Buffy awoke the next morning alone, the sun streaming through the sliding glass doors. She stretched luxuriously, her body aching in a way that only came after sex. She and Spike had coupled twice more before she had fallen into a deep sleep from exhaustion due to dancing and the talented lovemaking of the blond vampire.
She rolled over to see a piece of paper propped up against the clock on the night stand. The script was all harsh lines and sharp angles, but there was hidden sensuality within the words, mimicking the man who wrote them.
Mi pantera rubia~
1315 Conzuela Avenida
I will be waiting for you.
Buffy smiled and got out of bed. After a quick shower, she filled her beach bag with her bikini and some clothing. If she played her cards right, she wouldn't return to her motel room that night.
A forty-minute long bus ride later, she walked down the winding avenue in awe. The houses set back from the road were huge, with landscaped properties and ornate ironwork gates. When she finally arrived at 1315, she had decided she could get used to Mexico if she could live in one of these estates.
The address that Spike had given her led to a single story hacienda of tan adobe and worn, dark-wooden shutters, all closed. Black furniture lined the porch where wooden beams came out from the roof on the overhang. A beautiful garden ran along both sides of the path to the steps and around the corners of the house.
Buffy climbed the stone steps and pulled the chain to an old fashioned doorbell, examining the highly decorative wooden door. So into her examination, she was startled when the door opened to reveal a Latin man, with shoulder length black hair and a bright, white smile. "Bienvenida!" he greeted, stepping back and gesturing for her to enter.
"Um, hola," Buffy said, walking into the large home. "Is Spike here?"
"Sí, sí," the man said. "El diablo rubio la esta espera."
"I'm sorry, I don't speak Spanish," she said. "Er, no hablo español?"
"D.R. is waiting," the man translated, still smiling at her. "I am Jorge. And you are la pantera rubia, no?"
"Maybe," Buffy said. "If that means Spike's fr-, er, Buffy."
Jorge nodded. "Come. I shall take you to him."
The Latin man led the way through a huge, tiled foyer towards the back of the house. Oil paintings and tapestries hung on the walls, and she saw several rooms that were done up in rich, earthy tones with beautiful furnishings. She noticed that all the windows were shuttered tight, allowing no sun to pass through them, and the house was lit by soft, electric candlelight.
Jorge stopped in front of a door and knocked. "D.R., tú señorita esta aqui."
The door opened and Buffy wanted to melt into a puddle on the floor. Spike was dressed in a pair of loose, tan, cotton pants and a dark blue t-shirt. His hair was damp and it curled around his ears in a boyish manner. But his smile was 100 percent, pure adult male. "Hola, mi pantera," he said in a low voice that made her shiver.
"Hi," Buffy replied with a smile. "I like your house."
"Gracias," Spike said. He looked at Jorge, who was looking back and forth between Buffy and him with a grin on his face, and gestured with his head for the man to get lost. "Jorge, vete."
"Esta es la señorita que a captura tú corazón, eh? Ella es muy bella." Jorge said, winking at Buffy.
"Sí, lo es. Ahora fuera, perro," Spike said. Jorge laughed, bowed slightly to Buffy, then walked away.
"What did he say?" Buffy asked. "What did you say? Why can't everyone speak English like normal people?"
Spike chuckled. "Because we're in Mexico, Slayer. Jorge didn't say anything important."
"Oh yeah?" she challenged. "Then why did your ears turn red when he asked whatever that had to do with me, hearts and being pretty and then you calling him a dog." She smiled smugly. "I know some Spanish."
He decided it would be wise to change the subject before he told her that Jorge had asked if Buffy was the woman who had captured his heart. "Would you like a tour of mi casa?"
**Changing the subject, eh? I'm going to have to look those words up later or ask Jorge to translate,** she thought before answering, "Sure."
Spike nodded and entered the hallway after taking her bag and setting it in the room. He led her back to the main foyer and started the tour. Buffy's favorite rooms ended up being the game room, with billiards table, an arcade game with matching plastic guns and a Dukes of Hazzard pinball machine; and the indoor pool room, completely sun-proofed, which included a whirlpool. She was glad she remembered to bring her suit.
"So, did you pay for all this or did you let your fangs do the negotiations?" Buffy asked as he led the way back to the room he'd emerged from earlier.
"Ha ha, Slayer," Spike replied. "It's only half-mine. Jorge was looking for a compañero de habitatión when I first arrived in Tampico and I took him up on the offer." He grinned. "After explaining my sun allergy, that is."
"And you can live with someone and not eat them?" she said. "I'm impressed."
"It's a matter of control, Slayer," he said. "And I have a bloody abundance of that now."
