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Still Bluer by slaymesoftly
Chapters 6 - Epilogue
Chapter Six

Buffy was startled awake several hours later by a whispered, “Bloody hell!” from the bathroom. She got up and sleepily walked to the door to see Spike trying to put toilet paper in the holder. On the sink top she could see newly purchased (or stolen, let’s not look too closely) toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, herbal shampoo (my brand!) and body wash. Spike looked up guiltily from where he was kneeling beside the toilet and met her stunned eyes. “Sorry, pet. I didn’t mean to wake you. Don’t have a need for this stuff, so I didn’t know how to get it on there.”

“That’s okay, Spike,” she said softly as she took it from his hand and put it on the holder. “I appreciate the thought.”

“Yeah, well, didn’t want you to be too uncomfortable...” his voice trailed off and she realized that she had moved much closer to him than was good for either of them. For several tense seconds they remained frozen in place, their faces only inches apart. There was no way for Spike to get out of the bathroom unless Buffy moved out of the way.

Instead of backing up, she continued to stare at him, trying not to focus on his full lower lip. Finally, using every shred of self-control at his disposal, Spike put his hands lightly on her shoulders and gently moved her back so that he could get out the door. As soon as he had room to move past her, he dropped his hands as though they were being scalded and fled to the bedroom doorway.

“Go...go back to sleep, Slayer. I’ll see you in the morning.”

He turned and shut the door behind him, leaning against it from the other side and taking deep, unnecessary breaths. He wanted to rush back into the bedroom and pin her down on the bed beneath him. He wanted to feel her on top of him again, wanted to kiss her moist lips, look into her sleepy eyes. He wanted to wake up with his arms wrapped around her warm body and his cock pressed against her firm butt.

Instead, he forced himself into the other room and threw himself down on the couch. He tried to replace visions of the warm, supple body in his bed with things that would allow him to sleep. He thought about the Initiative labs, the cage he’d been in, and the chip in his head. He was determined to wait her out and let her make the first move this time.

For her part, Buffy was left stupefied at Spike’s abrupt exit. She wasn’t sure if she was grateful that he wasn’t pushing the issue, or angry that he was able to walk away. She knew he was as aroused as she was, if not more so.

(I might not be able to hear or smell arousal like he can, but I know it when I see it looking at me.... and he wants me. I know he does. So what the hell is wrong with him? Okay, so I told him he could never touch me again. Big deal! Since when does Spike do anything I say? He’s just TRYING to aggravate me.)

She flounced back to the bed and threw herself on it angrily.

“Two can play at this game,” she grumbled angrily to herself. “Walk out on me, will he? Let’s just see how good those vampire senses really are....”

Deliberately, she allowed herself to think about the blond man in the next room. She pictured his rock hard stomach, his bulging biceps, and his firm ass. She buried her nose in the bedding and inhaled the scent of tobacco, whiskey, leather and the unmistakable musk that said, “Spike” to her. She moaned softly and pressed her body into the mattress as she imagined those cool, talented fingers trailing over her body and thought about the things he had done to her with his tongue.

She was soon breathing hard and could feel the heated flush she knew was making her body warmer than usual. Kicking off her jeans, she slid her hand into her lacy underwear and touched herself. She was soon writhing on the bed, gasping and pushing her hips down onto her hand as hard as she could. As she worked her fingers, bringing herself to a welcome release, she completely forgot that her original purpose was to punish the vampire in the other room.

Said vampire was groaning and stroking his aching cock as he listened to the sounds of Buffy pleasuring herself in his bed. He could smell her sweet juices as she moaned and shuddered with her orgasm and he pulled on himself in an effort to relieve the ache in his balls.

The sound of a broken bottle being thrown against the wall broke into Buffy’s drowsy satisfaction and she grinned as she remembered the original purpose to her self-seduction.

Her self-satisfied smile faded as the bedroom door was thrown open and a thoroughly angry and aroused vampire burst into her room. Making no attempt to hide the raging hard-on sticking out of his unzipped pants, he stalked into the bedroom and stood over her. She unconsciously shrank back from the flashing amber eyes glaring at her.

“That’s it, bitch,” he snarled as he threw himself at her, pressing her down into the mattress with the force of his leap.

Buffy was so startled, she didn’t react at first. Before she could decide whether she wanted to be indignant and throw him across the room, or giggle triumphantly and wrap her legs around him, she found herself effectively held in place by a furious master vampire in full game face.

He held her hands in one of his, pinning them up over her head so that she couldn’t get the leverage she needed to push him off, and his strong legs around hers kept them from bending to kick at him.

While the Slayer part of her was frantic at being held down by a vampire whose mouth was centimeters from her throat, another – totally unsuspected – part of her was being incredibly turned on at the sensation of being helplessly at the mercy of this angry creature.

(Allll right. Something is majorly wrong with me that this is turning me on. Come on, Buffy. Vampire here. Should be throwing him across the room, not growling back at him. Ummmmm.... Kiss now. Wig later. )

Spike crushed his mouth into hers, not noticing or caring that his fangs were slicing into her lips and tongue. It wasn’t until the blood from the cuts on her tongue began to run down his throat that he realized how hard he was kissing her and that she was kissing him back. In fact, it was the presence of her tongue in his mouth, swirling around and dueling with his, that caused it to be cut.

The bleeding wounds on her tongue didn’t seem to faze the Slayer at all, as she continued to meet his mouth with as much force and passion as he was pouring into her. Her body writhed under his; her strong but feminine torso undulating against his body as she moaned into his mouth.

When he realized she wasn’t trying to get away, Spike relaxed his legs a little and she immediately opened her thighs, allowing him to press up against the wet fabric of her underwear. When the tip of his cock brushed against her opening, they both groaned and the vampire took his free hand and ripped her panties off her body. He immediately pushed into her moist warmth, sheathing himself completely in one hard stroke.

Giving her no time to adjust to him, he began slamming into her as hard as he could. It briefly crossed his mind that this was a human girl, not a vampire and he could be hurting her, but the Slayer’s gasps and grunts as she thrust her pelvis up into his gave his chip no reason to think she was in pain.

As the two mortal enemies rocked together, setting a frenetic rhythm that brought them closer and closer to a mutual growling, snarling finish, an onlooker would have been hard-pressed to say for sure what was going on in the thoroughly disheveled bed. Every snarling thrust made by the demon was met with a growling counter-thrust by the Slayer. Her hands clutched at his back and shoulders, leaving bleeding welts everywhere they touched.

The pressure in her lower body grew and grew as their bodies continued to pound together and she felt her muscles begin to clench and tremble. Just when she was sure she was going to shake apart, she grabbed his shoulder with her teeth and screamed into it as she fell over the edge and into an abyss.

When Spike felt her teeth on his skin, he lost control of the demon and buried his fangs in her throat, taking several hard pulls of her blood as he felt himself exploding into her. The sensations were overwhelming – hot Slayer blood in his mouth, the warmth, strength and scent of Buffy around and under him. Over and over he spent himself inside her, until he was sure there was nothing left to spend. And even then, his hips continued to pump slowly as he relaxed back into his human visage.

When Spike’s teeth entered her throat and she felt the blood leaving her body, Buffy arched up off the bed as another orgasm followed so closely behind the first one that she couldn’t say for sure where one stopped and another began. Wave after wave of shuddering ecstasy went through her and she clung to the cool body on top of her as though it was her only anchor to the earth. She was dimly aware of his teeth pulling out of her neck and the quick swipe of his tongue that closed the wounds, but she continued to tremble from the after effects for several minutes.

With a shuddering exhalation, she finally released her hold on his body and he rolled away from her to lie on his back, taking quick, shallow and unnecessary breaths. His face had gone back into its human form as he struggled to understand what had happened to them. For minutes the only sounds in the room were the panting noises made by the two exhausted and satiated super beings lying on the bed.

When Buffy’s breathing had dropped back to something approaching normal, and Spike could hear that her heart beat was slowing down he squeezed his eyes shut for a second, then focused on the ceiling as he said quietly, “I’m sorry, Buffy.”

Buffy blinked rapidly several times as she tried to absorb what he’d said.

