"Golden Bands to Bind Them", part 6

(Sleuth Anya has discovered the rings have no special properties and are merely a symbol of commitment. Spike/Buffy, under the conviction that their emotions are caused by the bands, are carrying on in a horizontal fashion. This section is rated R.)

As Spike's words registered, "It's not us. It's the rings," Buffy felt a great sense of release. Yes, of course, she had no culpability here. Anything that happened was the fault of the rings. From that point on, she stopped thinking entirely and let sensation carry her away.

She felt Spike's lips brushing over hers, tasted blood from the cut she had given him with her fist. Her tongue reached out to lap at the wound, and he held still and let her clean it like a little cat. After a moment, he couldn't contain himself and his own tongue came out to tangle with hers. He pressed his mouth hungrily against hers and explored inside it laying claim to the new territory he'd discovered. They kissed until Buffy was breathless, then Spike pulled back. Supporting himself on his arms, he gazed down at her as if memorizing her. He reached up and brushed a strand of hair out of her face, then leaned in and kissed her some more, nice and slow and deep.

All her senses were narrowed down to this one point of contact, her mouth- Spike's mouth fused together. She kissed him and kissed him, and her body seemed to arch toward him of its own accord. As her pelvis rose up, he pressed down into her, rubbing against her slowly, sinuously.

He knew how to throw all her switches on with a flick of the tongue. She was dripping wet and ready for him already. It was as if her body had been with his forever. She responded to his every cue, every look, sound and touch as if she'd been conditioned to do so.

As his mouth moved from her lips to her throat, he ran his hand down her side, then snaked it in between them to push up her skirt and slip inside her panties. He stroked her delicately, brushing over her clit and making her shudder before plunging his fingers inside her tight, wetness and applying pressure to the sweet spot deep inside. She gasped and rose into it, pumping against his hand until a deep groan curled out of her throat.

The sound of her, "Unnnhhh!" made him crazy. He slipped his fingers from within her, ripped off her underwear, then tore at her skirt. She slapped his hands away and began to wiggle out of the garment. As he fumbled with the buttons of his jeans and pushed them down his hips, Buffy quickly removed her skirt, top and bra, then bunched Spike's T-shirt up toward his chest, her hands sliding over his hard abs. She leaned in and licked her way up that wonderfully chiseled torso, something she had been fantasizing for the past two days.

Spike's stomach jerked under her ministrations. He struggled to remove his shirt, actually getting it stuck on his head for a moment and tearing it away with a roar. Buffy smiled at that as she moved farther up and nibbled his hard, pointy little nipples. He moaned at the contact, and plunged both hands in her hair, cradling her head to hold it to his chest. His hands kneaded the base of her skull and combed through her hair, as he murmured encouragement.

But soon he was guiding her face up toward his again and returned to that deep soul-kissing he delighted in. Buffy was happy to go along. His tongue plunged into her again and again, and she began to feel a little dizzy from lack of oxygen. Had to remember to breath. His hands were roaming freely up and down her body, as if trying to verify her reality by touch. His left hand found her breasts and lingered there, stroking, kneading and toying with first one then the other. Soon he broke off the kissing and let his mouth continue the work his hand had started.

Buffy gazed down at the top of Spike's head, shining in the candlelight, poised over her breast. She watched his lips engulf her nipple, sucking it in deeply, pulling back, then letting it go with a lovely little pop. He smiled and did it again, all the while letting his hand gently minister to her other breast so it wouldn't feel neglected. The sight of him suckling at her like a happy baby, stirred something so deeply primal in Buffy that she shivered from the power of it. Her stomach clenched and her pussy throbbed and ached.

As if aware of every tiny change in her breathing - and he probably was - Spike glanced up at Buffy's flushed face and gleaming eyes. He gave her a knowing grin and, never breaking eye contact, began tonguing and kissing his way down from her breasts, over her ribcage and stomach and down to her thighs. There he stopped to tease for awhile, moving all around his target with whispering kisses and gentle nibbles, building the tension until Buffy was shaking from it.

"Go on, already!" she snapped, which only made him chuckle and take even longer. He lapped up the inside of her thighs and lingered around the edges of her sex, then suddenly drew back. Splaying his hands on either side of her labia and pushing her legs open, he gazed at her laying open before him. Buffy wanted to squirm with embarrassment. No one had ever really looked at her there before, including herself. But Spike leaned in a little, sniffing her scent and letting his eyes fall closed a little as if her musk were the rarest perfume. "Beautiful!" he reverently whispered. And suddenly Buffy FELT beautiful. She had never thought of people-parts as particularly attractive until she heard the absolute delight in Spike's voice upon viewing hers.

Then he bent down and began feasting on her there and she forgot to feel anything but the firecrackers going off in her body.

