"And you can say goodbye – to this -- because you're not gonna see it anymore, ever. Unless – you run into me somewhere, and it's me walking away from you – but even then – I'll probably just – you know – back away…"

As the unbearably stupid blonde vampire did just that, making her way warily out of the shambles that she, Drusilla, Spike and the Slayer had made of the lower level of Spike's crypt, the Slayer of Slayers turned his hopeful, uncertain gaze on the Slayer – who was still trying to wrap her mind around all that had happened that night.

She was still somewhere back around the point of getting shocked with a tazer by Spike's insane ex.

When she raised her eyes to meet Spike's – and saw the vulnerable expression of mingled misery and hope in his eyes – her mind suddenly caught up to the present moment, as her fist shot out to connect with his jaw, sending him crashing into the ridiculous shrine he had made; and she turned to stalk out of his crypt – out of his life.

She was almost to the door when she realized that she was still absolutely seething with rage over the entire situation, and that single punch had done very little to abate her anger. Her mind was swirling with so many things she wanted to say to the infuriating vampire who had caused this disaster of a night in the first place.

Without missing a step, she smoothly turned at the base of the ladder and stalked back across the floor toward Spike, who had not even managed to pick himself up out of the remains of his shrine to her yet.

So, like the do-gooding super-hero that she was – she helped him.

Catching the collar of his shirt in both her hands, she hauled him up out of the wreckage of the pictures and various memorabilia he had collected of hers over the past few months, and slammed him forcefully back against the wall, taking a certain satisfaction in the groan that left his lips at the impact.

"No," she stated emphatically, her eyes blazing with fury. "No, there is no way that you are getting off that easy on this one! I don't think so!" She yanked him away from the wall and slammed him into it again before he had the chance to recover, demanding furiously, "What were you thinking? You think you can just – chain me up and force me to believe that you love me? Did you really think that was going to work?"

"Well – obviously, yeah," Spike pointed out in a voice that was slightly raspy with pain, as he gave her a sheepish shrug, his eyes drawn unwillingly to the chains hanging behind them – the ones in which he had bound her earlier.

Unfortunately, Buffy's eyes followed his gaze – then returned to meet his eyes again, narrowed over a calculatingly angry smile.

"Oh, you liked that, did you?" she remarked, her voice trembling slightly with increased rage. "Having me all chained up and at your mercy? That's your idea of a good time, Spike? Do you have any idea how sick that is?" she spat out the last words at him, shaking him forcefully as she did.

"No!" he objected hurriedly, his hands held up in front of him defensively in the universal gesture for "wait". "I mean yes! I mean -- no, that's not what I wanted at all! I just wanted you to listen to me…"

"Right," Buffy sneered, clearly skeptical. "Don't even try to tell me you weren't getting off on it…"

Spike shrugged again, averting his eyes as he insisted, "I wasn't! Beautiful woman all chained up and helpless to prevent whatever I might decide to do to her – not exactly my cup of tea, love."

She raised an eyebrow pointedly – her incredulous expression making it very clear to him just how completely unconvincing his words were.

"Honest, love!" Spike insisted vehemently, meeting her gaze with an earnest, pleading look. "Ask anyone! I've never been one to go for that sort of thing. Like my girls with the freedom to have a little fight in 'em, I do," he went on, lowering his gaze, his lips almost pouting as he added softly, "If anything, I'd say I…"

Suddenly, he stopped, wide, alarmed blue eyes raised to hers again with a trapped, startled expression at what he had almost let slip out.

Suspicious, Buffy moved in closer to him, her piercing emerald eyes trying to catch his gaze. "What?" she demanded. "What were you going to say?"

"Nothing!" he replied in a trembling, defensive voice, refusing to look at her, as he made a desperate attempt to twist out of her grip, at the same time side-stepping slightly in an attempt to get around her.

The Slayer swiftly, easily, caught his hip and slammed him back against the wall, hard, edging nearer to him as she did so. "Answer me," she ordered, her voice low and warning as she grabbed his wrists in her hands and held them to the wall, pressing her body in closer against him, allowing no room for escape.

The vampire leaned his head back against the wall behind him, closing his eyes as he stifled a low groan – and suddenly, Buffy's eyes went wide, as she realized that the sound he had just made did not really sound all that much like a sound of pain.

The physical evidence of a much different feeling on Spike's part began to press against her stomach – and Buffy froze, feeling a funny little tickle building in her stomach at the contact.

She tried to convince herself that it was nausea – disgust – nothing else…

She couldn't quite.

The silence grew between them, as she tried to manage her shock, and Spike realized what had just happened. After a long, tense moment, he finally dared to open his eyes again – and was amazed by the unexpected look in the Slayer's stunned green eyes – a look of pure, unadulterated lust. Her eyes narrowed slightly in a way that was almost predatory, and Spike felt her hands on his wrists tighten slightly…

Just before she suddenly let him go with a shocked little sound of disgust, taking a step back away from him and staring at him with something akin to horror in her eyes.

And Spike's heart sank with disappointment.

But he knew that he had seen it there – that brief flash of desire in her eyes, before she had managed to hide it. She had wanted him – if only for a moment; his desire for her, her power over him, had awakened a primal desire within the Slayer that she was now desperately trying to keep him from seeing.

But he had already seen it.

And he had longed for such a moment for far too long to let it go without a fight.

"Oh, no!" he objected, his voice quickly becoming heated as he moved away from the wall and toward her, refusing to allow her to maintain the distance she had put between them. "No, Buffy, don't try to act like it's so bloody disgusting! Because – vampire, here – and you can't exactly hide the way you really feel about it from me!"

It took Buffy a moment to realize what he was talking about – and when she did, she felt her anger flaring up in a defensive reaction against the embarrassment of knowing that his enhanced vampire sense of smell had revealed her arousal to him. She was still shocked by the fact of the arousal she felt, not only at the rush of the power she held over him – but at the knowledge that he was aroused by her power as well.

