watching the exchange with a bewildered expression on his face.
“Did you just call her a bitch? You don’t deserve her, Spike.”
“Neither do you, soldier-boy.”
“She’s too good for you.”
“That she is,”he agreed, snorting at Riley’s surprise. “Always will be.”
“You can’t have her,”Riley said, drawing himself up to his full height and pulling out another stake.
“I don’t have her, you stupid git. Nobody ‘has’her. But if she’s willin’to let me into her life in some small way…it’ll take more than you waving a stake around to keep me out of it.”
“Okay, that’s enough. I’ve had it with both of you.”Buffy stepped between them and pointed at Riley’s friends. “You two, get him out of here before I have to stop Spike from killing him. Riley did a good job tonight. He was a big help when I needed it and I appreciate it, but I’m not going to let him stake Spike. And I don’t want to have to stake Spike myself because Riley provoked him into killing,”she added, turning to Spike who was once again wearing his fangs. “And you, stop being a macho ass and get back in the house before I drag you in there by your ear.”
Ignoring Riley’s sneering as his buddies began to pull him away, Spike nodded sheepishly and followed Buffy’s stiff back onto the porch and to the door, which Dawn, who had been watching the whole thing, was holding open.
“Man, are you whipped,”Dawn commented in a whisper as Spike walked past her.
“Watch it, Bit,”he growled. “Not chipped any more, you know.”
“I do now.” She cocked her head at him and studied his mock-angry expression. “But I don’t think it matters. If you wanted us dead, you’d have found some way to do it a long time ago. I’m not afraid of you.”She waved her hand dismissively. “Even if you wanted to kill me, you wouldn’t do it ‘cause Buffy would be mad at you.”
Buffy’s snickers had Spike glaring in her direction and giving a more realistic growl. Which only caused both girls to start laughing in earnest. The more he growled and snarled, the more they laughed until he finally stopped threatening them and just sat at the counter pouting.
Buffy walked over to him and touched his cheek, which immediately made his fangs disappear.
“You won’t kill her because underneath all that snarling and growling you’re nothing but a big softy –and you love my mom and sister too.”
“Good thing for them I do,”he grumbled, even as he leaned into her hand, turning his head to kiss her palm. He raised his head and met Dawn’s still amused gaze. “But don’t you ever forget what I am, Bit. Got no soul to lose. I’m me with or without the chip, and I’d never hurt you on purpose. But I am a demon. Don’t go forgettin’that and thinking I’m some kind of undead housepet.”
He held her gaze until the laughter had faded and she stared back at his serious expression with growing acceptance. She nodded, but couldn’t resist a last remark as she left the kitchen.
“Okay, Big Bad. I’ll lock my bedroom door, just in case.” With a “Night, Buffy”she went upstairs.
“Undead housepet? Are you moving in?”
He stiffened and turned his head away. “Sorry, Slayer. Didn’t mean to suggest I was going to become part of the family. Just trying to keep the Bit from—”
She touched his chin and turned his face back to hers. “I was just kidding. Have you always been this insecure?”
“What? Me? Insecure….”He stopped himself in mid-bluster and sighed as he gave her a small smile. “Probably? Was when I was a worthless human git, for sure.”
Shaking her head, Buffy climbed back up on the stool next to him and dipped a spoon in to her melted ice cream. “Did you know you have a groupie?”she asked, looking at him sideways.
“Some tweedy old watcher back at the Council thinks you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread or something. Giles is going to ask her to come here to meet you. He thinks it will help your case if and when the Council figures out you aren’t chipped anymore.”
“And what am I supposed to do to make that happen? Appear fangless and wimpy?” He stood up and loomed over her, a low growl rumbling in his chest, and Buffy put her hand on the vibrating spot.
“That’s almost... kinda…. Never mind.”She snatched her hand away. “You’re just supposed to be polite and…charming….”She rolled her eyes.
“Hey! I can do charming. I’ll charm the pants off her—”
“You’ll what her?”Buffy’s eyes narrowed dangerously.
“Just an expression, pet. Didn’t mean I’d really….”A grin grew across his face. “Are you jealous?”
“Don’t be ridiculous,”she sniffed. “Me? Jealous? Of you and some tweedy old…”
“Watchers don’t start out old, love. She might have a nubile young body wrapped in that tweed.”
