by Saber ShadowKitten
Series: Tempting Fate, IV
Buffy ducked under Angel's round kick, spinning to catch his chest in a powerful side kick. He stumbled back a few steps and she used it to her advantage. Moving quickly, her fist shot out to catch him across the face, but he latched onto her wrist and fell backwards, throwing her over him into the bedroom.

She rolled to her feet gracefully and a black fountain pen on the desk caught her eye. She snatched it, then started to run into the main room. Angel saw her coming and prepared to intercept her kick when she surprised him by diving into a roll, knocking into his legs like a bowling ball. He crashed onto the floor and she pounced on him, ‘staking' him with the pen. "Got you!"

Angel smiled. "You certainly did," he told her as she climbed to her feet and extended a hand to him. "I didn't expect that last move at all."

"I know," she said, winking at him. "I've been working on things like that."

"Well, it shows," he replied. He picked up a towel and snapped it at her rear.

Buffy laughed, dancing towards the bedroom to return the pen. "Open up a water for me," she called over her shoulder as she went to toss the pen on the desk. But what she saw made her freeze. Piled neatly in one corner was the same parchment paper the letter had been written on.

Heart pounding in memory, she picked a sheet up, rubbing it between her fingers to be sure. *But how can it be Angel?* she asked herself as she set it down, looking back and forth between the black pen, which was what the words were written with, and paper. *If he could do that, why wouldn't he tell me?*

She walked back into the main room, a frown marring her face. *Maybe he thinks if I know it's him, he'll get happy. Maybe he has to do something in order not to be happy, like chew on a cross or look at a picture of Ms. Calendar or something. But why chance it?*

"Buffy?" Angel said, holding out the bottled water to her. "Where are you?"

"What?" Buffy snapped out of her thoughts. "Oh, sorry. Just thinking."


"I know this is going to sound strange," she began. "But if you without getting a happy, would you?"

Angel looked at her a moment, then turned away. "We shouldn't think about things like that," he answered.

Buffy noted that he didn't answer her question and had a look that she interpreted as guilt on his face. She smiled around her water bottle so he wouldn't catch it. *Got you,* she thought happily. *I'll keep your secret a secret.* She giggled at her bad sentence in her head.

Angel raised his eyes at the sound of her quiet laugh. "Buffy, what are you thinking?" he asked with mock threat.

"That I could easily trounce you another time," she lied, capping the bottle.

He arched a dark brow. "Is that right?"

"You bet'cha."

"Well, why don't we find out," he said. And the training continued.


Hot and sweaty, Buffy entered the house through the door for once and found a note from her mother saying she had to go out of town and would be back later in the week. With a groan as she rolled her shoulders, she grabbed a Snapple from the refrigerator and slowly climbed the stairs. "Shower, bed, shower, bed," she chanted to herself.

Training with Angel always left her sore and tired, but exhilarated, too. He matched her when it came to strength and she didn't have to worry about hurting him like she did Giles. *Wesley,* she corrected herself. *Although hurting Wesley is kinda fun.*

When she got to the top of the stairs her senses picked up, telling her she was not alone. Pulling a stake from her waistband, she carefully turned the corner into the hallway. She was surprised to see a candle lit in the bathroom. Creeping carefully forward, she stuck her head in the room and saw that the tub was filled with bubbles.

A slow smile crossed her face and she turned and went down the hall to her room, noting that the window was open yet again. She tossed her stake onto the bed where it hit a piece of parchment paper, then flipped on the lamp on the night stand. Picking up the paper, a flood of excitement ran through her.

Up for a bath?

"Am I," she said to herself, quickly stripping out of her dirty clothes. After pinning her hair up, she padded naked down the hall to the bathroom. On the edge of the tub she saw a blindfold and knew she was suppose to put it on. Climbing in the hot water, she let out a dreamy sigh as she settled herself down, then put the blindfold on. It was one of the store bought kind, shaped with a thin, black, elastic strap to hold it in place.