She knew that she should obey her initial impulse, and turn and walk away right that moment.

Get out, before things could get any more – complicated.

So – why was she now stalking slowly toward him, instead?

"You think you know me so well -- Spikey?" she smirked as she used the silly nickname she had heard Harmony use only minutes earlier, her eyes dancing with amusement at Spike's visible cringe when he heard it. "I just – might – surprise you…"

As she spoke, she suddenly placed both hands on his chest and shoved him back against the wall again, running her hands down his chest in a teasingly possessive gesture, which nevertheless was strong enough to hold him there against the wall. Spike gasped with pleasure at the sensation of her warm, restraining touch, closing his eyes, resistance the farthest thing from his mind – and then he let out a low, dark chuckle of amusement.

"You just might surprise yourself, love…" he remarked, a bit breathlessly.

"I know you're surprising me," Buffy smirked, her eyebrows raised speculatively. "I never would have figured you for this type…"

Spike frowned, struggling to focus on her words, moving slightly forward as if to move away from the wall, as the mocking note of her voice registered with him. "What type?" he asked a bit defensively.

Instead of answering his question, the Slayer allowed her smile to fade into a dark, lethal expression as she pushed him forcefully back again, then boldly reached her hand down to firmly grasp his burgeoning erection through his jeans, squeezing just slightly harder than was comfortable.

"Don't move again," she ordered, her tone leaving no room for argument.

She was only slightly surprised to feel his member swelling under her firm touch, to hear his soft groan of pleasure in response to her authoritative tone and strong grip. She released him then, allowing her fingers to brush lightly against the underside of his erection in a casual caress, as she took a step backward, crossing her arms over her chest with a smirk.

"That type," she replied finally.

The dizzying haze of pleasure from her touch slowly faded away, and Spike looked at her, a look of indignation – and a little bit of alarm – showing in his eyes, as it suddenly occurred to him that for the Slayer to know that the Big Bad was turned on by being dominated might not be the best thing – not while he was chipped and helpless to prevent anything she might decide to do to him.

"Wait – you've got it all wrong, Slayer…" he insisted, moving away from the wall again, edging toward her – or possibly the door.

Without saying a word, or allowing him to finish, Buffy sprang forward again, catching his wrists and forcing him back against the wall. Determined to prove her wrong, Spike struggled – briefly. The moment that he managed to accidentally hurt her in his struggles, his chip sent out a sharp jolt of pain that immediately stopped his efforts, allowing Buffy to pin his wrists above his head, held firmly in one of her hands.

Her other hand was -- busy.

Spike could not help the moan of mingled pleasure and pain that left his lips as Buffy boldly unzipped his jeans, reaching inside them to take his manhood in her hand – and put her former grip to shame.
a
"I'm fairly certain I said 'don't move'," she smiled sweetly up at him as she tightened her hold until it bordered on actually painful. "Don't make me have to punish you, Spikey…"

The unmistakable jerk of his member in her hand in reaction to her low, sultry words was all the proof she needed that her theory about him was correct.

"This is funny," she crowed with a delighted laugh. "You were all chaining me up like this Big Bad vampire, about to have your way with me – and all the time…you were just…wishing…" Her voice softened as she leaned in close to his ear, and whispered enticingly, "…that it was you in the chains instead of me…"

"No…no," Spike insisted in a thoroughly unconvincing whisper that was breathless and trembling with need. And then, when she just slightly increased the pressure she was applying, he confessed, "Yes…bloody hell, yes, Buffy, please…"

The soft, dark little chuckle that left Buffy's lips only served to heighten his desire for her, as she pumped her hand a couple of times around him, and he felt his legs weaken beneath him. Buffy released his wrists, and he pressed his palms hard against the wall to hold himself up – instinctively knowing that if he dared to touch her – whatever spell had her doing these things, touching him like this…would immediately be broken.

Spike was so caught up in the sensations she was creating in him, so lost in the pleasure of her touch, that he was easily led as she gripped his black leather belt with her non-busy hand, and pulled him the few yards to the chains that had bound her earlier – never letting up her attentions to his throbbing member.

He was barely even aware of it, as she locked the chains around his wrists, tugging at them to be sure that they were secure – all one-handed. He could barely believe that this was really happening, that she was really touching him, in spite of all his mistakes this very night, his misguided attempts to win her affections -- in spite of everything…

That thought should have led to his first inkling that something might not be quite right with this picture.

But at the moment – he really couldn't have cared less…because she was touching him.

Unfortunately, it was not to last.

As soon as his wrists were locked securely in the chains, Buffy withdrew her hand from his open jeans – and with it his fully erect member. She giggled wickedly as she stepped back, crossing her arms over her chest and observing her work.

"Buffy? What…?"

"Since you like bondage so much, Spike – I hope you enjoy it. Have fun," she smirked, turning and heading toward the ladder again, this time at a calm, leisurely pace.

"Hey! Wait just a second!" Spike objected, his eyes wide with disbelief. "You can't bloody well just leave me here like this…"

"Actually…I can," Buffy corrected him without turning around.

"Hey! Stop!" he nearly shouted at her, rage mingling with fear in his voice. "You'd better bloody well stop right there, Slayer, or I'll..."

She turned at that, emerald eyes blazing with triumph and irritation and something else that he dared not even attempt to name right then. "You'll stand there in chains with you dick hanging out of your pants -- looking like a total moron -- and yell at me," she finished for him, a derisive smirk on her face. "Oooh -- I'm so scared!"

And with that, she turned and started up the ladder.

"Slayer!" Spike yelled after her.

She did not stop -- did not even look back.

"Buffy!"

But Buffy was already on the upper level and halfway to the door -- desperate to get out of there before the incredibly, annoyingly perceptive vampire managed to figure out just how badly shaken she was herself by the encounter.