"I'll say," she murmured, thinking of the night before. She flushed and ducked her head as they entered the last room.
"This is mi dormitorio," Spike said. "Perdon...er, sorry it's a bit on the messy side. I was picking up when you got here."
Buffy raised her head and gasped in astonishment at the size of the bedroom. She realized immediately that it was the master bedroom, but it still was huge, with beige carpeting and white-washed walls. A queen-sized, four-poster bed sat against one wall, covered with a dark, patterned bedspread. Two cherry colored night stands were on either side of it, with matching small, white lamps. An alarm clock and a pile of books were stacked on one of them, and a telephone rested on the other.
A chest of drawers was against the back wall of the room next to a door that led into a walk-in closet. Next to that was the door to the master bathroom, which was done in dark green tile and had a separate shower stall and raised Jacuzzi tub. Another low dresser lined the wall across from the bed, with a cherry, roll-top desk beside it. Both of these were covered with books, some lined nicely, others piled up haphazardly.
In the corner along the wall with the door to the bedroom was a recliner, free-standing lamp and a small, round, glass-topped table. The table held several books, as well, with one open flat on the top of the pile. A pair of half-glasses was balanced precariously atop everything. A hand-quilted blanket was tossed casually onto the seat of the chair, worn from age and constant usage.
There was a child-sized easy chair next to the recliner, and Kermit the Frog sat in it, wearing a pair of coffee-colored, round sunglasses. The Muppet was holding open a copy of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus with its 'hands.' Next to him on the chair was a stuffed Taco Bell Chihuahua holding a miniature Mexican flag in its mouth.
She wandered over to the table to see what Spike was reading as the vampire hastily scooped up a pile of clothing from the opposite side of the bed and headed for the closet. She picked up the half-glasses, which looked like the pair Homer Simpson had, and slid them on. Then she picked up the open book and looked at the cover. "Groom on the Run," she read, then giggled. **A paperback romance, who'd a thunk.**
She set the book on the arm of the chair, then went through the other ones, her smile growing larger and larger. **They're all paperback romances. And well-read ones, too,** she thought, seeing the worn covers and dog-eared pages. Still wearing the reading glasses, she moved over to the dresser and the other books. He had an entire collection of 'More Than Men' Harlequin American Romance series; the 'Wings in the Night' series, by Maggie Shayne; the 'Heart of the Wolf' trilogy, by Rebecca Flanders; and 'The Donovan Legacy' trilogy, by Nora Roberts. All were in English and all of them looked like they'd been read over and over again.
"Spike,"Buffy said, looking over the top of the glasses towards the vampire coming out of the closet. "What's with all the romance novels?"
"I like to read," he answered with a shrug, not embarrassed by his reading tastes. If he was, he would never have let her into his bedroom.
"Are you sure you're a master vampire?" she asked. "You don't act like the impulsive, brash, violent vampire I knew in Sunnydale."
"Esto es Mexico," Spike said. "The pace is much slower here, more relajante than Norte América." She arched her brow in question at his wording. "More relaxed. You asked before about my control. Living here the past año plus, I've learned a lot about that."
"You sound like you read a self-help book," she said.
Spike grinned sheepishly. "Something like that," he replied. "But if you tell anyone about my reading tastes, I'll have to rip your tongue out and feed it to Rocky."
Buffy rolled her eyes at the threat, then frowned. "Who's Rocky?" He gestured towards a shoebox at the end of the dresser. Buffy went over to it and looked inside, then groaned. "You have a pet rock?"
"Everything else is too bloody annoying," he confessed. "I had un perro, but I think I ate her."
"Gross much?" she said, taking off the glasses and setting them on the dresser. She turned around and leaned against it. "What now?"
Spike walked toward her like a predator stalking his prey. He stopped directly in front of her and tilted her chin up. "We could swim," he said in a silky voice. He brushed her lower lip with the pad of his thumb. "Or we could shag like savaljes, and then go swim."
"Why don't you pick," Buffy said. Her tongue darted out and flicked his thumb. He groaned and brought his hand around to cup the back of her head as his mouth descended upon hers.
They went swimming much, much later.
Spike sat with his legs dangling in the indoor pool, waiting for Buffy, or rather, waiting to see Buffy's swimsuit. He knew first hand that she had no tan lines, and wondered how she accomplished that. Since he couldn't very well go out to the beach during the day, he had no clue as to what the current beachwear was or what people did in the sun.
His thoughts turned to their earlier conversation when she'd asked which one of the romance series was his favorite. He wasn't lying to Buffy when he had told her he'd changed. He wouldn't consider himself 'soft', as Drusilla had called him before he'd left her with his heart broken. There were no other vampires in Tampico because he killed any of them that dared entered his territory, and he hunted, but because of the superstitious nature of the people, he left his victims alive. He also preferred a night of dancing and sex as opposed to violence and death.
