The sensation of being skin to skin from head to toe with the vampire that she had finally admitted made her heart race like no one before him was sending Buffy into sensory overload. Spike’s lips were caressing the skin on her throat while his hands were sweeping over her bare flanks. His whispered praise for her body’s response to him was as embarrassing as it was exciting; his crooning comments about how wet she was and how tight had her both confused and whimpering for more. In a very short period of time, his dancing fingers and bone-melting kisses had her straining towards him, trying to press every square inch of her skin to his while at the same time, parting her legs so that his hand could work its magic.
He pushed her gently onto her back, holding most of his weight on his elbows as he settled between her legs. He took time to suck on her breasts again, humming against the nipples as they rose to meet his tongue before sliding up to kiss her mouth and murmur against it. She could feel his cock just nudging at her entrance as he rubbed himself against her, setting up an urge that she couldn’t deny.
“Is it going to hurt?” Her tentative question, gasped out even as her hips tipped up to give him better access, was a reminder that, although the body writhing under his was experienced in ways this Buffy couldn’t even imagine yet, the girl inhabiting it was still a virgin.
“Don’t know, love,” he said honestly. “If the other one told me the truth, this body knows mine like we were born doin’ this. Unless the powers that like to fuck with people thought it would be funny to give you a new cherry when they stuck your virginal little self into it, it shouldn’t hurt at all. Should feel like...”
He stopped, too embarrassed to say what he was thinking – that it should fell like coming home for her.
“Should feel like what?” she whispered, sliding her legs around his hips and biting her lip as she felt him begin to slide into her.
“Like someone who’s loved you a thousand times before is doing it one more time,” he breathed, sheathing himself inside her and groaning with relief as he felt her walls around him. He found himself fighting for control as she unconsciously squeezed him and brought her arms around his back, holding him against her as though afraid to let him go.
“Ah, love, you feel so good – like warm silk you are. My sweet slayer.”
He began to rock his hips in a timeless rhythm, smiling as she seemed to intuitively know how to move with him. Their bodies moved together, almost independently of the people inhabiting them, quickly building towards a release that had Buffy grabbing his shoulder with her teeth to muffle a scream while she shook and trembled beneath him. As soon as he felt her teeth on him, Spike’s demon burst out and he exploded within her, sinking his teeth into his own arm to protect the throat now exposed to him.
When his hips had stopped jerking and he felt as though he was once again in control, he raised his head and lifted his upper body off the girl now staring at him with wide eyes.
“You vamped out,” she said quietly.
“I did. I’m sorry – wasn’t expecting it.”
“Why weren’t you expecting it? Didn’t you do that with the other Buffy?”
“Sometimes,” he admitted. “But she knew what she was gettin’ into – you don’t. Didn’t want to scare you.”
She glared at him suspiciously, then noticed his bleeding arm. “You bit yourself? What’s that all about?”
He sighed and sat up. “Let me fix this, pet, then I’ll explain it to you. Alright?”
She nodded reluctantly and waited while he got a towel and wrapped it around his arm. The bite marks were already closing and she realized that the bruise that her own teeth had left on his shoulder would probably be visible far longer than the mark he’d given himself. He slid back into the bed and put his arm around her shoulders, pulling her next to him as he leaned back against the pillows.
“What do you know about claiming, love?” he began. “Did your watcher ever tell you about it?”
She nodded, a troubled frown on her face. “He told me it was very important that I never let Angel bite me – even in...in an affectionate way. That I would be in thrall to him if I did.”
“Ignorant wanker,” he growled. “That’s Council bollocks, pet. But it’s not somethin’ to be taken lightly. He was right about that.” He shifted so as to be able to see her face. “My demon—he wants to mark you as mine. Wants to put a claim on you. Most of the time, it’s not a problem, but when you bit me....”
“It was my fault?”
“No, love. Not your fault. Never your fault. Biting is...I ...I like it. Trust me,” he said wryly. “You’ll never hear me complain about you putting your little teeth on me while we’re makin’ love—“
“Is that what we were doing? Making love?”
“I’d like to think so, Buffy,” he said softly. “I’d very much like to think so. Can’t speak for you, but one of us was – you can count on it.”
Her quiet “oh” told him that she’d read between the lines and understood what he was not saying. Before she could break his heart by telling him that she didn’t feel the same way about him, he rushed on with his explanation of claiming.
