“Come on. I can feel it, Slayer. You know you wanna dance.”
The words were there, words of denial – harsh, scathing, and meant to strip the impassioned vampire in front of her of his dignity, make him see how far beneath her he truly was. She could taste them, waiting on her tongue, cold, bitter, and ready to be unleashed into the dim light of the alley.
It wouldn’t be you, Spike. It would never be you. You’re beneath me.
But when she opened her mouth to speak, the words refused to come.
The fire in Spike’s eyes blazed hot and intense, and the place on her arms where he held her burned with unseen flames. This consuming passion had overtaken him seemingly out of nowhere, but the alarming part of it was that it appeared to be directed at her. Buffy couldn’t tell if it was re-enacting the fight that stirred him up or something else entirely, but it was that air of ambiguity that stayed her tongue.
“Buffy...” Her name fell from his lips between great, urgent breaths that seemed all the more significant for the fact that he didn’t need them.
Buffy swallowed, noting belatedly that her own breath had quickened and she was starting to feel slightly dizzy beneath Spike’s penetrating, blue-eyed gaze. “Say...say I do want to,” she whispered, watching through suddenly heavy eyelids Spike’s tongue darting out to trace his bottom lip. “Why me, Spike?”
He released her then, dropped his hands from her arms and spun around, chuckling, the sound both desperate and incredulous. He stalked a few paces away, and then whirled back to face her. “You honestly haven’t figured it out?”
“Figured what?” she asked, confused with this odd shift in behaviour. “Spike?”
He was in front of her in a flash, moving with the vampiric speed he rarely displayed, gripping her arms again with just-shy-of-painful force, eyes level with hers and boring hard into her soul. “Think about it, Slayer.”
Eyes flickering rapidly, oscillating between meeting his piercing gaze and studying the tense set of his jaw, Buffy wracked her brain for the answer he seemed to think so obvious. He shook her lightly, just enough to snap her attention back to him, and she gasped, sucking in a deep breath, when he narrowed the space between their faces to mere inches.
“You taste like ashes,” he stated, with a hint of the accent of the vampire he was obviously quoting. “You’re all covered with her, she said. I look at you...all I see is the Slayer.
“Dru knew it,” he continued, voice low, husky, his breath tickling her face. “Knew it before I did.”
It was there, the answer, swirling in the air around her like one of Drusilla’s pixies. Buffy felt that if she could just reach...something...she would understand, but her head was swimming and her heart was pounding and Spike’s hard stare sent shivers of anticipation down her spine as he waited for her reply. And then it hit her.
Spike was in love with her.
Buffy’s mouth dropped open, her small gasp of enlightenment resonating in the space between them. The firm hands on her arms loosened, slipped up to her shoulders, and tangled themselves in her hair. Unable to move, or breathe, or even think, Buffy stood motionless and lightheaded, staring up at the vampire who had just tipped her universe on its side with no intentions of righting it any time soon.
“You’re all I bloody think about,” he admitted, caressing the golden strands in his grasp. He took a step forward, the toes of his boots blocking hers between them. His leather coat rustled against her jacket, and he tipped his head, touching his forehead to hers and exhaling a shuddering breath. “I’m drowning in you, Buffy.”
This couldn’t be happening – shouldn’t be happening – yet it undoubtedly was, and Buffy’s insides roiled with innumerable emotions, intense to the point of nausea, contradictory enough to leave her shivering in utter bewilderment. She wanted to run, wanted to slug him in the nose, shove him to the ground and drive a stake through his heart. She wanted to be rid of his presence once and for all, and show him exactly what it meant to have one good day.
And she wanted to kiss him. Oh, God, she wanted to kiss him, and it was that terrifying thought that freed her from her stasis.
“No,” she murmured, stepping back, her hair slipping soundlessly from Spike’s fingers. He remained in place, watching her closely, and she held up a hand to prevent him from following. “Spike, no...I...we...I can’t.”
His parted lips twisted into a smirk, and he stepped closer despite her warning. “Not the same as won’t, love.”
Buffy took another step backward, hating her thundering heart and the fact that Spike could hear it. “How can you...how can you love me?” she asked, the last words barely more than a whisper.
“Might not have a soul,” he replied, placing his hand over the left side of his chest and moving forward again. “But I’ve got a heart.”
The look in his eyes, open and vulnerable and so entirely unlike Spike, killed her oft-used defence that a soulless demon couldn’t love. She knew he could, even if she had never allowed herself to admit it.
It didn’t matter that he loved her. Buffy wasn’t even going to entertain the notion of walking that path again.
“Don’t try and tell me you don’t want it,” Spike said, nostrils flaring as he inhaled, smelling her scent. “You an’ me, Slayer, we’re more alike than you think.”
