Chapter Seven

The sound of more blood bags hitting the floor awoke her and she started at the sound, blinking rapidly until she remembered where she was. She had no idea how much time had gone by since she'd followed Riley into the complex, but she was sure it wasn't long enough for Willow to have become sufficiently worried that she would have called Giles. Her hands were still resting on Spike's head, her fingers still entwined in his hair, when she realized that his eyes were open and staring at her. For the first time since she'd arrived, the beautiful blue eyes she was accustomed to seeing were gazing back at her and she smiled almost shyly.

"Feeling better?" she asked rhetorically, the already healing bruises and cuts telling her that he was.

"A mite," he admitted. "Having such a soft pillow helps." He winked at her and turned his head to nip the inside of her thigh.

"Obviously better!" she gasped, quickly pushing him off. "Go get the rest of the blood. We've got Initiative butt to kick."

Grumbling about bossy bints, he easily walked to the new bags, draining them quickly and tossing them aside. He cautiously stretched his arms over his head, unintentionally giving the other cages a good view of his flat abs and muscular arms. Buffy caught the vengeance demon studying the vampire with undisguised interest and glared at her until the woman shrugged and laughed, finally looking away.

Getting to her feet herself, Buffy began her own stretching, flexing her arms and legs to be sure she was ready to assault the partially cracked wall. She pulled Spike closer and whispered in his ear to look up to the corner, smiling at his "Good job, Slayer," when he saw the crack.

"So, what's the plan?" He smiled at her indulgently and Buffy was struck with the difference between the way the vampire reveled in her strength while Riley clearly resented it. Obeying an impulse she couldn't control, she rose on her toes and kissed him, backing away quickly before he could turn it into anything but what it was.

"And that was…?"

"That was because I'm glad you aren't dusted… and because you… I…." She waved her arms around, unable to articulate exactly how glad she was to see him again. As he so often did, he seemed to read her thoughts, stepping closer and running a hand down her cheek.

"Me too, love," he said quietly. "We get out of here, I'm gonna show you just how glad I am."

Buffy blushed at the look in his eyes, saying firmly, "First things first. Are you ready?"

"Always, pet."

She laughed and pointed at the wall, taking the hand he held out and allowing him to pull her back to the opposite side of the room.

"On three."

She nodded and at "three" they ran at the cracked wall, leaping into the air and hitting it feet first. The crack immediately ran all the way down to the opposite corner and they quickly began to kick the broken area until, with a shudder and the scream of an alarm, it collapsed into a pile of broken plastic.

While Buffy ran to the elf's cage and released her, Spike was pounding on the console at one end, trying to figure out which button was the master override. He gave a triumphant shout as some of the doors slid open, but continued to pound on the console. The alarm was still blaring and soldiers began dropping into the hallway, only to be overwhelmed by the frantic demons now searching for a way out. From the other end, Riley and Maggie Walsh entered, the soldier going immediately to the console and hitting Spike with a taser.

Buffy's shouted warning had allowed Spike to dodge a direct hit and he was only temporarily stunned, resting on his hands and knees and shaking his head to clear it. When Riley's foot drew back and he kicked at Spike's newly healed ribs, Buffy turned her back on the escaping demons to begin her run toward the two Initiative commanding officers. She watched Spike shift into game face as he attempted to bring Riley down, only to see him fall to the floor, holding his head and writhing in pain. Her frustrated scream of "I wish he didn't have that chip in his head!" caused Riley to turn toward her just in time to see Halfrek's face shift and to hear her clearly articulated, "Wish granted".

Buffy looked back and forth between the smiling vengeance demon and the rising vampire. A slow grin was spreading over Spike's face as he got to his feet and moved toward the suddenly worried soldier. Spike picked the much larger man up with one hand and clutched Maggie Walsh with the other, baring his fangs as he spoke softly.

"You wanted to know what a master vampire is like, you ignorant git? " He squeezed Riley's throat just hard enough to make his point, then turned to Maggie and jerked his chin in Buffy's direction. "An' you wanted to know what something like me is afraid of? Take a good look, bitch. That's a Slayer."

Buffy stood in front of them, hands on hips, face flushed and eyes flashing. Angry power radiated off her body and both humans unconsciously shrank back from the eyes blazing at them.

"Open the doors," she ordered Maggie, nodding to Spike when the woman shook her head "no". He tossed Riley into the wall and used his other hand to bring Maggie's body closer to his exposed fangs.

"You'll be wantin' to do as she asked," he said mildly. "What with your little toy no longer in my head and you with no way to make me crawl just to amuse you, that little girl is the only thing standin' between you a very painful death. If I were you, I'd be tryin' to keep her happy."

Fear warred with the outrage in the woman's eyes, until Spike ran one fang down her throat just barely slicing her skin. With a quick nod, she pointed to the correct switch and Buffy's hand slammed down on it, opening the rest of the heavy doors. As the released demons poured out, Spike looked at Halfrek and smiled.

"Thank you, luv."

"You're welcome, William," she responded, smiling back flirtatiously.

Buffy glared back and forth between the smirking demon and the obviously puzzled vampire. "William?"

Spike shrugged and shook his head. "Have no idea, pet. I don't know any vengeance demons."

Halfrek's lip came out in a pout. "You've forgotten me already, William? I'm so disappointed in you."

Spike stared at her intently, dawning recognition clear on his face. "Cecily?"

"Spike…." Buffy's voice contained a warning that he knew instinctively it would be foolish to ignore.

"Well, luv," he said to the woman who was batting her eyelashes at him, "much as we appreciate the help here, I think it's time to find our way out of this place. We'll catch up some other time, yeah?" His eyes clearly indicated he had no desire to continue the conversation and Halfrek shifted her gaze to the human girl still glaring at her. One look into Buffy's narrowed eyes and she decided that teasing William was not worth a fight with a jealous slayer. She nodded her head and followed the other released demons out the doors, turning when she got there and waving at Maggie and Riley before she disappeared before their eyes.

"I wonder why she didn't do that before?" Buffy muttered, grabbing a still-surprised Maggie by the arm and yanking her toward the open doors.

"I imagine she was waiting for somebody to make a wish, pet," Spike answered. "Place like this? There had to be plenty of vibes callin' to her." He grabbed Riley off the floor, slapping the taser out of his hand without even looking at it, and asking hopefully, "We don't need this one, do we, Slayer?"

"Bring him," she snapped back, putting off for as long as possible the decision regarding what to do about the two evil humans and the vampire who had every right to want to kill them.

Spike growled rebelliously, but followed her to the doors, controlling Riley with a powerful grip on his right bicep.

Chapter Eight

Using Maggie and Riley as human shields, and helped considerably by the confusion caused by the escaping demons, it took very little time for them to make their way to the nearest exit. As they emerged from a hidden entrance behind Maggie's office, they stopped. Buffy took a quick look outside to confirm that it was now night and safe for Spike to emerge; then she waved him out and they began walking toward Giles' apartment. In spite of verbal protests from their two hostages, Buffy insisted that they bring them both until Giles could contact the Council and see what could be done through semi-official channels.

