Cordelia shuffled robotically through the process of starting her morning coffee, half asleep and resenting the ‘half’ part.
“Eek!” Cordelia dropped the coffee can, spraying brown powder all over the tiny kitchenette. Spike’s lips twisted, trying to paste a contrite smile over his smirk and failing. He crouched on the fire escape outside the window, leering in like a gargoyle.
“Can I come in?” He batted his eyelashes.
“No. A thousand, million, hundred million ‘no’s.”
He shifted a little lower. “Come on, princess. You know I’d never hurt you.”
Cordy crossed her arms. “Ha. Funny. By all means, stay there while I go get my crossbow.”
Spike pouted. “Would you really shoot a bloke who braved the sun and code-violating fire escapes to see you?”
Cordy picked up her crossbow from the sofa – and how had her life evolved to the point where she even owned a crossbow, much less could find it faster than her shoes? – and aimed it the window.
Spike dodged the first bolt. “You’re beautiful when you’re homicidal,” he said.
She chipped a nail reloading and groaned in frustration. “I haven’t had enough coffee for this.”
Spike frowned thoughtfully. “Wait right there.” And he dropped from sight.
Cordy carefully unloaded the crossbow and set it back on the sofa. “Where would I go? I’m in MY apartment and there’s a vampire outside.”
She got out the nail kit and sat at the kitchen table, filing her broken nail while the coffee brewed. She just about had it repaired when a soft sound drew her gaze back to the window. Spike was there again, with a brown paper bag and a Starbucks cup. He waved, left his two items on the sill, and vanished in a flap of leather coat-tails.
Cordy nearly dropped her nail file. She peered out the window at every available angle, but didn’t see Spike laying in wait, so finally she gave in and grabbed the goodies. A double shot grande caramel macchiato and a cinnamon bun. Her favorites. She peered even more suspiciously at the fire escape. Just what was the peroxide menace up to?
Naturally, the first thing she did was tell Angel Spike was stalking around her apartment. “I need a raise fast so I can get a new place,” she added. “Any time now.”
Angel, as usual, ignored the more important part of the conversation. “I’ll watch your place tonight. If he comes within a block, I’ll find him.”
“You’d think he’d leave after the royal arse-kicking we gave him,” Doyle said. “Maybe I can dig around town, find if anyone demonish knows where he’s staying?”
Cordy was relieved the boys were on the job and it wasn’t her problem anymore. Well, except for the thing with the coffee – that still bothered her, but she didn’t mention it.
After lunch, she slipped out to do a little shopping. The office needed supplies, after all, and there was an office supply store on the other side of the nearest mall. She’d just walk through it, first.
She was gazing longingly at a pair of very nice knock-off Manalo Blahnik’s when a puff of breath hit her cheek. “Hello, gorgeous.”
Cordy shrieked and jumped back. “Is nothing sacred? This is a shopping mall!”
Spike smirked and rocked back on his heels, hands in his pockets. “Public space. And all nice and indoors.” He looked up at the ceiling appreciatively. “It’s a wonder we’re not all mall rats.”
“What the HELL is going on, Spike? Why are you stalking me?”
Spike did a poor job of looking offended and nodded toward the shop window. “Fancy those little toe-torture devices, love? I could nick ‘em for you.”
Cordelia carefully kept her eyes on Spike as she backed away. He looked pouty, and something clicked in her head. “What, do you need a job reference or something? Why are you buttering me up? Because I have to tell you – there IS no buttering me up. It’d take more than a pair of shoes to get me to forget a half dozen life-threatening situations all staring you.”
“Maybe I just fall for girls who wave crossbows at me.” Spike touched his top lip with his tongue.
“You have me confused with Buffy. I don’t date the undead.”
“More’s the pity for the undead.” Spike rolled his eyes and leaned against a pillar, looking even more like a mall rat than before. “Come on, now, isn’t there some frustrating little spark of chemistry between you and Angelus? Some piquant little torture for him, what with his no-nookie problem?”
Cordelia narrowed her eyes at Spike, pointed, then turned and strode away, heels clicking hard on the marble tile.
