Four months later…
Spike had had enough. He was tired and hungry. He’d been tracking the Slayer almost since they’d left Sunnydale together. Only the fact that she was able to travel by day and night prevented him from actually catching up to her. That, and the accusation he’d likely see in her eyes if he’d exerted his control over her – forcing her to his side so that they could settle this thing between them once and for all. He’d not wanted to give her any more ammunition to use against him.
Didn’t want to have her watcher’s words proven true.
The ramifications of his claim had likely been written in a hastily scribbled letter slipped into her bag by Giles before they’d departed. If he wasn’t so intent on finding the Slayer, all while keeping an ever-vigilant eye out for any of the Order’s assassins, he’d have traveled back to the Hellmouth just so he could tear out the man’s heart, like the watcher had done his. He’d told the wanker she’d accepted him, so he should have left well enough alone and let the two of them work it out when the time was right.
But had he?
The whispered ‘thank you’ he’d heard from the man just mocked him.
Thank you, my arse!
More like a stake to his back....
What had possessed the man to tell Buffy about the claim he’d placed on her? He knew the girl’s temperament, even before having to deal with the Order. Was he trying to get them both killed? Now Spike had this added headache he didn’t need. Like he didn’t have enough to worry about. They’d been two against who knew how many – and now they weren’t even a two. Just a one and a one with the latter trying desperately to look after the former, without much success.
Oh, Spike knew the Slayer would be mad, furiously so, when she eventually found out what he’d done. But that time had been a long way off. Say years, maybe. However long it took them to find the Order’s stronghold. And, at the rate they were going?
Yeah, it was safe to say it would probably be a few years before he’d have to tell her.
He gnawed on his bottom lip, contemplating his current situation. He’d have to stop soon. Find a place to lay low for the day. Another beat-up motel, just like the dozens of others he’d occupied – with and without the Slayer by his side.
Spike was cutting it close when he finally stopped some thirty minutes later. The demon inside practically climbing the walls at the imminent sunrise, desperate to be away from its deadly rays. He fit the key into the lock and stepped inside, just as the sun appeared on the distant horizon. The door closed and locked, he dropped his bag on the carpeted floor and crossed quickly to the window to pull the curtains the last few inches shut, sealing the room in darkness.
Too restless to sleep, he stripped and made his way towards the shower, hoping the hot water would help him relax.
But he doubted it.
Ever since the Slayer had split, he’d been running on about three hours of sleep each day. Too worried to rest once the sun began its natural ascent into the sky. It was only towards dusk that he would fall into an exhausted slumber. Usually after a day spent watching bad daytime television, or a day spent pacing.
Sometimes, when he could concentrate – when he felt through the claim that the Slayer appeared to be sleeping – Spike would force himself to read through the books he still carried. It wasn’t the same, however. Usually when they’d engaged in what she liked to call “research session” they would often bounce ideas off each other, hypothesizing as to the possible meaning of the text they happened to be reading. Now the endless quiet motel rooms just seemed to mock him.
After his shower, Spike settled on the bed and turned on the television. He channel-surfed for a few hours, catching up on current events before the morning shows came on. Refusing to watch the hosts with their overly cheerful expressions and fake, plastic smiles, he set it to C-SPAN, hoping the monotonous tones of the country’s leaders would lull him to a quick slumber. Anything to take his mind off the girl who’d slipped away one day while he’d been sleeping.
It didn’t work at first.
He still remembered the fear he’d experienced when he’d woken and she’d not been snuggled in bed next to him. Felt her anguish pound into his consciousness as he’d shaken off the last remnants of sleep, knowing without even looking around the room that she’d been gone.
A cursory look about the interior had revealed her missing bag and a few of the more promising books that might indicate the Order’s whereabouts. He remembered being half tempted to exert his will over her, all while cramming his meager belongings in his bag and racing out into the night after her.
He’d tracked her.
Relentlessly dogging her footsteps and forcing her onward.
If he was going to be miserable, then, by god, so was she!
