Enemy's Heartstrings
by AGriffinWriter

All direct quotes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to their respective owners and the talented writing team. For this fic, scenes and dialogue from season two are incorporated throughout. However, this story is all mine.
Author's Notes: Merry Christmas! National Novel Writing Month is long over, sadly, which means I'm back to my sparse updates and I no longer have an excuse for the typos that will no doubt be found. I write without a beta reader so any mistakes are entirely my own. Also, I'll be returning to work on several of my other WIPs, so again, sparse updates are to be expected.
Also, I found out that some of my fics have been posted or linked on Goodreads. I am not quite sure how Goodreads works, but I did not post them there or sanction anyone else posting them. The only sites I post on are and Elysian Fields.

Second Author's Note: Warning, this chapter has some smut… but it may not be what you expect. Please forgive poor Spike and Buffy as they fumble their way through their messy feelings. The last two scenes may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the muse demanded they be written.

Chapter 37: Lotion

It's only kissing, Buffy promised herself as she carefully closed the basement door, making sure the latch didn't click noisily. That's why I'm making it seem like I'm in the living room watching the movie when I'm really sneaking downstairs… to be with Spike… kissing him… on a bed… Oh god, Mom is going to freak if she walks down and I'm not there

Using all of her mighty Slayer willpower not to just turn around and climb back to the main floor of the house, Buffy reached the bottom of the stairs and glanced over towards the pullout mattress. Spike was asleep – or at least, by all appearances, asleep. He was lying on his belly, wearing nothing but his jeans, looking completely dead to the world. Which… technically he was.

And he was beautiful. Beautiful in a way that was still somehow wholly masculine. There was just something about the smooth angles of his body, how the muscles were formed in just the right places to draw the eye. His shoulders, his arms… the deep V-shape of his lower back… Even the darkness seemed especially designed to flatter him, to let his ivory body stand out more distinctly against his surroundings.

Gulp. I'm ogling Spike, major ogling. I've got it bad.

The longer she looked, the more she wanted to touch him, but only on the condition that he would have his memory erased and be unable to remember how greedily her hands would explore him, how desperately she wanted to learn his body.

She suddenly began wishing that she was wearing something even remotely sexy, instead of a slightly ratty, pale pink cardigan and navy sweatpants.

Okay… Time to stop ogling. Any day now…

"Spike?" she asked cautiously, taking another step closer.

"Mmhmm?" was his reply, his throat moving but every other part of his body still and snoozing.

"Are you okay?"

"Back hurts," he mumbled. "Might have jostled somethin' on my fatal tumble down the stairs after all."

"O-or when he threw you into the wall. Twice. Or when he threw me into you."

"True. Take your pick," he shrugged, then groaned again, adjusting the lumpy pillow beneath his head and staring over at her through one slightly glazed blue eye. "Thought you were havin' a private ladies' night with your mum."

"I was. Um… She went to bed early."

He blinked, as though struggling to comprehend why he should be bothered with this information… and then his eyes widened.

"Did she now?" Spike pushed himself over—oh boy, those arms—and reclined in a half-upright position. "So… you fancy catchin' up with your mates on patrol after all?"

"No," Buffy admitted, realizing that should have been the first thing on her mind. And here I was, planning sexy make-out time with my former enemy. Bad Buffy. "Um… I just… um…" Don't look at distracting abs… or distracting chest… or any of his distracting bits. Oh god.


"I'm thinking."

"I can tell. Looks like you're shufflin' through math problems in your head."

"I'm not. Just… thinking."

He swallowed but remained silent for a few moments, not wanting to interrupt, while Buffy managed to look at every surface in the basement that wasn't pale and undead and half-naked.

"Buffy?" he murmured when the silence grew too tense, but she had already turned around and quickly crept back up the stairs, both flights, until she reached her bathroom.