"What if the Council of Wankers won't help out?" Spike wondered aloud. "Can I eat them, then?"

Buffy shot him a glare and he shrugged. "Was worth a try, pet. I'm still feeling a mite peckish – and I owe them."

"I know you do," she sighed. "And part of me is right there with you…."

"Which part would that be, Slayer? One of the good parts, I hope." His leer broke through Riley's forced cooperation and the commando tried to break free, saying, "How dare you talk to her like that? Buffy, I can't believe you let this—"

"Shut up. Both of you," she added when Spike's mouth opened automatically. "I'm not going to deal with testosterone poisoning right now." She pointed at Riley, her cold look telling him what he'd already guessed. "You – we – are done. You were going to let this bitch try to get me killed. Neither one of you knew that Spike wasn't going to hurt me, so you're as guilty as she is. And you," she turned toward the gleeful looking vampire. "Just because Cave Buffy thinks you have a right to a little revenge, doesn't mean that the Slayer is going to let you kill anybody. So, get over it."

"Bollocks," he muttered, yanking harder than necessary on Riley's arm. "'s what I get for fallin' for a bloody do-gooder."

Buffy pretended she didn't hear him and tried to smother the little thrill that went through her at his words.

With Maggie Walsh having already been on Giles' list of least-favorite people, he was more than happy to tie her to a chair in his living room while he waited for it to be morning in England. He found some chains in the back of a closet, which caused Spike to raise his eyebrows and smirk knowingly until Giles threatened to chain him up too. It had taken Buffy several minutes of talking to convince the ex-watcher that it was okay to let William the Bloody into his home, but eventually she got him to agree to trust her judgment; and she kicked Spike in the shin when he appeared to be trying to irritate Giles into regretting his decision.

Riley was chained to the plumbing in the bathroom and both Spike and Buffy tested the chains for strength before leaving the commando in there unattended. While they waited until it was late enough to phone the Council offices, Buffy filled Giles in on what she'd seen in the Initiative complex, as well as admitting that she'd released all the captives. To her surprise, the man who had taught her that the best demon was a dead demon – the surrogate father figure who had lost the woman he loved because she couldn't kill her vampire lover – just nodded his head and commented mildly that if any of the escapees became a problem, she could just kill them later. As he spoke, he glared fiercely at the smirking vampire sitting, in his opinion, much too close to his slayer.

"Hey!" Spike protested. "I'm on your side!" At Giles' disbelieving snort, he lowered his voice and amended, "Well, I'm on her side, anyway. Not goin' to give her any reason to stake me."

"Why not?" Giles looked back and forth between the blushing girl and the suddenly meek vampire and groaned mentally. "Never mind," he moaned. "I don't want to know."

Buffy giggled with embarrassment, but allowed Spike to put his arm across the back of the couch in what was clearly a proprietary fashion.

"I'll never hurt her, Watcher," Spike said seriously. "Not her or anyone she cares about. I—"

"I really, and I cannot emphasize this enough, do notwant to know!"

Buffy made a quick call to a very sleepy Willow to fill her in on what had happened and to reassure her that she was fine and that Giles was handling the situation. When her friend asked if she would be back in the dorm room later, Buffy glanced at Spike and blushed before answering.

"I don't think so, Wills. We – I – need to wait here until we find out what is going to be done about these people, and then it'll be late and we – I…."

"Oh my god! It was Spike, wasn't it?" Willow's now wide-awake shriek reached the vampire's sensitive ears and he raised a questioning eyebrow at Buffy. "That's who you… oh my god. Oh, Xander is sooo going to wig."

"Um," Buffy blushed fiercely as Spike began to grin. "Can we talk about this some other time? Like, maybe, never?"

"Oh, we're going to talk about it, missy. You can count on it. I want details and… okay, maybe not detail-details, but… you need to tell me what's going on. Are you and Spike… like… together?"

"Later, Willow. When I've figured it out. 'k?"

"Okay." Willow's sounded unconvinced, but she agreed to wait and hung up. She drifted back to sleep picturing Xander's reaction to finding out Buffy had another vampire boyfriend and all night her dreams were of her best male friend's exploding head.

When Spike stood up and walked toward the door, both Giles and Buffy stared at him in surprise.

"Where are you going?" she blurted, ashamed of the note of fear in her voice.

"Gonna go find a new place to live," he growled. "It's not like I'm going back to Harmony's cave—"

One look at Buffy's face and he regretted reminding her that he hadn't been living by himself when he first came back to Sunnydale. Ignoring Giles, who was trying very hard to pretend he wasn't listening, he stepped closer to Buffy and said softly, "We both have baggage, pet. I'm not goin' away – not unless you tell me to. Gonna be here for you and yours, if you'll have me; but I'm trying to give you some space. You've got things you need to do, decisions to make. I'll let you know where I am."

Buffy realized he had heard Willow's question about whether they were together, as well as her non-committal answer to it, and she nodded silently.

I do have a decision to make. Riley – that's easy. He's history. But am I willing to get into a relationship with another vampire? And what kind of a relationship could it be? He's the one who said it wasn't really going anywhere, isn't he? If the evil vampire can see why it couldn't work, you'd think that the Slayer would—gah!

After Giles had spoken to the Council and given them all the information he had on the Initiative, there was nothing for them to do but wait to be called back. Buffy took the offer of his guest room and used it for a short nap.

She awoke in time to run to her dorm room and change clothes, as well as get her books for her first class. She breathed a sigh of relief that Willow wasn't there.

It's not like I know what to tell her. I don't know if we're together. He sounds like he wants to be with me – but do I want to be with him? Aside from the whole I-crave-his-body-more-than-I-should thing, do I want HIM? 'Cause kinda getting the feeling that with Spike there's no half-way. He claimed me, for crap's sake – I don't even know if he CANleave. Can I have another vampire in my life? SHOULD I have another vampire in my life? One without a soul? And Angel and I are sooo going to have a discussion about Spike's ability to control his demon and to love. If he can do it, what the hell was Angelus' problem?

Pushing thoughts of Spike and any possible relationship between them to the back of her mind, Buffy went through the motions of going to class, phoned her mother to give her a brief recap of where she'd been and what had happened. She tried not to be miffed when Joyce sounded more concerned about Spike's wellbeing that she was about Buffy's.

"He's fine, Mom," she said with some irritation. "Whatever they did to him is all fixed. He's a little skinny, but a couple of good meals… Oh my god! I've got to find him before he kills somebody. Talk to you later, bye, Mom!"

Buffy raced out the room, heading directly to the butcher's and using up all the money in her wallet to buy pigs blood. As she emerged with the heavy bag, she realized she had no idea where to look for Spike, and she wandered into a park, sitting on the first bench she came to. The park, of course, was empty – as were most of the poorly lit places in Sunnydale after sunset. The strengthening tingle she could soon feel had her sitting up alertly until she recognized the specific vampire who was raising the hairs on her neck.

