So *that's* Why Vampires Like Virgins...

Dawn screamed, one long note of terror that had James looking up at her curiously, his lips pursed in puzzlement, those drops of blood clinging to his lower lip. She shuffled backwards against the headboard, her earlier sluggishness forgotten in her terror. "What, what are you doing?" she panted anxiously.

James pulled himself up with languid ease, like a leopard in the tree tops. His eyebrow raised a centimeter, and a sly smile spread over his face. "I do believe I was performing cunnillingus, Dawn."

"Wha—?" Dawn let out a huff of air as she shook her head, so angry and scared that she was struggling to find the proper words. "You-you-you are drinking my blood!" Dawn wasn't stupid – she knew James was too strong for her to fight off, but she grabbed the closest thing handy and threw it with all her might at him.

The pillow smacked James in the face and fell soundlessly into his lap. He looked down in bafflement at the pillow and then back at her. "Dawn…you…threw a pillow at me?" Annoyingly enough he burst into hearty laughter, the bed vibrating with his guffaws.

More aggravated than scared now, Dawn yanked another pillow and slid off the bed, wincing at the slight pain she felt in her no-man's land (er, except that wasn't quite true anymore, now was it?). She covered her nude form with the pillow and stared angrily at James, who was still laughing. "I thought you said you weren't going to bite me!" Dawn shouted. Then, she remembered what James had told her about vamp venom. "Holy shit, did you just turn me into a vampire?" she exclaimed.

James paused in his laughter to stare at her in surprise, and then he began laughing even harder.

Furious, Dawn threw the pillow at him again and began putting her clothes back on, muttering to herself all the while. She was stunned when James came up behind her to wrap his cool arms around her and began kissing her shoulder blades and the back of her neck. The coldness of his body ( and his presence, although she was loathe to admit it at this point) sent a shiver down her spine.

Letting out a warrior cry, she followed the moves that Buffy had taught her and thrust her elbow backwards to get her attacker off of her. Unfortunately, his skin was harder than her bones and Dawn felt a crack fissure at her elbow and pain traveled through her nerves system.

"Owwww. Ow, ow, ow, ow, owwww," she moaned, cradling her right arm to her chest, relieved that James nonetheless let go of her. "Look what you did!" Dawn shouted at him.

The corners of James' lips twitched. "Dawn, didn't we already make it clear how much stronger I am than you?"

The white-hot pain was flashing within her arm, even showing up under her eyelids every time she closed her eyes. "It's your fault!" Dawn grumbled, rubbing her hand softly over her elbow.

James sighed and sat on the bed. "Dawn, I was only kissing you. And the blood? That was your virgin's blood, a result of your ripped hymen. I was merely reaping the rewards of my efforts." He winked and Dawn wanted to kill him, to hell with the fact that she was a weak little girl compared to him.

"So you just…performed…cunnillingus…on me because you wanted to have a free taste at my blood?" Dawn shouted outrageously.

James shrugged. "Well now, you certainly cannot say I am the only one who enjoyed the experience," he said pointedly.

"Yeah, b-but—ugh!" Dawn threw her good arm up in the air as she glared at James. Now, just one-armed, she began to pull on her panties.


She looked up to see James pouting, but his eyes glowed with amusement. "Don't tell me you're leaving."

"Fine, I won't tell you I'm leaving – I'm going to tell you that you're leaving," Dawn ordered as she pulled on her shorts. Her tank top was a bitch to put on and screw even trying to do a bra one-handed.

He gazed at her, nonplussed. "Is that so?"

"Yes. You came here wanting to kill the slayer and then – then! – are only nice to me to get in my pants and drink my blood. So yeah, you're not welcome. This is my town and we have enough crap going on," Dawn informed him heatedly, hand on her pain-riddled elbow.

Something flashed and she blinked, only to realize that James was standing in front of her. The back of his hand pressed against her cheek and Dawn stood very still, so not wanting to get hurt again.

"Dawn, trust me when I saw that I was notjust nice to you to drink your blood. If I didn't…like…you then you would be dead. And believe me when I say that I do not often find a human that I like." James' voice was soft but it hit Dawn like a monsoon, forcing hope to spring forth from where she had buried it at the realization he was drinking her blood.

She shook her head, trying to clear her mind. "And the slayer? Are you still here to kill her? Or will you really help fight the First Evil with us?"

