Secrets & Lies


by: Lynn
Continuation of The Chains Series





******


Buffy walked through the streets of Sunnydale, patrolling again. Normally, she liked the walking, because it gave her time to think. Not tonight, though.

Tonight she wanted to shut everything out, slay something automatically, like a well-oiled machine. She didn't want to think about Angel or Spike or Giles or Xander or any other stupid, fucking thing. *Great, now Spike's colorful speech is starting to rub off on me.* Buffy wandered down an alley near the hospital, her mind suddenly filled with images of her demon lover.

Spike. No sign of him again tonight. She tried to tell herself that it didn't matter, that it was only sex and nothing more. He'd never said that he'd see her last night or tonight. He could have skipped town for all she knew. The thought of never seeing him again sent a stabbing pain through her heart. *No! I'm not falling for another vampire...I just used him, used him to forget about Angel!* The voice in her head was shrill, almost hysterical with denial. *We never even talked much, we only screwed each other. It was incredible sex, that's all. Not a relationship, for God's sake. He was probably out draining half of the population last night. Maybe he's already found a vampire girlfriend to take Drusilla's place.*

Buffy angrily swiped at the tear rolling down her cheek. She was so furious with herself for even thinking about him. And Giles! How much longer was she going to be able to act normal around him? She wasn't doing such a bang-up job as it was. If Spike had left town, it would certainly make her life easier. Easier was good. A Slayer didn't get very many breaks in her life. She should be grateful.

*Ha! The only thing you'd be grateful for is if Spike came along right now and fucked you 'til sunup.* She shook her head at her own foolishness. *A distracted Slayer is a dead Slayer, Summers. Get your mind back on your work.*

A sound behind her caught her off guard. She whirled around to see a vampire grinning evilly as he came toward her. Buffy grabbed hold of her stake and went into her ready stance. Her whole body went perfectly still, a calm settling over her as she prepared to take him on. She was itching for a fight and she planned to hurt him before she finally turned him into dust.

The vampire rushed at her, his claws reaching for her throat. She easily stepped aside and spun around, catching him in the face with a well timed kick. Buffy threw several backhand punches, not giving him a chance to recover. Somehow, he managed to take hold of her shirt and throw her to the ground.

As he was leaning over her, she kicked him in the head and rolled away, grabbing a broken shovel that was laying on the ground. In one fluid motion, she sprang up and swung the shovel with all of her strength, striking the vampire in the back. He crumpled to his knees and Buffy began beating him over the head, crushing his skull.

As she brought the heavy tool down on the unfortunate creature, all of her anger rushed to the surface, creating a red haze that blinded her. Angel, Spike, Xander, Giles- they all ran through her mind as she rained blow after blow on the body beneath her. The guilt, the fear, the rage- everything that had happened in the last few days- all bubbled over into a mindless act of violence. Incoherent sounds came from her throat as the sweat poured down the sides of her body.

As suddenly as it had come upon her, the haze lifted and the shovel slipped from her numb fingers. She stared in horror at the mess on the ground, unable to believe that she had done something like that. The vampire's head was gone, reduced to pulp, and his arms lay in odd angles from the rest of the body.

She dropped to her knees as the sobs burst forth from deep in her chest, her slender frame racked by uncontrollable tremors. It was like a dam bursting, all of the pent up emotion flooding out into the alley around her. She stayed like that for what seemed like hours, until she was completely spent.

Forcing herself to her feet, she retrieved her stake and turned back to her victim. The body had started twitching, trying to regenerate itself. Her face completely blank, Buffy slammed the stake into its chest, putting it out of its misery.

Physically drained and emotionally depleted, she headed for home as a cold chill began to creep down her spine. For the first time in her life, she was more afraid of the monster within- that dark part of herself- than of any demon the Hellmouth could throw at her. She wondered if anything would ever be the same again.


Spike squealed into the mansion driveway, yanked his keys out of the ignition and stormed into the house. He grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels from the bar in the dining room and went upstairs without saying a word.

Slamming the door to his room, he unscrewed the cap and took a huge swallow, enjoying the burning sensation as the alcohol slid down his throat. He planned on staying in tonight and getting good and pissed. *Angel wasn't the only one who knew how to fucking brood, I can brood with the best of them.*

Spike chugged half the bottle and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Maybe if he got drunk enough, he wouldn't have to think about last night, with Lara. *What a fucking waste! So beautiful, so strong, so fucking perfect! Too fucking perfect.*

It had never bothered him to kill anyone before, why was it bothering him now? He'd had to do it, had no choice. *Admit it, you killed Lara to keep her from mucking things up with the Slayer. You knew she'd be a complication.* He drank some more, trying to drown that fucking annoying voice in the back of his head. The past twenty-four hours continued to flash through his mind, making him wish that he had a whole case of booze on hand.