An hour of listening to a boring committee of something or other question a witness of something or other and his eyelids started to droop. He must have reached the end of his reserves, because it wasn’t long thereafter that Spike succumbed to his body’s exhaustion and slept.
Buffy was tired of running.
Not to mention lonely.
After having Spike as her constant companion for over a month, these last four without him had been rough. Why she’d taken this long to come to terms with things, she wasn’t sure. The one thing she did know was that Spike hadn’t once done any of the things to her that Giles had stated in his letter that he was now capable of doing.
Maybe she was testing him. Seeing if he actually would do it. And, somewhere, buried deep in her subconscious, she knew it to be true. But there was another part, telling her that Spike wouldn’t do it. That he’d never do any of the things that the power of his claim granted him.
A week ago, a month, the minute she’d snuck away while he slept – again, the exact moment of dawning reason eluded her. Her anger at his deception had burned itself out.
And she was so very tired. Tired of waking alone. Tired of being alone.
She’d isolated herself long enough. Had put herself, and him, in serious danger by her foolhardy actions.
The sun was high in the sky when Buffy used the secondary key to let herself into Spike’s room, having backtracked to find him once assured his movements had been hampered by the sun. Sometimes it paid being the Slayer. Especially when the motel was run by a demon. The K’larbur coexisted peacefully with humans and was only too happy to reunite her with her “wayward” vampire once the scar on her neck had been revealed.
Her duffel fell discarded from her fingertips and she gazed down upon the slumbering vampire lying on the bed. He’d not bothered with covers; his pale, nude body completely visible in the meager light.
She drew near and became worried when he didn’t wake at her approach. Upon closer inspection, she could see that he’d lost weight – much like she had. The sharp angles of his face even more pronounced now. He was exhausted. Clearly so. Probably hungry too.
She’d done this to him. Forced him to this half existence of dogging her every footstep.
Guilt assaulted her. Caused her eyes to fill with tears at his condition.
She’d been wrong to leave him. To heed Giles’ written warnings and completely disregard the time she and Spike had spent together. If she’d stayed away much longer, there would have been nothing left of her Spike to come back to. He would have wasted away to nothing.
Hurriedly, Buffy stripped out of her clothes and palmed the knife she kept hidden in her boot. After a shallow cut to her neck, she climbed on the bed and cuddled close to his side, not surprised in the least when his arms automatically wrapped around her back and pulled her closer. A hand at the back of his head directed him to the drops of blood oozing from where she’d nicked herself, and she expelled a hopeful breath when he lapped at the life-giving substance.
She felt his face shift mere seconds before his fangs pierced her flesh. Unlike the last few times, this bite happened to hurt, but she forced herself to remain unmoving in his arms while he fed from her. Ever the gentleman – though he’d refute the comparison if it were ever voiced aloud – he sucked lightly, oftentimes just allowing his mouth to fill with her blood before swallowing. Like he knew instinctively whom he held in his arms.
He finished far sooner than she would have liked, licking closed the fresh marks he’d made. His purr of satisfaction as he drifted deeper into sleep brought a smile to her lips, and she snuggled a bit closer and gave herself over as well.
For the first time in four months, Buffy slept without having to keep one eye opened and trained on the door.
The growing pressure building at her apex woke her, and Buffy’s eyes fluttered opened to reveal Spike situated between her legs, propped on his forearms. His hips moved in a slow dance above her, and she felt the hard length of his cock as it slid in and out of her. Her body arched up against him, trying to drive him deeper.
Her hands lifted to caress his ridged brow and whatever control he seemed to harbor while she’d wavered between sleep and waking snapped. Wrapping his hands around her shoulders to hold her in place, he buried his face in her neck and thrust into her for all he was worth.
Buffy’s nails dug into the exposed flesh of his shoulder blades, her legs snaking around the backs of his thighs.
There was no way this wasn’t going to be over fast. After four month’s separation—
Her body exploded a second later, her mouth opened on a silent gasp, hips arching reflexively, enabling his cock to brush against her sweet spot over and over until she thought she’d black out from the pleasure. It didn’t stop him, however. If anything, her orgasm just egged him on, drove him to pump harder, faster. Growling deep when her inner walls continued to squeeze him tight.
