I fell for it.

Drusilla did her best to convince me into dropping my guard, and I admit, I fell for it. But can you really blame me? Drusilla, the woman who had been the foundation of my every dream, desire, and ambition for over a century had just chosen to spend the night in my bed.

Three minutes before she'd been shivering at Angelus' every touch, practically hypnotized by him, and yet here she was. Deliciously wrapped in one of her many stolen yet entrancing gowns, her light frame wantonly requested my presence. Now you tell me, what man or demon in their right mind would say 'no' to that?

That said, you can probably guess what happened next. I crawled into bed like any other bloke might if he was expecting to explore some unknown sexual fantasy. Drusilla played her part well, hands eagerly tugging at my belt and shirt, smoothing over my chest while I got comfortable.

But next thing I know, she's hypnotizing me. Always thought I'd be immune to that sort of thing, thought I'd be able to see it coming. But no, she lulled me into a sort of half-awake, half-dreaming state, and then started working the rest of her magic. Don't remember much after that, except for the part where I finally woke up. Can't forget to mention either that when I woke up, I had a completely different outlook on my existence… and Buffy's…

Ah, almost forgot; before I get to the next part, perhaps I should explain this spell to you in a little more detail. Seeing as though Angelus considered me a disposable piece in his complicated little puzzle, he never saw fit to inform me on how the spell worked exactly. Had to learn that on my own.

You've probably gotten the hint that basically, it's a brainwashing spell. Never knew she was even capable of it, but somehow Drusilla was able to completely erase me from Sunnydale's history, as far as Buffy was concerned. Buffy, her Watcher, her gang of super-friends and that feisty mother of hers had no recollection of me after Drusilla was finished with them. And, of course, I didn't remember any of them.

I still knew who I was, mind you. Spike; William the Bloody; Scourge of Europe and the Americas. I was one of the things that made bumps in the night. Only, thanks to Drusilla's spell, I thought I'd learned and done it all on my own. For over a hundred and twenty years, I was a solo hawk, picking up groupies every now and then but overall a solitary predator. Drusilla didn't exist; even Angelus and Darla were lost figments of my imagination. My sire was just some random vampire from the eighteen hundreds, one who created a bloodline of their own simply for the sake of doing so.

Buffy was left with a few more fragments of memory than I was, of course. According to her, she was still the Slayer, and at that, the first in history to have an army of friends who fought beside her, no matter how dismissively small their number was. It was still something new: a Slayer with pals… More on the point of things though, Buffy was given the right to remember Angelus and that she'd been instrumental in his loss of soulfulness. Where I had a few key characters missing from my memory, she had only one: me.

So, now that you've been more or less filled in on the boring details, I'll jump right to my first meeting with the Slayer, which was right after we'd both had our memory adjustments. Friday night, at that local club… What's it called again? Oh yeah, The Bronze… Well, I'm sure you can already put two and two together, but you might as well hear the whole story.

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"So?" Willow quipped with a shyly concerned smile.

"So… What?" Buffy's head twisted in response to hearing her friend's voice, brows crinkling in curious confusion.

"How're ya feelin' tonight?" the redhead's lips pressed together in a smile that was hindered only by her remaining concern.

Understanding what Willow's mixed facial expressions meant, Buffy gave a little sigh, eyes flickering downward momentarily before lifting again. "Meh…" she groaned, attempting to weigh the different emotions fluttering about internally. "Less 'oh my God why won't the world just end' and more 'hm, guys… kinda cute, but still potentially evil'," she grinned.

"Well, still, it's progress!" Willow's teeth showed this time as the corners of her lips were lifted, glad to hear that her friend's heart was beginning to piece itself back together.

"I guess… I just wonder if it's ever gonna stop hurting," the Slayer moped, becoming slightly interested in the texture of her beverage.

