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Chapter 4
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Chapter 4

"You’ve been a bad dog, Spike."

Couldn’t deny that, could he. Spike looked uneasily away from the dark eyes watching him. Dru came and ran one long fingernail down his cheek, drawing blood. She brought the bloodied nail to her mouth and licked it delicately, like a cat.

"You taste of ashes." She gave him a drowsy, sideways look, her eyes half-closed and dreaming, not quite all there, off somewhere with her pixies. "Ash on the wind. You’ll burn from the inside out, Spike. Unless something changes."

He frowned. "Try again, poodle. Didn’t quite get that."

"Kill her, Spike."

He caught his breath. "Can’t. Blood oath. I’m bound."

"The pax? Find a way around it. You can if you want to."

Trouble was, he didn’t want to. Not yet. Hadn’t had enough of her yet, the Slayer. Wanted more. Addictive, like the Slayer blood running through his veins now, powering him. All that heat. Her mouth, and the tightness of her sheath surrounding him, and the way she moved under him, and the way she looked at him. So hot.

"Dancing with the sun," Dru mocked. "Moth to the flame. Break free."

"I’m trying!" he said desperately.

But neither of them had been able to break free last night, kept coming back to each other like magnets, turning and twisting and coiling about each other, taking each other again and again, both of them exhausted before she finally had to go back to her mother’s house. The vivid sensory memory of that aroused him all over again—thinking of that, thinking of the way she had wavered when she tried to get up to leave, her knees trembling under her. And he hadn’t been much better.

God, she was like a drug! Couldn’t stop the craving.

"Darkness can’t exist in the light, Spike. The sun burns shadows all away. Put out the light. You must."

"I know," he said, very low.

She moved away from him in that slow, floating fashion, like weed swaying underwater, drifting along in her white dress, the way her mind was drifting. Frail and fragile, the energy from the Hellmouth helping, but not enough.

"Daddy’s here," she said. The pixies had told her that too.

He laughed. He couldn’t help it. "Daddy’s all souled up."

"Daddy will fix things."

Yeah, right. Like Angelus had ever fixed anything. And ‘Angel’ wouldn’t do any better. He’d asked around about Angel after the Slayer told him about the soul. Nothing really of note. More remarkable for absence rather than presence. Dusted a few minor fledglings here and there, like on Parent-Teacher night, for instance, and that only in the last year. Some accomplishment. A century of ‘repenting’ didn’t seem to have achieved much. From what he had heard, Slayer had done a thousand times more in the couple of years since she was called than Angel seemed to have done in a hundred. He wondered what the great poof was doing right now.

Angel was trying to re-connect with Buffy and, puzzlingly, getting nowhere. She had always responded to him before, eager for his company, giving him those shy, hesitant glances that were full of promise, and those tremulous kisses that were still tentative, but getting hotter. But now she was aloof, watching him with an unnerving intentness, her eyes remote and looking oddly older and more mature. The innocence, the vulnerability, that had drawn him was gone. She was no longer hesitant, feeling her way, looking for guidance. She was decisive, collected, standing on her own two feet and looking dryly amused at his attempts to influence her. She was altogether strange.

"Yes, I know Spike has made himself the Master of Sunnydale, but, no, I am not going to stake him, Angel. We’ve agreed on a truce."

"There can be no truce between a vampire and a Slayer!" he exclaimed, shocked.

"There can be if blood oath is sworn."

"A pax?" He was even more astounded. "That might constrain him. A pax will hold a vampire who swears it. But you don’t have to be bound by it. It can’t hold you."

"My word does."

"But...are you going to let him go on feeding on people? Buffy!"

"He won’t feed. Part of the rules we worked out for the pax. We reached an accommodation."

"He’s going to bag it, like me? Spike? Buffy, if he told you that, he’s lying!"

"We reached an accommodation," she repeated, strolling along calmly with her thumbs hooked into the pockets of her jeans and her cool gaze fixed on the horizon. She was smiling faintly and he couldn’t tell what she was thinking. "He agreed to it. The oath will hold him."

"He’ll be trying to find a way around the pax. You must know he will."

"Probably." She shrugged. "I can...it will hold him for a while. Then we’ll see."

She was watching him with a sideways-slanting, mocking glance that oddly enough reminded him of Spike. Spike with some sort of hilarious, private joke. It had used to drive him crazy in Spike. Angelus had never had much of a sense of humor and Angel was just trying to acquire one. Back then, that laughter of Spike’s would drive Angelus to some of his worst excesses, trying to batter that look off Spike’s face. Laughter was the one peculiar weapon of Spike’s that Angelus had never been able to win against or destroy.