(He’s sorry? He’s SORRY? Sorry for what? That he just gave me two mind-blowing orgasms in a row? That he let me tear into him the way I never could with a human man? That I’ll never be able to enjoy......oh crap! He’s ruined sex for me with anyone else. Of all the despicable, evil.......)

She turned her head toward him and said with more indignation than she felt, “Well, you oughta be!”

He winced and sat up slowly, allowing her to see the still oozing marks from her nails on his back, as well as the very obvious tooth marks on his shoulder. She gasped at the sight of what she had done and immediately forgot her pretend anger. At the same time that Buffy was reaching toward his bleeding back, an apology on her lips, he was standing up and zipping up his pants.

“I am, love.” His shoulders were slumped and he kept his head down as he struggled to make his tired legs hold him up long enough to get his pants fastened. “I know you won’t believe me, but I never meant to .... I’ll just get out now....”

She looked at him with dismay and astonishment. In a small voice she asked, “You’re sorry? You didn’t mean to? You’re leaving? Don’t – didn’t you want me?”

(He’s leaving? What just happened here?)

(Don’t I want her? Can’t the stupid bint feel the truth of that on her neck? I’ve never wanted anything – anyone so much in my unlife. But I guess that’s the last I’ll see of her. If she doesn’t stake me, she’ll want me out of town)

He turned haunted eyes toward her and she flinched at the anguish on his face.

He turned eyes that glimmered with barely controlled tears towards her and she flinched at the anguish on his face.

“Don’t I want you? How can you ask that? I want you so much my demon tried to claim you!”

He sank to his knees at the edge of the bed, reached for her hands and pleaded, “Please don’t hate me, love. I never meant to hurt you. Only wanted to feel you again, to hold you, kiss you......I didn’t mean to bite you. I swear. I’m sorry, Buffy, so sorry.”

He held on to her hands and pressed his forehead down on to the bed, struggling not to give in to the sobs he could feel in the back of his throat. Buffy suddenly realized what he was talking about and freed up one hand to touch his head gently.

“Spike, look at me.” She tugged gently on his curls, trying to raise his head so that she could look him in the eye. “Please,” she added softly when he kept his head down between his outstretched arms. He slowly raised his head and she winced at the pain and sorrow she saw in his eyes. Tugging gently on his hands, she tried to pull him back up on the bed with her, but he stubbornly refused to leave the floor, kneeling at the side of the bed and gazing at her mournfully.

“Spike,” she began firmly. “Were you trying to hurt me?”

“N-no. Jus’ forgot you were human is all. Chip didn’t fire. It knew I wasn’t trying to hurt you.”

“If I were another vampire, would you be apologizing for biting me?” she asked slowly.

“No, of course not,” he answered quickly, “But –“

“Why not?” she interrupted him.

“Well, because it’s.....it’s what we do when.....it would mean......” he felt a small glimmer of hope as he saw the encouraging look on her face. “It would mean we that we were sharing....”

“Did you not want to share with me?” she asked softly.

“You have no idea how much I wa -, but it’s out of the question. You made that pretty clear. You’re the Slayer. I’m a soulless demon. You know, evil, vampire, mortal enemy.....Is any of this ringing a bell, Slayer?”

(Maybe if I say it first, it won’t hurt so much when she snaps out of it and starts throwing it at me. Know it’s comin’, don’t I?)

His deliberate use of her title rather than her name jarred Buffy back to reality and her face fell as she acknowledged the truth to what he was saying. As soon as Spike saw her face change from concern to dismay, he began to pull away from her, mentally preparing himself for rejection.

,i>(Holy crap. He’s repeating back to me what I said to him. How did I forget that so quickly? No matter how hot he is, no matter how good he is in bed – and, oh my god is he good! – He is a soulless vampire and I am the Slayer. This has got to stop. Now.)

Buffy reluctantly released his hands and moved away. She deliberately refused to look at him so as not to see the hurt in his eyes. Suddenly the rapidly healing cuts on her lips and tongue became a reminder of how hard and rough their coupling had been and she felt the first ripples of shame go through her.

(What came over me? That’s not me – I don’t bite and claw and....I don’t do things like that! It must be his fault. It’s because he’s a vampire and I.....oh my god....and I responded to him like another vampire would have.).

Without warning, tears were falling down her cheeks and she shook all over with the force of her emotion. Every lecture from Giles about the inherent evilness of vampires, every Council admonition about using Slayer powers only in the defense of good and innocent, every memory of Faith’s slide into evil; all these things flooded her with the wrongness of what they’d just done.

(I let a vampire bite me and I got off on it! I bit him back – no, I bit him FIRST! I ripped his back to shreds and knew I was doing it. I wanted him as much as he wanted me. I teased him into attacking me and enjoyed every second of it. I fucked a demon and I loved it.)

Gut wrenching sobs from the small girl huddled in a miserable heap on the bed sent Spike into a panic. He wanted so badly to hold and comfort her that it was making him tremble; but somehow he guessed what was tearing her up inside and knew that she would take no comfort from him.

(Made her see the darkness in her. She’s made for the light and now she knows what else is there. She’s never goin’ to forgive me for this. Might as well dust myself now, before she does.)

As Buffy’s heartbroken sobs subsided to gulps and sniffles, she became aware of her surroundings again and noticed that Spike was no longer in the room. She tried very hard to tell herself he was just a demon; that nothing she said or did could hurt him, but she couldn’t put his whispered apology or the stricken look on his face when she pulled away from him out of her mind.

She curled up in the bed that still smelled like Spike and sex, and pulled the covers over her head. Conflicting emotions of guilt and satisfaction were leading to the beginning of a headache and she decided avoiding the situation by going to sleep was her best option.

AN: I apologize for making free with the events of season IV, but as I said before, there is really no plot here except whatever it takes to get Spike and Buffy together.

Chapter Seven

In the other room, the vampire was swallowing as much whiskey as he could force down his throat in an unsuccessful attempt to forget what had just taken place.

(Had the Slayer six ways to Sunday and lost her again all in the space of a few minutes. Not too many vamps can say that, are there? Got to concentrate on what went right. Had the best sex of my un-life; shared blood with a Slayer; made Buffy come harder than any white-bread human will ever be able to; and made her hate me forever for doing those things to her. Okay, so that part didn’t go so right.....could very easily result in my dust blowin’ in the wind tomorrow. Wish there was a way to convince her I can control the demon. Wish she’d let me just make love to her; show her I can be gentle. That I can love her like she deserves....never goin’ to happen now. I’ll be lucky if she even speaks to me again.)

Between his morose thoughts and the two bottles of whiskey he’d downed, the vampire was soon fighting to hold back sobs as he contemplated an eternity of regret for the evening’s events. The more he tried to smother his grief, the harder it was to be quiet. He finally leaped to his feet and began to pace from one end of the living room to the other, bottle of whiskey in one hand and a wooden stake in the other.

Buffy awoke again to the sound of cursing and sobbing from the other room, along with the sound of Spike’s boots wearing a path from one side of the room to the other. She listened to him for as long as she could stand it, then leaped to her feet and started toward the door. She stopped when she touched the doorknob, realizing she had no idea what she was going to say or do.

(What he –I-- we did was wrong.- so wrong even he knows it. How can I fix this? And why is he so upset? He’s a demon. He was just being what he is. I’m the one that....)

She stood there with her hand on the doorknob for what seemed like hours; listening to the sounds from the other room, but afraid to face the man making them. When she couldn’t take it any longer, she yanked the door open and strode into the other room shouting, “Stop it. Just stop it, now!”

The startled vampire whirled to face her and she gasped when she saw the stake in his hand. Her eyes flew to his anguished face and she paled at the resolve she saw there. He crossed the room to her in two strides, holding the stake out to her and spreading his arms to expose his chest.

“Do it, Slayer,” he said calmly. “Just bloody do it. You know you want to. I deserve it.”

When Buffy just stared at him with her mouth open, making no move to take the stake, he pressed it into her hand and said more softly, “ It’s a’right, love. I know you need to....to put this behind you. Just make it quick, Buffy. Please?” he added so quietly that she almost couldn’t hear him.

