He gave a small snort. "Sorry, luv, got lost in the moment." He cleared his throat. "Blood approached the bar, removin' his gun belt as he moved. He laid it down across the bar an' leaned forward. He spoke just one word: 'Whiskey'."
"Miss Buffy's hand tightened on the pistol she'd tucked into her skirt and said 'Mister, we don't serve your kind here. You'd best head out the way you came'."
"The bandit didn't answer her, just kept starin' into her eyes. Miss Buffy found that she wanted to obey him...wanted to do anythin' he asked..."
"OH, PLEASE! This was a pretty decent story until you turned it into...I mean, come on, I would SO not do that..."
He moved with sudden speed to lean over her, drawing her gaze into his. His eyes were nearly black in the darkness, the pupils dilated, leaving only a very slender circle of iris. She found herself captivated by the tiny, almost microscopic gold specks that appeared and disappeared within that rim of blue. Her breath caught.
"Give me your hand." She wasn't sure if he was speaking in his own voice or that of Will Blood, but she offered her hand up automatically, clenched in a fist. He used both his own hands to pry her fingers open, and then placed a soft kiss in the center of her palm, holding his lips there as his tongue made small circles against her skin.
A shiver raced up her arm and spread over her flesh. She felt her nipples harden against the scratchy laces at the front of her bustier, and a delicate throb start up between her legs. He lifted his head and began to speak.
"Miss Buffy had never met a bloke like this Will Blood. When he kissed her hand, all thoughts of killin' him or runnin' him out of town vanished from her pretty head. She wanted nothin' more than to throw herself over the bar at him, an' beg him to take her upstairs to her soft bed, an' do filthy, unspeakable things to her..."
Buffy's other hand made sharp contact with Spike's face and he released her to rub at his cheek. "OW! What the hell was that for?!?"
"That was for turning the story into your wet dream." She grabbed the deck of cards that lay on the grass, shuffled and cut them. "Here. Deal."
He took them from her, but his mind was still filled with images of satin sheets at the top of the stairs at the Yellow Rose, and he stared at the hand he had dealt himself without comprehending.
She asked for two more cards and was amazed to receive two kings from him--two kings that matched the two she already held. "OK. Whatcha got, Spike?" He dropped his cards in front of her and she crowed. "Ha! Three of a kind? Loser."
He flinched. The lingering taste of her salty Slayer-ness on the tip of his tongue had made him forget to cheat.
She was gathering the cards as she began to speak. "Miss Buffy slowly raised the pistol in her hand 'til it was even with the face of the bandit. He looked at her from under his silly black hat and froze. 'You have until the count of three to turn around and walk out of here, Will Blood. If you don't, I'm going to stake...er...shoot you through the heart'."
Spike looked up and saw that she had Mr. Pointy poised and at the ready. He felt a tremor of fear, but held his ground. "Heard tell of your bravery, Miss Buffy. Too bad it's all for show."
"WHAT? What did you say?" Her eyes narrowed as she felt her temper rise hot in her chest.
"You heard me. Easy enough to follow your callin' an' do what comes naturally. Harder to admit your feelin's when they're not in line with your way of thinkin', inn'it? That takes real courage, an' I'm the fool that knows it."
She closed her eyes and swallowed, trying to ignore the voices in her head that were having a shouting match. One declared very loudly that she should stake him into the ground, and the other, which had suddenly grown much more insistent, and was urging her to drop the damn stake and leap into his arms.
He leaned in a final time and hissed at her. "Coward."
Her eyes flew open and her mouth moved of its own accord. "Miss Buffy leveled the pistol at the bandit's chest an fired a single shot." At the same moment, she lunged at him with a rather amateurish stabbing motion, and struck just below his collarbone with the stake, mere inches from his heart.
He flew backward and she landed on him, straddling him. She withdrew the stake and watched in horror as blood welled in the wound. His head had fallen back in the grass and his eyes were closed.
"Spike? Spike, I'm sorry...but you shouldn't...I mean, why'd you have to...?"
He raised his head and looked at her, saying nothing. She dropped the stake and reached out toward the place where she had injured him, noting that the bleeding was slowing as quickly as it had begun.
Her voice trembled. "Miss Buffy jumped over the bar to where Blood was lying in the sawdust. She ripped open his shirt to check the damage." He heard his tee-shirt tear from collar to waist. "It was just a flesh wound, and way off from where she'd been aiming. Blood had been lucky, because at that range she could easily have dusted...um...killed him. I wonder why it went crooked like that--I was sure--SHE was sure she'd been aiming at this heart."
She tore away a strip of fabric from his shirt and pressed it to the small hole in his chest. He tensed with pain. "Serves you right for trying to take advantage of me, Cadaver Boy." Then she leaned over and kissed him before the stupid voices in her head could begin debating the rightness of it.
The sensation of pain that had been radiating from his chest fell away, and he could feel nothing but her lips as they nibbled at his, seeking something--what? Forgiveness? He gave it without reserve and deepened the kiss.
She pulled away and grinned at him. "Blood is unconscious at this point, Spike, so HOLD STILL." She returned to kissing him. He let his lips fall open and felt her tongue slip beneath his. He concentrated hard on not returning the caress.