"I’m working on something more permanent," Buffy was saying as if she were conceding a point. But the laughter was still there, glinting in the sideways glance she threw him..

"What’s more permanent than a stake through his heart?" Angel yelled. "You can’t ever afford to forget that you’re enemies!"

"Well, we are enemies," said Spike when she told him about it in bed that night. They had just finished the first round of the evening and he was heavy upon her, still partially erect within her and gearing lazily up towards the second round, not really thrusting, just push and relax, push and relax with his hips. His eyes danced. "Really adds something, doesn’t it? Being enemies."

"Does that mean that you’re trying to find a way around the pax?" She clenched upon him in retaliation and he gasped against her face.

"Not yet. Haven’t had enough of this yet. God, those Slayer muscles!" He raised his head and grinned down at her, then laughed when she licked his teeth. "Only thing better than killing a Slayer is fucking one."

"Heard that before."

"Say that in the future, do I?"


"‘S true." He curved his back like a cat so that he could reach her breast and mouth it. Her breath left her in a little hiss and she arched to that wicked, knowledgeable tongue.

"So I don’t have to worry about you planning on killing me for a little while then."

"I should," he muttered. "I should."

"Will you?"

"Don’t ask me things like that," he said harshly.

"And I should make you leave Sunnydale." He’d be safe then. It was being with her, being in Sunnydale that put his life at risk. He wouldn’t burn up if he wasn’t at the Hellmouth. But she couldn’t give this up. Not yet. "There’s time."

"Time for what?" He pushed her head back and sucked the bitemark on her neck. She shuddered. "For this?"


"Slayer blood. I like taking it. You like having me take it." He was flickering in and out of gameface. "We’re both out of control. You know that, don’t you?"

"Yes. Don’t care."

They kissed intensely, arms locked around each other.

"Angel’s going to be a problem," she muttered.

His head came up and he stared at her. "I’m balls deep in you and you’re thinking of Angel?"

She giggled helplessly. "Just thinking of ways and means to keep you there."

He was laughing too. "I’d be happy to take care of Angel for you. Just lift that one rule and I will."

"No. I think I’ve figured out a way might do it."

"Good. Then let’s get back to what’s really important."

Round two began.

It was a week before she saw Angel again. Apparently he was sulking over her incomprehensible refusal to dust Spike. She didn’t mind. As long as he was brooding about it in his apartment, he wouldn’t be out trying to find Spike and dust him, supposedly for her benefit. The trouble with Angel was that he always thought he knew better than she did about things and might decide to do the deed and then argue whether it was right or wrong after the fact. Luckily, all those decades of brooding had made him slow at making up his mind. Later he would become much more decisive, but right now he was still making the transition from not doing anything to finally taking action. And Spike was surrounded by minions when he was at the factory. They might be fledglings, but their combined numbers would assuredly bring Angel down.

Buffy might know that Spike was certain to call all the minions off, preferring a joyous one-on-one fight with Angel to any guaranteed success. Luckily Angel didn’t. Angel was still seeing things through Angelus’ eyes and Angelus would never take on a fight he knew he couldn’t win. Angel still didn’t have a clue how Spike operated, couldn’t see that for Spike the risk, the glorious reckless gamble, was what made it all worthwhile.

"Angel’s here," said Willow happily in her ear, expecting her to be delighted with the fact, as she would have been only a while back when she had been a teenager with no alter-ego in her head. Angel tended to seek her out on patrol rather than socializing at the Bronze, uncomfortable with the loud music and the crowds, so Buffy had always been pleased when he did show.

"Wonder what’s up," Buffy remarked, amusedly watching Cordelia zero in on him.

"Oh, not another crisis," Willow sighed. "I was hoping you’d have at least one evening off. You’ve been so busy lately, Buffy. We haven’t seen much of you."

"I know," said Buffy with a guilty look. She’d been spending all her evenings after patrol at her flat...with Spike. And the only reason she was here now was because Spike was working on some project with a vamp called Dalton, and wouldn’t be able to make it to the safe house before ten. She glanced surreptitiously at her watch. It was nine-thirty. "But we have had a couple of hours tonight."

"It’s Saturday night." Willow’s lower lip was sticking out. "We should have more time than that. But here comes another apocalypse and you’ll have to leave."