Once again her eyes were stinging with unshed tears as she grasped what he was offering. With a flick of her wrist, she threw the stake across the room and shuddered at the thought of what he wanted her to do. She raised her damp eyes to his and looked into his beautiful human face for several seconds before she moved closer and rested a tentative hand on his chest.

“I don’t want to stake you, Spike. This wasn’t your fault. I’m the one....”

“Bloody hell, Buffy. I practically raped you! I let the demon out and I bit you. Drank your blood, I did.”

“You did what comes naturally to you. I’m the one who brought out the demon and made him think it was okay to bite me.” She gestured at his still bleeding torso and the bite mark on his shoulder. “Looks like the Slayer did a lot more damage than the demon did.”

He tilted his head and looked at her curiously. “What are you sayin’, pet? That Buffy and the Slayer aren’t the same person?”

“Are William and the demon the same?” she countered, remembering how Angel and Angelus seemed to be two entirely different beings.

He studied her for a minute, then said softly, “Yes, love. It’s all me. I’m William and I’m the demon. I just usually have more control over it than that.”

“Well, more than I do over the Slayer, apparently. But I don’t usually go into Slayer mode unless I’m really mad or fighting....”

“You had a snarlin’ vampire on top of you, Buffy. I’m guessing if anything would bring out the Slayer, that would do it.” He gave her a small, shy grin. “Can’t really blame her for that, can you?”

She flushed as she replied, “Well, it’s not like she was exactly defending herself...”

As she dropped her embarrassed gaze to the floor, she realized that her hand was still resting on Spike’s muscular chest and she quickly snatched it back down to her side, blushing again. After several minutes of mutually admiring the pattern in the rug, they laughed softly as they gave matching sighs.

“So, now what, Sla-Buffy? If you’re not gonna stake me, how are we gonna make this go away?”

Buffy chewed her lower lip for a minute, struggling to put into words what she was intuitively feeling.

“The...demon is what.....I mean, that I.....we..... That was the demon, right?”

“Yeah, love,” he answered her softly. “That was all the demon.”

“Well...”she hesitated then said slowly, “What if I hadn’t brought the demon out? What would William have done?”

Spike scoffed as he answered, “That ponce? He’d have brought you flowers and recited bloody awful poetry to you.”

She looked at him keenly as she said wryly, “Or gone out to buy toilet paper and shampoo in the middle of the night?”

Spike looked away and mumbled, “Or that, maybe.”

“What did Spike want to do?”

She stepped up closer to him, but didn’t touch his bare chest. They had both been ignoring the fact that she was wearing nothing but her sweatshirt, which barely covered the tops of her legs. Suddenly he was very aware of her lack of clothing as she stepped into his space and he gulped as he looked down into her waiting face.

“He wanted to make love to you. Wanted it really bad, he did. But I promised you I’d give you space and I was tryin’ to keep my promise. Didn’t want to do anything to make you regret...”

“Yeah, well, I think that ship’s pretty much sailed, don’t you?” she snarked.

He flinched, then caught the glint of mischief in her eyes. He answered her with a hopeful grin. “Well, maybe we can replace those memories with something more...pleasant.”

In spite of his outwardly appearing to have recovered his snark and his cockiness, inside he was trembling as he waited to be sure that he was not misunderstanding the message she was sending. When she reached up and gently pressed her mouth to his, whispering, “sounds like a plan...” he gave in to the need that was flooding his body and swept her up in his arms.

Without taking his mouth off hers, he carried her back into the bedroom and stood over the bed. He stopped at the edge of the bed, staring down at the blood stained sheets and cringing at the sight.

Buffy turned her head to see what he was staring at, then looked up at him and ordered, “New memories. Now.”

“As you wish, Slayer.” He regained his smile and deposited her feet gently on the floor. He reached over and pulled the top sheet and blanket up to cover the signs of their earlier activity.

He turned to face her and she looked up at him trustingly as she suggested, “help me out of my sweatshirt?”

Smothering the growl in his chest, Spike reached for the bottom hem and pulled the shirt up and off, tossing it over his shoulder heedlessly. His admiring stare and whispered, “You are so beautiful, Buffy.” sent electricity throughout her body and she felt her temperature increase with her heart rate.

She reached for the belt on his jeans and unbuckled it with one hand. She slowly drew it out of the loops and threw it on the floor to join her shirt. She ran her warm hands over his cool chest, following them with her lip as she traced a path down to the waistband of his pants. With deft fingers she popped the button and pulled the zipper down, freeing his fully recovered cock. She watched for a second, fascinated by how it seemed to be reaching toward her as it bobbed up and down.

When Spike moved to step out of his jeans, she brought her attention back to his face and almost had to look away from the raw desire she saw there, tempered by something she couldn’t put a name to. He pulled her in to his body gently and whispered in her ear, “Gonna do it right this time, love. Take it nice and slow like I been wantin’ to. I’m gonna love you like you’ve never been loved before....”

The sound of his rich baritone in her ear made her shiver all over with anticipation. She could feel his erection pushing against her stomach, but he made no attempt to lift her on to it. With his mouth still murmuring in her ear, he gently picked her up again and knelt on the bed, holding her in his arms. He gave her another bone-melting kiss and placed her on the bed in front of him.

He followed her down to the bed, continuing to explore her mouth with his tongue and lips as he covered her body with his. When she arched up into him and tried to spread her thighs, he stopped kissing long enough to smile at her and chide, “Ah, ah. Not this time, love. This time we’re going to take all night.”

He slid slowly down her body, planting moist, light kisses as he went and pausing to lavish attention on each breast. When he pulled a nipple into his mouth and began suckling on it, Buffy felt the tugging all way down to her lower abdomen. She moaned and put her hand on the back of his head, holding it to her breast and reveling in the sensations he was creating.

When he had sucked both nipples to swollen, rosy points he began kissing his way further down her body. He paused at her navel to run his tongue around it. She giggled briefly at the feel of his cool tongue poking into her belly button then sighed as he continued running his mouth down and across her abdomen. He paused when he reached the curls covering her mound and kissed his way across the hairline and into the soft skin where her thigh joined her torso. He gently licked the area long enough to make her breathing begin to sound more like panting, then moved on to continue planting his gentle kisses along the top of her thigh and down the sensitive skin on the inside.

When he got to her knees, he switched legs and slowly worked his way back up the other leg until he was once again rubbing his nose gently in her soft curls. The feel of his cool breath on her outer lips made Buffy gasp and she pushed her hips up in an effort to make more contact, but he just chuckled and held her down with one hand while he ran his tongue lightly up the center of her folds. He applied just enough pressure to make her moan, but not enough to actually part the folds and touch her by-now-throbbing clit.

For minutes he continued to kiss and lick his way around, never quite touching the places she was moaning for. When she was throwing her head from side to side and began muttering curses, he surrendered and used the hand that wasn’t holding her hips in place to part her folds so that his tongue could reach her soaking center. Still, he teased her with licks and kisses that touched everything except the one swollen nub that was crying for attention.

His tongue went everywhere. Stroking up and down her inner and outer lips, and plunging into her opening to lick up the juices he found there. When Buffy’s hands buried themselves in the hair on his head and forced his face to stay in place while she pushed into it, he gave in and began forcefully licking her clit with his cool, hard tongue. In no time she was trembling and crying as he brought her to release, only to renew his ministrations and send her over the edge again and again.

His cock was so hard he felt like he could use it to batter a door down. When the ache became more than he could stand, he slid back up her body and let his hips drop between her open thighs. Buffy opened one weary, satisfied eye at him and asked in a sleepy voice, “Something you want, vampire? I think I’m too–“ she was interrupted by his mouth on hers and his tongue gently swirling around her open lips. She could taste herself on him and wondered briefly why he seemed to like it so much.

(Must have something to do with vampires being such oral creatures. Riley certainly doesn’t like it. Acts like he’s doing me a big favor).

As the kiss went on and deepened, she found that she wasn’t quite as satiated as she had thought and she pushed all thoughts of her supposed boy friend out of her head. She was soon pulling Spike’s lean, muscular body to her and urging him to bury his aching cock in her waiting warmth.