"Come on out," she called. "I know you're there."

"Getting' better at that, aren't you, pet?" His voice held a hint of admiration and she nodded, smiling.

"It's easy when it's you," she admitted, ducking her head and peering at him through her hair.

"That so?" His tone was noncommittal as he sat at the other end of the bench, the bag of blood between them. "What's this then?" He gestured at the bag, clearly marked with the name of the butcher shop.

"I… I got you some blood. So you wouldn't have to… I mean, I can't let you…." She stopped and looked at him steadily. "I can't let you stay in my town and kill people, Spike. I can't. I won't."

Her last words sounded almost like a plea and with supernatural speed he had moved the bag to the ground and was beside her. He cupped her chin with one large hand, staring intently into her worried eyes.

"You think I don't know that, Buffy? I haven't touched anybody. The question is – do you want me to stay in your town?"

"I don't want you to not be here," she mumbled, dropping her eyes.

"Not good enough, love." He dropped his hand, but didn't move away.

"What do you want to do?" she fired back. "Do you want to stay here and drink pigs blood? Can you even do that? Can you stop killing? What do you want, Spike?"

He tilted his head and waited until she met his gaze before replying.

"I want to shag you silly every day for the rest of your life," he replied honestly. "And if I have to drink pigs blood and get my spot of violence by beating up on demons…." His voice trailed off and he brushed his lips across hers. "It will be worth it. If I can have you, it will be worth it."

"Oh." She had no idea how to reply. The soft lips that kept drifting across hers were too distracting for her to form a coherent thought. "Oh," she breathed out again as his tongue came out to ask for hers. As she sank into the bone-melting kiss, it occurred to her that she hadn't really said he could have her, although her body apparently had already decided on an answer.

Chapter Nine

When they'd had to dust three different vamps that had wandered up thinking the kissing couple would be an easy meal, Buffy reluctantly pulled away from him.

"I think we should get out of here," she said softly, playing with the buttons on his duster. "Maybe find some place where we won't have so many… interruptions?"

"Got just the place, pet." He stood up, offering her his hand. She handed him the bag of blood and allowed him to lead the way out of the park. "Just wait, Slayer," he growled when she balked at following him into Restfield Cemetery. "Trust me, Buffy," he added in a much softer, sexier voice, "Wouldn't take you anywhere I didn't think you'd like."

Buffy followed the sexy voice, dubious about finding a place that she would like in a cemetery, but wanting more of the kisses that she could feel all the way to her toes. As though reading her mind, he suddenly turned around and fastened his mouth on hers, extending the kiss until she was mewing with frustrated desire. With a final nibble on her lower lip, he let go and resumed leading her deeper into the graveyard.

When he finally stopped in front of a large crypt, he set the bag of blood down and whispered, "Wait here, love. Let me turn the lights on." He opened the heavy oak door and stepped inside. She heard the 'snick' of his lighter and watched as light blossomed from the interior of the crypt. When it was lit to his satisfaction, he returned to the door and took her hands, gently pulling her inside. Buffy's mouth dropped open in surprise as she took in the candle-lit interior of the big stone building. The candles gave a warm glow, softening the sharp edges of the stone walls and illuminating the red quilts and pillows piled on the floor.

While she gawked at the surprisingly cozy room and the makeshift bed in the center of the floor, Spike brought his blood into the room and closed the door firmly. He dropped a newly-installed latch into place before walking past her and depositing the bag of blood on a table beside a small refrigerator. While she continued to look around, noting the other touches that attempted to transform the large grave into a home, he carefully put the blood away. When he turned back to her, he was holding a bottle of beer in each hand.

Numbly, Buffy took the proffered bottle and began to sip at it. When he just watched her rather than drinking his own beer, she stopped and cocked her head at him.

"Do you think you need to get me drunk again?"

"I hope not. Want to know who I'm makin' love to this time. Want to know it's Buffy." As he spoke, he was setting down his bottle and pulling her in for another searing kiss. "I'll always be grateful that Cave Buffy thought I smelled good, but this is the Buffy I want."

"Cave Buffy is a pretty smart girl – for a Neaderthal," Buffy murmured. "I never would have thought to smell you." In spite of what she'd just said, she buried her nose in his neck, inhaling his unique scent and licking the soft skin there.

"She had her moments," he agreed, purring at the way her tongue was laving his skin. "She definitely had her moments."

Without warning, he bent his knees and scooped Buffy up in his arms, walking toward the pile of pillows and quilts. He sank gracefully to the floor, rolling so as to land on his back with Buffy lying across his chest. She brought her face up, offering her lips and squirming around so as to be lying beside him, their bodies touching from head to toe.

While she gave in to the urge to run her hands all over the body she hadn't been willing to admit that she'd been missing the entire time she was with Riley, Spike was pulling her clothes off with no thought to keeping them in one piece. Rather than yell at him for ripping her shirt, Buffy began her own assault on the few items covering his body, ripping his tee shirt down the center and pushing his jeans down as far as they would go.

When Spike's frustrated growls and Buffy's own whimpers of impatience had reached a ridiculous level, they gave up and fell apart, laughing even as they took their hands off each other long enough to remove the tight pants they were both wearing. Rather than grab Buffy as soon as she was naked, Spike surprised her by holding her at arms' length and running his eyes over her body.

"Just as beautiful as I remembered," he breathed, bringing his eyes up to her blushing face. "This is what kept me going in that place," he continued. "Every time things got too bad, I just pictured you naked."

"But… I thought you were mad at me… that you thought I—"

"Was, love. I did. Didn't matter. Even when I was hatin' you for puttin' me in there, I wanted you naked. 'Course," he admitted with a sheepish grin, "I might have been picturing your naked, bloody body and my fangs in your throat… but the important thing is that you were naked. Just like now," he finished, pulling her against him and nuzzling her neck. "Just like now."

"If that was meant to be romantic – I've got to tell you, you suck at it!" Buffy pushed him away sharply, her eyes narrowed and her mouth pinched. She moved away from him, ignoring the stricken look on his face and retrieving her jeans from the floor.

How could I be so stupid? He's an evil, soulless vampire who came here to kill me. He doesn't' care anything about me – he just wants to do a slayer – one way or another.

Fuck! I couldn't have buggered that up any more if I'd tried.

"Buffy," he started, throwing himself in front of her. "I never – I didn't mean – I'm a bloody stupid wanker – please, love, don't—"

"That's all this is to you, isn't it?" He was shocked to see her eyes filling with unshed tears. "Just another way to add a slayer notch to your belt. Kill me or fuck me – doesn't make any difference to you."

