"Ouch!" Willow whirled around and glared at Xander. "What was that for?"

Her friend wore an expression of astonished innocence even as Willow rubbed her sore butt. "It's your birthday, remember?"

"So?"

"Birthday spanking?" He rubbed his hands together. "I still owe you a bunch more, you know."

Willow groaned. She'd gotten out of this last year. She'd hoped Xander's childish tradition had gone the way of high school, or at least that being at Giles's house would rein him in – even if Giles wasn't there. No such luck. "Buffy?" she begged. "Make him stop."

But Buffy was sitting on the couch with Riley, deep in conversation…or rather, something else that involved the use of mouths and tongues. Great.

"Are you supposed to be spanking someone who isn't me?" Anya asked peevishly. That question offered so much more than Willow ever wanted to know about Xander's sex life.

"Yeah, moron. Besides, you're not doing it right." Spike stood in the doorway from the kitchen holding a mug of blood.

"And what would you know about birthday spankings, Fangless?"

"A sight more than you." And with that, Spike looked Willow up and down in a way that made her blush, sauntering over to her at the same time. The way he was staring…she was turning redder by the second – a fact not helped by his smirk. "And if it were being done proper…" He leaned over and whispered in her ear. "You wouldn't be running away. You'd be begging for more."

"What did he say?" Xander asked, giving Spike a look that threatened a staking

"N-nothing. He was just joking around." Willow said. "But I think Anya has a point. You should spank her instead."

"Let's go, Xander. Willow says you should spank me right now." With that, Xander was dragged out of the apartment. What a relief. Her butt was safe… Well…

Spike leaned in again before murmuring, "I wasn't kidding, pet. Any time you want to take me up on it…" He headed back to the kitchen, downing his blood as he went.

Willow stood pondering for a moment before following. Keeping her voice soft so as not to attract the attention of the amorous twosome in the living room, she asked, "About that spanking thing…I mean, not that I want you to or anything, because… But wouldn't your chip…?"

The low rumble of Spike's chuckle went straight to her hormones. "It won't be a problem if I'm not trying to hurt ya."

"Oh." She stood there, Spike's eyes undressing her in stages, and she started thinking. She was alone – and really lonely – and it was her birthday. Spike was…not the worst-looking vampire ever. (Oh who was she kidding? He was hot!) Plus, he had the chip, so… "Umm…I think there might be some…birthday cake or something at my parents' house. Wanna come?" As lame pretexts went, it was lamer than most, but Spike didn't seem to mind.

"I won't be the only one, comin'," he said, his voice full of promise.

"Okay," she squeaked, letting him drag her to the door and out into the blessed darkness of the just-after-sundown.

The door slammed behind them and Willow could just hear a voice from the couch before she and Spike were well on their way.

"Where did everybody go?"

The End