**********

When Spike realized, about halfway through, where he was going with the fighting, he surrendered to his id. No point in arguing with sexual attraction so he might as well enjoy the ride. Was all the bloody ring's fault anyway, and that's what he told her right before he kissed her.

The kissing was every bit as good as he remembered. He hadn't been sure if it was the witch's spell that had made kissing Buffy on their 'wedding night' seem special, different from anyone else - ever. And her kiss last night had been so brief and unexpected, he hadn't had time to really think about it, but now he knew for sure. Spike had lived a helluva long time and kissed plenty of people, alive and undead, besides Dru, but he'd never felt anything quite like the depth of emotion that went hand in hand with doing the liplock with Buffy. And that simply had to be a result of the rings. Couldn't be his heart.

He half expected the Slayer to pull back, punch him in the nose and stalk out, but instead, almost before he knew it, they were both naked and he was going to work between her legs with his mouth. Spike had every right to be proud of his lingual skills. His vampiric family had taught him well - all of them. Each wanting things done just a certain way and keeping him at it 'til he got it right. And humans were so easy to read. He could hear Buffy's heart rate elevate every time he hit the perfect rhythm, touched the perfect spot. Made it easy to pleasure her and to back off when she started getting too close to the edge. He was damn sure going to make this last.

But all good things must come to an end, and finally, when the girl was almost weeping from the teasing, he let her take the plunge. She screamed and bucked and grabbed at his head, smashing his face even further into her. Spike was exhilarated. He wrenched away so he could watch her face contort in ecstasy. When her eyes finally fluttered open and met his, he grinned.

"Like that?" he asked, as he crawled from between her legs, up her body.

She let out a shuddering sigh in answer, and he laughed, then leaned in to kiss her lightly on the mouth.

"But you're still....what about....." she stammered, when he pulled back, "Do you want me to....um, return the favor?" She was moving her hand toward his throbbing cock.

He grabbed her wrist, stopping her. "Not this time, sweetheart," he answered. "If your sweet little mouth touched me now, it'd be over in a few seconds. Besides, I want to see you, to be inside you, when I come. All right?"

Buffy nodded, all serious eyes. Spike was charmed by her inexperience. One night with Angel and one with that frat boy, Parker, had only served to stir her juices up and leave her ready and waiting for Spike to finish the job of sexually enlightening her. He was more than willing to do so.

He nuzzled the side of her face, tickled her ear 'til she giggled, and simultaneously nudged his way inside her. He reached down and guided himself in, a tight fit, but well lubed. She was so very ready for him, his cock glided in smooth as ice cream dipped in hot fudge. He waited for a moment, pulsing inside her, for her to adjust and to keep himself from bursting too soon, then began a long, slow draw out. She gasped as she felt his ridges scrape along her channel. Almost completely withdrawn, he plunged in again - a little harder this time. Buffy grunted and tipped her hips up further.

Still moving carefully, Spike withdrew a second time, then plunged again. Her fingernails bit into his shoulders and she gasped. Frowning with concentration now, and trembling from the effort not to come, he continued the slow draw and the quick thrust. Again. And again. And again, as Buffy encouraged him with every moan and cry.

Spike's pace began to pick up as he built toward his climax. "Buffy!" he cried out, and her eyes fluttered open. "Hm?"

"I....want to see you. Look at me. Be with me," he gasped out. "See me."

She gave a quick nod, and when her eyes threatened to drift closed again, she riveted them on Spike's face. Somehow, staring into each other's eyes, which should've felt awkward and strange, only enhanced the intensity of their lovemaking. Unspoken, barely-understood emotions passed back and forth between them. A connection, a bond tied them together as they moved in the ancient patterns of love. As Spike arched over her and drove inside for the last time, he broke the visual contact, eyes rolling up, a strangled moan bursting from his throat. He twined his hands with hers, pinning her arms beside her head. Neither noticed that the gold bands had vanished from their fingers.

******* "Is that it then?" Anya asked, peering over the H'rassee's shoulder and watching hazy blue smoke disperse through the light of the flickering candle. "That's an unbinding?"

"I believe so. As I said, I've never been asked to break the spell of the rings before. I'm assuming it worked, but...."

"All right then," Anya was all business. "Here's a little something for your labor. I've recently learned the value of capitalism and no favor should go unrewarded." She extended a small roll of bills toward him. As he reached out, she pulled back her hand, "But....if I find out your spell was ineffectual, my friend will find you again." She jerked her head toward Halfrek, who nodded, smiled, and waggled her fingers at him. "And you won't get off so easy next time."

Anya gave him a poke in the chest for emphasis, tossed the money at him, then nodded at Halfrek. The justice demon struck a pose and with a dramatic flourish teleported them away.

