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"Bugger," Spike muttered, glaring at the red-haired kid. He didn't look old enough to be shaving, let alone joining the police force, but there he was, explaining Spike's rights as if he was reciting a prayer.

The whole thing was totally bloody humiliating. A hundred and twenty years wreaking unholy havoc across five continents, and he had to get himself nicked for lifting a couple of packs of fags and a bottle of cheap whisky from a run-down corner shop in a crappy little town at the arse end of freezing nowhere. It wasn't as if he didn't have Canadian money in his pocket, either. He'd only pinched the stuff on principle, just to keep his hand in.

Time to try a bit of good old-fashioned British charm.

"Listen, officer, I can explain," he said in his best Wesley Wyndam-Price voice, adding a winning smile to be on the safe side.

Ginger wasn't having any of it. "Yes Sir, you will need to explain yourself - once we get to the station."

Sod that for a game of soldiers. Breaking the little git's neck was out of the question, but a bit of violence against property never went amiss. One well-placed boot in the middle of a display of soup cans, a sharp push to the chocolate stand, and Ginger was instinctively jumping out of the way, while Grandma behind the counter was too busy trying to rescue her stock to be worrying about Spike. He was off down the household goods aisle and half way out of the door before they even knew what had hit them.

Unfortunately he hadn't counted on a large and immovable object blocking his exit.

"Stop right there, please."

Whoa. Large, immovable and with a voice like a Canadian Richard Burton.

Spike let himself be herded back into the light of the shop doorway so he could take a look at the new bloke. At least this one seemed old enough to be out without his mother. Quite a hunk, too: broad shoulders, dark hair, grey-blue eyes and a pretty mouth, which was currently telling Spike he was under arrest, as if he didn't already know.

You could tell just by looking at him that this bloke was all about fresh air and exercise, wholesome diet and clean living. Probably wouldn't know excitement if it jumped up and bit him on the bum, but his blood would be a real treat - rich and pure, like a decent single malt or a fine Cuban cigar. Just the smell of it through his skin was making Spike's mouth water.

" will be appointed to you free of charge. Do you understand these rights?"

"Yeah, I know, Babyface has already talked me through it," Spike said, trying to sound bored.

"Right. Good. Well, then, Mr. - what is your name, Sir?"

"Blake. William Blake." One dark eyebrow twitched, just a little. "What? Can I help it if my old lady had a taste for the Gothic?"

"A taste that you appear to have inherited," the bloke said, letting his gaze drop down over the leather coat and narrow black jeans to Spike's feet, and pausing there for a moment before looking up again.

Well, hello, Mr. Clean's got a bit of a thing for the biker boots, has he? "Who the hell are you, anyway?" Spike said, overdoing the belligerence just a little.

"Corporal Benton Fraser, Royal Canadian Mounted Police," the man replied smartly.

"A Mountie? You're having a laugh! Where's the red coat? And the horse?"

"Ah, common misconceptions, I'm afraid, for which the popular media have much to answer." Unbelievable. Didn't the guy realise that Spike was taking the piss? Apparently he was just warming up. "In actual fact, the full dress uniform is only required for certain more ceremonial occasions, and while all members of the RCMP are trained for equestrian duties, very few ride a horse on a daily basis. It certainly wouldn't be a practical arrangement here -"

"Uh, Sir," interrupted Ginger, from behind Spike.

Corporal Clueless cleared his throat. "Constable Van Bergen."

"The per- Mr. Blake was resisting arrest, Sir, arrest for the theft of two packs of cigarettes and a bottle of whisky."

"Yes, thank you, Constable. I had assumed as much. You stay and take a statement from Mrs. Harborne while I escort Mr. Blake to the station." To Spike he added, "Your hands, please," as he produced a pair of handcuffs from the pocket of his parka.

Spike glanced around. Ginger - Van Bergen - was crowding up behind him as if he'd love an excuse to launch in, and this Fraser bloke looked like he'd pack a serious punch. There wasn't much point in trying to make a break for it, so he decided to enjoy himself.

For the time being.

He held out his arms and grinned at the Mountie. "Fix 'em a bit tighter, why don't you? No pain, no pleasure. You must know that."

Corporal Fraser was trying to pretend he hadn't heard, but Spike could see the faint flush spreading across his cheek, could hear a fractional increase in his heart rate. Not quite as unaware as he'd like you to think, then.