Oh god, oh god, oh god, I can't do this. I can't… This is so stupid

But she picked up the small bottle of strawberry scented lotion anyway, then paused outside her mother's room to make sure she was asleep. When she assured herself that all she could hear from inside the master bedroom was her mom's soft breathing, Buffy slowly and stealthily made her way back downstairs, closing the door at the top of the basement steps as she went.

At the bottom, she found Spike sitting up, eyes wide open and so nervous it almost looked like he was terrified, as though he dreaded her coming back down almost as much as her leaving him.

"Oh… you're back." His lips parted in a shy smile. "Couldn't figure for the life of me what I'd done to spook you."

"You didn't. I just…" She held up the lotion bottle and shrugged. "I was wondering if… maybe you'd… I could… you know."

"Uh… not really certain what you're tryin' to say, luv." He glanced curiously at the lotion bottle. "Unless… you think I need to moisturize."

"No, that's… that's not it."

"Then what, Slayer?"

"I… I thought, maybe…" Looking at the concrete floor instead of those big blue eyes, she fiddled with the bottle and almost dropped it, her cheeks growing warmer. "If… if your back hurts, maybe… maybe I could… if you want…"

"Buffy, you don't need to explain. I'll just… lie back…" He demonstrated, rolling over and reclining on his stomach again, stretching out on the creaky mattress that was almost too short for him. "I'll close my eyes… and you can do whatever it is you want to do to me."

Oh crap, he knows. He knows how much I want to touch him. Oh god, at this rate my headstone will read 'Buffy Anne Summers, Saved the World, Died of Embarrassment'.

"Um… okay. That works, I guess. I just… wanted you to be on board with it."

"Yes, luv. I'm very on board."

She was certain that even though his back was facing her he could still tell how much she continued to blush, mystical vamp blood-sensing powers or something.

"Okay… I… I just thought I could… rub your back." I said it. Oh god. She started babbling in an attempt to divert her mortification. "You know, since it might have gotten re-hurt in the process of you helping me get rid of Ted and save my mom from a fifties fate worse than death. Or, really, a fifties fate which included death. But you really, really helped and I really am grateful. So… back rub?"

"Anything you'd like, luv."

"Yeah, but I'm asking you if you'd be okay… with that."

"Course. Never had a proper back rub before," he admitted.

Buffy tilted her head. "Really? Never?"

"Well, not with… somethin' to make it nice. Dru's the kind of girl to take 'rub salt in the wounds' a bit too literally."

Buffy shivered at the implication. "Well… that's what the lotion's for. To… make sure it feels nice. O-on your back. Just on your back." Oh god, I'm just making it worse.

He just lay there, nodding at her words, but the twitch at the corner of his mouth gave away how much he was fighting a smirk.

"So… yeah. This is me. Giving you a back rub."

Buffy walked a little closer and gazed at the blank canvas of his back. Aside from a slight bruise on his left side from where Ted had thrown him against the dining room wall, he was perfect, snowy white and impossibly smooth, nary a freckle or blemish. She had a sudden, vivid image in her mind of dropping an ice cube onto that surface and watching which way it slid. And then possibly licking down that ice trail. It would probably slide down, down, down along his spine until it hid underneath the waistband of his jeans…

Oh my god, I am going to blow all my good karma from two years of slaying right here and now

"Luv, you a'right?"

"Yeah," she said, a bit too clipped. "Fine. Just… deciding where to sit down." Making up her mind, she perched on the edge of the mattress beside his hip. "Um… does anywhere in particular hurt more than other parts? I'll be extra gentle."

"Hurts all over, but it's stiffest along my spine, lower back 'specially."


She popped the cap and dumped a small dollop of the strawberry lotion into her palm, then set the bottle on the floor. Rubbing her hands together to warm the cream, she bit her lip and slowly lowered her slick hands to his ivory skin, just under his shoulder blades. The moment she did so, he groaned and arched his back against her palms, and Buffy jumped as though scalded.

"I'm sorry! I'm not trying to hurt you."

"Didn't hurt, luv," he murmured, collapsing back to the mattress. "Mm, quite the opposite. Your hands are so warm. Nice."

