Everything and More
Being happy together in a modest, minimum wage life was was everything they wanted. Being able to find real love again was more than they had hoped. A short sequel to Living Conditions. Takes place between chapter fifteen, when Spike and Buffy reunite, and the epilogue that shows them living their simple, happily ever after, several years later.
Author's note: The first part of the chapter is from Living Conditions, so please bear with me if you've already read it. It just helps bring us to the current moment. The rest is new material.
Dedicated to the readers and reviewers of Living Conditions. I hope you'll enjoy seeing how Spike and Buffy finished "falling in love", and became the happy couple in the epilogue.
Nothing of Buffy belongs to me, except my sincere admiration. However, this story is all mine.
Sunnydale, a week after graduation...
Buffy laid four letters on the table, Mom, Giles, Xan, Willow. She picked up her two suitcases and a cardboard box full of cleaning supplies, cooking stuff, and a bunch of other things she wouldn't want to live without. She went outside to wait, standing on the porch with her hands and heart uncomfortably full.
She didn't have her boxes or bags in hand for long. With a roar and a billow of black leather, Spike emerged from the car, crossed the lawn at a run, then picked her up and hugged her.
She was laughing, smiling from ear to ear. "Hey! Put me down."
"No!" He kissed her smartly on the mouth. "Okay, now. Bloody hell, the apartments are still tiny, Buffy!" He looked at the paraphernalia she had arrived with.
"I know but this time I'm planning to stay awhile. Look. Pots, pans, and a-"
"No, not the iron, the toaster."
"Where're we gonna put all this?"
"The kitchen seems logical." She said dryly.
"I mean the rest of the small department store you're carryin'."
"The clothes and books and stuff can go in the spare bedroom."
His grin engulfed them both, pulling her under his arm, each of them picking up a bag in their free hand.
"Oh. It's spare now?"
"Yeah. I was thinking we could drop the 'roommate' idea."
Spike's stomach crashed to his feet. "Pardon?"
"I think the trendy term they use today is 'living together'." She smirked.
Spike let out a deep breath he hadn't known he was holding. "C'mon. Place feels empty without you."
"Good thing I'm coming home then."
"Amen." They walked in companionable silence, basking in a moment of things finally feeling right. "You- uh- you are sure?" He paused at the car, box resting on the hood.
"I left letters for the important people in my life. I told them I'd be in touch, I told them if they promised to let me live my life, I'd tell them where I am." She put her suitcase at the curb with a stiff shrug.
"I heard there was a new slayer?" He threw out carelessly.
"She'll be here soon. I wrote Giles. I said I'd help with apocalypses." Feelings of guilt surged- then seeped away. There had never been two slayers in history before her. And why? Because she died, and came back, calling a newbie, and still keeping the "expert" around. She did her job. Being a slayer after you died? Well, that was just "above and beyond", and she'd hit the ceiling multiple times. "I could come visit, come help, whatever, every week, once a month. Whatever. Anything else- well, it's not a far drive, right?
"Absolutely. 'Specially not in this." Spike patted the hood of his new ride.
"So what about you?" Buffy let him open the doors, standing back a few steps, loading the bags in as he moved. "Your- your reflection and your heart not beating- and-" she fell silent. "Sorry. Probably the wrong thing to say. I just thought you'd never be okay without her."
"I didn't think I would be either." They both climbed in the car, but it remained in park. They looked forward, not at one another. "Never thought you'd let him go."
"I didn't. He left me."
"I'm sorry, Luv."
She swallowed down a lump that seemed to come to her throat whenever she realized that Angel was gone. He'd never really been exactly back. There was so much between them, so much they knew they couldn't ever do... it was like a wall went up between his life and hers, and not even love could tear it down. "It hurts."
"B'lieve me, I know."
She smiled at him. "Every other single person in the world would get a 'You have no idea'. But not you. You do know."
"Special, aren't I?" He winked with an obnoxious grin.
"Wow. I did miss you. I don't even want to slap you for that." Buffy laughed in amazement.
His hand found hers, and she squeezed it. "I missed you, too."
The playful mood had faded completely, it ebbed and flowed as it often did. That's what made it safe. Comforting. Like the tides. Riding waves together, predictably unpredictable, ups and downs. "I know he left you. If he comes back?" He let the question hang. I can't take being left by her. I can't let her go. Not again.
