The idea of a magical Inn and its Innkeeper has been borrowed from a wonderful series of books by Ilona Andres. Hoping that giving credit where it's due will be enough to keep me out of trouble. This Inn bears only a superficial resemblance to hers, and serves a very different purpose.
Later in the evening, when food had been eaten, toasts toasted, and general relaxation and a sense of comradery had set in, Buffy glanced around and tapped on her glass until everyone fell quiet.
“I hate to do this when we’re all here having such a nice time, but our late, not-so-lamented, guests earlier helped me remember what I need to tell you. I probably mentioned it before, but it’s really, really important for me to remind you of what the First likes to do.” She paused for effect, then said, “This afternoon I had a visit from Warren Mears.”
She waited, knowing Spike would get it first, which he did, giving a loud snarl. The puzzled frowns gradually changed to understanding frowns as those who knew about the First realized what she was saying. Only Abby and Lois were clearly still puzzled.
“Yes, Warren Mears is dead. And yes, I saw and talked with him today. It only took me a second to figure out what was going on, but he almost got me. I can’t over-emphasize how important this is—the First can appear as anyone who is, or has been, dead. And he will. Appear. To anybody he thinks he can influence or trick. Just a reminder that those people he can appear to be will include me and Spike. And Angel,” she added, glancing at Wes. “Anybody who is, or has ever been, dead.”
She stared around the rapt group, paying particular attention to those she knew hadn’t heard about the First before.
“Please, please remember that. And if you see me or Spike or Angel, or anyone else you know should be dead, and it doesn’t feel right, get away from them. The First isn’t corporeal; he—it—can’t actually hurt you physically, but it can and will try to mess with your mind. It will know things you think it couldn’t know about you and your fears, and it will use them against you. If you’re in doubt, try to touch it. And if your hand goes right though it, tell it to… whatever your favorite way of telling someone to shove off is.”
“Did you say it was here?” Joyce stared around the yard, her eyes wide.
“Yes, Mom. But just in my room, and only for a few minutes. I think the fact that I knew what it was right away set it back on its heels a little bit. It wasn’t expecting that.”
“What did it want?” Winston frowned, having forgotten about the First’s ability to imitate dead people, and seeming more than a little disturbed at his lapse.
“He—it—just wanted to rattle my cage and tell me he was going to keep killing potentials until I’m the only one left. I wished him luck and told him to get the hell out of my room.” She sighed. “But he isn’t going to stick to just annoying me. He’ll try to use his tricks on everybody. Especially if he thinks we’re getting too close to shutting things down. So, be careful if one of us” she gestured between herself and Spike “pops up and tells you to do—or not do—something. Make sure it’s us before you believe anything it says.”
“Especially if somebody you trust appears and gets into your head and makes you doubt yourself or your friends. Take it from me, that won’t go well for anybody.” Spike drained his beer and set the bottle down. “And now, I think it’s time for my wife and I to take our leave. If anybody needs us… well, just don’t need us for a few days, alright? We’ll be busy.”
He took Buffy’s hand and said, “Say good-night, love.”
“Good-night, love,” Buffy parroted with a grin, but she willingly followed Spike out of the yard to where his Desoto was parked in the driveway.
They were almost in the car, waving to the well-wishers who’d followed them to the driveway, pelting them with bird seed, when Buffy noticed the big “Just Married” sign on the back of the car.
“Really?” She glared at Spike, but he shook his head.
“Not me, Slayer. Had to be what Anya was giving Harris such a hard time about. I’d already warned him we didn’t want anything like this.” He shook his head and laughed. “Guess we should just be grateful there aren’t a collection of shoes and cans with it.”
Buffy shook her head and sent the glare back at Xander, but he just shrugged helplessly in apology.
“Get in, love. We’ll stop and take it off as soon as we’re out of sight.”
Which they did. Stopping as soon as they were out of sight, Spike tossed the sign into the trunk, pulled off his tie, and got back behind the wheel. He began driving again, going in a different direction from what Buffy expected. She looked around to assure herself he wasn’t just taking a different route home, then poked him.
“Are you lost?”