As they headed out to the car, Spike rolled his shoulder back and pushed it up against the Mountie's palm, which was resting there to guide him forward. He grinned when he felt the man jerk his hand away. Oh yes, he might look like the ultimate officer of the law, but he had a weak spot alright, one that Spike was more than happy to exploit. It served the guy right, if he was stupid enough to take Spike in single-handed.

But when they got to the car, a big ugly SUV with chains on the tyres, Spike realised that Fraser wasn't working alone. A bloody great dog was taking up more than half of the back seat, glaring at Spike while it growled deep in its throat. Spike glared right back. It was mutual hate at first sight.

Fraser opened the door and gestured to Spike. "In the back, please, Mr. Blake. He won't touch you unless you attempt anything untoward. Diefenbaker, watch him."

"What the fuck is that, a wolf?"

"Only half wolf, in fact. In you go, please."

Spike could take the animal, he knew he could, even with the cuffs on. Not much point, though, when the Mountie had the wheels, reinforcements and the bloody huge advantage of not having a chip in his skull to stop him beating the crap out of Spike.

He slid into the seat and grimaced at the wolf as it edged back to the opposite corner and turned the growl up a notch. A stand-off. Great.

Fraser leaned down to peer into the car for a moment, then slammed the door shut. Spike tested the handle while the Mountie went round to the driver's side. Useless. Whoever invented child locks could do with a good kicking.

They set off – painfully slowly - across the deep, compacted snow. Spike soon got bored of staring down the wolf - the Mountie smelled better, and needling him would be a lot more fun. He slid forward on the seat to take a closer look at the man's neck. There wasn't a lot visible, but the sliver he could see above the parka's fur trim and below the neat line of regulation hair was smooth and pale and fascinating. If it wasn't for the bloody chip...

Mind you, there was more than one way to get a taste.

"Benton? What kind of a name is that?" he said slowly.

"The one my parents gave me." There was no trace of emotion in Fraser's voice.

"Ben-ton. Bent-on. So, you're a Mountie. More of a mounter, myself, which makes us a perfect combination."

That got him a noisy sigh.


"Believe it or not, you aren't the first person to make that joke at my expense," Fraser said wearily.

"Maybe not, but I bet the others were only having you on," Spike said, in a voice that made it clear that he was willing to follow through. And that hit the target. The sliver of neck was turning faintly pink, and the man's scent changed, very slightly.

"You would do well to refrain from making any more inappropriate remarks," Fraser said stiffly.

"Or what? You'll kick me in the head? Don't you have laws -" Spike stopped, wondering what he'd said to achieve such an extreme reaction. Fraser's neck was flushing red now, and over his shoulder Spike could see he was clutching the steering wheel in a white-knuckle grip. Spike's nostrils flared as he tried to distinguish the mixture of emotions pouring off him - arousal, yes, but anger, sadness, frustration? What the hell? Under that polished surface, the man was a complete bloody wreck.

Spike grinned and sat back in the seat, bringing his cuffed hands down to grab at his rapidly hardening crotch. Messing with this one was going to be fun, alright. It was almost worth the indignity of getting himself arrested.



It was early evening by the time Spike got to the house. The Mounties had arsed about for ages before letting him go, despite his perfectly good fake passport and wad of stolen cash. On the plus side, he'd overheard most of the information he needed while he was waiting around at the station, so once he was out it was just a question of tracking down the town's one sorry excuse for a cab.

He told the driver to drop him off at the end of the track and went the rest of the way on foot. Nonetheless, the door opened before he got within ten feet of it, and there was Dudley Do-Me himself, silhouetted against the light. In jeans, grey socks and blue sweater he looked far too fucking edible. Spike clenched his fists against the urge to let his game face show.

"What are you doing here?" Fraser said. His voice was steady, like the hands holding his lowered rifle.

"Do you always bring out the weaponry to greet your visitors?"

"Only when Diefenbaker warns me of approaching danger. Are you going to answer my question?"

Spike shrugged. "Thought you might like to finish up the lecture about right and wrong. Persuade me of the error of my ways." Fraser had been called away on more important business before they'd had time to get too far into it at the station.

"I find that distinctly unconvincing," Fraser said. "How did you find out my address?"

"You're not exactly unknown around town." And your address is the least of the things I've found out about you, mate. "Well, are you going to invite me in?"

"Is there any compelling reason why I should?"

"My ride's long gone, and I'd probably freeze to death before another turns up. Do you really want that on your conscience?"

Fraser gazed at him for a moment, his face blank, then moved to one side.

Spike waited.

"Come in," the Mountie said, his reluctance all too audible.

