Sequel to Journeys; part of Journeys Series
“You okay?” Spike offered Buffy his hand, and pulled her up to her feet, his eyes noting the grimace she made as he did so.
“Yes.” She sounded disgusted, and Spike sucked in his cheeks, trying to hide his amusement, as he watched her brush down her clothes.
She could be so stubborn. ‘Course he liked that. Stubborn, determined, bloody proud. Yeah, he smiled to himself. That was his Slayer.
Everything might not yet have clicked back into place, but she’d come so far since she’d come back… He’d told her that everything she needed was inside her, and, with every day that passed, he grew more sure of the truth of that statement. He didn’t know if she believed it yet, but he’d seen signs of growing confidence in her, signs that she was attempting to take more control of herself and her life.
Like weaknesses. Or things she looked at that way.
The other night, she’d gotten pinned under a very large B’Lon D-elegion demon. It had been a couple of minutes before he could off the one he was fighting himself and come to her aid. By the time he was able to get her out from under that mountain of flesh, she’d already been in the throes of a panic attack.
Realizing what was happening, Spike had dropped to his knees and moved to pull her up into his arms. But Buffy had twisted away, refusing, for the first time, his help.
He knew she’d had panic attacks during the day, when she was alone. He didn’t think there’d been many, but there had been enough that she’d mentioned them. That had been the first time, though, that he’d seen her try to deal with one on her own. She curled onto her side on the ground, knees drawn up part way. Not a fetal position exactly, but leaning in that direction.
He’d had to force himself not to touch her, not to use his voice to soothe her. Been bloody hard, that. Looking back, he figured the whole thing had only last for three or four minutes, but by the time she pushed herself into a sitting position, he felt like he’d been watching her struggle to breathe for hours.
“I’m so sick of this,” she complained, gripping her knees, and bending her head over them. “Of being Gasp-O-Rama Girl.”
Spike rose fluidly rose to his feet, stepping back silently, and a minute later Buffy followed, her breathing still slightly ragged.
“Why can’t I control this? It’s just breathing. Everyone does it.”
“Not everyone,” he corrected. “Some of us are above that.”
“You breathe all the time,” she corrected his correction. Her tone was short. “And you have to be getting fed up with me gasping like some kind of – I don’t even know – gasping thing, half the night.”
He eyed her with derision. “Yeah, you finally figured it out, huh? Makes me wanna heave, tuckin’ you up in my arms.”
“You can’t tell me you’re not getting tired of sitting out on the roof, hanging out for the next Summers nightmare,” she insisted.
She was obviously working herself into a snit. When that happened, why did it so often seem to follow that she got all narky with him? Bloody bint.
“And just for the record, do you ever actually sleep?”
“I get by,” he muttered, turning away from her to pick up the stake she’d dropped.
Buffy snatched it out of his hand. “What the hell was that, anyway?”
“B’Lon D-elegion demon.”
“That translates from some obscure demon language to ‘mountain of gooey green flesh’ right?”
Actually, he thought it was more like ‘exalted savior’ but, at the time, he hadn’t thought his Slayer was really looking to further her education. Like her breathing, her temper had still been a bit rough about the edges, and it had taken a good twenty minutes for her to calm down again.
Spike thought the increasing aggravation with her nightmares and panic attacks was a good sign. She wanted to start dealing with her fears herself, to conquer them and to not lean on him as she had been. He approved of the desire, thought it was a good step, taken in strength. Hadn’t made it any bloody easier to hold himself aloof, though, watching her suffer like that, had it? He doubted she had any clue… At least if he was touching her, talking, making some effort to help… If she thought for one minute that he would abandon his vigil on the roof, knowing she still had nightmares almost every night, then she’d obviously gone over completely barmy.
“Stupid demon,” Buffy grumbled. If he laughed at her…
“Well, yeah,” Spike agreed. Why did it so often sound like, ‘Well, duh!’ the way he said it? “S’Dandma Demon. Not known for being very bright. Their brains are about the size of Harris’.”
Buffy lifted a shoulder and rolled her neck a little, trying not to be too obvious. That had hurt, damn it!
“What exactly was that, Slayer?”
Buffy looked away, embarrassed, but determined not to show it. “What?”
He snorted. “That pitiful excuse for a kick. Are your pants finally so tight that you actually can’t lift your leg anymore? Or is age catching up with you?”
You say one word about me not being firm enough, anywhere, and you will be dust in the wind, she thought. “That was a perfectly acceptable fighty-type kick,” she said instead. “That Sandman thing just ducked at the right time.”
“Riiight.” He drew out the word. “And that was an acceptable kick if the goal is to land yourself on your arse and give your opponent a golden opportunity to sink his two inch claws into you.”
He had prevented that, she supposed. The demon’s claws had been coming right at her face. She had to admit that Spike, by doing that whole ‘killing it’ thing, had probably prevented the need for stitches, or at the very least, annoying facial cuts. They healed pretty quickly, but she’d always thought she could single-handedly keep Maybelline in business with the purchase of cover up alone…
And she didn’t have to admit any such thing to him either.
She shifted her shoulder again, and with a roll of his eyes, Spike moved behind her. He put one hand on her left shoulder to brace her, and laid the other against her right shoulder blade. “Here?” he questioned.
“A little lower.”
His hand slid down to just under the jut of bone. “Here?”
She hissed in a breath. “Yeah.”
He started rubbing the spot that was causing her discomfort. Oooh, that felt good. Well, actually, it kind of hurt, but…
“I think we should step up your workouts at the Magic Box, love,” he suggested, not for the first time. “You know you need to brush up more.”
“I’m doing fine,” she said. Giles had told her he was very pleased, even impressed with how hard she’d been working. Why did Spike always seem to want to push for more? But, even annoyed, she didn’t pull away from him. She wasn’t completely stupid. His hands felt great.
Of course, Buffy acknowledged silently, she agreed with Spike… She had been working hard. But she knew she was still missing – something. If she worked just a little harder, a few more hours a week, maybe she could overcome that. Somehow compensate for it. Giles and Spike had been disagreeing about the whole training schedule. Giles claimed that she was making excellent progress, and that they could afford to ease up on her, cut back on her workouts. She wished she’d recorded those words coming out of his mouth, because she was certain such a tape would come in very handy someday. Spike disagreed, feeling she still had a lot to relearn. Buffy just wished they’d quit arguing and make a decision. She was willing to follow their advice, and…
That wasn’t right. She should be making the decisions. Or at least contributing. It was her job.