"Oh." Extra embarrassed now at her own skittishness, Buffy made another attempt, setting her palms down against his skin and slowly rotating them in small circles, spreading the lotion. "I… I don't think I'm very good at this. I've actually never given a back rub before."

"So… I'm your first?"

She heard the smirk in his voice and slightly dug her fingers into his upper back in response. Spike gasped and then let out a lovely groan that sent shivers cascading through her frame.

"Sure, I guess. If you want to call it that."

"Got experience the other way 'round?"

"If you mean have I had a lot of back massages, then yeah. I used to go to this spa in LA, back when I was a cheerleader. There was a chiropractor and a masseur. I'm pretty sure it was expensive, but my dad covered everything. They… my parents, they used to be so proud of me. It's funny… the things that used to be important to me."

"We all have those sorts of things, life-or-death at the time, but seem like petty rubbish when we look back," he reassured her. "I remember the days when I feared my whole reputation hinged on whether my bloody cravat and vest were coordinated."

"And now you can't even see your reflection, so you have no idea what you look like."

"Kinda gives perspective to the whole thing."

Smiling, she pressed a little harder, running her hands down the backs of his ribs, spreading the lotion into his skin. He continued to moan and shudder, sounds that made Buffy feel like there was a stove plate inside her belly that was slowly being turned hotter and hotter and hotter.

"Am I hurting you, Spike?"

"No, luv. You're splendid, really. Little harder'd be alright too. Use your knuckles."

She kneaded him, rubbing with a bit more effort, squeezing and massaging his room-temperature flesh, caressing him from shoulders to lower back. He moaned again, his hands crinkling fistfuls of the threadbare sheets.

"You're sure I'm not hurting you?"

"S'posed to hurt a bit, I think. Means you're workin' out the… mmm… the knots. The lotion smells like you."

"Yeah, um, I use this one sometimes.



"It's nice. Truly."

His voice was smoky and sleepy. He seemed utterly relaxed beneath her, trusting.

Every rational part of her brain protested, but her body seemed to be on autopilot, leaning over Spike and pressing a soft kiss to the base of his neck, causing a stronger quake to course down his back.

"Oh god, Buffy…"

"Your skin is so soft. There isn't any… any scarring. Just this one." She kissed the Y-shaped scar in his left eyebrow.

"L-luv," he whispered, a crack in his voice. "Buffy."

"Spike, roll over. Okay?"

He raised himself on one arm and turned around to face her, and she slid over, straddling his hips. The couch springs creaked, and Buffy winced at the noise, glancing up to the ceiling.

"Gonna get lotion all over the sheets," he said, voice almost inaudible as his eyes searched Buffy's face, perplexed and uncertain.

She didn't make him wait long.

"You remember… what I said?"

His eyes opened more widely, bright and eager. "Thankin' me?"

"Yeah… so… this is to thank you… for helping us get rid of Ted."

Leaning down quickly, she slid her lips against his, intending for only one firm kiss. But his hands rose up immediately, carding through her tresses, softly clinging to her, and her hand responded in kind, combing into his short hair. She held tight to him, her lips moving slowly at first, then faster, encouragingly.

"Just… to thank you," she said, words muffled by his mouth. "That's all."

He grunted slightly, and his other arm slid around her upper back, drawing her down against his body. Buffy's elbows hit the cool skin of his chest, stopping her from completely falling on top of him.


"Please, luv."

She struggled half-heartedly, raising her head and pushing up from his muscular torso. Oh god, I need to go, I can't do this… to him… I don't feel as much as I know he feels…

"I… I have h-homework."

"Don't go, Buffy. Please…"

He sat up and found her mouth again, his tongue skimming her lips, arms winding around her waist to gently hold her against his body. Buffy's lips parted in a trembling gasp, and Spike's tongue slid between them to flick against hers, a motion that seemed to slide all the way down her spine and make her thighs quiver. Her brain generated a truckload of intense images involving Spike's tongue and her body without a single stitch of clothing – even though she had no real experience to fuel those images – and she arched against him, pushing him back down to the lumpy mattress, its thin sheets now slightly smeared with lotion.