Her hands began to wander over his chest, avoiding the wound. She trailed them up and down his sides and across his thighs, stopping to squeeze and knead the muscles there. She was amused by his struggle to remain limp and unresponsive.
Then she stuck out the tip of her tongue and began tracing the crevices of his ear. He groaned and tensed.
"Stay still, cowboy, or this story's over."
"For pity's sake, Slayer, I'm not made of stone, you know."
She reached down and pressed her hand against the large bulge at the crotch of his jeans. "Coulda fooled me." She giggled into his neck as he stifled a moan.
This wasn't how it was supposed to go. His plan had been to win every hand, by cheating if necessary, and seduce her before she realized what was happening. That she had beaten him at poker had been a surprise. That she had tried to dust him had been a shock. That she was lying on top of him, groping him eagerly, with no apparent intention of stopping...well, that's just a bleedin' wonder, inn'it it, mate?
She pulled her face out of his neck and began whispering in his ear.
"Miss Buffy could tell that Will was waking up. He began to take shorter, quicker breaths, and his face got all flushed. Of course, he was human, so I'll give you a break if you can't pull that off." Her hands returned to his chest. "Miss Buffy ripped away the rest of his shirt and undid his trousers."
Her hands mimicked the sense of her words, tearing Spike's tee-shirt away completely and fumbling with his belt and buttons. Once his flesh was exposed, she slowed her hands, bringing them back to his face and neck with feather-like touches.
"Hold still! You're not completely awake yet!"
"Like hell I'm not!" But he forced himself to remain motionless, save for the involuntary twitching and jerking that occurred below his waist.
"Miss Buffy began to kiss Will's face to make him wake up and get with the program." She accompanied her words with small, sweet kisses across Spike's brow and down his cheeks. With each touch of her lips, he felt his heart swell 'til he wondered which would burst first--his chest or his cock.
She had begun to lose her train of thought. The extremity of her arousal was distracting enough, but now the affection for him that she had buried beneath many shovel-fuls of denial was clawing its way to the surface. It was a warm feeling that, for some reason, made her want to cry.
Her hand wandered down his chest, tracing the outline of his musculature, pausing to pinch and roll his nipples between her fingers. She heard his teeth grit together when she did this, so she did it again, harder.
"Buffy..." His eyes were screwed shut and his voice was a rasp that revealed his struggle to remain still.
"That's MISS Buffy, to you, you filthy outlaw." Her hand paused in its journey downward to play with the line of downy hair that began just beneath his navel. "Then...finally..." She paused for five long seconds. "Will woke up."
With the violence of an unbroken bronco busting loose from the gate, Spike clutched and flipped her onto her back in one convulsive movement. His hands were in her hair, forcing her mouth to his. She locked her arms around his neck and let him take everything she had to give.
When, after nearly a minute, he gave her respite to breathe, she gazed up into his face and laughed. "Hey, you're supposed to be wounded, remember?"
"Sod that." He kissed her again, slowly this time, exploring the warm recesses of her mouth in minute detail with the tip of his tongue, his hands unsnarling from her hair to slip down her shoulders and pull the chiffon and marabou feathers away from her flesh.
He kissed his way down her neck, stopping ever so often to suck and nibble at a particularly sensitive area. Through a haze of sensation she wondered how he knew where to find those places where the nerve endings were extra-close to the surface of her skin. Then he reached the top of breasts, still covered in red satin, and the areas of higher function in her brain began to shut down, like lights switching off in a skyscraper from top to bottom.
He pulled away from her to throw off his coat and what remained of his tee-shirt, and when he returned his hands went immediately to the laces that held her bustier closed. Working quickly, he loosened the confining garment and slid it down, exposing her breasts to the cool air and his equally cool hands.
Her nipples hardened to rose-colored knots at this touch. She felt his body shift downward and braced herself, knowing that when his lips touched her skin she might do something embarrassing. When his mouth closed over one nipple she fought the urge to cry out and lost. He was smiling against her skin and then she didn't care anymore because he was sucking and biting and his hand was at her other breast, making her blood thrum and throb in her veins.
He brought himself up to his knees and began searching for the hem of her skirt, fumbling through the folds and layers of lace. "Bloody hell, Slayer, it's a bleedin' maze down here" Finally finding his way through, he dragged one hand up her thigh, savoring the feel of her skin beneath fishnet. He noted with approval that she had chosen a garter belt and stockings over pantyhose, and paused there to snap the elastic against her flesh. He grinned at her when she jumped and then dipped his fingers to very lightly trace the outline of her silken panties.
Her breath caught in her throat and her hips rocked upward of their own volition. His fingertips teased softly at the surface of the fabric and when she whimpered he pressed just slightly downward, allowing the moisture that was quickly pooling there to be absorbed by the silk. Her shudder in response begged for more, but he became occupied in detaching the stockings from the garter-belt. Seconds slipped by as he struggled and snarled the fishnet, until finally she popped up into a sitting position and slapped his hands away.
"Sorry, pet...bit out of practice." His expression was sheepish.