It wasn’t like her to sit back and let others work out the details. It hadn’t been before, and it couldn’t be now. Or ever.
She pushed away the mild panic that seemed to regularly accompany thoughts of her destiny.
“You’re not serious, are you? The ‘Sandman’,” his voice clearly conveyed his sarcasm, “almost played slice and dice with your face just now. The other night it was a Bjounjua demon.” At her puzzled glance over her shoulder, he elaborated. “Pale yellow, white hair on its nose, smelled of roast pork?” She gave a nod of recognition, remembering how hungry she’d felt after they’d killed it, and he went on. “It almost got the better of you. And they’re not very good fighters. Usually an easy kill.”
Spike sighed, and his hands shifted positions slightly as he continued the massage. “You are working hard, love,’ he assured her, his voice low now, and the sarcasm gone. “And your skills are sharpening. You know it, I know it, your Watcher is beaming with disgusting pride about it. But you’re not up to where you were, and that‘s where I want you. Where you need to be. You were out of the game for hundreds of years, after all.” He leaned over her shoulder and looked into her face, his eyes holding a faint smile. “Layin’ about. Getting lazy, maybe. Stale.”
“I know,” she admitted. “If you think… an hour more a day, maybe?”
“Two would suit me better, but I’ll go with one if at least half of that is sparring with me.” He paused. “Couldn’t do better than learning from the best, love,” he finished cockily.
“Is ‘the best’ coming to help us work out?” she asked, deadpan. “Don’t tell me Giles sent for someone from the Council?”
Buffy gave a huff of amusement, and tipped her head to the side, stretching a little. He really did have wonderful hands, she thought, enjoying their touch. He abandoned the hollow under her shoulder blade, and his hands moved up, stopping to massage the spot on each side of her neck where it curved into her shoulders. She almost purred as his thumbs began to apply pressure along her upper spine, right into her hairline.
“Your muscles are in knots here, love.”
“I know,” she said. “It’s been bothering me for a couple of days. It might have been that –” She had been going to say ‘Zoom-Zoom’ demon, but since she’d just mispronounced the other demon’s name, she thought she’d be better off not attempting it. How did he remember them all, anyway? It was so irritating. “—that pork smelling demon,” she substituted. “He did some big neck-snapping chop thing on me.”
“You should have put some ice on it right away, pet.”
She knew that. She was an expert on first aid. So why hadn’t she done it?
“Too late now?” she pouted.
“Oooh, pouty... Look at that lip. Gonna get it, gonna get it...”
For some reason, that outthrust lower lip always sent a potent bolt of lust through him. His hands stilled for a moment as he remembered Red’s spell. The one that had led to their brief, but very memorable, engagement. Buffy on his lap. Buffy wriggling on his lap. Buffy’s mouth. The way she’d kissed him... God, that mouth… His mind shifted to the way she’d been kissing him at the Bronze the other night. Even better. No Watcher sitting in the same room, or mucking about in the kitchen, clanging things together with disapproval. Spike’s mouth twisted with self derision. If Willow’s spells kept leading to such bleedin’ fantastic Buffy moments, maybe he should reconsider his objections to them. His body clutched. God, they’d been in a building full of people, and they’d been all alone...
Except for that bloody smart mouthed waitress, he remembered, trying to pull his mind away from the memory of how his Slayer’s body had arched and moved against his as she’d climaxed. Didn’t work. He almost groaned out loud, the memories working on his body the way nature intended them too. He swallowed, and his hands resumed the massage. A little more caressing now, perhaps...
“Too late to do any real good,” he affirmed. “Doesn’t mean it might not still make you feel a bit better. Why don’t you give it a try – put some on when you get home?”
“Do you have any ice in your crypt?”
This time he forced his hands to keep moving, even though he felt like something had just struck him hard in the chest.
“Yeah,” he managed to say. His voice was soft as he went on. “You wanna stop there, love?”
“I don’t know. You have any good movies there that we haven’t watched yet?”
Her tone was even, calm. Was he misreading this? He could usually read her pretty well. What did it matter? Time with Buffy was time with Buffy.
His lips curved. “I might,” he conceded.
“The ice feel good, pet?”
“Yeah. I’m not sure if it will have any lasting benefits, but at least the cold is completely numbing the pain. So, right now? Success.”
She readjusted the bag of ice against the back of her neck.
“Who’s that actress?” she asked.
Spike had checked the movie out from the library, which seemed to have ‘wigged’ Buffy a little. Didn’t have to steal everything, did he? So what if he didn’t always get the films he checked out back by the due date? Or sometimes, ever? She’d told him she liked these older films, and like a poof, he wanted to make sure he had some on hand for her.
He checked the box the film had come in. “Ruth Hussey.” He squinted at the fine print in the dim light of the crypt. “No, wait. That’s the sister. Gail Russell,” he corrected himself. “Never heard of her.”
“She’s beautiful,” Buffy observed. “Look at her eyes! They’re luminous. Do you think it has something to do with the black and white film?”
Spike snorted softly in amusement.
“You haven’t been back all that long, love. Living with Red and Tara rubbing off on you already?” he jibed.
“Very funny, fang boy.”
He was lying on his side on the sofa, and Buffy was sitting on the floor leaning back against it near his hip. They often sat like this when watching a film. Sometimes, like now, his fingers touched her hair, toyed with the long strands. She seemed to enjoy it. If he stopped before she apparently thought he should, her head would make an encouraging little gesture. If he didn’t continue on then, she would glance over her shoulder, a tiny line of unconscious demand forming between her brows. She never said a word, never said that it felt good, or that she enjoyed it, or that she wanted him to do it. Could be she wasn’t even aware of her actions. When she took her seat on the floor, though, she would glance at his position, and place herself within easy reach of his hand.
Tonight, she was slumped into a rather uncomfortable looking slouch, assumed to hold the bag of ice in place.
By the time The Uninvited was over, the ice had melted and been discarded, and Buffy had shifted onto the sofa, where she was curled into the corner near his feet, asleep.