Taking another step backward, Buffy bit into her bottom lip, prepared once again to deny Spike’s words – even as it occurred to her that the two of them, both passionate individuals set apart from their respective worlds by circumstances beyond their control, had a lot more in common than was apparent on the surface. Whatever powers that directed the universe had brought them into each other’s lives under the guise of mortal enemies, but if she were to be completely honest with herself, they had moved beyond that a long time ago. Any animosity that remained was merely playacting for the sake of denying uncomfortable truths.
Because she certainly didn’t love Spike, but she no longer hated him either.
“You don’t know what I think,” Buffy responded, her words lacking the biting tone she had originally intended.
Spike’s upper lip curled into a hint of a lewd smirk, and behind his teeth, a bit of curled tongue peeked out enticingly. “I’ve no bleeding idea what goes on in that head of yours, Summers,” he rumbled, the hand at his chest drifting slowly downward, fingers sliding seductively over the tight black t-shirt, highlighting the suggestion of toned muscles beneath it. Buffy’s eyes followed its movement, and widened in surprise – though she really shouldn’t have been shocked – when his fingers stoked with deliberate familiarity the impressive outline of his rigid cock through the strained denim of his jeans.
Buffy’s audible gasp, accompanying the now throbbing desire pulsing between her legs, broadened Spike’s leering grin. He cupped his erection, giving it a firm squeeze, and added, “But I do know what other parts of you are thinking.”
Somehow, he’d ended up in her personal space again, and once more Buffy stepped back. “I can’t, Spike,” she whispered, surprised not only by the regret she heard in her tone, but that she genuinely felt it as well.
Spike wasn’t listening, though – or at least, wasn’t accepting her admittedly weak attempts at saying no as honest refusals. He stepped even closer, fingers still caressing himself fondly, prompting Buffy to shuffle backward again.
He persisted, though, keeping with her on each retreating step. Cool breath fluttered over her face, and Spike whispered, “Just one little dance, Buffy, is all I ask.”
Buffy shook her head with rapid refusal, hating the flush she felt colouring her cheeks and the pounding heartbeat even she could hear. “Riley!” she blurted, grasping for something, anything, to stop the insanity before she fell any deeper under his spell.
“Bugger Riley!” Spike growled, eyes briefly flashing amber in the glow of the streetlight. “He’s not what you need, and you know it.”
Buffy wanted to deny it, yearned to tell him that no, he was wrong, Riley was everything she wanted and needed in a man, but the whispering demons in the shadows of her mind reminded her in flashes of insight how very much he was not.
“I-I-I don’t...” she stammered, silenced by a calloused finger over her lips.
“Yes,” he insisted, moving forward again even as she drifted backward. “You do.”
With a soft, resonant thud, Buffy’s back hit the metal wall to the right of the Bronze’s door. Another step brought Spike up against her, and any concern she felt over him luring her blindly into this trap crumbled into insignificance under the sheer intensity of his presence. Her world had suddenly narrowed to include only the amorous vampire in front of her, gazing at her as though she was the most precious thing in his universe.
One of Spike’s hands brushed her hair off her shoulder, while the other settled at her hip, his thumb drifting beneath the hem of her jacket to trace a path of tingling fire across her skin. “Let me prove how bloody good we could be,” he purred, in that rumbling voice that was pure sex, pressing his erection pointedly into her belly.
The motion sent a shiver of lust through her body, and her already soaking panties grew even wetter. She had acknowledged her physical attraction to Spike some time ago, in a private moment of self reflection. Faced with this deliberate attempt at seduction, Buffy’s body had answered the call eagerly, no matter that her consciousness had other ideas. She realized, as she fought her growing need for release, that her resolve to prevent this from happening had begun to dissolve the moment she understood how he felt.
Of their own volition, her hands rose to grip the lapels of his duster, fingers curling into the aged leather. “One?”
With the utterance of that simple word, Buffy knew that everything had changed.
A soft smile flitted over Spike’s lips, and he ran the backs of his fingers over her warm cheek. “Just one,” he confirmed, face drifting closer to hers.
“And after?” Buffy asked, light-headedness flaring anew as she licked her lower lip in breathless anticipation.
Spike crushed his lips to hers in a hard, urgent kiss, the force of it stealing her breath and threatening to buckle her knees. He gripped her by the arms, pinning her to the wall with the full length of his muscular body. Buffy ignored the sudden throb from her wound for the fluttery throbbing of a different sort, pulsing low in her belly and growing steadily with every movement of Spike’s mouth against hers. Her hands slipped from where they had flattened on his chest to wrap around his neck, and Spike growled in approval.