Over the year and a half he'd been in Tampico, he allowed himself to let the culture of the city seep into him. Lazy days were spent indoors reading or lounging in the pool, taking late afternoon siestas even though he'd slept the morning away. The nights were filled with relaxed conversation and lots of dancing. Mexico, like most Latin American countries, prided itself on its dancing, and once he'd learned how, Spike found it to be almost better than sex. Almost, but not quite, because to him, there was nothing more exquisite than being buried deep inside a soft, hot woman.
That thought brought him full circle to Buffy, his fantasy for the past year. He'd never thought that particular one would come true, especially considering it was her duty to put a stake through his heart. Plus, she'd been in Sunnydale and he had been 1,400 miles away from that town, which did not give him the opportunity to try and seduce her.
But she was in Tampico now, his town, and she'd been looking specifically for him. Seeing her had been a surprise, dancing with her an even better one. However, being able to caress her, taste her, make love to her had surpassed everything and, as cheesy as it sounded, made his dreams come true.
"So, do you lure women into your home with this pool?" Buffy asked from behind him.
Spike turned and instantly grew hard as a rock when he saw her. Her hair was loose around her shoulders, brushing the thin strands to her light green bikini top that barely held her full breasts. His eyes traveled down the vast expanse of bare, bronze skin of her abdomen to the tiny scrap of material covering her sex. Then she turned around to put the coverup she'd been wearing over a lounge chair and he almost swallowed his tongue. He now knew exactly why she didn't have any tan lines.
Buffy looked over her shoulder with a knowing feminine smile on her lips. Spike was all but salivating as he stared at her. Walking over to him, she couldn't help but do a little drooling of her own. He looked delicious in the black trunks, the strong lines of his muscles playing on his pale skin made him all the more yummy, and the erection she could see tenting the suit made her clench her vaginal muscles in anticipation. She knew exactly how perfect that part of his anatomy was and how perfectly it fit inside of her.
Feeling heat rushing under her skin, she sat down next to him on the tile pool deck and stuck her legs in the water. It was pleasantly warm and crystal clear and inviting. But she could care less, for all of her attention was on the man next to her. "Well, do you?" she asked in a breathy voice.
"Do I what?" Spike asked, trying to keep his eyes away from the cleavage created by the suit and on her face. He licked his lips and could almost taste the saltiness of her skin. His cock was throbbing under his trunks, begging for him to bury it deep inside her hot core.
"Bring other women here," she replied, not knowing why she was talking when she could be using her tongue to trace the ridges of his muscles along his abdomen. But some part of her wanted to know how many other women he'd seduced in the privacy and intimacy of his home.
"No," he answered, turning slightly in order to slide his hand around her back to rest between her shoulder blades. "Solo tú, mi pantera rubia." He leaned over and brushed his lips lightly over hers. "Only you."
Spike slowly kissed her, gently coaxing her lips apart before inviting her tongue into tender play. He felt a shudder run through his body as the kiss deepened, testifying to the fact that there was more involved than just hormones. He broke away from her mouth and leaned back to look into eyes, his own reflecting the burning need he had to show her the truth to what Jorge had said when she'd arrived -- that Buffy had captured his heart in just two nights.
Rising to his feet, he held out his hand and helped Buffy to hers, then scooped her up in his arms. A beautiful smile exploded across her face, lighting up her eyes, and she giggled slightly. He carried her past the lounge furniture to a hidden doorway that led to a guest cabana. The room had a small, twin bed against one wall, and he gently laid her down upon it.
Gazing upon her caused her skin to flush and Spike could no longer hold his desire for her back. He slid his hands behind her back, releasing the ties that held her top on. Still standing beside the bed, he moved up to the tie around her neck, then pulled the material away from her, his eyes drinking her in. He set the bikini top on the small table beside the bed and repeated his actions with the bottom half, baring her completely.
Buffy's heart pounded beneath her breast at the intensity behind his blue eyes. He removed his trunks and joined her on the bed, capturing her mouth in a searing kiss. Her body sang under his touch as his hands caressed her skin, followed by his lips and tongue. She arched up when he traced a meandering path down the center of her body, mewling in pleasure as his fingers danced upon her core while his mouth suckled both her nipples.
Spike entered her slowly and set an unhurried pace, thrusting in and out of her heat with long, sure strokes. He caught her mouth again, their tongues mating like their bodies. They climbed higher and higher together, neither of them wanting to fall over the edge until the last possible moment.