"He won't be coming back." She snorted dismissively, bitterly.
"But if he does?" Answer me. Say it's not so one sided this time. I've been love's bitch my entire existence. I'd like to just be "love's" for once.
She shook her head for a few seconds before she could speak. "Y'know, I was looking for the better part of life. 'Cause I had the bad part. The waaaaaay bad part. And then it wasn't so bad, but it still wasn't great." She licked her lips, looking sidelong at him. "I don't think anything can be good, even if it's like the ideal life- if you don't have a person to love." Who loves you back the same. She winced inside. What are you saying? You love him? You want him to love you?
Yes. No. Maybe. Not in the same way as Angel. But there is something to love, and I love it. And maybe I could love more. Maybe one day soon, loving something about him would change to being in love with him.
Fate rolled its eyes. Blind. Both of them. Or just very slow to see. No matter. They were starting to realize the undeniable now.
Spike felt hope inflate his cold insides and make his blood race and heat him from the inside out, all over again. "You mean, even if it's the most boring, bog standard routine in the world, and there's never much, always just enough- it's like your dream come true if you have the right person to scrape along with?"
She pouted at him. "You just had to say it all perfect, didn't you?"
"Ooh, perfect. Well, that is me."
"Good with understandin' you though." His hand moved from hers to her arm. "Jus' like you understand me."
She nodded, and scooted across the seat. Time was slowing down, just enough to let them think as they leaned towards one another.
Is this the one you want? This isn't just a kiss, this is changing your whole life, your whole world. This person is the deciding factor in your life. Everything will be different.
Everything will be better.
Mouths met and sighs escaped.
She kept her head close to his, lips brushing as she explained. "Then I get it. You pick me over everything, if I pick you over everything, too?"
"Spot on. A happy ending." Spike kissed her again, quickly this time, heart singing along to the loudest punk rock his head could pipe in.
"That's what I want."
He put the car in gear. "I was hopin' you'd say so." They settled back in, small grins of excitement bursting to become beams. Spike chuckled and looked at her from the corner of his eye. "I already told Ed I was bringin' you back with me."
She gaped at him in mock indignation. "Cocky, aren't you?"
"Only when I know I'm gonna get what I want."
"Oh God. Not this again." She was laughing.
"You know you love it." His eyes twinkled at her.
"I could fall in love with it." She confessed, a little smile and shrug covering a multitude of emotions and uncertainties.
"I'm counting on it." He said with a relaxed loll, arm draping lazily around her shoulders.
"Is it possible to be driver sick instead of car sick?"
"You drive me mad."
"Awww, you missed me too!"
He leaned over and kissed her cheek. She nuzzled up close, laying a hand on his chest, and nodding.
"Honestly, Luv, I might joke, but I'm dead serious about this."
"I know that. Why else would I want to spend the rest of my life with you?"
For once, he was more than happy to let her have the last word.
Three weeks later...
"Do not say one word to me." Buffy greeted him at four in the morning as he crawled into bed beside her in the gray pre-dawn light.
"What now?" The startled vampire demanded.
"So I know I worked the closing shift and I didn't get to see you before you left, but when I come home and I want to reheat my pitiful plate of leftovers-"
"Oh." Spike looked uncomfortable.
"-only to walk into the kitchen and find that there's a scene from The Exorcist in my microwave." Buffy rolled over and faced him, glaring.
"Well, this isn't like the micro we had in the other apartment. This one actually works like it's s'posed to." Spike reached for her over the blankets, hand landing lightly on her sheet covered torso. "Still gettin' used to it. If I don't watch it every second-"
"The blood boils up and over, I know. I get that." She considered pushing his hand off because she was still pretty pissed. But she didn't. Because of all the things they did together- and the one thing they'd never said. "What I don't get is why you left the mess for me?"
"I didn't know you'd use it." Spike protested. Buffy snorted at him and he rolled his eyes. "Right. Of course you'd use it. Not like you're a gourmet cook."
"Spike! Not helping yourself." Buffy barked into the pillow.
"I was in a rush, okay? Last night on the prowl, heard somethin' I had to go check out, had to get there before it was too late." Spike scooted his hips over to her, closer. She didn't seem moved by the explanation. "Somethin' you'd like actually."
