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Cousin Arabella by Lilachigh
Chp 3 ‘Where’s Drusilla?’
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Cousin Arabella

by Lilachigh

Chapter 3 ‘Where’s Drusilla?’

Introducing your friends to your family can be a tricky business, as Spike is about to discover!

Spike swung the ‘borrowed’ car through a pair of ornate iron gates, narrowly missing a couple of bright blue demons with frilly heads and powered on up the driveway towards what Buffy could only describe as a mansion.

‘Wow!’ she gasped as the house came into sight. ‘Spike, it’s vast. Like a palace. How rich is your cousin?’

Spike shrugged and parked the car with a flourish. ‘Regurgitating demons are always well off, pet. Nice guys, but you need them on your side. They have money and power. Bit like the English aristocracy. Div’vid’s always had cash to burn and Arabella came from the wealthy side of my family. My parents were the poorer branch - hers were wealthy. I suppose when I - well, when the rest of the family died! - she inherited the lot. And being turned never stopped her making good investments! She was always good with money was Arabella.’

Buffy shook her head. Somehow the straightforward way Spike spoke about vampire life always intrigued her. She was sure Giles had no notes about vampire finances in his vast array of reference books. Perhaps she should take notes!

She got out of the car and smoothed down the skirt of her white and red dress. She could feel the creases where Spike had scrunched it as he’d plunged his fingers inside her only minutes before. She bit her lip. Oh god, she could feel herself growing wet again between her thighs. What was wrong with her? Why couldn’t she feel a single thing for anyone else in her world, but for Spike she was like a bitch on heat, aching for him with every fibre of her being.

Buffy looked up and caught the vampire gazing at her, his eyes a bright sapphire. His nostrils flared slightly and she knew he’d scented her arousal again. For one delirious second she thought he was going to throw her across the hood of the car and fuck her there and then, but he obviously realised there were just too many people about - well demons, actually.

Without saying a word, he lifted a finger to his mouth and sucked at it. She felt the hot colour flare into her cheeks. How dare he! Oh god, she wanted to punch him so hard her fists hurt. She also wanted to make love to him so hard his balls ached!

‘Later, Slayer,’ he promised, reading her mind again and leant inside the car to hoist up the crate of champagne from the back seat. Quick as a flash, Buffy stepped up behind him and ran her hands down the front of his dark jeans. She giggled as she heard him curse and felt the erection straining immediately against the fabric.

That would teach him to play games with her! Sometimes she felt he was entirely too ‘cocky’ for his own good!

She swung away before he could do anything more and made her way up the stone steps to the grand portico entrance. She heard him muttering behind her and felt a thrill of anticipation run over her body. Oh she would pay for that, she knew only too well. She could only guess at how he would make her pay and her guesses were never as explicit or as exciting as the real thing.

‘Just you wait, Goldilocks,’ he growled in her ear, leaping up the last few steps until he was at her side. ‘You are going to - ’

‘William! How lovely to see you! It’s been so long!’

Buffy stared in amazement. A woman was hurrying towards them across the marble floored entrance hall. She wasn’t pretty, she wasn’t even attractive, no - she was stunningly beautiful!

Her long chestnut brown hair was caught up in a complicated knot at the back of her head and long curls, laced through with tiny white flowers, hung down onto her creamy shoulders. She had that English cream and roses complexion that needs hardly any make-up to enhance it. Her eyes were huge, bright blue like Spike’s and rimmed with what looked like a double layer of natural black lashes.

She was wearing a dark blue velvet dress that hugged every centimetre of her body in a tight embrace. If she was wearing anything underneath it, Buffy would have been astounded.

The skin of the back of Buffy’s neck began to tingle and her hand itched to pull a stake from her purse. This had to be Arabella, a vampire, married to a regurgitating Frovlax demon and Spike’s cousin.
She brushed past Buffy as if she didn’t exist, wound her pale arms round Spike’s neck and kissed him on the lips. Buffy wondered if her promise to Spike not to kill anyone at the party could be conveniently forgotten. Perhaps she could say she’d had a lapse of memory as Arabella dissolved into dust.

‘’Bella, pet. You look marvellous. You’ve done something wonderful to your hair. I like it. And that dress is fabulous. You always look good in blue.’

Oh great! It was a fashion contest now! Buffy pushed her fingers through the amber tangles that were all that was left of her hairstyle after Spike’s fingers had made inroads into it. She glanced around. Was there a cloakroom, a restroom, somewhere she could at least begin to make herself presentable?