He left her mouth to trail kisses along her jawline to her ear and he began to purr, sending shivers along her spine. Her legs wrapped around his lean waist and she held him tight as he nipped at the skin over her jugular, the sound emanating from him reverberating through her body. An orgasm ripped through her suddenly and without warning, eliciting a cry of passion and she shook violently from its intensity.
Spike's purr turned into a growl as she clenched around his shaft, sending him plunging into a climax that burned him to the core. His face changed as he came and he buried his fangs in her neck. Her sweet, hot blood flowed over his tongue, causing him to explode again immediately into a second orgasm.
Abruptly he turned them, so she was on top. He held her close as her body continued to tremble from her orgasm and he removed his fangs from her neck. Lapping at the twin puncture wounds, he closed his eyes and reveled in the feelings that were coursing through him. "Mi pantera rubia," he whispered against her neck. "Mía."
"Yours," Buffy agreed quietly, her mouth by his ear. "Soy tuya."
He loosened his hold on her and she raised her head to meet his blue
eyes. He brought one hand up to caress her cheek, then slid it back to
entangle in her hair and pull her down for a kiss. Their mouths melded
together, changing what started simply as a man and a woman desiring one
another to something much more.
Eventually they did go swimming and cavorted like children in the pool until the sun set. Then Spike left Buffy to get cleaned up to go out for the evening while he went out to hunt. The Slayer had a pang of conscience when he left, not knowing that he did not kill his victims when he fed. However, she pushed the thought away, convincing herself that she was going home on Sunday and then it wouldn't be her concern.
After she finished dressing, she made her way out of Spike's bedroom towards the game room. Not knowing how long he was going to be gone, she went over to the shooting arcade game and found the power switch. **Might as well kill something while I'm in Mexico,** she thought, picking up one of the plastic guns.
"Player one," the game announced when she shot at the 'choose number of players' section. The instructions flashed on the screen and she quickly read that she was suppose to shoot the bad guys and not hit innocent bystanders. Raising her 'gun', she began to play.
"Hola, señorita," Jorge said, coming into the room.
"Hi, Jorge," Buffy greeted, not turning her attention from the game. She'd reached level ten already, and the figures on the screen were finally getting fast enough for her to really enjoy herself.
"You are very good," he told her, looking over her shoulder at the score. "Better than D.R."
"D.R.?" she asked, picking off another group of electronic 'bad guys.'
"Sí, D.R. El diablo rubio," Jorge replied. "Su comapañero."
"You mean Spike?" Buffy said. He nodded. "What's el diablo rubio?"
"The blond devil," he answered.
"Figures," she commented. "And I'm the blond panther, right?"
"Sí," Jorge said. "It is a fitting descripción."
"I guess," she said. "Oh, I wanted to ask you what you asked Spike earlier. With the heart?"
Jorge chuckled. "I do not think I should be telling you that, señorita."
"Matters involving el corazón should be between usted y D.R.," he replied.
**Oh well, guess I'll have to look it up later,** Buffy thought, moving onto the next level of the game. Eyes flicking over the targets, she wondered if she could convince someone to buy this game for a birthday or Christmas gift. "Oh, birthday!"
"Qué?" Jorge asked.
"Spike's birthday is tomorrow," she explained. "I should bake a cake."
"Sí? I did not know it was his cumpleaños," he said. A large smile flashed white against his dark face. "I have a much better idea, señorita. We shall have a fiesta."
Buffy left the party planning to Jorge and went out dancing with Spike that night. They went back to the club she'd first seen him in, and she learned that he was definitely a regular there. It was also quickly established that Elena was yesterday's news, and the Slayer made sure the Latina knew it.
They literally danced the night away, coming through the front door to Spike's house less than fifteen minutes before the sun crested the horizon. Laughing like children, they tumbling into bed together and made playful love until they both fell to sleep curled in each other's arms.
Buffy was first to wake early Saturday evening, and she took the time to study the sleeping man beside her. His lashes were dark against his pale face, his expression relaxed and his peroxide-blond hair fell over his forehead in a boyish manner. She didn't want to admit to the feelings she had developed in the short amount of time she'd been with him, but she knew they were there.
**Didn't I learn my lesson with the last vampire?** she thought, reaching up with her hand to brush his hair back from his face. **Slayer and vampire and never the twain shall meet, remember?**
Spike opened his eyes at the moment and met hers, and her breath caught at the emotions she saw reflected in his blue gaze. Her own emotions were tumultuous, all jumbled together inside of her, and she was forced to look away from him before she said something she couldn't take back. She gave him a fake smile, without meeting his eyes again, and rolled out of the bed, heading for the master bathroom.
A few minutes of staring at herself in the mirror later, she heard a knock on the door. "Pantera, esta bien?" Spike's concerned voice questioned. "Are you ok?"