******** Two hours later.....

Buffy was in a stupor, so languid and boneless she could barely move. Only her hands, gripping Spike's back and kneading gently, seemed to have any strength. That last one, the culmination of a chain reaction of mini orgasms, had been so powerful she'd actually blacked out for a moment. She wondered if that was dangerous. Maybe these rings, meant for an alien race, were unhealthy for a mortal - even a superhuman one. Could someone die from being oversexed?

Apparently Spike had had a similar reaction, because he was passed out on top of her like a heavy quilt. Buffy had the brief and traitorous thought that if it were Angel resting over her it would be more like an annoyingly heavy bearskin rug crushing her. She glided one hand down to cup Spike's ass and the other up to play with the curling hair at the nape of his neck, and considered that he fit her just right and in more than a physical way. That brief glimmer of insight set off alarm bells that woke her like a dash of cold water to the face.

"It was just the rings," Buffy reminded herself as she came back to full consciousness and the clamoring voices which she had locked in the cellar started screaming at the door. "Couldn't help...." Buffy lifted her hand from where it rested on Spike's backside. Her thumb traced its now habitual path across the base of her ring finger. She froze. Her thumb smoothed over the bare skin again. And again. No ring. Where was the ring? She shoved Spike's limp body off her, and brought her left hand to her face. It was unadorned.

The vampire was moaning and protesting being dumped from her soft, warm body to the hard, cold floor. She quickly pulled his arm out from under him and seized his hand. No ring!

"What's the matter, love?" he asked, muzzily, still sleepy and replete as a well-fed tiger.

"Look!" She shoved their joined hands in front of his face. "They're gone!"

"Huh?" His half-lidded eyes opened wide. He pulled his hand away from her and examined it. Compared it to his other hand. Looked at it again. Rubbed his right hand over the bare skin frantically. "That's impossible! How could it....?"

"And when?" Buffy interrupted. "How long ago? Why were we still....?"

Spike shook his head, frowning. "Doesn't matter. Red must've worked some mojo. Point is, we're free now." He looked from his hand to her face, realized that though he was lying beside her, their legs were still entwined, and disentangled them. They lay facing each other, naked, a chaste foot of space between them. "It's over," he stated, woodenly.

"Yeah." Buffy sat up, looked around for her clothes, blinking, but didn't make a move to get dressed.

"And that last bit," he added, also rising to a sitting position. "It was residual effect or something. Just sex. Not like it meant anything."

"Of course not." Buffy looked everywhere but at his eyes. "Definitely spell related." 'Cause no one normally has orgasms like that! Do they?' she added mentally.

"So...." he paused, scratched at his chest, and did his own bit of looking aimlessly around the crypt. "Back to business as usual. I hate you. You hate me...."

"Right." The Slayer finally rose, somewhat unsteadily to her feet. She didn't even bother trying to cover herself as she wandered around collecting tattered bits of clothing, like the survivor of a natural disaster.

Spike watched her for a second, admiring her body, then snorted and shook his head to clear it, clambered to his feet and retrieved his jeans. He was shoving one leg in, when the Slayer's small voice stopped him.

"Spike?"

"Yeah?"

"You won't..... I mean, you wouldn't .....tell anyone about this, would you? I don't think it's something my friends need to know about." She cleared her throat. "Even if it wasn't our fault. The rings....." she trailed off.

He paused and considered the fun that could be had holding this little incident over the Slayer's head, making her squirm, causing her all sorts of nightmares about what her friends would do if they knew. Then he thought about what her friends WOULD do if they knew, which would probably be to stake him quick as a wink. No, it would be in neither of their best interests if this interlude were revealed. Besides, he had to admit, she had kept his embarrassing secret about the claustrophobia, when she probably would have delighted in seeing him suffer. Best to make a truce here.

"Wouldn't dream of it," he assured her, sliding his other leg into the jeans and zipping up over his sore, much abused cock. Girl knew how to give a workout. "What's done is done."

"Good," Buffy breathed a sigh of relief, stepped into her skirt and pulled it up over her hips. She gazed in consternation at the broken zipper on the side. Spike watched her struggle with it for a moment, then fished around in his box of supplies from the junkyard. He pulled out a length of copper wire, snipped off a piece, and stepped toward Buffy.

"Here. Leave off," he commanded. She dropped her hands. He grabbed the material and worked the sharp wire through it on both sides of the zipper to hold the skirt in place. The back of his hand brushed against the warm skin of her waist as he twisted the makeshift metal fastening. He froze, allowing the contact to continue beyond what was necessary. Both of them were still shirtless. He could feel her warmth radiating toward him in waves. Her right nipple was almost brushing against his arm. From the corner of his eyes, he could see her chest rise and fall as she breathed, and for a moment, he was incapable of movement, then one finger trailed slowly up her side as the flesh beneath it twitched at his light touch.

