'You've grown.' Spike tried to peer back over his shoulder at Angel, but the vampire was sitting just out of his eye line. A cigarette in his mouth and a long glass of vodka dangled in one hand, Spike was feeling just peachy. And of course, Peaches was feeling him. Which made life so much more pleasant. Safe in the knowledge that they'd finished with The Powers That Be for the night, (or so Spike claimed, pointing out that he wouldn't leave this flat if God himself were to turn up and demand it) the vampires had settled down for an evening of uninterrupted naughtiness. The English vampire had demonstrated a new technique for consuming chocolate fudge and both men were wearing contented grins. Worn out, at least for the moment, Spike had lain down on the velvet comforter and started singing softly as he practised his other favourite activities. Angel had sat back in the bed, watching as his lover stretched out, the taut muscles in his ass flexing under the tattoo. The dark vampire lazily traced the pattern with his fingers, smiling gently as Spike twitched under the attention. He'd taken Spike's offer of a drink up for once, and sipped occasionally from the glass, tasting the bittersweet alcohol as it slid down his throat. Before Spike had arrived, Angel rarely ate human foods, depriving himself of their tastes and textures. He'd almost forgotten what it was like to digest a meal and with Spike's insistence that all food could be used in the bedroom he'd had to add toilet paper to their shopping list, a fact which had grossed out Cordelia. 'I thought there were some things vampires didn't have to do?' 'Your point?' asked Spike, with a barely disguised snarl. She carried on, oblivious. 'I mean, I thought with the red blood cells and all, you guys could skip on the grosser side of life.' Spike had laughed. 'Nothing like a Sunday morning with the paper, Pet.' She had glowered at him and then, her mind rebelling against the scary, left with Doyle. Toilet paper had appeared in the bathroom without further comment, but Angel made sure nobody was about when he went in there. The human world was a scary and disgusting place much of the time, with discomfort as much a part of life as pleasantries. Whilst Spike was obviously at home with all of this, Angel was less comfortable, feeling his way into a world which feared him. As Angellus, he'd been afraid of nothing, he'd taken on the world and won for several years. The price of such success was harsh, and although he reconciled himself that he had deserved it, the pain of caring had worked its suffering onto his body. He had spent so many years believing himself unworthy, that penance had become easier than pleasure. Unlearning that was harder than anyone could believe. With Buffy, he'd eventually come to the conclusion that he was worthy of her love. He had tried so hard not to accept it, disgust washing over him at every turn. How can you love me, he'd wondered again and again, how can you love me when you know what I've done? But she had loved him in spite of his past, in spite of what he had done willingly without his soul. Without a conscience, he had been the most vicious of vampires, earning himself a title and reputation with his sanguinary tastes. Without that freedom, he had been a creature of pity. He had been so burdened with his actions that he failed to function on any level. Not as a vampire and nowhere near a human. He was beneath contempt, seeking out the dankest and darkest places to hide, to contemplate what he had become. He was worthless to everyone, a whimpering creature just this side of insanity. If it had come, he would have welcomed it - anything was better than the malignant life he was leading. He sometimes wondered if the Powers That Be had even concerned themselves with him then. For nearly a century he had done nothing and been no one. Surely at some point he would have tried to end his miserable existence? Angel had thought that he knew the reasons - that he was too cowardly to throw himself on a stake and because as a Catholic, he knew such actions would lead him to a fate worse than this. But now, in his more than comfortable life, he wondered if they might have a hand in that decision. Perhaps they had known all along what he might become, that his value was as then untapped. And now? What was he now? Spike growled softly as Angel stroked the supple flesh of his inner thigh. Angel smiled softly as he heard the noise, recognising that love, in whatever form it presents itself, has its own value. He worked every day to rectify the balance between that which he had done and that which must be. He had left Buffy, in the belief that he was not good enough to be the Slayer's mate. About that, he was no longer so certain. Being with Buffy cost them both too much. Passion drove their relationship, but whilst Buffy believed in his new found goodness, she understood little about the creature he was. She was young and Angel tried to allow her that naivety, but her denial of his demon was more than that. Buffy listened and only took in what agreed with her vision of the world. Despite what he had done to her without her soul and his admission that he had enjoyed every vile deed, she saw Angellus and Angel as separate entities, existing in spite of one another. Angel knew better. He knew that anything he'd done as Angellus had been without conscience, but had come from his own desires. Living as his darker side had been simpler, the demon's suggestions striking a chord within his sadistic heart. He had killed and tortured and maimed and as his dreams reminded him, it was only his soul that stopped him from enjoying everything about that time. Buffy could never accept that. The tenderness, his hesitance in loving her was something she treasured and to believe that the same person could house such base intentions was beyond her. She knew what his soulless self was capable of and accepted the risk. He knew he was capable of the same things with a soul and didn't. So what was he now? He heard a soft purring and leaned over, smiling gently as he realised that his lover had fallen asleep. Angel took the glass and the burnt out cigarette and placed them on the side