She resisted the urge to move closer. Nothing about him mugging people did she like, except that it paid half the rent and he wasn't hurting anyone anymore, aside from scaring the crap out of them. She finally gave in with a semi-interested "Hm?" and rolled to face him.
"Under the table gamblin' ring. Poker games with a low buy-in, hopin' for easy marks."
Buffy just stared for a moment. "So... you called the vice squad?"
"No! I bought into a few hands. Lost a little bit so they'd think I was safe to keep in, then won a few hundred by the end of the night. No one hurt." Something I don't really give a damn about- but you do. An' I'd do almost anything for you, 'cause I- well. She oughta know. Even though I never say it. Never have said it.
Buffy blinked. "Did you just make semi-honest money?"
"Honest but illegal, if there's such a thing. Didn't have to cheat." He shrugged carelessly.
"You mean you've upgraded from mugger to gambler?"
"An' you're still stuck bein' a waitress." Spike teased.
"Shut up." She shoved his white shoulder hard.
"Is that anyway to talk to the man who might've earned enough to let us get basic cable?"
"Ooooh." Buffy fluttered her lashes. "Big spender."
"Ah, Baby. You can have it all." He lied back lazily and she rolled on top of him, looking down. Smiling. "Happy?" He tangled his hand gently in her hair.
"Why else would I be here?" She kissed him.
Four weeks later...
"It's here, just like the weatherman said! Gonna blow the awning clear off!" Kate looked nervously outside the diner's windows, the storm cracking open the clouds with jagged lightening and sheets of rain so thick they looked like gray walls rippling across the streets.
"We're gonna lose power." Pedro turned the heat up under the hamburgers, anxiously flipping them, trying to get them to finish before the storm took out the electricity.
"Dammit. Well, can't argue with mother nature." Kate began to balance the register drawer. "We'll close early if we have to. Not gonna sit here in the dark, paying everyone to sit on their backsides, not making any money while we're doing it. Anne, get these checks out to your tables."
"Right on it." Buffy still didn't let a lot of people get close, but she'd occasionally have a conversation, smile sometimes, even make a joke once in awhile. She would always be Anne to everyone in her new life. Buffy was a name for old friends, almost a separate person, and the Slayer- well, that was for emergencies.
The power suddenly went out with a fizzle and zap. In the kitchen, there was clatter and a curse.
"Cash only, folks." Kate called to the few people there for a late lunch.
Buffy scooped up her tips and wished she owned an umbrella. She and Spike were much better off now than when they'd been thrown together the first time, two survivors making it on instinct and stubbornness. This new life wasn't as hard, but they'd only been living it for a month, not enough time to think about everything they needed to buy. They had the basics and a little bit beyond. Mostly, they had each other.
"Hey, Anne- you need a ride?" Pedro called.
Maybe someday she'd accept one from him, maybe someday they'd be friends. But not now. Not when she was still fiercely protective of the happiness she'd clawed her way into. "I'm fine. I'll walk home."
"You can't walk in this! You're a featherweight, hon. You'll blow clean away." Kate said firmly.
"I'm fine, really. I- uh- I love walking in the rain."
"But this might be a hurricane." Another waitress pointed out in disbelief.
Buffy looked outside. She couldn't even see across the street. She hated being wet. Wet and shivery and if the power was out here, the elevator was probably out at home. Even though they weren't on the eleventh floor anymore, they were still plenty high up. Walking up all those stairs. Sliding in soaking sneakers. Looking like a drowned rat. Buffy almost gave in to convenience.
But I'd rather walk alone, even in a blizzard. She shuddered at the thought. It'd be worth it to get home to him, and know no one knew too much about us. Not yet. "I'm gonna go get my purse. " Buffy waved at the two elderly couples she'd been serving.
"That girl..." Kate shook her head at the petite figure walking to the back. "We're closing, folks. I'm so sorry. Finish up." There was a flurry of activity and muffled complaints about the darkness. Fortunately the glass front diner windows provided some light. Kate gave another speculative look through them.
"Looks like it's letting up a little. Maggie, ring those people up, thanks, hon." Kate tucked a pen behind her ear and fixed Anne with a maternal glare. "Anne, if you're gonna do this fool thing, you'd better go now. If you get struck by lightening or blown into a bus, don't you come crying to me about it!"
"I won't!" Buffy managed to crack a smile, and with unusual speed, she was out of her apron and into her sweater, out the door before anyone could even say goodbye.