Spike ran to catch up to her, dodging around pillars, other mall patrons, and shafts of light from the skylights above. It made him look even more like an eager puppy. “All right – where did I go wrong? Too eager? Not enough compliments? That is a lovely skirt, by the way.”
Cordelia kept her eyes forward, her steps purposeful. “Oh no – I’m on to you. You’re just trying to make Angel jealous.”
Spike jumped in front of her, hands on his hips. “I do not give a rat’s tit what that poofter thinks.”
“Right. Back in my Sophomore year, this guy, Dave? He tried to get me to go out with him just because his brother wanted to date me. It’s not worth the free food to go on a date that isn’t about ME, okay?”
Cordelia didn’t realize she’d stepped that close to him until Spike smiled slyly at her. “You’re gorgeous when you’re angry.”
Cordelia scowled, rolled her eyes, and pushed him hard in the chest.
Spike sighed loudly. “I can see the seduction isn’t working.”
“You’ve got it, skinny. I like my men big and muscled.”
Spike raised his eyebrows and smiled playfully, then punched Cordelia in the jaw.
She woke up sitting on concrete, in a warehouse that smelled of mildew and rust. “Ugh!” She jerked upright, realizing her head had been resting on a piece of driftwood.
Spike sat cross-legged on a table in front of her, doing his nails. “You know, the seduction route really would have been more fun for you. I was going to make you scream, make you beg - just so I could know you’d be thinking of me every time another bloke failed to take you that high.”
Cordelia tugged the rusty chains, feeling them scrape hollowly against some steel beam behind her. “First off, fashion mistake, you’re not the first guy to claim to be god’s gift and not deliver. Second off, I prefer my men with more moral sense than a Labrador.”
“Woof,” Spike said with a wide open grin.
It was one chain, she realized – her right hand pulled the left back as she reached. She could saw the chain against the post. Rust flakes rained down, but the chain didn’t weaken. She groaned and rested back against the hard t-shaped beam behind her. “You suck,” she said.
“Yeah,” he said, like it was a compliment, “For hours and hours.”
The rumbling tone of his voice and the image it brought up caused a twinge in Cordelia that she chose to put down to extremely early-onset Stockholm syndrome. She scooted forward, getting the feel for how much room she had to move. The chain slipped down the pole a bit and she had more freedom with her hands. Then she noticed her skirt had ridden up and Spike was tilting his head as though to see up it. She curled her legs back. He nylons snagged. They were probably already trashed. Spike ignored her for a bit, finishing his nails. Then he blew on them and looked up, the first hint of impatience. He kept glancing back at the doors.
Cordelia continued to work the chain lower. It made a terrible rattling noise, but Spike hardly glanced her way. “If you’re expecting Angel to come to the rescue, maybe you should have waited until after dark, genius. What’s with you and the sun, anyway? Do you think a tan would make that hair color look more natural?”
Spike gave her a smirk and hopped off the table. He wandered about a bit, hands out and fingers splayed as his nail polish dried. Cordelia wondered if pointing out how girly that looked would get her hurt or not. When he paused and ran his hand through a stray shaft of light, seemingly just for fun, she decided not to mention it.
He paced, checked the door again, and muttered, “Christ, this is boring.”
“Really? Because I’m having a great time feeling my butt go numb on this concrete.”
Spike blinked at her, stretched, and sauntered up to her. Cordy told herself she wouldn’t, but she did flinch back when he crouched down. “I could think of a way to while away the hours.”
“Maybe you should think about what Angel will do to you when he gets here, instead.”
“Guess you aren’t special to him after all. Maybe I should have gone after the little mick? Not really my type, but I’m flexible.”
“Angel will be here any minute and you’d better hope you’re watching for him when he comes.”
Spike considered this. He glanced back to the doorway again. “Nah,” he said at last, turning to Cordy again. “He’s more the ‘wait in the shadows and see what my nefarious plan is’ type, isn’t he?” He reached for Cordelia’s cheek. “So we may as well have fun.”
Cordy jerked her head back from his touch. “Industrial decay and bondage don’t help your seduction technique.”
