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Cousin Arabella by Lilachigh
Chp 9 “I Dare You”
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Cousin Arabella by Lilachigh

Chp. 9 “I dare you!”

Buffy laughed at the slime demon and planted her feet more firmly on either side of Spike’s body as it sprawled on the black and white marble hall floor. “You know, I wish I had a dollar for every time a demon or vampire has said those words to me. I would be so rich, I could buy myself a beautiful tropical island and live there for ever!”

“Silly little girl - prepare to die!”

‘I - ” thwack! “am not” - slud! - “silly!’ Flumpf!! Two kicks and a back punch sent the demon flying across the hallway. Swiftly, she bent and hoisted Spike upright. He groaned and muttered something very rude under his breath as she half carried, half pushed him out towards the main doorway of Arabella’s house.

“Come on, Spike, be a big brave vampire and walk on your own two feet, damn it.”

“Why, the views better from here,” Spike groaned thickly, his nose buried in the soft flesh showing above her bra.

Buffy dropped him and he rolled over and was up on his feet, groaning. “My head hurts! Who hit me?”

“Slime demon. With a flower vase! Just be grateful it wasn’t an axe. We need to get out of here - fast!“

“Spike! Miss Summers! What’s happened? Are you all right?” The vast bright green bulk of Div‘vid, the Frovlax regurgitating demon appeared in front of them, his soulful brown cow gaze worried and upset. He turned to the demons who were still spoiling for a fight and waved them away with one gesture of his huge hand.

“OK, everyone, settle down. This party game’s over now. There’s a new supply of champagne being served downstairs and snacks of all sorts of sizes are being set loose at the moment in the basement. There’ll be some great hunting, so run along everyone and have fun. Off you go. No more fighting. It’s been fun, I’m sure, but enough is enough!”

The mutterings and growlings died down and with a final clicking of claws and hissing through whiskers, the angry crowd wandered off to hunt for their supper.

“Come in here,” Div’vid said, ushering them into what turned out to be his library.
Spike collapsed into a large leather chair and groaned, holding his blond head in his hands.

“Div’vid, we need to go,” Buffy said urgently. ‘It’s nearly dawn. I must get Spike home before the sun gets up too high. We came in a convertible!”

The demon shook his head with its silly little cow ears. “Buffy, the sun’s up already,” he said anxiously. “You’ll have to stay here till the evening.” He bent to examine Spike. “This needs attention. I’ll deal with it.”

“I’ll have to ring home and let them know.”

“Yes, of course. Here’s the phone. When you’ve finished, I’ll get one of the servants to get a room ready for you. I’m sure you’d be glad of a nap and a shower — ” he waved his paw at her transparent pink trousers - “you seem to have, er, mislaid your dress! I’ll get Arabella to find you something to wear. Then maybe some brunch? I”m sure my lady wife will be delighted if you join us later in the day.”

Arabella would probably be horrified to find they were still there, Buffy thought grimly and would have seen drinking holy water a better option than having to find Buffy some clothes!

She picked up the phone and rang Willow. There was no reply. Buffy sighed and left a message on the answerphone. She knew Dawn was at Janice’s and would go straight to school from there. She could only hope that Willow would be home before her. And oh god, she would probably get the sack from the Doublemeat Palace for not turning up for work.

A timid little demon showed her the way up a private staircase to a guest room on the first floor. It was decorated in dark red, heavy velvet curtains hung at the windows and the huge bed looked incredibly inviting with its pure white sheets and red velvet covers and cushions.

Buffy realised just how tired she was. She ached all over and knew she smelt of all the pongy demon blood that had spattered over her during the evening. She stripped off the remnants of her clothes and stood under the shower, luxuriating in the steaming hot water and frothy bubbles. It was marvellous to feel clean again, to rub shampoo through her hair and watch the goo and blood dissolve down the drain.

She expected Spike to appear at any moment and smiled to herself as she raised her face to the water, eyes shut, body pink with the heat. She could imagine what would happen if he walked into the bathroom now. She could picture him kicking off his boots; the speed in which his trousers and T-shirt would hit the floor.

She ran her hands slowly across her nipples which were hard and erect under the water, down to the drenched curls between her thighs, imagining his fingers following the same path, teasing, stroking, playing, demanding.

The water thundered harder as she opened her legs and let her fingers pleasure herself.

God, she wanted him inside her so badly. They’d never showered together. This was an ideal chance, and where was he? She came down to earth with a bump. Huh! He was probably off somewhere letting Arabella play nursie to his bad head!

Buffy shut off the water with an angry snap, wrapped herself in a huge scarlet towel and was drying her hair when she heard the bedroom door slam shut. “Oh great, you’ve decided you’re well enough to put in an appearance,” she said from beneath the towel. “I hope you realise your rotten party means I’ve probably lost my job!”

“Oh dear, is the little Slayer a teensy bit upset?”

Buffy dropped the towel and spun round. Arabella stood in the middle of the bedroom, holding an armful of clothes which she threw disdainfully on the bed.