“Nope. Just taking my new wife on a honeymoon trip. Just for the night,” he added when she frowned. “Thought it would be more romantic if we had ourselves a little getaway.”
“Well, that’s just….”
“Brilliant, romantic, thoughtful, amazing….”
Buffy laughed and slid closer to him so she could rest her hand on his leg while she pecked his cheek. “All of those things.”
“Just hold that thought, love.” He put one arm around her and pulled her closer.
“How about if I hold this?” she purred, moving her hand to the growing bulge along his leg. It immediately hardened in her hand and she squeezed it appreciatively.
“You little minx,” he growled, moving his free hand back to the wheel. “How am I supposed to concentrate on finding this place with you doing that?” In spite of his words, he pushed on the accelerator and began to weave through traffic much faster than he had been.
It didn’t actually take long for Spike to get them where they were going. Rather than head for one of the hotels along the coast as she’d expected him to, he drove up into hills, not stopping until he pulled up in front of what seemed to be a very small inn. Even though it was now well past 10 p.m., there was a light on over the door, and they stepped into a pleasantly warm lobby to be met by a smiling, plump, middle-aged woman.
“Ah, Mr. and Mrs. Pratt. Here you are. And please accept my congratulations on your marriage. I hope everything went well?” As she spoke, she was shaking Buffy’s hand and beaming at her. Spike managed to avoid having his hand shaken by picking up the small bag Willow had packed for Buffy and holding his own duffle bag in his other hand. Buffy, of course, was only holding her scythe in its guitar case. The veil she’d taken off during the reception now rested in there with it.
Buffy smile back, saying, “It went just fine, thank you. I’m sorry you had to wait up for us.”
“Not at all. I’m a night owl myself, so I wouldn’t have been to bed yet anyway. I’m Catherine, by the way. I’m the Innkeeper here. Let me show you to your rooms.” She bustled ahead of them, leading the way down a long hall to an open door. “Here you are. I know you can’t tell just now, but in the morning you’ll see that the view is spectacular.” She smiled at Spike. “The ocean is to the west, so the sun won’t be coming in the window until late in the day. Not that it matters. It’s good glass.”
Ignoring the way Buffy was staring at her, she wished them a good-night and left the room, pulling the door closed behind her.
“Did she just tell you it was going to be safe for you here in the morning?”
“She did. Apparently I’m not the first vamp customer she’s had.” Spike sat down and took off his shoes and socks, shrugging out of his jacket. In spite of his eagerness to get there, he now seemed ready to relax.
“How did she know? And why isn’t she freaking out?” Buffy shook her head and answered her own question. “She one of those half-demons you’ve told me about, isn’t she?”
“Well, that— maybe—and this is…. It’s a bloody unusual inn. Not your average B & B, and she’s not your average host.”
“’splainy, please,” she said as she kicked off one of her shoes. Spike’s “Uh uh, Slayer. The shoes and the veil, remember?” stopped her in mid-kick. She rolled her eyes at him, but put the sandal back on and opened the scythe case to retrieve her veil. She paused to look at the scythe, but Spike shook his head.
“You won’t need that here, love. This is a very special kind of place. Nothing evil can get in, or even get very far on to the property. If something did mange to sneak in somehow, the Inn would make short work of it.”
“The Inn would make short work of it? What is it? Magically alive?” Buffy laughed to show she was kidding, but when Spike didn’t laugh with her, she stopped and stared around. “It’s alive?”
“Not exactly. At least not like you’re thinkin’ it is. We haven’t been swallowed up, and we won’t be. We’re guests here, and the Inn will make sure we have a good experience.”
Buffy stared around apprehensively, but the walls and furniture seemed appropriately inanimate and she finally relaxed.
“You’re going to have to explain this to me….” she said, as she slid the dress off her shoulders. “…. later.”
As she spoke, she was hanging the dress in the closet, walking across the room wearing nothing but her sandals and a scrap of lace around her lower hips. She smiled over her shoulder as she bent down to pick up the veil, her butt cheeks peeking out from under the flimsy panties. She draped the veil over her head, letting part of it cover her face and the rest hang gracefully down her back. The look on Spike’s face when she turned to face him sent any thoughts about the mysterious Inn out of her head.