"Only… for a minute…" she gasped out, barely cognizant of the fact that she needed to keep her voice down. "Okay?"

"Okay, luv," he whispered, seemingly out of breath as his lips pressed urgently against the hollow of her jaw, along her hairline, and against her ear before returning to her mouth.

This time Buffy explored him, nervously slotting her tongue into the coolness of his mouth. Spike groaned in need and sucked gently on her tongue, encouraging her. One of her hands laced with his, fingers interlocking, while her other hand skated tenderly down his ribs.

"Oh god, luv, that's it…"

"O-only for a minute," she felt the need to remind herself as well as him, especially with the way her body was reacting, blazing hot, aching for the cold of his bare skin to soothe her.

"Yeah…" he groaned, an unspoken "for now" apparent in his voice. His hand around her waist fisted in the back of her thin sweater, holding her even closer to him. She could feel every one of his fingers through the knit material. "He bruised you."


"The robot bastard. Bruised your cheek… and your pretty throat."

His lips slid down from her mouth again and pressed tenderly to her neck, earning soft moans from Buffy as the light chill of his lips relieved an ache she hadn't realized she felt. The most vulnerable place for a vampire's mouth to be… and yet she welcomed it, free of any fear.

"Th-that… that feels really good. Really good."

"Want me to do it again, pet?"


He complied in an instant, coasting his lips against the sore skin, as though he would kiss her as long as she asked, as though he would do anything


She couldn't help herself, moaning out his name like a lover. He groaned into her throat and with a sudden gentle push rolled them over, pressing her into the clean side of the bed sheets, his weight settling gently on top of her. The flimsy material of her well-worn sweater slid off her left shoulder, drawing her bra strap with it, and Spike's lips followed, tracing her collarbone, then below, one hand rising to scoop her breast out of her demi-cup. Her body arched into him, goose-pimples cascading down her skin.

"Spike. Oh, Spike."

His mouth had warmed slightly from her kisses, but her nipple still pebbled hard as his lips circled it, once, twice… and after the third circuit his mouth closed completely over the rosy bud. At the first swallow-like pull, she threw her head back and keened, feeling as though her whole body and soul was trying to escape down his throat. Her shaking fingers threaded into his hair and clutched him against her breast.

"S-Spike! Oh god!"

"You fit perfectly," he moaned, sliding one hand underneath her lower back and rolling his hips down against her. "In my hands. In my mouth. You're so beautiful, Buffy. So warm…"

"I-I'm not… too small?" she whispered tremulously, ducking her face to the side and kissing his neck in return. That brought on a whole new caliber of sensual groan from deep in his chest, so she did it again.

"Ohh god, luv." He palmed her breast again, fingers seamlessly aligned to stroke her nipple between two knuckles. His teeth captured the soft lobe of her ear and tugged playfully. "You're perfect. So perfect."

"Shhh!" she hissed, though the springs of the couch mattress weren't likely to hear or obey her.

He grinned almost wickedly, released her breast, and turned her face towards him with two long fingers, drawing their lips together for another near-minute of fumbling, gasping kisses.

Between each kiss he rolled his hips again, and Buffy gripped his lotion-slicked shoulders with both hands, trying to resist what her body was craving, to rub up against him. His jeans did little to conceal the thick outline of his erection or prevent him from nestling between her thighs. She was burning up, far too hot in her sweatpants and cardigan, but if she let go of his cold skin for even a moment, even to shed the barriers, she was sure she would be utterly consumed by the flames inside her.

"Buffy…" Even his voice seemed to ache with need. "Buffy, I want to make love to you."

She shuddered, clutching him tighter.

"Y-you… you want me?"

"Yes, I want you. Buffy, I want you so much. Let me worship you, please."

He slid his whole hand down inside her soaked sweatpants, gripping her hip, drawing her even closer to him, and Buffy mewled, muffling her mouth against his throat.