She struggled futilely to get back into the tight jeans that she'd just pulled off, resolutely ignoring the way his face had tightened. The jeans were most of the way up her thighs when she was tackled and forced down onto the makeshift bed, pinned under a snarling vampire. Only the emotion she could see glistening in his amber eyes told her he was not planning to kill her. For long minutes they lay perfectly still, Spike taking rapid, unnecessary breaths as he glared down at her, Buffy staring back him, stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the unfairness of her accusation.

With a movement so swift she was already climaxing before she realized what he'd done, Spike sank his fangs into the invisible marks he'd left there months ago. He took two deep draughts of blood, growling as he felt Buffy go limp under him.

"Mine," he whispered into her throat, licking the bites closed. "You are mine."

"You bit me. Again!" She struggled to put the necessary anger in her voice; a difficult task when she was still limp from the unexpected result of his bite.

"I claimed you. Again."

"Why do you keep doing that?" Her voice, she was unhappy to notice, now sounded more petulant than outraged.

"I don't know," he admitted, wriggling his hips until he could fit his rock hard erection between her thighs. "It just seems like the thing to do when I have you in this position."

"Well, get over it! That might have worked with Cave Buffy, but I'll decide who I do or don't belong too, thank you very much," she grumbled unconvincingly.

Instead of answering her, he wriggled again, brushing the head of his cock against her outer lips and dropping his head to take a hardened nipple into his mouth. With her legs trapped by her still partially up jeans, Buffy could do nothing but lie there and press her hips into him, whimpering with sudden need for more contact. He ran his mouth down her torso, kissing and licking his way past her belly button. Instead of stopping when he got to where she expected him to stop, he slid the rest of the way down and tugged her jeans off.

As her legs dropped open, he was immediately lying on her again, his cock nudging her entrance and his lips on hers.

"Let me in, Buffy," he whispered against her mouth. "Tell me you want me to come in."

"Is this some weird, vampire thing? Cause I'm thinking it's pretty obvious I want you—" She wrapped her legs around his hips and pulled him toward her.

"Where do you want me, love? Do you want me here?" He rubbed the tip of his cock against her clit, eliciting whimpers of agreement before he moved again. "Or, do you want me here?" He slid down until he was pushing under her ass. "Or," he whispered again, sliding forward until he was just touching her, "Do you want me here?" As he spoke, he thrust himself into her warmth, reveling in the way she clutched him and at the gasped "Yes!" that escaped against her will.

Suddenly the urgency that had been present when they first got to the crypt was back and they moved together as though it had been years rather than a couple of months since they'd last touched. In no time, Buffy was squeezing him tightly, her inner muscles fluttering around him as she began to pant her release. Fighting down the demon's desire to bite her again, Spike thrust himself into her, crying her name as his hips jerked long after he was spent. When he tried to roll off her limp body, he found himself trapped by supernaturally strong arms.

"We're not done here, vampire," she growled, holding him in place with her arms and legs.

"Know we're not, sweetheart. Jus' wanted to give you some breathing room."

"I'm breathing just fine," she mumbled into his neck, realizing as she said it that she was. Whereas having Riley lying on top of her resulted in her face being smothered in his chest, Spike fit very nicely and she had no trouble feeling comfortable with his weight pressing her into the bed. She smiled as she felt him growing hard again, squeezing gently and bringing forth a happy groan from the temporarily spent vampire.

"I missed you," he crooned, beginning a slow rocking that she willingly joined. "Wanted you again so bloody much…."

"I… I missed you too," she admitted, blushing fiercely. "I tried not to, but I did."

"Did you think about me? While I was gone? Or were you too busy shagging the lout?" He fought back the snarl, but his pain came through in the way he stilled briefly and Buffy unconsciously held him more tightly.

"I did think about you – but I thought you were gone. I thought I'd never see you again. If I'd known…."

"If you'd known, what?" he murmured, still moving gently and adding a twist of his hips at the end of each stroke. "What if you'd known I was still here? That I still wanted you?"

"I wouldn't have let Riley touch me," she admitted, surprising herself as much as she did him. "Not after the first time, anyway."

"He's never going to touch you again." Spike's intended growl faded into more of a purr as Buffy pulled him against her body and squeezed internally.

"Never," she whispered, biting into his shoulder as she felt herself falling over the edge. "Never."

He let himself go with her, the feel of her teeth in his flesh only adding to the surprisingly explosive release he felt. He put his lips on the marks he'd made and sucked vigorously, extending their orgasms until they both collapsed in exhaustion. He rolled carefully to the side, pulling her body with him so that she remained connected, but was now lying on him. As her ragged breathing evened out, Buffy nuzzled his chest and gasped, "Wow."

"Wow, indeed," he chuckled, sounding more like Giles than he normally did. "I think we may have set some sort of record there, pet."

"Yay us."

He stroked her back with one hand, waiting until she began to stir before asking quietly, "So, Slayer. Is there an us?"

"Feels like it to me. I'm pretty sure there isn't going to be anybody else. Not after that little experience."

"Little?"

She rolled her eyes and pushed herself up on her arms. "It's an expression! Stop pouting. You know what I mean."

"I know, love," he grinned, pulling her back down. "I just like hearing you say it."

"I hope you're not going to need a lot of ego-stroking all the time," she grumbled, relaxing back into his embrace. "Cause I think I've had about all of that I need for one lifetime."

His chuckle turned into a happy purr, and he rolled them over, pulling the quilt up around her shoulders. "All I need is you, pet. As long as you're here and stroking something, I'm happy."

"Pig," she mumbled, snuggling into his body.

"Oink, oink, love," he whispered as her eyes drifted shut. "Oink."

Chapter Ten

Buffy awoke a while later to find that Spike was already up and dressed. She pouted at him briefly, cringing away when he tried to kiss the pout with lips still red with the pigs' blood he'd been sipping.

"Come on, pet," he coaxed, as she tried to burrow back under the quilt. "We need to go check on your watcher and the two twits he's babysittin' for you."

"It's bizarro world, isn't it?" she muttered, reluctantly reaching for her clothes. "The evil vampire is the one being all responsible and the Slayer is the one who wants to stay in bed and…."

"Time for 'and…' later, Slayer. Trust me. There will be lots of 'and…' but I don't trust those wankers, and you know the soldiers will be looking for them and us."

At the reminder that she'd left her watcher alone with Maggie and Riley, Buffy quickly dressed, sticking her tongue out at Spike when he openly ogled her bare breasts. She deftly avoided his attempt to grab one of them and quickly pulled on her shirt and jacket.

The walk to Giles' apartment was pleasant and full of banter and flirting until they got close enough to see that the door was hanging open on one hinge. With super speed, they flew through it and into the damaged living room. Buffy's cry when she found Giles, unconscious behind the overturned couch, brought Spike quickly to her side.

"It's alright, pet," he assured her. "His heartbeat sounds good and strong. Looks like they just knocked him out." He pointed to the swelling lump on the watcher's head.