Is this what you wanted?
Wanted. Want. Will want forever.
He walked up to her, raising a hand to lift the veil far enough to meet her eyes.
“You are the most wonderful thing I’ve ever seen,” he said, worshipping her with his gaze.
“You’re not so bad yourself,” she murmured, beginning to unbutton his shirt. As she pulled it out of the pants he was already unzipping, she began to kiss her way down his body, pausing to suck on each nipple. Dropping to the floor as she went, she kissed her way down from there, until she got to the body part sticking up in front of her.
“Hi there. Have we met?” She giggled and went all the way to her knees, taking him in her mouth as far as she could.
He groaned and reached blindly behind him for something to lean against. “Not exactly what I had in mind, love.” One hand located the back of the chair, and he gave a relieved sigh as he steadied himself and felt around for the wall.
“Oh? Do you want me to stop?” She nibbled on his cock and giggled again when it twitched. “I don’t think you do….”
His growl vibrated all the way through his body and into her mouth which was once again attached to his cock and sucking vigorously. Giving in to her clear intentions, he leaned against the wall and muttered endearments and obscenities until she completed what she was doing. She smirked up at him, licking her lips as she said, “Ha! Bet you thought you’d be all ‘I’m the husband, and I’m going to be in charge tonight’ didn’t you?”
He stare down at her, taking deep unnecessary breaths, then pulled her to her feet and kicked his pants the rest of the way off.
“My turn, wife. Be prepared for the honeymoon of your dreams.”
Rather than throwing her on the bed as she’d half expected him to, he walked over carefully, holding her in traditional groom carries bride fashion. If it was traditional for the groom to be wearing nothing but an unbuttoned shirt and the bride to be clad in nothing but a veil, a scrap of lace, and a pair of sandals that made her feet look even more delicate than usual. He laid her down gently, giving her a chaste kiss. While he was taking his shirt the rest of the way off, Buffy arranged herself on the bed so that she was lying in the middle of the veil, surrounded by soft delicate lace.
She held up one foot and waved it in front of him. “Do you want to take my shoes off for me?”
“Indeed I do. It would be my pleasure,” he said, falling into the accent he rarely let her hear.
He took the foot and began to undo the delicate straps, kissing her toes and working his way up to her ankle and lower leg. When he’d dropped that shoe on the floor, she held up the other leg and he repeated the process with the other foot. Holding her two ankles together, he nibbled on her toes as he gazed up the length of her legs to the lacy scrap of panty barely covering the neatly trimmed curls that were already looking damp.
He prowled up the bed until his face was level with the lace, then glanced up at her. She smiled her permission.
“They’re meant to be worn only once….”
Permission to destroy the expensive underwear having been given, he shifted into vampire mien and sliced through the crotch of the panties. He shook off his fangs and buried his tongue in the moisture he found there. Buffy’s gasp as she opened her legs wider soon grew into whimpers and cries as he worked his tongue from her clit to her vagina, creating different sensations but never quite remaining in one area long enough to bring her off. When her cries of pleasure began to sound more like actual crying, he pulled her clit into his mouth and sucked on it until he felt her arch her back and give a muffled scream.
While she was catching her breath and lolling bonelessly, he pulled the now-crotchless scraps of lace off, completing the job of ripping them apart. He held himself poised over her on his hands and knees until she opened her eyes and smiled at him.
“C’mere you,” she said extending her arms and wrapping them around his back as he lowered himself onto her body.
Without any unnecessary fumbling around, his cock slid into her waiting warmth and they gave matching sighs of happiness.
“I love you, Mrs. Pratt,” he said, nuzzling his marks on her neck. “I think I always have, and I know I always will.”
“I’ll love you just as long as you love me,” she said as she exposed more of her neck and felt their connection flowing between them.
“That would be forever,” he growled, licking his marks and beginning to move his hips.
“Forever works for me,” she gasped, clenching her legs around him and pulling him in even more deeply. “Forever is good.”