Buffy had no time to bask in the post-coital afterglow, for she could already feel her body drawing taut in anticipation of a second, more powerful climax. And she was grateful for the fangs that seemed to glide back and forth along the throbbing artery in her neck, knowing that when he struck, there’d be no way he’d be able to hold off coming.
Neither would she.
Her fingers moved from his back to his head, twining through the longish curls to grip, tug, push, pull… force his sharpened canines to penetrate the smooth expanse of skin at her throat. Anything to get him to end the torture of being held poised on the edge.
He snarled in her ear, the perverse vamp more than likely pleased with the rough treatment she’d inflicted. Just when she thought she could take it no more, he struck. Latching onto her neck with a primal roar.
Buffy saw stars as pain and pleasure collided to produce one mother of an orgasm. She screamed her release, unmindful to the other guests of the motel. And really… demon motel – she was sure they were used to the noise. Besides, she was too busy caught up in the vampire above her.
Utterly spent, her arms and legs collapsed upon
the mattress covers, while she struggled to bring her breathing under control.
She felt Spike’s weight for just a moment before he recovered enough to roll
them, their bodies still intimately joined as he settled her on top of him.
Neither spoke in the aftermath of their reunion, unwilling to break the peaceful silence that permeated the room.
Spike took note of the subtle changes in the Slayer’s body. She was skinnier, like him. Losing weight she could ill afford to lose. Her hair had gotten a bit longer; it was dyed black again, the unnatural shade of red she’d worn before no more than random streaks about her head. He somewhat missed the red; although, the black was nice too.
His own hair was probably a lot worse off. He’d not done anything with it since the time she’d dyed it. And, he hadn’t the time or the patience to invest in keeping the color she’d given him… or to see it cut. Maybe he could talk her into a repeat performance now that she was back.
Once he felt her breathing and heart rate return to normal, Spike sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed. He gained his feet, her body still held in his arms, although his lagging erection managed to slip free, causing them both to groan at the loss.
“Come on, luv, let’s get washed up. We’ve some talkin’ to do, yeah?”
Buffy nodded into his neck while he walked the few feet to the sparse bathroom. Again neither said anything, their movements practically mechanical as they washed each other off quickly and stepped from the shower.
By tacit agreement, they donned clothes, then settled into the two seats on either side of the small table.
Buffy startled him by going first; the last thing he’d expected was an apology.
“’m the one that should be sayin’ ’m sorry,” he told her. “Though…I am evil and it’s not in my nature.”
The smirk in his voice seemed hollow even to his own ears, but he did manage to get the Slayer to smile briefly.
“Yeah, well… I shouldn’t have let Giles’ letter get to me. We’d been doing fine on our own. And I’m sure there was a good reason… there was a good reason, right?”
“See… I shoulda’ waited. Instead, I panicked and took off. I didn’t like to think… I just didn’t want…” Buffy was having a hard time putting into words what she was trying to say.
The use of her real name threw her; Spike never used her name. It was always, “love,” or “pet,” or her personal favorite, “Slayer.” Though the “Slayer” had been lacking since they’d been on the run – didn’t want the wrong people overhearing.
She got up, and placed her hand in his, allowing herself to be pulled down onto his lap. A feeling of rightness settled over her as he held her close. Something she’d been sorely lacking these last few months. It had been them against the world until her world had fallen apart, the contents of Giles’ letter urging her to be careful now that she was essentially Spike’s property.
And what was with the property?
Buffy felt Spike stiffen beneath her and she realized she’d voiced that thought out loud. Rather than cower, she challenged him. It was time for them to get this out in the open anyway.
“It is what I am now, isn’t it?”
“’s not like that, pet,” Spike tried to reason with her, his temper flaring in the face of her own.
“Oh, really? How is it not like that, Spike? Because from what Giles said, that’s what it amounts to. You master. Me property.”