"It was just to prove a point," she muttered to herself as she slammed the crypt door shut behind her. "It didn't mean anything...I didn't feel anything..."

Her attempt to convince herself was futile, as she stopped in her tracks, her eyes wide with shock and horror at the realization that was swiftly becoming clear to her.

"Oh no," she whimpered, "what's wrong with me? Why am I feeling this way -- about Spike? And -- not just Spike -- but..."

Her mind flashed back to the image of the blonde vampire, bound in chains and practically begging for her touch -- his hard, sculpted arms taut against his restraints as he gasped with need and thrust his body into her hand. The sheer power of his desire for her -- the ability she had to make him want her so desperately -- the thought of his belonging to her, and no one else...

"No!" she berated herself aloud. "No, Buffy, you can not be thinking these things! Spike is -- well -- he's Spike! You can't be wanting to -- to tie him up and have your way with him! He's Spike, for Pete's sake! You shouldn't want to do anything but stake him! You're the Slayer, so act like it!"

And yet -- despite the voice of reason that told her that she should stay away -- something inside her quietly, almost subconsciously, kept insisting that those thoughts -- those desires -- were as it should be. Spike had been undeniably turned on by her power, her dominance of him a few minutes before, and she knew that it should be repulsive to her...

...but it wasn't.

Truth be told -- she wasn't sure at the moment which of them wanted it more -- her or Spike.

She stopped for a moment, standing still a few feet from the gates of Restfield, and tried to gather her thoughts. Amidst all the rambling confusion that was her mind at the moment, one fact kept circling around again and again in her head.

I have got to find out what is wrong with me!

Buffy spent most of the next morning holed away on the usually deserted second level of the Magic Box, where all the more dangerous, valuable books were kept. Once Anya let her in a few minutes after the shop opened, she quietly disappeared up the stairs, found the books she wanted, and retreated to a quiet corner.

Anya just assumed that she must have left while she was seeing to a customer – and no one even knew she was there.

After all, she thought ruefully. Studying is kind of an anti-Buffy thing to do.

But today – she had something important to figure out.

She had every book she could find that had any reference to ancient Slayers -- their powers, their specific traits -- piled in front of her, searching for anything…even the slightest clue…that might explain her recent and very disturbing feelings toward Spike.

I'm the freakin' Slayer, she thought as she scanned through another apparently useless passage. I should hate him – not want to – to do those things to him…there has to be some explanation – this just can't be me…

When all the books she had in front of her proved to be useless, Buffy tossed them aside, blowing a loose strand of hair out of her eyes in a frustrated gesture, giving the half-empty bookshelf beside her a resentful look. Suddenly, a spark of interest began in her eyes, as she caught sight of an old, leather bound book partially hidden behind the other volumes on the shelf of books pertaining to the Slayer.

She frowned, intrigued, as she reached over and carefully pulled it out from behind the other books. Getting a closer look at it, she could easily see that it was a hand-bound book, not having the professional, finished sort of look to it that the other books had. She opened the cover, stopping at the first, hand-typed page – the title page.

The True Nature and History of the Slayer.

"Hmm," Buffy mused, a single eyebrow going up in suspicion. "So – all the rest of these are the untrue history and nature of me? That can't be good…"

Her eyes widened as she looked a little further, and found the author's name.

Giles? My Giles? she thought with disbelief. Wrote a book? She paused, as she turned to the first page, shaking her head with mild amusement. And -- why exactly should that surprise me again?

The amusement quickly faded as she became immersed in the startling words on the page. Observations her Watcher had made of unsettling moments in her own career as the Slayer – times when she had seemed to take a bit more pleasure than necessary in the slaying – her relationship with Angel – jumped out at her, and she felt her face flush with embarrassment at the intimate details of her life, printed here for anyone to see.

I so hope he hasn't shown this to anyone, she thought with alarm at the idea.

She was relieved to find that after the first couple of chapters, the book no longer seemed to be solely about her. Instead, she found a collection of stories, events in the lives of other Slayers, that had apparently been recounted to Giles by their Watchers – incident after incident that began to place a vaguely unsettled feeling in the pit of her stomach.

Throughout the book, two themes repeated over and over – each Slayer mentioned seemed to take a sort of dark pleasure in her power…and each Slayer had had at least one vampire lover. Even more disturbing to Buffy than that, was the insinuation in the text that the two facets of the Slayer's "true nature" seemed to be intertwined.

Why, several of the Slayers mentioned had openly reveled in the power discrepancy, their control over their vampire lovers – taking pride in keeping them like – like some kind of pet!

Buffy was stunned by the sudden rush of arousal she felt as the image filled her mind again, of the blonde vampire in the crypt across town, still chained – helpless – waiting for her…

But Spike would die before he'd let me…

She cut off the thought abruptly, her eyes widening with alarm as she realized what she had been allowing herself to consider.

No…no, Buffy, that's so wrong! she berated herself, feeling her face flush with shame, though no one but her was around to know of her fleeting fantasies.

She read on, finding Giles' observations in the concluding chapters – how he had noticed that these girls who had done the things he had described tended to live longer than other Slayers – how he had come to the conclusion that it was natural for a Slayer to have that touch of darkness in her, and perhaps even healthy for her to find such an outlet for it as the mentioned girls had.

I cannot say that I would be pleased to have Buffy take up with another vampire, the type-written text read in the conclusion. However if it would serve to make her a more powerful Slayer, and therefore extend her life, perhaps it would be worth it. The signs are already apparent that she is one of the few chosen girls who are naturally a bit more in tune with this darkness than others…

Her heart racing with the implications of what her Watcher had written, Buffy turned the last few pages ahead in the book, pausing when she found a handwritten page, folded and tucked into the back of the book. Unfolding it, she frowned in concentration as she tried to make sense of the tiny writing, which was difficult, considering that the first word was terribly long, and apparently not in English.