“And if you try to find out if she does….”Buffy raised the spoon in threat.
Giving a happy laugh, he pulled her off the stool and against his body. “I’m a one-woman man, Buffy. Always have been. Always will be. Stayed with Dru for well over a hundred years, didn’t I? You won’t get shed of me so easily as that.”
She leaned into him, enjoying the way his powerful arms banded around her while he nuzzled her hair. She sighed and let herself give in to the emotional and physical weariness of the last few days. When she felt him sway and catch himself on the counter, she remembered that he’d been just as beat up and was probably just as tired as she was.
“Would you think I’m terrible girlfriend material if I said I was really tired and I just want to sit on the couch with you and cuddle?” She mentally congratulated herself on sparing his ego the knowledge that she’d felt him almost fall.
“Nothing I’d like better than to cuddle with you, love,”he said as she pulled free and turned to go. At her disbelieving snort, he straightened up and quickly corrected himself. “Well, maybe not nothing, but it’s late, and we’re tired, and if that’s what you want to do, I’m fine with it. Got the rest of my unlife to show you—”
He trailed her into the darkened living room, still assuring her that he was up for anything she wanted to do. Without answering, she sat on the couch and pulled him down beside her. Spike leaned into the corner and stretched his arm out so she could fit into his side and rest her head on his chest. Within just a few moments, they were both sound asleep, curled up together as though they’d been sleeping that way for years.
Buffy awoke to the sun 's light shining just over their heads across the back of the sofa to illuminate the wall opposite the window.
"Stay down!" she hissed as she felt Spike stir under her. Somehow as they slept, they had slid down so that Spike was on his back, arms around Buffy who was lying atop his suddenly wide-awake body.
"Don't have to ask me twice," he murmured, pulling her closer. "Told that wanker I know my place with you."
Buffy blushed as she felt the proof of what he meant pushing against her leg. In spite of her immediate insistence that she was only trying to keep him from catching fire, her legs came apart to let his erection fall between them. He began growling and pulling her down even harder.
"Oh my god," she gasped as she found herself unable to resist the urge to rub against the hard bulge between her thighs.
"No god here, love, but I am yours. Never doubt it." He groaned as she whimpered and rubbed even harder. "Not promisin' I won't catch fire though. Bloody hell, Buffy, what you do to me."
He buried his face in her neck, sucking on the soft skin there until Buffy tried to pull away. He grabbed her hips and pulled her back in place, holding her tightly as she gave up the less-than-serious effort to quit what they were doing.
"Don't stop, love. Want to feel you come on me. Please, love, let me make you feel good." He held her tightly against his body, murmuring encouragement as she moved on him.
With a small shriek, she shuddered against him, keeping her face hidden in his chest as her breathing went back to normal. His hands moved over her back in soothing strokes that stopped when she still hadn’t said anything after several minutes.
"Buffy? Slayer? What's wrong?"
"Oh I don't know,”she mumbled into his shirt. “Maybe that I'm too embarrassed to look at you? And feeling really selfish?" she added as she noticed he was still hard.
He pushed her up enough that she was supporting herself with her hands, unable to muffle another groan as that pushed their lower bodies together again. He used one hand to hold her hips against his, while his other hand went to her embarrassed face. Touching her almost with reverence, he gave her a soft smile.
"Sweetheart, you could use me to pleasure yourself a dozen times a day, and it would never be too much. I want to make you come as often and in as many different ways as I can. Want to watch your face when you do it, hear the sounds you make, know it's me responsible for those sounds."
His expression changed to a leer that still managed to be more affectionate than sexual. "Not saying I don't want you any and every other way I can have you, mind. Or that I wouldn't appreciate some payback--" his leer became more believable and he tipped his hips up "--but I can wait. Won't promise to be patient, but I'll try."
Buffy pushed herself all the way up, straddling him while she stretched. He frowned when she winced at the top of her stretch, and he pulled up her shirt to look at the scar from her stabbing.
“Did you pull it fighting last night?”He brushed his fingers over it, smiling when she shivered.
“It’s fine,”she said, seeing where his gaze had gone. “It’s just a little tight. Don’t use that as an excuse to peek under my shirt.”
He gave one of the warm chuckles she was quickly becoming addicted to, and ran his fingers lightly over the scar and onto her side, stopping just at the bottom of her bra and stroking there until she was breathing heavily again.