"Mm," said Buffy, carefully noncommittal, trying not to give away the fact that in half an hour she would have made some excuse to leave anyway.

"Who’s leaving?" asked Xander, turning up beside them. "Night’s hardly started. Oh!" His face fell. "Deadboy’s here."

Angel was coming towards them, having managed to break away from Cordelia. Buffy hurriedly went forward to meet him, so that they could talk out of earshot of Willow and Xander.

"Angel. What’s up?"

"Nothing," said Angel, surprised. "It’s just that we haven’t seen each other for a while. I thought maybe we could just dance, talk, you know."

"Ah. Like a real date," said Buffy, amused. Wasn’t that just the way it was? Her teenage self would have fallen over herself at the rare opportunity to have a real date with Angel or even just spend an evening at the Bronze in his company. Now she couldn’t care less. "Um, there’s something we have to talk about. Will you wait here a moment?"

She went back to where Willow and Xander were standing, watching her nervously.

"Don’t tell me," groaned Xander. "World coming to an end?"

"For once, no." Buffy fidgeted with the ends of the long silk sash she was wearing wound around her waist as a belt. "But, um, Angel and I have something to talk over, so, um..."

"Yeah, yeah," sighed Xander and Buffy gave them both an apologetic look.

"I’ll call you tomorrow, okay, Will?"

"Okay," said Willow, then gave her a sly look. "Have fun."

Buffy laughed and gave her one back. "Planning to." Only not with Angel.

"What?" said Xander, as always one step behind. But Buffy was already heading back to Angel.

"Come on," she said.

Angel followed her out of the Bronze, then tried to kiss her once they were on the street. She pushed him away firmly.

"There’s someone I want you to talk to." She pulled out her cell and punched the button for a number she had already preprogrammed into it. "Hi, it’s Buffy. I know it’s Saturday and all, but could you possibly spare about half an hour of your time if I came over right n...Oh, thank you so much!"

"What’s going on?" asked Angel in bewilderment as she set off at a fast pace.

"Someone you need to see."

The lowrise apartment building she wanted was not far from the high school. They took the elevator up to the third floor and Buffy ran the bell at No. 304.

"Don’t ask us in," she said when Jenny Calendar opened the door. Jenny’s eyes widened as she looked over the top of Buffy’s head and saw Angel standing there. "I think you know Angel. At least by reputation, if not by sight."

"Er, yes," said Jenny wryly.

"There’s someplace outside we can sit and talk, right?"

"There’s a ledge around the raised flower bed," said Jenny, resignedly reaching for her keys. "It’s quite comfortable. How did you find out?"

"Long story."

"Find out what?" asked Angel in exasperation. "Buffy, I really need an explanation."

"Miss Calendar is a member of the clan that cursed you, Angel. And she’s the one who needs to give you an explanation."

Jenny ducked her head in embarrassment at Angel’s stare and went the rest of the way outside without looking at him.

Once they were all seated on the ledge, Angel and Buffy on either side of Jenny, Buffy said quietly, "You need to tell him about the curse."

"What about the curse?" demanded Angel explosively. "I know about the curse! I’ve had it over a hundred years!"

"You don’t know this," said Buffy patiently. "Tell him what breaks the curse, Jenny."

Jenny twisted her key ring around her fingers. "A moment of perfect happiness."

Angel looked from one to the other of them. "I don’t understand."

Jenny sighed and explained.

"So...if Buffy and I made love, I’d lose my soul?" Angel whispered at last when she had finished.

"And Angelus would come back and the killing would start," said Buffy flatly.

"I..." Angel jerked to his feet. "I...I have to think about this...I..."

Buffy nodded. "Go ahead."

He spun and almost ran down the street. They watched him go, then looked at each other. Jenny flushed vividly at the condemnation in Buffy’s eyes.

"You should have told us," Buffy said. "I almost slept with him, you know. If something hadn’t happened, I would have. And then Angelus would have been back and a lot of deaths would have happened."

One of which would have been Jenny’s.

"I kept thinking that there was no need," Jenny whispered. "That it wouldn’t happen."

"The risk was too great for that. One word would have made such a difference." She stood up. "At least, this time I knew."

Jenny looked up at her, puzzled. "What?" But Buffy just shook her head. "How...how did you find out?"

"Doesn’t matter. Thank you for telling him. He might not have believed me. Thought I was just being coy or something. This way it came from the horse’s mouth."

"If only I didn’t feel like a horse’s ass," muttered Jenny and Buffy laughed.

