Exactly thirteen days later, Buffy slid away from the warm body next to her. She couldn't sleep, and he was. Tomorrow was the wedding. Or, more accurately, later this afternoon was the wedding. She made her way downstairs, one hand on her protruding stomach, gazed out a window. Wandered to the next. She was marrying the man upstairs in less than twenty-four hours. And he hadn't touched her in almost eight months. She wondered if that would even change in the months to come, after the baby came. If he'd still want her, or just love her for the baby. Silly, but relevant.

Upstairs, Spike reached out to pull Buffy closer. His eyes opened, confusedly when no reaching was pulling her closer. He got up, checked in Dawn's room, then heard the pat of her feet across the floor in the living room. He went down the stairs slowly, hair tousled, and ran a hand down his bare chest in a sleepy gesture while he watched Buffy pace.

"Wass 'is all about?" He asked as she settled by a window.

Buffy put a hand on her stomach, not turning from the window. "He can't sleep."

Spike came up behind her, placed his hands on her shoulders, then swept them over her back, and down her arms, kissed the side of her neck softly. "Maybe 'cos her mum's upset." His fingers trailed over her arms. "Wass wrong, luv?"

"You love the baby."

He frowned, not sure where she was going with this, but, "Of course I do."

"And you love me."

Steel, warmth, and love echoed through his voice. "Always."

"But... you don't want me anymore, do you? I'm not... new, and beautiful and sexy to you anymore."

Spike just smiled. "'Course I do. And 'course you are. Just a bit diff'cult to get around you these days."

Buffy's hand crept up to curl on the windowpane, and her eyes teared up as he spoke the words. Her back shuddered, but she made no noise.

"...Now... c'mon." Stern, pleading voice. "I was just... just teasing, luv." He turned her to face him, cupped one cheek, let his lips play over hers gently, sweetly. "I love you..."

She made a protesting noise, pulled back slightly.

His hands slid to her upper arms, pulled her back to where she was originally, and not gently. "'m not *finished*, Slayer." There was a growl to his voice, and his hands moved down to trace the swells of her breasts, slid his hands around them, his eyes concentrating on them entirely. Finally, he lifted them to hers. "I love you, but I've always wanted you. I wanted you before I loved you. I can never stop wanting you. I wake up at night sometimes, aching for you." He swept his hand down her cheek, looking hungrily at her. "Aching, luv. 'S not pleasant. But I won't hurt you... won't hurt our baby." Swallowed, took in her body, that still aroused him. "So I'll ache..." His eyes lifted in promise. "But not for much longer."

He sat on the couch, settled back against it. "Come here." His voice, usually so soft with here these days, was rough with the command.


He cut off her terse comment sharply. "Slayer. I said. Get over here. We both know I'm not above making you."

And they did. They both knew. She sighed, moved to stand in front of him. He started to pull her down on his lap, but she balked.

"I'm too-"

"Shut up, Buffy. You're not too big, or too fat." He pulled again, harder, this time succeeding in settling her sideways on his lap. "What you are," he told her, angling her slightly, turning her head to him, "is mine. You, belong to me. No one before or after. Just me." His eyes bored into hers. "Do you understand?"

Her eyes heated, but she said, "I'm not a car, Spike."

Small smile. "You're not. You're my Slayer, my heart, my hate, my love, my beginning, and end. Everything. So I'm not letting you go. Because this fire will never go out, and if you go, it'll consume me, and there'll be nothing left."

The way he was looking at her was making her shake, giving her chills. She opened her mouth to speak. To say something, anything.

Spike shook his head, put one finger over her lips. "No words. I just wanna touch you."

And he did. He smoothed his hands over her face, brushing her hair back, swept his thumbs over the smooth skin under her eyes, traced the line of her nose. He knew. He knew everything that she was, could ever, would ever, hope to be. And he loved it all. But love wasn't an issue right now. They had resolved that. Buffy didn't feel beautiful. And he wouldn't tolerate that. Because she shined like the sun, and sparked a fire of want and fantasies that never ended. She saw it in his eyes, the way the flecks of cobalt in his eyes darkened to midnight when he was enticed, aroused.

She felt a thrill of satisfaction as his mouth molded hotly to hers, his hands tangled a bit roughly in her hair. Gave a small moan as he bit down on her bottom lip, sucking it into his mouth to lavish attention on it, before releasing it to beg entrance to her mouth. Her hands smoothed across his chest, heightening his awareness. As their tongues dueled, Spike touched her. His Slayer... his lover, his partner... his... wife. His kiss and touch were defiant. Defiant against anything that would dare attempt to steal her away. ANY outside force against her. Defiant against a destiny they had triumphed against. He was still kissing her, pulled one of her deceptively small hands from his chest, slid it down his jeans. Kissed across to her ear. As he bit at it, sucking on the lobe, he whispered roughly, "How could you have thought you didn't still do that to me?"

She pulled in a breath.

Spike needed to stop. He wanted her, to take her, but earlier, months earlier would have been the time for that... Now, now he had to wait. They could be gentle and soft, he was sure, but not for how long. He couldn't risk his baby girl, when he didn't know how he'd react being with Buffy again. He pulled her head down, to rest his forehead against hers. Bent a smile at her close face. "Think she can sleep now?"

Buffy let out a small huffing laugh, gave a little nod. "Yeah. I think so."

He helped her stand, turned her towards the stairs, and gave her butt a slap as she headed to the stairs. She turned to give him a look.

Leveled a devilish grin at her. Winked. "Next time I see you, luv, you're gonna be in your white fluffy dress. Have a good sleep."

She fish-mouthed at him. "You're not staying?"

Shook his head. "Nah. Bad luck, all that rot." Eyes turned serious. "I love you, pet. Go rest. I'm gonna grab some things, and I'll be out of your hair."

Ok.... not as long as y'all were hoping for. BUT! It IS a start! And I'm gathering ideas for the wedding. And I've got some. and I'm carefully wording MINE!. But please, try to understand that this is my senior year, and I'm kicking my own ass trying to keep up. If I get remiss, say, don't update for a whole month, THEN start emailing me, giving me nudges or whatnot. In anycase, thank you so much for staying with me. And being patient and the great fans I know you are. *hugs* Thanks for the non-abandonment. And for the record, I just had a VERY shitty day. A nice review might perk me up. ; )

Always your... Tequila Sunrise.

PS~ Boys are mean. *teary doe-eyes*