"It will… I mean, I'm not exactly experienced in the area of dating, but it's been barely more than a week, Buffy. Considering everything you went through, I'd say you're doing pretty well," Willow's voice was as soft as it could be amidst The Bronze's exuberant music. Buffy obviously understood though, because a thankful smile was turned in the aspiring Wicca's direction. Willow responded equally, a quick glance tossed in Xander's direction, who was now dancing crazily amongst the crowd of teenagers. "I've got an idea that might make you feel better," she piped up before even realising the words had spun through her lips.

"Does it have to do with crawling under a rock and watching reruns of Scooby-Doo for the next thirty years?" Buffy said, her voice sounding frighteningly hopeful that such was Willow's idea.

"Tempting, but hardly what I had in mind…" she paused, allowing anticipation to build within the Slayer. "How 'bout you just take the night off?"

"Huh?" Buffy's eyebrows cocked as she responded with an obviously baffled expression.

The redhead rolled her eyes with an amused smile, completely aware of how vague her statement had been. "Take the night off," she insisted. "Forget all of your problems and just focus on the fun. Don't even think about Angel, Slaying, or even Giles…" knowing that Buffy was incredibly prone to simmering in her own depression, Willow quickly thought of a compensation. "I promise I'll be more than willing to make up for lost best-friend-listening time tomorrow…" she trailed off, knowing Buffy was intelligent enough to comprehend and consider the offer as she'd described it.

The Slayer sighed, eyes once again focused upon her drink as she lobbed her friend's offer back and forth a few times within her mind. "You know what?" she prompted, voice promisingly bright. "You're right…" her head tilted minutely to the side, a genuine smile steadily growing upon her features. "I'm not promising much…" she pointed out, eyes fixing seriously with Willow's. "But I'll definitely give this 'fun' thing a second chance" she paused, seeming to contemplate the situation for a second time. "After all, I think it says somewhere in 'The Teenager's Handbook' that Friday nights are never supposed to be mixed with gloominess."

"That's what I like to hear!" Willow chirped, enthusiastically hopping from her stool and taking hold of Buffy's hand. "Come on, I think Xander could use some backup" she smiled with a slight roll of her eyes, always humoured by her best friend's antics.

I can do this… Buffy chanted internally, following the redhead's lead. I can do this… Just don't think about Angel, don't think about Angel, don't think about… The Slayer hesitated, giving a quirked smile of resolve before continuing again. Don't think… Don't think… Don't think…

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"I do love a good night on the town!" Spike giddily exclaimed to himself, which in turn extracted a few frightened looks from passers-by. His smirk simply grew wider in response though, eyes fluttering shut so his flared nostrils could drink in the many scents that now surrounded him. Liquor and perfume were the most prominent, but his predatory senses found something much more primal in the air…

Sex.

And oh, how he loved it.

Fingers latched through the belt loops of his iron-black jeans, Spike began his panther-like prowl, hungry eyes roaming over The Bronze's pulsating crowd. Music echoed from every wall, expensive stereo equipment spitting out a bass-soaked yet treble-charged piece. Strobe lights became active every now and then, momentarily matching the music's rhythm before finally taking their own courses. All for a crowd of sweat-glistened bodies, blood pumping furiously through their veins as they writhed- quite erotically –with the music's rapid tempo.

His lips were watering already.

One booted foot was planted before its partner as Spike took casual but drawn-out strides, cerulean orbs never pausing in their search for a potential meal. His animalistic gaze lingered upon every female body, her features judged and graded. But no matter how perfectly each girl fit his ideal, no matter how imperfectly she fit it, Spike's search was forced to continue as time and time again he faced the same problem. Boyfriends.

Vampire lust would swell within him, eyes blazing as they danced over a girl's form, only to be snubbed out when she was swept away in the arms of another man. Flames of desire were practically licking at the back of his throat, his entire body heated to impossible degrees by carnal need, and so far he could do nothing to quench the inferno… Not that he had a problem with ripping into an already taken girl; it's just the single ones tended to cause less of a scene.

Hours seemed to pass by, and finally a vague countdown began in his subconscious mind. Ten seconds now remained before he would abandon the seductive method and simply attack. Another girl, another boy… six seconds. New target: a hot, tight little body, forehead shimmering with just the right amount of perspiration, perfectly shaped hips shimmying provocatively, but again she was in the company of another man. Three seconds. Why, oh why, did he have to be in the mood for a sexual kill? It'd be so much easier if his hormones were willing to settle with the simple act of tearing some girl limb from limb. One second… Ze- wait!