Probably not even in human.

But the description that followed the word identified it as a very powerful magical drug, designed to make a person highly suggestible to someone else's commands. The handwritten description said that it would not completely take away the will of the person who took the drug, but it would make it very difficult for them to resist the compulsion to obey. The person who took it would be all but completely under the control of the person who gave it to them.

Like -- like a pet... Buffy realized with a strange sensation in the pit of her stomach, a combination of horror -- and desire.

Following the description on the paper was an address, one that Buffy recognized as being in a not particularly safe part of town.

The possibilities of such a thing flooded her mind, as she raised her wide eyes from the book, her heart pounding with a sudden rush of desire.

Maybe – maybe this is why – maybe I'm supposed to…

No, Buffy – you shouldn't do this…you shouldn't want to do this…

And yet – she did.

Despite her silent reprimands to herself, her well-intentioned mental lecture, she found herself rising from her seat on the floor and replacing the books, all the while her thoughts focused on one thing.

Getting that magical drug on the piece of paper – and getting to Spike.

By the time Buffy returned to Spike's crypt a few hours later, she had talked herself out of, and back into, what she was going to do – several times. But when she made her way down the ladder at last, her mind was made up.

Spike had been drifting in and out of a haze of partial sleep, despite his enforced standing position – but at the sound of her footsteps descending the ladder, he immediately came fully awake. When she turned around to face him, he was glaring at her resentfully.

" 'Bout bloody time you came back, Slayer!" he snarled at her – but thirst and exhaustion made his voice weak and raspy.

"Awww – didja miss me?" Buffy replied cheekily, taking her sweet time as she sauntered toward him, her hips swaying seductively.

"Like I miss being human," he retorted sarcastically, and then clarified emphatically, as if she was too stupid to catch the sarcasm, "No! Just get over here and get these soddin' chains off, now!"

The Slayer's low chuckle of amusement sent a shiver down Spike's back, in spite of himself, as she slowly walked around behind him before replying in a slow, casually mocking voice.

"No – I don't think so, Spikey…"

As she spoke, she moved in close behind him, and he flinched slightly, not sure what to expect from her at this point, the way she was acting at the moment. He had thought that he knew her well, that he could have predicted her actions, her responses.

But he never would have thought that she would have left him there the night before.

She had caught him off guard – just as she did again when she suddenly reached around him, her body pressing against his back as her strong hand closed around his still erect member firmly.

"I'm not quite through with you yet," she informed him softly, her warm breath tickling his ear, and sending a delicious little shudder down his spine as he unintentionally thrust into her hand.

"Wow," she murmured, sounding surprised – and impressed. "All night – and you're still hard…for me?"

Drawing in a sharp gasp of air, Spike leaned his head back, his eyes closed, as she slowly worked his throbbing erection, driving him to even greater heights of need with her touch.

"I told you – you're all I – bloody well think about," Spike struggled to get the words out as she tightened her hold, tugging slightly forward, and he pulled uselessly against the chains that held him.

Almost despite herself, Buffy felt a certain softening within her toward the vampire – and she wondered why she had never seen him in this light before. In all her years as the Slayer, he was the only opponent she had ever fought that she had never managed to truly defeat.

Now – she found herself wondering if there had been a reason for that, all along.

He was meant to be mine…

Still – she could not quite bring herself to respond to his vulnerable, almost shyly spoken admission with the softness that she felt.

"You like this?" she murmured, raising her free hand to tangle in his hair and jerk his head backward, smiling at the little hiss that left his lips at the mixed sensations of pleasure and pain. "My hands on you? Being chained up and at my mercy – me, having the power to touch you – any way I want…turns you on…doesn't it, Spike?"

He did not respond at first – and Buffy knew by the stubborn set of his jaw that while his desire for her was no secret to anyone, his pride would not let the Big Bad in him admit to his underlying need to be dominated by her – to belong to her…

Her hand on his manhood became a vise, just on the edge of painful – and he choked back a startled cry as she slid her other arm around his waist in a possessive gesture, and whispered in his ear, "Doesn't it?"

He turned his head away from her, biting down on his lower lip in a valiant attempt to retain what he thought was the last shreds of his pride.

He was wrong.

Spike still had a lot of pride left to lose – and Buffy was going to enjoy every moment of taking it from him.

Abruptly, she released him completely, stepping back away from him and moving slowly back around in front of him, as she strolled idly across the room toward the small refrigerator he kept there to keep his blood and alcohol cool. She smiled, but did not turn around or otherwise acknowledge the needy, strangled little sound that left his mouth against his will, at the sudden loss of her touch.

She could hear his heavy breathing behind her as he struggled to recover, as she took a bag of blood from the refrigerator, tore it open, and poured it into a large mug.

She had to suppress a laugh when she heard him mutter in a voice of subdued resentment, "Bloody bitch."

"You don't mean that," she replied in a soft, patronizing voice, as, outside of Spike's line of vision, she emptied a tiny plastic packet of the instantly dissolving, colorless, tasteless magical drug that would make him hers to command.

Well – more so than he already was.

Spike was completely silent, waiting for her to put the mug in his microwave and start it heating, then turn around to face him, before retorting in a flat, deadly serious tone of voice.

"Yes. I really do."

Buffy shrugged, obviously unaffected by his words, as she took the mug from the microwave and again moved toward him with an almost predatory smile.

"But you know you love it," she reminded him in a low, sultry voice, as she raised the mug to his lips.

He jerked his head away, glaring at her defiantly as he refused to drink from the blood she had prepared for him.

"Oh, come on, now, Spike," she chided him. "Quit pouting. You know you're hungry. It's been a long time since whatever poor unfortunate person you and Dru ate yesterday."

His eyes shot up to hers, wide and full of a trapped expression.