Spike slid into her moist heat, but this time he waited and allowed her time to adjust to his size. As much as he wanted to pound into her, he also wanted to stay connected and quiet and just savor the feeling of having her around him again. While Buffy wrapped her legs around his thighs and rubbed her hands softly on his back, he let himself indulge in the fantasy that this was only the first in a lifetime’s worth of lovemaking.

(Yeah, you tell yourself that, you stupid ponce. Go ahead and dream it’s gonna be all hearts and flowers from here on. You know when you leave this apartment it’s gonna be all over. One look at her Watcher’s face. One shocked look from the Scoobies and she’s going right back into denial.)

Buffy was more than content to lie still for a while and just enjoy the feeling of his cool length filling her up. It crossed her mind that their bodies fit so well together that it was as though they had been made for each other. She gave him a soft squeeze with her internal muscles and smiled when it elicited a groan from the vampire.

The gentle pressure from the Slayer’s walls was enough to bring Spike’s hips in motion without any conscious effort on his part. As he moved slowly and sensuously against her, he ran his mouth along her jaw and pulled gently on her earlobe. Soft, whispered endearments flowed over her as they moved in tandem, neither one in any hurry to end what felt so comfortable and so extraordinary at the same time.

As Spike’s thrusts became stronger and harder, his passionate murmuring increased along with them. At some point, Buffy stopped allowing his soothing voice to flow through her subconscious and she actually began to hear individual words and phrases. Along with the praise that she had come to expect for her effect on his physical senses, she started to pick up some totally unexpected things.

“Buffy...my golden goddess. Never leave you. Want you forever, my Slayer, my love. “ As his movements increased and his drive for release got stronger, he drove into her and his voice took on a desperate tone as he cried out into her neck. “I Love you, Buffy. Want you, need you to be mine forever. Never leave me. Love me, please, love me....” He shook with the force of his orgasm and collapsed on top of her, his tongue unconsciously licking at the closed wounds on her neck.

When his tongue touched the marks left from his bite, Buffy immediately clenched around him as she experienced a completely unexpected and powerful orgasm. Even as she was allowing her boneless body to fall into the most relaxed sleep she’d had since she was a child, her mind was struggling to understand and absorb what she’d heard.

(Spike loves me? He loves me? He can’t love - he’s got no soul. The demon can’t love....can it? What about Drusilla? One hundred years together? Was that love? What did he mean when he said his demon tried to claim me? Spike loves me? Spike loves me. He loves me.....)

She drifted off to sleep with his arms around her and a warm feeling suffusing her body from the inside out.

When Spike collapsed against her, his tongue laving the marks he’d left on her neck, his demon struggled to emerge and finish the claim. As soon as the vampire realized what he had done, he froze and stared at the sleeping girl in his arms.

(Bloody hell! Did I just claim her? Why didn’t she stop me? I am so buggered! If she doesn’t kill me, her Watcher will for sure. I claimed the Slayer! I claimed the Slayer. I. Claimed. The. Slayer. No, I claimed Buffy. I made Buffy mine. Slayer be damned. I claimed the woman I love. Oh shit. I claimed Buffy. She’s gonna stake me for sure now.)

With a groan, he allowed the fatigue he felt after the long night to overcome him and pulled the bedspread up over them, allowing himself to sleep, his Slayer in his arms.

Chapter Eight

Buffy awoke to the feeling of complete contentment. She felt cherished and safe. She could feel a muscular arm lying across her body and an equally strong leg in between hers. Spike’s head was pressed to hers and his face was buried in her hair. She closed her eyes and tried to block out memories of the things they’d done during the night, but the pleasant aches in her body, as well as the almost healed cuts on her lips and tongue were impossible to ignore.

(This cannot be happening to me again. Slayer/Vampire. Not so mixey things and yet here we are....all naked and comfy and.....Holy crap. I’m in Spike’s bed. Naked. With his fang marks on my neck. And I never felt better in my life. And, hey, big plus, he’s still here. And probably no more evil than he ever was. At least he doesn’t have any soul to lose.

Will Giles and my friends buy that argument? Kinda don’t think so. Major wiggage is going to ensue when we can finally leave here. Maybe we can just stay here? Order take-out and just stay in bed all the time? Let somebody else save the world. Let those stupid soldiers of Riley’s handle it....oh shit! Riley! How do you tell your demon-hunting boyfriend that you’re dumping him for one of the demons? He’s going to try to kill Spike. No question. Staking Spike will become the mission and forget tame demons and robot/zombie soldiers. Argh!)

Spike woke up gradually as he felt Buffy’s heart rate increasing. He tightened his arm around her very slightly and tensed up, waiting to see what she would do. He had no idea how strong the claim might be, with it being unintentional and her not even knowing it was happening. He almost hoped it had worn off during the night so that he wouldn’t have to explain to her what happened.

When Buffy felt his arm tighten around her, she rolled over slowly and looked up at his worried face.

“Hey,” she said softly.

“Hey to you,” he whispered back at her, dipping his head down cautiously for a quick kiss. When she responded enthusiastically and put her arms around him, he sighed and relaxed onto his back, pulling her over on to his chest.

“So, Slayer, last night wasn’t just a wet dream, huh?”

“Eeww! And no. Not unless I had the same dream.”

(Got to tell her. It’s only right.)

“When I finish sayin’ what I’ve got to say, you might be wishin’ it was.”

He felt her stiffen and tightened his grip slightly so that she wouldn’t pull away from him. “Easy, pet. Wait till I’m done and then you can decide if you want to stake me or not.”

(Please stay here, Buffy. Stay with me, love.)

(Why does he think I’ll want to stake him? What is he going to say? Is he going to leave me too?)

He kissed the top of her head, took a deep breath and without looking at her face, began, “I don’t know if you were listenin’ last night when I told you I wanted you so much that my demon almost claimed you – or if you even know what it means. For a vampire to claim...”

“Not really,” she said, blushing. “I think that’s one of those ‘Slayer’s need to know this’ kinda things that I tuned out when Giles was trying to explain it.”

“I figured,” he said with a small smile. “Uneducated little chit that you are.”

“Hey!” she said indignantly. “1300 SATs here, thank you very much!”

“Didn’t say you were stupid, love. Just don’t know much.”

He laughed and grabbed her hand when she tried to smack him. He brought it to his mouth, kissed her fingers and then put it back down on his chest, cradling it in his larger one. Growing serious again, he continued with his explanation.

“When a vampire bites another during love-making and says anything possessive or.....or that would indicate strong feelings, the demon is marking that person as his –or hers, as the case might be. It sets up a connection between the two that can last anywhere from a few weeks to....eternity.”

“A few weeks to eternity? Sounds like a lot of room for error there.”

“Depends a lot on if the claim is renewed regularly and if it’s returned. If it isn’t repeated, and if the other....party....doesn’t reciprocate, it fades after a while. If both... lovers...make and return the claim; and if they stay together long enough to renew it regularly, they can stay connected for as long as they live.”

“Define ‘connected’,” she said with tension in her voice.

He blew out another unnecessary breath and ran one hand up and down her arm soothingly. When she relaxed against him and almost purred, he sighed and said, “That’s part of it.”

“Like wha- oh!” Buffy’s sudden realization of the soothing effect his touch had on her was enough to send her pulse skyrocketing again. When he nuzzled her neck, thereby calming her down again immediately, she started to relax, then shot up in bed growling, “Stop that!”

“Stop what, love?” he asked innocently as he stroked her hand gently and smiled as she started to curl back into him.

“Stop calming me down!” She moved away from him as far as she could without falling off the bed and stared at him in shock. When she felt her body yearning toward him, even as she glared at his worried face, she began to tremble.

“What have you done to me, Spike?” she whispered. “What have you done?”

Trying not to look as crestfallen as he felt, he tried to explain. “When I bit you the first time, it started a claim. The only thing missing were the words. When we...made love...later...I licked the wounds while I was thinking...I said...”

“You said, ‘I love you,’” she finished for him, not meeting his eyes.

“I did. And to the demon it sounded like I was completing the claim.”

He reached for her chin and turned her to face him. His eyes begged her to believe him, even as his touch made it almost impossible for her not to.