They were soon testing the strength of the bed as they used their super strength to bring each other higher and higher. They’d barely relaxed after their first mutually vocal orgasms before they were moving again, changing positions without needed to say a word, the connection between them being all they needed to anticipate each other’s next wish. After a few hours of alternating vigorous and sensual love making, they were back to having Buffy’s legs wrapped around Spike’s, effectively pinning their bodies together. By mutual silent agreement, Spike struck his marks and began deep pulls of her blood. Buffy allowed herself to enjoy the extra boost to her pleasure caused by act of giving her life’s blood to her mate for much longer than she had since the original bonding ritual. She felt herself begin to weaken, but before she could say anything, Spike had already sensed it and was licking the marks closed.
I’m sorry, love. Never meant to take so much, you just seemed like—
Like I was enjoying the hell out of it? Her lips twisted in a wry smile. I knew you weren’t going to let me die.
Without any mental or vocal warning, she raised her head and latched her teeth on to his neck, biting down until she’d drawn blood from the scar there.
“Mine!” she said with quiet satisfaction.
“Was there ever any doubt?”
“Just covering all my bases,” she muttered, licking the few drops of blood before they could drip onto the veil, which, while much rumpled and possibly torn, managed to still be more or less beneath them. He rolled off to the side, pulling her with him to drape herself across his body.
Consider them covered, sweetheart. The wave of warmth and affection that accompanied his unspoken words brought a smile to her face as she snuggled into him
I’ll bet you’re all charged up on slayer blood now and think you can just go all night, huh? Her thoughts, while warm and loving, began drifting off into incoherence. There’s no five straight hours for this girl…. I’m just gonna have a little nap….
Spike enjoyed the sensation of having her curled into his side until he noticed she had goosebumps. He slid her off his body, stood up, and held her with one arm while he pulled the veil out and yanked the bed covers down. The whole time, Buffy never stopped her slow breathing or lost her limp feel. He frowned, listening hard to make sure her heartbeat was regular and she was truly asleep, not unconscious. He laid her gently down on the bed and pulled the covers up over her chilled body, tucking them around her like a cocoon. He dropped a soft kiss on the top of her head before straightening up stretching with a happy groan.
Buffy hadn’t been wrong about what having so much of her blood had done to him. He was wide awake and full of energy. As much as he normally enjoyed sleeping with Buffy in his arms, he knew she wasn’t going to know if he was there or not, and he had additional energy to expend. He glanced around the spacious room, checking for food or drink. Unlike a hotel, there was no mini-fridge or microwave to be seen. He frowned and pulled his jeans out of his bag, putting them and a tee shirt on before venturing out of the room.
“Got to be a kitchen in here somewhere,” he muttered, on a mission to be sure he had liquids and food to provide for Buffy when she woke up.
“Is there something you need, Mr. Pratt?” The Innkeeper had appeared so quietly, he gave an unvampire-like gasp of surprise, followed by a growl at himself. Her narrowed eyes made it clear that she didn’t expect to find a demon wandering around her Inn in the wee hours of the morning, and wasn’t particularly happy about it.
“I’m sorry,” he said as sincerely as he could. “I was hoping to find some water or juice to have on hand for my wife when she wakes up.” He gave one of his little boy smiles, but Catherine appeared to be immune, so he shrugged and went on, “Was just lookin’ for a kitchen or a vending machine or something like that.”
“A vending machine?” She sounded horrified. “In my Inn?” She inhaled and exhaled, clearly calming herself. “If you’ll go back to your room, I’ll see that there will be some nourishing snacks and drinks outside your door within fifteen minutes or less.”
“I don’t want to put you to any trouble….” His lack of sincerity was pretty clear, and she just huffed to herself and pointed down the hall.
“Go back to your bride,” she said.
Spike started down the hall, then stopped. “If I can’t sleep, would it be a problem if I went for a run outside?”
“Yes,” she said tersely. “It would be a very bad idea. And not just because there are other, bigger, predators here in the mountains.”
Spike just nodded. “I suspected as much, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. I’ll just read or something.”
She watched until he had let himself into the room, where he turned and waved at her before closing the door.