"S-Spike, I-I… w-we… we can't."

His free hand knotted in the sheets right beside her head, as though he'd been reaching for her hair and cut himself just short. His lips slowed, still pressing kisses to her throat and heaving breast, but slackening, turning gentler and gentler with each touch… as though drawing himself back from the brink.

"Okay… okay, I'll… I'll stop, luv…"

"I-I need to go."

A deep tremor racked his body as he caressed her neck once more.


The tenderness with which he said her name made her want to draw him closer still, but instead she tugged his hand out from inside her sweatpants and pushed him back, scrambling out from underneath him. Breathing heavily, she sat on the floor, denial sinking in as she yanked her bra and cardigan back into place.

Spike lay on the bed, groaning shakily, his chest rising and falling as though he'd just sprinted five miles. She looked away from him, wanting so much to ignore the very human, very male reaction visible in his body, tenting the front of his jeans.

"D-do, um, do you want non-lotion-y sheets?" she asked, scrounging for a distraction.

"I want you, Slayer."

"You can't have me."

"I know… 'M sorry I pushed too fast—"

"You can't have me at all, Spike."

"But… then what the hell was all that?" he barked out, sitting up and staring at her. His eyes blazed with mingled lust and rejection. "If you knew all along that you would give me the brush-off if you started feelin' anything for me, why even bother?"

"I don't know. It just… happened. I'm sorry."

"For what?" he scoffed, dashing one hand angrily under his eyes. The sight of his tears made her feel even worse.

"Leading you on."

"You didn't lead me anywhere, Buffy. I got here all on my own."

"But… it wasn't fair of me to… let it go on as long as it did. Let you think… there would be more, because there won't be."

"Not the first time you've said that."

"But I mean it this time. This… we… this can't go on. We… we'll get caught or—"

"Oh, so that's why you've got your wet knickers in a twist. You're not afraid of us. You're just afraid of us gettin' caught."

"Of course I am!" she hissed, popping back up to her feet and pacing across the open space of the basement. "Spike, I… I can't just think about myself. Or you. I have to think about everyone else."


"Why? You know why. Because when I let things like this happen, people die. Because the last vampire I slept with is now trying to hunt and kill me and all my friends. I'm the Slayer, and I can't afford to see you as anything other than a monster."

"I'm not him, Buffy. I'm nothin' like him. How many damn times do I have to say it?"

"You are enough like him. Vampire. Demon."

"Buffy, I… I love you."

Her sense of order in the universe rocked on its axis as though someone had turned Reason into a spinning top and given it a good twirl. As immature as she knew it was, she put both hands over her ears and shook her head.


"I love you, Buffy," he said again, stronger.

"Don't say that. Please don't do this, Spike."

"I'm not some fuckin' animal, Buffy. I'm a man. I know I'm a bloody fool for it, but I love you. I love you." His voice rasped on the word that time, catching roughly in his throat. "Why shouldn't I? How could anyone not love you, Summers? You're beautiful. You're brave. You're riveting."

"You're only s-saying that stuff to get in my pants," she stuttered, crossing her arms tightly over her chest as though she could fold herself up into a tiny box and lock it from the inside. Her left nipple was still hard and sensitive, as though squealing for his touch.

Spike snatched up one of the crutches and hurled it into the opposite wall with so much force that it bent the frame nearly in half. She cringed at the noise, fearful of wakening her mom.


"You've let one night with that bastard Angelus decide what you are and what you can do and who you can love. I've lived over a hundred years and never known a woman like you."

"Please stop, Spike."

"Do you even want me at all? Or are you just so… so bloody repressed that you would have had the same reaction from ruttin' on the nearest chair?"

"Now you're just being cruel."

"I mean it. Do you want me? Because I made it pretty fuckin' clear that I want you."

"I d-don't know what I want."

"There's your bleedin' problem, isn't it? Your head's playin' a soddin' game of tug-o-war, meanwhile your body's practically screamin' for me. Your scent…"

"Stop it."