The vibrations of his growl rocketed through her chest and Buffy’s fingers dug into his shoulders. Spike’s hands flew over her – threading through her hair, running over her arms, and slipping beneath her jacket to cup her breasts and fondle her hardening nipples through the silky shirt. She arched into his touch, moaning into his mouth as he thrust his erection against her in response.
Spike’s tongue probed at her parted lips, and Buffy accepted his invitation eagerly. Her tongue greeted his, the two of them gliding alongside one another, over and around in an erotic dance of acquaintance. The kiss became frantic, needy, her desire for more flaring stronger with each passing moment. Spike’s insistent thrusts against her, the motions of his hand now snaking its way under her shirt, and the way he growled, nipped, and nearly devoured her while he kissed her senseless, left Buffy melting into a molten puddle of arousal unlike anything she’d experienced in the past. His passion was raw, blistering, and addictive.
One kiss, and she was lost.
Beside them, the door to the Bronze opened, and a raucous group of adolescents moved into the alley. Spike tore out of the kiss as the youngsters milled around them, his forehead meeting hers in an intimate caress. The frantic rise and fall of his chest matched hers precisely, his heavy breaths cooling her face against the heated flush of her arousal.
“Oh, my God!” squealed the voice of a girl behind them. “Like, get a room or something! Jeez!”
Spike’s fingers dug gently into Buffy’s skin, thumb brushing across the underside of her lace-covered breast, and he exhaled a snort of amusement she couldn’t help but echo. Caught acting like teenagers, by teenagers. Another few minutes of kissing like that and she would have probably let him take her up against the wall right there by the door, and wouldn’t they have had an eyeful then?
Buffy tensed with her last thought, and the implications of exactly what she was doing descended upon her. This was Spike. She kissed Spike...and she enjoyed it.
Except that enjoyed was hardly the word for it. She would have gladly forgone breathing if it meant never having to stop.
Spike must have sensed her sudden second thoughts, because his body stiffened and his grip on her tightened. His hand moved to her cheek and he peppered her face with moist, cool kisses. “Don’t go,” he murmured into her skin, his tone both pleading and tender.
Buffy didn’t want to go, but the niggling voice at the back of her mind urged her to run, get the hell out of there before she let this go too far. But she had a taste now – a teasing but succulent hint of Spike’s particular brand of passion – and she wanted more. Each little kiss, every stroke of his thumb across her cheek, chipped away at the tension until she felt herself growing boneless again under the onslaught of his presence.
Spike nipped at her ear with his blunt teeth, and Buffy’s head fell back, connecting with a soft thump to the wall behind her. “Oh, God,” she moaned, as his path of kisses and nibbles moved down her neck.
Feelings of guilt lingered, threatening to ruin the moment, but Buffy stamped them down. She hated to think that her actions would hurt Riley, but she had already gone too far to stop this now. Spike was right, she did want to dance...wanted to so much her body was aching with need. The reasons for this sudden, overwhelming desire remained muddled inside the intricate tangle of thoughts and sensations relentlessly bombarding her mind and body. Simple physical attraction couldn’t account for it, but figuring it out would have to come later. The vampire making love to her neck with impossibly soft lips commanded her attention with far greater urgency.
“Let’s take this elsewhere,” he whispered, nudging her suggestively with his erection as he bit the place where her neck met her shoulder with his human teeth.
Buffy gasped and arched into him again, acutely aware of what going elsewhere meant. The teenagers had moved farther away, but she could hear them laughing and jeering at the two of them huddled in the doorway. She and Spike weren’t going to stop, Buffy realized. No matter where they were, the outcome was inevitable. Finding a bit of privacy suddenly seemed imperative.
“Where?” she breathed, fingers stroking the surprisingly soft hairs at the nape of his neck.
His relief was palpable as his anxious posture relaxed. He placed a feather-light kiss over the place where he’d bitten her, then pulled back to smile tenderly. It wasn’t an expression Buffy saw often – very rarely, in fact, and never before directed at her. Instead of speaking, Spike drew away from her, one hand reaching for hers and threading their fingers together. A gentle tug had her following him as he walked the several paces between their corner and the door before he pulled it open.
Buffy halted, thoughts of out of the frying pan, into the fire running through her admittedly lust-addled brain. But Spike slipped around behind her, nibbling her neck again and urging her forward with his hands set firmly at her hips, and despite her reservations, Buffy allowed him to guide her through the doorway.
Spike’s lips hovered at her ear, and his tongue traced its contours slowly, sending shivers down her neck. “Trust me,” he murmured.
But when the scoff of denial remained unvoiced, and Spike manoeuvred her deeper into the Bronze, Buffy realized with a pang of alarm that trusting Spike was exactly what she was doing.
And nothing good could possibly come of that.