Even with that warning, the blow came too fast for him to prepare for, too quickly for him to dodge. It was a hard blow, a blow meant to punish, to hurt. It sent him sprawling across the office floor, his arms stretched out to catch himself on the carpet, but not making it in time. I kicked him then, a hard, sharp kick to the stomach, and then reached down and yanked him back to his feet by the hair. "What have you done?" I hissed again.

He looked up at me, brown eyes pleading, pitiful, filling with tears as he realized that he'd displeased me, that he'd broken our agreement. "Spike, please," he whimpered.

"Damn you," I grunted, kneeing him in the stomach. I wouldn't be so low as to cause blunt-force trauma to his groin, not when I could have him spread out on my bed, naked and hard and bleeding from every artery, every vein. I licked my lips.

"I'm sorry," he groaned, and I laughed in his face, yanking on his hair.

"Sorry? Sorry?" I spat in his face and watched with pleasure as he flinched away from me. Good. He should be afraid, my very presence should make him shake. I shifted my grip, releasing his hair and circling his throat with my hand, fingers flexing cruelly, announcing their intent to squeeze should he make the slightest movement toward escape. "Who gave you permission to be sorry?"

He shivered, a whine escaping as he gazed helplessly at me.

"You bastard," I sneered. "You don't even remember what it is that you've done, do you?"

He gave a minuscule shake of his head and my hand closed, crunching the cartilage in his throat, narrowly missing his voice box, keeping quite purposely clear of his neck. I was not going to wait around for months while his spinal cord had to repair itself. I wanted him to feel everything I was going to do to him, wanted him in agony over this. "Shall I tell you what your infraction was, then?" I didn't wait for him to nod--didn't want to incapacitate him, just hurt him. Hurt him a lot. "You saw her." No one could have missed the emphasis I put on the last word. Her could only mean one person.

"B-Buffy?" he gasped out, and I knew the single word had been agony coming from that crushed windpipe as it had. I raised a wrist to my mouth and tore into my own skin with my teeth, letting the blood gush. I forced my wrist to his lips, parting them with the force.

"Drink, you miserable cunt. I want to hear you beg."

He began to suck at my wrist, and I watched as the fresh blood knitted his throat back together. "Did she promise to love you?" I asked him as he drank. "Did she kiss you and beg to be allowed to touch, to suck, to fuck? Did she want you between her legs, filling her up? Did you want it too? Did she tempt you into leaving me?"

He stopped drinking and pulled his mouth away. "Never," he said, eyes shining with the truthfulness of his words. "No one could ever tempt me away from you."

I tossed him away from me. "Don't follow me. When I want you, I'll come back for you," I snapped as I stalked out of the door.

As I slammed my fist into the button for the elevator, I heard him crying my name. "Don't leave . . . Spike, please--"

The closing doors cut off his pleas. He was alone now, alone until I came back. I sank down, back against the far wall of the elevator, and screamed. He couldn't leave me. He couldn't. What would I do? Where would I go? Who would tolerate me, who would let me be such a big part of their life? Who would I talk to? I screamed again, tearing at my skin, my hair, the carpet on the floor, anything I could reach.

Even in Xander Harris' filthy basement I hadn't been this furious, this helpless. If Angel left me, I'd have nothing left. All the questions raced back through my mind again, where, who, what, who, and screaming, screaming, screaming. Impotent rage and righteous fury flowed through me, and when they stopped, all that was left was a single question.

If he left me, who would I love?