Spike sauntered past him and bared his teeth at the wolf, who was huddled into a crouch and snarling right back at him. "Back off," Spike mouthed, and smirked when the creature slunk under the table, whining.

"Don't worry, Dief," Fraser said softly from over by the door. "I'm watching him."

The house was tiny, barely more than a cabin, just two doors leading off from the living space and a miniature kitchen in the corner. There wasn't a lot of furniture: a small dining table with a bench along each side, a wooden trunk, two old leather chairs that looked anything but easy, and a big bookcase that dominated the far wall. Wood everywhere, and nothing remotely soft or comfortable. It was exactly what he'd have expected after all he'd heard in town. Like Fraser himself, the place reeked of loneliness.

"I'll put my boots on and take you back to the motel," Fraser said.

"Hey, wait a minute," Spike protested. "Aren't you at least going to offer me a cup of tea?"

"Tea? You came all the way out here for tea?"

"At least you lot know how to make it properly, unlike the bloody Yanks," Spike grinned.

"Which part of England are you from?" Fraser asked, turning towards the stove.

"London, via California." No need to go into the rest of it.

"And what brings you to the Territories?"

"Just on holiday." No need to tell him about the guy up in Fort Bloody Hopeless, either, how his powers weren't half what they were cracked up to be, and how they wouldn't be standing here having this conversation at all if the plan had worked out and Spike had been free of the chip at last.

"You don't strike me as the sort of man to travel all this way to look at the Northern Lights," Fraser was saying.

"Shows what you know. Anyhow, a break from all that sunshine isn’t a bad thing. Doesn't agree with me too well."

"I imagine not."

Spike narrowed his eyes, but Fraser seemed busy with the teapot, although he was obviously being careful not to turn his back completely.

There were three framed photos on the bookshelf, so Spike wandered over to take a look. The first wasn't particularly interesting, a family group, Mum, Dad and baby Mountie, mostly hidden by furs. The second showed a good-looking blonde woman in a sensible shirt, face shiny with health.

"Girlfriend?" Spike asked, although he'd heard enough local gossip to know it wasn't the case.

"Half-sister, actually," Fraser said as he placed two mugs on the table.

Spike moved into the corner to get a really good look at the third picture. Oh yes, this was the interesting one, alright. There was Fraser, a blue flannel shirt open to show a bit more of his delicious neck, his face transformed by an enormous smile. And jammed up right next to him, with one long-fingered hand draped over his shoulder, was another man, wearing a black T-shirt and a shit-eating grin almost as wide as Fraser's. He was handsome in a bony sort of way, with dirty blond hair gelled up into tufts and attitude written all over him. Spike laughed quietly to himself. What was the betting that Boyfriend was wearing a pair of steel toe-capped biker boots? He'd look pretty good in a long leather coat, too.

"Who's this, then?" he asked, like he really needed to be told. "Not your half-brother, surely."

There was a pause. Spike turned to stare at Fraser, who'd gone very still. "Well?"

"That's Ray, my par- my colleague and friend from Chicago," Fraser said at last. "I worked at the Canadian Consulate there for a number of years, liaising with the police department."

"Right." Spike settled himself in one of the chairs and let Fraser get on with pouring the tea undisturbed. Ray the Chicago cop, huh? The way the Mountie had bitten off the word 'partner' said it all.

He waited until they both had steaming mugs in their hands and Fraser was sitting opposite him, not quite managing to avoid his eye.

"So what happened there?" Spike asked.

"In what sense?"

"With Ray."

"I don't know what you mean. I worked with him until I was transferred back to the Territories." Fraser was so stiff he could barely get the words out, and his scent was an obvious give-away.

"Not the job, I mean between you and him."

"I'm not certain I -" There was the blush again. Fraser stared down into his tea.

"Oh, come on. Why'd you split up?"

"As I told you, I was transferred back to the North, so our working relationship naturally came to an end."

"I'm not talking about your working relationship," Spike snorted. "You were lovers, right? Doing the deed? Shagging each other senseless?" He added a couple of expressive arm gestures just in case the Canadian for it was different and Fraser hadn't quite got the point.

"We were nothing of the kind," Fraser said in a strained voice. "I have no idea why you would say such a thing."

Spike laughed, aloud this time. "Don't talk bollocks," he said. "A, I'm not stupid. B, I can smell it on you when you so much as think about him. C, look at the picture, for fuck's sake. You were shagging, and now you're not, and I'm asking you what happened."