He'd woken up a few hours ago feeling shitty- bloated from overindulgence, head pounding from the drugs. The figure beside him lay motionless and for a brief moment he'd thought that she would open her eyes, until he remembered that he'd taken that option away from her. Spike had stumbled into her bathroom to wash off her blood and juices, then dressed and left the apartment as quickly as he could.

Taking another swallow, he began pacing agitatedly, trying to forget about Lara and her maternal warmth. There'd never been anyone to take care of him in the past, it had always been him taking care of his drunken mother, him taking care of Drusilla. Not that either one of them had ever appreciated it. He could have lost himself in Lara and that spooked him. He didn't like for anyone to have that much control over him.

When he'd finally gotten to the club, Darius had mouthed off about being abandoned the night before, earning a backhand across the face for his trouble. They'd all been mercifully silent after that, not wanting to piss him off any further. A thought occurred to him and he yanked open his door.

"M-A-R-K!" His voice echoed off the stone walls, carrying to the first floor. He heard footsteps pounding up the stairs *That's it, pissant, you'd better fucking run when I call.*

Mark appeared at his door, looking a bit anxious. "Yeah Spike, what is it?"

"Go out and get me something to eat- nothing under the age of thirteen. And bring me more to drink while you're at it." Spike had never liked killing children... no sport in it. Angel and Drusilla had actually preferred the blood of the innocent, the younger the better. To him it seemed sick, somehow; it was probably the one thing he didn't have the stomach for. Mark ran back down the stairs, relieved at the simple request.

Spike drained the rest of the bottle and tossed it into the corner, stalking around the room like a caged animal. He wasn't drunk yet, nowhere near the oblivion he wished for. Things just kept getting worse, instead of better.

He'd tried to put some distance between him and the Slayer and look where it got him. Brooding like Saint Angel just because he killed someone. Big fucking deal! He was a vampire, people died, that's just the way it was. The way it had always been for nearly two hundred years. And the Slayer still plagued his thoughts, distance had only made...well not the heart, certainly, but definitely his cock grow fonder. Or harder, rather. *Things are definitely fucked up around here, shagging the Slayer instead of trying to kill her...what kind of moron am I?*

A knock at the door snapped him out of his reverie. He opened it to find Mark standing there, a bottle of J.D. in one hand and a body slung over his shoulder. Spike motioned him inside, snatching the bottle out of his hand as he passed by.

"I'll call you when I'm done eating. Tell the others I don't want to be disturbed."

Mark dumped the body and fled back downstairs, leaving Spike alone with his dinner, an unconcious sixteen year old boy. He opened the second bottle of Jack, and sat down to wait for his meal to wake up, thinking that at least there'd be a struggle this time.


*******


Buffy was in a foul mood, stomping her way around school like a woman possessed. The Slayerettes had already gotten a taste of just how pissed off at the world she was when Buffy had proclaimed to everyone within hearing distance that Xander's hostility toward Angel was due, not to jealousy over her, but to latent homosexual feelings for the vampire. Xander had turned white and then red, finally running off like the coward that Cordelia professed him to be. The rest of the Scooby Gang had proceeded to make themselves scarce, having decided that they would rather not be next on her shit list. She felt only a brief pang of remorse for her treatment of Xander. It was soon replaced by a huge feeling of satisfaction for putting him in his place, once and for all.

Her victims continued to pile up as the day wore on. Poor Jonathan accidently bumped into her in the cafeteria and ended up wearing his lunch, making her a hero in the eyes of his usual group of tormentors. Later on, as Buffy was passing by the boy's locker room after gym, Larry chose to accost her, making snide comments about getting into her pants. She had whirled around, catching his throat in her hand and slamming him up against the lockers.

"Not the day to mess with me, Larry. Do you want the football team to know just how tough you really are?"

He'd shaken his head, eyes wide with shock and fear. She then released her grip and walked away without another word, wondering if she would have any friends left at the end of the day. *I'm becoming psychotic- last night with that vampire, and now today with Xander and Larry and Jonathan. Giles is going to have me committed.*

She had gone home last night to find her mother waiting, wanting to have one of her little 'talks'. Buffy had suffered through it, not even remembering what was said, before stumbling upstairs and collapsing on the bed in a heap. Her dreams had been filled with images of the headless vampire stalking her; of Spike, laughing about her to his cronies; of Angel, blaming her for Angelus, calling her a whore. She figured she had gotten about five minutes worth of sleep, hence the totally evil attitude today.

