Cousin Arabella

By Lilachigh

Here is the last chapter. Have you enjoyed it?

Chapter Nine: "I can give him Hope"

Spike stepped over the broken remains of Buffy's breakfast and stood surveying the naked Slayer, still crouched on the bed, "What the hell's going on?" he said, bewilderment showing in his face. "Why on earth were you fighting with Arabella?"

Buffy swirled a sheet round her body and glared. "Your cousin tried to add Slayer to her kill list."

"Well, you wouldn't be her first," Spike snapped unhappily.

"What!"

"I - er - sort of forgot to tell you yesterday. Arabella killed a Slayer in France just before the 1st World War. There'll be a record of it in one of the Watcher diaries. I expect Giles would know."

Buffy shut her eyes and counted slowly to ten as her mother had taught her to do before losing her temper. "Spike, you brought me here to meet a vampire who's killed a Slayer?"

The sapphire gaze gleamed in the light from the bedside lamps. "Hey, killed a couple myself, pet. You know that."

"That - that's different."

"How?"

Buffy stared at him in despair. Of course it was different. He was chipped, couldn't hurt humans any more. Besides, he was her lover - no, take that back, he was the man she had sex with. And she - the words fell into her brain like ice splinters - she trusted him. She trusted him with Dawn, with her friends, she'd even trusted him to guard her mother all those years ago. She didn't trust him not to break her heart, but that was her problem, not one she could share with him. But at least she owed him this much. "I trust you," she whispered. "I know you would never physically hurt me. But Arabella would. That's the difference."

Silently Spike handed her the shorts and T-shirt he'd stolen from a laundry basket somewhere in the mansion. Buffy squeezed into them, wondering wryly if all men, dead or alive, liked their women in skin-tight micro shorts and Ts that were so thin, every time she moved, her nipples showed.

Spike leant against the dressing-table, hands stuck in his pockets and watched as she swept her hair off her face and tied it back with a strip of the mauve material from the dress he'd torn off her the night before. She looked up as she did so and felt herself blushing as she remembered exactly what they'd been doing all that hot long day behind the heavy curtains that shut out the killer sun. "I need to go home," she said. "It's dark enough for you to travel, isn't it?"

Spike nodded, then stood, silently studying his boots. "What about Arabella?" he said at last. "I've got to say something to her before we go. Bloody hell, she's family. And to Div'vid. He's a mate."

"Just don't let her near me," Buffy replied shortly. "I stopped myself killing her once, I don't think I can promise not to do it if she attacks me again."

"Perhaps it was just a misunderstanding," Spike proffered hopefully. "Something you said that she took the wrong way. She is English, you know, even if she is nearly as old as me. We do have trouble understanding you Yanks, sometimes. I mean, I still don't see how the bonnet of the soddin' car can be called a hood? And how come you put things in the trunk and not in the boot?"

Buffy turned away wearily. All the Slayer adrenalin was flooding out of her blood stream now and she just felt tired. She realised she would never win against the Arabellas of this world. Vampire or human, the woman had that knack of handling men that you were born with, you could never learn it, no matter how hard you tried. "Spike, she was trying to kill me."

He reached out and pulled her unyielding body into his arms. "No she wasn't, pet," he said cheerfully with the sort of male belief in the truth of what he was saying that made Buffy want to hit him where it hurt. "It was just a fight. God, sweetheart, I used to have real knock down scraps with Peaches all the time. It's what vampire families do."

He bent his head to nuzzle at the tender skin under her ear, running his hands over the shape of her body, outlined by the tight white shorts and skimpy red top. Buffy tried to wriggle free from his grasp as his clever fingers slid up under her top and found her breasts. "But I'm not a vampire," she gasped. "I'm not part of your family."

She needed to go home, they had to leave - now - except that, she found her breath coming in little gasps as the tender flesh was stroked with feather light touches. No, she mustn't give in, but oh, god, that felt so good.

"We are family!" Spike hissed fiercely and plundered her mouth with his own. "I'd kill anyone who took you away from me!"

She realised her hands were tangled in his hair and somehow she had automatically raised one of her legs to rest on the vampire's hip, fighting against the shorts that were restricting her movements.

Buffy reached down and uzipped them, mewing slightly as he tugged them off her bottom and growled deep in his chest as his hands cupped her cheeks. She kicked them off and moaned in ecstasy at the relief of being naked to his touch once more. She needed the feel of his flesh on hers. She didn't understand why, but she craved the sensation. The chill smoothness of his body made her burn and she couldn't get enough of the sensation.