"Your scent makes me ache, Buffy. You know it. You felt me. You… you let me touch you."

"That was stupid. I was in the moment."

"Yeah! You were!" He seemed to take her words as the slightest shred of confirmation, a crumb that she might feel something, though not nearly of the magnitude he felt. "You let yourself enjoy it, enjoy how we felt together. It means something. God, we're matchin' pieces, luv. Can't you feel it?"

She shook her head, one hand still affixed over her ear, trying not to listen.

"You can't? You couldn't feel your own blood singin' in your ears, racin' around like it was tryin' to win the soddin' Ascots? Couldn't feel the heat poolin' in your quim when I held you, kissed you?"

"Stop talking right now, Spike. I'm warning you."

"Warnin' me of what, 'xactly?" he scoffed, but she saw more wetness gathering in his cobalt eyes. "You already made it bloody clear you're walkin' out on me? How else, 'xactly, were you plannin' to hurt me, Slayer?"

"This is wrong," she said in a near whimper. "It's so wrong… you and me… It's first place in the Wrongness Hall of Fame. You have to know that."

"You keep sayin' that. Do you really believe that, or is that just the Council of Wankers talkin' through your mouth?"

"Spike…" She knew how he felt, that rejection seeping into his bones, that sinking feeling of inadequacy. She'd felt it that morning months ago after she'd given herself to Angel, and the monster wearing his face had laughed at her loss of innocence. "It… it isn't your fault."

"Just what I am."

"You know that's why."

"So you'd rather screw around with the livin'?"

"It's not about screwing around! It's about you being evil! It's in your nature."

"Buffy, I've changed. Can't you see that? I haven't so much as touched a human being to harm 'em in nearly three months. That's more than I've gone without fresh human blood in over a century."

"You've been injured. You haven't been able to go anywhere."

"I could have. You haven't been watchin' me 'round the bloody clock. If I'd made up my mind to it, I could have ducked out of Watcher's flat and drained the nearest bystander. Hell, I could have stopped off for a drink between here and the school, ever since I've been livin' here. But I didn't. I didn't because I'd rather make you proud of me than follow the soddin' urges of my belly. Do you understand that? I've said 'stick it' to my bleedin' nature. For you."

He watched her intently, his eyes almost begging her for a reaction, but Buffy remained silent.

"You don't believe me? You think when my legs are all right again, that I'll go right back to my old ways, pickin' off homeless sods an' forgotten hussies off the street? You think I could go back to that after… after the taste of your lips, Buffy?"

"Don't do this. Please, Spike."

"I love you," he growled out, throat hoarse and eyes wet. "You're all I bloody think about. Dream about. I'm drownin' in you, Summers. Drowning…"

"S-stop saying that," she pleaded, stepping skittishly towards the stairs like a fawn trying to reach the safety of the underbrush before the predator pounced. She wished her cardigan was thicker, if only to hide how much her body still craved him, nipples straining at its surface. "Th-this was a mistake. I never should have come down here."

For one brief moment, he looked terrified again at the thought of her fleeing the basement, and when he opened his mouth she was sure he was going to beg. But then he swallowed and bent over, elbows on his knees, pinching the bridge of his nose with one hand… trying to stop his silent tears.

"The… the sheets," mumbled Buffy. "Do you want clean ones?"

"No," he said, lower lip stiff, not looking up at her. "It smells like you now. Nearest thing I'm likely to have. Might have a nice wank if I can stop thinking about how bloody hot and cold you are."

She flinched, his words forcing images into her mind that both aroused and offended her – a feat he seemed pretty experienced at managing.

"I'll… I'll see y-you at school tomorrow."

"Fine. Go."


"Just go, Slayer."

"I'm…" She couldn't finish what she so desperately wanted to say… because it wasn't entirely true. She wasn't sorry she'd stopped them from going any further. She wasn't ready for what he wanted, hence the leaving.

But she was sorry that he hurt so much because of it.