Wait. There. Right there. Another girl. And she was definitely worth an over-time inspection, his sex-drive quickly established, completely ignoring his expired countdown.

Blonde hair fell messily from its roots, as if she'd stepped out of the shower and offered the mane only a simple comb-through, but it was alluring nonetheless. Beneath the bleached mass was a set of delicate yet well-set shoulders, meeting in the middle as they gave way to what Spike could only imagine were a pair of supple breasts, misleading to the eye with their modest size. His eyes continued their descent, captivated almost immediately by her swaying and flawlessly sculpted hips. Slender yet muscular thighs provided her midsection with fluid movements, the girl's petite and by all accounts perfect body floating seductively with the music's rapid tempo.

Only one question hung over the vampire's head as his satisfied gaze finished its appraisal.

Was she alone?

A quick scan of her immediate surroundings told Spike that his subject of attention was accompanied by friends- one of them male –but they obviously posed no threat to his mission. The redhead and brunette were clearly enjoying themselves, occasionally slipping into laughter, conversation turned every now and then onto the blonde, but she otherwise seemed rather… distant. Instead having a gaze that was fixed solely upon her companions, the girl's eyes wandered through the crowd, searching for anything and nothing.

To say the very least, she was a perfect target.

Like any experienced hunter, Spike began the first stages of stalking his prey. Limbs stretched languidly as they carried him around the dance floor's perimeter, knowing they had every moment to spare in completing their journey. His destination was reached quickly but casually, feet planted so that he squarely faced his blonde-haired target. Only adding to his casual mystique was the enthralling smile now plastered between either of the vampire's cheeks, subtle in nature yet yearning to be acknowledged.

Come on, baby… Spike's voice drawled within. Just look up… You know you can feel me…

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"Buffy… Buffy!" Willow's hand batted against her friend's shoulder in an attempt to catch the blonde girl's attention.

"Hm?" the Slayer snapped out of her slight daze, eyebrows lifting as she was returned to reality.

"Don't freak our or anything, but I think I saw a guy just now who looked like he was totally checking you out" her eyes widened in calm excitement, lips already curled into a smile.

"What?" when Buffy's eyes expanded in width, it was due to frightened shock rather than glee. "Where?" she began turning in search of her supposed admirer, though a petite hand halted her before she could pull off a complete twist.

"Wait…! Isn't this the part where you casually ignore him until another song starts up?" Willow's facial features became slightly tinted with amused inquisition, her palm releasing its hold on Buffy's arm.

"No, this is the part where I turn around and frighten him off with my anything-but-come-hither look… Either that or I make a stealthy escape," she insisted, voice firm in its defiance.

"Come on," Willow's head tilted slightly, her eyes rolling. "Don't you at least wanna know how… sexy he is?" she had to push the word out, knowing of no other adjective to describe the man in question. Her use of such bold vocabulary stunned the Slayer momentarily, but both girls were interrupted before either of them could continue.

"Hey, thanks Will! I've been working on my dance moves lately," Xander grinned, making a successful attempt at jumping into the girls' conversation. "Nice to see that someone's finally noticed… You want me to give you a few pointers?"

"Sounds like an offer I can't refuse," she nodded with a giggle, glancing to the silent third of their trio. "But I just have to finish talking to Buffy… It won't take long" she assured him, looking again to Buffy while her last few words were spoken.

Xander nodded, shooting a curious gaze between his two female friends before turning toward the stage, his limbs already anticipating the appearance of another tune.

"So," Willow's smile immediately retained its excited state, two rows of teeth showing through the curve in her lips.

"So what?" Buffy played innocent, vocal tone suggesting she had no idea what her friend meant.

"So… are you going to let yourself have a bit of fun? The kind where you don't think about your problems, which includes you-know-who," she said, reminding Buffy of the short discussion they'd had only a half-hour ago.