“I never meant to do that, Buffy. I swear to you. It’s why I was so freaked the first time. I knew the demon was trying to mark you as mine. And...” He faltered and let go of her chin, “And I knew you wouldn’t want that. To be mine.” He tried to keep the pain that admission cost him from reaching his voice and eyes, but when Buffy looked away, he knew he hadn’t been successful.

“I never said I didn’t,” she said so softly he wouldn’t have heard her without his vampiric hearing ability. “I just don’t think you should have done it without explaining it to me first and asking me if I wanted it.”

He gaped at the small blond woman who was pulling on a thread in the bedspread and refusing to look at him. While his unbeating heart threatened to leap out of his chest, he fought to keep his hands from reaching for her and demanding she repeat herself. He knew they needed to get this settled without any chance that the claim was influencing Buffy’s feelings.

He got off the bed and walked to the other side of the room, putting as much distance as he could between them. Buffy was still turned away from him, although she had stopped pulling on the thread and was just sitting quietly with her hands in her lap.

“Don’t play with me, Slayer,” he growled. “I meant what I said. I wasn’t intendin’ to claim you, but I meant what I said about lovin’ you. If you give me some small sign, just a crumb is all I’m askin’, that you might...someday, maybe... I’ll wait forever. But if you don’t.., if you can’t...If I’m too far beneath you, tell me now and I’ll leave Sunnydale. It’s not a strong claim. With me not here, it should fade in a couple of days.”

Instead of answering his implied question, Buffy chose to ask another one of her own. “Is there anything else? Besides the calming down thing?”

“Yeah – there are some other side effects. I’ll be able to feel you, even if you’re not close by. I’ll know if somethin’s botherin’ you, or hurtin’ you. And, you’ll be able to feel me. You’ll know when I’m close by.”

“I already do that,” she admitted, then put her hands over her mouth in dismay at admitting it outloud.

“Yeah, pet. Me too,” he gave her a wry grin. “but now we’ll be able to do it from farther away. It’s not quite like being able to read each other’s minds, but we’ll be able to have an idea what’s going on.”

“Makes it kinda hard to cheat, doesn’t it?” she tried to joke.

“Uh, yeah, pet. Kinda the point, in a way. It’s not likely two peop- vamps with a mutual claim would be lookin’ to hook up with anybody else. Would sorta spoil the whole ‘life-long commitment’ thing”

Buffy studied him carefully. “Vampires make life-long commitments? Demons can love? How is that possible? You – they don’t have souls.”

Spike just stared back at her. She could see a muscle in his jaw clench and unclench and knew he knew she was thinking about Angel. He glared at her just long enough to be sure she knew what he was thinking, then he shrugged and looked away. He did not want to have an argument about his grandsire this morning.

Buffy smothered the little burst of pain she felt at knowing that Angel’s excuse of not being able to love her without his soul was bogus. There was a tiny twinge and then she realized it didn’t really matter that much any more. Somebody else did love her.

“Anything else I should know? Are we going to start to look alike or anything like that? I’m not going to start wanting to drink blood am I?” she whirled to look at him with panic-stricken eyes.

“Relax, Slayer. You’re not gonna do anything. We’ll just stay apart for a while and it’ll fade away. It’s not like you returned it or anything...”

“We have to stay apart?” she asked in a small voice. “Why?”

“I explained that, you stupid chit – if we don’t renew it, it goes away!”

“I don’t want to stay apart.” She stuck her lower lip out in a pout and he groaned to himself. “And don’t call me stupid!”

“Slayer – Buffy – love of my life, if we start shagging again, it’ll never go away. Every time we make love, the claim gets stronger. Why do you think I’m all the way over here on this side of the room?”

“Well, that just...sucks.” she crossed her arms over her chest and continued to pout like a small child.

“So,” he began slowly, “you’re sayin’ if we didn’t have to worry about the claim....you would...I could...we might...”

“Spit it out, Spike! If we could be, we would be. Now. In this bed. More than once. Is that clear enough for you?”

His eyes darkened with desire and she thought she saw gold flecks in them as he turned away and grabbed his pants. He tried to pull them on before she could see the hard-on he got when she said she wanted him again, but he could tell from her giggles that he wasn’t fooling her.

“’S not funny, Slayer,” he growled. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to stay away from you? And, would you please put some soddin’ clothes on?”

Buffy blushed all over as she realized they had been carrying on the entire conversation while she was stark naked. She hastily grabbed her sweatshirt and jeans and pulled them on. Then she looked over at Spike and ordered, “Go put a shirt on.”

He smirked at her and pulled a tee shirt from a drawer to cover his chest. She noticed idly that the tooth marks she’d left on his shoulder and the gouges in his back were almost healed. Soon the only signs of their violent love making would be the bloody sheets and the memories she couldn’t get out of her head.

“Why didn’t I notice I was naked?” she asked suddenly.

“What?” Spike gawked at her. “Why didn’t you what?”

“Notice that I was naked. We had that whole conversation and we were both naked and it didn’t even bother me. I didn’t even notice. Is that because of the claim? Does it make me more comfortable around you?”

“I don’t know, love,” he said slowly. “Being naked has never bothered me –well, not since I was a poncy Victorian poet anyway,” he gave her a shy smile. “But I don’t know why you weren’t bothered. Not that you should be,” he added hastily. “You’re so bloody beautiful, you should go around naked all the time. Around me, anyway.”

Buffy rolled her eyes at him, but inside she was warmed by his praise. Then she looked at him with frightened eyes again.

“I hate this!” she burst out; then froze when she saw the stricken look on his face. Forgetting that she wanted to stay away from him, she flew across the room and threw her arms around his waist.

“Not you, Spike. I don’t hate you. I hate that I can’t tell if the things I’m feeling are real or because you claimed me. I don’t know what to trust.”

She felt him trembling with the effort of keeping his arms from going around her. She rubbed her face on his chest, inhaling his scent, and then forced herself to let go and step back. His body was rigid and his face showed the massive struggle going on inside.

“I...I’m sorry,” she stammered. “I didn’t mean to make it harder. I was just afraid you thought I meant...”

“It’s alright, love,” he said with effort. “You should hate it. It’s ...I’ve taken away your free will in a way. Demons are very possessive. It won’t - I won’t – want to let you fret, won’t let you be in danger, won’t want anyone else to...to touch you, won’t want to be away from you for any length of time, will want to be touching you all the time.... It’s goin’ to be a bit of problem, innit?”

“You think?” she rolled her eyes.

There was silence for a minute as she moved slowly away from the still-immobile vampire. She wanted nothing more than to pull him back down on to the bed and curl up at his side, but she fought the urge and moved back to the other side of the small bedroom.

“Those things – the things you say you feel. Should I be feeling them too?”

“Dunno, pet. There aren’t very many instances of vampires claiming humans – and you’re not even a normal human. You’re the Slayer. Who knows what that throws into the mix. You didn’t claim me back – you didn’t even acknowledge the claim--”

Buffy wondered if she was really seeing the flash of pain in his eyes as he said that or if she had just imagined it.

“I want to be close to you,” she said softly. “I...I want to touch you. I want you to hold me, but I’m afraid to. I’m afraid it’s just the claim making me want those things. I don’t know if it’s real. It’s like being under that stupid spell all over again!”

“I don’t know what’s real either, love. I can tell you I’m not feeling anything now that I wasn’t already feeling weeks ago – it’s just harder to hide it is all. But....I can’t say for you—“ He tried to hide the spark of hope he could feel trying to break out of his chest.

“How will we know if – when it’s gone? How will I know what I want? I don’t want to be with you because of some mystical bond. I want it to be because I...I...” Her voice trailed off. There was no way she was going to admit to falling in love with another vampire. At least not until she was sure that she wasn’t being influenced by something outside her control.

Chapter Nine

“It WILL fade, love. I promise. And soon.” He stared at her for minutes just drinking in the sight of her in his bedroom. The uncertainty in her face decided him and he moved across the room to touch her face gently.