Her eyes flew open. God, had she fallen asleep again? She knew she tended to do that here. She loved this sofa. It was so comfy. It seemed kinda familiar, too...Whatever. So comfy...so tired... Seconds later she was forcing her eyes back open. She had to go home. She sat up, rolling her neck and shoulders. The ice and the massage had done some good, it seemed.
“Better?” Spike asked from somewhere behind her.
She stood and turned toward him.
“I should head out before I fall asleep.”
“I’ll practice my long unused gentlemanly manners, and not mention that you’ve been snoring for fifteen minutes.”
“You’re right. They’re long unused.”
He followed her to the door, and when they reached it she turned back toward him to say goodnight.
Could possibly be considered ambiguous move number one.
He leaned toward her a little, and she lifted her face.
Could possibly be considered ambiguous move number two.
He inhaled her scent, and she tilted her head to the side, which resulted in him bending closer, exploring it more fully.
Could possibly be considered ambiguous move number three.
It was like the third strike. She was out. She just wasn’t sure what she was out of. Time? Patience? Her mind?
He hadn’t touched her since he’d kissed her in the living room when they’d been arguing.
But he looked at her. A lot. And it wasn’t anything like the way he’d looked at her before ‘Joan’, or even before – the tower. This was different. More – personal. As if he knew things about her now that he hadn’t known before. His eyes would linger on her face, as they’d always done, but his expression was different. And not just all hot and lustful. Well, okay, sometimes it very hot, and bursting out with lustful. But usually it was more – intimate – than that.
But he hadn’t touched her since he’d kissed her in the living room when they’d been arguing.
Sometimes when they were working out, practicing some defensive move, he would pause, close to her, and she would see his nostrils flare. His eyes would darken and touch on her mouth, on the line of her throat. And then, when her own eyes moved to his mouth, he would step away.
And he hadn’t touched her since he’d kissed her in the living room when they’d been arguing.
That look did things to her, made heat curl inside her, made her want to step closer to him, to feel him… Sometimes she wanted to do some serious leapage, even though all kinds of things inside her were screaming at her that she wasn’t in any shape, mentally or emotionally, to start any type of ‘thing’. And even though she’d had a few leap related dreams, and had even, to her surprise, especially the first time it had happened, done a little training room fantasizing, she just didn’t know what type of ‘thing’ it would be.
Why hadn’t he touched her since he’d kissed her in the living room when they’d been arguing?
Except she was pretty sure the sex would be good. Really good. Really, really good. With amazing overtones. Which kind of brought her back to the way he’d been looking at her. And the curling heat, and the idea that maybe she didn’t need to write a definition of ‘thing’ right now. Maybe she needed to do some – research – first. Or maybe she could just relax, and see if the definition evolved on its own.
If he ever touched her again.
Her reactions to him the other night at the Bronze had caught her off guard. But strangely, they hadn’t really surprised her. Which seemed contradictory, but totally wasn’t. When he’d bent down and kissed her, her first reaction had been something deeply profound, roughly translating to ‘Huh?’. ‘Huh?’ had been quickly followed by the far more literate reaction of ‘Finally!’ Oh yeah, she mentally rolled her eyes, that just hovers right up there near the top of the ‘Buffy Logic Scale’.
Maybe her brain had stopped any functioning beyond wondering why the hell he hadn’t touched her since he’d kissed her in the living room when they’d been arguing!
She’d spent endless hours with him since she’d come back, had lain in his bed, in his arms, had talked with him, and been silent with him, had taken comfort from him, had maybe given it, too, a few times, and… She didn’t want to mess that up. Didn’t want to do anything to lose that, or make things awkward, because she needed those things from him right now. Peace, warmth, comfort. She knew that, but… but…
But it had been so long since anyone had touched her. So, so long.
Hundreds and hundreds of years.
She wanted to be touched, had felt a growing need for it since their ‘moment’ in the Bronze. And she wanted him to do the touching.
Like he’d touched her and kissed her in the living room when they’d been arguing. Only more. Much, much more. More touch. More kiss. Less argue.
His voice came out in a soft hiss. “Buffy.”
Her eyes were huge as they locked on his.
He leaned in closer. But instead of kissing her, he nuzzled his nose against her cheek, and slid it along the line of her jaw. Her name escaped him again. “Buffy...”
Just before his mouth closed over hers, she turned away. Why? She wanted this, wanted him. She knew she did.
It might not be smart timing, she might not be ready, but she still did.
She was facing the door, almost pressed up against it. He didn’t back away. Instead, his hands flattened onto the door on either side of her head. He wasn’t touching her at all, but his body was surrounding hers. She could feel it. Him. She could feel him all around her. Sometimes she thought she could feel him inside her. Flowing through her veins like blood.
“Stay...” The single word came out so low, and with such intensity, that she shivered. A plea. An invitation. And a promise.
She watched his hand move down the door. Oh god. It was a door! How could he make that look so – so caressing, so – oh, god.
“I can make you feel so good, love.” He still wasn’t touching her. “You know I can.” He leaned in and touched his lips to the pulse point just under her ear. To that half hidden little spot she’d never even been aware of until the other night at the Bronze. Since then, she touched her fingers to it several times a day, remembering how it had felt to have his mouth there, to have his tongue lightly tasting the skin there that she now knew was mind-numbingly sensitive.
Her breathing had grown shallow, and her heart was pounding, sounding incredibly loud in her ears. Was that just some sort of audio illusion? Or could he hear it? Buffy knew she didn’t have to ask. He was conscious of the beat of her heart whenever they were anywhere near each other, and she was as sure of that as she was that her heart beat at all.
“Stay,” he said again, his voice bathing her in heat. “I can make you come all night. Again and again, love. Take all that tension out of you. Make your body explode. Time after time.”
“It’s just us, love,” he whispered. “Just you and me.” His mouth slid down her neck and his blunt teeth nipped softly at her collarbone. “Just us, Buffy.”
She loved how he said her name.
His hands touched her then, moving away from the wood of the door to seek the warmth of her body. They touched her hips, hesitating for a moment as though they longed to settle there, but then he splayed his fingers, and let his hands glide down the front of her thighs. He moved up closer behind her so that finally, finally, she could feel his chest against her back, pressing close. His mouth continued to explore her throat.
“Stay, love,” he husked. “Let me make you feel good.”
I want him. I wanna let him make me feel good. And, oh god, I wanna make him feel good, too.