‘You look wonderful yourself, William. Oh, it’s so good to see you. But where’s Drusilla? Haven’t you bought her with you? I know we had that little disagreement about the puppies, but they were mine to eat, not hers and it was fifty years ago now, for goodness sake. Surely she’s not still holding a grudge?’

‘Er...well, ‘Bella, I’m not with Dru anymore. We broke up.’

‘William! That’s dreadful. You seemed an ideal couple. Hopefully it’s just a short break. I just can’t imagine you without each other. What did Angel say about it? You do still see Liam, don’t you? You were always such friends. Such a sweetie, all that Irish blarney. And Darla? I miss the old gang. We had such fun. Div’vid is such an old stick in the mud about things like killing and feeding. But then Frovlaxes are such puritans, aren’t they? I think it’s because he’s a vegetarian. I have trouble understanding people who only eat vegetables. I love him dearly, but oh dear, the poor old love has no experience of having a good time.’

‘I’ve no idea what the Mick poofter is up to,’ Spike snapped, unwinding her arms from around his neck.

Buffy grinned to herself. If there was one way of annoying Spike, Arabella had just found it. He hated to have Angel’s name mentioned, unless it was in a thoroughly nasty way.

‘I’ve come with my friend Buffy here.’ Spike waved a hand in Buffy’s direction.

Arabella spun round and that brilliant blue gaze shot through Buffy as if she was made of tissue paper. She tilted her head, her lips thinned and Buffy knew with certainty that she could smell Spike on her, knew how wet she was between her thighs, and could guess exactly what they’d been doing on the way to the party. Buffy shuddered. Where Spike’s eyes were a warm sapphire, this woman’s were glacier cold.

‘How very nice to meet you - er, Buffy, is it. What a very - American - sort of name. But charming, very sweet, very young. How good of you to accompany poor William to our little party. I do hope it won’t be too boring for you. I can imagine he isn’t very good company without dear Drusilla. They were so in love. But then, perhaps you don’t know a lot about strong emotions.’

The accent was very English, more clipped than Giles’. Her tone was one that made Buffy long to punch her on her dainty little nose. How could this, this bitch!, be related to Spike. And if she called him William once more in that ‘why can’t we go to bed together straight away’ voice, Buffy would punch her! With a stake in her hand!

‘It’s very nice to meet you,’ Buffy replied equally sweetly. ‘I’m afraid Spike didn’t tell me your name. But then we’ve been rather - ’ she laughed in what she hoped was a sexy manner - ‘preoccupied. I’m sure I don’t have to spell out how for you. I know you’re almost as old as Spike, but I guess you can still imagine what we’ve been doing, even if you don’t partake yourself anymore!’

Arabella’s face went still and for a fleeting second, Buffy could have sworn the blue eyes gleamed golden and a ripple crossed her features as her game face fought to come through the beautiful mask. Buffy could see the alarm on Spike’s face and he stepped forward to intervene, when,

‘Spike, my old mate! How goes it, old boy?’

A dark green demon who stood at least seven feet tall, appeared in the hallway, carrying a giant mug of beer in a huge cloven hand. He had the big brown velvet eyes and pretty ears of a very nice cow.

‘Div’vid! Good to see you. Is that Bishop’s Finger beer I can smell. Marvellous! I haven’t tasted that for years. Show me where I can dump this fizzy pissy stuff and then get me a pint. Oh, Div’vid, let me introduce you to Buffy. Er, she’s - she’s a friend of mine.’

Buffy’s hand disappeared into an emerald clasp twice the size of hers. She looked up into sad brown eyes and found herself smiling. She sensed she could like this Div’vid, although if he started rechewing his food, she might throw up herself, but, hey, she would cross that bridge when she came to it.

‘Come in, come in , both of you. Meet some friends. Have some food. A drink. It’s going to be a great evening.’

And towing Buffy behind him, the jolly green giant headed for what Buffy could only call a ballroom. Yards long, chandeliers sparkling, an orchestra playing and demons and vampires dancing in a glitter of beautiful dresses and different coloured feathers, skins and scales.

She turned to speak to Spike, but the words died on her lips. Cousin Arabella had her arm round his waist and was whispering intimately into his ear. Buffy took a deep breath. She had the feeling it was going to be a very long night!

