Willow smiled a purely feminine smile as she led the way through the woods. In an hour, she would be joined by her Lord, her Horned God, her Mate for Beltane. And she was thoroughly looking forward to it. After all, she hadn't been with Angel for almost a full cycle of the Wheel of the Year.
She let her mind drift back to the first time she'd preformed the Beltane ritual six years ago. She'd been a novice Wiccan then, celebrating her first Beltane alone. She had thought that not having a male partner for the ritual and celebration would not matter. Little did she realize that the Dark Lady would take matters into her own hands.
That night, and every year since, the Dark Lady became one with her and called for her Horned God. And every year, he would come and they would mate and love and be one with each other.
Over the passing years, the ritual changed. First, Angel and Willow had to let go of any mortal ties that made them feel guilty. Once they did that, what they learned had brought a deeper understanding to their lives, as well as a sense of wholeness when they were together.
Then Amy had joined her circle, followed by Cordelia. Willow had not once thought the brunette, who had moved to Los Angeles with Angel, would want to be a part of the ritual. But Angel's yearly sojourns to Sunnydale on April 29th had piqued her curiosity and the dark-haired vampire told her what occurred. Cordelia had approached Willow on the day of the 30th and asked more questions and the redhead invited her to join them that night.
Now, a fourth was joining their circle, completing the last Quarter and changing the ritual once more. Willow smiled at the blond Slayer, who babbled nervously as they come closer to the clearing in the woods.
"Are you sure about this whole naked thing?" Buffy asked.
"Believe me, Buffy, you won't even realize you're naked," Willow answered. "Besides, sometimes being sky-clad during a celebration and ritual is very empowering."
"But just think of all the things that could be watching us," Buffy pointed out. "Animals, or people, or-or vampires!"
"Don't worry," Willow placated her best friend. "We'll be safe in the circle of protection. Only those we call will be let in."
"That's another thing I still don't get," the Slayer said as she caught sight of the firelight ahead of them. "Who are we calling? And how, by cell phone?"
Willow smiled and shook her head. "By nature, Buffy. By the gods and goddesses. By the elements..."
"By the Force, Luke?" Buffy teased.
Willow playfully swatted at her. "Very funny."
The two old friends giggled as they entered the clearing. The Beltane fire was already lit in what was to be the center of the circle. The Quarter markers were all in place in the four directions -- north, south, east and west -- and upon them, waiting to be used, sat the symbolic representations of the elements associated with the Quarter.
"Bright Blessings, Amy," Willow greeted as she gave her fellow Wiccan a hug
"Bright Blessings, Willow," Amy returned. "And to you, Buffy, Merry Meet."
"Um, hi," Buffy replied.
"When's Cordy getting here?" Willow asked.
"Cordelia's coming?" Buffy said in surprise. "I though it was just you, me and Amy."
"No, Cordy's been doing this with us for two years now," Amy answered. "This will be her third."
"Are you talking about me behind my back?" Cordelia asked as she came into the clearing, dressed as the other three women. The smile on her face belayed her sharp tone. "Bright Blessings on this beautiful Beltane."
"Merry Meet, Cordy and let me guess, English final?" Willow joked.
"Bright Blessings and are you ever going to get your degree?" Amy added.
"At the rate I'm taking classes -- no," Cordelia answered, kicking her shoes off and setting them outside of the circle. "Plus, fang face has me running these stupid errands all the time. I swear, Will, why you called that stubborn vampire is beyond me."
"I didn't chose him," Willow replied, setting candles around the circle and lighting them. "The Dark Lady called her Mate and it just happened to be him.
"Right, and all that salty goodness had nothing to do with it," Cordelia said.
"Are you talking about Angel?" Buffy asked Cordelia and Willow.
"Of course," Cordelia replied with a frown for the Slayer. "Who else?"
"Cordy, she doesn't know exactly what goes on here," Amy told the former cheerleader.
Cordelia's smile grew to wicked proportions. "They you are in for a very interesting night, Buffy."