His hands stroked their way slowly back up her thighs, and she could feel her body tightening, tightening... He was going to touch her, going to... Oh, god, oh, god, oh, god. Yesss. Like that. Just. Like. That. With an almost breathless little moan, she let herself lean back into him, and her body began to move against his hand, against those fingers.
“You want me to make you come? Right here, right now?”
“Yes.” Had she said that out loud? “Now.” Oh, god. And that, too?
He sucked in an unneeded breath, and she felt a little shudder go through him. Then, “Anything you want, love. Anything.”
He started to work the fastenings of her pants, and she tightened up for a moment. Last chance to give this more thought before…
His hands stilled.
“Be better without them,” he promised her.
And then, oh, god, she was helping him, sliding them over her hips and stepping out of them as he pushed them down her legs. He didn’t give her any more time to change her mind. His hand slid between her legs, and his fingers were moving on her again, this time with only the thin cotton of her thong separating them from her flesh.
“God, love. Your heat. I’d swear I can feel it burning up my whole arm. And you smell so good. So good.”
Buffy let her head fall back against his shoulder, arching her throat. Spike’s mouth touched it, caressed it with lips and tongue, slid up it to her jaw.
“Give me your mouth.”
Long, hungry kisses. Urgent tongues. Hard body around hers, enveloping hers, supporting her as she leaned back into him, her head twisting to seek his mouth over and over, to taste him again. Heat no longer curling inside her, but consuming her. And all the while those clever, knowing fingers…
“Beautiful. So beautiful.”
“Unnh. Unnh. Need…”
“What?” he prompted. “What do you need?”
His right hand was resting just under her navel, caressing softly, and with a little cry, Buffy laid both her hands over it, and pushed it up under her shirt, pressing it hard against her breast. The longed for contact reached deep down inside her, dragging out the long moan that she voiced.
“Yeah, show me,” he encouraged. “Show me what you want.”
She began to move almost desperately against him, pressing her body against his hands, and, at the same time, continuing to hold his right hand hard, oh harder, to her breast. Her hips were circling and thrusting against his fingers. He made a harsh sound in his throat, and tore away her dampened thong, tucking it into the back pocket of his jeans. His right hand closed around her breast, and he squeezed the firm mound as his fingers slid more deeply into her folds. They were stroking her, touching her, sliding against her, spreading the ready moisture, and he groaned as he felt her quivering against his fingers.
“Woman,” Spike muttered, and she came, shuddering in his encircling arms.
His own body was shaking as he turned her, and pushed her up against the crypt door. He lifted her a little, and she moved with him, letting him position her just how he wanted her since it was clear he had… oh, ohhh.
“Ah, there. Right there. Feel how hard I am for you?” he asked, moving her against his aroused flesh. His voice grew more insistent. “Feel me?”
“Yes,” she whispered. “I feel you.”
“I’ve been thinkin’ about this since the other night. Of feelin’ you riding me again, but here, against the ridge of my cock instead of my thigh. Of feelin’ you right through my jeans, wet and hot. Feelin’ you.
His voice, hot and hoarse, sent a bolt of heat straight to her groin. Oh god. She locked her eyes onto his, staring into them. The room was lit only by the flickering light of the television and a few candles, but she could still see the blue in his eyes. And the look. That look. That intimate, private, you’re-the-only-woman-who-will-ever-see-this-look-in-my-eyes look.
Buffy brought one of her hands to his face, and laid her palm along his jaw. Her thumb brushed across his lips, distracting him from her eyes, and Spike turned his head slightly so that he could concentrate those lips on her thumb and slide them into her palm. But that wasn’t what she wanted. Now right now. She pressed her hand harder to his face, bringing their eyes back into contact.
“I feel you,” she said again, and began to rock against him, moving her hips, experimenting until she found just the best way, just the right movement. There. That. For a brief moment, she allowed her head to drop back against the crypt door, and she gasped his name out quietly.
“There, that’s it,” he said. “Feel good? Buffy? Tell me.”
‘Ahhh. Yes, so good.” Buffy wrapped her arms around his shoulders and pulled his body closer. Her lips went to his ear. “Shhh, slooow.” She drew back just enough to meet his eyes. “We have time…”
Spike’s lips pursed, taking on a wicked cast. “Yeah?” His tone conveyed his willingness to explore a different pace, and he complied, his movements slowing.
She felt his urgency begin to drift away as his mouth sought hers, his body rocking against her with a slow, sweet pressure. The kiss was long and lush and perfect. God, he had a way of putting his whole body into his kisses. His tongue touched hers, tasting her, tantalizing. No rush. No hurry. His hands left her hips and stroked down her thighs, slid back up, cupped her, rocked more deeply.
“You feel so bloody good. Wrap your legs around my waist and hold on, love,” he said into her mouth. When she did, he moved across the room, carrying her, kissing her, his arms wrapped under her, holding her to him. And then they were falling, falling, weightless, and she didn’t understand what had happened, how he’d done that, made her feel that, until she realized that they had fallen, or rather, jumped, to the lower level of the crypt. He never even stopped kissing her, and he kept it up as he carried her to the bed.
She’d been down here once or twice since she’d come back, ‘Don’t stop talking. I can breathe when you talk’, but she couldn’t seem to remember any details. She probably hadn’t been in any shape to pay attention. Now, her eyes followed him as he moved about the room lighting candles, and she was surprised and pleased by how much she liked it. It was bold, and rather decadent, a mixture of rough walls and a wide variety of textured fabrics, most of them soft and touchable, and it somehow suited him. The flickering light of the candles cast a warm glow over the room, and across the sheets of his big bed.
He came back to her, and paused, looking at her laying there for a moment before he put one knee on the bed next to her. She was already naked from the waist down, and his hands made short work of removing her shirt and her bra. He was fully clothed, and she was – not. Buffy felt the blood rushing through her body as color suffused her skin. Her hands went instinctively to her breasts, covering them.
“No,” he whispered. But he didn’t try to tug her hands away. He just used his voice. “Don’t cover yourself. Don’t hide, love. Let me see you.”
She let her hands fall to her sides, where they clutched at the sheets, instead. She had to hold on tight to – something.
“God, look at you.” That wonderful voice was hushed, almost reverent, as his eyes flowed over her body. “You’re like sunlight made flesh. Like all my dreams of you.”
She reached for his hand, moving to bring it to her face. “Did you dream of me?”