When Spike had settled the watcher on the newly set up couch and Buffy had put an ice bag on his head, they began the unnecessary search for any sign of Maggie and Riley. One look at the chains, which appeared to have been cut with bolt cutters, and it was obvious that the two had not freed themselves.

Giles' moan and a string of British profanity were the first signs that the ex-watcher was regaining consciousness. Buffy waited anxiously while he oriented himself and noticed their presence, then she demanded, "What happened here?"

"I should think that would be obvious," he said stiffly, gesturing at his overturned furniture and broken door.

"Well, duh, yeah. But I mean, how?"

"It would appear that your boyfriend—" At a snarl from Spike, he winced and amended, "that your ex-boyfriend still had his communicator upon his person and he was able to reach it to call for assistance. As you can see, assistance arrived quite promptly," he finished with his own version of a growl.

"I'm sorry, Giles," Buffy said, her face stricken. "We should have been here. I didn't mean to—"

He waved his hand dismissively. "It is probably just as well that you weren't. With the weapons at their disposal and the element of surprise on their side, I fear one or both of you may have been recaptured. As it is, we now have time to plan our approach."

"Which is what?" Spike asked only half seriously. "To take on the whole bloody US Army?"

"No, not at all." Giles looked offended, then remembered that Buffy had been gone for several hours. "I have communicated with the Council several times and it appears that this… unit… is a bit of a surprise to both the United States Government and to the Secretary of the Army. Additional units are on their way here to resolve the issue, as is a new commanding officer. We actually only need to stay out of their way for a while and it should be all over without any assistance from us."

"Oh, it is sooo not over!" Buffy glared around the room and back at the man's icebag-covered head. "No one makes my watcher lumpy and gets away with it. Not to mention, we haven't really discussed the torturing of Spike and the locking me up to be killed."

"Um, technically, pet, you weren't in any danger from me—"

"They didn't know that!" She glared at him indignantly. "Are you saying it's okay that they locked me up, just because it was you and not some other vampire?"

He immediately shook his head. "Right then, off we go. Soldier boys to find and – are you saying I can kill them?" He looked at her hopefully.

Buffy sighed and shook her head. "No, I'm not saying you can kill anybody – except in self-defense – but you can beat up on them all you want. Just, no fangs, okay?"

"Party pooper," he grumbled under his breath. "You're a big tease, Slayer."

"I heard that."

"Don't care."

"Keep pouting and I'm gonna bite that lower lip…."

"Promise, pet?"

As they moved closer together, Giles rolled his eyes and groaned audibly.

"Oh my god, Giles!" Buffy whirled away from the hopeful vampire's pursed lips and ran to her watcher. "I forgot about your head. Is it hurting again? What can I do for you?"

"You could stop flirting with William the Bloody right in front of me," he said, shutting his eyes tightly. "It is making my head ache even more painfully."

Ignoring Spike's mumbled "better get used to it," Buffy apologized again for ignoring him and then offered to call Willow or Xander to stay with him while she and Spike went looking for the Initiative soldiers.

When Willow had made her way to the ex-watcher's apartment and uttered enough sympathetic noises that Buffy felt comfortable leaving her there, she and Spike prepared to go out looking for Riley and his squad. To Giles' surprise, Spike had gone to work on his door, replacing it on its hinges and showing Willow how to secure it after they left so as to keep anyone else out.

"Won't be much help if those wankers come back," he said with a shrug, "but it should keep out any run-of-the-mill bad guys might happen by." He winked at Willow, who had not been able to look him in the eye since she arrived and who blushed bright red at Spike's obvious enjoyment of her embarrassment.

"I still think you should wait until the army reinforcements arrive," Giles grumbled as Buffy and Spike prepared to leave. "Those men will be looking for you and they have all those weapons—"

"Giles!" Buffy's indignation was unfeigned. "You've been sending me out alone for years to fight against things with super-strength; now, all of a sudden, you don't think I can take a few enhanced humans? And with Spike to help me?"

"They already got him once. What makes you think he won't get captured again… or dusted?"

"I know what to watch for now," Spike growled. "I hear any heartbeat besides hers anywhere near me, I'll be ready for them."

"Well, be careful. Both of you," he added, ducking his head and mumbling the last part.

"Don't worry, Giles. If we can't capture them without getting caught ourselves, we'll let them go. But if we can…"

With a flip of her hand, Buffy went out the door. Spike had begun to follow her when Giles called him back quickly. Meeting the vampire's eyes firmly, he said, "If something happened to that harridan that wanted to keep my slayer…."

"Way ahead of you, Rupert," Spike said as he followed Buffy into the night. "I'm way ahead of you."

He quickly ran to catch up with Buffy, remaining silent about Giles' obvious desire to see Maggie dead and adding to the list the man who had been willing to feed his girlfriend to a vampire because his boss told him to.

Chapter Eleven

Somewhat to Buffy's dismay, it took no time at all for them to find Riley's squad. The commandos had taken a tour of Sunnydale's cemeteries, and when they found no trace of the Slayer or the vampire, they had circled back to the watcher's apartment complex. No sooner had Spike and Buffy stepped into the parking lot, than they were surrounded by angry soldiers carrying nets, tasers and stakes. In addition to the men attempting to encircle the snarling vampire, there were several on the outer edges of the group, all holding large guns that were pointed at the Slayer.

Riley and Maggie stepped from the shadows, the older woman smirking as she studied Spike and Buffy, who were now standing back-to-back in fighting stances.

"Unless you are also bullet-proof, Ms. Summers, I suggest you remain docile and allow my men to re-capture the hostile that you assisted to escape. And you, Hostile 17…." She turned to Spike with a deadly glint in her eye. "You are going to pay for putting your filthy teeth on my neck. You will be begging me to stake you before I'm done."

"No!" Buffy's shout of defiance was matched by Spike's snarling attempt to place himself between her and the men holding the guns. An attempt that was unsuccessful, as the men were arranged on the outer edges of the circle and no matter where he moved, he left Buffy exposed to one of them.

"Move away from the vampire, Buffy." Riley's voice was somewhere between a plea and an order, but his grasp on the weapon in his hands was sure and firm. Spike settled for placing himself between Buffy and her ex-boyfriend.

"If it's me you want, why not just let the Slayer go back to her watcher's? Better yet, why not put down that obvious piece of compensation for your small dick and try to take me in yourself? Or, is that a bit much for you now that I'm not helpless?"

Riley's desire to show Buffy how easily he could handle the vampire was tempered by his knowledge of how many men it had taken to subdue Spike the first time he'd been captured and what had happened to some of those men. He had just begun to drop the barrel of his gun, when it was yanked out of his hand by an accurately thrown loop of unnaturally fine rope. Simultaneously, all the other weapons that had been trained on the slayer and the vampire disappeared into the night.

Without pausing to wonder where the weapons had gone, vampire and slayer charged into the confused soldiers. Dodging the nets that the commandos had brought to throw over Spike, Buffy quickly reminded them of what had happened the last time they'd tried to ambush her.