“Give it a try,” he said, half a laugh in his voice, and leaned in to kiss her.
Perhaps part of her was still thinking of that ‘hours and hours’ comment, but she did not shake him off nearly fast enough – not until she’d felt his tongue against hers.
“Ack!” she said, “Gross! Corpse lips!”
His breath was cool and moist on her ear. “Careful, love. I can smell how ‘disgusted’ you are.” And then his hand crept up her thigh.
So Cordelia was perfectly justified in using the slack in her chain caused by her backing up to flip Spike over and pin him. He looked up at her in surprise as she held the chain over his throat, and then laughed. “That’s a girl!” He lifted his hips, bucking up under her and she felt weightless for a moment before he rolled on top of her.
“Ow!” Cordelia grabbed the chain, which was caught in her hair.
“Easy,” Spike said, sliding up her side, his hands joining hers on the chains. Cordelia wasn’t sure if he was trying to help or cop a feel so she kneed him in the stomach. They twisted around each other, struggling, until they were entangled and unable to move.
Spike huffed a breath directly in her face – they were face-to-face now, against the iron post. “Excellent work, princess.”
Seeing him so close, Cordy’s eyes got wide and she quickly said, “If you kill me you’ll be stuck chained to a post with a corpse.”
Spike rolled his eyes, “Not that I wasn’t thinking of it. Can you lift your arm?”
“No I can’t lift my arm! You’re the one who isn’t chained up!”
Spike twisted against her, trying to get his shoulder under hers.
He tried once more and paused. “What’s hurting?”
Cordelia bit her lip and tried to look away from him.
Spike smiled. “Well now! No time for that, sweetheart. I really am trying to get away from you.”
“Do it with less… wriggling.”
He very deliberately wiggled. “Can’t help it I have a tight little body that gets you hot.”
While he was, in fact, surprisingly well-muscled and those hard muscles were rather pleasant to have rubbed up against her, Cordelia kept her ‘unimpressed’ face on and turned her attention to getting her legs under her so she could maybe lift up a bit and then Spike could get out of the loop of her arms and the chains.
Spike unfortunately had a similar idea and they rose a bit together, and then her hair really did catch and she tried to twist to get her elbow free so she could smack him with it and they tumbled over onto their sides.
“This plan certainly went tits-up,” Spike remarked into her hair. “Hang on, think I have a hand free…” Said hand finger-walked up her stomach between them and Cordelia had to laugh.
“Well, it would have been more fun without the chains,” Spike admitted, then reflected, “actually, there could have been chains anyway, and just as much fun… but no, you had to be all virtuous!”
“I wasn’t being virtuous,” Cordlia said, and it was ironic that her leg was slung over Spike’s hip when she said that. (She was trying to get some leverage back so they could untwist.) “You’re just not my type.”
Spike got his hands near to her waist and lifted. “What, big and broody? Imagine being tangled up with HIM.”
“He’s my boss.” Cordelia managed to get one knee hooked over Spike’s arm – she was close to getting one of them free. “Which has nothing to do with why I like big, muscular men.”
“Almost there,” Spike said, and waggled his eyebrows because his face was almost to her crotch.
Cordelia got ahold of the iron post and started to feel herself lifting free of Spike.
The heavy metal doors to the warehouse burst open with a loud sound and Spike turned to look, causing Cordy to lose her tenuous grip and fall on top of him again.
“Bugger,” Spike said – but it came out more like “Mugger” against the flesh of Cordelia’s thigh.
Angel looked down at Cordelia and Spike, wrapped up in a thick rusty chain and each other. His mouth hung a little open.
“Hi,” Cordy said brightly. “Little help?”
Angel shook his head slightly, the stunned expression fading. He crouched next to Cordelia and pulled her skirt down off of Spike’s face.
Spike looked at Angel and said, “Well fuck me.”
“To start,” Angel said.
Cordy had to admit she liked the slightly evil look on Angel's face, and the way Spike began to flail in panic under her. Well, she didn't like that when the chains jerked against her, but she knew that pretty soon the chains would be only on him, and the rest of the afternoon was going to be interesting, indeed.