“Yeah, well technically, yeah… I guess you
might see it that way—”
“See!” she accused, jumping to her feet. “This is why— how could you?”
Spike’s eyes flashed yellow and he stood as well. “I said ’s not like that.”
“Right… and I’m so going to take the word of an evil vampire.”
“Watch it, Slayer,” he growled.
“And that’s exactly what I’m talking about.” She ignored the inner voice that told her she was egging him on. She’d latched onto his aggressive behavior and was twisting it for her own purposes.
“You… with the intimidation tactics. Like I’m not your equal—”
“Trust me, pet… if you weren’t my equal, I’d have you stripped from the waist down and bent over this table,” he roared.
“And there we go again with the threatening. Exactly what Giles warned me about!” Her voice increased to match his in volume.
At the mention of the watcher’s name, his face shifted; the ridges on his brow becoming more pronounced, the flecks of amber in his blue eyes completely eclipsing the softer shade. He stalked towards her, ready to turn her over his knee for making this more difficult than it had to be. As it was, it took all he had to restrain himself when her eyes narrowed as if waiting for him to dare try something.
“An’ I told you that’s not why I did it!” he yelled back.
“Oh yeah? So, you’re telling me that you don’t like the fact that you can pretty much make me do anything you want… any time you want.” The loss of control that she would experience if that was to ever happen caused her voice to rise in hysteria. “Because the way I see it, you’ve got your third slayer bagged and tagged and at your whim.”
“Bitch!” he growled, closing the distance between them.
“Tell me that’s not the reason, Spike,” she taunted, her own body dropping into a defensive position. Not that it would do her any good if he actually chose to exert that will over her.
“Yeah… well then, what is the reason,” she demanded hotly.
“I didn’t want to be alone!” he roared.
When he realized what he’d just said aloud, his eyes widened comically, his face shifting back to his human mask. He, the Big Bad, had confessed to being lonely. And had claimed the Slayer in an effort to prevent her from leaving him.
Big Bad? Hardly. More like bloody wanker!
He spun away, wishing that it wasn’t still daylight so that he could escape into the night and not have to see her horrified look. Or worse, her laughter.
Buffy couldn’t have been more shocked if he’d told her he loved her. Not that she didn’t have feelings for Spike, or him for her. But she didn’t think either of them was at the stage of declaring their undying love.
For him to say that he’d not wanted to be alone, and had claimed her? Why not turn someone? He had the gift of immortality, unless he happened to be on the losing end of a slayer’s stake. With blinding clarity, it came to her. He did care about her, and this was his way of showing it. He’d not done it to lord his status over her. He’d done it to make her his.
This time it was she that closed the distance, laying a reassuring hand upon his arm.
“I’m sorry, Spike,” she told him sincerely.
“Not your fault.”
Okay. Not a good sign with the stiffening and the abruptness. But at least he was still talking to her.
“Yes, it is. I should have listened to your side of the story, rather than running off. Look at you. You’re practically wasting away.”
“You didn’t fare much better,” he mumbled under his breath.
“Why didn’t you tell me? That night…” she asked. “The claim… that’s how you found me so easily in Sunnydale, right?”
“No place you can’t go that I won’t eventually find you, pet.”
Oooh! Pet name. Pet names mean not quite as angry as before. Time for a little more groveling.
“I really am sorry, Spike. About everything. I should have trusted you. Heck… deep down, I probably did. Do. Otherwise, I would have found me a nice stake and broken this hold you seem to have over me.”
“Yeah, well… I should have told you,” he conceded, turning around to face her. “I just thought I had time, ya know? Told the watcher you’d accepted me. Weren’t like I was gonna do anything to betray your trust.”
“Wait! You spoke to Giles? About the claim?”
“Yeah… back when we were stayin’ with your mum.”
“He didn’t tell me that in the letter! Oh, he is so dead when I get my hands on him!”
“Really? Can I watch?”
He smirked at her, and Buffy knew that they were going be all right. That this thing between them would be worked out, and they’d be able to put it behind them.
“Maybe,” she sassed.