Not hearing from Spike for the second night in a row hadn't helped matters. She couldn't understand it; she had gone a lot longer than two days without seeing Angel in the past and she had never been this upset. Was she turning into some kind of nympho? Was she totally demented? Did having sex with Angel and Spike automatically make you a member of Drusilla's Club for Raving Lunatics? *Tune in tomorrow for the answers to these questions and more on the Buffy Summers Psycho Show...* She headed for the library, determined to forget about Spike, Angel and the rest of her problems.

Giles was ready for training, all padded up and weapon happy. He pompously told Buffy that he could take whatever she dished out, then spent the next ten minutes trying to take back his foolishly spoken words. Buffy hammered him with her staff until his padding hung in tatters around his middle aged body. In desperation, he called a halt to training and sent her home, telling her to take the night off and get some rest.

As she left the library, Giles called himself every kind of idiot for goading her into almost killing him. Something had to be done about her; she was becoming a loose cannon, with all of this pent up anger. Perhaps a good night's sleep would make some difference. *That's right Rupert, delude yourself until she snaps completely.* Rubbing his sore muscles, he headed for the phone, needing to talk to an old friend and gain some much needed perspective on the whole situation.


*********


Buffy went home, tired from whipping Giles' ass, still feeling completely off kilter. She blew her mother off, claiming that she was coming down with something and headed straight for the bathroom to take a shower.

The bathroom filled with steam as she set the water as hot as her skin could stand. The tension drained from her body as the hot water pounded against tender flesh, turning it bright pink. It was the closest to self-flagellation that she could get; punishment for her behavior last night and today at school, for her complete wantonness with Spike...for missing him after only two days. Buffy turned off the water just in time, before her skin had a chance to blister. *It'll heal in a few hours anyway.* Wrapping a towel around herself, she went to her room, intending to stay there until morning.

Once in her room, she rummaged through her cds, finally settling on Jann Arden. Popping the disc into the stereo, she pushed play and began getting ready for bed. As she slipped her chemise over her head, she realized it was the same one she had been wearing when Spike had come to her room, asking for help. *Less than two weeks since this whole thing started. God it feels like a lifetime ago.* The song on the stereo penetrated her thoughts, the words almost taunting her.

There's dirt in my mouth
from kissing who I should not dare
There's mud coming out
with every rip and every tear
This thing beneath my ribs
will beat me to the ground

Whenever she was in Giles' presence, she had the feeling that he could tell what she had been up to. As if Spike had left handprints all over her body, for the whole world to see. It was ridiculous, she knew, but it made her feel dirty, like she was betraying Giles by sleeping with the vampire. Buffy scooped up Mr. Gordo and curled up in a ball on the bed.

My guilty skin like gasoline
is burning out a hole in me
My guilty heart
lies here in ruin, in ruin
Nobody knows me,
no one will ever see
The distance between
what is and what will never be

She felt isolated by the deception. Where once she would have told Willow everything- giggling together over Angel kissage- she was now denied the chance to reveal any aspect of her relationship with Spike. She wished that she could share with Willow how he made her feel, talk to someone about her confusion. She had no idea how to deal with her feelings, no idea if she even 'should' be having these feelings. *Face it, Summers- Spike isn't exactly picket fence material. I mean, where is this thing going to go, anyway?*

Was there even a thing to be worrying about? He could have split for good, left Sunnydale far behind. There was nothing to hold him here. Drusilla was gone and he had told her his opinion of the other vampires in town. Why would he stay when there was a whole world out there?

Buffy slid between her sheets and pulled the covers over her head, trying to ignore the ache in her chest, trying not to wish for a pair of strong arms to hold her. She closed her eyes and prayed for sleep...endless, dreamless sleep.

A bird will break his wings
Like a heart will cut her strings
And there isn't anything to comfort me


********


Spike sauntered up Revello Drive, each step bringing him closer to the Slayer, closer to some sort of absolution. He'd known when he had woken up that he couldn't stay away any longer. She was the only one who could make him forget Lara, forget Drusilla, forget the whole fucking mess. His hangover had faded to a dull roar and he was positive that she could banish it completely with her warm body and soft kisses.

He walked across her front lawn and saw that her mother's Cherokee was parked in the driveway. *Fuck it, I'm going in. If she's not home then I'll just wait until she gets here.*

Spike climbed up the tree and slipped inside the room, his night vision easily picking out the sleeping figure in the bed. The moonlight spilling through the window glinted on her golden hair splayed across the pillow. He smiled and crossed the room to lock the door, pulling off his clothes at the same time.

