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Master by Aurora
Chapter Eleven-Hesitation
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Chapter Eleven:Hesitation

His still hand rested on the unpolished knob, incapable of making the slightest turn of the wrist to open the unlocked wooden door. He’d been silently standing in the same spot for the past fifteen minutes, staring down at his hesitant grip, contemplating how he was going to step into the room. Should he walk in relaxed and totally nonchalant like nothing had happened between them? Or should he just go right in, bring up the issue and force her to deal with it? Or maybe he’d just chance it and hope to find her already fast asleep. Releasing his grasp for the fourth time, Spike scratched the back of his head, unmoving as he continued to stare at the door.

What the bloody hell was he doing? He was a Master vampire, leader of the most powerful clan this side of the world and here he was, dithering about just because he couldn’t face some girl.

‘Oh sure, mate,’ Spike inwardly criticized. ‘‘Cos that’s all that Buffy is to you, right? Just some girl.’ He scoffed at his own ridiculous logic. ‘Yeah, she’s only just the most annoying, stubborn, smart mouthed, willfully spirited, passionate, gorgeously beautiful, with a body that could rival Venus herself some girl of your dreams.’ God, he felt like such a moronic git.

Reaching out his hand again Spike tried the doorknob for a fifth, and hopefully, final time. He could do this. Just turn, push, step and voila, he’d be inside.


As in the place where Buffy was.

Where she was probably waiting for him.

‘‘S just me, or it’d get a hell of a lot hotter in here?’ he pondered, yanking on the collar of his black tee. He suddenly became very aware of the unusual clamminess of his hands, especially with the one holding the brass doorknob. Lifting it up to inspect it and upon seeing the unexpected sheen, Spike wiped his hand on his chest, wondering if vampires were even supposed to sweat. And why did it feel like his stomach was doing summersaults? Spike didn’t know why he was having these weird symptoms. Technically speaking, he was a walking corpse, so he couldn’t get sick. Then why did he feel so shitty?

Wait soddin’ minute. He remembered feeling this way before. His mind raced through the memories of the past century, eventually landing on a particular face, one that usually brought forth sentiments of self-loathing. Cecily. He still remembered that fateful night, when he had admitted to her that she had been his muse, the inspiration for every bloody awful poem he had written. It happened so long ago, yet remained so vivid in his mind. Spike had been so naïve and so insecure. And here he was, a hundred plus years later, a little less with the naïveté but still just as nervous as ever. Nervous about seeing Buffy again and about her hating him…again. Because, let’s face it, Spike can’t go at least a week without giving Buffy another reason to despise him.

Taking in a long unneeded breath, the vampire shook his head to clear his mind. ‘Stop actin’ like that poncy William, grow back your stones and get your ass into that room,’ he inwardly coaxed.

What was he so worried about really? Spike had just done what she had asked him to. Granted, he knew it hadn’t gone exactly how Buffy had expected. Hadn’t been a complete disaster, though. She got off on it, perk for her and no harm, no foul. It doesn’t really matter that he still made her squirm and pant when she had been utterly serious about him not touching his old bite marks. Doesn’t matter that instead of just ending the whole fiasco the moment Buffy had felt the slightest bit of pain, he decided to solve the problem by licking and sucking the hell out of her neck. It didn’t even matter that after filling his belly with her blood, he not only managed to get her to come the hardest she’d ever had before, but did it while whispering all those loving endearments in her ear. God, if Buffy didn’t hate him for taking advantage of her then she was probably too mortified to ever look him in the face again. So yeah, no worries Spike.

“Arrrgggh!” Frustrated, he instinctively smacked his forhead on the door. After the third pound, he jumped back as if the door were on fire. Perking up his ears, he listened for any sign that Buffy had heard him. Only silence. He needed to step into that room before he completely lost his cool.