She just smiled, disarmingly, as she held out the mug to him again, enticingly.

But we are so going to talk about that, once he has no choice but to listen!

"Come on," she urged him, her voice low, sultry and inviting. "You know you want it…go ahead and drink…"

"You'll chain me up in my own home, but then you start preparing my meals for me?" Spike's voice was incredulous, and a bit derisive – but neither tone managed to mask the slight note of nervousness that had crept into his voice. "You are so bloody messed up, Slayer."

"Maybe," she shrugged dismissively. "But it's just a little gesture of good will…"

"A gesture of good will would be to let me out of these chains!"

"I will," she promised, those two words drawing his uncertain gaze back to hers. "If you be a good vampire and eat your supper…"

The taunting sound of her voice was almost enough to make him refuse again – but he really was very hungry. It had been nearly 48 hours since Dru had killed that girl in the Bronze and given her to him – and nothing smelled or looked off about the blood in the Slayer's hand.

"Right, then," he sighed, turning back to face her with a defeated roll of his eyes. "Just you don't be lying to me, Slayer – you said if I drink it…"

"I'll take the chains off," she finished for him, a bit impatiently, though her teasing smile never slipped. "Promise. Okay – here you go…"

Carefully, she tilted the cup upward, allowing the warm fluid to flow into his mouth, and he drank it down quickly, grateful for the nourishment he had been craving, and more than ready to be out of the chains that bound him.

Once the mug was empty, Buffy set it aside, and took the key to the chains from the pocket of her jeans – while Spike tried to figure out why that particular bag of pig's blood tasted even better to him than the fresh human blood he had had the night before…and why he was starting to feel a little faint and unsteady on his feet. When Buffy removed the jeans, he staggered forward a step or two, narrowly regaining his balance – and then, just like that, the hazy feeling faded away.

"What's the matter?" Buffy asked him mildly, standing there in front of him, watching him closely with an odd little smile.

"I – I just – felt a bit off, that's all," he replied, frowning with confusion as he studied her strange expression. "Must have something to do with staying up all night on my feet in my own bleedin' chains!" he pointedly suggested, his voice rising with the last few words.

"Don't talk to me like that," Buffy snapped, a dangerous edge creeping into her voice.

Spike opened his mouth to retort that he would bloody well talk to her anyway he bloody well chose – but somehow…the words would not come out. Instead, what did come out was, "Yes, Buffy…"

"Mistress."

His eyes widened as he stared at her in stunned outrage. "I don't bloody think…"

"Say 'Yes, Mistress'," Buffy instructed firmly, her voice almost frighteningly calm.

"Yes, Mistress," he replied without hesitation – then stared at her in horror as he realized what he had done.

The satisfied smirk on the Slayer's face as she glanced at the discarded, empty mug told Spike all he needed to know. His voice came out in a hushed, horrified whisper, as he asked her, "What did you do to me?"

Buffy ignored his question, her eyes sparkling with an almost frightening light, and at the same time, darkened with lust, as she ordered softly, "Take off your clothes."

Spike opened his mouth to object, even as his trembling fingers moved to unbutton his shirt – but his question was silenced before it began.

"…without talking," Buffy added, a wicked sparkle of amusement in her eyes.

Spike silently cursed his traitorous body, which was responding to the sultry sound of her voice, to the seductive suggestion of her command. He was confused, and angry, and scared to a second death – and yet – he wanted her, desperately…found himself undeniably aroused by her commanding, authoritative manner, and the unapologetic, wanton lust in her eyes as she boldly watched him disrobe.

Before he even had time to begin to formulate some kind of theory as to what exactly she had done to him, Buffy began to explain.

"You're mine, Spike," she declared calmly, pacing slowly toward him with the easy grace of the predator that she was, her arms crossed over her chest as she met his eyes with a slight smile. "You…belong…to me."

He opened his mouth to refute her words, but found himself actually unable to respond. Instinctively he took a step backward as she neared him.

"Don't move," she ordered softly – and he found that he could not.

"Don't even try to deny it," she continued, circling him slowly, one hand trailing across his stomach and side in a lazy caress. "You know you are – you know you have been…for a long time now. I've just decided to make it official."

His wide blue eyes followed her warily, until she moved behind him and he could no longer see her.

But he could feel her.

She ran her hands slowly down his hips from behind him, edging enticingly near to his aching erection – but not quite touching him.

"I've been doing a little research this afternoon, Spike, while you were here waiting for me to decide to let you out of those chains – and I've found out some very interesting things – about the Slayer – about myself…Did you know…that the most powerful Slayers recorded in history – all seemed to have one seemingly insignificant detail in common?"

He could not respond – could not have even had she allowed him to speak, because of the ever strengthening physical need that was gradually consuming him. It didn't matter that she was holding him a virtual prisoner in his own body – that she had performed some sort of magic to place him under her control…

Just who are you soddin' kidding, mate? You were already under her control!

He wanted her. Needed her – desperately.

Still – her next words held enough of a shock to jar him momentarily out of the haze of need that was coming over him.

"They all had a tendency to go for vampires – like I apparently do – and they all had their very own…tamed…vampire…pet!"

When Buffy took her hands off of him and moved around in front of him to face him with a bright, expectant smile, Spike's alarm at what she had said was almost outweighed by his body's protest at the lack of contact with her.

Still, he managed to shake his head emphatically in denial of her words.

No, he insisted in his mind. No – I'm nobody's pet!

But then – why did the idea seem to drive his arousal even further toward an almost unbearable pitch?

"Oh, please!" Buffy dismissed his denial, edging in nearer to him again, one hand resting on his hip and pulling him closer to her, while her other hand slid between them, her thumb applying a slow circular pressure around the head of his erection. "Don't tell me that's not what you want!"

Of course – he didn't.

Buffy rolled her eyes, remembering his predicament, and said a bit impatiently, "Okay, whatever, you can talk."