“A claim is a...like a vampire marriage. A mutual claim can be forever if it’s renewed every once in a while. It’s pretty rare, actually. Most vamps aren’t monogamous and they’re not interested in making commitments that could last until they dust. A claim a vamp puts on a human marks that human as someone who is precious or otherwise important to him. Other vamps should honor it and leave that human alone. It’s for protection, not for control. Your watcher had that wrong – or he lied to you so you wouldn’t let it happen...”
“When do you get to the part about biting the other Buffy?”
He sighed and kissed the top of her head. “She bit me first, actually. Knows a bit about claiming, she does, and put her mark on me to try to make sure I would come back to Sunnyhell. Got a little carried away myself and bit her back. Wasn’t a really strong claim – just enough to keep other vamps’ teeth off her neck long enough for her to stake ‘em. I s’pect by now the other Spike has done it up right and they’re mated forever.”
“So you’re...mated...to her?”
He shook his head. “No, love. We didn’t go that far. I marked her and she did her best to mark me, but neither one of us was really in the right place for a claim to set up that kind of mystical connection. She was in love with the souled version of me that’s living with her now– and I still thought I was in love with Drusilla. We had a connection, but it wouldn’t have lasted, and it didn’t come through the portal with me. I can’t feel her anymore.”
“So, you bit your own arm because the demon wanted to bite me.” It wasn’t a question, and he didn’t bother to confirm it for her, he just looked at the bite that was no longer bleeding and threw the towel on the floor.
Buffy snuggled into the arms he wrapped around her and tried to sort out all the events of the evening.
“I think he was saying he loves me. But if he loves me, why didn’t he want to claim me like he did the other Buffy? Is it because he thinks I don’t love him? Do I love him? What did Buffy say - ‘give him a chance?’ I guess that’s what I’m doing. I’m giving him a chance. So far I think--”
“Penny for your thoughts, love,” he said, nuzzling her neck and noticeably inhaling her scent.
Hope I didn’t scare her. I didn’t actually come right out and tell her I love her, but she’s got to know what I meant. Don’t want her worrying that I’m going try to throw a claim on her without her permission...
“I was just...thinking,” she answered softly, kissing the inside of his bicep.
“You...us...the way things are changing so fast. I’m just...I need to think about what we’re doing and what it means.”
“Havin’ second thoughts, are you?” His voice was tight and controlled, but she could feel the slight tremor that went through his body and the almost imperceptible tightening of the arms that cradled her so gently. “If I pushed you too fast, Buffy, I’m sorry. I’ve wanted you so much, for such a long time – didn’t mean to—“
“I didn’t say I was regretting it,” she said quickly. “I’m not. I don’t. And you didn’t push me into anything I wasn’t already thinking about doing; I just didn’t know about all the other...stuff.”
“You mean, like the biting? I’m always gonna want to do that, pet. It’s a big part of being a vamp. But I would never do it without askin’ you first. And I wouldn’t put a claim on you.”
She squirmed around to face him and glanced up at his earnest face, frowning slightly.
“Why wouldn’t you?” she asked innocently. “Don’t you think I could use a little protection once in a while?”
“Were you paying attention when I told you why it wasn’t very strong between me and the other Buffy?”
“Yeah, you said she didn’t really love you and that you—“ She stopped as her brain caught up with her mouth and she remembered why he’d said it didn’t follow him into the new dimension. For long seconds they stared into each other’s eyes – Spike allowing everything he felt for her to show in his soft gaze, Buffy’s confusion equally visible in hers. He gently stroked her cheek as he put what she’d already guessed into words.
“If I put a claim on you, pet, I’d mean it. In every way. When – if – I say you’re mine, I want it to be true. For both of us. Would never force you into that kind of binding relationship unless you wanted me to. I don’t need it to love you, to want to protect you and to be with you forever. And, except for old Bat Face, I’d be surprised if there’s any vamp in this world that could get close enough to you to put his teeth on your throat. ‘s long as you don’t get careless, that is,” he added as he remembered finding the other Buffy pinned under a vampire that had taken advantage of her distraction. My fault, that was. Running out on her –letting the damn poof play me like that. Not gonna happen again. Not this time.
Rather than answering his words, which warmed her heart even as they made her worry that she wouldn’t be able to return his feelings, Buffy just kissed him gently and rolled back to her side, letting him pull her back against his chest. As she drifted off to sleep, she mumbled, “I guess this means we need to get a bigger bed...and another chest of drawers...and heavier drapes for this room...”