James paused, his head tilting to the side. "With…us? You andthe slayer?"

"Yes." Dawn wanted an answer from him; it was a sudden and necessary desire. She could feel herself falling for his charm again and her logical half knew she needed to distance herself from him – a dangerous vampire – and she knew his answer would do that.

He backed away, looking at her with a severe expression. "So you know the slayer."

In for a penny, in for a pound. "She's my sister."

James' red eyes flashed and his lips curled back in anger. "Why did you not mention this sooner?"

Dawn swallowed heavily. "It's not really much of a secret around here on the Hellmouth."

He spat a curse, something in a different language, which sounded harsh to her ears. "Well then, I cannot aid you. My…one of my brethren has come to kill the slayer."

Dawn's heart skipped a beat, before speeding up, producing the only sound in the empty house. "You can't," she whispered.

James grimaced and each passing moment placed more and more pressure upon her heart until she thought it would burst. His kind of vampire was too strong and could only be killed by fire, and even that was a long shot. Buffy couldn't take them.

She would die.

And Dawn just hooked up with her sister's killer.

James' sudden growl startled her and she looked up to see him throwing the nightstand against the wall, causing splinters to fly through the air. She ducked behind the bed, avoiding the shrapnel. When she looked up the window was open and James was gone.

Damn. She had to get home, now.

Dawn ran in her flip-flops down to her house, less than a block away. The sun was higher in the sky right now and she guessed it was almost eight in the morning – which was bad because that was when most people were waking up.

She flung open the door, not entirely surprised to see Giles and Xander discussing something heatedly, with Anya and Willow standing around them. They looked up to see her and Willow gave out a little cry of happiness and rushed to hug Dawn. Her arms pressed against Dawn's broken elbow and Dawn let out a squeal of pain.

"Dawn? What is it? Are you hurt?" Willow asked as she inspected Dawn with a gaze so intent that it would melt most criminals into a puddle.

'Except, you're not a criminal. You didn't do anything bad. Well, not really…'Dawn thought to herself.

"I'm fine." Seeing the looks of her family – they weren't blood but they were her family – Dawn shook her head. "Okay, not fine. I kinda broke my elbow."

"How?" Willow murmured in shock. "Dawn, what were you doing? Rona said you weren't there when she went to bed and weren't again this morning. Where have you been?" she asked worriedly.

"O-out," Dawn responded softly. She shrugged. "I was…I don't know, upset about what I said to Buffy last night – what we allsaid – and I went for a walk."

"Dawn, of all the foolish things to do," Giles sighed, disappointed and angry with her.

"I ran into some Bringers." They gasped. "And I killed two but the third almost killed me – until a vampire saved me." Dawn looked at Giles. "The one from the Bronze last night."

"The unknown breed?" Giles asked as he went about polishing his glasses feverishly.

Dawn nodded.

"Wait, what? There was a vampire at the Bronze? And you talked to him?" Xander asked incredulously. "Dawn, what were you thinking?"

"Oh my god, it's not like I gave him my number or anything! He just started talking to me. And then tonight – er, this morning – he told me about his kind and how they're strong – I mean strong like uber-vamp strong except totally human looking, minus the red eyes." Dawn took a deep breath. "Anyways he said they're after the slayer – one of 'his brethren' want to kill her," she informed them with complimentary air quotes.

"Well yes, Dawn, isn't that what he told you last night?" Giles asked, puzzled.

"Well…yeah but I didn't think it was serious…" Dawn responded, her hands wringing together. "I mean, he offered to help fight against the First Evil and he did save me from those Bringers."

"Well yes, save the baby sister of the slayer and thus learn more information about her." Anya shrugged. "It's a good method of attack."

"Too bad he didn't head out with Faith and the mini-slayers to find what Caleb's hiding this morning," Xander muttered. "Super strength is always helpful."

"B-but it wasn't like that," Dawn argued in a low voice. James didn't…she wasn't a conquest…was she?

The front door was slammed open, creating a welcome interruption. However, Dawn's jaw dropped when she saw the new arrival – Buffy, carrying a battered Faith and a shiny axe thing, leading a group of wounded potential slayers.

Next up…James' perspective…

FYI: I am still following canon events, more or less at this point – hence Faith and the girls breaking into the vineyard and Buffy finding the Scythe.