"I – I – don't…" Spike couldn't seem to get the words out, as she intensified the pressure she was exerting with her expert fingers.

"Spike – don't bother," Buffy cut him off, slipping her hand down from his hip to cup one side of his pale, firm bum, giving it a light squeeze that elicited a low groan from the vampire's lips. "I know you! And I've figured it out – I just can't believe it took me so long!"

Her hands continued their slow exploration of his body, as she lowered her voice, drawing in close to his ear to go on, "All this time – I was so freaked out – thinking that you wanted me – to have me – to own me – because, hello? Vampire – can't really love. So if you wanted me, that'd have to be what you wanted – right?"

"I do love you," he argued weakly, his eyes drifting closed, as forming an actual coherent thought seemed to be becoming more and more difficult.

"Hush," she warned him sternly, before going on with a soft little laugh, "I was so wrong. What you really wanted wasn't to make me yours. It was – to be mine. It should have been obvious – you followed Drusilla around for a hundred years, catering to her every whim, even when she was an insane, lying, cheating little ho bag!"

Spike flinched slightly, though he couldn't have told whether it was from the painful truth of her words – or the hard note of possessive anger in her voice.

Buffy's face broke into a soft smile, as she drew in even closer to him and added in a hushed whisper against his ear, "But not anymore. You proved it tonight. You know -- she's not what you need. I am. You say you love me, Spike – I'm all you think about – do you know why that is?"

Her soft touch and softer voice, in combination with whatever mystical drug she had given him, making its way through his system, had Spike drifting into a state of mesmerized euphoria, where nothing existed for him but her voice, her hands -- her.

She was right.

Bloody hell, she was right!

He was hers.

He shook his head weakly in response to her question.

"Because," she answered softly, "I know what it is that you really need, Spike. I know how to be strong enough for you – how to handle you. I'm a powerful woman, and I like to be in control. Angel couldn't handle that – Riley couldn't handle that – but you can – can't you, Spike? It's what you want – what you need – isn't it, Baby?"

He shook his head in desperate denial, though the movement was slow and uncertain.

"Okay," Buffy spoke the single word calmly, thoughtfully, as she stepped back for a moment to regard him appraisingly – and Spike opened his eyes with an effort, unable to disguise the need that was clearly visible there. "You can talk all you want – move all you want…" the Slayer declared with a careless little shrug.

Spike felt the tension of restraint gradually easing from his body – but had no time to react before the Slayer had grabbed him and pushed him forcefully back against the wall, her searching mouth attacking his in an intense, hungry kiss – which he found himself returning, almost in spite of himself.

Buffy drew back to meet his eyes again, her own glittering and dark with desire. "Make me stop," she challenged him in a breathless whisper. "If you want to…" And she moved in on him again, her hands running over his body almost frantically as her tongue invaded his mouth.

And he did not make her stop. He did not even try.

Spike returned her kiss, leaning forward away from the wall and moving to put his arms around her – until she caught his wrists, pressing him back against the wall again. Her lips left his as she gave him a wicked smile, then lowered them to his throat, nipping just slightly at the sensitive skin there in a subtle imitation of what his own bite might have been like.

He felt her smile against his skin as his cock pressed harder against her in response to the dominant, possessive move.

"You want this," she murmured between kisses, thrilling to the way he responded to her touch. "You want to be mine – and I want you – so much – I can make this – so good for you, Spike…" As she spoke, lavishing kisses on his throat, his chest, as she made her case, her hand slipped down to close around his weeping, desperate erection. "I can make you -- love being mine…my vampire…my pet…"

He let out a low, pleading moan, though neither one of them really knew whether it was her touch or her words that drew the sound from him. Buffy drew back to meet his eyes again, her breath nearly stolen away by the expression of mingled shock and pleasure in his shining blue eyes.

"I can do this, Spike – whether or not you want me to," she informed him in a soft, serious voice – and then she tightened her hold on his member, then dragged her fist slowly downward, causing the vampire to close his eyes, leaning his head back against the wall behind him with a sharp gasp at the sensation.

She leaned in close to his ear and whispered intently, earnestly, "But I want you to want it, Spike…I know you do…and I won't…won't force you…tell me, Spike…tell me…what…you…want…"

He could not seem to formulate a response, as she released her hold on his erection, dragging a single finger slowly along the underside, turning her finger at the last second to just barely scrape his skin with her fingernail.

The sharp, strangled little cry that Spike tried to hold back told her all she needed to know, as she stepped back away from him, all at once not touching him at all – until he moved forward in a thoughtless frenzy of need to attempt to pull her into his arms. The Slayer caught his arms, pinning them firmly over his head, as she leaned in close to his face, yet kept her body held away from him, holding back the contact he was desperate for by this point.

"Please…bloody hell, Buffy, please…" he gasped out, his longing manhood thrusting into nothing.

"Please what, Spike?" she pressed him, an odd gentleness to her voice. "Tell me what you want…"

Spike was silent for a moment, breathing hard, aware in spite of his position that this question required more than the simple answer it appeared to.

"Yes or no, Spike," Buffy whispered intently, her wide jade-darkened gaze searching his face. "I can make you mine – yes or no?"

"Please…" Spike gasped out, his eyes closed, his lips parted and trembling with his need for her. "Please, Buffy…yes, Buffy, yes, please!"

A pleased look of triumph, tempered with just a hint of affection, came into Buffy's eyes, as she seemed to relent, lowering one of her hands to fist around his erection again, pumping it a couple of times, and drawing another desperate moan of pleasure from his lips.

"Yes, Buffy," Spike gasped out. "Yes, please, Buffy, yes…"

"Mistress," she corrected him in a voice that was somehow soft and hard at the same time.