Fraser stared at him for an age before shaking his head. "We were fond of each other," he said slowly, "and our friendship was a remarkably close one, but there was nothing, ah… physical between us."

Remarkably close? Nothing physical? Spike eyed the photo again and saw it all laid out in front of him. Fraser wants Ray, Ray probably wants Fraser - hell, if he's got eyes and half a brain he has to want Fraser - but the poor dumb bastards are too hung up to act on it, and the whole thing fizzles out when Dudley heads back up to the frozen north to do his bleeding duty. Spike could almost feel sorry for the pair of them.

"You're telling me you didn't do anything about it."

"No, we didn't," Fraser admitted, not even trying to pretend any more.

"Well, you stupid wankers, both of you," Spike said.

"Perhaps," Fraser said in a hollow voice. "On the other hand, maybe it was for the best." He stared at Spike again, clutching his mug with both hands. "Why am I even discussing this with you?"

"People tell me stuff all the time. Must have a sympathetic face," Spike lied. Because you're so lonely it's killing you, he thought, and so desperate for a shag that I can feel it from across the room.

"Well, since we're exchanging such personal information, perhaps I could ask you a question," Fraser said.

"Go ahead."

"What exactly are you?"

Spike was upright in his chair in an instant. "What? Why d'you say what?"

"Like you, I'm not stupid," Fraser said calmly. "Even without Diefenbaker's confirmation of it, I would be perfectly well aware of the fact that you're not human."

It was Spike's turn to stare. "You knew that, and you still invited me in?"

Fraser shrugged, and waved an arm around the room dismissively. "What have I got to lose?"

"About seventeen pints of blood?"

"You're a vampire? I had assumed some kind of spirit being, although the undeniable solidity of your corporeal form would perhaps have indicated otherwise. I wasn't aware that vampires existed outside the realm of myth. I assume that's why you're here, then? To drink my blood?" He really sounded as if he couldn't care less, and Spike wondered briefly if Ray had any idea that his former partner was so far gone.

"Actually, no," Spike said. Fraser's eyes widened a bit, but he kept his face expressionless. "Not that I wouldn't in an instant, if I could. I'd sink my teeth into that pale smooth neck of yours faster than you could say 'Evil bloodsucking bastard', but I'd take my time draining you, let you feel it as it ebbed away." He was getting hard just thinking about it, and Fraser was simply staring, speechless.

"Unfortunately, it's not going to happen," Spike went on. "Bloody U.S. government has seen to that."

"I don't understand."

"They stuck a microchip in my head that stops me from harming humans. Original sodding laboratory guinea pig, that's me, and about as dangerous. Doesn't work on dogs, mind you, so you can stop looking at me like that," Spike said to the wolf, who'd stuck his nose out from under the table and was following the conversation avidly.

"Under the circumstances, Diefenbaker, it might be better if you went out to the shed," Fraser said, getting out of his chair and shooing the dog towards the doorway. Diefenbaker whined a bit, but the Mountie crouched down and fondled his ears, talking to him in a low voice. The dog barked sharply, twice, and slipped out of the opened door.

"Do you really expect me to believe your story?" Fraser said, returning to his chair, "that you're completely harmless?"

"Not completely, I hope," Spike growled. "But do you really think I'd have let your incompetent pillock of a junior arrest me if I'd had any choice in the matter?"

Fraser considered it for a moment, and tilted his head a little. "So if you're not able to drink my blood, what are you here for?"

Spike slid down in his chair and brought his right foot up to rest on his left knee, letting his thighs spread apart in the process. He grinned. "I thought that this time, I might use the cuffs on you."



In the end, it took a lot less persuasion than Spike had expected.

He knew that Fraser had wanted it from the outset, however frantically his brain had tried to convince him otherwise. How much was down to the whole bad boy thing dragging up memories of Ray and how much was pure self-destructive impulse, it was difficult to judge. Not that Spike gave a damn either way.

Fraser did make a half-hearted attempt to talk about risk, at which point Spike had to laugh.

"Believe me, mate, it hurts to have to tell you, but I'm a frigging walking advert for safe sex. I'm physically incapable of doing you any serious harm, my blood doesn't tolerate diseases, and I won't be around to go telling tales in the morning."

Fraser looked up sharply at that.

"Oh no," Spike went on, "how long d'you think I'd last in a one-horse town like this? It's the anonymity of the big city or the open road for me."

"I only have your word for any of this," Fraser said, still unsure.

"How much do you actually care?"

"Not enough, it seems."