Buffy’s eyes widened in amazement as they entered the mansion’s vast ballroom. It was like something out of a fairy-tale, or a Hollywood movie. Chandeliers sparkled, the wooden floor gleamed; people - well, a mixture of weird demons and - if her senses were accurate - a good proportion of vampires, were standing in little groups, drinking champagne and nibbling on little goodies handed round by a battalion of small, bright pink demons who minced around, covered in fluffy fur, squeaking at each other indignantly when they got in each other’s way.

There was a group playing soft jazz on a balcony, the music almost drowned by the chatter, squeaking, growling, hissing and general noise of the guests beneath them.
And to Buffy’s horror, she realised she was the only woman wearing a short dress! Every other woman - even those with horns and tails - was in full evening gear.

She gulped and removed a glass of champagne swiftly from a tray as it went past her. She needed a drink! There were so many demons and vampires in this room that her sensory system had gone into overdrive.

‘Ah, you’ve got a drink. Great!’ It was Div’vid.

Buffy smiled up and up at him. This was a big demon! But his eyes were so soft, velvety brown and his little ears so pretty, she couldn’t get too worked up about him.
‘Yes, thank you. What a beautiful house.’

Div’vid smiled warmly. ‘Thank you, Miss Buffy. I’m so glad you like it. I always feel it’s nice to have - space - to move in, don’t you?’ His giant, emerald green hand swung expansively round, almost decapitating one of his guests.

Buffy nodded nervously and glanced around for Spike. Where the hell was he? And where was Miss Poison Ivy, his cousin Arabella? There was no sign of them. Not that she cared, she told herself, as she chatted to Div’vid, listening as he told her how he’d come to America from England, how difficult it was to grow roses in the desert, how much his beloved wife missed her home land.

‘Why doesn‘t she go back there then?’ Buffy asked silently, wishing that Arabella could be on the next jet out of Los Angeles. She peered over her shoulder again. Still no sign of the cousins. She gulped down another mouthful of pink champagne and nodded as a little fluffy pink demon offered to fill her glass.

They were probably off upstairs having a nice-to-see-you-after-all-this-time-shag, she thought and wondered why she cared. She hated Spike. OK, she liked what he did to her. She shuddered as the icy champagne hit her throat. OK, understatement of the year, here. She loved what he did to her, what she did to him., but she didn’t like him!

So, if he was shagging Arabella, then that just proved what an evil, immoral thing he was, especially as he’d seemed to like Div’vid, his cousin’s husband and his host for the evening.

‘So, you and William - you’re - together?’ Div’vid was obviously trying to be tactful.

‘Not so much, more like - we work together sometimes.’

‘Oh work colleagues. Nice. But - ’ he smiled down at her and waggled his ears suggestively. ‘I can sense you’re much more than that! I may only be a mere Frovlax, but even I can sense when a couple have been - well, shall we say close! It’s the smell, you know. And I must say, I’m pleased. To be truthful - ’ he glanced round, as nervous as a seven foot Frovlax Demon could be - ‘I never really liked Drusilla. Charming woman when she wanted to be, but - well - complicated. And there was all that business with the puppies - Still, you two seem well suited. I’d like to see William settled with a nice girl - ’

‘Oh, no, you don’t understand. You see we’re just - ’ Buffy tried to stop, appalled at the words which were escaping from her mouth, but she couldn’t prevent them - ‘we’re just good friends.’

A giant emerald hand patted her on the head and a mooing laugh made the chandeliers above them ring and dance. Then, luckily, Div’vid was distracted by another late guest arriving. Buffy pushed her way through the crowd, her fingers itching to pull a stake out of her purse and dispatch half of them. She was going to kill Spike when she next saw him. How dare he make her say that, but what else could she have told Div’vid?

Oh no, I’m the Slayer and I’ve recently been dead but now I’m back and I kill demons and vampires, and, by the way, I’m using Spike for sex because only then do I feel anything. And I’m only here because...because....

Because you wanted a night out with Spike, a voice in her head said. You wanted to go out as a couple because every minute you spend with him makes you feel hot. And when you’re not with him, you have all those little itches he talks to you about in the dark, the ones only he can scratch!

Out in the hall, a wide staircase curved graciously up to the first floor. Buffy made her way up it; she needed a bathroom badly, although there was no way she was going to be able to make her white silk dress turn into a full length evening gown.

