Chapter Two

"Guys, I'm really not comfortable with the whole trusting Spike thing." Xander said for the millionth time that day. Everyone was over at the Summers' house, putting up all sorts of Christmas decorations even though they were about a month early.

"I don't want to hear it Xander."Buffy side, giving him an apologetic look. She knew he was trying to look out for her, she had been almost raped by the man. He was just being a good friend… A good but very annoying friend that is.

He muttered something that sounded like a series of curses and resumed his work on stringing a very colourful garland above the threshold between the living room and foyer.

Buffy squeezed Spike's hand in encouragement, he was getting better. Though he no longer tried to bolt whenever someone paid him any notice, he still couldn't help the ragged pattern his breathing took on as it happened. And as it so happened, he'd heard all of what the carpenter had said, much as he assumed was intended.

"How are you doing?" Buffy asked her vampire softly, as to not draw attention to them.

"Well," he said with pursed lips as he regarded his work. "Lights keep falling down, not that they aren't all broken already."

She brushed off what he was saying with distaste. She didn't give a damn about the lights and he knew it. "I meant how are you feeling?" She raised an eyebrow to him.

His only answer was a grim smile, and then he went back to working on the lights. With a sigh, she gently took his arm and led him to the basement, telling the others that they were bringing up some more stuff to the already overly crowded upper floor.

"Talk to me." She whispered, leaning against the wall, and letting her hand slide down to where it held his arm to grasp his hand.

"Still hurts slayer." He whispered back, not looking at her. When he did, his eyes were full of pain. "I know what they're thinking when they look at me," he shook his head with a fake smile. A quick chuckle let her know that he was reaching breaking point. "It's disgust I see in their eyes Buffy. And I don't blame them." He looked down at their intertwined hands, and then back up to her face. "Kind of agree."

She watched him for a moment, hurt that he was hurting. Wrapping the fingers of her free hand in his hair, she pulled his mouth down to hers and kissed him. He let her deepen the kiss, he waited until her heart was speeding up to breaking point before he pulled away. He knew it wasn't fear of him, but still it bothered him. Why wasn't she afraid? She should have been.

It stung, to have him pull away. But the pain she sees in his burning expression tells all. "Spike," she pulled him closer to her again, this time only holding him against her. One arm wrapped around his waist, and the other held firmly to his hand as she leaned her head onto his chest. "I love you, you know I do." His muscles loosened his grip on her, startled that she'd said it, but he then held her tighter than ever.

"My girl?"He asked her in a small voice.

"My vampire," she replied, ignoring the intent of his questioning statement. "My Spike." She kissed his shoulder affectionately, and then let him pull back to kiss her fully.

Smiling against her he said "My Buffy, my beautiful Buffy." His lips brushed against hers while he spoke, letting her resume her kissing despite the words coming out of his mouth.

"Are you guys gonna be down there all day?" An irritated Xander called down the stairs.

With a light laugh, Buffy pulled away from him and grabbed a box of tree ornaments. "Let's rejoin the party." She said with a small smirk.

When they reach the top of the stairs, Buffy's internal blonde enjoys that the phone rings the second she passes it. "Take this in?" She asked Spike, handing him the cardboard box. Lifting the receiver, she put it between her ear and shoulder as she watched her friends work away in the living room. "Hello?" She asked.

"Buffy, it's me." A British voice told her.

"Oh, Giles, hey." Feeling a smile widening on her already happy face, her eyes twinkled madly.

"Buffy, I was just calling to let you know that I'm coming back to Sunnydale." He didn't sound entirely thrilled, but he didn't exactly sound upset either.

"Giles that's great!" She said with a fluttery bounce. Spike looked her way from his spot and smile warmly, giving into a slight laugh at the bouncy creature he loved so much.

"Yes, indeed, it is. I'll uh, I'll be on a plane in about a week. The seventh to be exact, I was wondering if you could possibly find me an apartment? If it isn't too much trouble. I hear you've had a lot on your hands."

Aside from Spike, she couldn't think of anything. Slayage had been lame lately, and her job wasn't exactly thrilling either. "No, no Giles, stay with us. Please?"

Giles heart warmed at the question that Willow had asked him before. "We'll talk Buffy," the smile was evident in his voice. "But not right now, I have to go."

"Oh, ok," she bit her lip, he didn't want to stay with her?

"I'll see you soon Buff." He promised her.

"I love you Giles." She proclaimed.

"yes, I love you as well Buffy." He chortled, and then hung up

Buffy floated into the living room as if floating on air. To the rest of the room though, she was bouncing up and down like a small child, squealing away. "Giles is coming back!" She exclaimed to everyone. "He'll be here in a week! Guys he's coming back!" She practically leapt into Spike's arms, which was just as shocking to him as it was to everyone else. Her legs came up around his waist and she hugged him, laughing in happiness.

"Glad you're happy, love." He kissed her cheek, loving the attention she'd given him, but at the same time worried about the others. He ignored them though, keeping his eyes and ears trained on her.

"This is so awesome!" She made her put him down, and then bounced around the room some more. She hadn't been this happy in a while, Spike mused thoughtfully. "Celebration is in order!" She squealed again and dragged Tara by the hand into the kitchen in search of some sort of sugary yummy goodness.