Exhaling and wishing he’d had just one more smoke before he had made his way upstairs, Spike turned the knob and opened the door. Stepping inside, he gazed around the room, closing the door behind him. It was dark; the variety of lamps and candles dispersed throughout the room remained unused. The room’s only sparse lighting was that originating from the television, its soft pulsating glow casting dancing shadows on the far back wall. Spike’s boots stealthily made their way across the floor as he ventured into the room, catching a whiff of vanilla and lilies. Peering over the back of couch, he saw that it was empty. The vampire kept making his way further into the room, quiet incase Buffy was asleep. Glancing over at the ruffled bed and seeing it was also vacant, Spike deduced that Buffy was most likely taking a bath. He took a few steps back, away from the bathroom door. Things were already going to be awkward between them. There was no point in adding insult to injury by entering the bathroom.

Slipping out of his duster, Spike grabbed a bottle of tequila and sat himself down on the couch, watching the infomercial that was on. After half a bottle and half an hour later, he wondered if Buffy was ever going to get out of the tub. Should he go knock on the door to see if she was alright? No. He’ll wait. Give Buffy some space and let her enjoy her relaxing bath. The image of Buffy in the tub, soapy suds clinging to her glistening heat flushed body popped into his brain, making Spike take another swig from his bottle.

The sound of the bathroom door creaking open announced that Buffy had finally finished her bath. It was show time. Spike remained quiet, not wanting to scare her and waited until she realized he was in the room. He couldn’t see what she was doing, his eyes focused on the television while Buffy scurried around the room behind him. The sound of a towel drop and the padding of damp feet across the tiled floor were all that Spike could hear. Heightening his vampire senses, he picked up on her calm breathing; she obviously didn’t know he was there. More sounds. Drawers were being opened and he could hear her dressing. The vampire took another swig; too many naked Buffy thoughts.

Buffy finally looked over toward the TV and saw a bleached head peeking from behind the back of the couch. “Spike?” she asked, a little perturbed that he’d been there the whole time and she hadn’t even noticed.

“Just watchin’ the telly, pet,” the vampire replied, trying to sound as casual as possible.

Buffy, who was wringing her hands anxiously, sat down beside Spike. He watched her, noting her recently combed wet hair and her blue jeans and pink t-shirt attire. He thought Buffy had been gorgeous that night they had gone out to the Bronze, but it paled in comparison to the way she looked now. Her natural, God-given beauty was much more stunning. After ogling her for a few seconds, Spike shook himself out of his stupor and turned his attention back to trying to asses what mood Buffy was in. She didn’t seem mad and sure she was a little skittish but not the red faced humiliation he was expecting. Maybe he had blown the whole thing out of proportion. Maybe Buffy was okay with what had happened and the weirdness between them was just the obligatory the-day-after-we-did-something-naughty kind of guilt.

“Spike,” Buffy started, her voice quiet. “Should we talk about it?”

“You mean instead of sweeping it under the rug like we’ve done with everythin’ else that’s gone wrong between us?” Spike tried to joke, though it came out bitter.


“Well, floor’s yours, pet. Go ahead. Spill your heart out,” Spike said, sounding like he truly wanted to know how she felt. Taking another drink, he readied himself for what she was about to say.

“I’m sorry,” Buffy stated, her eyes averted from his.

A spray of tequila escaped Spike’s lips. “What?” Spike asked, coughing as he wondered what the hell she was apologizing for.

“I’m sorry I pushed the whole blood drinking issue and I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you about the touching my neck thing. Maybe if I had let you do it, things wouldn’t have gotten so carried away,” Buffy explained, her body tense and on the edge of the couch.

Spike was flabbergasted. Firstly, she wasn’t mad at him or even blaming him. Secondly, she was blaming herself. What in the hell did that mean? Spike hadn’t the foggiest clue. Perhaps she was finally seeing past the vampire exterior and actually considering that his love for her was real. Maybe she too had felt something earlier that day. Maybe she was actually growing feelings for him. Spike inwardly laughed at the thought. ‘Keep dreamin’ you wanker. ‘Probly take a lifetime before Buffy even considers likin’ you.’

“Luv, I should be the one apologizin’. I took advantage of the situation, got you all hot and bothered. Made you all loopy and not think straight. I knew what I was doing and I did it anyway. ‘M sorry,” Spike mumbled, avoiding the surprised stare she was giving him.

Shaking her head, Buffy countered, “You might have motivated me a little, but deep down I knew what I was doing, Spike. If I didn’t really wanna do it, I wouldn’t have.”