"Cordy, behave," Willow admonished. Amy set out four Athames, one for each of them, at the four Quarters as Willow explained the Beltane ritual in further detail to Buffy. "Buffy, like I told you earlier, Beltane is the celebration of fertility. It is the time when the Lady mates with the Horned God."
"By mate, you mean have sex?" Buffy asked.
"It's a little more than just sex," Willow answered. "But, yeah."
The Slayer looked at the other three. "So, we're out here to have an orgy. The four of us with... Angel?"
Cordelia snorted and Amy stifled her laugh as they continued their preparations. "Buffy," Cordelia said. "As much as I love Angel as a friend, in no way do I want to have sex with a dead guy. That's just too eew for me."
"Besides, the Horned God is only called to the Dark Lady," Amy said. "The rest of us have our own Mates."
"Explain please?" Buffy asked with a helpless look at Willow.
"We have our own men to fuck until dawn," Cordy answered in Willow's stead.
"That's a blunt way of putting it," Amy commented.
Cordelia shrugged. "It's true."
"Buffy, when we call the goddess to embody us, we each get a certain one," Willow said. "And that particular goddess calls her specific god, who is embodied in a male counterpart. Mine is Angel. He is the Horned God to my Dark Lady."
"Mine is Oz," Amy said with an impish grin. "He is the God of the Beasts to my Goddess of the Hunt."
"What about you, Cordelia?" Buffy asked.
"Xander," Cordelia answered offhandedly.
Buffy's eyes widened in shock. "But I thought you two hated each other. I didn't even know you spoke to each other."
"We do and we don't," she replied. "But I am the Dark Mother of Mortals and he is the Dark Father."
"But how can you two...you know," Buffy said, then looked at Amy and Willow. "And you two. I know Amy and Oz are together, but Wills, you're not with Angel."
"It's not our time to be together yet," Willow replied with a wise smile for her friend. "We both have things we need to do before we will be as one outside of the Beltane rite."
"And before you ask," Cordelia spoke up. "This is the only time a year I get to feel complete. I'm not ready to take on Xander in the real world yet and he isn't ready for me, either. But one day..." She trailed off with a wistful smile.
"Buffy, you don't have to participate if you don't want to," Willow told her best fiend. "You can go home and bully Spike into doing his good deeds for the night."
"But Pinky, that's what I do every night," Buffy complained.
"How is your evil, pet vampire these days?" Cordelia asked.
"Annoying, petulant, whiney," Buffy replied. "And many other synonyms. One of these days, I'm going to kill Whistler for making him into one of the good guys."
"Reluctant good guy," Amy added.
"Very reluctant," Buffy said. "I have to practically force him to patrol with me just so he'll watch my back. You'd think after five years of doing that, I'd at least be used to it."
"But it's better to have him as a quasi-friend than an enemy," Willow pointed out. "Even if he is a pain in the neck."
The other three groaned at the horrible pun. "Wills, I should stake you for that," Buffy said.
Amy looked up at the sky, took a deep breath, and sighed contentedly. "Ladies, it's that time."
She walked to her place at the North Quarter and picked up her small bag of dirt.
"Buffy," Cordelia said with a serious expression. "If you do join us, your life will be changed."
"She's right," Willow said as Cordelia took her place in the West Quarter. "A goddess will become a part of you and she will call for her Mate. When that happens, that person is going to be your mate, as well."
"Like you and Angel, Cordy and Xander, and Amy and Oz," Buffy said with understanding. "One more question before I decide. Do you love Angel?"
"Yes," Willow answered immediately. "As Cordy loves Xander and Amy loves Oz and vice versa." She laid a hand on her friend's arm and answered the unasked question. "And yes, Buffy, although I have to wait for what could be a very long time until I'm together with Angel, it's worth it."
"For me, too," Cordelia added softly on the other side of the fire.
Buffy nodded and gave Willow a shy smile. "Where do you want me?"
"We cast this circle for our protection. Let no harm come to those within," Willow chanted as the celebration began. She nodded to Amy across the fire, who continued.
"Guardians of the North, Element of Earth, I call to thee," Amy said as she sprinkled the dirt from the small bag she held onto the ground.