Scrambling up the stairs without saying another word, Buffy almost forgot to keep quiet as she raced up to her room and pushed the door closed. She leaned against it, sniffling back tears, her thoughts churning.

We're the same… we FEEL the same. Gave our hearts away completely and got them broken all to pieces. And he tried to give me what was left, hoping maybe I could glue him back together. But I just did the same thing to him that Drusilla did. Told him he was both too much and too little like Angel, and not good enough either way. Didn't even give him a chance.

Tearfully tugging off her sticky sweatpants, she sank onto her bed, consumed with loneliness and lust and longing. Her cardigan itched, so she yanked that off too, leaving her in just her mismatched bra and panties. But she continued to feel uncomfortable, even bordering on gross, like there was an prickle inside her skin that she couldn't quite reach.

It was desire, singing in her blood, whispering just under the surface… Spike. Spike. Spike.

After another near minute of lying there, she realized that the prickling, niggling arousal wouldn't just go away, no matter how much she wished it would. In his arms, she'd crossed some invisible point of no return, and now her body craved an ending, craved him to provide it. Closing her eyes only brought his face into her mind's eye… his soft lips, his piercing eyes, his fingertips and tongue on her body.

Sitting up sharply, Buffy reached around and unclipped her bra, tossing it towards the closet. She lay back, yanked the covers up to her chin, and plunged one hand underneath the blankets. Biting her lip, she slid her middle finger down over her underwear, grazed it over her swollen clit, and gasped at how sensitive she was, sharp tingling shooting through her nerves at the slightest brush of her fingertips. She dropped her head back against the pillow and cupped her breast with her other hand, whimpering quietly at the sensation. Her hands were sticky with sweat and too warm, making her miss those cooler, larger hands, how they handled her skin so masterfully.


In her mind, it was Spike touching her where she needed it most, his lips back around her nipple, his clever fingers delving beneath her underwear and stroking her dripping entrance, rubbing firm circles against her clit. Her hands followed the motions, and her hips bucked, starting an unsteady rhythm. As her urgency built, so did the rolling of her hips against her hand, her bed creaking slightly with the motion.

"Spike. Oh, Spike. Yes."

She was as quiet as possible, hoping he couldn't hear her down in the basement. But a tiny part of her wished he could, hoped that her siren call would summon him, turn her inspiration into reality. She missed the cautious weight of his body pressed upon hers, his mouth whispering kisses against her skin, the slightly rough pads of his cool fingers eliciting sparks from her pressure points.

She remembered the look on his face while he kissed her and imagined it tripling in intensity when she finally let him in. Pushing in a second finger to join the first, she started to quiver, toes curling at the visual in her head. She wanted him, wanted his hands and his mouth and his naked body writhing against her, driving into her, filling her up and making the pounding ache of need just… go… away!

"Spike!" she gasped aloud, clamping her teeth into her lip just a moment too late to capture the word, but quick enough to muffle the urgent whimper of release that followed. The thrusts of her hand turned to unsteady shaking, her thumb rubbing her clit for just a few more seconds, trying to prolong the feeling even as it started to fade.

Slumping back to the mattress, her skin speckled with sweat, Buffy raised her hand out of her underwear, resting it on her stomach as her heart hammered and lungs gulped for air. She hadn't touched herself so confidently since that fateful night in Angel's apartment… mostly because every fantasy she'd tried to conjure for inspiration had transformed into a hulking monster with jeering black eyes.

Until tonight, with the vision of a blue-eyed, sharp-cheekboned face driving her to climax.

He still had the bottle of strawberry lotion.

Reaching under the bed, Spike caught up the bottle and held it beneath his nose, breathing nothing but the fruity scent that whispered Slayer in a cruel tease. In her arms he'd been given a fleeting taste of heaven… only to be sent spiraling back down to hell by her words.

Well, fuck that!