Spike froze as a whimper sounded from the bed. Buffy rolled over and called out his name, still asleep. He went to her, sliding under the covers, fitting himself spoon fashion against her back. "I'm here, baby."

Still in the throes of some dream, she continued to speak, almost sobbing. "Why, Spike? Why does it have to be you?"

Spike put his arms around her and held her tight. "Shh, baby, it's all right." He was good at this, had done it a million times with Drusilla, when her visions had scared her.

Buffy gradually became aware of the body behind her, the strong arms holding her. She recognized his scent and the tension drained away, making her relax against him. He felt so good, made her feel safe again. She was struck by the irony of it, that the source of her greatest turmoil was also her greatest comfort. *It doesn't matter...he's here, he didn't leave.*

Spike kissed the back of her neck, slipping the strap of her nightgown off her shoulder. A feather- light caress trailed down her arm to her hip, his hand sliding her nightgown to her waist before coming up to cup her breast. Buffy arched her back as she felt his thumb rubbing her nipple, a sigh of pleasure escaping her lips. He continued kissing her neck and shoulder, swirling his tongue in intricate patterns. His touch was light, gentle- like a blind person reading braille. He'd never touched her like this before, with such tenderness.

Spike loved the feel of her- her body warm from sleep, skin so soft, softer than anything he'd ever felt in two hundred years of existence. He buried his face in her hair, catching the faint scent of raspberries as his hand drifted down toward her moist center. His hand slid into her panties, thrusting one finger deep inside her as Buffy moaned and shifted slightly, to allow him better access.

His hard cock rubbed against the silk covered globes of her ass, teasing him unmercifully. Spike added another finger to the one thrusting in and out of her cunt. She was already so wet; it amazed him how she always seemed ready, always welcomed him so eagerly. His thumb rubbed against her clitoris, slowly, tortuously, as her hips rocked back and forth.

"Spike?" She was whimpering with pleasure this time, twisting the sheets in her hands and almost ripping them.

"Please, Spike...I want you inside me, I need you..."

She helped him slide her panties off and parted her legs, feeling him enter her slowly, inch by inch. Buffy gasped as he filled her. *Oh God, so cold, he feels so good...* She arched back, her head against his shoulder, taking him deep inside her.

"Christ!" Spike gritted his teeth, willing himself not to come as her walls tightened around him. He began moving slowly, sliding his hand down again to caress her swollen clit. A low hum sounded from deep in Buffy's throat as she moved with him...gently, lazily, both wanting to prolong the intense pleasure building within them. Buffy reached down and laced her fingers with his, pressing his hand against her aching flesh.

Spike fastened his lips to the nape of her neck, licking and sucking as he began to move faster, her soft round buttocks pushing against his hard stomach muscles. The friction was incredible- so tight, her heat surrounding him, bringing a growling purr from deep inside his chest. He couldn't tell where he ended and she began; they were one single entity, melting into each other with every blinding thrust.

"Oh God, Spike!" She was trying to be quiet but he made it so difficult, his gloriously hard cock plunging in and out of her with ever increasing speed. His other hand slipped around her, finding her nipple and tugging, sending a jolt straight to her womb. She started coming, softly calling his name and bucking against him as wave after wave crashed over her.

Spike moved his hand up to her mouth to muffle her cries and she bit him hard, drawing blood. As he felt her teeth break the skin, his cock surged inside her, sending jets of cold semen into her depths. It seemed to go on and on, the both of them shaking and gasping, their bodies slick with sweat.

*God, that was fucking incredible...* The unspoken thought echoed in both of their heads as they lay there in stunned silence, waiting for the aftershocks to cease. Spike let his hand move lazily over Buffy's skin, feeling pride at the tremors running through her body. A ragged breath escaped him as he brushed his lips against the base of her throat, feeling at peace for the first time since coming to Sunnydale.

He couldn't kid himself any longer- this wasn't just meaningless sex, not by a long shot. He'd just made love to the Slayer, held nothing back. *Stake me right now, because I am bloody well fucked. Fucked right into the abyss.* Spike could feel himself falling, and nothing was going to be able to save him.

Buffy felt his arms tighten around her, their hands still clasped together. She leaned her head back against his shoulder as he softly kissed her neck, too overcome by emotion to speak. She knew that they'd just crossed some invisible line, tumbled into forbidden territory. The blinders were off and she could finally admit that her feelings for him were more than physical. He had a firm grasp on her heart and it scared her to death.

"Did you miss me, luv?" She heard the catch in his voice, knew what he was really asking.

"No," she answered, pressing herself against him to hold him inside her, not wanting to let go.

Spike chuckled and rubbed his head against hers, closing his eyes as he breathed in the scent of her skin, her sweat, her desire. "I didn't miss you either."