She might as well have jumped head first into a pool. "Oh yeah. Real smart." Buffy shivered and began to run, blinking rain from her eyes. "Why couldn't this have happened near sunset?" She'd have had a ride waiting. But as it was, Spike would still be asleep, at two in the afternoon. "Should've just let someone give me a lift..."
She ran two blocks and began to wonder if her uniform was going to wash right off of her. The grumbling began."I should look for a job closer to home. I don't have to keep using an alias. Unless I want to." It was safer for now. Safer for both of them. And I'd put up with just about anything for him. The grumbling vanished. "I guess I want to." She'd been leaning against the wall of a drug store, and now she pushed herself on again, resolutely heading towards home. A little rain never hurt anyone. And if a hellmouth didn't kill me- much, a hurricane won't stand a chance.
Buffy almost didn't see it. The wind and the rain was creating a fog-like effect for one thing. The streets were dead with the traffic lights down and cars pulled off to the side of the road for another.
All except for one car, that seemed to come out of nowhere, right at her.
Buffy let out a startled screech as tires cascaded water over her, and headlights suddenly blinded her. "Hey! Rude much?" Buffy spat and pushed her already terminally soaked hair back out of her eyes for the hundredth time.
A door swung open, right at her side, making her yelp. "GET IN!"
"Get in here, woman, it's like the bloody Biblical flood! Any minute now the animals'll be pairin' off." Spike howled against the torrential rain.
Buffy sloshed her way into the car, panting and laughing breathlessly. "How'd you know I needed a ride?"
"Because I'm smart." Spike grunted and looked at her balefully.
"You're up. I didn't think you'd be awake." She shivered and reached for the heating control on the dash.
"I just woke up, put the blood in to heat and bang go the lights. Figured if we were in a blackout, you lot were too, an' the diner can't stay open without somethin' to cook with and a way for people to see what they're eatin'. Although at that place they might be better off if they-"
"You're starting to wash away the happy to see you feelings." Buffy stopped his snarking.
He ignored her, though he switched tracks. " An' it's the middle of the ruddy day, an' I knew the bus didn't make a stop this early."
"How'd you even get here in this rain? I'm surprised you can even see with the windshield as black as it is and-" Buffy got another glare and he muttered something angrily under his breath. She noticed for the first time, now that rain wasn't streaming down her face- that he was soaking wet too.
He rolled the window down and shoved his head out of it. "You're payin' for the upholstery to get wet vacced."
They slid and slushed up the dark steps, led by his glowing eyes. "You didn't have to come get me." Buffy said as they neared their door.
"Yeah, I did." He snapped.
"I could've walked!" Before we were together, I took care of myself. Dragged myself through worse. Or at least when I felt worse.
So no. I couldn't have. Because this life is what we chose. Why it's better. We promised we'd make it better, together, even if there was never much to make better to begin with. "Thanks."
"Welcome." His scowl vanished. "C'mon, you're worse off than I am."
"I'm dripping all over the carpet!" Buffy shook off her sneakers and narrowly missed Spike's coat flying through the air past her head.
"So take your clothes off an' hang 'em in the bath." Spike headed down to the bathroom himself, and came back with two towels. He began vigorously drying his hair into a mass of platinum fluff.
He tossed a towel at her and ignored her padding down to the dark bathroom as he lifted the blinds and got some gray, cloudy light into the pitch black apartment. "I dunno what you're gonna do about dinner. There's ice cream in the freezer, too. How long before that melts?" He took off his black tee shirt, also soaked through.
"I don't know. Don't we have candles?"
"No! When would we have thought to buy candles?" He called, and then mumbled, "Why would we need 'em when I can see in the dark?"
"We should! And flashlights. And an umbrella! Definitely an umbrella."
"I'll put it on the list. For now we have my lighter and that's it."
She was behind him, hand on his bare back. "I don't think we need any light, really."
Thunder slammed and the walls shook. "We don't need a lot of things." Spike turned to face her. Watched the towel drop away.
"On rainy days we usually watched movies. Remember?"
"Once we stopped avoidin' each other." He kissed her and unlooped his belt.
"Yeah. After that." She swayed up against him. "But... no power, no movies, so..."
"Let's make our own entertainment." He caught on easily, picking her up with a sly smile. "Right here." He pressed her smooth back to the glass.
