The sound of footsteps roused him, and Spike blinked his eyes open. He stared blankly at the man who now stood next to the bed, then he remembered why he was familiar.
Spike watched Giles scowl and his hands clench into fists at his sides. He remembered listening to Angelus rant about how the Watcher was tougher, harder, much more dangerous than he looked, and a trickle of worry crept into him. How long had the Watcher known?
"Do you know how tempted I am to pull those curtains open and laugh as you burn to ash?" Giles asked, his voice low and full of ice.
Figuring it was a rhetorical question, Spike didn't answer, just waited for the coldly furious man to continue.
"But, if I do that, Willow is doomed to madness and an extremely painful death. So, instead, I have to help her keep your worthless carcass alive." His nostrils flared and his fingers tightened, the knuckles turning white as he restrained himself from flinging Spike out the window. "I don't know what infuriates me more. That you took an innocent child's virginity in an act of violence. That you kept her as your concubine, introducing her to sexual acts she was in no way mature enough to handle. That you bit her and fed from her, creating a bond that will eventually destroy her." Giles took a deep, shuddering breath before continuing, his voice even colder, if possible. "Or that you made her love you, a demon, the embodiment of everything evil and destructive in this world."
As the angry words sank in, Spike felt a strange calmness blanket him, and after a few moments of silence, he answered, "Have you asked her what she sees in me? Because, I haven't a clue. You're right, on every count. She pretties it up, but that first night, I raped her. I didn't beat her or hit her or even hurt her any more than losing her virginity hurts a girl, but she was scared and crying, and I didn't give a fuck. I wanted her, and I made her want me, so much so that within a week, she came to me for more."
No longer able to look at the Watcher's frozen hate-filled face, Spike stared at the ceiling and continued, "And, she kept coming back. I taught her everything, taught her to enjoy it all, every perverse sexual act you can think of. She got herself caught by Dru again, and I let Dru use her like a human vibrator, then spanked her until she begged me to fuck her. Sado-masochism, bondage, discipline, three ways, four ways, sex toys, anal, oral, I've taught it all to her, and she's been extremely receptive."
"She's no longer a child, thanks to me, and now, since our break-up and the bond and everything that's happened since, the innocence is gone from her eyes." He looked back over at Giles, a grim frown on his face. "And no one hates that more than I. I regret a lot of things, Watcher, but she loves me, and that I will never regret."
"Why do you even care?" Giles bit out.
"Have you ever really looked at her, Watcher? She brings light out of darkness, and every other cliche, but, you know what? They're all true. She can even redeem a demon."
Giles snorted in disbelief. "Waxing poetic, Spike, does not become you."
"Yeah, she even has me doing that."
"So, you got a seventeen year old child to believe she loves you, and to believe that you love her."
"I do love her," Spike protested.
"You're a demon."
"And, you, of all people, should know that one doesn't preclude the other. I'm able to feel all the same emotions that humans can, even deeper in some instances. I can also choose to feel nothing, but I've never allowed myself to do that, to become like my sire."
"And what about your paramour, Drusilla."
"I can't desert her. It would destroy her."
Giles face grew florid and his eyes narrowed. "You will continue your relationship with her while using Willow?"
Spike glared back and bit out, "I'm not USING Willow. How do you give up a love of over one hundred years? I can't do it. I won't do it. Maybe it's the selfish demon in me, or maybe it's because if I leave Dru, she'll wither and die in our sire's so-called care. Willow has come to terms with my relationship with Dru and it's none of your business."
"She may say it's fine now, but I can promise you, it will come back to bite you on the ass."
"I don't doubt it, Watcher, and we'll deal with it then. For now, if I live, I will cherish Willow as much as I possibly can, protect her from the dangers of this hell hole and love her with everything I have. It's enough for her."
Slowly Giles nodded, his lips drawn in a tight line. "I'm not her father. I'm only her friend. But if you hurt her again like this...I will make you suffer an eternity of torment."
Fully believing the human, Spike nodded in agreement.
As Giles exited the bedroom, Willow jumped to her feet, a pensive look on her face. "Did you...? Is he...?"
"He's fine, well, in the same condition as before I went in." Sighing, he ran his hand over his face. "He loves you."
Willow nodded slowly. "I can live with it. Giles...I'm sorry if I hurt you, but I'm not sorry I love him."