Their demons momentarily banished, they drifted off to sleep, still tightly joined together, wishing that the dawn would never come.


Buffy awoke at 2 am to find Spike's head between her thighs, licking away the remains of their lovemaking.

"Spike? Wha-aaaahhhh!" She grabbed the pillow and held it over her face, trying to muffle the squeals that were flying from her lips.

Spike raised his head, a wicked grin lighting up his face. "Sorry luv, couldn't sleep."

She pulled the pillow away and stared at him with raised eyebrows. Still holding her gaze, he ran his tongue around her folds and over her clitoris, flicking it back and forth in a maddeningly slow tease.

"Ooh, don't...let..me-eee!...get in...the way...of...of your...insomni-aaahh!" Buffy slammed the pillow back over her face as he fastened his mouth over her clit and sucked hard.

Spike slid two fingers into her tight channel, hitting her G-spot as he alternated licking and sucking the tender nub. Her hips bucked wildly off the bed, thrusting into his face, drenching him with her juices. *So good, oh my god, he's so fucking good!* Her whole body shook as she careened toward her orgasm, biting the pillow in desperation.

Spike's other hand held her down, his cock growing increasingly harder as he listened to the muffled shrieks coming from underneath the pillow. Her strong thighs locked around his head, trapping him, making him grateful that he didn't need to breathe. Licking eagerly at the wetness flowing over his hand, Spike rubbed himself against the sheets in rhythmic movements, anxious to be back inside her again. He didn't know which was better- the taste of her blood, or the taste of her cunt. *I wasn't lying...bloody Christ, she tastes so fucking sweet...could stay here forever...*

Buffy's muscles tightened as she exploded in ecstasy, clamping down on his fingers in pulsing spasms. He heard a tearing sound as her teeth ripped through the pillowcase, then nothing at all as her thighs closed on his ears. She shuddered several times then relaxed, tossing the damaged pillow to the floor.

Spike looked up at her red, sweaty face, her heaving chest, and smiled. Giving her dripping pussy one more tortuous lick, he crept up her body until they were face to face, his hardness pressed between them. Buffy smiled up at him, a little dazed, running her hands over his arms and down his back, tracing the corded muscles with her fingertips.

"That was definitely better than my alarm clock."

Spike leaned down and kissed her deeply- thoroughly, rubbing his tongue against hers, letting her taste the fluid clinging to his lips. Her hands came up to slide through his hair, holding his head to hers as she licked her own juices from his mouth. Spike groaned, unable to control himself any longer, and entered her with one swift thrust, driving his cock as far as it would go.

Buffy's eyes flew open and a low moan sounded in her throat as she felt him slam against her still sensitive clit, the friction almost painful. He felt bigger somehow, stretching her...filling her to completion, making her whole again.

Eyes the color of storm clouds stared back at her, burning with intensity...and something else that she was afraid to indentify. Bracing himself on his arms, Spike began to move in long even strokes, his gaze never leaving her face. Feeling totally exposed and vulnerable, Buffy tried desperately to look away, to close her eyes before he saw too much.

"NO!" he hissed, "I want you looking at me when I'm fucking you, I want you to see ME, not him!"

The pain in his face and voice startled her. She hadn't realized that he felt that way, that he thought she was using him as a substitute for Angel. Angel didn't even cross her mind when Spike touched her. She lifted a hand to his face, tracing the scar and the sharp cheekbones, rubbing her thumb across his beautiful lips.

"I never think of Angel when I'm with you Spike. You're the only one I see, the only one I feel..."

As her soft spoken words registered, he began thrusting frantically and a sharp cry of pleasure echoed from her lips. He covered her mouth with his to muffle the sound, letting her swallow his own growls of lust as he drove into her wildly, almost out of control.

Her senses reeling, Buffy clung to him desperately; fingernails digging into his back, heels locked behind his thighs as she arched up to meet him, urging him to fuck her harder, faster. She couldn't believe that he was going to make her come again so soon, couldn't believe how easily he did this to her. The bed shook as Spike pounded into her unmercifully, setting her whole body on fire with every stroke of his huge cock. She said a silent prayer of thanks that the mattress and frame were new; no creaking bedsprings to alert her mother.

Spike was out of his mind with the need for release, totally consumed by her, scorched by her heat. It was like trying to catch a glimpse of the sun- pain and pleasure combined in a single perfect moment. He looked down at her flushed face, her swollen lips, her eyes that were glowing with uncontrolled passion and a feral grin crossed his face as a voice whispered "MINE, all mine," in the back of his head.

