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Angel walked in to Spike’s suite at the Hyperion without knocking.

He never knocked on Spike’s door. That much of their relationship hadn’t changed since his return. No matter how much they worked together, backed each other up, no matter how many assurances he got from his own team and from the lab rats at Wolfram and Hart, this was still just Spike, the irritating, aggravating, untrustworthy thorn in his side for one hundred and twenty years. Vampire or no, that hadn’t changed

When Spike had moved into the hotel, Angel deliberately broke the lock on his door. Spike had smiled benignly, that cocky, knowing smile and said he preferred an open door policy. “I’m used to people coming and going from my place at all hours.” Angel had ignored the innuendo.

He flipped the switch by the door, bringing to life the sofa lamps to light the room softly, allowing him to see the clutter in the sitting room clearly. Clothes were scattered over the chair and love seat, beer bottles strewn around where they’d been put down and forgotten. Every flat surface was stacked with books and scrolls, several of Wesley’s special prophecy volumes dotting the piles. The only space that was clear was the desk. Books neatly stacked, glasses folded carefully, the only distraction from the order being the blotter paper on the pad in the center of the desk, shaded dark with tightly cribbed notes and doodles demonstrating the chaos and order that still warred in Spike’s brain.

He set the book he carried and Spike’s translation down on the desk. Buffy was visiting, in town to meet with the local slayers as she tried to do every couple of months. LA had an unusually high number, nine girls found so far, so the Council was keeping a closer eye on the situation. Angel wanted to spend time with her when she woke up, but he had to get this business dealt with first. And if that meant waking Spike out of a sound sleep to go over his notes, then so be it. He strode to the bedroom.

The smell of sex hit him a moment before the sounds did. But it was already too late.

He knew without looking what he would see. But he couldn’t not look.

Spike lay naked on his back in the middle of the bed, all of the linen and pillows scattered about on the floor nearby. Buffy straddled him, her hair heavy with sweat, her bare breasts heaving from desire and exertion, one hand against his stomach for balance, the other reaching back to curl around the leg supporting her as she rode him fiercely, eagerly, far enough gone to be beyond words.

Angel hid in the shadows behind the open archway leading into the room. This was private; he shouldn’t be here. And he shouldn’t be getting aroused by it. But he was, and all the guilt and shame he felt wasn’t enough to make his feet move.

Her movements became erratic, short jerky thrusts accompanied by her low grunts of pleasure. Spike coaxed her along, never taking his eyes off her face. “So bloody beautiful. You were made for this, Buffy. All violence and passion and ecstasy. You are life giving. Take it.” His right hand slid over her belly and down to the point where they were joined, stroking her hard. “Take your pleasure. You’ve earned it”

Her head snapped back with a cry as her whole body spasmed, bucking against him despite his attempts to hold her in place. He took over, thrusting deep into her, encouraging her with each stroke. “That’s my girl. Take it all. Feel it. Beautiful, beautiful girl.” She whimpered and with one final thrust collapsed on top of him. He gathered her close, smoothing her hair as he placed soothing kisses over her face. Finally, she sighed blissfully and slid off him to curl up in his arms.

Angel felt a wave of possessiveness overwhelm him as he watched their afterglow. How dare Spike touch her, pleasure her like they were old and comfortable lovers? That was his place, not Spike’s.

Spike smiled and kissed the top of her head. “How’re you feeling?”

“Mmmm, sensual,” she purred into his throat.

“That you are, love. All sex and blood and life. Made me feel alive even when I was dead.”

She arched against him as she kissed his mouth in response, her free hand sliding down his body to stroke his still hard cock. “But you didn’t get to . . .”

“S’okay. Just wanted to make you feel good.”

“I want you to feel good, too, Spike.” She continued stroking his shaft softly as she sucked lightly along his jaw and neck.

He closed his eyes in pleasure at her touch. “Mmmm. But you’re too sore. I’ll keep.”

“I’m not sore everywhere.”

He pushed back to look down at her. “You suggesting what I think you are, pet?”

She lowered her eyes modestly. “Only if it pleases you, sir.” The words were submissive, but her tone was all challenge.

“Christ, Slayer, what you do to a man.” He crushed her to him, kissing her breathless. Finally he pulled back. “How do you want to play this, pet?”

She rolled on her back, stretching decadently against the bare white sheet on the bed. Her tongue slid between her teeth in imitation of the seductive gesture Angel had seen from Spike so many times. She slid her hands slowly down her body, drawing seen and unseen eyes to every curve and hollow she touched. “Spike?” Her voice was innocent, almost childlike as she spoke. “I definitely want to play rough.”

“Witch!” He cursed as he threw himself on her, devouring her with mouth and hands and hips. “I’ll give you rough.” He reached over the edge of the bed as he kissed her, groping around until he found his pants, slipping the belt out of the waist. He flipped her onto her stomach and wrenched one arm behind her back, arching into her backside as he grabbed her other wrist and dragged it down to meet the first in the small of her back. In an instant, he had the belt wrapped around her wrists.

This was too far, too much, more than Angel could take. A predatory growl forming at the base of his throat, he moved to step out of the shadows.