She’d changed out of her blue evening dress and was wearing golden silk trousers that made her waist look tiny, high heeled gold sandals and a creamy wrap top that did nothing to hide her beautiful breasts.

The dark brown ringlets had been caught up to one side of her head with a golden clasp and the sapphire blue eyes, so like her cousins, glared out at Buffy from the flawless face. She looked elegant and rich and powerful.

Buffy sighed and hitched the scarlet towel tighter round her bust. Why did this woman always catch her at a disadvantage? And where the hell was Spike?

“These are some old things,” Arabella was saying. “They were going to charity, but Div’vid said you needed something to wear, so - well, here you are. I don’t know if anything will fit - ” She raised an eyebrow in an alarmingly accurate copy of her cousin. “You are a little thin and small for high fashion, aren’t you? But then, not many Americans know how to wear good clothes, do they?”

Buffy was determined not to let her see how much she irritated her. She turned over the pile of clothes and found a plain lavender dress with a tie belt that she was sure she’d seen one of the waitresses wearing earlier in the evening.

Yup, well that made more sense. If Div’vid really believed his wife was going to lend Buffy anything that belonged to her, he was even more naive a demon than she believed already!

Arabella had obviously not thought to bring any lingerie so Buffy dropped the towel and slid the dress over her head, tying the belt as tightly as she could. She knew she looked frumpy, but she didn’t care. She just wanted the vampire to go away so she could get some sleep.

Arabella was wandering round the room, pushing a picture straight on the wall, plumping a cushion, running her finger along ledges looking for dust. “He’ll never be yours, you know,” she said in an off hand fashion.

“Who’ll never be what?” Buffy replied puzzled.

Arabella sighed. “Don’t be obtuse, dear. William will never love you. Not completely. Part of him will always belong to me.”

Buffy sat on the high bed and pulled her legs up under her. “Arabella, I know you’ll find this very difficult to understand, so I’ll use five very simple words. Spike is not my boyfriend! He’s an evil vampire who has a government chip placed inside his brain making him harmless. I have absolutely no desire for him to belong to me.”

As she spoke, she realised her fingers were buried deep in the dark velvet cover on the bed and, for some strange reason, she’d crossed them, like she and Dawn used to do when they were little girls. I’m telling a lie, Mom, but, I’ve got my fingers crossed behind my back so it doesn’t count.

Arabella spun on her high heel and stalked over to the bed. ”That prim little act won’t work with me, Buffy Summers,’ she spat. “William might be taken in by it, but I’m not. I can sense the hunger you have for him when you’re together!”

She laughed harshly. “Even now I can tell, one part of you is listening for his step, waiting to hear his voice, alert for his touch. But although he might take what you offer so readily, because I’ll admit he’s a man who’s always enjoyed sex, he’ll never be yours. Deep down in his heart, he’ll always be mine.”

Buffy shrugged. “In that case, why are you so worried about us being together?” she said casually. “If you’re so sure William loves you and only you, then I’m no threat.”

Arabella’s eyes glittered and her mouth tightened. “All right, then, tell me yourself,’ she said. ‘Say out loud that William means nothing to you - if you can! That this - this - freak show you share, is just that. Just physical. Just sex. Lust. Nothing else. No emotions, no feelings, no love.”

Buffy turned away from her, but the vampire caught her arm . “Don’t walk away from me! Tell me!”

Buffy shook herself free. “This whole conversation is absurd. Go away, Arabella. Go back to your husband. He’s a nice guy who loves you. God knows what you feel for him, but be glad you’ve got him.”

Arabella laughed shrilly. “You can’t say it, can you? You’re scared. The great Slayer, the great Buffy Summers, is scared of a few little words. I dare you, Slayer! I dare you to look me in the eyes and say, ‘I love William!”

Spike strode up the corridor, gingerly dabbing at the gash on his head with a towel. Div’vid had doctored him up some and he’d soon mend, but in the meantime he had a thumping headache which wasn’t doing a lot for his temper.

He could sense that the sun was up outside his cousin’s house. He yawned widely. God he was bloody tired. It had been a fun evening, a great party what with the fighting and all, but now he wanted was to get his head down - preferably with the Slayer tucked up beside him.

He grinned wickedly. He was sure his headache would vanish once he could press his forehead against her soft breasts. The bedroom they’d been given was at the end of the corridor. He hoped it was soundproof. He intended to make Buffy scream in all sorts of ways once they’d had a short kip and got their strength back. They had all day now till dusk. Hours and hours on their own with no interruptions.

He growled in anticipation. Hours in which he could begin to teach her just a few of the things he’d learnt in over a hundred years of unlife. Oh, and she’d be such a willing little pupil. That he knew. She’d only just begun to scrape the surface of her sexuality.

Spike fought to keep his demon from appearing. Bloody hell, he could feel every nerve in his body tingle as he imagined what he was going to do to her, what she would do to him. He knew he’d never tire of hearing that weird moaning groan she made when she was close to coming. He knew she thought it was an ugly sound, but it drove him wild. So did the way she bit and scratched him, forcing him deeper and deeper inside her.