“I’m going to leave for a while, Buffy. I won’t go far – and I’ll leave a number to call in case you need to reach me; but I’m going to go far enough away that we shouldn’t be able to feel each other at all and I’m going to stay there until I don’t feel the claim pullin’ on me anymore.

“It’ll give you time to suss out what you want without any outside influence on you. I doubt you’ll even notice anything if I get far enough way. You’ll be all back to normal by tomorrow and you can go on....” he took a deep, ragged breath, “and you can go on with your life.” He turned and began to move away from her.

He reached the dresser and took out a cell phone, laying it on the top within easy reach.

“You’re leaving me.” She said it flatly, with no hint of the ache behind it.

“It’s for your own good, love. You need time to—“

“Oh, that always makes it much better. That it’s for my own good. Because my own good couldn’t possible include anything that might actually make me happy, could it?” She spit the words out bitterly and turned her back to him.

“I make you happy?” he asked tremulously. “You want me here?”

She whirled around and snapped at him. “Oh no. I have mind-blowing, all night sex with guys I don’t care about all the time. It’s no problem. Not like I’m not used to it. Have sex with Buffy; leave her immediately. Isn’t that the way everybody does it?”

She tried to keep her face closed and hide the pain she was feeling, but Spike could feel her hurt through the claim. He crossed the room too fast for human eyes to see and folded her in his arms.

“I’ll never leave you, Buffy. Never. I’m yours forever. Don’t cry, love. It kills me to feel you unhappy. Especially because of somethin’ I did or said. If you don’t want me to go, I won’t go. I promise, love. Never leave you.”

As soon as she felt his strong, cool arms encircle her body, Buffy relaxed and felt the pain and anxiety begin to ebb. He kept his head pressed to hers and rubbed small soothing circles on her back as he repeated his promise to stay with her forever.

Her arms crept around his waist and she kept her face buried in his chest as she allowed his soothing touch and warm voice to ease her fears. When she no longer felt the need to cling to him, she stepped back slightly and looked up into his worried eyes.

“So, was that the claim talking or just self-absorbed Buffy feeling abused?”

“The claim wouldn’t make you feel like that, love. That was the righteous anger of a beautiful woman who’s never been appreciated by the men in her life. The claim let me feel the hurt underneath the anger and it wouldn’t let me stay away from you. It’s.....it’s why I need to leave....” He tightened his arms as he felt her stiffen against him.

“You’ve got to understand, Buffy. As long as I’m where I can feel you, I won’t be able to stop myself from tryin’ to protect you from whatever’s wrong. Won’t matter if someone’s hurtin’ you physically or emotionally, the demon’s goin’ want to tear them apart. I’m not sure the chip would be able to stop me before I-“

Buffy leaned back and looked up at him. “You said you weren’t feeling anything that wasn’t already there. What did that mean?”

“Meant I already was willin’ to risk brain damage to protect you – jus’ knew I didn’t need to before. I was able to make rational decisions about how much I needed to stay out of the way of the Slayer. Now, I’m not goin’ to have that much control. If something threatens you, the demon will try to protect you. Won’t matter if you can handle it yourself or not.”

“Is that all?” she asked quietly.

“No, that’s not all.” He took a deep breath and said, “Before, seein’ you with your...boyfriend...just made me jealous. Jus’ made me wish I was him. Now? Now, the demon sees you as his property. He touches you and.....”

“Okay, okay, I think I’m getting the picture.” She looked up at him demurely for a second as she added, “It’s kind of...sweet...in a way.” Then the Slayer was glaring back at him as she added, “But I’m not anybody’s property! Yours OR Riley’s. And I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.”

“I know that, pet,” he smiled at her indignant expression. “Tell you the truth, I don’t think I’d know what to do with a demon-whipped Buffy. Wouldn’t be you now, would it?”

“No,” she sighed, “it wouldn’t be me. And I’d hate it.”

She leaned against him for a minute, enjoying the feeling of being loved and cherished that being close to him gave her. The love was almost palpable and she knew she was going to miss that feeling when it was gone. She basked in it for a few more minutes, allowing Spike to hold her and plant light kisses on her face and murmur in her ear while he inhaled her scent.

Finally, she reluctantly pushed away from him and spoke firmly. “You’re right, Spike. We can’t do this. I can’t be owned by a demon and be the Slayer, no matter how much Buffy might like it sometimes.”

Spike moved back over to the dresser, trying to hide the joy that filled him at the thought that Buffy might have welcomed the claim if she were not the Slayer. He took a piece of paper out and carefully wrote the cell phone number on it in flowing script.

He picked up the phone and put in the pocket of his duster as he shrugged into it. He placed the paper with the phone number on it on the dresser and looked back over to the small blond girl standing on the other side of the room with her arms wrapped tightly around herself.

“Jus’ knowin’ Buffy might have liked it will keep me warm for the next few days,” he said almost shyly as he prepared to leave.

Huge green eyes shiny with tears that threatened to spill any minute looked at him from across the room. He felt his own eyes prickle with unshed tears as the two powerful beings stared at each other for long minutes; their eyes saying everything they were feeling and couldn’t say.

“See you in few days, love,” he said gruffly as he left the room and hastened out the door.

“I’ll be waiting,” Buffy whispered as she heard the outside door pull shut behind him. When she was sure he was out of the building, she fell onto the bed and breathed in the mingled smells from their night of passion. She forced herself to remember how wonderful the night had been, knowing that any sense of pain on her part would make it that much harder on Spike.

She tried to project feelings of contentment and happiness; wondering if he could feel her. Since she wasn’t sure, she allowed herself to feel the growing love that she had tried so hard to deny for the last few days. She drifted back to sleep clutching the pillow that smelled of tobacco, whiskey and Spike.

Spike could feel her contentment as he sped through the sewers to the garage where his car was hidden. As Spike wheeled the old Desoto out of Sunnydale, he felt the warmth coming from Buffy’s thoughts and almost drove off the road when he picked up the first hint of affection there. He pulled off the road and allowed his head to fall back against the back of the seat as he let the tentative feelings of new love wash over him.

When he could tell that Buffy had gone back to sleep and was comfortable in his bed, he restarted the car and continued out into the desert. In spite of what he’d told Buffy, he had no intention of going any further away than he absolutely had to. Claim or not claim, at the first hint that anything was wrong with her, he was heading back to Sunnydale as fast as his old car could get him there.

Chapter 10

One week later

“Well, I think I’ve fixed the Initiative problem,” Buffy announced as she walked into Giles’ apartment.

Her Watcher and friends looked up and raised their eyebrows in inquiry.

“Yes? And how did you do that?” Giles asked with a worried frown.

“I ran into Riley and his unit on campus and they tried to take me to Professor Walsh for ‘evaluation’ of my strength.”

“Good Lord! Did you...?”

“Relax, Giles. I just gave them a chance to ‘evaluate’ my strength themselves.” She smiled slightly and added, “And my speed, and my reflexes, and my punches and my ki—“

“I think we’re getting the picture, Buff,” said Xander, wincing in sympathy for the commandos. “So, you think they’re gonna leave you alone now?”

“If they know what’s good for them, they will.” The rumbling growl from the doorway took the attention off Buffy as they all whirled around to see Spike entering the room.

The vampire paused just inside the door and asked quietly, “Is it alright if I come in?”

Giles started to stammer out an answer, then stopped as Spike said, “Wasn’t talkin’ to you, Watcher.” He spoke to the other Brit, but his eyes never left the petite blond frozen across the room from him.

Buffy knew her heart was pounding as she drank in the lanky, muscular body by the door. She met his questioning eyes and smiled warmly.

“Come in, Spike. It’s fine.”

“You sure, Slayer?” Even as he ran his eyes over her, looking for signs of damage from her fight with the commandos, he remained where he was until she moved toward him and gently put her hand on his arm.

“I’m sure. It’s okay. I promise.”

With an audible sigh of relief, he relaxed and moved closer to her. Just before he reached down to kiss her uplifted face, he remembered where they were and stopped himself. He straightened up and squeezed her hand gently as he said, “Well, that’s good then, love. So, we’re good?”

“Yeah, Spike,” she said softly, “We’re good.”

“What the hell is going on here?” Xander looked at the other Scoobies for an explanation of the unusual behavior the two blonds were demonstrating.