"Mistress," he repeated, his back arching, thrusting his member toward her as she released him and trailed her fingertips slowly around the tip of his erection, driving him to the very edge of ecstasy…

And then – she suddenly withdrew her hand completely.

Before he even had time to register the loss, she had reached into her pocket and taken out a small strip of rough leather with a tiny buckle on one end – which she promptly wrapped around the base of his erection, pulling it tight and latching the buckle with one swift, fluid motion.

Spike stared at her in shock, then down at the leather cock ring she had just put on him – leaving him mere moments from his climax…and then denying him.

"No," he whispered, shaking his head in disbelief. "You can't be bloody serious…"

"Shhh," she cut him off, suddenly gripping his hair and jerking his head back hard – and he was quiet, waiting for her next words – which were not long in coming.

"Get on your knees."

Immediately he obeyed, looking up at her with anxious, longing eyes. There was a certain measure of fear, yes, in being so helpless, at her whim; but there was a part of him, deep down – the same part of him that had openly submitted to her desire to make him her pet – that felt reassured in the fact that he was truly hers…and where he was supposed to be.

"You've been a very bad vampire, Spike," Buffy informed him, walking around behind him again, and he turned his head to follow her as far as he could. Once she was out of his sight, she crouched down behind him, laying a possessive hand across his throat and tilting his head backward against her. "I'm gonna have to take you in line, Baby – teach you to behave yourself…"

In the next moment she stood up – and with another lightning quick motion, Spike found himself sporting a black leather collar to match the ring around his cock – and like that other ring, it was a bit tighter than was comfortable.

"I don't bloody well think…" he began to object, silenced by a sudden jerk on the leash that he had not realized was attached to the collar.

"You don't talk," she informed him imperiously, wrapping the leather around her fist until it was taut, leaving him no room to move away as she crouched down behind him again, "unless I say that you can talk. Is that clear?"

Spike hesitated just a moment, before nodding his acceptance.

It was not as if he had a choice, really.

He had already made his choice.

"Did you sleep with her?"

Spike turned his head to look at her in surprise, but she jerked the leash tighter, nudging his back with her knee in an unspoken order to turn around. It took him a moment to figure out just what she was asking – and then he remembered…the whole reason why this whole thing had started in the first place.

Dru.

"No," he assured her softly, not even trying to conceal his hurt at the question. "No, Buffy, I love you – I wouldn't…"

"She said you'd been feeding," she cut him off, moving in closer to him and wrapping an arm around him, trailing her fingertips lightly down his chest, circling one of them around one taut nipple as she went on, "Now how exactly is that possible…considering that little doodad in your head, Spike?"

A little thrill of fear went through him at the subtle threat in her words, combining with the pleasurable sensations she was creating with her hand on his chest, and he barely managed to get out his reply in a slightly trembling voice, "I -- I didn't -- I mean -- I didn't actually..."

As he attempted to explain, the Slayer rose to her feet behind him, and moved slowly around to look down at him expectantly. Another jerk on his leash silenced him, as she gave a dismissive shrug and remarked, "Doesn't matter. Because it won't be happening again..." She reached a hand down to tilt his chin up, forcing him to meet her gaze. "Will it, Spike?"

He swallowed hard, then shook his head solemnly, bravely holding her gaze.

Her hand under his chin gentled into an affectionate caress up the side of his face. "Good boy," she replied softly. "Because I'd really hate to have to punish you, Spike."

His painfully restrained erection throbbed with the suggestion behind her words.

"Well," she amended with a smirk, as she noticed his obvious discomfort, "any more than I already am, anyway..."

"Bu -- Mistress -- Mistress, please!" Spike found himself openly begging for the release she had all but brought him to. "Please, I need..."

"What you need," she snapped, jerking the leash taut so that he could not finish, "is to keep your mouth shut while I'm talking! Understood?"

Spike hurriedly nodded, and she gave him back the slack in the chain that she had taken from him. He lowered his head in submission, obediently waiting for her to go on -- and Buffy could not help but soften to him.

The Slayer crouched down in front of him, gently tilting his face up to look her in the eye again, as she allowed the leash to drop to the ground. Placing a gentle but firm hand at the back of his neck, she drew him in close and kissed him, tenderly, thoroughly, before pulling back to give him a reassuring smile.

"I know what you need, Spike," she assured him, her free hand reaching down to lightly stroke his rock solid, aching member, in a teasingly light touch that only served to make his situation that much more desperate. "And I'm going to be sure that you get it," she promised.

Before he could even begin to feel relief at her words, she added, "But what you need first of all -- is to know beyond all doubt who is in control here. Who is the Mistress -- and who is the pet. Do you understand?"

Spike opened his mouth as if to say something else in his own defense -- and then thought better of it. He nodded dutifully, his eyes downcast again as she took her hands off him and stood up straight again, the leash in her hand again.

"Good," she nodded, satisfied. "You belong to me, Spike," she repeated firmly. "You're mine -- and your first concern should always be my pleasure...is that clear?"

Spike nodded again as she moved closer to him, her free hand trailing slowly up her own thigh, raising the short red leather skirt she wore with her hand -- and revealing to him two things -- the undeniably strong fragrance of her arousal; and the fact that she wore nothing at all under the skirt.

Spike's erection became even more uncomfortable as she jerked him closer to her by the leash.

"Do a good job, Baby – make me happy," she said softly, pulling her skirt up and baring herself to him, "and maybe I'll decide to let you come, too."

Spike needed no further encouragement.

Immediately he buried his face in her sodden center, lapping at her gently at first. Encouraged by her soft moans of pleasure, he became bolder, increasing the pressure of his strokes as he caressed her with his tongue, worshipping her with his mouth.

After a moment or two, Buffy dropped the leash entirely, holding his head against her body with both hands as she turned them both around blindly, yet remembering that the reversal would put her back against the wall. She needed the support, or she knew that she was going to end up on the floor.