He grinned. The first couple of times he’d had serious worries about his prick and his balls. Slayer teeth could do a bloody lot of damage in that department. Well, tonight, maybe a good spanking would be necessary. He’d like to make that round arse of hers smart. He wondered if she’d ever dreamed of coming while being spanked. He doubted it. Well, tonight, she was going to find out exactly what that felt like.

And he’d kill the first person who tried to come into their room while he was -

The door was ajar as he reached it - he hesitated. He could hear Arabella’s voice. It was strangely comforting to hear a female English accent again. It brought back memories of his mother - but they made his head throb harder so he pushed them aside.

“You can’t say it, can you? You’re scared. The great Slayer, the great Buffy Summers, is scared of a few little words. I dare you, Slayer! I dare you to look me in the eyes and say, ‘I love William!”

Spike froze, one hand outstretched to the door handle. He felt a cold shudder run across his body. He wouldn’t have thought it possible to feel any colder than usual, but he did. Arabella was daring Buffy to say she loved him. He’d imagined they’d be talking girly sort of things about the party. How the hell had the conversation got round to this?

For a split second, Spike wanted with all his dead heart to wait, wanted to listen to her answer, to know once and for all how she really felt about him. But in the next instant he knew he couldn’t let her be forced into this. Okay, Arabella was making mischief, but she had no idea of what Buffy had been through recently. Spike knew that coming back from the dead had altered so much in the Slayer’s world.

Whatever she said now, it was under pressure and that wasn’t any good for them at all. He thought she loved him but saying it would take their relationship to another level and he knew she wasn’t ready for that - yet.

There was still a huge part of Buffy that wanted to be a normal girl. Until she realised once and for all that she never would be, he knew she would never be happy to admit her feelings for him. And, above all, as much as he loved her, he wanted her to be happy....

Buffy stared at Spike’s cousin. It was a long time since she’d seen such hatred in a woman’s face. Arabella hadn’t vamped out, but the sapphire eyes that were so like her cousin’s were burning with loathing. And she’d dared Buffy to say what she really felt for Spike, to admit that she loved him.

Buffy glanced in the mirror behind Arabella. There was no sign of the vampire woman in it, of course, just herself; a small, barefoot girl with damp blonde hair, wearing a dreadful lavender dress that had seen better days. She didn’t look powerful, didn’t appear to be the Slayer, the scourge of the vampire world. But she was. And she’d never backed down from a dare in all her life.

Did she love William? She flung her head back - she refused to lie to this...this thing. She’d tell her the truth -

“Bloody hell, Bella. Couldn’t you find Buffy something better to wear!” Spike breezed through the door, dabbing at the cut on his head with a cloth. “She looks like a waitress.”

Arabella spun round, the venom vanishing from her face, replaced by a warm smile. ‘William! Are you all right? Has Div’vid dealt with your wounds?” Her nostrils flared slightly. “You’re still bleeding.”

Spike grinned. “Bella, my sweet, you know family don’t snack on each other. Be a good girl and run along now. I need to get my head down and get some kip. And Buffy looks as if she’s about to fall asleep where she stands.”

Arabella cupped his face in her hands. “I know. I was just saying that to her when you came in.” She whispered, very loudly, “I don’t think she’s very strong, you know, cousin. A sweet child, but not Drusilla, of course.”

“Bloody hell, I hope not. I’d never dare shut my eyes again if she was. Go and get some rest yourself. It’s been a great party, but poor old Div’vid is still sorting out the mess your guests made in the hall. We’ll see you before we leave.’

He ushered her out of the room and closed the door, locking it and tossing the key onto a shelf. “Trouble with the women in my family, they all talk too much, pet,” he said.

Buffy sank down on the bed. She couldn’t remember when she’d last felt so tired. Emotionally she felt drained. She knew why. Arabella had almost made her admit to something she’d always refused to put into words, even in her own head. The adrenalin was draining out of her system now and all she wanted to do was sleep. “Is your head all right?” she murmured.

Spike grinned and pulled off his T-shirt. “Sorry to tell you, but I’ll survive to annoy you for another day, Slayer,” he said as his trousers and boots were kicked across the floor.

‘Listen, Spike, I’m sorry, I don’t feel like - ”

“Slayer, get rid of that hideous dress. God only knows what Bella was thinking of, giving it to you. I suppose it might be fashionable in Europe. That’s probably why. But it doesn’t suit you, pet. Take it off.”

Buffy hesitated. She knew what he wanted and part of her wanted it too, longed for him to pound the doubts out of her, to make her moan and shout and scream and fall down that long, whirling scarlet place that he took her to when he made her come.

Spike threw back the sheets and flung himself, stark naked onto the bed. He held out an imperious hand and, almost without thinking, she threw off the dress and let him pull her into his arms. Then he turned her so her back was against his chest. Oh help, surely he wasn’t going to - then a leg draped over hers, his face buried itself in the soft skin of her neck and she heard a mumbled, “Night, pet,” and a very definite snore.

to be continued

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