“If I was sure Dawn wasn’t going to wake up….”
“Bit’s dead to the world, love. Can hear her breathing and heartbeat. You know she’s not going to wake up for hours yet.” He pulled her down where he could suck on her neck again, continuing to run his hands over her bare skin.
“You wouldn’t lie to me just to get…. would you?”
“Prob’ly would,”he said with a laugh as he reached under the shirt and unfastened her bra. “But I don’t need to. She’s well and truly asleep. And given how little sleep she’s had in the last day or so, I’d say she’ll stay that way for some time.”
He rolled them over so that he could slide a hand under the front of her shirt and cup one breast. As he massaged and tweaked it, he was slowly kissing his way down her neck. Buffy’s soft whimpers and mews encouraged him to pull the shirt and bra off over her head. His mouth was on her nipple before he’d even let them fall to the floor, and he added his appreciative murmurs to her soft sounds.
When changing positions so as to be able to use both hands meant he had to grab her to keep her from falling off the couch, they exchanged embarrassed laughs.
“Take it to the floor?”
Buffy’s response was to roll them both over until they fell to the soft carpet. With room to maneuver, Spike began to kiss her while his hands worked on pushing down the comfy sweat pants she’d dressed in after her shower. Buffy’s hands were now free to tear at his shirt, ripping it in half instead of letting him pause to pull it over his head.
“Hey! I might have been needing that.”
Buffy took advantage of the break in kissing to run her mouth over the smooth skin on his chest, remember how only a few days ago she’d been afraid to touch it for fear of not wanting to stop. With no reason to hide her desire now, she kissed and stroked and sniffed and licked until his growls were shaking his whole body. While he was distracted, she managed to unzip his jeans, freeing his erection into her hand. His growl changed to a gasp that managed to sound surprised and elated at the same time.
He rolled them again, pinning her to the floor long enough for him to use his feet to push her sweat pants as far down as he could. When he’d kissed her into a semi-coma, he stopped and began running his mouth down her body, pausing only to bite through her underwear before following the pants down her legs and off. He stopped to push his own jeans off, then surged back up her body to nudge at her wet entrance. Her legs immediately came up around his back, allowing him to slide into her as though they were repeating something they’d done many times before. Her little gasp of surprise made him flinch, but his attempt to withdraw was over before it had begun when she pulled him in deeper and moaned her approval.
“You feel so good, Buffy. Could die happy right now.”
“No dying,”she murmured. “Feels too good.”
“Can make it feel better,”he said, beginning to move his hips without actually losing any of their head to toe contact.
In what seemed like no time, but actually was longer than Buffy had ever experienced before, they were still intimately connected, but gasping for air and speechless.
“Wow. Wowie, wow, wow,”she panted. “How many times was that?”
“Three for you, two for me,”he sighed. “Sorry, love.”
“You’re sorry?”She lifted her head to stare down at him.
“I can do better. Was just so crazy to touch you and feel you around me….”
“You’re just saying that to be bragging, aren’t you?” As Buffy spoke, she felt him harden within her and he grinned at her wide eyes.
“Only a little bit,”he smirked as he began to move again. “Let me know if you can’t keep up, Slayer.”
“Oh, you’re on, vampire!”Buffy raised herself up to straddle him and began squeezing, laughing when his eyes rolled back in his head and he groaned her name.
He reached up and pulled her down again, flipping them so that he was on top. Staring into her laughing gaze, he gave one of the rare soft smiles she was sure only she had every seen.
“I love you, Buffy Anne Summers. I love you so much I’m surprised I haven’t spontaneously combusted by now.”
Buffy blinked rapidly, telling herself she did not have tears prickling her eyes as she searched for a proper response. Spike’s mouth had a wry twist as his smile became slightly less soft, but sympathetic.
“Don’t get your knickers in a twist there, love. Not looking for you to say it back. Know better than that. I’ve had a long time to get used to feeling like this , and a while longer than that to get here. Just seemed like a good time to get it out there again…when we’re not yelling at each other about something.”
“I don’t feel like yelling at you right now,”she said softly, pulling him down for a kiss.”
“That’s good,” he said, beginning to move his hips again. “Cause I don’t feel like yelling either. Got a better idea….”
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