"Guardians of the East, Element of Air, I call to thee," Buffy continued, letting a handful of feathers fall to the ground.
"Guardians of the South, Element of Fire, I call to thee," Willow said as she lit a red candle and placed it carefully down.
"Guardians of the West, Element of Water, I call to thee," Cordelia finished, setting down a glass filled with water.
"Goddess, hear us," Willow said. "We ask of you to be with us on this Beltane night." As the words of the ritual continued to flow, the power began to build within the circle. And as it has always been done, the four girls took their Athames and plunged them into the earth, allowing the goddesses to become one with them.
Then, as each rose to their feet, they were one with their specific goddess. Willow was the Dark Lady, Cordelia was the Dark Mother of Mortals, Amy was the Goddess of the Hunt and Buffy was the Goddess of the Day. The four smiled as their shifts dropped to the ground and they began to dance sky-clad, calling for their Mates.
Angel's head shot up from the book he was reading and a wicked smile crossed his face. He stood, dropping the book to the couch, and made his way into the night.
Oz was playing his guitar in the bright, post-full moon light when he paused mid-strum. The beast inside of him growled in anticipation and he quickly rose, heading for the woods.
Xander stopped what he was doing suddenly, glanced at the calendar and grinned. He pushed away from his desk and made his way out of the apartment.
Angel, the Horned God, dropped his pants to the ground and stepped out of them as he came up behind his Dark Lady. The firelight played off his pale skin as he put his hands on her shoulders, halting her movements. His hard shaft brushed against the top swell of her buttocks as his eyes traveled across the circle.
He saw that Oz, the God of the Beasts, had already joined his Mate, standing proud and erect next to the Goddess of the Hunt, his hand around her waist. Turning his head, he watched as Xander, the Dark Father of Mortals, joined the group, his hands sliding around the Dark Mother's waist, halting her dance. Xander met Angel's eyes and nodded his head in silent greeting.
The Horned God's gaze slid over to the Goddess of the Day, who was silently dancing as she called for her Mate. The man who was Angel started when he saw her Mate approach, but everything disappeared as the god who embodied him took over.
Buffy could feel the Goddess of the Day inside of her, as if she had always been there. Her mind and body sang out for her other half, drawing him to her. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Angel come up behind Willow and then Xander join Cordelia, leaving her as the only one alone.
She felt as though she was crying out in anguish because her counterpart was not answering her call. The sense of aloneness had never been so strong.
Then she felt cool hands against her wrists, sliding down her arms and halting her dance.
Her Mate had come.
Spike frowned and peered into the darkness of the cemetery around him. He fingered the stake in his pocket as he searched for the source of what he was feeling. He began walking at a rapid clip, following his instincts and looking for unseen danger.
He stopped suddenly when he saw firelight and looked around him. Some how he traveled into the woods without realizing it. "What the bloody hell?" he said to himself as he slowly moved forward towards the light.
Then he saw her and everything clicked into place. His duster slid to the ground as he continued towards the dancing woman bathed in the glow of the fire. As he walked up behind her his shirt followed his duster and he toed off his shoes, barely stopping to pull off his socks and belt.
Clad only in his jeans, he raised his arms and captured her swaying wrists, lightly running his hands down her raised arms.
The God of the Night had joined his Goddess of the Day.
The four women of the circle turned and faced their called ones, and the Beltane ritual began.
Oz took Amy's hand and pulled her to the ground with him. The soft earth became their bed as he kissed her, his hands roaming over her naked form. He moved from her mouth down her neck and the front of her body, licking and nipping at her skin.
She ran her nails over his shoulders and the back of his neck as he nibbled on her breasts. He caught her sensitive nipples with his blunt teeth and gently tugged on them, making her inhale sharply in pleasure.
He continued his way down her body until he got to her core, licking and nipping all the way. Once there, he inhaled deeply, his enhanced senses from the beast inside of him became flooded with the scent of her arousal. He growled and nuzzled into her curls, seeking the source of the scent that was driving him wild.