Once he had one wrist cuffed to the bedpost, it didn't take long for Fraser to reveal where the spare set was kept, and pretty soon Spike had him stretched out naked across the mattress like a horizontal crucifixion, a sight that made Spike's cock swell uncomfortably in his jeans. He'd left his coat over the back of the chair but the rest of his clothes were staying on, in case Fraser needed reminding who was boss.

He sat for a while at the foot of the bed, just looking. Fraser had his head turned away and his eyes pressed shut. He still had the sense to grip the headboard bar with both hands, taking the pressure off his wrists, but he was breathing noisily and he was hard, had been since the start.

The sight of all that pale skin was making Spike a bit light-headed, but he wasn't about to rush into it. He was pretty sure that Fraser wasn't just expecting it to hurt, but was hoping for it, punishment for something he hadn't even done. Where was the fun in giving him what he wanted? The chip was enough to make sure it couldn't get violent, not violent enough for Spike, and besides, Fraser might look pretty, but any fool could see that he was seriously tough.

Pain was never going to break him.

So when Spike leaned forward to touch Fraser's chest he did it gently, and followed it up with lips that were as soft as he could make them.

His fingers found the pulse points straight away, and slid across warm skin, following the paths of arteries, as his senses flooded with awareness of the vital surge beneath. He licked the base of Fraser's neck, savouring salt and the complex, unique flavour of Fraser's humanity. One taste was nowhere near enough for Spike. Despite his intention to torment Fraser with a mockery of tenderness, he found himself sucking, hard, forcing the blood towards the surface until he could practically taste it, until Fraser was gasping beneath him, until the ache in his head swelled and sharpened into pain and he had to let go. So close, so frigging close.

It was torture, but at least he wasn't the only one suffering.

The first time his teeth closed around a nipple, testing the limits of the chip as much as Fraser's endurance, Fraser started to shake. With every bite, every mark on his chest and arms and belly, the shuddering intensified, but he made no sound beyond his unsteady breathing and the occasional astonished gasp. His head was still turned to the side and his eyes hadn't opened once.

Trying to ignore his own cravings, Spike moved down the bed to work on Fraser's thighs. They were solidly muscled and only lightly dusted with hair, and they spread apart at Spike's touch without a shred of resistance. Fucking hell, the man was gorgeous. It wasn't only the demon in Spike that wanted to sink his teeth right in.

It took a couple of minutes of licking and sucking up and down Fraser's legs to get a real reaction out of him, a kind of choked-off groan accompanied by a definite upward thrust of his hips. Spike grinned and kept going until he got a couple of repeats, then he slid up to straddle Fraser's body and leaned down close to his face. Very slowly, he licked the corner of the man's mouth before saying softly, "Too bad your Ray never got to see you like this, isn't it? Bet he'd have made you come by now, with those long fingers rammed right up your arse."

Fraser's head shifted, trying to turn further away from Spike, but had nowhere to go. His mouth was working, containing sounds he must have been desperate to make, but no amount of self-control could keep the tears in. Spike watched a single droplet emerge from the corner of a squeezed-shut eye and bent lower to catch it on his tongue. He didn't want Fraser thinking he hadn't noticed.

"That mouth of his would have looked great wrapped around your cock," he said as his hand skimmed over Fraser's body, "but he never even got to touch you like this."

He reached between them to grasp Fraser's cock firmly and stroked it a few times, watching carefully as the man's face contorted into a grimace of reluctant pleasure. It was good, but hearing him make some serious noise would be even better. Spike moved to the foot of the bed again and held Fraser's cock steady, vertical, while he brought his mouth down slowly. It was so hard, so full of hot blood he could feel it throbbing, feel the rush in his own veins in response. He closed his lips around the head and started to suck.

Fraser had either reached the end of his self-control or given up trying altogether. His hips were moving, pushing his cock up into Spike's mouth in an increasingly forceful rhythm. At first he was just grunting incoherently with the effort of it, but when Spike slid his lips down further, taking the whole solid length in and sucking greedily, Fraser started to moan. Fucking hell, yes, that was more like it.

Spike got a hand down to Fraser's balls and fondled them roughly, keeping up the full-on assault with his mouth. No way could the Mountie fight it now, no way he was even trying, thrusting and whimpering and shoving his dick up into Spike's throat like he'd never even heard of self-restraint. Spike kept going relentlessly until he felt Fraser tense, his balls tighten.

Right at the last moment he pulled away - mouth, hands, everything clear - and sat back on his heels to watch as Fraser came, spurting all over himself, twisting helplessly and groaning as if he was begging to be touched but couldn't remember the words. Well, let him beg. Spike had his own plans.