Her voice trailed off as she allowed sleep to overcome her, so she never saw the smile that spread over the vampire’s face as she calmly talked about moving him into her bedroom permanently.
“Get out!” Buffy grinned as Dawn reported on her visit to the Master’s dimension. “They were holding hands? That’s great!”
“Holdin’ hands is great? Oh yeah, I’m sure he was excited about that,” Spike grumbled, sticking his hands in his pockets. “Nothin’ to get a vamp’s blood pumpin’ quicker than holding hands with some chit.”
Buffy smacked him on the shoulder and glared. “Your blood doesn’t pump, asshole. And holding hands means they’ve started dating ...or something. It does, doesn’t it?” She turned back to Dawn, leaving Spike rubbing his arm and laughing quietly.
“I think so,” she answered with a smirk at Spike. “He kinda said they’d been on a date the night before, but she didn’t want to talk about it. She’s kinda scary sometimes...”
“Still not acceptin’ you as her sis, huh?” Spike asked sympathetically.
“I guess being stuck there by herself all that time...she probably felt pretty alone in the world. And now she’s got Spike – I think they’re pretty dependent on each other. I got that feeling even before they started holding hands.”
“I guess they feel like all they have is each other,” Buffy mused. “I wish there was some way for us to talk to them...”
“Oh! I forgot! I talked to the coven and we’re going to see if I can take somebody with me when I teleport somewhere! Wouldn’t that be cool? If I take an army of slayers through with me, the Master is history!”
“That would do it,” Buffy agreed slowly. “But if it’s that easy to move people around, why didn’t the powers just drop Spike into my bed in London and tell you to bring us here to help out?”
Dawn’s face fell. “I don’t know. Maybe it’s not as easy as I think...I said something about you guys wanting to help and Spike said unless you could throw stakes through a portal and hit something, he didn’t see how you could help them. That’s what gave me the idea – that I could bring slayers with me.”
“It’s a good idea, Bit. Jus’ might not be part of the Powers’ over all scheme, you know? But let us know what you find out. Could do with a bit more exercise myself.”
“If we don’t do something about the mayor before next month, you’re going to get more exercise than you want,” Buffy grumbled. “It’s not like we need to go looking for trouble – we’ve got our own right here.”
Dawn looked back and forth between them in surprise. “I thought it would be easy this time. You know what he wants to do and you know when he’s planning to do it. Don’t you think you can stop him?”
“He’s a pretty wily old demon,” Spike said diplomatically. “So far, the Slayer hasn’t been able to do much except plan to blow up the school again if it goes that far.” His eyes lit up. “Which, is alright with me. I’m sorry I missed that the first time – sounds like a lot of fun. I want to be the one who sets the explosives off this time. No sense letting the watcher have all the fun.”
“Well, he doesn’t have Faith this time – at least I don’t think he does...” Buffy’s lack of confidence in Faith’s loyalty was evident in the disappointment on her face. In spite of her best efforts, the younger slayer remained somewhat alienated from her and from the other Scoobies. At this point, they were counting on Angel to keep her on their side in the coming battle.
“Oh, the big poof will talk her around,” Spike said, rubbing her back reassuringly. “Don’t know what went down that first time, but I think she’s feelin’ a bit better about herself than she prob’ly did then. Hearing you talk about her coming back to help out against the First seems to have perked up her interest in playin’ on the right side. And she likes Joyce a whole lot more than she lets on - I can see it when she looks at her. A lot of that big bad stuff is just a front she puts on to keep from gettin’ hurt.”
Buffy and Dawn looked at the vampire with identical smiles and then giggled softly.
“Nothing,” Buffy said soothingly. Dawn was less willing to pretend and grinned at him as she said, “Well, you’d be the expert on that, wouldn’t you?”
While Spike growled with feigned anger, the two sisters hugged each other and said “good-bye”. “Be sure to keep us in the loop,” Buffy urged. “Even if you do end up taking some slayers with you – I want to know what’s going on.”
Dawn waved her agreement and summoned her portal, stepping into it and disappearing with one of her loud ‘pops’.
“Bloody hell, that hurts!” Spike grumbled, rubbing his ears. “What d’you suppose chances are that she can learn to do that without sucking all the air out the room?”
Buffy laughed softly and began tugging him towards the door. “Come on,” she said, “you can rub your poor ears while we walk to Giles’ apartment for the Scooby meeting.”
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