There was no time to reach the bed - he was spreading her with his fingers, groaning as her hands reached for him. Oh god, he was driving her insane, taking her right to the very edge and then drawing back

"Love you, love you, love you," he was muttering wildly as his hips jerked forward and she tightened every internal muscle she had. The bright blue eyes opened wide in glazed glee as his orgasm shook him.

For a long minute they stood, gazing at each other. Buffy could hear her breath coming in little gasps. She was trying to forget Spike's words. He often said he loved her. But he was a vampire. What did he know of true love? This wasn't love. This was sex. And, oh god, she wanted him again. Her head began to swim and her eyes widened in something close to despair as the knowledge shook her. She saw the hunger echoed in Spike's eyes and realised, at long last, that this was something deeper than sex. What was it Spike had said only a little while ago? Sex could be fun, and passionate and exciting or boring and mundane and anything you want it to be in between. Well, this was - primeval, instinctive, not loving, but mating.

They fell to the floor in a flurry of arms and legs, tearing off the clothes they still wore. She was too strong for him, then he was too strong for her. Buffy wouldn't have believed it possible that she could want to come again so quickly, or that he could. All she knew was that he was hers, not Arabella's. She knew somewhere in the darker recesses of her brain that in the cold light of day she would freak at what she was doing. How could she possibly be jealous of a vampire? It was insane. But her heart told her othewise. Arabella might want him, might lust after him, but it was she, Buffy Summers, who was naked on the floor with him.

Buffy wrapped her legs around his waist and he grabbed her bottom and pulled her upwards as he thrust - deep, deeper and deeper, pulling her harder and harder towards him. Then he started to work on her, pounding with every ounce of his strength, glorying in the fact that not only could she take it, but she answered with all her Slayer power, her head flailing from side to side. She was beginning to make those noises he loved, little moans and cries at first, then more guttural in her throat.

"Open your eyes, look at me!" he demanded

When they hit together, she knew she was screaming and didn't care who heard. This wasn't the usual waves of pleasure, this was harder, sharper, she burnt inside and nothing would ever put out the fire he was lighting between them.

Buffy's screams of passion and Spike's growls of sated satisfaction echoed through the room. It wasn't difficult to hear them in the next room - especially when you were looking through a spy hole cut specially in the wall panelling. Arabella watched the writhing couple without any expression on her beautiful face. A casual observer would have said she was bored by what she saw. Except that the wood panels on either side of the spy hole now had great gouges dug out of them by fingernails that needed desperately to be sunk into a Slayer's eyes.

The huge mansion was quiet and dark as the evening shadows grew longer outside. Buffy and Spike walked silently along corridors and down the sweeping staircase into the hall. They had hardly spoken since they'd fallen away from each other, untangled limbs and pulled their clothes on over sweaty, sticky damp bodies. Buffy had ignored Spike when he tried to talk to her about what had just happened. All she wanted now was to get home, crawl into her own bed and forget.

In the entrance hall, all signs of the previous evening's party had been cleared away and the black and white marble floor had been washed and polished. "I'll find Div'vid and tell him we're going," Spike said, his voice full of suppressed anger. Their last bout of love-making had been so intense. All he'd wanted to do was talk to her about it. But no. All her defences had slammed down against him the second she was dressed. "Wait here, Slayer, and for goodness sake don't get into another fight."

Buffy watched him vanish down a passage and sighed. She knew she was being uber-bitchy with him, but what was there to say. She ached all over and the tight white shorts and skimpy T shirt Spike had found for her to wear made her feel cheap and grubby. She wandered out of the hall, through the empty, echoing ballroom, onto the verandah. The sky was a beautiful deep blue and somewhere crickets were chirruping. The fountain pattered down into the pool surrounding it. Buffy sat on the stone edge of the pond and dabbled her fingers in the cool water. A big fish swam up and nibbled at her, then realising she wasn't food, dived down to the bottom in a flash of gold.

"How nice to have your home so close by," she murmured. "I wish I could just dive down and find myself snug and safe indoors." Her head hurt as well as other parts of her anatomy. She didn't understand why she felt like this about Spike. This last bout of sex had stunned her with its violence, its passion, its driving desire. How had he become so important to her? OK, when Willow had brought her back from the dead, he'd been there for her and when she was with him, when he touched her, it was the only time she felt anything except a sort of cold despair.

But he was still a vampire. He had no soul. Everything she'd been brought up to believe as a Slayer, as a female, was stood on its head by her feelings for this man.