Buffy went over to the door and opened it. Both of them were still sans clothing, but neither seemed to notice. "I'm fine," she said with false cheer. "I just remembered that I need to go back to the motel to change clothes before we go out tonight." Then she thought, **Or rather, for the surprise birthday party Jorge scheduled to start at ten.**
"Why don't you check out early?" he suggested, ducking his head in actual shyness.
**Oh wow, he's blushing!** Buffy thought in amazement. A real smile crossed her face. "Only if you come with me to pack."
Spike's return smile lit up his whole face. "I think I can arrange that," he said. He then let his eyes trail down her body. "I suppose we ought to get dressed first."
Buffy reached out and traced on finger over his stomach. "But I like you this way."
An hour later, the two finally got dressed, said goodbye to Jorge, and left for the motel. Once there, she changed into a pair of white slacks and a colorful blouse while Spike made sure everything was taken care of at the front desk. She was in the midst of packing her things when the phone rang.
"Hola, no hablo español," Buffy said upon answering.
"For someone who doesn't speak Spanish, you do a great job," Willow said on the other end of the line.
"Hi, Willow!" Buffy greeted enthusiastically. "What's up?"
"I volunteered to call and find out if you found Spike or not," Willow answered. "Wesley broke out in hives at your not calling yesterday."
"Oops," Buffy said, making a face. "Sorry. I was gone all day...and night...and today...and its already night again..."
Spike entered the room and she held up her hand so he wouldn't speak. He nodded and laid across the bed, propping his head up with his hand. Buffy missed what Willow said because she was too busy staring at the desirable picture he made. He reminded her of the cover of one of the romance novels he had in his bedroom, with his faded, brown leather pants and white, loose shirt that was unbuttoned partway. "What was that, Willow?"
"I only asked if you were having a little Spring Break fling," Willow said.
The Slayer blushed bright red and Spike quirked his brow. **I wonder what the little witch said,** he thought.
"Maybe," Buffy replied to Willow.
The redhead squealed over the line. "Buffy! What's his name? Is he cute? Did you...you know?"
"His name is el diablo rubio, he's wickedly sexy and uh-huh. Many, many, many times," she said, winking at Spike.
"Soy provocativo?" Spike said, crawling towards her across the bed like a big cat. He rose up in front of her and slid his arms around her waist. "No, no, tú eres muy provacative, pantera. Y bella. Y exquisita. Y magnifica. Y te quero devolar."
Each of his words was a throaty growl at her other ear. Buffy felt herself melting and found herself only being supported by his strong arms around her waist. "Wh-what?"
"...asked if someone was there..."
"I said you were very sexy," Spike purred, punctuating each of his next words by kissing and nipping at her neck. "And beautiful." Kiss. "And exquisite." Nip. "And magnificent." Kiss. "And I want to ravish you."
Buffy's heart was pounding and she was having trouble breathing. "Willow, I-I have to go," she said faintly.
"But what about Spi-"
Willow's words were cut off when Buffy took the phone away from her ear and reached blindly towards the night stand to hang it up. She'd never known that Spanish was such an erotic language. The phone clattered to the floor when she released the receiver, and it was enough to break out of Spike's seductive spell.
"Spike, stop," she said, even though in her mind she was screaming **Take me now!**
"Por que?" he growled, tugging her earlobe with his teeth.
"Because...because..." She groaned, brought her hands up and pushed him away. "Check out."
Spike gave her a disappointed look and sighed. "Very well. Check out, then mi casa. The I am going to shag you until you can no longer walk."
Buffy had started around the bed when he spoke, and her knees went weak at his words, causing her to stumble. His laughter dispelled the charged atmosphere of the room.
Neither of them noticed that the phone was still off the receiver,
nor heard a certain redhead say, "Oh goddess, she's found Spike...and uh-huh'd
him many, many, many times!"
Buffy would always remember the look of shock on Spike's face when Jorge and all the other guests yelled, "Surprise!" The house had been dark, of course, when they'd returned and the vampire had pushed her up against the door as soon as it had closed behind them to carry on what he started back at the motel. Then the lights suddenly blazed, Spike had spun and dropped into a fighting stance with a growl and a bulge beneath his leather pants. His eyes had grown round as he took in the decorations, the number of people in his house, and finally, her laughter-filled face.
"Happy two-hundred eighteenth birthday, Spike," Buffy said quietly, giving him a wink.
Band music could be heard coming from the back of the house and the guests moved out into the large backyard, leaving Spike, Buffy and Jorge alone. The Latino approached the duo, a large smile on his face. "D.R. feliz cumpleaños," he said, holding out his hand.