"It’ll all work out now. Isn’t there some way to...I don’t know...stabilize his soul? Lock it into place or something?"

"I’m not sure. I don’t think so, otherwise they’d have done it on the original curse. But I can look into it, if you like."

"Would you? It might make things easier for him."

Jenny looked up at her shrewdly. "For him. Not for you?"

"I have...other interests."

"So telling him about the curse was just an evasion on your part?"

"He needed to know about it," said Buffy, neither confirming or denying the rest. "Thank you. I’m sorry to have bothered you so late."

Spike was doing circles effortlessly on the pommel horse when she came in, feet neatly together, form perfect. He grinned at her, did a couple of scissors, then a deliberately flamboyant dismount.

"Show off," she said, amused. "Why have there never been vamps in the Olympics? They’d take every event hands down."

"And get staked the very next minute. It’s those pesky doctors all over every event. No heartbeat, no pulse, and a body temperature some twenty degrees below normal tends to give the entire medical team a collective heart attack and be immediately suspect. Why do you have a pommel horse anyway? That’s a men’s event."

"It came free with the rest of the equipment. I haven’t used it yet, but Giles did say I had to work on my upper body strength."

"Lifting weights would be better for your purposes, I’d say, and probably what your Watcher really meant." He laughed when she made a face. "Boring, but effective. Tumbling runs would probably be more fun. Best of all would be," he grinned at her, "sparring with me. Shall we?"


No one else could match her as he could, no humans having anywhere near her abilities, even when drug-enhanced like Riley. Sparring with Spike really honed her technique and they both enjoyed it, testing themselves to the limit against each other, no holds barred. This time ended up like all the other times, with one of them going down, pulling the other one down as well, and then the two of them rolling over and over, laughing and wrestling, twining limbs inevitably leading to passion.

They kissed hungrily.

"Love you," she muttered against his mouth.

His head jerked up and his eyes went yellow. "Don’t say that!"

"You knew that already. Why would I have come back if I didn’t?"

"Don’t say it." He kissed her painfully hard to shut her up.

But her mouth smiled under his, and her arms around him, her body arching to his, said it anyway, even in silence. He didn’t want to think about that, wanted to bury himself in her, lose thought in sensation.

"Let’s move this contest to the bed," he muttered.

"Much more comfortable venue," she agreed.

"What’s that you’re wearing?" he asked as they were undressing and she started to unwind the sash from around her waist. She looked up, surprised, then stretched the length of it between her hands to show him what it was. He laughed. "Feeling like a little bondage tonight, pet?"

"What? Oh!" She started to laugh herself. "Well, why not?"

His brows rose and he grinned. "You game? Let’s take a look at that thing. Silk." He tested it. "Yeah, it should hold."

He reached for her as she removed the last of her clothes and slid into bed beside him. He was already naked, having less to remove than she did, as always commando. She pushed his hands away and flipped the sash from his fingers.

"Not game. Oh, well," he shrugged. "Didn’t really expect...Well, hey."

She had knotted one end of the sash in a hitch about his left wrist. He started to laugh.

"Is that the way you want to play? And what do you know about it, Slayer?"

"You might be surprised. Do you trust me?"

He looked up at her, frowning. Then the tension that had been in him suddenly ran out of him and he relaxed.

"Yeah. I do." He raised his brows curiously. "Do you trust me?"

"I shouldn’t." He could still kill her, but she didn’t care. "But I do."

She made sure the confining hitch would neither tighten nor give, then fastened his wrist to one of the rails of the metal headboard and stretched the sash along to a rail on the other side. He raised his right wrist voluntarily to where she could easily place a corresponding hitch onto it with the other end of the sash. Then his eyes narrowed suddenly.

"Not into pain, Slayer."

"I know. That’s Drusilla. Not you. But bondage isn’t about pain, is it?"

His eyes smiled. "Maybe you do know something about it."

He was securely bound now, but they both knew that if he really wanted to, he could break the sash. But that wasn’t what it was about. He was ceding control of his body to her, surrendering himself to whatever she wanted to do.

"You drove me crazy before," she purred, leaning over him. "Now it’s my turn."

They were both laughing.

"Oh, yeah?" He raised his head to catch her mouth with his.

She let him, smiling, reaching wide to interlink her fingers with his. She sucked on his tongue, then drew back, hands running down his forearms, then ran her nails lightly along the sensitive inner side of his upper arms. He shivered.