While Buffy was taking out her anger at what had happened to Giles upon the bodies of the men who had made the mistake of misunderstanding the slayer's rule about harming humans, Spike covered the distance between himself and the much larger human man in one leap. Without bothering to bring forth his demon, he buried one fist in Riley's stomach, grinning when the man doubled over in pain and surprise.

Even though he was rocked by the punch to his gut, Riley's training and enhanced muscles allowed him to recover much faster than would an ordinary human. That, coupled with Spike's desire to have a real fight rather than to just pummel the man into the ground, gave him the time to back pedal until he was out of range of the vampire's fists and could fall into his own fighting stance.

Eyes alight with the joy of battle, Spike attacked, delighted that the commando was giving almost as good as he got. What Riley lacked in speed and grace, he made up for with superior reach and enhanced strength. Buffy watched the seemingly even battle for a while, having long since wrapped up the other soldiers in their own capture nets. Finally tiring of waiting for the vampire to finish the fight, she called out, "Stop playing, Spike. Just do it."

Both vampire and human turned to her, their shock obvious. Spike's "Are you sayin'…?" came at the same time as Riley's "Buffy! You can't mean that!"

Heaving a sigh, she rolled her eyes and shook her head. "I guess not," she admitted, speaking only to Spike and ignoring Riley. "If you want to bite him, go ahead. Just don't kill him, okay?"

The shift into his demon face was immediate and Riley had only a heartbeat to realize what Buffy had meant by "quit playing" before the vampire moved with supernatural speed and pinned him against a car, teeth snapping at the man's neck. Spike waited until Riley's bowels had released and a urine stain was spreading down his pants leg, before dropping back into his human mien and smirking at the soldier.

"Knew you were a Nancy-boy," he crowed, dropping the gasping man to the ground.

Grinning from ear to ear, he walked over to where Buffy was tapping her feet and shaking her head at him.

"What?" he demanded. "Tell me you don't think that was more fun than killing the stupid git? And I haven't used up any points I might want to use on the bitch."

"Speaking of which…" They looked around, both having forgotten about Maggie. They were greeted by the chilling sight of the Initiative's head holding one of the abandoned weapons and pointing it with clear competence directly at Buffy's chest. Spike's snarl as he stepped in front of Buffy almost drowned out the woman's laugh.

"Very touching, Hostile 17, but this gun could stop an elephant. The round is going to go right through you and into the foolish young lady behind you. There isn't a thing you can do about it."

Even as her finger tightened on the trigger, Buffy was diving left while Spike dove right, leaving empty space where they had been standing only fractions of a second before. Cursing in frustration, Maggie tracked Buffy's roll, firing whenever she thought she had a chance of hitting the rapidly moving slayer. Spike finished his own roll and launched himself at the woman who, in her eagerness to take out the slayer, seemed to have forgotten his existence.

He knocked the gun from her hand, his momentum carrying them both to the ground. He never paused this time, burying his fangs in the woman's throat and pulling her blood into his mouth. He drank down the warm, gushing blood, knowing it would probably be the last time he would ever taste it fresh from the source. When he felt Maggie's heart begin to slow, he reluctantly removed his teeth and stood up, leaving her at his feet – bleeding, but alive.

He was just turning toward Buffy, frowning as he saw the look of terror on her face, when he felt a disturbance in the air behind him. He whirled to find Riley, a stake still held in his hand and an expression of shock on his face as he toppled backwards, a silver arrow protruding from his chest.

The vampire and slayer moved closer together, frantically searching their surroundings for this new source of danger. Then Spike noticed the small elf girl Buffy had freed; she was waving to them from the edge of the parking lot. Behind her, already disappearing into the mist that seemed to accompany them, were several adults. All carried coiled ropes of silk and silver bows and had quivers of arrows hanging on their backs. Buffy waved back as the pretty elf joined her elders in the mist that seemed to be drifting away without the assistance of any trace of wind.

"Well," Buffy said finally. "I didn't see that coming."

"Very unforgiving people, elves are. Jus' be grateful they think we're the good guys."

"They believe a vampire could be a good guy?"

"Vamps usually stay away from elves; unless they're stupid fledglings. It doesn't take long to learn that they aren't on the menu."

"Don't they taste good? And, I cannot believe I just asked that!" Buffy shuddered and turned back toward the bodies lying on the pavement.

"Did you miss the part about how unforgiving they are, Slayer?" He followed her gaze to the pile of tied up commandos and the bodies of their commanding officers.

"Did you kill her?" Buffy changed the subject abruptly as she saw Maggie's crumpled body again.

"No," he said shortly. "But I didn't work very hard to keep her alive. What do you want to do with her?"

She sighed and shook her head. "I don't know. I guess I have to keep her alive." She looked up at him almost apologetically. "It's kinda my job, you know."

"I know, pet," he smiled and brushed the hair off her face. "You wouldn't be you if you didn't."

She offered a small smile in return, then knelt down next to the bleeding woman and used a ripped piece of cloth to staunch the blood still trickling from her throat. She applied pressure, then used another strip to tie the pad in place. When Spike assured her that Maggie's heartbeat was fairly strong for someone who'd lost that much blood, she stood up and dusted her hands.

"All right then. I guess it's time to call 911," she sighed as she began walking back to the apartment. "Come on, you can explain to Giles that I didn't let you kill Professor Walsh."

With a chuckle, he put his arm around her and squeezed gently. "You know, you're not as dumb as you look, Slayer."

"And don't you forget it, vampire," she laughed back at him, leaning into the embrace for a second.

Chapter Twelve

Willow and Giles quickly got over their surprise at seeing Spike and Buffy back so soon, demanding details of the battle that had taken place only yards away from the apartment. All they had been able to see from the window was a flurry of activity from which only Spike and Buffy had emerged.

"Elves? Real elves?" Willow was very excited, wanting to run outside and look for them until Spike assured her she wouldn't be able to find them, and that they wouldn't be happy about it if she did.

Giles was in complete research-mode, asking for details about the adult elves and their weapons. His frown when Buffy mentioned calling 911 for the woman outside went unnoticed by anyone except the vampire, who shrugged apologetically and gestured at Buffy with his head. A sigh and a nod of acceptance were the only signs that Ripper might have preferred another outcome.

Buffy kept a watch out the window to be sure that she hadn't left Maggie alive only to have her fall prey to a wandering vampire, but no one approached the group of cursing, immobilized soldiers or their dead and injured bosses, until the police and ambulances arrived. Close behind the police car was a Humvee out of which stepped several military officers who quickly filled the local police in on the "rogue" unit that they were there to shut down. Sunnydale's finest were more than happy to turn over everything – including Riley's body, which was still sporting the silver arrow that had ended his attempt to stake Spike.

While Giles and Willow joined Buffy in watching the activity outside, Spike draped himself over the overstuffed chair and watched the slayer.