Having released the stockings from the snaps and rolled them down her legs, she pondered the wisdom of removing her boots, inwardly groaning at the thought of all those little buttons. Her senses told her that sunrise was still a couple of hours away, but she was wary of being less than prepared should the vamps they were waiting for make an early appearance.
Seeming to read her mind, he ended her inner discussion by grabbing a handful of her thigh and knocking her backward with a playful push. "Leave the boots, luv--but mind where you dig the heels at the critical moment." She giggled up at him and stuck her tongue out, and then nearly bit it in two when his hand returned to remove her panties, carefully easing them down her legs and over the boots.
Her body was rigid with anticipation as he dragged his fingers slowly up one leg to her knee and back down again. Then up it went again, this time farther, closer...then back down. Again, and this time his thumb brushed her curls softly and she lifted her hips in supplication. Finally, he brought his fingers to her center, sliding them upward into hot, swollen flesh, and she turned her face into her own shoulder to keep from screaming.
He was lying next to her then, nibbling at her ear while his fingers made soft explorations below. Each time she sighed or shuddered, he paused in his movements, as if to memorize what had caused the reaction.
She felt his fingers at her opening and pressed forward slightly in a mute attempt to urge him inward. Gently and with extreme precision, he entered her, probing deeply and at the same time folding the heel of his hand upward to make contact with her clit. She lost control momentarily, thrusting against his hand and nipping wildly at his face.
"Shhh..." He encouraged her to lift her head, and he slipped his other arm beneath her neck and pulled her close. He began thrusting his fingers into her with a steady rhythm, and her hips rose up to meet each movement. He stopped, his hand still buried in her, and flexed his fingers firmly into the small cluster of nerve endings that lay deep inside her. A ball of light exploded behind her eyes when he did that, and a ball of heat threatened to incinerate his hand. Every muscle in her body tensed and felt herself approaching the point of no return. He quickly disengaged his hand, the loss of which caused her literal pain, and reached up to caress her abdomen with slick fingers.
"Nooo!" She pushed at his hand, her body aching for its return. Instead, he slid his arm out from beneath her and repositioned himself between her legs. His fingers spread wide her outer lips and he devoured her. She had time to wonder whether it was possible to have a seizure from an excess of pleasure before the first spasms of her orgasm overtook her and she no longer cared if she lived or died.
He propelled her through it, ruthless in his determination to wrench every last shudder and throb from her body, not letting it up until she sobbed for mercy and pulled weakly at his hair. Only then did he soften his assault, sliding his tongue deftly around her raw clit, teasing it until she began to feel the tension build again.
With a supreme act of self-discipline, she yanked his hair hard enough to make him look up at her. "Come here." Her voice was low and edgy with promise and he obeyed her. Returning to his place next to her, he again buried his face in her neck and fought the demon that threatened to emerge.
Her hands trembling, she reached around behind him and tugged at his jeans. He lifted slightly, allowing her to slip them down his hips. The scratchy lace of her skirt scraped against his cock and he groaned in discomfort. Then her soft, strong hands found the shaft and he felt a growl building in his chest. Down, pillock, or you'll ruin this for the both of us. He occasionally found that addressing his demon as a separate entity allowed him more control over it, but it was not to be the case this time around. He felt her squeeze his balls and roll them sensuously between her fingers, and a snarl escaped before he could master it.
She froze at the sound, staring into eyes that glowed yellow. He fought to keep his human features front and center, and succeeded for the moment.
"Sorry, luv--strong emotion--strong sensation--provokes the beast in me. You...you can stop if you like." He closed his eyes when he said this. She couldn't help but be impressed with his offer, but couldn't bring herself to stop. Instead, she leaned forward and sucked his lower lip between her teeth.
His eyes popped open at that, and his fingers found either side of her jaw. He held her there, trapping her face as she trapped his lip. Her hands began to move again and he wondered if he would last.
Then she was sliding down his body and when her warm breath caressed the head of his cock, he knew he was in trouble. "No, Buffy...oh, god..don't..." She slid her tongue beneath the foreskin as one hand pumped the shaft and the other tickled the tightening flesh at his balls. "Bloody FUCK! I can't..." And he couldn't, his hips thrusting upward as he exploded into her mouth, his hands wresting huge hunks of sod from the grave they were lying across. She gulped several times as his seed shot into her mouth and splashed over her lips and the soft skin of her face, and then continued to lick and nibble at his foreskin as he returned to the earth plane. When she realized that her caresses were on the verge of causing pain to his now acutely sensitized nerve endings, she pulled away with a final kiss and crawled up to snuggle in the crook of his arm.
He stared into her face and wracked his brain for some remark that wasn't 'I love you.' She delighted in this very obvious struggle: the smart-mouthed vampire at a loss for words.
Finally, he composed him self enough ask: "Right there in the sawdust, Slayer?"
Grinning at him, she replied: "What can I say? Miss Buffy's a big ho'."
They lay there like that, talking nonsense for several minutes. Buffy was as relaxed and happy as she had been in weeks. Experience should have taught her that it couldn't last.
Continued in Chapter Five