“Did you dream of me?”
The intense pain that tore through him at the words caught him by totally by surprise, catching in his throat, his chest, twisting in his gut. He didn’t have a bloody clue how he kept from crying out. He’d just mentioned dreaming of her. Why did her voice saying the words do – this?
Falling. She was falling. He couldn’t get to her, couldn’t stop it, couldn’t save her. Her body crashed to the ground, close, so close to his own. So close. A few feet, no more. The sound of the impact would never stop echoing in his mind. The sound of death. Her death. And he just lay there, useless, worthless. Fucking worthless. He just lay there and watched her die.
“Did you dream of me?”
To the edge of sanity. Maybe beyond.
He kept his reaction from showing on his face. He knew he did. More than a century of practice sometimes paid off. Didn’t even clench his jaw or make a fist. He just tried to swallow the screaming pain in his throat. Never show pain. Ever. Not any kind of pain. Pain was a weakness and weaknesses could be turned against you. He’d lost it a few times over the summer, had, like a bloody fool, revealed things he never should have allowed anyone to see. He hated himself for the weapons he’d handed over, to the Watcher, to his Slayer’s little pals. That they hadn’t used them yet didn’t mean they wouldn’t.
His eyes fell away from her, lingering on his hand, watching as his fingers closed over the slight swell of her hip. “Yeah,” he said quietly. “Some –” his voice cracked a little, and, after a second, he gave up trying to finish the word.
Echoes of emptiness.
A phantom presence coming to him in his crypt. Soft hands, delicate touch tracing over muscle and sinew, making him ache with loneliness and pleasure. Words he couldn’t make out being whispered into his throat, followed by his own pleas as she started to dissolve into nothingness. Please, love, stay. Stay here with me. Stay.
She never did.
“Did you dream of me?”
Remembered agonies. Push them away, push them down, cloak them.
She was here now.
“Spike?” Her hand slid into his hair. “I’m here now,” she murmured his thoughts to him, and raised herself up to kiss him.
He took her mouth, lost himself in the taste of her, took comfort in her flavor. Solace. Had she heard the pain in his voice? Don’t… don’t… Her kiss eased him, drawing his pain out of his throat… Buffy. He sank his hands into her hair, held her head, turned it just a little. His tongue found hers, tangled with it, sucked it back into his own mouth. Don’t…
Don’t be so bloody stupid!
She’s here now, lying naked in your bed. How bleedin’ often do you think that’s gonna happen? Don’t be a git. And don’t, for fuck’s sake, let her see.
You promised to make her feel good, make her explode all night long. Do that. Just that. Show her you can… That you can be more than…
“I still do,” he murmured, his voice stronger. “Dream of you.” There were only waking dreams now. Fantasies. Bloody good ones. She’s here. Look at her. Deliberately, he laid his hands over her breasts, molding the feminine flesh for a moment before stroking his palms up over her shoulders, and running them down her arms to her hands, briefly entwining their fingers. His eyes fell closed.
“Like this,” he murmured, his eyes opening again to drift over her. “Laying across these sheets, here on my bed.”
“Like this. Laying across these sheets, here on my bed.”
His voice was like dark velvet, smooth and sinful.
He raised one of her hands and brought it to his mouth, bending his head to press a kiss into her palm. Oh, she liked that more every time he did it. He looked at her from under his lashes, and she caught her breath at the expression in his eyes, the wicked promise.
“I’m gonna make you feel so good, love. So good.”
When he released her hand she pressed it to his chest, and stroked it over the male breast, feeling the tight nub of his nipple. She moved it on up, along his neck and then slid her fingers into his hair again, tugging him down to her.
He resisted a little, and shifted his body before lowering his mouth to hers, so that none of his weight came down on her body.
His kiss was long and deep, and he lifted his mouth just long enough to reassure her. “I won’t pin you down, Buffy… won’t make you feel – trapped – in any way.”
Warmth flared inside her at his words, at the consideration behind them. It hadn’t occurred to her that she might feel uncomfortable or panicky under his body, and she was surprised he’d thought of it.
And then his mouth went to her breast, and Buffy forgot everything else, as pleasure exploded through her entire body. Oh god, oh my god. Men had done this to her before. Of course they had. At least – hadn’t they? He was just, he was just sucking on her breast, pulling her nipple into his mouth, and… Oh god. How did he make it feel so…? She’d been expecting… but this was… She was unprepared for the intensity of the sensation, the zinging pleasure shooting through her body.
His right hand was cupping the breast he was drawing on, and his left hand had moved to her other breast, where his fingers were doing the most wonderful things to her nipple. Touching, and tugging, and flicking at it, and twisting it, and…
Buffy clasped an arm around his neck and pulled his head closer to her as she pushed her breast further into his mouth.
“More,” she moaned out, her body moving restlessly on the sheets. “Oh, god, more.” He complied until her hips were arching off the mattress, seeking his.
But his hips weren’t there. His whole body was completely off to the side, his hips much closer to her head than to her hips, where she wanted to feel them. Now. Right now.
“Spiiike…” her voice was strung out, both plea and demand.
His mouth left her breast, lifting just a little. Oh, don’t stop!
“I’m busy, love,” he murmured. His tongue flicked out and teased her nipple, an unnecessary reminder of what was occupying him. His voice fell to a suggestive whisper. “Touch yourself,” he urged, right next to her ear. “Bring yourself off.” He brushed his mouth over hers. “Let me watch…”
“No,” she rebelled, feeling a jolt of shock go through her. “No.” She’d never done anything like that. Well, er, in front of anyone.
“Then you’ll have to wait,” he said, taunting her a little. “If you can…”
His head returned to her breast, and she arched under his mouth again, moaning deeply. This was torture. Angrily, she grabbed his left hand and tried to push it down her body, but he resisted her until she entwined their fingers. Then, for some reason, he gave in, and their hands slid together down across her stomach until they nestled between her legs. They moved together, oh, yeah, like that. Moved, and pressed down, and fingers – his or hers? – touched aching flesh, stroked, swirled, a little more, a little more, and she climaxed again.
Buffy felt him move, and when she was breathing normally and had managed to open her eyes, he was lying next to her, his still fully clothed body pressed closely to the length of hers. She tried to force her eyes to focus.
“Why are you wearing so many clothes?” she asked dazedly.