He waited until Fraser had calmed down a bit before leaning over and wiping his hand across the broad expanse of smooth chest, nicely messed up now with red marks and thick smears of come. Once his fingers were well coated, he nudged Fraser's thighs apart and his knees up, and moved to kneel between them. The hole was tight, and Spike had to ignore the dull thudding from the chip as he shoved one finger in, then two, turning and sliding them around. Fraser still had his head turned away, his neck stretched taut, tendons and veins clearly visible beneath the pale skin. Spike couldn't look at that for too long.

His right hand carried on working Fraser's hole while his left started on the buttons of his jeans. He paused for a moment to shove them down just far enough over his hips, then leaned forward on his left arm, pulling his right hand clear.

"You're going to look at me," he said. "You're going to watch me while I fuck you."

Fraser didn't move, except for his heaving chest.

"Believe me, you don't want to piss me off just now," Spike said, getting his cock lined up and pushing it in far enough to feel the squeeze. Bloody hell, it was tight. Fraser hadn't moved, so Spike pushed again, all the way in this time, the pressure around his cock almost as painful as the stabbing in his head.

Fraser was shaking again, his muscles clenching and relaxing around Spike as he tried to adapt. He drew his knees further up and shifted on the bed, breathing loudly through his nose.

Spike grinned, despite his own discomfort. "If you want me to move, you're going to have to open your eyes."

And Fraser did so at last, turning his head slowly and stretching his neck to the other side before settling back on the pillow and staring up at Spike. He countered Spike's smirk with a solemn face. Miserable, yes, but still defiant. His knuckles were pale where they gripped the headboard.

Spike suppressed his instinct to let it all go and just ravage the body beneath him, and instead moved slowly, gauging the slide, the tilt, the slight twist of his hips on each deep inward stroke. The lack of lube and Fraser's anxiety made it difficult at first, but Spike knew what he wanted, and knew he had the strength and control to get them there. He kept his eyes on Fraser's face, watching him fighting the overwhelming sensation, the pleasure welling up through the pain. The poor sod didn't stand a chance. Whatever he'd been expecting, it couldn't have been this.

It wasn't easy to hold back. Fraser was so hot and tight around him, and the way his face reflected his struggle made it even more beautiful. He was strong, too, stronger than Spike could have hoped. It took several minutes of slow, thorough fucking before he even began to surrender. The first sign was the deepening of the anxious line between his eyebrows. Then his teeth slid across his lower lip and his mouth fell slightly open, as his breathing grew increasingly shallow and rapid. Sweat was starting to bead on his forehead and neck, and when Spike dipped down on braced arms to lick it from his collarbone, he could feel the skin trembling faintly under his tongue. Locking his elbows again, Spike glanced down between them and saw that he was right: Fraser was fully erect. He forced himself to keep the rhythm steady.

When Fraser's feet shifted on the bed, his hips tilting and shoving hard against Spike on every downstroke, it was obviously time for Spike to let go. A dozen thrusts, deep and fast, and it was out of his control. Fraser gave a single, desperate shout, and that was it for Spike. He gave himself up to a scorchingly intense orgasm, groaning with the pure pleasure of it as he pumped into the incredible grip of Fraser's arse.

He held himself very still until it ended, then pulled away and knelt back on the bed, reaching for a corner of the sheet to wipe himself off.

He’d timed it perfectly, fucking Fraser to within an inch of coming, then pulling out and leaving him hanging. The man looked amazing, restrained and helpless, urgently aroused but trying so hard to keep quiet and still. Fuck, if Fraser were his, Spike would make sure that he spent most of his time that way.

"I wonder if Ray knows what he's missing?" he said, tucking his bits into his jeans and doing the buttons up.

Fraser didn't reply. He'd closed his eyes again, but he didn't seem to be able to control the shaking.

Spike crossed the room, fished in his coat pocket for his cigarettes and matches, and lit up quickly. As he drew in the first lungful, he caught sight of Fraser's face creasing into a frown. There should have been a sign up on the wall: Strap me down and fuck me senseless, but please don't smoke in the house. Spike laughed softly at the idea, and sat at the end of the bed where he could keep a hand on Fraser and enjoy his cigarette at the same time. He used the backs of his fingers to stroke gently now and then, just enough to make sure Fraser didn't lose interest without any danger of pushing him over. Fraser was still shuddering. How long would it take him to ask for it?