She took a deep breath and stared up at where the first stars were beginning to appear. She could remember when she'd been about twelve or thirteen, just before she became aware of vampires and demons. A normal little girl. Crushes on pop stars, movie stars, drawing pictures of the wedding dress she wanted on the back pages of books in school. Knowing she would marry a nice boy one day, someone who was good-looking and kind, honest and fun. They would be very happy and live in a nice house, have a couple of children and be friends forever. No doubts. No death. No demons. No thin blond vampire would be in your life, because, hey, you were never going to watch him going off to work every morning while you rocked the cradle with your youngest child.

She was twenty-one, had died twice already, lost her mother, been given a sister, killed the love of her teenage years and all of that paled into insignificance when Spike smiled at her.

"Colour me confused, little fishy," Buffy murmured to the carp as it rose to the surface again. A familiar tingling on the back of her neck made her look up sharply. Arabella stood a few feet away, staring at her. Buffy yawned. "Oh not again, please. Look, we're just going. We'll be out of here. Thanks for a lovely party, etc. etc."

A low growl broke from Arabella's lips. "You still think you can take William away from me?"

"I'm not taking him anywhere." Buffy jumped up, irritation at the vampire's obsession with her cousin beginning to overcome her desire to get the hell out of Dodge and back to Sunnydale. "He's driving me home and then he's quite free to come back here, if he wants to. I'm not his keeper."

Arabella stalked a little closer, her hands compulsively clenching into fists. "You keep his heart."

"Yes, in a silver box in my bedroom!" Buffy joked and circled cautiously around the other woman.

Arabella obviously didn't see any humour in her words. "He won't return to me unless you release him. I can give him Hope, make him happy. Can you?"

"Excuse me, aren't you a married sort of vampire? Didn't I meet your husband yesterday? Remember him - very tall, green guy. Frovlax demon. Chews his food and brings it back up. Name of Div'vid. Ring any bells?"

Shimmering into game face, Arabella hissed and crouched lower. "Div'vid is not important. William is. I'll say it again, Slayer. I can give him his heart's desire. I can give him Hope. I can make him happy. Can you?"

On the final word she flung herself at Buffy, fingernails stretching towards the Slayer's eyes. Buffy leapt to one side and smacked the vampire girl on the head as she passed. "Not doing too badly so far."

Arabella rolled and was back on her feet in an instant. "All you'll bring him is pain and despair," she snapped and slashed with her hand. Her nails caught Buffy's bare arm and drew blood. Arabella snarled as the scent of the blood made her loose control.

Buffy flinched, turned to kick out and her supporting foot slid in the water scattered from the fountain in the evening breeze. She crashed to the ground, and her head clipped the edge of the fountain. She was aware of the world going round in red circles, of Arabella's cold body against hers, a babble of victorious profanities in her ear, then the weight was being lifted and she focussed again on Spike in game face, holding his cousin's hands behind her back, about to bury his fangs in her slender white neck.

"Spike! Stop!" Buffy didn't hesitate. It was fine for her to kill Arabella, but not Spike. She couldn't let him do that for her.

The golden glow vanished from his eyes and his human face appeared. "Sorry, luv, I didn't believe you. But I've been watching and listening. Bitch tried to kill you."

"She's still your cousin, Spike. Family."

"Bloody hell, Buffy, I offered to kill Dru for you once, remember. Why should Arabella be any different?"

"Because you're different." The words fell into the silence broken only by the splashing of the fountain. Her gaze caught his and held it steady, forcing him to think, to remember how far he'd come since those days.

Spike pushed Arabella away from him, as if her touch burnt. "Buffy's the only person who can ever make me happy," he snapped at his cousin. "Don't you forget it." Then, "Let's get the hell out of here, Slayer."

He held out his hand and without hesitation, Buffy took it. And the feel of his cool fingers was like finally coming home.

But as they walked across the ballroom, matching stride for stride, behind them, Arabella started to scream. "Div! Div, darling! William tried to kill me. Stop them! Somebody stop them."

A rumbling roar came from somewhere deep inside the house. The Frovlax demon was coming to the aid of its mate.

"Run, Buffy! I don't want to fight Div'vid."

Together they raced across the ballroom, through the hall and out once more into the night. The car Spike had 'borrowed' was parked only yards from the stone staircase that led down onto the drive.