“I’m jes’ seein’ to my lady,” he told her quietly. “Tonight, all night. Just takin’ care of you.”
“Let me do this for you, love.”
There was something in his voice, some odd inflection that made her study his solemn eyes carefully. She didn’t know what it was, or why he wanted to deny himself and concentrate on her, but she could see that it was somehow important to him, held some significance she couldn’t quite capture and he didn’t intend to share.
As she watched, his eyes changed, glinting. “I’m big on anticipation, pet.”
She followed his lead. “You? Anticipation? Mr. Jump the Gun? Mr. Abandon Well Laid Plans ‘Cause You Got Bored? That you?”
He shrugged, lips curving. “Didn’t say I was always good at it. Jes’ sayin’ as a concept…”
Her sound of amusement trailed off into an ‘ummm…’ of pleasure as he lifted himself, and pressed his face to the soft curve of her abdomen. He nuzzled her there for long minutes, and her hands threaded through his hair, sending the once carefully groomed strands into further disarray.
“Roll over,” he instructed, rising to his knees. Did she have a backbone? Buffy wondered as she obeyed him without question. He straddled her, still without putting any real weight on her, and then, oh god, she knew she had one, because he was massaging it, and it felt, oh, perfect…
“Oooh,” she moaned, and it was an entirely different kind of moan. “Yummm.” The brief massage earlier, in the cemetery, had been wonderful, but this… This could become seriously addictive. Ooh! They could get some oils, and…
“I’ll pick up some oils, love,” he said. “Give you a rub down after we work out.”
“Not at the Magic Box.” Her voice was muffled by the sheets.
“No? Afraid it might lead to something else? Something your Watcher would be shocked to walk in on?”
“It could at that,” he agreed.
Strong, smooth strokes of his hands over her shoulders, down her spine, along the slender lines of her back. She had a beautiful back, he thought. He ran his fingers over every vertebra, tracing the curves of her shoulder blades, the dip near her waist, the tender flow from waist to hip on her sides. He loved her hips. His hands sought them constantly, and he fantasized about them more than any other part of her body, with the possible exception of her mouth.
Her hips… holding them, shaping them, squeezing them tightly as he thrust into her, holding them in place, keeping her just where he wanted her, lifting them, lifting them into his thrusts, going deeper, deeper…
Oh, next time, next time…
Anticipation is good, he told himself again. Probably builds character or some sodding thing like that.
He was working the muscles in the backs of her thighs now, and he took pleasure from feeling how boneless she’d gone under his massaging hands, how utterly relaxed she was.
“You could make a living at this,” she murmured.
“As a masseuse?” he responded, humor lacing his tone. “Or as something else?” He ran a finger between her thighs, almost dipping inside her, teasing her. Wouldn’t want her too relaxed. He had plans…
“Oooh.” Her body jumped a little. Maybe she was anticipating a few things herself. “Either.”
“Rather be on an exclusive retainer, love.”
“I don’t think I can afford you.”
“Slayers get bargain prices, didn’t you know?”
He lifted a leg and began to work her calf.
“Oooh,” she approved again. “I’ll check my budget.”
Gradually, he worked his way back up her legs, over the curves of her bottom to her lower back. He put a little more pressure on, massaging deeply. He bent to her, and as his hands slid up her back, his mouth touched the base of her spine. Inch by inch, his mouth moved over the slim expanse of her back, trailing faithfully after his hands. Over her shoulders, down her sides, blunt teeth nipping at her hip, then at one rounded cheek.
Her hips began to rock very slightly against the bed. Ohhh, getting hungry.
“Buffy,” he said, very quietly. “Roll over again…”
Spike was leaning back against the headboard, and she was in his arms, her back against his chest, as she sat between his spread legs. His right arm was wrapped loosely across her upper chest, his hand curling around her left bicep. His left hand was conducting a leisurely exploration of every curve of her stomach, her thighs, her arms and breasts, touching whatever, wherever it could with disrupting the cloak of contentment that surrounded them. The velvet warmth of her skin was a revelation to him, a source of wonder and intoxication.
It had taken a bit of time, but somewhere during the massage and what came after, she’d seemed to grow comfortable with the fact that he was still fully clothed and she was without a stitch. When they’d sat up, she’d made a vane and very half hearted attempt at modesty by pulling the top sheet up over her legs. But it was pooled somewhere around her hips now, and she wasn’t reaching for it. He was glad too, almost hypnotized by the way her skin was glistening in the candlelight. He watched the patterns the flickering light sent dancing over her flesh, and sent a finger to follow some of them.
“I don’t think I have any bones left,” she murmured. The drowsy contentment in her voice ran all through him.
Her head was resting back against his shoulder, her eyes half closed. She’d curled one of her hands over his forearm, and her fingers were moving in tiny little patterns against his skin.
Spike laid his restless hand over her abdomen, letting it linger there, as his thumb lightly traced circles around her navel.
“You’re so beautiful, Buffy. Your skin… Mmmm. Soft.”
He rested his chin on her shoulder.
“Still effective, even when you’re a big girl,” she said lightly.
“You’re not a girl,” he told her. Didn’t she know? “You’re a woman. Woman’s mind and body. A woman’s power.” He turned his head and brushed his lips against the side of her neck. “That girl I first saw dancing in the Bronze four years ago is all grown up now, love.”
“She did it right, too,” he approved. “Obviously knew what she was about.”
They lounged in near silence, comfortable together. Occasionally, one of them made some quiet inconsequential comment, meaningless and soon forgotten.
Inevitably, his stroking hand changed its tune of intimate discovery to one of desire. Buffy’s little gasps and catches of breath acknowledged the new melody.
“You might be tired of being ‘Gasp-O-Rama Girl’, but the kind of gasps you’re making right now? I could listen to them for hours and hours.” He nuzzled her against her neck, encouraging her to drop her head back. He went on, whispering into her throat as his lips and tongue found a pulse point and lingered. “Want to. Intend to. Will.”
Spike took her hands in his, and laid them against her stomach, laying his own over hers, his fingers sliding between hers. He began to guide her hands, sliding them up to her breasts, and pressing them against the firm mounds. He held them there, flexing his hands so that her own were lightly squeezing her breasts.
“Show me how you like to be touched,” he invited, and the husky words, murmured over her shoulder, sent a flood of arousal through her. Her hips jerked.