Spike had smoked his cigarette all the way down to the butt before Fraser actually spoke. His voice was surprisingly even, given the state he was in.

"Are you going to release my arms?"

Spike got up and dropped the fag end into a tin water cup on the bedside table. He looked down at Fraser thoughtfully.

"I'm not sure," he said. "I'm thinking about leaving you here, taking the car, and calling in an anonymous tip from the other side of town. D'you think Ginger would enjoy finding you like this? My guess is, any of them would. It'd do your reputation no end of good, as well. No more Mr. Straightlaced."

Fraser was tense all over and he was biting his lip, but his dick wasn't getting any softer.

"Of course, to do it properly I'd need a dildo and a cock ring," Spike added, watching gleefully as Fraser's dick twitched at the words. "I don't suppose you've got any tucked away in one of these drawers?"

"Let me go," Fraser said in a low voice.

"Now that surprises me. I'd have thought your mother would have brought you up better than that, good little Mountie like you," Spike drawled, settling in at the foot of the bed, his fingers back in position.


It wasn't much more than a whisper, but it was almost enough to get Spike hard again. "That's more like it," he said, but he carried on playing with Fraser's cock a little longer, bringing him right back to the brink just for the hell of it. Letting him go was a waste of an opportunity, but Spike was curious to see how he'd deal with his hard-on - and his embarrassment - once he was free.

He left Fraser gasping and went over to the dresser for the keys, returning to the bed and unlocking the cuffs quickly and without comment. Fraser's first move was to flex and rub his wrists. He didn't make any attempt to cover himself up, didn't grab for his cock - which must have been aching pretty seriously by that stage - but instead stared at Spike for a second before twisting round and delving in the cupboard by the bed.

Spike was expecting ointment or tissues or something sensible, but what emerged in Fraser's hand was a knife, a bloody huge blade on a curved bone handle that looked as if it had seen years of use. There was hardly time for Spike to consider his options before the knife was gliding towards him. He was about to catch Fraser's wrist when he realised that he wasn't the target.

"This is what you really want, isn't it?" Fraser said coolly, and sliced the flesh of his own upper thigh in one sweet, clean cut. It was nowhere near an artery, nor particularly deep, but blood was already welling to the surface, vivid and sharp-smelling.

"Fuck me!" Spike was on his knees at the bedside, every muscle screaming with tension, his eyes riveted to the wound.

"Not an option, I'm afraid." Fraser was frigging laughing at him. "Sucking, however, is acceptable."

Fucking hell. Fraser was going to attack him with the knife while he wasn't paying attention, maybe take his head right off and end it, and Spike didn't - couldn't - care. More than two years since he'd tasted human blood that hadn't been plastic-packed and there it was, inches away from him, trickling from the edges of the cut, staining the skin around it, and the rich, heady smell of it more than he could bear. Fraser could do what the fuck he liked. Spike had to drink.

He got his head down and fastened his mouth around the cut, no licking and teasing this time. It was better than he could have imagined, better than he remembered, better even than the wild hot dreams that had plagued him ever since the Initiative got inside his head and messed him up. This was real and intoxicating and alive and he could taste it all: the tang of adrenaline and sex, the sweetness of a sudden glucose rush, the good strong metallic flavour of a healthy, active man and fuck, he could drink for ever and never get enough of it. He clutched the edge of the bed with one hand and Fraser's hip with the other and sucked fiercely, only vaguely aware of the hand resting on his head, fingers running through his hair to grip his skull hard.

He tasted it before he registered the noise, made sense of it and realised what Fraser was doing. Without taking his mouth away from the wound he screwed his eyes up to focus at such close range. Fraser's hand was wrapped around his own cock and he was pumping it furiously, fifteen, maybe twenty strokes before he gasped, "Oh, God!" and came all over himself again, his fingers digging into Spike's scalp all the while.

Fuck, so hot. Dizzy with it, Spike forgot the chip and bit down hard into Fraser's thigh. The sudden pain in his head was excruciating and he yelled, losing his grip just as Fraser pushed him away and sent him sprawling to the floor.

It took a while for Spike to get it together, with Fraser’s blood still warm in his mouth. When he finally pushed himself back up to his knees, he saw that Fraser was stretched out with his hands over his face as if he was having a bit of trouble recovering, too. Spike stared at the smear of red across his thigh, the bruises on his chest, spunk bloody well everywhere, and experienced a sudden and unshakeable realisation.

The bastard had got the better of him.