"I know I said I wanted to have fun, Will" Buffy sighed, extinguishing the attempt she'd made at glancing over her shoulder. "But I didn't say anything about dating," her lips curled in frightened disgust, as if the very word gave her nightmares.

"Neither did I!" the redhead insisted. "I just said that there is a very drool-worthy guy who is still giving you at least a PG-13 version of googly-eyes. I'm also suggesting that you at least acknowledge him… besides, what's the worst that can happen?" she said, justifying her proposal with very valid points.

"Fine," the Slayer practically pouted after a moment's contemplation. "If Mr. Seduction makes the first move, maybe I'll…" she trailed off, unable to come up with a finish that wouldn't make any dangerous promises to her persistent friend. Willow gave a knowing smile, and Buffy felt the needed urge to dampen her friends' hopes. "But I'll only be doing this because I promised not to think about… him" she said the last word almost reluctantly, honestly wishing that Angel would just dissipate from her thoughts.

"Well, I think we've just made deal number two for tonight," Willow grinned, everything about her composure still exceedingly cheery. "Now if you'll excuse me," she dared a razor-thin glance past the left side of Buffy's head, her grin only becoming wider in that instant. "I have a dancing lesson to attend," the aspiring witch turned around without hesitation, tapping her life-long friend on the shoulder so as to snag his attention.

Xander and Willow were dancing before Buffy could realise what had happened, and so she was once again left standing virtually alone on the dance floor. Just forget, remember? The contradictive thought was prompted internally, and her lips lifted ever-so-slightly at their left corner. Forget… she tested the word again, and its appeal was still solid. Taking a deep breath, the Slayer somehow stilled herself amidst the pulsating atmosphere, eyes fluttering shut as every thought, question, and piece of turmoil slowly drained from her consciousness. Seconds dripped by, and eventually Buffy was left with nothing and no one but herself.

Only her essence existed. She had no friends, no family, no enemies or heartache. No personal ties to the world that surrounded her. She was just… Buffy. The Slayer. Witty and dangerous; resourceful, intelligent, and confident. Beautiful and alluring no matter what anyone else thought. Perhaps most wonderful of all, she was alone; a stranger in a new town. No one knew her; no one could hurt or judge her, because they didn't know her. In its truest meaning, Buffy was… free.

Opening her eyes, the Slayer couldn't help looking upon her friends as if they were nothing more than pleasant strangers. Music poured through her veins, and only now did she choose to acknowledge it. Every fibre in her body was vibrating. Whether it was due to her newfound state of mind or the song itself, Buffy didn't know, didn't care. All she needed right now was to simply respond.

Before she could even think to order them to do so, the Slayer's hips had begun shifting in time with the somewhat rapid music. Her hands explored different regions on her body, slipping along the curve of her waist, skating over her thighs, and then heading northward. The outer edges of both her breasts were just barely brushed by the exploring appendages, a pleased smile crossing Buffy's features despite the fact that the resulting sensations were self-induced. Eventually her limbs were suspended in the air, hips still swinging rhythmically.

Simply put, the Slayer was a picture of teenaged sexuality.

And Spike was going mad watching her. It had been a while since he'd played this game; one where he made the kill more arousing than it was vicious. Usually, he was okay with the patience that such a scheme required. But oh, God… This girl was making it hard on him… In more ways than one.  Can't wait forever, Spike… He gladly reminded himself, and after a short, slightly dramatic pause, the hunter began his first languid movements.

Reaching a proximity of only five feet from the girl, Spike was hit by an intoxicating wave of her aroma. Hormones, sweat, and a slight floral tint were just some of the ingredients to a purely unique scent. Almost immediately, the animal within him attempted to surge forward, the yellow flash in his cerulean eyes going unnoticed beneath The Bronze's dim lighting. Hunger was suddenly racing through his veins, electrocuting every nerve ending to the point where his body was alive with frozen flames.

