Part II: Sloppy Seconds

After finding Cordelia ("But you can call me Queen C") another meal ("Um, eww, no. You finish this one. I so don't do sloppy seconds"), Spike wound up right back where he started: sitting at a table near the bar with a bottle of J.D. Cordy ordered some fruity girl drink and just raised an eyebrow at the bartender when the git tried to charge her. The look clearly said that Queen C didn't pay for drinks.

Then the beautiful young vampire settled into the booth across from Spike, and met his eyes squarely, a smirk playing around her lips as she sipped at her cup of bubbly crap.

Spike remembered her now. He'd seen her a few times when he'd tangled with the Slayer. Feisty thing, even as a human, and that had carried over after her turning. If he'd known what a lovely vampire she'd make, he'd have snatched her the last time he was in Sunnyhell.

He found himself growling at the lost opportunity.

Now that he knew what she was, Spike focused all his senses on her, noting her lack of heartbeat and the faint scent of old blood covered over by sex and perfume and the spicy sharp scent that was all her. There was a zing of mind-clouding seduction about her, and Spike realized with a start that she had the power of sexual thrall, and she was unconsciously wielding it on him and probably anyone else she wanted something from.

She must have been hell on the teenagers in that school of theirs. Few outside the vampiric lines knew that all powers a vampire might have beyond the usual came from the human's potential, not the demon. Cordelia would have just been a bit more irresistible than other girls when she was mortal. Now, as a vampire, if she learned to use her thrall properly she'd be able to drive anything with a sex drive crazy with lust.

"So where's your sire then, luv?" he asked to break the silence. It was easy to see that she was more than a minion – new, but a true childe. Spike guessed she'd been turned by another fledgling. If her sire was a master, she'd already be stronger than she was.

And a master would never let such a promising childe out of their sight.

Queen C rolled her eyes. "He was weak," she snarled in contempt, her eyes flashing gold. "He turned me in the confusion after graduation – a giant snake thing attacked – and then he expected me to be his girlfriend or something just because he gave me the dark gift or whatever." She rolled her eyes. "Please. Guy was a loser when he was alive, and he was even more of a loser after he got dead. He had a real Interview with a Vampire complex, you know? Kept going on about how he was going to kill the Slayer and take over the Hellmouth and how I belonged to him and yadda yadda. Screw that. And his fashion sense!"

Cordelia held up her hands and made a face, as if she just didn't have words for the horror.

Spike raised a brow. "So you left him, then?"

The look of disgust on Queen C's face deepened. "Nah, Buffy dusted him about five minutes after he took her on. He was a loser, and I hated him, and one day I was going to dust him myself so I could be free, but he was my sire, you know?"

Spike did know.

"So after that I figured it'd be nice to be somewhere Slayer free with a decent shopping district. So I came to L.A. Thought about being an actress, but it's surprisingly hard to get auditions after sunset. Now I just let old men pick me up at Hollywood parties, eat them, and take their wife's stuff. All the trappings of the lifestyle with half the hassle."

Spike laughed, raising his bottle of J.D. to her in a toast, his thoughts moving a mile a minute. She was a young fledge, just a few months old at most, and her sire was dust and hadn't had much of a hold on her to begin with.

She could still be his. He just needed to figure out a way to get her to do the blood exchange. And he'd have to dominate her demon, prove that he was her master.

"But anyway," his vicious little Cordy was saying, "I'm glad we ran into each other. I've been looking to hook up with a master vamp, and Angel has pretty much wiped out all the ones in L.A. And when I went to him, he tried to stake me, the jerk."

Spike felt his triumph was nigh. Or something less poncy sounding. "And why do you want to hook up with a master vamp, pet?"

"Duh!" She waved one meticulously manicured hand at him. Her nails were as red as her dress, and filed into deadly points. "I'm a fledge with no sire, I don't know how to fight, and I'm hotter than hell. I've got no plans of becoming anyone's pet or dusting anytime soon. So I need someone to protect me and teach me vampire stuff."

"And you think I'll just take you in like some hurt puppy, out of the goodness of my heart?"

Cordy rolled her eyes again, a habit Spike was going to have to break her of. "No. I'm not a hurt puppy. I'm a pussy cat," she purred to him, voice husky. "And I can so make it worth your while."

She put her hand on Spike's arm, and he got a jolt of her thrall, lust crawling across his skin.

"I think I could be persuaded," Spike said as neutrally as he could.

Queen C smiled beatifically. In time, Spike would learn that expression meant he'd just been thoroughly manipulated.