"Not right here!" She squealed.
"We're not exactly on ground level, Luv."
"But the apartments across the way-"
"Can't see more than a foot in front of their faces in this weather." He buried his head between her breasts and kissed her chilled, satiny skin.
"You are so bad." She moaned, letting her head loll back.
"You know you love it."
So close. Buffy swallowed and pushed her hips off the window sill, down onto him, joining them. With a reverberating purr, he thrust up and her shoulder blades rattled the panes, competing with the gales outside. "Spike..."
"You know you love it." He whispered again, holding her eyes, tight, firm hips swiveling with her, milking her pink tunnel.
Buffy nodded, unspeaking, her hands locking behind his neck. She used the window sill and his hands for leverage, and worked herself up and down on him, slicker by the second.
Crummy jobs. Cheap apartments. No power. Storms. Her eyes closed and her forehead fell, touching his. "I do. I do love this."
"Everything about this." She whispered pointedly.
Five weeks later...
"Did you have another card game?" Buffy threw open the window and coughed exaggeratedly. "I can only take the stench of one kind of cigarettes at a time, Spike."
"You can't play poker with wannabe mobsters unless you smoke cheap cigars and drink overpriced whiskey." He dropped a thick wallet on the table. "Worth it."
"Tell that to the vat of air freshener I am about to douse you with." She grumbled. "Seriously. I'm going to start sewing those little pine fresh cardboard trees to your clothes."
"If you could sew." He scoffed, but took the coat off and hung it by the open window.
"I can sew! Giles taught me a suture stitch. He said Slayers don't usually need them, but-" She stopped speaking, a sudden spasm passing across her face. She shook it off. "You're right. I don't know how."
He cursed himself, as if he'd somehow brought this on her. Maybe he had. Letting her know they had the option of starting their strange little life together again. She wouldn't have left if I hadn't offered her the chance. "You- uh- you heard from him?"
"Yes. I did. He's still in the totally bewildered phase. But he's taking it better than Mom. I'm doing the weekly phone call thing. I still haven't given either of them an address. I'm waiting until Mom stops yelling 'Don't hang up!' every time I call. Like I'd hang up. I'm the one who called." She flopped moodily into a chair. It creaked. "Do all the pre-furnished places have chairs that belong in haunted houses?"
"Prolly. Least this one's just old, Buffy. We didn't beat it to death."
"Unlike the last one." She acknowledged with a tiny grin.
He chuckled and came over to rub her shoulders. "We can move to one of the unfurnished ones. Buy our own pretties."
"You have to fleece a lot more people before we can afford our own furniture." Buffy sighed and arched her spine into his hands. "Have I told you lately- or ever- that you are amazingly talented with your hands?"
"Jus' my hands?" He breathed against her spine, making each sound ripple across her skin.
"All of you." She conceded easily.
"That's my girl."
"Mhm. At least I'm yours." Buffy let her head rest against his arm and absently kissed his wrist. He wants me just like I am, whoever I want to be.
He swallowed. He'd lived through her being at her very lowest. He'd learned to hate anything that resembled that horrible depression, listlessness- lifelessness. "That's right. You absolutely are my girl, and I take my girl out on the town sometimes." He said with sudden determination.
"Say what?" Buffy was up, out of the chair, pulled by a suddenly purposeful and energetic partner.
"Go put on your party dress!"
"I don't have a party dress, and I don't feel like going out for wings tonight!"
"Put on your least battered up pair of pants then!" He ordered and shoved her into the bedroom. "An' who said anything about wings?"
"Spike, are you sure you only smoked cigars?" Buffy asked dubiously.
"I'm gonna take you out, properly out, on a date, Buffy Summers. Now shut up and get ready."
"Two, please." Spike handed the clerk at the ticket counter a ten.
"That's barely one, buddy."
"Bloody hell, twenty dollars to see two hours worth of snogging and attempts at comedy? Does that include the popcorn?" Spike asked irately, digging back into his wallet.
"He doesn't get out much." Buffy took his hand, wrapped around a wad of bills, and forced it out to the clerk with an apologetic smile. "Thank the nice man, honey, and keep walking." She jabbed a fist in his back and pushed him along, taking the tickets with her.
"I do so get out!" Spike called over his shoulder. "I-"
"This is your fault, y'know. Vamps don't pay to go to the soddin' movies. Not often, anyway."