Spike shook it and was pulled into a brief hug with lots of back-clapping. Shaking himself out of his shock, he replied, "Gracias, Jorge."
"Por nada," Jorge said.
"Thanks, Jorge," Buffy said, smiling at the man. "I think we managed to surprise him."
"Sí," Jorge replied, returning her smile. "Save me a dance?"
"Of course," she said. Jorge nodded and went to join the fiesta.
The second they were alone, Spike grabbed Buffy into a fierce hug. "Esto es..." He tried to come up with an appropriate label for what he was feeling, but couldn't. So instead, he simply said, "Thank you."
"Well, I doubt Angel was big on throwing birthday parties," Buffy said with a grin.
"Er, no," he replied. He turned, sliding his arm around her shoulder, then they walked towards the back of the house.
Outside was decorated even more than the inside. Piñatas, streamers, paper-chains, lanterns and other Mexican decorations were strung between tall posts set into the lush, green grass. Tables and chairs had been set out in the grass in order to utilize the entire cement patio as a dance floor. The Latin band was the same one that had played at the club at which Buffy had first seen Spike, and they were set up at the far edge of the patio in the large backyard.
Everyone wished Spike a happy birthday as they passed by the couple at some point during the night. Buffy had thought that the guests were friends of Jorge's, but she soon learned how wrong she was. Every person knew Spike by name, or rather as 'D.R.' or 'diablo rubio', which was the name he went by in Tampico. She watched with an amused smile on her face when Spike would launch into a quick-speaking Spanish conversation with someone, gesturing animatedly with one hand. The other never left its place on her shoulder.
The cake came out a few minutes to midnight, and Spike was forced to blow out twenty-five candles, the number Buffy had chosen at random, which led to the Slayer giggling like a maniac when he had to do it several times. After all, he had to purposely take a breath to blow them out. Once he'd cut the first piece, he took some frosting and smeared it across Buffy's mouth and chin, then proceeded to lick it off to a cheering and wolf-whistling crowd.
"Pantera, baila conmigo?" Spike asked, nodding towards the dance floor. "Dance with me?"
"I'd love to," Buffy replied.
Spike led her towards the middle of the dancers, then he faced her, lifted her hand and kissed her knuckles, his eyes never leaving hers. As if on cue, the music changed and slowed, and he pulled her against him, one hand around her waist, the other still holding hers.
Un paso atrás
Y no queda más
A pleno sol,
En pleno mar
The song was the Spanish version of Ricky Martin's She's All I Ever Had. Buffy recognized it right off the bat and found it fitting that she had met up with Spike and was leaving him while listening to one of the Puerto Rican's songs.
Bella, bella al amanecer
Solo para mí
Bella, belleza de mujer
Ella todo me lo dió
Desde alma hasta la piel,
Fue mi verso a mi papel
Fue me amiga y fue mi amor
Conocía mi interior
Como bola de cristal
Me alejó de todo mal,
Me dió lo mejor
He held her close, swaying to the music, his cheek pressed to her hair as her head lay against his chest. Both of them had their eyes closed, allowing the night to sweep them away to a place where only they existed.
Con mi dolor
Si las ves
Dile que yo
La sigo amando
They realized at the same time that this was Buffy's last night in Mexico. She raised her head and met his eyes, not knowing how to convey that she didn't want to go, that she was uncertain of her feelings for him, that she would never forget him.
Bella, bella al amanecer
Aquí estoy tan mal, tan solo
Bella, belleza de mujer
Ella todo me lo dió
Desde alma hasta la piel,
Fue mi verso a mi papel
Fue mi amiga y fue mi amor
Conocía mi interior
Como bola de cristal
Me alejó de todo mal,
Me dió lo mejor
Spike lowered his head and met her lips, kissing her tenderly. He didn't want her to leave Mexico, didn't want her to leave his house, didn't want her to leave his arms. He didn't want her leave him. Breaking the kiss, he pulled her back against him and sang quietly along with the music.
Bella, bella al amanecer
Quiero que vuelva a mí
Bella, belleza de mujer
"She's beautiful, beautiful as the dawn, I want her to turn to me," he sang softly, translating the words to English. "My beautiful, beauty of a woman." He kissed the top of her head. "Tu eres mi pantera rubia."
Buffy smiled and whispered, "And you're mi diablo rubio."
Ella todo me lo dió
Desde alma hasta la piel,
Fue mi verso a mi papel
Fue mi amiga y fue mi amor
Conocía mi interior
Como bola de cristal
Me alejó de todo mal,
Me dió lo mejor
"Have you got everything?" Spike asked, standing with Buffy by the front door. They had left the party soon after they danced together and made slow, tender love until Buffy had to get prepared to leave. Neither one had spoken about the feelings that ran between them.
