Chp 3 A Promise to a Lady
Stars in the Bright Sky by Lilachigh
Chapter 3 A Promise to a Lady
‘Spike, are we doing the right thing?’ Buffy asked as the car the vampire had ‘borrowed’ sped down the highway, out of Sunnydale.
She pulled the towel back from the baby’s face. It was no longer red and wrinkled, but smooth and pink. Long dark lashes fanned against her cheeks and one tiny fist was pushed up against her chin, as if she were thinking deep thoughts.
‘Yes, thank goodness, but we must get help soon. She’ll need to be fed. Perhaps we should just take her straight to the hospital.’
Spike frowned and his boot went down heavily on the gas pedal. ‘No, Slayer, we promised Lucy we would take the brat to her sister. It’s up to this Rebecca what she does. But we keep our word. I always keep promises to a lady.’
‘Sun’s coming up,’ she said, looking to where the bright stars were fading fast as the sky grew pale primrose at the edges. ‘We have to find shelter for you soon, or else....’
‘You don’t have to remind me, pet,’ he drawled. ‘It’s going to be a race. This old jalopy against the sun.’
‘Couldn‘t you have stolen something that goes a bit faster?’ Buffy snapped.
Spike stole a sideways look at her and if he’d had a heart beat it would have stopped right then and there. She sat, nursing the baby in that automatic way women had the world over. Her hair was a tangled mass of gold and amber, there was a streak of blood down one cheek and her jeans and boots were past saving. But he’d never loved her more than at that moment.
‘Haven’t stolen it. It belongs to my mate Clem, you know, demon with loads of skin. You met him at the poker game. He’s away for Christmas, visiting relatives in St Louis. He didn’t want to drive that far in this old crate, so he hitched a ride with a friend. That’s how I got the car, okay! Sorry it isn’t a Ferrari. Next time we have a run in with a pregnant killer and find ourselves kidnapping an infant and avoiding the sodding police, I’ll be sure to do better!’
Buffy shook her head. She’d almost forgotten it was nearly Christmas. ‘I must ring Dawn and tell her I’m OK. She’ll be frantic.’
Spike frowned. ‘Good point, Slayer. Can’t have the niblet worried, just because we’ve got Pipsqueak there to look after.’
‘She hasn’t even got a name,’ Buffy said sadly. ‘Lucy didn’t even tell us what she wanted to call her.’
‘Pipsqueak will have to do for now, then,’ Spike said and glanced anxiously up at the eastern sky ahead of him. ‘Sun’s nearly up. Now, where the hell is this farm? We should be nearly there.’
Buffy laid the baby on her lap, shrugged off her denim jacket and draped it over Spike’s head. He touched her hand for a second and flashed her a quick thank you from eyes that were gleaming sapphire in the bright morning air.
The sun was coming up fast as they swerved through open gates next to a sign that read ‘Whiteacres’. The car bounced and jolted up a rutted track and Buffy could hear Spike hissing with pain as he tried to move his hands from the steering wheel as the sun’s rays shot through the windows. He was burning up!
Then in front of them lay a scattering of barns and a farmhouse. But Buffy knew they didn’t have time to make it there. She reached over and jerked hard on the wheel.
‘What the hell! ’
The car swung sideways, ran through open barn doors and buried its hood in a stack of straw bales with a violent jerk as the engine cut out.
Spike lay back in his seat and groaned in relief as the dark shade covered them. ‘Thanks, Slayer, that was a close call.’
‘Didn’t do it for you, don’t flatter yourself!’ Buffy snapped, refusing to let him see how scared she’d been at losing him. ‘I’ve got to get home before tonight and I need this car! And someone to drive it. You know cars and Buffy are not the best of friends.’
Spike got out of the car and she handed him the baby as she clambered up out of the low, cramped seat. She stood for a moment looking at him. There were burnt patches on his pale hands, but they were holding the little girl with a tenderness she’d never seen before.
Then he glanced up, saw her looking at him, and thrust the bundle at her as if it was soaked in Holy Water.
‘Bloody hell, Slayer. Here, take Pipsqueak. She’s wet through and smells worse than most demons I’ve known. Get her up to the house to the sister and then we can get the hell out of here.’
‘It’s not her, it’s the horses, you idiot!’ she snapped, gazing round and realising they weren’t in a barn but a large stable and several interested four legged inhabitants were watching them.
‘Hold her for a second. It won’t kill you - well, it wouldn’t anyway, because you’re dead already, but hey, I just want to get tidied up. I’ll scare this Rebecca into the middle of next week, turning up looking like this.’
Buffy dragged her curls back and tied them as severely as she could with a loose piece of twine she found on the stable floor. She splashed water from the horse trough over her face, grimacing at the scummy feel of it, but at least it was washing away some of the dirt and blood she’d caught sight of in the car’s mirror.
She gazed in despair at her white top. It was splattered with blood and needed to be thrown away immediately. She whipped it off, found her denim jacket still in the car and buttoned it up across her breasts.
She wondered if Spike had been peeking, but when she looked round she found he’d
retreated deeper inside the stable as the sun rose higher and came flooding in through the doors.
Stepping softly, she moved between the rows of horses, not wanting to spook them. They shifted gently on the straw and one or two snuffled gently as she passed.