Giles cleared his throat and asked, “Buffy? Does this have anything to do with what we were talking about yesterday?” He fixed her with a hard eye and she thought she saw the Ripper for a second.

“Uh, yeah...yes, it does. Maybe we should....?” She looked at the other young people in the room and raised her eyebrows at her Watcher.

“Oh no, you don’t!” Willow put on her resolve face and stood up. “You are not kicking us out of here. We want to know too.”

“Guys, I know you’re curious, but this is something – something slayery. It involves slayers and...you know, vampires....and...and...”

“And that’s all you need to know right now.” Giles spoke firmly as he ushered them toward the door, ignoring their protests.

When the room was quiet again, he turned to his surrogate daughter and the master vampire standing much closer to her than he would have liked.

“Now then. I want an explanation, and I want it now.”

(Yep, that’s Ripper all right. I hope he doesn’t have any stakes hidden around the room. Maybe Spike should stay near the door...”)

Buffy and Spike looked at each other, shrugged in unison and asked, “What do you want to know?”

Crossing his arms and fixing Buffy with a stern glare, he said, “I want to know why I had to spend much of the last two days researching vampire claiming rituals.” He shot a vicious look at Spike before adding, “And I want to know why you have been wearing turtleneck shirts all week – in spite of the unusually warm temperatures.”

Buffy gulped audibly as the vampire slid behind her and rested his hands lightly on her shoulders.

“I think you already know the answer to that, Rupert,” he said quietly.

As quickly as he’d arrived, the Ripper was gone and a worried middle-aged man was sinking into a chair, shaking his head.

“I was hoping I was wrong.” He lifted his head to look at the two super beings facing him and asked softly, “How did this happen?” He looked at Buffy pleadingly and begged, “How could you let this happen? You know what he is.”

Buffy felt Spike’s hands tighten on her shoulders as Giles shook his head in despair.

“Giles....I didn’t let it happen. I...I caused it. I didn’t mean to and I didn’t know what it was.” She gave her Watcher a guilty smile and she admitted, “I didn’t really pay any attention when you were trying to teach me about vampire lore and their rituals. I didn’t think I needed to know that stuff. All I ever needed to know was the best way to kill things.”

Her watcher sent another cold look toward the vampire. “And your excuse for this inexcusable behavior?” He continued to fix Spike with a hard stare.

To his amazement, the vampire lowered his head and looked like he was struggling to hold back tears.

“Don’t have an excuse Watcher. Jus’ lost control and bit her. Didn’t mean to bite her, didn’t realize I was claiming her until it was too late. I’m sorry,” he added so softly Giles wasn’t sure if he’d really heard him.

(William the Bloody is sorry for biting a Slayer? I don’t think I have enough Scotch to make that one go down!)

He looked back and forth between the miserable vampire and the Slayer who was stroking his hands and whispering to him soothingly. He listened to her for a minute and was shocked at what he heard.

“I thought we were past this, Spike.” As she spoke, Buffy turned around and ran her hands up and down his arms gently. “It’s fixed, remember? We’re okay now. I’m not....not claimed anymore.”

She felt him wince as she said that, and before he could pull away from her she leaned in and whispered in his ear, “but I am still yours.”

Giles watched as the vampire’s head shot up and he stared into Buffy’s eyes, hope and fear battling on his face. The Watcher wondered uncomfortably what Buffy had said to him to get that reaction, but decided to concentrate on what he’d actually heard.

“Ahem,” he cleared his throat to bring their attention back to him. “If I have overheard you correctly, Buffy, you were claimed, but now you are not? How is that possible? I understood claims were quite...binding.” He looked at the vampire for an explanation.

“I told you, the claim was an accident. I didn’t mean to do it. I didn’t tell her it was happening, and she never accepted it or returned it. All we had to do was stay apart for a little while and let it wear off.”

“Ah, I suppose that explains why we haven’t had the dubious pleasure of your company for the past several days?”

“Yeah,” Spike said gruffly. “I left Sunnydale for a little while. Jus’ long enough to let her...”

Buffy broke in firmly, “Just long enough that I could be sure that anything I feel for Spike is real and not a result of the claim.” She looked at her Watcher’s horrified face defiantly.

“And,” Giles shut his eyes for a moment as he tried to calm himself, “what exactly is it that you think you feel for THIS vampire?”

Buffy winced mentally as she remembered what had happened to his Jenny the last time she was involved with a vampire. Then she reminded herself that Spike didn’t have a soul to lose and that he was nothing like Angel.

“Giles,” she said gently, “Spike has no soul to lose. He isn’t going to hurt me – or anyone else. Even if he would,” she shot a quick look at the glowering vampire, “he can’t because of the chip. No one is in danger this time.”

“Losing the chip would be just like Angel losing his soul, Buffy. It could happen at any time.”

“Won’t lose MY soul, Watcher,” the vampire growled as he put his arms around Buffy. “Claim or no claim, my soul is right here.” He pulled the willing girl against his chest and stared over her head at the older man.

Giles studied them carefully for several minutes, then sighed and relaxed back into the chair.

“I hope you know what you’re doing, Buffy. I can’t say I approve of this...relationship; but I know better than to argue about it. Just be careful. Please,” he concluded with a sigh.

“We’ll be fine, Giles. I promise.” She turned to the man holding her and said, “Let me run to the bathroom and then we can go, Okay?”

“Okay,” he said nuzzling her neck. “Don’t be long, love,” he whispered into her ear as he pressed the reason for his urgency against her ass.

As soon as Buffy was out of the room, Giles whirled on Spike and the Ripper was once more in residence.

“The only reason I’m not staking you right now, is because you let that claim lapse. You had no right—“

“Know that, Rupert. Why do you think I let it go? I want her – make no mistake about that. But I want the whole package – not a thralled slave who wouldn’t want to be with me if she had a choice. She’ll either love me back or she won’t. It’s up to her.”

“If you ever...” the Watcher began in a growl that would have done credit to a vampire.

“Never. I will never hurt her. If I do, I’ll hand you the stake myself.”

“What about the biting?”

“That’s her call – not yours. I can love her without biting her. She knows that.”

The two men stared at each other in silence. One doing his best to look intimidating and the other doing his best to appear harmless. The staring contest ended with Buffy’s cheery, “Okay. Let’s go Spike. We have...things to do...evil to fight...demons to kill. Bye, Giles!”

She grabbed Spike’s arm and pulled him out of the apartment; not waiting to see if her Watcher had anything else he wanted to say to her.


They made it as far as the patio outside the apartment before he stopped her with a yank and pulled her into his arms. The kiss they both had been desperate for began with a hungry clash of lips and tongues. Noses, teeth, chins – all were unimportant features to be ignored to bumped out of the way if necessary in order that lips could move around as desired. Tongues probed and twirled, tangled and untangled, sucked and were sucked on. Lips were smashed together, pulled on and bitten. A week’s worth of passion denied exploded into fierce kisses that would have injured ordinary people.

Eventually, they fell into a sweet rhythm and the kisses became gentler and more erotic as their initial hunger was somewhat appeased. As the kisses became the sensuous, bone-melting ones she was used to from the vampire, Buffy began to recognize other parts of her body and found that she was straddling one of Spikes legs. His muscular thigh was pressed up against her crotch and she was rubbing herself against it, her wetness soaking through her underwear to his denim covered leg. She was wrapped in his leather coat, which he held in place as he kept his arms around her body.

The feel of her heated dampness on his leg and the smell of her arousal had the vampire growling softly as he pushed his thigh against her.

“That’s it, love. Ride me. Come for me, sweetheart. Show me how much you missed me, Buffy.”

Heedless of where they were standing, or who might be watching, Buffy ground her pelvis into his leg until she felt the waves of sensation take over and she collapsed in his arms, shuddering with the aftereffects of her release. She slid the leg she had wrapped around his thigh down slowly and tried to stand up.

He grinned at her rubbery legs and breathed in the heady scent of her juices as he held her close to his chest and rubbed her back.

“So, I take you did miss me?” he breathed into her neck.