She arched her hips as his mouth enclosed over her clit, his teeth grazing over it. Sensations flooded her body as he worked at the sensitive nub until she cried out with a primal yell as she orgasmed.
The God of the Beasts turned his Mate over and pulled her to her knees. His cock was hard and ready as he positioned himself at her opening. Grasping her hips, he drove into her as all beasts do, pistioning in and out of her body at a rough pace.
Snarling, he leaned forward over her body and grabbed the nape of her neck with his teeth, holding her as they both came. He shot his seed deep within her as she bucked back against him, her body quaking in the aftershocks.
Afterwards, Oz wrapped his smaller body around Amy's and held her close, bathed in the glow of the fire.
Xander ran his fingers over Cordelia's spine, dancing lightly up and down, causing her to shiver as they kissed. Their tongues mated, all of the harsh words that they normally shared disappearing as the Dark Mother and Dark Father of Mortals were together again.
He brought his hands around to cup her breasts, kneading and caressing the soft, heavy globes. His thumbs ran in circles over her dark nipples, sending tremors to her core. Her own hands ran up and down his muscular chest, feeling each ridge and plane.
His hands moved again, one circling around behind her to hold her firm buttocks, the other dipping between her legs to delve into her curls. His fingers found and played with her small bundle of nerves, making her tremble under his touch. First one, then two digits entered her tight body, preparing her for him. His thumb rubbed her clit back and forth at the same time until he swallowed her cries as she fell into orgasm. He drew out his ministrations until she was limp in his embrace.
Gently, he broke away from her and drew her to the ground with him, his larger body covering hers. Her eyes glittered with passion and love as he slowly entered her. When he was fully sheathed inside of her, she wrapped her legs over his, holding him flat against him as their mouths met again.
The Dark Father took his Mate slowly, reverently, his hips raising and lowering in the firelight as he thrust in and out of her. Her hands were on his back, running up and down as they loved each other.
Shifting his weight slightly, he brought his hand between them and found her hard nub once more. Teasingly, he brought her to a second orgasm. She broke away from his mouth with a small cry as she came, bringing him with her. He spilled himself inside her womb, burying himself as deeply in her as he could.
Afterwards, Cordelia held Xander close, not allowing him to move off of her as their hot, slick bodies cooled in the night air.
Angel smiled at Willow before pulling her to the ground with him. He caught her mouth in a deep kiss, his tongue playing with hers as he stroked her soft skin. The Horned God and the Dark Lady were together again after what seemed like too long.
Moving from her mouth, he kissed up her jawline to her ear. There, he nibbled on the lobe, purring seductively. She shivered against him, her nipples becoming hard peaks as he started down her neck. His tongue ran over the vein under her skin, bringing blood to the surface.
Her hands threaded through his hair before she raised herself up to nip at his neck with her blunt teeth. His purr turned into a slight growl as he rolled onto his back, pulling her over him. Grasping her hips as she sat up, he tugged on her gently, his dark eyes glowing in the firelight, reflecting his want.
She smiled knowingly and moved above his face, her knees on either side of his head as he cupped her ass in his large hands. Lowering herself slightly, she met his seeking mouth and tongue with her hot, aching sex.
He inhaled her arousal and then tasted it, his tongue running all around her folds. She moaned throatily above him, her hands moving up to caress her own breasts as he thrust his tongue inside of her repeatedly.
As she pinched and tugged at her nipples, he latched onto her clit, sucking on the sensitive nub. His fangs elongated slightly and her skin was easily cut, mixing her sweet blood in with her juices. She started rocking on his face, grinding her pelvis down on his mouth as she let out little, panting gasps. Suddenly, he sucked hard on her and she exploded into orgasm with an echoing cry.
Stretching up onto her knees with her arms high above her head, she looked down into his face and met his hungry gaze. Moving quickly, she straddled his hips and wrapped one hand around his hard cock, stroking it slightly before lowering herself down upon it. He growled in pleasure, his fingers grasping her hips as she began to ride him.
Slowly at first, then faster as their bodies strove for ecstacy, she thrust down as he thrust up, meeting him with a hard slap of skin. Her breasts swayed above him and he reached up with one hand to cup and play with her nipple.