He ripped open his jeans and moaned in relief as his cock was finally released from the tight confines. It was just as well… he probably would have come at the first touch of her heat anyway, like a fucking schoolboy too eager and too fumbling to be able to please a woman. He'd nearly come undone already from rubbing against her, her thin sweats as useful as paper in hiding how soaking and hot she'd been. God, her scent…

Spike popped the cap off the lotion and drizzled it into his hand, the cream's fragrance invading his senses even more potently. It wasn't nearly as warm as it had felt in Buffy's capable hands, kneading him, soothing him, arousing him to the point of pain. Squeezing his still-wet eyes shut, he closed his slicked hand into a fist around his length and stroked.

"Oh god…" Surrounded by her scent, taunted by the fading warmth of her presence in his bed, he lay back on the mattress and drew his hand up and down his aching cock, tight and fast. "Buffy. Oh god. Oh, Buffy. Buffy. Fuck."

Groaning her name into the darkness, not caring if she could hear him from two floors above, he wrung and pumped and wrung and pumped and imagined her caressing warmth instead of the reality of his cold hand, envisioned her riding him at break-neck pace.

"Buffy… Buffy, oh fuck. Oh yes, luv. Yes."

Tears ran down his cheeks, and he grit his teeth, straining for completion. He knew he could rub until the whole damn bottle of lotion was gone, until his hand and his cock were chaffed raw and bloody, but he'd never be able to fuck himself out of love for Buffy Summers.

And then… at the very edge of his hearing, a breathy squeak of his own name brushed across his ears. Her voice, her gasp, as the thought of him brought her to orgasm.

His body shattered. His hips arched up from the mattress, legs twitching, a raw groan ripping out of his throat. He spent everything he had inside in four sharp spurts of cold seed and then collapsed, trembling and empty.

For minutes he just lay still, feeling so bloody weak that he started to fear he'd broken his back all over again. His cheeks itched as the salt of his tears dried there.

He had no chance of falling asleep now, not when her face seemed branded on the inside of his eyelids, haunting him with her beautiful smile and the words that had cut open his heart.

Pathetic, a snide little voice in his head tsked. You're William the Fucking Bloody, and a few choice words from a seventeen-year-old turn you into a sniveling pansy. Got your balls in a soddin' steel vice, she does. Got as much power over you as Dru did in a hundred years, pickin' up her scraps of affection to survive. Bloody fucked up, the Slayer of Slayers… cryin' over the rejection of a little girl's waverin' feelings.

"Weak, asinine, housebroken piece of shit," Spike growled under his breath. He ran one hand roughly down his face, scraping away the evidence of tears. "Too injured to leave the bleedin' house, am I? Can't manage the bloody stairs on my own, yeah? I'll… I'll show her… show her who's the fuckin' Big Bad around here…"

Slowly, he got his body to work again, enough to cap the bottle of lotion, clean his stomach off with a rag from the laundry, and zip his jeans back into place. Angry and restless, he reached over to his pile of clothing and tugged a t-shirt over his head, donning his coat next.

The crutch he had chucked into the wall was almost in two pieces, so he discarded it and labored up the stairs with just the one. His thighs burned by the time he reached the kitchen, and his lower back felt as though his vertebrae had splintered into shards. Despite the pain, he limped over to the back door, tugged it open, and stepped through onto the porch outside. He yanked it shut behind him with as much force as he dared – no sense in waking Joyce up, just ensuring the Slayer was aware of his departure – but before he shambled off into the darkness, he reached under the mat for the spare key and made certain the door to the Summers' home was locked tight.

Because no matter how furious he was at being brought low by Buffy's dismissal… he loved her all the same. He knew it wouldn't hurt so much if it wasn't real.

Up in her bedroom, heart still racing, Buffy heard the sound of a door downstairs slam violently shut, startling her. She held her breath, knowing it must be Spike but unsure why he was leaving. He wasn't safe alone, not when he couldn't stand unsupported, let alone fight – unless he'd lied, and he really was departing on the prowl. She knew she should get up and follow him, make sure that her months of mercy weren't resulting in more innocent people dying…

But she knew what she'd have to do if they were. And… she couldn't. Not tonight.

Because she was starting to love him too.

To be continued…