What the bloody hell am I goin' to do with something that good and full of light? She's… she's effulgent. Not what I deserve, but I'm not giving her up without a fight.

Buffy glanced over her shoulder, the tingling from the tiny wounds on her neck drawing her attention back to the vampire. Her eyes met his and for just a second she caught a glimpse of the emotions roiling within him, even as he pretended to be sitting casually and waiting for her.

Her breath caught in her throat at the devotion he couldn't hide quickly enough, and she left the window to walk over and climb into his lap. Ignoring Giles' disapproving throat-clearing, she snuggled into the vampire's willing arms and yawned. She rested her head on his chest, half-dozing as she waited for Willow and Giles to tell them that all the excitement outside was over. If someone had asked her to explain how she could feel safe and comfortable in the arms of a master vampire, she couldn't have done so. She just knew that she did; knew that as long as she was with Spike she could let down her guard, confident that he would dust before he allowed anything to hurt her.

When Willow announced that the parking lot was now cleared of all signs of the struggle, and was as deserted as it had seemed to be before, she came back into the room and sat down, yawning herself as she stared at the two people nestled into the big chair. She tried to be frightened by her friend's obviously close relationship with the deadly vampire, but something about the way he was holding Buffy while she dozed peacefully on his chest made it impossible to worry.

Even Giles, as unhappy as it made him to think that Buffy was involved with another vampire, had to admit that they could form a formidable team for the forces of good. And that Buffy's trust in William the Bloody seemed to be justified. It seemed pointless to try to deny whatever was between them. Spike glanced up and caught the eyes upon him, meeting the watcher's gaze steadily until Giles nodded and looked away.

After offering Willow the guest room for what little was left of the night, he took himself to bed, leaving the living room to his slayer and her vampire.

Spike let Buffy sleep for an hour, but when his senses told him that dawn was approaching, he put his mouth next to her ear and whispered, "Wakey, wakey, Slayer."

"Mmmmph"

His warm chuckle stirred tendrils of hair, tickling her face and bringing her awake. She squirmed around on his lap until she was facing him, her knees on either side of his thighs.

"You'd better have a good reason for waking me up," she grumbled, unconsciously sniffing his neck as she burrowed back into him.

"Well, I did have one – the sun's going to be coming up soon and I need to get somewhere for the day." He pushed his hips up into her, allowing her to feel the bulge growing in his pants. "But now I've got a better one," he purred, running his hands up under her shirt and unfastening her bra. While Buffy arched backwards on his lap, he pushed her shirt up and fastened his mouth on one rosy nipple.

By the time he had suckled both to hard little peaks, she was thoroughly awake and aware that they were still sitting in her watcher's living room. Spike had slid down in the chair until he was almost reclining with Buffy lying on him, her legs still on either side of his hips. His purring was setting up vibrations that made her forget completely about Willow and Giles, asleep upstairs.

"Want you, Slayer. Need you, love. Need you now—" His words were cut off when she fastened her mouth on his, whimpering into it as she realized that once again the tight pants she was wearing were going to be an impediment to the immediate gratification they both wanted.

"Dammed pants," she gasped, rubbing herself against him harder.

"We're going shoppin' tomorrow night," he growled back. "You're gonna wear nothing but skirts from now on. And no knickers unless I tell you to."

"Unless you what?" She sat up slightly and glared at him. "If this is more of that vampire claiming crap, you can just—mmmph"

He stopped her scolding with his mouth, running his tongue around hers, sucking on it and on her lower lip, keeping her too immersed in what he was doing to remember what had upset her. Eventually, frustration and the lack of a good deep breath of air had Buffy pushing away from his body.

"Stop it," she hissed. "We can't do this here. We're going to wake them up."

"Don't care," he pouted, reaching for her again.

"I care! And you'll care if Giles comes down here with a stake in his hand."

"Fine," he grumbled, sitting up and balancing her precariously on his knees. "Where can we go then?"

"Well… since Willow's here, I guess we can go back to my dorm room. I have to change into clean clothes before class tomorrow anyway."

With a nod of agreement, he rose gracefully to his feet, still holding her around the waist. He let her down gently and planted a kiss on her nose before suggesting, "Best leave the watcher a note, pet. Jus' so he doesn't think I did away with you while he slept."

Buffy scribbled out a quick note saying that she was going back to the dorm and would see Giles late in the afternoon. She propped it up on the chair in which they had been sleeping and took Spike's waiting hand, allowing him to pull her towards the door. A quick run through the deserted streets put them outside the dorm. Buffy quickly used her key to open the locked doors, laughing at his surprise that he'd been able to get in before.

"They only lock them after midnight," she said, rolling her eyes at his ignorance of American college life. "It was early when you came looking for me before. Not that it was a very smart thing to do," she added with a frown. "It's not like you blend, you know."

"Wasn't tryin' to blend," he growled. "Was tryin' to bag my third slayer."

Buffy stiffened beside him, halting with her hand on the stairwell door.

Bollocks! Me an' my big mouth.

"And how's that working out for you?" she asked coldly. Her voice lacked any trace of its usual affection, and he was immediately reminded that the little girl in front of him was the creature from which his kind usually fled.

"I'm guessin', not real well right now," he responded honestly, thoughts of spending the rest of the night buried in her warmth rapidly vanishing. "I'm sorry, love. You know I didn't mean that—"

"Yes, you did. That is why you came here that night, isn't it? If Cave Buffy hadn't thought you smelled good, you would have used that beer to get into my room and you would have killed me."

"I don't know, Slayer," he answered, surprising himself and her with his candor. "Yeah, you're right. Was planning on killing you. At least I thought that was my plan. Thought I hated you." He paused and gave her a brief glare. "And you hated me. Don't pretend you didn't." His shoulders slumped and he sat down on the bottom step, hands dangling between his knees. "It's what we are, Buffy. Vampire. Slayer. I can't change that. Can't change what I've done in the past. All I can do is tell you that the thought of killing you went away the minute I had you in my arms – and it's never comin' back."

He raised his head so that she could see the sincerity in his eyes. Buffy held his gaze, her tense posture gradually softening as she accepted the truth of his words. She sighed and joined him on the step, sitting just close enough to be near, but without touching.

"I'm sorry, too," she finally mumbled.

"You're sorry? What in hell for, Slayer? I'm the one keeps remindin' you of what I am. If I could learn to keep my bloody mouth shut…."

"If you could learn to keep your mouth shut, the world would probably end," she snarked, a trace of a smile on her lips.

"Hey!"

"You know it's true," she said, her smile growing wider for a second; then she sighed and shook her head at herself. "And I know it's true. I need to stop over-reacting every time you say something stupid."

"Like reminding you that I used to want you dead?" he said ruefully, edging closer.

"Yeah. Like that. I need to stop taking it so personally." She turned her head sideways to meet his softening gaze. "Don't I?"