And Spike couldn't even hate him for it. If things were different, he'd turn Fraser, unleash all that quiet strength and see what they could really do together. Like all the virtuous ones, Fraser would probably turn out to have the most exquisite talent for evil once the demon took over. Spike shivered at the thought of him half-clothed in tight leather, writhing under the whip - or better yet, wielding it with that powerful right arm -

The sound of the drawer opening again brought him back to the moment, and this time Fraser really was going for the ointment and dressings. Spike watched unhappily as the cut disappeared under gauze, then got to his feet and went for his coat.

"I don't know about you," Fraser said from behind him in a perfectly neutral, pleasant voice, "but I could do with another cup of tea."

Spike shook his head and stifled a laugh. So much for breaking this one. He hadn't even come close.



While Fraser pottered about in the kitchen - warming the pot and measuring out the tea leaves, no doubt - Spike found himself drawn to the pictures on the bookcase. He studied the photo of Fraser and Ray closely, and felt an inexplicable anger simmering its way to the surface.

"Here you are," Fraser said, handing him a mug.

"Thanks," Spike said gruffly, then added, "Have you looked at this recently?"

"Of course. I look at my photographs every day."

"Don't act clueless," Spike said. "I mean you and Ray. Look how happy the two of you were. Didn't you realise it at the time?"

"I knew that I loved him very much," Fraser said in a soft voice, "and I still do."

Spike snorted expressively. "Bollocks. I don't think you even know what love means."

"You cannot presume to tell me how I feel."

Spike put his mug down on the shelf and turned from the picture to gaze at Fraser. "I know that if you really loved him, loved him till you were breathing it, tasting it, feeling it running in your veins, you wouldn't be up here moping around with no friends, no life, and screwing a random vampire the nearest thing to intimacy you've had in years. You'd be doing whatever needed to be done to be with him. For fuck's sake, I'm the evil blood-sucking bastard round here, and I have more love in my so-called life than you do."

Fraser was frowning, trying to contain his annoyance. "You have no idea," he said. "No idea at all how difficult it was. You may be able to rampage around the country doing exactly as you please, but Ray and I had - have - responsibilities. His family and his job, my own career -"

"Bugger responsibilities!" Spike interrupted. "Bugger the lot of it. Love has nothing to do with all that crap. You put him first, and all the rest has to fit round it. If you love him enough, it's that simple."

Fraser was shaking his head. He looked defeated, and for some reason that made Spike angrier still.

"Look," he poked a finger at Fraser's shoulder for emphasis. "You say you love Ray. Did you even bother to tell him so? I thought not. Well, that's where you start. Get on the sodding phone - or even better, get on a sodding plane - and tell him how you feel, at least give it a chance to work out. Everything else can go on hold. What the fuck are you waiting for?"

"I'm fairly certain it's too late."

"Why? Has he moved on? Got married? Found himself a fancy-man?"

"Not as far as I know."

"Well then. You'd be a bloody fool to let it go just because you haven't the balls to do anything about it. You said it yourself, you haven't exactly got a lot to lose. You're killing yourself here, and fuck knows I'd do it for you if things were different, but -" Spike broke off as if he were hearing himself for the first time, and shook his head in disgust.

"What is it?" Fraser asked, and there was something different in his tone. Spike glared at him. What the hell was he smiling at?

"Listen to me, talking a load of sentimental bollocks," Spike said roughly, making a grab for his tea and swigging it down.

"Actually, I thought you were beginning to make some sense," Fraser said. "It's been a long time since anybody spoke to me quite so openly, other than Diefenbaker, of course, and his opinions - while invariably well-meant – do tend towards an inevitable canine bias."

Bloody hell, maybe there was hope for the poor bastard yet. Spike started to grin, and remembered himself just in time.

"Yeah, well, I must have been hanging round the Scoobies for too long, or watching too much daytime TV. It's obviously time I went home to Sunnydale, kicked some demon heads, got back in touch with my inner evil."

"I haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about," Fraser said, and damn, he looked good when he smiled, "but I'd be happy to drive you as far as your motel."

Spike stared at him for a moment, the picture-perfect Mountie with not a single hair out of place. How the hell had he managed to transform himself so quickly? There was so much more to him than you'd think. Too bad he couldn't stick around for a while, see what else he could uncover. But there was a place a mile or so back down the road with a half-decent jeep outside, and Spike had a long way to go.

"Well?" Fraser was saying. "Shall I go and start the car?"

"No, thanks." This time Spike allowed himself to return the smile. "The walk will do me good."