Was he dreaming? Did she just admit what he thought she had? Spike needed to be pinched. She had willingly wanted him. The implications of what she was saying were so big that he didn’t even know what to think. Buffy had wanted him. She wanted him. Everything inside of him was jumping for joy while his demeanor remained calm and collected. “So what now, pet?”

Buffy shrugged. “I dunno. Knowing the way we cycle, we’ll probably ignore it, be fine for a few days and then when we think its gonna be nothing but smooth sailing from here on in, something else will come along and mess with the delicate balance that is us,” she joked, managing to bring out a genuine smile from Spike.

“And in the mean time?” he inquired.

“Well, just because the first time was a disaster doesn’t mean we’re never trying it again,” Buffy remarked, more relaxed as she leaned back into the couch.

Unsure what she was specifically referring to, Spike asked, “Try what again?”

“You drinking from me. If I had just let you touch the mark in the first place, it wouldn’t have gotten so out of hand. Plus, I’ll know what to expect this time around, so you don’t have to worry about me jumping your bones,” she answered, her tone strangely perky.

“Wasn’t really complainin’, luv,” Spike retorted.

“Yeah well, we’ll just have to be more careful next time so things don’t get too crazy,” Buffy commented, another smile spreading across her lips. “Wow, that was really mature of us, don’t ya think? Talking about our problems like level headed adults?”

“Yeah, pet, real grown up,” Spike chuckled, as he took another drink from the tequila bottle.

“Well, I think it was,” she pouted. “Spike?”

Pulling his gaze from the television, he looked over to Buffy, “Yeah, luv?”

“Did you mean those things you said?” she asked, her cheeks flushed with embarrassment as she nervously scratched her knee.

“Every word of it,” he answered, also unable to look her in the eyes as he stared down at his bottle. If she rejected him again, Spike didn’t know what he was going to do.

The vampire turned his head when he felt the couch suddenly shift. Glancing up, he saw that Buffy was now by his side, so close that she was invading his personal space. Spike observed in fascination, mystified and speechless as she took the tequila bottle from his hands and placed it on the floor next to them. Never would he have ever expected what she was about to do next.

Buffy drew her legs up onto the couch and slowly pressed her supple form against Spike, casually and wordlessly placing her head gently on his chest. After giving himself a few seconds to come to grips with what was going on, he shifted so that he could draw Buffy up into his arms. Lying down with her half-sprawled on top of him, Spike peered down at her, confusion still in his eyes. “Buffy?”

“Can you just hold me?” she asked meekly.

Spike only nodded in response. He didn’t understand what had brought on her sudden need for intimacy but he wasn’t going to fight it. Wrapping his arms tighter around her, he rubbed her back as he listened to her steady breathing. Just over an hour ago he was terrified Buffy would never speak to him again and now here he was, holding her. What he had thought was major blunder on his part had actually been the perfect shove in the right direction to bring them closer together. Inhaling deeply, he took in her sweet scent and listened to Buffy’s body rhythms.

Though he had come back to the room a few hours later than he normally did, spending the latter part of the day procrastinating, not wishing to face the inevitable, it was still pretty early in the evening. Grabbing the remote, Spike flipped through the channels, coincidentally finding a rerun of Dawson’s Creek. He could feel Buffy smiling against his chest, which only made his own smirk transform into a goofy grin. He felt tingly all over, all his senses in total euphoria, and it was all because Buffy truly wanted to be in his arms. No words were exchanged between them as they half-heartedly paid attention to the TV show. This was their escape, a small reprieve from the only harsh reality they knew. For the next few hours Spike wasn’t a vampire and Buffy wasn’t his prisoner. For the next few hours it was just the two of them, blanketed by the faint indigo glow of the television screen.


Giles impatiently tapped his fingers on the table top, waiting for the squad he had sent out that morning to return. He glanced over at Willow, who was sitting across from him at the dining room table, engrossed in one of her spell books. She didn’t seem the least bit worried that the group wasn’t back yet. Giles, however, couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t that he didn’t have faith in his team, but he just couldn’t seem to get over this peculiar sense of foreboding.

Taking off his glasses, he pinched the bridge of his nose. Giles glimpsed at his watch and vigorously wiped his glasses when he realized it was getting close to sunset. Xander and his gang should have been back hours ago.