"Not your fault, love. I'm a bloody wanker for sayin' things that remind you of all the ways that you're too good for me." He tentatively raised one hand and pushed her hair off her face. "Too good by far, you are. We both know it. I'm not sure what I've done to deserve a chance like this."

"Apparently, you smell good," she said quickly in an attempt to lighten the mood. When he brushed his lips over hers gently, she breathed into his mouth, "And you kiss pretty good, too. I think that might have something to do with it."

By the time she had finished speaking, Spike's mouth was firmly fastened on hers and his tongue was doing things to remind her of why they had left the apartment. For several minutes they remained on the step, mouths glued together. With a whimpered complaint, Buffy pulled her mouth away, gasping, "My room. Now."

With supernatural speed, he was on his feet and holding the door open for her. She walked past him, trailing one hand across his taut stomach as she did so and smiling at the small growl it elicited. In no time, she had unlocked her door and they were falling into the small room, already tugging on each other's clothing.

Chapter Thirteen

They didn't quite make it to the bed, falling onto the small rug on floor, with Buffy on top. Spike sat up, putting them into the same position they'd been in on the chair at Giles', but absent the tight pants they'd both been wearing. Buffy slid onto him without preliminary, sighing as she felt him fill her. Spike held her in place, although the legs she had wrapped around his back would have done the job nicely.

"Do that purry thing again," she demanded, bouncing on him lightly.

He chuckled and moved his hands down to her hips. "Need to hold still, then, sweetheart," he said, holding her down and beginning the growling rumble that she liked so much. In no time, the vibrations were causing her to whimper and attempt to squirm on his lap, but he held her firmly and whispered in her ear.

"Patience, love. Let it happen, don't try to force it. Trust Spike, love. Jus' let yourself enjoy it. Don't be in such a hurry for it to be over."

Ignoring his whispered advice, Buffy clutched her legs around him more tightly, forcing him more deeply inside her and grinding into his pubic bone. He gritted his teeth when she began clenching her internal muscles around him, muttering almost to himself, "Impatient bint."

Between the steady purring vibrations and Buffy's tightening muscles, it wasn't long before she threw back her head and shook in ecstasy while Spike buried his face between her breasts and smothered his roar of release against her skin.

Buffy fell forward, resting her head on one of his broad shoulders while she gasped for air. Her arms were around his neck, holding her limp body in place while he stroked her back and murmured his admiration even as he was admonishing her for her impatience.

"Gonna have to teach you how to savor the moment, pet," he said, raising his head to kiss a sweaty cheek.

"You didn't like that?" Her pout was exaggerated, but he could hear the trace of uncertainty in her voice and sighed, pulling her closer.

"Think you can tell that I did," he growled. "All I'm sayin' is we can do more than just get each other off soon's we get naked. Not that I'm not enjoyin' the payoff," he hastened to add when he felt her stiffen in his arms, "but I want…"

He didn't finish, letting his voice trail off as he thought about what he wanted to say. Buffy's brows drew together in a small frown.

"You want what?" she prompted when he didn't continue.

He tipped her chin up so that she was staring into his eyes from only inches away.

"I want to make love to – with you. I want to worship your body the way it deserves to be worshipped. Want to watch you come for me, hear you say my name, scream for me. I want—I want you to—"

He stopped, ignoring her nudge to continue; instead, he dropped his head to her throat and licked at his marks. Buffy shivered at the sensations his tongue was creating, unconsciously moaning in appreciation as he used his tongue and lips to bring her to the brink of another orgasm without even moving. She felt him swelling inside her again, the pressure on her cervix being all it took to send her over the edge.

"Oh my god," she whispered, hiding her blushing face in his neck. "What did you do?"

Without answering her, he rose to his feet fluidly, holding her in place and walking to the bed. He sat down on the edge, then carefully rolled to his side and stretched them both out, being careful never to break their intimate connection. He smoothed the hair back off her face and kissed her gently before continuing his response to her original question.

"I want to love you, Buffy. Will you let me do that? Will you let me love you the way I want to?"

The slayer stared at him with wide eyes.

He wants to love me? He wants me to let him love me? How could I stop him? DO I want him to love me? Does he? Is he saying he does? What do I want?

Something of her confusion and panic must have shown in her eyes and she watched his face go from hopeful and warm to closed and coldly predatory.

"I meant physically, Slayer. I want to love you physically. Not expecting you to—I didn't mean I lo—"

Suddenly, she didn't want to hear him finish that sentence, rolling onto her back and bringing his body with her so that he was covering her completely. She sighed as his weight pushed her into the mattress, noting that his disappointment had not had a negative effect on his hardness.

"I want you to love me, Spike," she whispered into his neck. "Teach me how to lo— how to please you. Teach me how to savor it."

Without responding verbally, he began to slowly rock his hips against hers, twisting them slightly at the end of each gentle thrust. As the tension in her body began to build, Buffy tried to pull him closer only to have him chuckle softly into her ear as he continued the slow, steady thrusting that was building toward another shuddering release. The constant stimulation of her internal nerves was sending Buffy into an incoherent frenzy; her head thrashed back and forth in frustration over her denied release until, without warning, the orgasm burst over her causing her to scream his name into his shoulder as she came.

She lay limp under him, aware that he was still hard and that he was smiling at her smugly, but too sated to care.

"Boy good," she gasped, changing his smug smile to one of genuine pleasure.

"Boy hasn't even begun to be good, pet," he murmured, beginning the gentle rhythm again and ignoring her groaned "Oh, no. I can't… I couldn't….".

Her muttered denials trailed off as she determined to make him feel just as weak and sated as she did. With every thrust he made, she deliberately squeezed him, evoking his own groans of pleasure and causing him to speed up in spite of himself. Before long he was pounding in to her, his gasps of encouragement all she needed to continue her internal assault on his cock. As he neared the release he could not hold back and his gasps became closer to shouts, she was able to make out more of the words. When he couldn't contain the "love you!" that exploded from his lips as he came, Buffy found the words did not frighten her as she had been sure they would. Instead, they stimulated her own shuddering release which seemed to go on and on as she felt Spike's fangs once more slip into the marks on her throat.

Without thought, she grabbed the hard ridge of muscle at the side of his neck with her own teeth, biting down until the coppery taste in her mouth told her she'd drawn blood. She felt the vampire shuddering again as the bite sent him into another sudden orgasm. When he had finally subsided into small jerking motions of his hips, he managed to raise his head from her throat to ask, "Not that I'm complainin', love, but what the hell was that?"

Putting her lips back on the small wound she had made, Buffy licked it gently and whispered, "Boy mine." She refused to look at him, keeping her embarrassed face buried in his neck while Spike stared at her in happy confusion. When she wouldn't look at him, he sighed and relaxed onto the bed, pulling her into his chest and rolling them onto their sides.

"Forever, Slayer. The boy is yours forever."

Guess I'll wait till tomorrow before I tell her what she's done. She doesn't need to know that "forever" is a bit closer to the truth than she probably thinks it is.

the end