With another shout, the Horned God pulled the Dark Lady into another climax, joining her with a series of ferocious thrust. His cold seed filled her core as he came, his face morphing into that of his demon. A quiet snarl came from him and he pulled her down upon him and sank his fangs into her shoulder.
Afterwards, Angel held Willow's smaller form to him as an unworried peace filled their souls.
Spike and Buffy knelt facing each other, their hands entwined, ice blue eyes meeting fiery hazel ones. Tentatively at first, then with more passion, they kissed each other, their mouths entering into a different type of battle than what they faced on a nightly basis. Their deepest fantasies were coming to fruition due to the God and the Goddess that were one with them.
He broke away first to trail kisses over her face and down along her neck. He dipped his tongue in the hollow of her throat before continuing his way up the other side of her neck until he reached her ear. "My Goddess," he murmured as he sucked lightly on her earlobe.
She leaned forward and nuzzled his neck, lightly licking and kissing the skin. Her bare breasts rubbed against his chest, causing her nipples to harden in response. She brought their entwined hands between them and began to lift each of his fingers with her mouth, sucking each one as he inhaled sharply. His eyes glinted in the firelight as he watched her, his cock rock-hard beneath his jeans.
When she was done, they let go of each other's hands and used them to explore the other's body. She tugged at his pants and he stood in front of her, undoing the fastenings and letting them fall to the ground. His shaft sprang free of its enclosure, standing proudly in front of his body. She leaned forward again and gently kissed the tip, causing him to hiss in pleasure.
Kneeling again, he pulled her close and engaged her mouth in a series of kisses, their tongues fighting together, challenging each other for dominance. His cock was pressed up against her bare stomach and the top of her dark curls as she rubbed against him, her hand going around his back to cup his buttocks.
Growling, he pushed her onto the ground and began to kiss his way to her center, but she grabbed his arms and flipped them over. Now, he was on the ground and she was kissing her way down his body to his manhood. Sitting halfway up, he latched onto her body and pulled her around so that her legs were by his head. Satisfied, he laid back down, settled her knees on either side of his head and delved into her sex with his tongue, licking and sucking the sensitive area.
She rubbed her sex up against his mouth, her own hot mouth licking and nibbling at his cock. One hand supported her as she slowly circled the tip with her tongue, then sucked him into her mouth. They continued to pleasure each other, neither giving into the other, until both shot into orgasm. His cold semen filled her throat as she drenched his face with her juices.
She moved off of him and turned around, straddling his hips so she could kiss him. They tasted each other and their passion grew again, causing her to rub up against his already hardening cock. Moving her hand between them, she grasped his shaft and guided it to her hot folds, sliding down onto him and eliciting a groan from them both. She began to rock against him, her pelvis grinding up against his with each forward movement, their curls causing friction.
He bit his lower lip as she ground upon him, waiting for her to lose herself again. When she did, she cried out for him, and the sound was melodious to his ears. With a quick twist, he was above her again, and she wrapped her legs around his waist. He began to thrust in and out of her rapidly, his mouth seeking and finding hers as he let go again with his own release.
Gasping unnecessarily, the God of the Night spilled his cold seed into her hot core, her muscles clenching around his shaft as she milked him. He grabbed her hands, his fingers entwining with hers again as he kissed her thoroughly, deeply. She unhooked her legs from his waist and brought one down next to him before changing their positions once more.
Afterward, Buffy and Spike lay facing each other, still entwined together as the wonder of the night danced around in their minds.
Dawn was approaching and the four Mated couples needed to separate. They all stood and redressed, none of them wanting to leave, but knowing that they had to go. Oz was the first to disappear into the woods, knowing that he'd see his Goddess at their home, for they were already together outside of the Beltane rite.
The Dark Father of Mortals kissed his Dark Mother tenderly, lovingly, knowing that he wouldn't see her again until the Wheel of the Year turned a full circle again. "I love you, Dark Mother," Xander whispered. "So very much, Cordy. So very much."