Carefully executing the act, Spike brought himself into perfect alignment with his object of attention, lean body flexing to fit the constantly changing angles of her dancing figure. Only inches separated the vampire from his chalice; he could practically feel every pounding heartbeat as it emanated through the thin layers of skin on her tanned neck. Time for an introduction… Spike thought somewhat vaguely, chin tilting forward to the point where his tongue could have any desired access to her ear lobe.

"You look a little lonely, pet," Spike drawled, his hushed baritone voice somehow audible beneath the heavy blanket of music.

Snapped from her daze, but still floating amidst her newfound persona, Buffy spun to face the intruder, hardly expecting that he'd be standing so daringly close. Admittedly, her first reaction was to pull back in surprise, assess her situation from a more distanced perspective. But New Buffy, Friday-night Buffy, wouldn't allow it. Instead she gave him an enigmatically seductive yet practically invisible smile, emerald eyes flowing from base to crown over his ebon-clad curves. And her mouth went dry. The appraisal was only supposed to be part of her role; something she did just for the sake of doing it. Who knew he would be so… gorgeous?

Moistening the back of her throat, Buffy consciously prayed that her voice wouldn't betray her. "Guess that makes the two of us," she responded slyly, the curve in her lips becoming more defined.

Spike's bleached head tilted as he smirked, sapphire eyes matching the recent motions of hers, ravenously brushing up and down Buffy's supple curves before locking with her blazing jewels. "Care to join me in a dance then?" one scarred eyebrow lifted amidst his chiselled features, another seemingly impossible footstep bringing him closer to the blonde beauty.

"Thought I already had," Buffy said casually, her brow furrowed as if the question were somewhat absurd. Tentatively, one hand was lifted to the material of his duster, idly toying with one of the lapels as she waited the few milliseconds it took him to respond.

Spike could do nothing except let out a throaty growl, its animalistic tone luckily going unnoticed by the Slayer. God… Almost seems it'd be a waste to just eat her… he foggily realised. 'Sides, it's been quite some time since I last sired anyone. Afraid to touch the girl just yet, thinking that her body heat might incinerate him upon contact, Spike went on contemplating his newest idea, supposing he'd find out soon enough if she was worthy of eternal life.

Emerging from his thoughtful stasis, the vampire found that his blonde companion had drifted a few inches away, daring him to close the gap once more. Having made himself known finally, Spike was content to simply watch for a moment.

Just as before, Buffy let herself go, allowing her limbs and hips to move of their own volition. Sweat glistened from every pore on her sensuously writhing body, half of it, she could have sworn, being due to the fact that two crystalline eyes were most certainly pinned to her body. Bleached blonde hair, leather jacket, piercing eyes, English accent… Every feature fit into an equation that eventually left Buffy devoid of any real-life problems. This man it seemed, was her cure for a not-so-Angelic itch; at least for the moment.

Head tilted down, the Slayer tossed only periodical glances back to her partner, making sure that each glance was drowned in an atmosphere of seduction. Her eyes just barely skimmed his form, remaining set upon it for no more than five seconds before turning away again and fluttering shut, as she was once again lost in the music. Every now and then, she would make sure to rotate her entire body, giving the youthful man a full display of her features, front and back.

Spike was again hypnotized. Yet at the same time, he was screaming for his body to initiate locomotion. Hungry eyes watched as she turned in place once more, and it was then that he decided to make his move. Attacking with the silent grace of a feline, Spike spooned his body up against Buffy's, satisfied by the shocked little gasp that she awarded him with. Icy hands enclosed her shoulders, migrating downward until they found sanction upon her hips. "So…" he muttered, nose brushing intimately close to her ear through locks of honey. "You got a name, love? Or shall I start guessin'…?" he grinned, quite aware of the fact that her body was practically shivering beneath him.

Buffy was just barely able to stop herself from muttering a dimwitted 'huh?'. She was having a difficult enough time with the concept of breathing. Now he expects me to think…? She grumbled internally, somehow coming up with an answer despite her dazed state. "Buf- Buffy…" her voice was barely above a whisper as it tumbled past a set of parched lips. Evil Buffy… she chided. Not supposed to… she gasped, thoughts interrupted when her partner's hips were ground against hers for a fleeting moment, and she groaned. Not supposed to feel this good… the Slayer finished, a few remnants of her inner turmoil attempting to effervesce.