After a few minutes, she heard the bathroom door close and smiled. She could sense it was a vampire and knew of only one that could enter her house. She heard him kneel next to the tub, then felt his cool fingers trace a line down the side of her cheek, around her chin and back up the other cheek. Then he ran the back of his fingers down along her neck, beneath the water, down between her breasts, over her stomach and abdomen to brush lightly against her curls.

Buffy gasped at the sensation, her legs coming together on their own. She heard him chuckle and the sound washed over her like a waterfall, sending shivers down her spine despite the hot water. He shifted and then she felt the softness of a washcloth rub against her shoulder. He picked up her far arm, running the soapy cloth down it slowly, then back up. He slid the rag along the top of her chest, dipping in the hollow of her throat before he picked up the other arm and repeated his actions.

Next, he dragged the washcloth sensuously over her breasts, making her nipples rock hard. He descended lower, caressing the undersides, then gently rubbed her stomach and abdomen. She felt like she was melting as he lifted one leg under the knee and started down it. The wet rag tickled her sole as he washed her foot before returning back up her leg. He brushed it against her sex, then started down the other leg.

Buffy half-groaned, half-sighed as he came up her inner thigh, then jumped when his fingers replaced the rag as he reached her most sensitive area. Slowly he stroked her into a relaxed frenzy, her muscles quivering under his ministrations. When she climaxed, she arched into his hand, letting out a cry of pleasure as he drew it out. Finally, she collapsed back into the tub, her body limp.

"Wash your hair," he whispered as he placed a cool kiss on her ear, his fingers trailing lightly up her stomach to caress her breasts.

"Then what?" Buffy asked breathlessly

"Bedroom," he replied. She heard him stand, then the bathroom door open and close. Quickly pushing the blindfold off her, she searched the candle lit room, but he was gone. Following his instructions, she unpinned her hair and washed it. After pulling the plug, she stepped out of the tub and dried herself with the large, fluffy towel she saw resting on the edge of the sink.

Buffy picked up the blindfold, blew out the candle, then left the bathroom for her bedroom. Her heart was beating rapidly in anticipation, yet her body was relaxed from the bath. She entered her room and saw that the light had been turned off, creating dark shadows. She searched them with her eyes, but could not see him, though she could sense he was there.

"Face the mirror," his quiet request came over the soft music playing on her stereo. She did as asked, clutching the towel protectively around her. She didn't know he had moved, so quiet were his steps, until she felt him brush his cool lips against the back of her shoulder. His arms wrapped around her waist and Buffy forced herself not to look down as his mouth kissing a path up the side of her neck. In the mirror, the only reflection she saw was her own. Slowly, she was led backwards until she heard the slight squeak of the mattress. "Sit," came the quiet command as the backs of her legs hit the edge of the bed.

She sat, her fingers curling around the edges of the towel. She wanted to turn so badly, to grab him and kiss him senseless, to turn him into a quivering mass of nerves like he was doing to her. But she didn't, she kept her eyes firmly on the mirror as he shifted behind her. Then she felt the teeth of a comb in her hair as he began to brush it. Starting at the bottom, he held the ends in his hand as he brushed out the tangles.

He brushed her hair until it was dry, the comb running over and over the strands, lulling her. Her eyes had closed long ago, her breathing steady and slow, completely relaxed. Then suddenly he was gone.

Buffy blinked open her eyes when she felt the absence of his presence. She was so relaxed she hadn't even noticed he'd stopped. "Angel?" she called tentatively. When she received no answer, she turned sideways on the bed to look around. Lying next to her comb on the bed was another note and a small daisy.

Wear this in your beautiful hair tomorrow.
Sleep sweet.

She picked up the flower and smiled. Standing, she walked over to her open window and looked out to the street, brushing the daisy against her cheek.

Spike stood on the street below in the shadows, watching her. He knew she thought it was Angel, especially since he'd stolen the parchment from his sire's desk. However, if she ever saw Angel's handwriting, she'd know instantly it wasn't him. But until then, he'd keep up the pretense.

He cupped his hand over the end of his cigarette, tempting fate as he lit it.

End 1