The moment was erotically supercharged. The air fairly vibrated with awareness. And knowing that their time was over, that there could never, would never be a repeat of what had happened between them that evening, only enhanced the tension. They both felt themselves trembling on the brink of something......something, and if they took the next step, didn't turn away, it would be like falling off a cliff into an unfathomable void.

Spike's hand clenched and unclenched at her waist. He licked his lips, and slowly raised his eyes to meet hers. Buffy returned his stare with that wide-open, deer-in-the-headlights look she was so good at. Her mouth dropped open slightly and her lips glistened. He could hear her heartbeat speed up even further. He leaned toward her slowly, pulled in by those magnificent eyes. Eyes that spoke volumes when her mouth was incapable of speech.

Buffy inclined toward him just as slowly. The moment stretched out like taffy pulled to the breaking point or silly putty faces warped beyond recognition. It would have to break soon or....

Suddenly, an object shifted in the junk box. A metallic clink of something falling into a new position broke the silence. Buffy blinked and pulled back. Spike glanced over at the box then dropped his hand away from her waist. Both drew in big shaky breaths and turned away. Spike saw her shirt on top of the bier, went over and picked it up, and tossed it to her without looking. Then he began picking up pieces of broken pottery while she pulled it on.

She finally located her other shoe and stepped into it, then straightened her clothes as best she could and ran her fingers through her wild hair. She glanced around the dusty crypt to see if she'd missed anything.

Spike stopped fussing with the broken pitcher barely long enough to look up and say, "All right then. See you around, I expect."

The Slayer was suddenly all business. "You stay out of trouble and I'll leave you alone, Spike. But just remember, if I find out that it's more than just demons you can hurt..."

"Yeah. Yeah. I know."

He looked back down at the pile of ceramic shards he had gathered up. Buffy walked toward the door, turned the knob, then stopped in the doorway facing away from him.

"Um..just wanted to say..it wasn't so bad," she mumbled quickly.

There was a long silence, long enough for her to turn ten shades of red and die several deaths from humiliation. Why had she said that? Why?!

"No, pet. It wasn't at that," he finally answered in a gravelly voice. "Look.if you ever need...help with the demon fighting, well, I got nothing better to do, and I'm always up for a good fight." He paused again. "You know where I'm at."

She nodded.

"Course I'd have to have a little something for my trouble. A vamp has needs."

"Of course." Buffy finally ventured a look over her shoulder. "I wouldn't expect anything more of you."

"And I'm not saying I'll stick around forever," he added. "Probably take a tour of Europe or something...just as soon as I get back to my old self again. But for now, I'll be here."

"Okay," Buffy confirmed. She took another step and was through the door.

Spike opened his mouth, raised a hand, but the door had already fallen closed behind her.

He closed his mouth, dropped his hand, took a deep steadying breath. "Well..that was.something," he murmured to himself. "You'll not have one like her in your bed again." A feeling frighteningly akin to the melancholy he'd experienced after Dru deserted him was hovering at the fringe of his mind. "Can't hunt. Can't kill. Got no one and nothing. What are you good for?" his inner voice questioned.

But Spike was a master at avoiding brooding at all costs. "I'll find a way back to myself. And I'll find another bird. This is only temporary. I'm the Big Bad, and I'll be back!" He slammed the windows of his mind shut, drew the blinds, blocked out any ray of Buffy-shaped sunshine that might try to peek in, and went back to organizing his crypt and his new unlife. As he stood in the middle of the empty room, mentally ticking off all the things that needed to be done, he was unaware that the thumb of his left hand was stroking the base of his ring finger over and over.

***********

Buffy, ambling home through the cemetery, thought about Riley. "I'll tell him 'yes'," she thought. "Yes, I'd love to be your girlfriend. Yes, we're made for each other. Yes, we'll get past the secrets and find a way to make as normal a relationship as a Slayer and a soldier can have. This is what I need to do," she told herself. "This is what I WILL do!"

She squared her shoulders, lifted her chin and began walking more purposefully, scanning for evil as she marched along. Vampires were hers for the killing. That was her purpose in life, to root out evil and destroy it. Riley would be a perfect partner in that endeavor. She was oblivious to the fact that, while her right hand was fiercely clutching a stake, the thumb of her left hand was smoothing back and forth over her naked ring finger.

The End

Sorry to disappoint any who thought this was going to be longer or more involved. I'm no good at the 40 part sagas, besides which I always envisioned this being just an interlude before dovetailing back into canon. Funny thing though, once you've changed one little fact, it colors everything that comes after. Try to picture the next few eps of season 4 or the arc of the remaining seasons if Buffy and Spike had done the deed so soon. I don't think they could so easily shelve their feelings once they'd let them out to play.

Also, thanks again for all feedback. It's the cookies and milk at the end of a school day, the Gatorade at the end of a marathon, the beer at the end of a work week. All writers appreciate it. Don't forget to feed them regularly.