“You already seem to know,” she told him honestly.
“Can never know too much.” His hands pressed hers tighter. “Show me what pleases you, how you want me to touch you.”
“Show me, love.”
Buffy closed her eyes and let sensation take her over.
Hands flowing over her body. Hers. His. Touching.
“Is this better?”
“Do you want me to touch you here? Here?”
Press tighter, closer.
“Do you want to feel my mouth? Do you want me to lick you? Suck you?”
Limbs entwined, bodies moving together.
“And here? Do you want me to use my tongue? My teeth?”
Hands breaking apart as hers wrapped into his hair.
Breathless demand. “Don’t stop.”
His cheek swept over the tender skin of her inner thigh as his hands slid under her body, cupping her, lifting her to him. His mouth sank into her flesh, and his lips and tongue did the most amazing things to her… Pressing in, pulling out, plunging, swirling, plunging…
Don’t stop, don’t stop, don’t ever stop…
The tremors of orgasm caught her body and Spike ummed with satisfaction as he lifted his mouth from her core. So bloody beautiful. He wanted to be inside her, wanted to feel this… His hand sipped between her legs and he pushed his thumb up into her tight passage, wanting to prolong her pleasure and to experience it more intimately.
“Ooohhhaaahhhgaa,” Buffy cried out, and her hips arched off the bed, thrusting wildly against his hand.
Spike’s eyes flew to her face, the intensity of her reaction surprising him. Her face was flushed, transformed.
“Oh, fuck, love. Oh, god,” he groaned, and met the frantic movements of her body, twisting and plunging his thumb deeper, building, incredibly, another orgasm on top on the one still lingering. She was making the most amazing sounds. Wild. Needy. Demanding. Fuck. Just watching her… He’d had his fingers inside her earlier, stroking, touching her in ways she’d certainly seemed to be enjoying. But this… The slightly different angle of penetration had obviously resulted in the discovery of some delicious hot button inside her that his thumb was hitting on just right…
She was writhing, moaning, crying out her pleasure with force.
“The headboard, love. Grab it and hold on.”
Not completely mindless then, he thought, as she flung her arms up, seeking, searching, finding, finally, the iron rungs. She grasped at them, fisting them tightly. He wondered if they would hold.
“That’s it, that’s right. Hold tight.”
He lowered his body to the bed, pressing himself along her length, never ceasing for a moment the motions of his hand. His mouth moved to her ear.
“You’re so bloody beautiful like this. So hot. Tight little body. Oh, next time, love. Next time I’m gonna come inside you, bury myself in you so deep, let you really feel me. Stretch you and fill you up with me. Gonna feel your body under mine, around mine, tight. Going wild, like this. Gonna make you moan, just like this. Just like this, Buffy. Only better. It’s gonna be even better, love.” He went on, his voice hoarse with passion. The steady stream of randy little mutterings was working on both of them, driving Buffy even higher, and making Spike curse the soddin’ impulse that had convinced him he should bleeding hold back tonight. That he should wait. Had he been bloody insane?
Her body went taut, completely rigid, held, and then a sound came out of her, the most glorious moan he’d ever heard.
His mouth slanted over hers and he drank that moan into himself, claiming it as his own.
She collapsed back completely against the soft bedding, and Spike drew back, his eyes drinking her in. He was breathing hard, struggling for control. Been holding off for a long time, hadn’t he? He could damn well make it through the rest of the night without his body going up in flames.
“Now that was just – delicious.”
Her eyes were screwed shut and she was panting, trying to catch her breath.
“Oh, god. Oh, my god.” She kept repeating the words over and over, as tremors continued to run through her body. His thumb was still inside her, absorbing the aftershocks. He moved it slightly, caressing now. Her eyes opened and met his. They were a stormy dark green, the gold flecks he so loved temporarily obscured. As he watched, their dazed expression altered, and they widened. “Ohhh…”
And then, bloody beautiful, her hips began to move again, rocking against his hand.
“Oooh, who’s greedy?” he taunted with approval, and offered her his cooperation, twisting his thumb into her wet flesh.
A light sheen of sweat still lay over her body, but her breathing had finally slowed. She stretched before curling against him again, replete.
“Mmmm.” The satisfied sound emerged from somewhere in her throat. Her foot began running up and down his calf, pushing the denim of his jeans with her toes.
“You wanted to know how to touch me?” she reminded him, biting the flesh of his shoulder lightly. “Well, ah, don’t forget that one.”
“There is not a bleedin’ chance in hell of me ever forgetting that, Slayer,” he promised. “Trust me.”
Dawn was almost upon them, and he’d had to rush back to his crypt right quick after walking her home. She’d protested that she didn’t need his escort, but he’d stared her down, and ignored her protests. She hadn’t even done a lot of wall building on the way home, rather to his surprise. Maybe orgasms released some chemical in the brain that made brick laying difficult. If so, she shouldn’t be capable of building any walls for at least a month. Now, if he could just keep that chemical at a heightened level…
Spike lit a cigarette, staring at the bed. Even over the smoke he could smell her. The air was heavy with her scent. There were traces of her perfume, yeah, but stronger than that, and much better, the scent of her, her body, her desire, her musk. The scent of sex.
God, how many times had she come? Seven, eight? More? It had seemed endless. Her body, stretched out in the flickering candle light, shadows playing across her flesh. No sunbathing since she’d come back; he could see that her skin was too pale for that. But still, alongside his, it retained a golden sheen, almost matching the sheets.
Burn the image into your mind, he told himself. Burn it deep. Might never see that again. Her, here, body writhing, face lost to rapture.
Arms stretched over her head, hands grasping the headboard. Oh, hold on, love, hold tight, gonna make you writhe and moan and beg and arch and cry out – cry out. Watching her body explode time and again…
Will that be enough for you, mate? To have that and no more?
I have more. We have more. Could feel it. Something deeper. Something more.
You know she doesn’t love you.
It’s right this time. Something’s changed. It’s right. ‘ve felt it. Ever since she came back.
You’re beneath her.
I can change. I can be good.
Demons don’t change.
I can. I’m stronger than the bloody demon.
Who’s stronger? William?
Spike is the demon.
No. Not just. There’s more to me. An’ I can be more yet. For her.
Think she’ll buy that? Or will she figure out that you’re just mouthing the words so she’ll let you under her skirts?