"I think so," Buffy replied, adjusting her purse strap on her shoulder. "Jorge has my suitcase in the jeep, plane ticket is in my purse, super tan on my body..."
He smiled, dispelling some of the sadness that surrounded them. He reached forward and tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear. "Have a good flight home, pantera," he said, then placed a gentle kiss on her lips.
Buffy gave him a trembling smile afterwards, then opened the front door. She hurried to where Jorge was waiting with the jeep to take her to the airport. Spike watched her from the protection of the shadows in the doorway, a weight depressing down upon his heart. "Goodbye, mi pantera rubia," he whispered as the vehicle pulled down the driveway and drove out of sight.
In the jeep, Buffy had kept her eyes on Spike, looking over her shoulder until he was no longer visible. Then she turned and stared out the side window, watching the scenery flash by with little interest.
"D.R. will miss you," Jorge told her. "He has never had a woman at la casa. You are very especial to him."
"Right," she sighed. "And next you'll say that, only after three days, he thinks he's in love with me and that I decided to fall in love with him."
"With love," Jorge said. "You do not get to choose, you just fall."
**You just fall,** Buffy repeated in her mind, looking out the window as the plane began its descent. She had just awoken from a vivid dream of her and Spike making love in the guest cabana, and her entire body was tingling with the memory. **You just fall.**
Buffy had fallen hard.
She had fallen in love with a vampire who wore half-glasses, read romance novels and had a pet rock. One whose dancing was erotic and passionate, that left her breathless and weak in the knees. A virile male, whose body was like an ancient Greek sculpture carved out of the flawless marble. A man who made love like she was a goddess, and he was her humble servant, whose only task was to pleasure her.
And she had left him in Tampico, Mexico. It was unlikely she'd ever see him again.
The plane touched down and soon she found herself being hugged by her mother, who had driven to Los Angeles to pick her up. She involved herself in conversation about everything she did, including spending time with Spike, but minus her feelings about him and their being intimate with each other. Her mom had been glad to hear that he was doing fine and that he was no longer with Drusilla, which made her smile. She could never understand her mother.
By the time they reached Sunnydale, the sun was setting and she was exhausted and jet-lagged. All she wanted to do was fall into bed in her dorm room, but she knew she'd never get away with doing that, not with several people waiting for her to report her findings. On her way to the library, she tried to come up with a way to tell them what they wanted to know in the shortest amount of time possible.
"Hey guys," Buffy said, as she came out of the stacks to where her friends and Wesley were waiting.
"Buffy, you're back!" Willow exclaimed.
"I'm back," she said, giving the redhead a tired smile.
"Hello, Buffy," Giles said, giving her a fond smile.
"Hey Buffy," Xander greeted.
"Nice tan," Cordelia said.
"Thanks," Buffy replied, sitting. She slumped down into it and closed her eyes. "William isn't Spike."
"So Miss Rosenberg has told us," Wesley said, nodding his head in greeting.
Buffy opened one eye and looked at Willow. "I told you?"
"Er...yup. You did. Saturday, remember?" Willow said. "We were talking on the phone and you suddenly had to go..."
"Oh," Buffy said, closing her eye. Then they both popped open when she realized she hadn't told Willow she'd found Spike. She looked at Willow and the redhead nodded. **Oh god, Willow knows that I...ho-boy.**
"So Buff, tell us about Mexico," Xander said, butchering the Spanish pronunciation of the country's name. "Was there nude sunbathing?"
"Xander, you're perverted," Cordelia said. She turned to Buffy. "Did you find any good shoes?"
"No, no shoes," Buffy replied. "And there was plenty of half-naked women for you to drool over, Xander. In fact, I met this girl named Elena who was very easy on the eye." She added silently, **Very easy, period.**
"Although I have no doubt you could regale us with stories of post-pubescent revelry," Wesley said. "I must ask if you have slain the vampire known as Spike?"
**Let's see, I danced with him, kissed him, had sex with him, fell in love with him...nope, no slaying,** she thought. But she couldn't say that, or everyone would majorly wig, so she told a half-truth. "He won't be a problem anymore." Which was true, considering he was in Tampico and probably would never leave.
"Very good," Wesley said. "I shall make a notation of it."
She figured she had better leave before she let slip with something. "Well guys, I'm really tired. I'll see you tomorrow, ok?"
"Wait, Buffy, I'll go with you," Willow said. "I need to change before I meet Oz anyway."
**Oh joy,** Buffy thought sarcastically.
The two girls said goodbye and made their way out of the library. Before they had even gone two steps outside, Willow pounced. "You didn't stake Spike, you got staked by him!"
"Loud enough, Wills?" Buffy said, leading the way to their dorm.