"Yeah," she said softly, bending over him. "My turn. I know the game, sweet. The two of us have played it often enough. From here on, not your way but mine." She brushed her parted lips lightly over his face, teasing him. "Close your eyes. Or shall I blindfold you?"

He closed his eyes. Tacit permission. Now that he was in the dark, every touch would come from nowhere, unexpected and without warning, the more intense because of that.

Bondage was the teasing of the reflexes. Touches making him want to move; the bonds keeping him from doing what he wanted.

She knew all his buttons, knew exactly where his sensitivities were, started setting them off, an irregular series of touches, grazes, brushes of the fingers or the tongue anywhere on his body from head to toe—flick and gone almost before he could react. No pattern to it, nothing to anticipate, so that the whole body was aware and waiting in aching suspense. Kept it going, teasing him endlessly.

He was starting to writhe and move now, unable to help himself, his breath shuddering in his mouth, his body jerking involuntarily in reaction, muscles beginning to fire off and not fully relax before the next shock came, no place on him that wasn’t alive and straining for harder pressure, more contact.

She gave him that at last, open mouth sucking down that very lickable sixpack, up his inner thigh, across the hollows of his pelvis, one after the other.

"Christ, Slayer!" It was half a laugh, half a groan. He was straining against the silk now helplessly, twisted his hands to grip the rails of the headboard, pulling at them.

She covered his mouth with her own, kissing him deeply, cutting off his breath. He didn’t need to breathe, but it was hardwired into him, that need to breathe during passion that was so uniquely Spike. This was another frustration added to the rest.

She sucked down his throat and he arched it to her mouth. Anywhere on the neck was an erotic zone for a vampire. She lingered on his throat, smiling, feeling him shuddering continuously under her.

"So, do I know something about the game or what?"

"Oh, yeah..."

His eyes were open now, intensely blue, glazed over and unseeing, their focus internal. She loved seeing him that way, lost in the sensation that she gave him. It was hopelessly arousing, intensely erotic, the power that she had over him, what she could drive him to; she was nearly as close to the edge as he was.

She was using her nails and her teeth now, alone and in combination, varying the pressure, varying the place of contact—throat, inner thigh, nipple, ribcage, pelvis. Stretching it out.


She bit him below his navel and his whole body bucked.

He was fully and painfully erect by now. She flipped her hair so that it trailed over his stomach and cock. He made an agonized sound in his throat.

"Told you I’d drive you crazy."


She was using the flat of her hands now and the whole of her body, raking across him, twisting and coiling about him, using friction as a weapon, moving and touching everywhere except where he wanted, needed, to be touched the most.

"You're killing me, Slayer!"

She swung a leg across him and his hips arched, desperately trying to reach her. But she was only shifting positions. She laughed at him as he groaned in frustration.

"Make it up to you."

She bent and licked the underside of his cock, one long sweep from base to tip. He yelled.

"Like that, huh?"

She probed the slit at the top of his cock with the tip of her tongue, then had to back off hurriedly as his hips came right off the bed. He pumped the air three times before slumping back down again. The rails of the headboard were starting to bend under the pressure of his grip.

"Bloody hell, woman! Either ride me or untie me!"

If his hands had been free, he’d have flipped her onto her back and it would have been all over by now.

"Not through torturing you yet." She was playing with his balls and he was twisting mindlessly.

"Cruel. Worse than a vamp."

"Compliments will get you nowhere."

She was gasping herself, lost in sensation almost as much as he was, drunk on power. They were both so sensitized now that it was painful.

"Buffy!" It was a snarl.

Not ‘Slayer’. He had lost the distance he had tried to keep between them.

"There we are," she said with satisfaction and kissed him, her body sliding onto his.

She took him into her, but clenched her inner muscles so that her sheath was closed tight as she bore down on him and his cock had to pry her flesh apart to enter her.

"Oh, Christ!"

His reaction was immediate and violent. The sash ripped apart. His hands caught her hips, fingers bruising her flesh, dragging her down hard on him, and his throat arched back as he drove into her.

He was ramming into her, pistoning into her with all his strength, all control lost, eyes golden and blind, mouth open and gasping desperately for air against her face, just as she was gasping against his. They strained against each other, driving each other higher and higher. He went completely into gameface, even his body changing, becoming thicker, harder, more urgent within her. He lurched, coming up at her. His fangs slid into her neck and her brain whited out and her whole body convulsed and convulsed again in ecstatic waves as he drank. It was an unendurable rapture, unbearable, excruciating. She felt his body seize up, felt him pulse within her. They fell blindly over the edge together.

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