“A little, maybe.” She smiled up at him, then rested her head on his chest and slid her arms around his waist. She could feel his desire for her pressing into her stomach and she reluctantly pushed herself out of his embrace to reach down and stroke him through his jeans.

He hissed his pleasure and pushed his hips into her hand. He groaned as she unzipped his pants and slid her warm hand inside to grasp the velvet hardness in there. He tried to get her to stop, saying, “Not here, love. Let’s go somewhere....”

“Shhh,” she said as she slid down his body. “Put your coat around me again.”

The vampire groaned again as he realized what she was planning and he braced his back against the shadowed wall as he enveloped her in dark leather. When her warm mouth covered the head of his cock, he gasped and almost came right then. Her unskilled, but enthusiastic attentions soon had him babbling and clutching the wall with his free hand as he exploded and pumped into her mouth.

It was his turn to sag against the wall on rubbery legs as she looked up at him with satisfaction and asked, “So, was that okay then? Did I do it right?” She licked her lips which had traces of him still on them and he became hard again almost immediately at the sight.

“God, yes, love. Any more right and I would have awakened your Watcher’s neighbors.”

Five minutes of movement at super speed had them back in the old apartment building and running up the stairs, stopping every few steps to exchange hungry kisses and caresses. Finally they were pushing open the door to Spike’s apartment and pulling at each other’s clothes as they staggered toward the bedroom together. In a replay of their time in Xander’s basement, Spike backed toward the bed pulling the willing Slayer he was kissing with him. When his knees hit the edge of the mattress he fell backwards and Buffy landed on top of him.

“Oof! Slayer. Watch those knees! You almost removed somethin’ you might be wanting in a few minutes.”

Her only response was to squirm further up his body until she could look him in the eye as she said seriously, “No Slayer. No vampire. Just Buffy and Spike.”

“I can do that, pet. I can make love to Buffy.” He pushed a piece of hair behind her ear and stroked her face.

(Want to ask her if Buffy can love Spike, but I guess I’d best leave that alone. It’s enough that she’s here and admits to feelin’ something.)

“Good,” she replied as she fastened her lips on his and coaxed his tongue into her mouth. She could feel his erection pressing into her hip and shifted slightly so that it was between her thighs and nudging at her entrance. She captured his cool length between her muscular thighs and squeezed gently. His muffled groan made her smile and she slid her mouth down to his chest and began sucking gently on one nipple.

“Want you, love. Want you now. Can’t wait. Let me in, Buffy. Please, love, please.”

His whispered pleas in her ear sent a thrill all the way from her ear to where he was rubbing his cock against her and she willingly released him from the grip she had and allowed him to push against her opening. He moved his hips gently and pushed his cool length into her. He slid in slowly, inch by cool inch.

As her wet warmth swallowed up his throbbing cock, Buffy moaned and nibbled on his ear lobe. When he was finally filling her perfectly, she whispered, “I missed this, Spike. I missed you.”

“I missed you too, Buffy. Was the longest week on my life, love. Never want to be without you that long again. Never.”

As he murmured into her neck, his mouth brushed against the scar from his bite and she shivered and gasped. They both froze when they felt her reaction.

“Wha- what does that mean, Spike? Why did just touching my scar with your lips make me...all...tingly” She tried to keep the fear from her voice, but he could feel her trembling and he rested his forehead against hers as he tried to come up with an answer.

“I don’t know, love...” When she snorted and tried to puch herself off, he grabbed her hands and held them tightly.

“I don’t, Buffy!” The fear in his voice made her stop struggling while he continued. “I don’t know why. Maybe just because...because there was a claim and it’s just...I don’t know, love. I don’t feel any different. I’m not feeling any more pull toward you than I ... than I usually do. Which is pretty powerful all by itself,” he added with a small smile.

“Do it again,” she demanded softly.

He eyed her carefully before he gently ran his tongue over the scar. Once again, a shiver went through her whole body and she unconsciously tightened her muscles around him. Spike’s hips shot up and he gave a strangled yelp as he felt her clench around him.

“So....maybe we can sort of...kinda...get the same sort of...of...feeling without actual biting? Do you think so?”

“Dunno, love; but I’m willin’ if you are. I’ll just have to be real careful what I’m saying and thinking.”

They had fallen into an easy, familiar rhythm while they were talking; a rhythm that was quickly building toward another pounding conclusion. As Buffy’s whimpers and moans turned to gasping and panting, she put her mouth on Spike’s neck and sucked on the skin there.

The vampire felt himself approaching his release and fastened his mouth over the scars, growling and thrusting into her. He deliberately pushed down the urge to tell her he loved her as he pulled on his mark. He wanted to take no chances that the claim would be reactivated.

As soon as he began pulling on the scars, Buffy felt herself shattering into pieces and she clutched him hard as she screamed into his neck in ecstasy. When Spike felt her muffled scream on his throat, he roared and pumped into her, never taking his mouth off the bite marks until they were both lying still and panting for air.

“Wow,” Buffy gasped out. “That was...wow.”

“I’ll see your ‘wow’ and raise you a ‘bloody hell’, “ he muttered, his chest rising and falling with totally unnecessary gulps of air.

He kept her tightly wrapped in his arms as he shifted her off and to the side so that he could see her face.

“Are we still okay?” he asked with more than a little worry in his voice.

“I think so. I don’t feel any of those spooky, can’t-stay-away-from-you feelings this time.”

“Well, that’s good then,” he said in a flat tone of voice. “Can’t have the slayer having feelings for a vampire.”

Buffy reached up and grabbed his chin, turning his head to look at her directly.

“I HAVE feelings. Feelings are good. It’s magical, can’t-control-what-I’m-doing feelings that are wrong. I can’t let anything get in the way of my duty. Even you.”

“I know, pet,” he sighed as he stroked the side of her face gently. “I wouldn’t expect you to. Hell, I wouldn’t want you to. The way you meet your obligations is part of what makes you who you are. You’re Buffy, but you’re also the Slayer. I love both of you; jus’ know I have to be a little careful around the Slayer. Bloodthirsty little bint that she is...” His smile took the sting out of his words and she leaned into his hand as she answered.

“And I know the Slayer has to be careful around the demon. If she bites him, he bites back.” She smiled up at him shyly. “And I don’t want to do anything that would make you have to go away again.”

“Not goin’ anywhere, love. You’re stuck with me till you dust me.”

“Don’t wanna dust you...” she said, running her hand down his chisled torso and tangling her fingers in the soft curls at the bottom of his abdomen.

“What do you want , love?” he rumbled as his cock sprang back into action.

She stroked him with her warm little hand until he was thrusting his hips up and hissing with pleasure. She climbed on top of him and lowered herself slowly on to his eager cock, throwing her head back and reveling in the sensation of being cooled and filled. Suddenly she brought her head forward and stared down on him intently.

“I want to be your girl. Not because your demon thinks he owns me, but because Spike – no, William, wants Buffy. I want you to love me.” She dropped her head down onto his chest and began licking his nipples. “Tell me you love me, William,” she breathed onto his skin.

Spike had to fight back unmanly tears again as she whispered her request onto his chest.

(She’s turning me into William. Sod it all! I’m turnin’ right back into that ponce.)

He put his arms around her tightly and even as he began thrusting in and out of her, he was whispering in her ear, telling her she was his golden goddess, his queen, the love of his life. He almost let the word “effulgent” slip out, but bit his tongue on that one.

“I love you, Buffy. More than you can imagine. I will never leave you. Will love you forever, if you let me.”

He carefully rolled them over so that he was looking down into those amazing green eyes which stared back at him tremulously. Buffy felt the look he gave her down to her soul. There was no way to deny the truth of what he was saying. He loved her. She could see it, she could feel it and it filled her with peace and warmth.

“’K, then,” she smiled and closed her eyes as his tongue once again laved the bite marks on her neck, increasing the already body-shaking sensations he was creating inside her.

The urge to sink his fangs into her throat and re-instate his claim was almost overwhelming. As though she could read his mind, Buffy murmured to him as she pulled him closer, “Someday, my love. Someday. But not today.”

“Not today,” he agreed and moved up to capture her lips with his.

(Someday. She said someday. I can wait.)

The End.