As their gaze locked, they felt an electric current charging the air, dancing over their skin, building the pressure inside them. Buffy bared her throat to him, offering them both release. Grinding his pelvis down hard on her clit, Spike sank his fangs into her neck, moaning as her blood flowed over his tongue.

They both came together in a blinding explosion- fire and ice, heaven and hell- bodies slamming together in violent shudders, every muscle straining with effort. Buffy whimpered as his tongue licked and sucked, making her orgasm seem like a neverending assault on her senses.

"S-o-o good, Spike...aahh, you're so, so good," she sighed, contentedly, as her hands came up to grip his hair.

Spike forced himself to stop drinking, licking the wound to heal it faster. Her skin was vibrating against his as tremors shook their breathless, sweat-soaked bodies. Brushing her hair back from her face, Spike gazed down at Buffy in wonderment and fear. *What the fuck have I done? I just signed my own death warrant.*

He kissed her again, feeling her respond with the same desperation, trying drive away reality, forget that they were vampire and Slayer. Spike broke off the kiss and rolled onto his back, bringing her with him, tucked under his arm.

Buffy curled up next to him, her head on his chest, listening to the temporary heartbeat thudding beneath the skin. Her hand drifted across his stomach, playing with the downy hair that reached from his navel to his groin, as mixed emotions warred within her. *What's going to happen to us? How long can we keep this up? I don't know what I'll do if Giles finds out.* She didn't want to think about it now, she just wanted to feel his cool skin pressed against her fevered flesh and pretend that nothing else mattered.

Spike combed his fingers through her silky hair, feeling her blood rush through his veins, her hand on his stomach sending shivers down his spine. His own emotions were a jumbled mess- confusion, satisfaction and a growing trepidation in competition with the most dangerous of all, lo- no, he couldn't say it, not even to himself. He'd only loved one person in two hundred years, and she'd betrayed him, thrown it back in his face. This was the Slayer, he couldn't love her, it was impossible. *Bloody hell, this is my worst fuck up yet.*

His arms tightened possessively around her, shoving everything from his tortured mind except the memory of their lovemaking- the most incredible sex he'd ever had. He'd never come so violently before, had never fucked anyone that hard. A thought occurred to him and he cleared his throat. "Um, pet?"

"Hmmm?"

"Just how fucking oblivious 'is' your mum, anyway? I mean, we probably woke the dead, just now."

Buffy sighed, not really wanting to think about her mother at the moment. "Her room is at the far end of the hall and she always sleeps like she's comatose, especially after a few drinks."

Spike blinked in surprise, memories of his own mother surfacing. "Yours too? Not much fun to deal with, is it luv? I guess that explains how you're able to sneak out all the time."

Buffy shrugged, then looked up as what he said penetrated. "Your mother drank? A lot?" She was a little thrown by the connection between them, and by the fact that he'd volunteered something from his human past.

"Yes, 'a lot'. Looks like we're not so different after all, are we pet?" He continued stroking her hair, for the first time realizing just how alone she really was. She had her Watcher and her friends, but they weren't family, they weren't the ones you came home to every night. How stupid could her mother be, to not know about the slaying? He mentally shook his head at the sheer idiocy of the woman.

"You should get some sleep, luv. You have school in a little while. And I should leave soon." The regret in his voice was plain, but it didn't soothe her. She didn't want him to go, didn't want to have to go to school and face everyone.

"Spike? What are we going to do?" Her voice was muffled against his chest.

He sighed and brushed his lips against her hair, trying to prepare himself to go back to the mansion. "I don't know, Slayer. There isn't a whole lot we 'can' do anyway, now...is there? Our only choices are to stay away from each other...or keep on doing what we're doing."

"I don't want to stay away. I don't think I can."

The whisper was so soft, he might not have heard it if he'd been human. It killed her to admit it, but she knew deep down that he felt the same way. She pressed closer to him, eyes closing against her will as exhaustion took over.

Spike listened to her even breathing, thinking that he was either very fortunate or the most doomed vampire in existence. He closed his eyes and waited for the dawn.


Spike slipped from the Slayer's bed an hour before sunrise, not wanting to leave, but having no choice. He threw on his clothes haphazardly, searching frantically for his underwear before remembering that he hadn't been wearing any. Walking over to the bed, he looked down at his sleeping beauty, sprawled across the bed in all her naked glory. He pulled the covers up over Buffy, trailing kisses up her back and over her shoulder.

She stirred and blinked up at him. "Spike?"

"I have to go luv; it's almost dawn."

"Nooo," she protested sleepily, her small hand reaching out for him. Buffy tugged him down next to her, placing his hand on her breast before slipping hers up his t-shirt to glide across his stomach.