If I'd had any idea he was this good at this, she thought through the haze of pleasure that engulfed her, I'd have done this years ago!

"Spike – oh, Spike – mmm – so good…" she murmured, throwing her head back, closing her eyes. "Don't – don't stop…"

As she clutched him tightly to her, filling his senses with the sight, scent, taste of her, Spike found himself thinking that it was a very good thing that he did not need to breathe.

But those were not his only senses that were affected by what he was doing.

The aching need in his groin was swiftly becoming unbearable.

He didn't even realize that his hand had come to rest on his cock, unconsciously seeking some relief from the steadily building pressure – until the Slayer's body quivered around him, and with a soft cry of completion, she relaxed, releasing his head and slumping back against the wall, gasping as she tried to catch her breath.

As he drew slightly away from her, and his vision came back into focus, he suddenly became aware of his own hand on his desperate erection, attempting futilely to bring about the fulfillment that the leather ring she had put on him would not allow. His eyes darted up to her as he jerked his hand away…

…too late.

The Slayer was smiling down at him, a satiated laziness about her expression – but her eyes were glittering with wicked amusement.

"Unh-uh," she chided him gently, shaking her head in reproof. "Spike – don't you know that's mine?"

Without warning she grabbed the leash and pulled him roughly to his feet, forcing him to scramble to get up quickly so as to avoid being choked by the lead. Before he knew what was happening, she had reversed their positions, pushing him up against the wall, and wound the leash tightly around a little slab of rock jutting out from it – so tightly that he could not move his head at all.

"Did I tell you you could touch yourself, Spike?" she asked him, her voice still soft, yet very dangerous.

"N-no, Mistress," he gasped out the words, barely able to draw breath through the oppressively tight collar around his neck. "I'm sorry…"

"Put your hands against the wall over your head and cross your wrists," she ordered sharply. "And do not move unless I tell you to – is that clear?"

"Yes, Mistress," Spike replied without hesitation as he obeyed her command.

Once he was in the position she desired, she drew her body in close to his, her hand reaching down to trail two fingers up and down the length of his weeping erection, almost idly as she spoke.

"You're mine, Spike. That means every part of you is mine. You belong to me. And that means – that you don't touch yourself, unless I say it's okay. The only one who can decide whether you get pleasure – or pain – is me. You make me happy – you'll be very happy. You make me mad…" She shrugged slightly, and the warning glimmer in her eyes sent a little shiver down his spine. "Understand?"

Spike tried to nod, and found that he could not – so he struggled to choke out the words, "Yes, Mistress."

"Good," she said, her smile softening as she laid a tender caress along his cheek – and then suddenly dropped to her knees in front of him. She looked up at him through dark, hooded eyes, and murmured in a low, throaty voice of sharp warning, "Don't move…"

He tried very hard not to move – but could not help jumping slightly when all at once he found his rock hard member encased in the liquid fire of her mouth. The slight, barely there pressure of her teeth around him stilled his movement instantly, but still, she drew back, crossing her arms as she rocked back on her knees and looked up at him impatiently.

"Do you want me to do this or not?" she asked him matter-of-factly.

"Yes!" he gasped out. "Yes, please, Mistress, please!"

"Okay then…now don't move," she repeated firmly, before resuming her work with her mouth – much to Spike's immense relief.

There was only one problem.

The leather cock ring was still in place.

The expert movements of her mouth on his body, her tongue, teeth and lips driving him to an even greater frenzy, was incredible – but the release that she was making him frantic for would not – could not – happen.

Not until she decided to let it.

After a few agonizingly blissful minutes had passed, Buffy withdrew her mouth from around him, playfully tickling the underside of his erection as she looked up at him questioningly.

"You want to come, Spike?" she asked him simply.

"Yes – please…" he responded immediately, desperately, his voice raspy with the restraint of the leather collar across his throat.

"How bad do you want to come, Spike?" she altered the wording slightly, a mischievous glint in her eyes as she brought her thumb and forefinger together around the tip of his erection and pinched just slightly.

The vampire let out a groan that could not be distinguished as ecstasy or agony, as he almost whimpered, "Please – please, I'll do anything, Mistress…anything you want…anything, just please, please…"

"Please what?" she pressed him.

"Please let me come!" he gasped out, giving her the words she was seeking.

"You know," she pointed out thoughtfully, as she traced her fingers back up to the base of his erection, sliding one carefully between the leather and his flesh, idly running it back and forth under the ring. "You're gonna do what I want anyway. You know, what with the whole belonging to me thing…so – that's not why I'm going to do this for you…"

Her voice softened slightly, becoming almost tender as she unbuckled the ring and let it drop to the floor. "I'm going to do this for you, because I told you that I'd make this good for you – make you happy – if you make me happy…" She rose upright on her knees, guiding his throbbing, pulsing cock to wait less than an inch from her lips – her soft, warm breath torturing him as she added in a whisper that he could easily hear, "…and you've made me very happy…"

She took him in her mouth once more – and swiftly brought him to completion, swallowing down his cool spendings without hesitation, and then rising to unfasten the leash from where it was bound, and take her new pet into her arms, falling to the ground with him as his legs gave out under him, just holding him close to her and stroking his loose blonde curls back from his face as he gradually recovered from the intensity of his release.

When he seemed to be coming back to earth, without a word she gently disentangled herself from his clinging embrace, and walked across the crypt to the bag she had brought with her when she came in, taking out several items of black leather, and tossing them down beside him.

Spike looked at them blankly for a moment, confused, then up at her in a question.

"Put those on," Buffy instructed mildly as she went to the refrigerator and took out another bag of blood, poured it into a mug, and then turned around to face him calmly – making no effort to hide what she was doing this time as she poured a second tiny packet of fine powder into the mug and stirred it with a spoon.

Her eyes shimmered with a wicked gleam as she smirked at him and explained simply, "We're going out."