He gave her a reassuring smile and patted her on the shoulder. "And you shouldn't be. Just, please be careful."
"I will, I promise."
With the promise to bring more blood the next day, Giles left, and Willow hurried into the bedroom. Spike stretched out a shaking hand to her and she took it, sitting next to him. "Are you okay?"
He nodded, and squeezed her hand. "He cares very much for you."
"He blames himself. I think he believes that if I hadn't gotten involved with him and Buffy, I never would have met you. Of course, I'd probably be dead or a vampire, but he's conveniently forgotten that part. I just hope he didn't upset you?"
"He didn't say anything to me that I haven't thought to myself. Like, what did I ever do to deserve your love."
Willow smiled and tried to lighten the mood. "I think it's that thing you do with your tongue."
Spike chuckled, then gave her a sleepy look. "Love you."
"Love you back."
A knock on the door drew Willow from the trashy romance novel she was reading while Spike slept, and she went to answer it. Buffy stood on the other side, a hesitant, pensive look on her face.
"Hi," Willow replied, stepping aside so that Buffy could enter. "I called your place a couple hours ago and your mom was all freaked."
Buffy sighed and flopped on the couch. "I'm in deep shit.
Willow sat in the rocking chair, setting it into motion with a gentle push of her bare feet. "You've been with Angelus this whole time?"
Nodding, Buffy sighed again and rubbed her neck. "I...overslept, and he kind of convinced me that since I was already in trouble I might as well stay a bit longer, and then we fell asleep again."
"She's pretty worried."
"I don't know what to tell her," Buffy admitted weakly, then changed the subject. "How's Spike?"
"He seems to be stronger." Willow flushed slightly. "He and Giles had a talk. I was sure Giles would stake him, but...I guess they reached some kind of understanding."
"He's been mega-wigged since finding out about you two. I...How does it feel now that it's all out? All the secrets?"
"Well, they're not all out. Giles doesn't know about me and Angelus or about the deal, but, I do feel relieved. Xander knows everything and Giles knows almost everything, and, well, all teenagers keep this kind of stuff from their parents, so that doesn't bother me."
Buffy stared down at her lap and fiddled with her rings. "I know Giles will be so disappointed in me if he ever finds out."
"It would be better if you told him, because...Buffy, these things somehow come out. I nearly let it slip earlier today, and I'm still surprised that he never commented on my remark about Angelus feeding Spike last night. If he thinks about it and realizes I've had contact with Angelus, then..."
Nodding sadly, Buffy took off her Claddagh ring and held it up to the light. "I have to find the courage and the right time to tell him."
Willow looked at the ring with pensive eyes. "So...you and Angelus, it's for life?"
Buffy looked solemnly over at her friend and nodded. "I can't fight it any longer. I have feelings for him, not just for Angel's body, but for the demon inside. When he's...gentle and when he makes me laugh..." Her voice trailed off as a tear trickled down her cheek. "Angel's gone forever, but I care for the thing that replaced him."
"And you really don't want Angel back."
"I couldn't bear it. I'm not the girl he fell in love with. Not by a million miles. And...no matter how much I might wish it at times, I can never be that girl again. There's no going back."
"Don't I know it."
"Have you and Spike spoken at all?" Buffy again changed the subject.
"Yeah." A smile lit on Willow's tired face. "We began to resolve things and...I finally admitted that I love him.
Buffy smiled back. "I'm glad. But...what about Drusilla?"
"She was here last night and we...talked."
The smile on Buffy's face was wiped out by alarm. "You let her in?"
"I trust that she won't hurt me. It would hurt Spike and, he told her that Angelus has claimed me. I'm safe from her. Plus...she loves him, too."
"You're willing to share him with her? What changed?"
"He nearly died."
"Okay. I guess that does put it all into perspective, doesn't it."
Willow nodded. "Yeah. It made me grow up and see how childish I've been, and face that I can't live without him, and not just because of the bond. I love him, and love means sacrifice sometimes."
"Yeah, but love's also supposed to mean fidelity."
"Last night...I also accepted that he's a demon, and that I love a demon. I can't change him, and I can't change that demons and vampires view things like sex and love differently than humans. It's okay, Buffy. I can live with that. It's not like we're going to set up housekeeping with Dru." She frowned slightly. "At least, I don't think so."
"I don't think Dru and housekeeping are two words that go together in any language."
End Chapter 10