"You're not playing fair, luv," Spike growled as he brought his mouth down on hers, kissing her roughly, thumb teasing her nipple. He couldn't stop touching her, couldn't stop wanting her. He wondered how long it would be before the whole thing killed him. Or her.

Buffy's hand tangled in his hair as she deepened the kiss, pouring everything she was feeling into it, everything she couldn't say. *I need you, don't leave, stay here and love me...* The words were better left unsaid; it was too dangerous to go there. *Don't think, just feel...*

With a groan of frustration, Spike pulled away, running a shaky hand through his hair. He really had to get going. If they started up again, he'd never leave, and he didn't fancy spending all day in the house with her mum around. *Just say goodbye already, mate!*

"I'll see you later, all right?" He gave her a quick kiss and disappeared, leaving a chill in the air with his absence.

Buffy rolled over, burrowing deep into the covers, thinking how strange it was that she missed him already and wondering how she was ever going to come to terms with their relationship.


*******


Spike jumped to the ground, landing with catlike grace before loping off down the street toward home. He felt powerful- able to take on an entire death squad of vampires, and a couple of demon bounty hunters, as well. All of his senses were zinging, heightened by the Slayer's blood and the phenomenal sex. He could hear people stirring in their beds, smell their blood and sweat...almost see their dreams, even. *Her blood is such powerful stuff...I could bloody well get addicted.* He laughed out loud. *Fuck me, I'm already Betty Ford bound as it is. Hooked on Slayer pussy...wouldn't that be a good topic for group therapy?* Spike shook his head. *Vampires and their addictions...on the next Jerry Springer.*

Approaching the cemetery, he quickened his pace, recalling how the Slayer had bared her neck for him. He still couldn't believe she had done it- the trust that she'd shown him, or that he'd had the willpower to keep from killing her.

The taste of her blood, combined with the taste of her juices in his mouth, had made him come with an intensity he'd never experienced before. Just thinking about it gave him an erection and a burst of energy that couldn't be contained. He gave in to it; sprinting through the cemetery, jumping on and over gravestones, singing AC/DC, loudly and offkey.

"SHE WAS A FAST MA-CHINE, SHE KEPT HER MO-TOR CLEAN..." Grabbing a light pole, he swung around like a drunken Gene Kelly, still slightly wasted from the feeding. He loved to sing, but he rarely got the chance, what with having to be tough and in control all the time. AC/DC had always been one of his favorites; they had a song for every occasion.

"TA-KING MORE THAN HER SHARE, HAD ME FIGHTING FOR AIR..." The cemetery whirled around him as he banged his head like Angus Young in a continuous motion, hard enough to cause brain damage in anyone not already dead.

"SHE TOLD ME TO COME, BUT I WAS AL-READY THERE!" In the back of his mind, he wondered what the others would say if they saw him now. Fuck them, he didn't care, he had some time before sunrise and he was having fun, something that had been in short supply, lately.

"CAUSE THE WALLS START SHA-KING, THE EARTH WAS QUA-KING..." He hopped up on a gravestone, one-footed, arms flailing as he tried to balance himself.

"MY MIND WAS A-CHING, AND WE WERE MA-KING IT..." His singing trailed off as he looked down at the fresh grave below him. It was covered with flowers, roses of every color that had just been placed there that very day. An idea formed and he glanced at the sky, figuring he just had time for one more stop before the sun came up.

Hopping down, he picked through the flowers until he found one that was a deep magenta- perfectly formed, with a delicate, almost fruity fragrance. He grinned, pleased with his find, then turned and ran off in the opposite direction from the mansion, his scratchy voice echoing in the deserted graveyard.

"YEAH YOOUU, SHOOK ME AAALLL NIIIGHT LOOOONG...."


*****


Buffy was stripping the sheets off the bed, intending to throw them in the wash before she left for school. School. It didn't seem so daunting this morning. She felt rested and ready to face the day, which was odd, considering how little sleep she'd actually gotten. For the first time in weeks, she could honestly admit to being in a positive frame of mind.

Scooping up the sheets, she buried her face in them for a moment, letting their mingled scent wash over her, warming her body as a flush crept across her skin.

Spike had been...different, last night. She wouldn't have thought him capable of such tenderness, such passion. But he had been. He'd actually made love to her, instead of the wild fucking that they'd engaged in before. The feeling of him pressed against her back like a second skin, strong arms wrapped around her tight...she'd wanted to keep him inside her and never let go.

And the way that he'd woken her- so delicious, making her come so hard that she forgot to breathe, almost suffocating beneath the pillow. Buffy closed her eyes, seeing his face...that fierce, possessive look as he moved deep within her, his gaze burning right through to her soul. It had both terrified and thrilled her...that sense of drowning, of tumbling so far that she'd never find her way back.