“How’s that, love?” Spike’s soft question stopped him.

Buffy’s answer made his blood run cold and hot. “Tighter.”

Spike cinched the belt tighter with a jerk and dropped her on her face on the mattress. She was facing the doorway, her eyes closed eagerly, and all Angel could see was anticipation and desire written in every feature.

She wanted this.

Spike stepped away to the bedside table but returned a moment later, crawling up from the foot of the bed to kneel behind her. He slipped an arm under her waist and lifted her onto her knees, his cock resting perfectly between her cheeks. He slid it back and forward lightly, hands smoothing over each perfectly shaped globe. “I love your ass,” he growled, never taking his eyes off it. “It’s so firm and fleshy.” He reached back and slapped it lightly, making her gasp against the mattress. “And sensitive.” He slapped it again, harder, then smoothed away the sting with his tongue. He smacked the other side and she moaned, leaning into it. Hands and tongue abused and caressed her until her ass was rose red and tender. “Beautiful.” He slid a hand between her thighs, gently stroking the sensitive skin there. “You enjoying this so far?” She gasped as he made contact. “Ah, I see you are.” He dug deeper, drawing a cry from her, then drew a line of her juices up to trace circles around the tight knot at her back entrance. “Are you ready for more?”

She nodded eagerly.

He reached down and grabbed the tube he had retrieved from the nightstand, squeezing the wet gel into his hand before sliding it up and down the length of his cock.

It took all of Angel’s restraint not to copy the actions himself.

Spike’s now-slick hand went to her ass, sliding up and down and around, preparing her for him. He twisted a finger into her tight opening slowly, making her whimper like a child. He smiled in pleasure, but snapped, “Shut up. You love it and you know it.”

She arched into his hand. “I’m sorry.”

“Say it.” He forced a second finger in.

“Oh God! I’m sorry, I do love it, oh god Spike, please . . .”

“You sure you’re ready?”

“Yes oh yes PLEASE.”

“Your command is my wish.” He centered himself behind her and slowly, relentlessly pushed in.

Angel watched the head disappear as Buffy sobbed her ecstasy. Spike grabbed her pelvic bones and pulled her inch by inch back over his length, then pushed her just as slowly off. He began to continue the slow movement when she growled at him. “Just fuck me, Spike.”

His eyes rolled up in his head. “Christ.” And he slammed deep into her.

“Oh god yes! Harder!”

He clutched at her and rammed into her, pulling and pushing and grinding deeper and deeper until she was keening her pleasure. Angel saw Spike’s body tighten and his head come up as his release swept over him.

As he came, he met Angel’s eyes.

His hips jerked as the muscles in her ass tightened, her pleasure pulling the last drops of his cum deep inside her, but he never dropped his gaze from Angel. She collapsed on the bed, her legs spent, and he dropped next to her, releasing the belt to free her arms to flop next to her, kissing her wrists lovingly.

She giggled.

That was more than Angel could stand. Hard and disturbed and wanting, he fled the room silently.

Spike followed him into the hall a moment later, buttoning and zipping his pants, his hair still rumpled from her fingers. “Like what you saw, mate?” he asked quietly.

“Not particularly, no.”

“Good. Then you won’t try that again. My bed is her sanctuary, and I’ll kill anyone who tries to take that away from her.”

“You call that sanctuary?”

“For her, damn right. It’s the one place in the world where she can put aside all the burdens and expectations the world’s dumped on her and just be herself.”

“That’s not her.”

“No? Mate, she’s got a dark streak that’d make a normal man’s dick shrivel up with the fear of it. Not that you’d know ‘bout that, as busy as you are worshiping at the altar of St. Buffy the Immaculate.”

“While you’re busy degrading her.”

“If that’s what she wants, yeah. It’s a relief to her to be able to give up control for a while. And sometimes,” he stepped in closer, his eyes smoky and seductively heavy, “she wants all the control and I have to just hold on and scream. And sometimes, sometimes if I’m very, very lucky, there is no control, it’s just about being, and I can pour everything into her and come out clean on the other side.”

“Does she love you?”

“It’s not about that, don’t you get it? It’s not about me an’ her, it’s not about you and her, it’s about her. She’s got Dawnie, and the Scoobies, and all those mini-Slayers, and the Council and the whole fucking world looking to her to protect them, to lead them They all need her, and she can’t help but do for them. This is the one place where it’s safe for her to need. And if you do anything, anything to take this away from her, to make her feel bad or dirty about it, I’ll rip you into pieces so small you’ll make dust look big.”

Angel’s eyes tightened. “And what happens when she falls in love with someone else?”

He saw the pain flash in Spike’s eyes, but the blond just shrugged. “’S up to her. At least I’ll always have you. Now get lost.” And he slipped back into the room.

Angel slumped back against the wall, eyes closed in pain, trying to block out Spike’s words. They were disturbing and uncomfortable and reminded him too much of where he had failed her during their time together. He thought of another time Spike had lectured him about her. “You’ll fight, and you’ll shag and you’ll hate each other ‘til it makes you quiver, but you’ll never be friends.”

He could be friends with her now.

And he didn’t think his soul would ever be in danger from her again.