At the very end of the stable she paused, unable at first to believe what she was hearing, then knowing that she would never, whatever might happen between her and Spike in the future, forget this moment.
There was a voice, Spike’s voice, singing, very, very quietly, almost under his breath:
‘Little baby do not stir, we will lend a coat of fur
We will rock you, rock you, rock you,
We will rock you, rock you, rock - ‘
He stopped abruptly as Buffy sank to her knees next to him and glared at her, daring her to say a word.
‘Pipsqueak’s beginning to wake up. Didn’t want her making some godawful row and disturbing the horses,’ he said, thrusting the baby at Buffy.
She took her, then crawled forward until she was sitting with her back against Spike’s chest. His arm dropped protectively across them both, and Buffy knew that at last, after all these weeks of being back in the real world, feeling numb, she was experiencing a moment of complete happiness.
‘A baby in a stable at Christmas,’ Spike murmured dryly above her head. ‘Well, Goldilocks, unless you want to ring the Scoobies to drive out here to be the Wise Men and Women, I reckon you ought to get her up to the house.’
Buffy bent to kiss the baby. She knew she had to part with her, and soon. The baby needed warmth and a bath and something to drink. But it hurt so much. She’d never been this close to a newborn before. She knew she’d probably never have one of her own; a Slayer’s life expectancy meant children were really not an option.
‘What if this Rebecca is mean to her?’ she said.
‘We’ll keep an eye on them,’ Spike said. ‘We won’t let anything hurt Pipsqueak, I promise.’
‘Do you want to say goodbye?’ She held out the baby and for a moment thought he was going to draw back. Then he reached out with one finger and pulled down his bright red towel that was still her only covering.
‘Bye, Pipsqueak. Be good and if you meet any odd looking men on dark nights in the future - run like hell!’
He watched as Buffy walked out of the stable, sitting in the straw, his face dark with thoughts he knew he shouldn’t have,
It wasn’t bloody fair that this woman should never be a mother. Surely some Slayers had had children. He’d have to get Red to do some research.
But even if she did, they wouldn’t be his and the thought of another man making love to her, taking her, seeing her naked, making her scream in passion, forced his game face out and he heard the horses neigh in alarm as they smelt vampire close by.
When she came back to the stable, her arms were empty but there were tear tracks down her face. He wordlessly held out his arms and for once she went straight into them with no holding back.
He held her in silence, stroking her hair, then, ‘All OK?’
‘Yes.’ Buffy sniffed. ‘Stupid hay. Making me cry. Rebecca seems really nice and her husband is a sweetie. They were waiting for the baby. Lucy was taken to the prison hospital, but she managed to get one phone call and rang her sister to tell her. I just hope she did it without alerting the authorities.’
‘Is Lucy all right?’
‘Yes, as fine as possible, I suppose. She‘s sticking to her story that a monster stole her baby.’
Under her cheek, she heard a rumbling noise and realised Spike was laughing. ‘Bloody hell, Slayer, I’m going to be the biggest big bad Sunnydale has ever known at this rate.’
‘Guess what they’re calling the baby?’
‘As long as it’s not Angela, I don’t mind.’
Spike grunted. ‘Mary for Christmas and Anne for you. I like that, Buffy.’
‘So do I. And I borrowed Rebecca’s phone to ring Dawn. She’s okay. Freaked out that I didn’t come home last night, but I told her I was with you and that seemed to calm her down. I said we’d be back as soon as it got dark. She insists you to come to us for Christmas dinner. She’s getting you bull’s blood. It’s supposed to give you strength. Do you need your strength, Spikey?’ she teased.
Suddenly Spike pulled her upwards across his lap until their faces were nearly touching, blue eyes blazing, his hands already busy on her sensitive skin under her jacket, ‘You mean we’ve got all day here, Slayer? On our own?’
She ran her fingers down the length of his fly and began to tease the zip up and down. ‘Happy Christmas, Spike,’ she said. ‘Yes, we’ve got hours and hours, if you want,’ she murmured, feeling the strength growing under her hand, glorying in what she could do to him.
God, how she wanted him. She didn’t care if it was bad, if good girls shouldn’t want a man in this way. Somehow holding the baby had made her feel so - so sexy. She wanted him inside her, she wanted him to make her come, over and over again.
She giggled. ‘But if you’re feeling tired, then you can just go to sleep. I’ll cover you with straw.’
‘You talk too much, luv. I’ll find you something better to do with that mouth of yours. Oh yes. You’ve no idea how much you’re going to learn to do to me in the next few hours.’
He swung her up into his arms and carried her up a ladder into the hay loft in two bounds. Then he bent his head and kissed her, his tongue finding hers, plundering, demanding, until she felt she could no longer breathe.
He tugged at the twine holding her hair back, pulling it free until it cascaded down around her face. She slid her hands under his T-shirt, digging her nails into his back, moaning as he tore off her denim jacket and bra, sucking her nipple into his mouth, teasing it mercilessly with his tongue until she began imploring him for more and more.
He rolled her over onto her back, kicking off his boots, tearing off his jeans, then hers. And the last coherent thought she had as his hard cold body drove her up and over the edge into delirium for the first time that day, was ‘please, oh God, please let this be the longest Christmas Eve ever.’
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