"But you thought a movie ticket was five bucks? When was the last time you paid to get into the movies?" Buffy hissed.
He didn't answer. "Spike?"
"It was Star Wars, okay?"
Just full of surprises. Buffy couldn't even make a coherent reply. "You- why would you- I mean- Star Wars?"
He sighed fondly. "Darth Vader. Gotta love a villain who works the black cape." He winked and tucked his duster around her, pulling her under his arm.
"You're so strange." She rolled her eyes. "Oh, extra butter flavor." Buffy tugged his arm and stopped them in front of the concession counter.
"Bloody hell." He grumbled, but it was part of the facade. Money didn't mean much compared to her. As long as they had enough to keep their home going... "They make those slushy- slurpy ice sodas you like. Wanna couple?"
"You want one, too?" Buffy asked in surprise.
"No! Those things'll rot my teeth. Can you imagine a vamp with cavities?" He mumbled from the corner of his mouth. She laughed against shoulder, leaning against him.
"Cherry flavor. Just one." She smiled up at him.
"Got it. And the extra large popcorn. Extra butter."
"You spoil me. I love it." Buffy beamed girlishly at him as she took her drink with eager fingers.
"You do alright yourself." Every night and every morning beside him, her body, her affection, her friendship, her companionship, her- He held her a little tighter. "Good. That's what I want to hear."
"You- you do?" Buffy almost lost her grip on the slippery cup. He wants to hear me say that I love it. That I...
"Yeah. That I spoil you. That you like it. That you're happy."
Her heartbeat calmed back down. "Very happy."
"I don't think I've ever eaten in a restaurant where they give you finger bowls."
"Imagine my disappointment when it wasn't full of fingers." He gave a snide smirk.
"I gotta make gory jokes, Luv. Or I gotta get some blood sport goin' on."
"Oh. In that case, yeah. No severed fingers. Bummer."
"You did fine at the fancy ass place. You don't need airs and graces. You're naturally graceful. Like a pretty little panther." He kissed her head.
She blushed slightly. "Well, if we ever go there again- we're going in dress code."
"Ah, but threatening the maitre'd so he'd let us in anyway was more fun."
"Maybe. But we're entirely possible." He lazily linked his fingers with hers as they strolled in the moonlight, hand drifting down over her shoulder as her arm bent up over her chest to reach his.
"We are, aren't we?" Something fluttered inside her chest.
"Figure we must be. Here we are. In spite of it all. You did say- when I came to pick you up-" he cleared his throat and looked at the say with sudden pretended fascination, "that you were gonna spend the rest of your life with me."
The fluttering invaded her throat. "I meant it."
"So you must-" He had been so brave and brash once. Before his heart had been torn out. She must love me. But if I ask her to say it, and she doesn't feel it, or doesn't mean it- He made a safer substitution. "You must really want this."
The rapid pulsing died. I know we're capable of loving each other. I know we're capable of saying it. But it's so perfect like this. A crazy kind of perfect no one else would ever call perfect. As hard and dull and unexciting as this life is, it's the only one I want. And I don't need to ask for more.
Maybe I'm scared to love someone again.
But I'm never afraid of Spike.
"I want it more than anything." Even more than knowing for sure what we have, than hearing the words. Just as long as it stays the same.
They walked home, not in silence, making small talk. What bills they needed to pay this week, what movies they ought to rent for the weekend, gossip from their few friends and neighbors. Comfortable in their shared life.
Don't be greedy, Spike scolded himself as words that he longed to say and words that he was scared to say burnt a hole in his throat. He watched her slip out of her clothes, and into their bed, warm, waiting for him.
He came to her, like he did every night, sometimes technically morning. Made love in a tangle of pleasure and laughter. Watched her fall asleep sprawled across his chest.
This has gotta be love. She's a smart girl, I'm sure she knows it. I'm pretty sure she'd say it, too. If we hadn't had such a buggered up time with the last "loves of our lives". We were destroyed by them leavin' us, and now we're livin' again, we came back from that. Dragged each other back- kickin' an' screamin'. He laughed quietly and she smiled at the sound.
He stroked her hair and she kissed his collarbone in her sleep, curling closer. Spike tightened his grip.
Why risk what feels so bloody good and was so damned difficult to get - just to hear three words more?
To be continued...