Buffy risked a glance over her shoulder and gasped. She'd had no idea how fast Div'vid could move. The seven foot green demon had almost caught them and Arabella wasn't far behind, leading a whole posse of demon servants. Swerving, Buffy knocked a huge stone container full of flowers off its pedestal as she passed and heard Div'vid howl with rage as his big bare green feet slipped in the mess of earth and petals and he tripped, making the ground shake as he fell.

Then they were in the car; Spike spun the wheel and with smoking tyres, they were zooming past some fluffy pink demons, sending them screeching off into the bushes and away down the long drive towards the road. "They've shut the main gate!" Buffy yelled as they came into view.

Spike laughed, his eyes gleaming. "Hold on, pet. This could be a bit bumpy."

And with a crashing clatter, he rammed the gates, sending one of them flying, and the car was through, on the road and heading away from the mansion and back towards Sunnydale.

They drove in silence for a couple of minutes. Spike found some awful rock music on the radio and sang along as the miles went past. Eventually Buffy leant over and turned it off. "I'm sorry," she said.

The wheel jerked in Spike's hands. "Bloody hell, Slayer, I didn't think you knew that word. What are you sorry about?"

"Ruining the party, I suppose. Making you fall out with your family."

Spike glanced across at her, puzzled. "You mean fighting with Bella? That's nothing new, pet. We used to do it all the time when we were kids. I thought it was a great party. Nothing like a good scrap to make it end with a bang." Suddenly he drove the car off the road, into the desert and stopped, turning the lights off so they were plunged into darkness. They got out and sat down in the sand, leaning against the front bumper, gazing out into the starlit desert. "So did you have fun at the party, Slayer?" His finger reached out and ran slowly down her face, circling her mouth, drawing the outline of her lips. She shuddered.

"Not too pleased to have lost a perfectly nice dress, been in several fights, and had to run away at the end, just so I didn't kill your relatives. But otherwise, yes, I enjoyed the show, Mrs Lincoln."

Spike edged closer and his hands moved to circle her waist and pull her so her head was lying in his lap. She heard his zip give way and stared up at him, shivering, only too aware of the steely hardness that was only centimetres away from her mouth, but refusing to give in to her desire to touch. "You could thank me for taking you," he murmured, one hand slipping inside her shorts.

She sighed as she felt the tight material give way under his strength. "You do realise Arabella is in love with you," she said and watched, almost in disbelief as her tongue flicked out to touch him.

He moaned. "No she isn't. She's just bored. Oh god, do that again, Slayer. Please!"

When she woke, she was curled in his arms, the sandy soil gritty against her bare skin. "Typical. I get to sleep in the desert, but I bet Arabella's going to have some sumptuous home in Paris, or Florence or Monte Carlo," she grumped.

Spike opened one glazed eye and stared down at the blonde hair spilling across his chest. God, this woman had a one track mind. Still, if she went on using her mouth for other things as well, he could put up with the questions. "No - Div'vid told me yesterday. He's got a business venture going out in Australia. In the Outback, somewhere. A sheep station, I think he said. Thousands of miles of emptiness. He thought Arabella could use some time alone with him. Rekindle their relationship. He's a nice guy like that, you know." Suddenly, Spike tensed. He could feel Buffy shaking. What had he said to upset her now? Then he realised she wasn't crying, she was laughing.

With a swirl of blonde hair and slim tanned limbs, Buffy sat up, hugging her knees, her eyes sparkling in the starlight. "You mean Arabella's going to be all on her own, just with Div'vid and flocks of sheep and kangaroos and wallabies and things, thousands of miles from civilisation? No shops, no parties, no people. Just - Australia?"

Spike nodded, puzzled. He was still bewildered as they drove back into Sunnydale. Buffy had been singing Waltzing Matilda all the way home, but as long as she sat with her hand firmly between his legs, he didn't really mind.

Then as they reached the outskirts of town, she said, "Will you tell me what the hell was the story about the puppies?"

"What will you do for me if I do?"

"Do? You mean – geez, Spike, you have a one track mind! What do you want me to do? What! That's impossible." There was a long silence, then her curious voice asked, "Isn't it?"

And they were still negotiating when they drove over the Welcome to Sunnydale sign and back into town.

the end

I do hope you have enjoyed this Spuffy romp. It was fun to write and thank you all for your comments.

Don't worry, Arabella lovers. Australia will never hold her. She'll be back! She's got a secret she wants to share. Watch out for the sequel, Three for a Secret.

In the meantime, I am starting a new Season Six story very soon entitled Strip Snap. And I have a feeling you might like that one too!