‘I’ll kill him! Then I’ll kill him all over again,’ she muttered. Why hadn’t he told her it was a formal evening. She was sure everyone was looking at her. They probably thought she was some sort of poor relation and being pitied by a group of vamps and demons was not how she’d expected to spend the evening

After she’d pulled a comb through her tangled hair and found a lip gloss to repair some of the damage Spike had done to her mouth on their journey here, she felt a little more human. Which, she reckoned, was some sort of record in this house this evening!

Buffy hesitated as she came back out into the corridor. It was such a wonderful place. She’d love to see more of it. Surely no one would mind if she just wandered about a bit and it would save her having to go downstairs on her own again. She sighed, wishing that Xander and Willow were here. They’d have a laugh together at how out of place they all were, Willow would make marvellously bitchy remarks about Arabella and Xander would probably be hauled off to a bedroom by some femme fatale demon lady!

As she turned a corner, a familiar voice caught her attention. Buffy stopped and peered through a half open bedroom door. Spike was sitting on a king sized bed, his back to the door. He was holding Arabella in his arms and her head was buried in the crease of his neck, her fingers playing with the little platinum curls that feathered his ears.

Her long brown curls cascaded across his arm and back and catching sight of Buffy in the doorway, she smiled, slowly, licked her lips lasciviously and vamped out as she ran her other hand possessively down his back.

Buffy froze as the icy champagne rose up in the back of her throat and she wanted to be sick. She forced herself to move; she needed fresh air. One step, then another - concentrate on walking steadily, carefully, don’t think about anything but getting out of the house. You’re just a little bit tipsy, that‘s all. You’re not upset about what you’ve just seen. Why should you be upset? Spike’s an evil thing and evil things do evil things. It’s all very straightforward.

She collected another glass of champagne as she crossed the ballroom. People were dancing now and she could see Div’vid looking round everywhere, obviously search ing for his wife.

Hey, Div‘vid, she felt like shouting. She’s upstairs with Spike and the two of them are giving a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘kissing cousins’. But she couldn’t do that. He was such a sweet demon but she had a nasty feeling that if crossed, a charging bull would have nothing on him. Not that she cared if he trampled Spike into tiny, weeny, dust particles, she thought, but she still had to get home and Spike had the car keys!

At the side of the ballroom, wide glass windows lead out onto a marble terrace. Buffy slipped outside. It was cooler, the breeze soft against her burning cheeks. Her hands were hurting and she gazed down in amazement to find a row of blood crescents where her nails had dug into her palms.

God, she needed to go home. She needed to go now! She wondered if she could ring for a cab. But that would be so expensive and she didn’t have any money. Suddely the hairs on the back of her neck wriggled and she knew, without turning, who was standing behind her.

‘There you are, Goldilocks. I’ve been looking for you.’ Spike with a tankard of beer in his hand. ‘Having a good time?’

Buffy took a deep breath, determined not to let him see how upset she was. ‘Yes, thank you. Lovely party. Lots of interesting - well, lots of interesting peoply things. And you? Have you caught up with all the family - gossip?’

Spike leant against the stone balustrade that ran the length of the terrace and took a deep swig of beer. ‘She’s great, Bella, isn’t she? Have you had a chance to chat yet? I know she wants to talk to you.’

Buffy looked at him blankly. What was it about men - be they dead or alive - that they completely missed the reaction between two women - again, alive or dead - when they met? She and Arabella had hated each other on sight and always would. How could they have a ‘nice chat’? But here was Spike, looking at her, almost eagerly, with a ridiculous piece of white beer foam stuck to his top lip just asking to be licked off.

‘She’s been too busy with you to bother about me,’ she replied sweetly.

Spike raised an eyebrow at her. ‘Miaow!’ he said with a grin. ‘Pull your claws in, Slayer. You’ll make a guy think you might be jealous of me sharing my time with another woman.’

Buffy felt her skin flaming with indignation. She took another large sip of pink champagne. Goodness, this was a nice drink. Why did everyone say it made you tipsy? It was just like lemonade.

‘Jealous, of you? In your dreams, bleach boy. I’m only here because... because...’ she hesitated. She couldn’t actually remember why she was here. ‘If you want to shag your cousin, then be my guest.’

Spike frowned, the smile vanishing from his blue eyes. ‘Shag Bella? What the bloody hell are you talking about, Buffy?’

‘Do you want me to draw you a picture?’ she snapped. ‘I really don’t care if the two of you are fucking like rabbits, but I think it’s tacky doing it in Div’vid’s house because he seems like a really nice guy and anyway, I object to being used as a smoke-screen for your sordid affairs! So give me the car keys, now! I’m going home.

to be continued

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