"Well, Buffy…" he accented the use of her name, voice almost faltering as he spoke. Spike was finding it increasingly difficult to stay afloat in the pool of this girl's presence. Despite her petite size, she seemed able to consume him from every angle, her scent intoxicating him, the texture of her bronzed skin practically setting him on fire, that bare, glistening neck constantly coming into view. He most definitely had to have her… now. "'S gettin' a bit hot in here…" his tone, at least, was more focused this time. "What say we head outside where it's a bit cooler… A bit more… private," his voice snaked around the last word, hoping he'd guessed correctly in thinking Buffy wasn't the type who liked to move slow. By now his hands were splayed across her stomach, allowing his hips to be practically moulded against hers, and still she had not protested. In a move that was purely tactical, the vampire then ground his growing arousal between her buttocks, he himself groaning with the action.

Buffy gasped, chest heaving as her exhalation was transformed into another moan. Unfortunately, their already close contact, combined with the vampire's sudden movement, brought her rushing back to reality. Suddenly aware of her provocative situation, the Slayer pried Spike's hands from their comfortable position, turning to face him while still practically in his arms. "I'm sorry," she said shakily, looking into a set of eyes that were contemplative yet dazed.

"Sorry?" Spike asked without his usual drawl of dark wit. His mind appeared to have lost all ability for thought due to the sudden loss of Buffy's all-consuming form.

"I can't do this," she murmured, taking a step away from him that, despite its minimal size, seemed to open a chasm between her and the other man. "I wish I could," because you're gorgeous and that accent is so sexy and God, who knew a guy could look so good with hair like that? And did I mention the jacket…? she finished off the sentence mentally. "… But I just came out of a really, really messy relationship and," Buffy allowed her explanation to go unfinished. Reluctantly, she turned from the boy's grasp before he could give any protest, rushing past her friends and into the cool, cleansing night air.

Spike was left stunned, partially because it wasn't often that his victim ran out on him, and part of it was because his senses were still recovering from the intoxication that was Buffy. For some reason, it seemed as if the sensations she'd evoked within him went beyond a purely predatory level. True, Spike had found himself attracted to his victims in the past, even gone so far as to give them a night of passion before devouring them. But this…? This had definitely been something completely new. Something he had to taste again, no matter her apparent thoughts on the subject.

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Buffy ran home. Once her heeled shoes had kissed the asphalt outside, her limbs made the immediate decision to break into a flurry of movement. Odd stares and occasional remarks from elderly citizens and fellow teenagers accompanied her during the entire journey home. After all, it wasn't every day, or night in this case, that a girl dressed so fashionably was seen running down local streets.

By the time she finally arrived home, the Slayer's muscles were nothing more than heaps of rubber. Trudging through her front door, it felt as if cinder blocks were shackled to her ankles during every footfall. And then of course the task of scaling her stairway became painfully realistic.

Somehow, she managed to climb the wooden structure, practically stumbling the last few steps to her bedroom. Opening her door, Buffy slid forward a few paces before simply allowing herself to fall against the soft mass of her bed.

Not even bothering to kick off her shoes, afraid that such boring tasks would allow her to form complete thoughts concerning a certain blonde, the Slayer curled up, eyes having already sealed shut in her determination. Maybe, if she was lucky, she'd be able to get in a few hours of peaceful sleep before the confusion of morning arrived.

(Author's Note: Meh. I dunno about this chapter… Which means that in this case, reviews are appreciated, requested, and almost needed, heh. But yeah, whether you choose to review or not, hope you liked it in the end! And, hey… am I the only one who is still having trouble with getting these things to upload properly? *growls*… In other words, please excuse the somewhat lopsided/unusual/imperfect look to my fiction… Like I say, I'd rather update sooner than worry TOO much about aesthetics… And hey, now I'm rambling! Gonna shut my mouth now, lol… *hints* review!)