They'd come together so violently, leaving marks where fingers had dug into flesh, where skin had slammed against skin. It occurred to her that perhaps no human male would ever be strong enough for her, that she would never have what others considered a "normal relationship". Never have what other girls took for granted.

Well, she wasn't like other girls, wasn't that what everyone was always telling her? No matter how hard she tried, she'd always be different- always be on the outside, looking in. Maybe it was time to face that fact and deal with her life the way it was. Stop worrying about what might never be and enjoy what was right in front of her. Of course, she couldn't enjoy it openly, couldn't afford for anyone to know about Spike and how she felt about him.

*And just how exactly DO you feel about Spike? What is it that you have with him?* Great sex, certainly. A shared bond because of their part in the destruction of Angel and Drusilla, with each of them losing the only person that they had ever loved. Both of them plagued by restlessness and a need for action that sometimes replaced common sense. Was that enough? Enough for a relationship? Enough for anything at all? It had to be; they couldn't turn back now, even if they wanted to.

Buffy deliberately avoided thinking the L word, preferring to believe that what they had was only physical. She had been in love with Angel, and look where it had gotten her. No, she wasn't going to go that route again. In the light of day, it was easier to pretend that she didn't need Spike, easier to forget that she ached from wanting him, more than she ever had with Angel.

A glance at the clock told her to get moving, so she tossed the sheets to the floor and began searching her closet for something to wear. Spying a skirt and top that she hadn't worn in a while, she quickly threw them on and checked out her appearance in the mirror, smiling as she did so. *Welcome back to the land of the living!*

She grabbed her brush off of the dresser and turned around, flinging her hair back from her shoulders. The hand holding the brush halted in midair as she froze, staring fixedly at her neck, reflected in the mirror. *Oh my god, how could I have forgotten?* There, right in plain sight, were two puncture wounds, surrounded by slightly red, mottled skin. The memory of how she'd offered her throat to him came flooding back, making her feel ashamed and slightly nauseous.

The other times that he'd bitten her had been different; impulsive, in the heat of the moment. Her thigh, her breast- they hadn't seemed as dangerous, or as fatal. This time she'd bared her neck, submitted like captured prey. *I'm the Slayer, how could I have done such an incredibly stupid thing?*

A sneaky voice in the back of her head whispered, *Because you knew what it would do to him, how good it would feel. You wanted to belong to him, body and soul* A low moan sounded in her throat as she stared at the marks like a deer caught in the headlights. *Oh god, Giles!*

Spurred into action, she ran to the closet, flinging clothing everywhere until she found a scarf that went with her outfit. Almost sobbing with relief, she wound it around her neck, draping the ends down her back. Arranging it to cover the bite, she stepped back and surveyed herself with a critical eye.

*Not bad, it looks like a fashion statement, no one will question it. No one except Cordelia, anyway and she hates everything I wear, so it won't matter.* She'd have to beg off from training, but after yesterday, she didn't think that Giles would be in any hurry to be a punching bag again.

Now that the marks on her neck were covered, Buffy felt calmer, less distraught. Her hand reached up to touch her throat through the scarf briefly, fingertips grazing the spot where his teeth had pierced her flesh. She felt his mark, throbbing beneath her touch. His brand- almost burning, reminding her that even though she denied it, part of her belonged to him. She and Spike were linked together by her blood flowing in his veins, not once, but three times now.

It didn't bother her as much as it should have. Every fiber of her being should have been crying out in protest, but now that she was over her initial shock, she felt oddly pleased in a way that she didn't fully understand.

To know that Spike could control himself, keep from draining her even in the throes of passion, meant that he felt something more than lust, more than hunger. And Buffy knew that no matter how much she denied it, whatever lies she told herself, she wanted him, needed him- 'cared' for him, more than she was willing to admit. She was sure after last night that Spike knew it, too. Damn him.

Buffy turned from the mirror and scooped up the sheets, trying to ignore the pounding of her heart as she headed downstairs. In spite of everything, in spite of the turmoil swirling around inside her, last night had left her with a feeling of something close to contentment. She had experienced a kind of pleasure that she hadn't known existed; had felt him seeping into every pore, melting into her as if they were one being. Spike felt it too, she was certain of it.

No one could take that away from them, however wrong their relationship might seem. Buffy wasn't about to give up on him now, not without a fight. She didn't know if she could survive losing someone else that she...cared about. Letting her thoughts turn toward school and the day ahead, she threw the sheets into the washing machine, spun the dial and ran for the door, determined to be on time for a change.


Continued