"Buffy, this is serious. Spike is a vampire," Willow said.
"I know he's a vampire," she replied. "I also know that we don't have to worry about him. He's there, we're here..."
"But you had sex with him!"
"And I fell in love with him, too," Buffy stated. Willow stopped walking and her mouth dropped open in shock. "Wills, the fish look is so not you."
"You...Spike...you," Willow stammered. "You can't love Spike."
"'You don't get to choose, you just fall,'" Buffy quoted. "And I fell in love, big time, with mi diablo rubio."
"The blond devil?" the redhead translated. "Well, it fits. But this is still Spike we're talking about here. Sucks blood. Wanted to shove a bottle in my face. Wanted to kill us dead."
"It'd be kinda hard to kill us back alive," Buffy joked. Willow scowled at her. "Listen, Willow. I love Spike, but I doubt he loves me and he's not here anyway, so it doesn't matter."
"But it does matter," Willow said. Buffy started to glare at her, but she added, "I don't want you to get hurt because you love someone who won't be with you."
"Like Angel," she said quietly.
"Like Angel," Willow confirmed.
"Well, I got over Angel," Buffy said. "Maybe one day I'll get over Spike, too."
"You'll always have Mexico," Willow said comfortingly.
"Yeah," Buffy said. "I'll always have Mexico."
"It's open!" Buffy called out when someone knocked on her and Willow's door. She had been back from Mexico for three weeks and finals had come upon the students at USunnydale. She was laying on her stomach on the small rug in the room, books spread around her while Latin music played on her stereo. She may have left Mexico, but the country had not left her yet.
She heard the door open. "If you're looking for Willow, she's at the library," she said, writing in the notebook in front of her. There had been people coming to the door at all hours for the past week looking for the redhead in order to get some last minute tutoring.
"Eres tu aquien busco," a deep voice said from the doorway.
Buffy froze, her heart skipping a beat. Slowly, in case she was dreaming, she turned her head and looked over her shoulder. "Spike?"
Spike was leaning casually against the doorframe, dressed in black chinos and his loose, white shirt, holding a rose in his hand. The smile that crossed his lips was one of pure sensuality. "Hola, mi pantera rubia," he said, his words almost coming out as a purr. "Baila con migo?"
The smile that slowly grew on Buffy's face was full of joy. Quickly rolling to her feet, she was in his arms in two steps. "I'd love to dance with you."
Spike leaned back sightly and brushed the rose from her forehead, down her nose and over her lips. He replaced the flower with his own mouth, brushing over her lips softly, then with more passion.
They broke apart when the applause started. Grinning sheepishly at her floor mates, she yanked Spike int her room and shut the door. Leaning against it, she crossed her arms over her chest and tried to put on a serious face. "What are you doing here?"
"Cayendo me," Spike answered, twirling the rose stem.
"English, Spike," she scowled. "Speak it."
He reached out and ran the flower under her chin. "I'm falling."
"You've been talking to Jorge, haven't you?" Buffy said, her eyes alighting with happiness.
"Perhaps," he replied, a small smile on his face.
"I have to tell you something, though," she said. She leaned closer to him and whispered, "I already fell."
Spike's reaction was instantaneous. He dropped the rose, picked up Buffy and spun her in a circle, narrowly missing stepping on her books. She laughed delightedly until he crushed her mouth with his, plundering it with his tongue.
Somehow, they made it over to her bed without breaking apart and the two of them sunk down upon it. Buffy ran her fingers through his soft hair, holding him to her. He shifted on the bed so he was laying on his side next to her, his back to the wall, his feet towards the door.
He ran one hand up under her t-shirt, growling in pleasure when all he found was bare skin. Cupping her breast, he caressed its fullness, brushing his thumb over the taut nipple.
"Oh, oops. Sorry Buffy and guy she's kissing."
Willow's voice broke the couple apart. Buffy blushed bright red, causing Spike to chuckle. He lowered his hand away from her breast and looked over at the redhead in the open doorway. "Hola, Roja. Comó estas?"
Willow's eyes grew huge and she began sputtering, "Sp-Spike!"
Spike laughed at her reaction and Buffy couldn't help but join in. Willow stared at them as if they'd both taken too many blows to the head. "What's so funny? And why's Spike here? I thought he was in Mexico. And why are you two laughing like Xander in his hyena phase?"
Buffy choked down her laughter to get out one sentence, then the two busted up even harder. "We've fallen and we can't get up!"
Willow decided it was better if she just left, so she turned around and walked out the door, closing it firmly behind her. She couldn't believe that Buffy had fallen in love with Spike, and it looked like Spike loved Buffy, too.
Then again, with love, you don't get to choose, you just fall.