As Giles put his glasses back on, readying to immerse himself in another anxious hour of finger tapping fun, the front door of the house sprang open. Xander and his small brigade piled into the front hall, filling the house with laughter and cheers of victory. As the members of his team went their separate ways, Xander entered the dining room where he knew Giles would be waiting. Noticing that Willow was sitting with the Englishman, he smiled at the redhead.

“Hey, Will! Those Sun Bombs you concocted were amazing,” the young man exclaimed, walking over to the table.

“Really?” Willow asked, very excited that the spell she had worked so hard on was actually being deemed useful.

“Totally. That Holy Hand Grenade you made dusted at least ten vamps at a time. Made everything so much easier,” Xander answered, reassuring his best friend.

His good mood however was interrupted by the clearing of Giles’s throat. “So if I understand you correctly, Xander, I take that the raid was a success?”

“Yup,” he responded cheerfully, taking a seat next to Willow.

“Then would you like to inform us as to why it took you the whole day to return?” Giles inquired, his mood becoming increasingly exasperated.

“You see…well…we all sort of thought that we had some time to spare and we did have a few extra Sun Bombs at our disposal, so we…” Xander began to explain, but was cut short by Giles’s tired and irritated groan.

“Please don’t tell us you went out in search of other vampires to slay.”

“Okay, I won’t tell you,” Xander quipped, knowing Giles was about to go into an all out scold-a-thon.

“Xander, you know you cannot be so foolhardy in that part of town,” Giles admonished.

“Giles, it’s not the end of the world. We spent most of the day just looking for another nest, and when we finally found one, all we did was throw in a few Sun Bombs. No one got hurt and we killed a few extra vamps,” Xander defended, knowing he wasn’t as reckless as Giles was making him out to be.

“Xander, the moment the mission was completed, you should have immediately come back to headquarters. If this were an actual military organization, you would have been court marshaled for defying orders,” the older man argued.

“I don’t know why you’re freaking out,” Xander commented, crossing his arms.

“Just promise me you won’t be so irresponsible the next time,” Giles said, feeling the beginnings of a headache coming on.

“Will there even be a next time?” Xander grumpily asked, looking like a ten year old who’d just been given detention.

Giles relaxed his furrowed brow and grinned at the young man’s sour disposition. “You know there will. As much as I berate you Xander, you’re one of the most qualified members of this team. I’d be foolish in forbidding you from leading any of our future raids.”

“And the punishment?” Xander asked, knowing Giles never let anyone off that easily.

“Kitchen duty for a month,” the Englishman answered quickly.

Groaning, Xander accepted the punishment; it wasn’t the worst he’d ever been given, but it wasn’t exactly how he wanted to spend his post-dinner hours. Deciding to change the topic, the brunette turned to Willow. “So where’s Oz?”

“Downstairs in the cage. It’s almost sundown,” the witch answered, a little edgy. She hated full moons. It was such a hassle clearing out the basement and bolting the door shut so that no one other than those armed with tranq guns could venture downstairs. More importantly, Oz was always so tense around this time of the month and even after four years, it still put strains on their relationship.

Xander gave Willow a reassuring pat on the hand, knowing how difficult these nights were for her. “Want me to stay up with you tonight? We could brew a hot pot of coffee and have a night of whacky card games?” he suggested.

Willow giggled, but shook her head. “Nah, you’re probably too tired after a long day of vampire killing to stay up and werewolf sit. You should go to bed. I’ll be fine on my own.”

“You positive?”

“Sure as sugar.”

“Cuz I’m not really that tired and…”

“Xander,” Willow said, cutting him off. “Do you see my resolve face?” she said, pointing to the face she was making. “I know you’ve seen it a billion times before.”

“Backing off as of now,” Xander replied, holding his hands up in defeat. “So, what’d I miss today?”

“Well, as you were off gallivanting in Vampire District, we were here planning for our next mission,” Giles commented.

“Planning for what mission exactly?” the young man wondered.

“I was speaking with Cordelia last night and apparently a few of her memories have resurfaced. It turns out that her friend Buffy wasn’t killed the night of the vampires’ attack on the bronze,” Giles explained.