That’s not why. I was already changing. Before the tower…
…and after. Before she came back. Was already changing. Weren’t any skirts to get under then, were there?
It’s not the sodding, goddamn, bloody chip. It’s me.
You? William the Bloody? You’re delusional.
Maybe. But I can still fucking do this. So sod off.
You might be able to suppress the demon for awhile, but it will never last. Blood will out. And the minute you slip, she’ll dust you. She’s the bloody Slayer.
Killed Angelus, didn’t she? And she loved him…
The angry shout echoed around the chamber.
She felt something for him. She did. He could feel it in her. In himself. There was something between them. Sometimes it almost overwhelmed him, the sure certainty that they would be together, that she would be his. That she was his. Sometimes he thought he could feel her inside him. Flowing through his veins like blood.
Then he’d try to pull back from it, to deny it even to himself. Couldn’t happen. Not really. Not with him. She was the Slayer, and human, and he wasn’t, and nothing that good could ever really happen. It must be some kind of self-delusional fantasy/insanity, and he’d be a bloody fool to let himself get too caught up in it.
Spike paced around the room, coming to a halt near a dresser that held most of his possessions. He reached for the bottle of bourbon atop it and poured himself a healthy tumbler full.
Just enjoy what’s happening now. He eyed the bed again. She does feel something. Bird like her, you know she doesn’t give it up for anyone. Aside from her ill advised liaison with that soddin’ frat boy, she’d been pretty selective. Couldn’t always figure her taste, great, hulking lummoxes, but still… And there’s damned well something there. The night had been more than exciting. It had been relaxed, easy, warm. Familiar. Nothing cold and uncaring. She hadn’t just been looking for a good ride, a physical release. And that sure as hell hadn’t been all he’d wanted to give her.
It hurt, having to hold so much back from her. Sometimes he could actually taste it, like something caught in his throat; the need to pour everything he was feeling onto her. The incredible intensity of his feelings, all his hopes and dreams, his fantasies of mattering to her. Really mattering. Of being the one – partner, lover, mate.
And he knew he couldn’t. Not yet. Maybe never. Knew it was better to guard every thing he said, every action. Don’t let her see. Don’t open yourself like that… Don’t give her things to use against you, bleeding weapons of mass destruction…
Hope and fear warred within him. Both strong. Both fierce.
One day at a time. Don’t look past that. Take every minute you can get, and hold on to it. Don’t even close your eyes if you can help it, because it won’t last, can’t. Not with you. She’s the Slayer. And this is all too bleeding good to be true.
Spike drained his glass, and stared at the bed, drawing deeply on his cigarette. You just spent a bloody fantastic night with her. Grab that. Don’t muck everything up with some sodding fantasy involving a bloody white picket fence. It is what it is. You are, she is, and together, who the hell knows what you are, what’s to come? Can’t know. Maybe can’t change whatever is to be no matter what you do. Enjoy the bloody ride.
Spike crushed his cigarette out in the ashtray on the bedside table, and stretched out across the pale golden sheets that blended so well with the black, gold and deep red bedding he and Dawn had chosen when they’d redecorated. Her scent was stronger on the sheets.
Buffy and sex. He inhaled deeply. Ahhh.
He rolled onto his back. Enjoy the bloody ride. He didn’t regret not taking her all the way, not burying himself in her body, was glad he’d made the decision as he looked at her stretched out on the bed, exposed to him. Control. He had it. Over himself. Wanted her to know it, too. After all, he’d waited years for her, hadn’t he? And he’d taken so much pleasure in watching her get off, over and over... He couldn’t think of one bloody thing in his entire past that had been more satisfying.
Next time would be soon enough. He groaned at the prospect, his body surging with anticipation. Enjoy the bloody ride.
Spike climbed off the bed and stood to remove his clothing, dropping it to the floor. A scrap of lace trimmed cotton in palest pink peeked out of the back pocket of his jeans. Smiling, Spike pulled it out, dangling it from his index finger. Her thong. He watched it swing back and forth for a moment, then he grabbed his t-shirt and flung himself back onto the bed. The fingers of his left hand stroked along the hard length of his cock.
God, how long had it been since he’d done this? Months, he knew. Since before the tower. His normally strong sex drive had had been thrown into some odd vortex with her loss, not gone, but not mattering either, and he hadn’t really given a rat’s arse about sussing it out. It hadn’t mattered. Nothing much had.
Enjoy the bloody ride.
He raised her thong to his face, inhaling deeply. His mind conjured up a picture of her face as she climaxed. Bloody beautiful…
He’d gotten her off more than half a dozen times during the night. He’d been a selfless, generous lover. Downright considerate.
His hand closed into a fist, beginning to stroke faster, more firmly. It was time to reward himself.
“You can never change what you are, my darling boy.”
“It’s your fault, yours. You incompetent scum, you worthless, soulless demon. She’s dead because of you. You’re responsible.” The Watcher and Harris advanced on him with stakes raised to strike. His arms were pinned behind him in a relentless hold. He struggled to break free, twisting around to see what it was that held him so tightly. It was Dawn, her eyes glittering with malicious hatred...“They’re right. You can try, but you’ll always be scum to her, and she’ll always push you back into the dirt. A worthless, soulless demon.” His sire giggled, running her hands possessively over his chest. “Just how I like you. How I made you. You’re a bad, bad, boy.” She was riding him, and he could feel himself buried in the depths of her familiar body. The head of his cock was swelling inside her, swelling, and he couldn’t pull out, couldn’t withdraw from her. “You’re beneath her, my Spike. You’ll always be beneath her. And that’s not where you belong. You belong here, beneath me.”
Dru’s less than sane laughter shimmered in the air around him. He was still trying to pull out of her body, to throw her off, to escape.
“Buffy.” Was he calling for help? “Buffy.”
Dru slashed her nails across his chest, and her face morphed as she leaned down to lick at the blood that oozed out of the cuts.
“You promised me,” she reminded him. She dipped a finger into the deepest of the gashes she’d made on his chest, just over his heart, and raised it to her mouth, licking the blood with delight. She continued to ride him, her motions growing wilder. She smiled at him, her innocent, little girl smile, and he knew she was about to climax. “You promised me we’d bathe in her blood, my wicked boy, and mummy will. I will, my love, I’ll bathe in her blood…”
Continued in Chapter Ten