"I love you, too, Dark Father, Xander," Cordelia whispered back, holding him close. "I love you, too." Xander squeezed her hand as he stepped away from her, then turned and left the clearing.
Angel rested his chin on Willow's head, soaking in her warmth. "I'll see you soon, Dark Lady, I promise," he told her.
Willow raised her head and smiled up at him, tears in her eyes. "I'll be here, my Horned God, my Angel," she replied. "I'll be here waiting for you. Always." He bent and kissed her softly on the lips, then slowly pulled away from her and faded into the remaining darkness.
"Come to me, Day Goddess," Spike said softly, staring into Buffy's eyes. "You know where I am, Buffy. I've wanted you for so long..."
"I will, Night God," Buffy replied. "I will, Spike. I'll be there soon and then I don't plan on leaving." Spike smiled happily and pulled her into a quick, hard embrace, then practically sprinted away into the coming dawn.
The four ladies turned and faced the dying fire and Willow began to speak. "Goddess, we thank you for being with us on this Beltane. Guardians of the North, South, East and West, we thank you for being with us on this Beltane. May our circle of protection return into the night and may the gods and goddesses bring Bright Blessings on each of our lives. The ritual has ended, an it harm none, so mote it be." Each of them blew out the candle near their spot and the energy that had built that night faded away as if it were never there.
"Well, I hate to boff and run," Cordelia said after cleaning up some of the ritual supplies. "But I need to get back to the hotel and get a little sleep. Mr. Only-Wears-Black-Now wants me to do some things around Sunnydale before we leave tonight."
"Ok, Cordy," Amy said, giving her a quick hug. "Safe journey."
"Merry Part, Cordy," Willow told the brunette, repeating the hug.
"Um, bye," Buffy said.
Cordelia shook her head and hugged the Slayer. "Merry Part, Buffy, and Merry Meet Again," she said. Stepping back, she looked Buffy over from head to toe. "And try to do something with that hair before next year."
With laughter following, the former cheerleader left the clearing. "I'm going to go, too," Amy said, picking up her bag of used supplies. She gave them a mischievous grin. "Oz is keeping the bed warm for me."
"Go, Amy," Willow told her. "And tell Oz I'll see him at six."
"Will do," she replied. "Merry Part to you both."
"Bright Blessings," Willow said.
"Bye, Amy," Buffy said. As soon as Amy had gone, the Slayer turned to Willow. "So, um, now what?"
"You tell me, Buffy," Willow replied with a knowing grin.
Buffy blushed. "Well, Spike is sorta waiting for me," she said, then frowned. "But what if I get there and he doesn't want me? Does the ritual thingy wear off? What about..."
"Buffy," Willow interrupted. "First of all, I told you that the person the Goddess in you calls will become your mate, as well."
"You mean, he didn't have a choice? That's reassuring."
"Let me finish," the redhead scowled. "Secondly, when the gods and goddesses embody us, they use our already present feelings. So, you and Spike already had a thing for each other."
"Oh," Buffy said. "Then why didn't we do anything before this? We've been working and hanging together for five years now."
"Buffy, all of us knew you two would eventually get together," Willow said. "Even Giles has resigned himself to that fact. But both of you had been burned by love too badly and were scared to try again. Just think of this night as breaking through that fear so you two can finally admit your feelings for one another."
"Thank you, Dr. Rosenberg," Buffy teased. "You should have been a shrink rather than a computer teacher."
"No, I think I'll just stick to being a wise witch," Willow replied, picking up her bag. As they started out of the clearing, she asked, "So, what was it like?"
"Like both of us wanted to be the dominant person," Buffy answered. "He wanted to...but I wanted to...so we kinda did that sixty-nine thing so that it was equal. Then I was on top, then on the bottom. We moved a lot."
"Night and Day," Willow said. "Always struggling against one another, but in reality, equals. You can't have one without the other."
"You do realize that I'm going to have to try and explain all this to him," she pointed out.
"Buffy, I highly doubt that talking is what you're going to be doing," Willow said, giggling. Buffy joined in and laughing together they made their way into the dawn, another Beltane passed.