“Yeah, she was turned. We’ve already established that. So what?” Xander asked, not completely getting Giles’s point.

“That’s precisely it Xander, she was neither killed nor turned. The vampires that night brought her back to Spike and I believe she is still being held as his prisoner at the main house,” Giles responded, the expression on his face conveying the utmost sincerity.

“You’re kidding?” the brunette asked, bug eyed with surprise.

“Wish I were, but no, it’s true.” Giles sighed. “It is imperative that we get her out of there as soon as possible. This will be our one and only objective until she has been liberated.”

“Are you sure she’s even still alive?” Xander skeptically asked. He watched Giles suddenly become rigid in his seat and Willow cower in fear. Either he made a scary face without knowing it or there was something frightening standing right behind him. Turning in his chair, Xander reluctantly peaked over his shoulder. He almost tripped over his own two feet as he scurried to the other side of the table, hiding himself behind Giles.

“How did you get in here?” the ex-Watcher asked, not permitting his fear show through.

“One of your guys invited me in. Not too bright your people. You should work on the whole not inviting people in after dark thing, even if they look like they’ve been terribly wounded,” Damon said, grinning menacingly as his face morphed back into its human guise.

Giles’s hand reached for one of the stakes that he always kept strapped to his forearm, hidden under the long sleeve of his shirt. Damon caught sight of the movement and tisked at the middle aged man. “You’ve become jaded in your old age Rupert Giles,” Damon remarked. “But I’m not here to kill any of you.”

“Why is it that I don’t believe you?” Giles inquired, his hand ready to pull out the stake.

“You should. Have some information that might be of some use to you,” Damon stated, appearing not in the least bit threatened by the ex-Watcher.

“And again I ask what makes you think we’d believe anything you say?” Giles inquired, uncomfortable by the fact that a vampire was in his home.

“Because it pertains to a certain blonde girl who, if I overheard correctly, you seem to have some sort interest in,” Damon answered, waiting for Giles’s reaction.

“We already know Spike has Buffy. That is no news to us,” Giles countered, wishing the vampire, who he recognized as one of Spike’s right-hand men, would just leave.

“Yes, but do you know where he has Buffy?” Damon asked, smirking devilishly.

“She would be at the main house with Spike,” Giles answered, not taking Damon’s bait.

“You’d think that, wouldn’t you Watcher? But the thing is Spike has a secret house where he likes to keep his little playthings,” Damon deceptively elaborated, oblivious to the disgusted grimaces being sent his way.

“Where is it?” Xander automatically asked.

“Are you deaf or just retarded? It’s a secret house. As in no one knows where it is,” Damon replied, in a mockingly slow manner, clearly unimpressed by the young man. “No one but Spike that is.”

“And why are you telling us this?” Giles inquired, his fear diminishing while his irritation for the vampire increased.

“Quid pro quo, Mr.Giles. I set up a scenario, giving you the opportunity to capture a certain platinum peroxide vampire, who so happens to know the exact whereabouts of your missing girl, and you do me the favor of ridding me of the one and only pain in my ass,” Damon countered, excitement dancing in his grey eyes.

“You actually think we’d trust you? You’re a vampire. An innately evil demon and one who’s betraying his own Master,” Giles openly doubted, his brow knotting with distrust.

“What else have you got going for you? Let’s face it Watcher, I’m the only hope you’ve got in finding Buffy,” the black haired vampire replied, his voice loosing its oddly playful quality to that of a much more serious tone.

“If we agree, what guarantees us that this isn’t just a trap? Our mission is to hunt your kind and getting rid of us would put you in Spike’s good books. So why should we trust you?” Giles asked, feeling like a broken record player.

“Once you get Spike, you’ll have the location as to where he’s hiding Buffy. Finish him off and your once fair town will be rid of the tyrant who’s ruined your lives for the past three years,” Damon rationalized, casually leaning against the archway that led from the hallway to the dining room.

“And you, what do you get out of this?” Xander asked, his eyes narrowing in suspicion.

Damon swiftly stood up straight, his intense gaze focused on the young man as his own eyes glittered with mischief. “Things go back to the way they were before he rolled into town. The way it oughta be.”
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