table, drawing Spike up the bed and covering them both. Spike nuzzled against his chest, the purring louder now and Angel waited until................there. The blond vampire flung one arm out behind him and wrapped the other possessively over Angel's chest. His legs were splayed, one covering Angel's own and the dark vampire grinned as his lover starfished across the bed. He resisted the urge to run his hands through Spike's hair, knowing it would probably be resented. Spike was the only one who could rouse him out of his brooding, but Angel still liked to spend time alone with his thoughts. Of course, and Angel kissed the smooth forehead and leaned back against the pillows - it was better to be alone in company. He had wondered about his curse for a while now. Before, when he was alone and destitute, he'd had neither the energy nor the inclination to analyse why he had become, but since his recent excursion as Angellus, he'd given it some thought. He knew it was better for the world that he retain his soul, but he often longed for his simple existence as a vampire. It worried him sometimes that Spike had been able to make moral decisions that he'd never been able to as Angellus. As if he knew Angel was talking about him, Spike stirred slightly, and the older vampire rubbed his cheek against Spike's hair until he stilled again. He had been told that a moment of perfect happiness, when his soul no longer plagued his thoughts, was enough to strip it from him. He knew now that it had been his own worthiness which had removed it from him before. Lying sated next to a woman who truly loved him and valued his existence had been enough to send that soul screaming into the night. The gypsies had determined that he should never live as a human, their revenge was both cruel and effective, keeping the vampire in a state between both worlds, neither dead nor living. His redemption had come with his second cursing. Willow was a romantic, in spite of her pragmatism. Angel had little doubt that her ideal outcome would have been he and Buffy floating off into the distance, hand in hand, in love for all time. She had never intended vengeance, knowing it would have benefited no one. And so Angel had come back, grief refreshed and his guilt heightened once more. He had left the woman he loved, tried to help people without ever coming close enough to put any of them in danger. It hadn't worked. Spike growled again and Angel felt him move instinctively against his thigh. Angel throbbed in response, smiling to himself as his cock began to harden. Spike was an addiction he had no intention of giving up. And that was something he had never expected. Doyle's appearance had hinted to him something that the Oracles had later clarified. He was a warrior of the good fight now, his atonement coinciding happily with the saving of souls. But he had to do more than just save them. He had been told that the best way to combat those Angellus feelings was to live as one of them. Become more human, they'd said. But Angel didn't know how to do that, it scared him to even think of it. And yet......... He worked with Cordelia, Doyle and Wesley on a regular basis, becoming more than just their employer. He saw them as individuals, as he had the Scooby Gang back in Sunnydale. But he had slowly become involved with their private lives as well as at work. He regarded them as friends, something he hadn't had in over two hundred years. And although he knew that he was more comfortable away from people, he was growing more used to their presence. And there was of course, his unexpected bonus. Angel couldn't think of any other circumstances under which Spike would have come to him and wondered how much choice any of them had with destiny. Possibly the only vampire he'd ever known with the capacity to embrace his emotions, the only vampire whose human persona was stronger than the demonic presence. This unique creature was subject to a muzzle effectively and, despite that, had retained his killer instinct and need for the kill. He'd just adapted to his situation, translating that aggression onto beings he could attack. If that happened to coincide with Angel's intentions, so be it. He was essentially a selfish individual, taking what he wanted and only helping out if it also suited him. But there had been a subtle change in the vampire's attitude. Spike had always been quite clear about his views on humanity. Some of them were entertaining, some were ideal vampires and some were a good fuck. But basically, they were all a meal waiting to happen. The vampire had been forced to reassess his priorities since his treatment and had found that since humans were no longer on the menu, he'd use his biting wit to do the damage. And it was almost as effective. But Angel knew that his view of Cordelia and the other two had changed. When they fought demons, Spike always protected Angel. It was as much a part of the vampire as his Englishness and his cocky attitude. He regarded his mate as His absolutely, and anything that threatened that bond was to be destroyed or dealt with. Preferably the former. But Angel had noticed Spike protecting the others on occasion. Not all the time, or as a first priority, the way it was for Angel, but take that last time, when he'd clasped the crucifix. That had been of no threat to his lover, but Spike had done it anyway. Me and mine had apparently been extended to cover Wesley, Cordelia and Doyle. As Spike started to wake up, Angel shrugged his thoughts away, knowing that the vampire would growl at the insinuation, and succumbed to other, more pressing urges. Spike growled lazily and opened his eyes, stretching out as he woke up. He felt Angel's body against his own, reminding him why he wasn't biting down the neck of the Initiative. His hand slid down the firm body and brushed possessively across his thigh, feeling the hard column that throbbed against his fingers. 'Morning Love,' grinned Spike. 'It's three am, Spike.' 'Still qualifies as morning don't it, Pet?' He rolled over, effectively pinning Angel beneath his own and stared down into deep brown and slightly sleepy eyes. 'You haven't had a wink, have you?' Angel tilted his head and couldn't help the grin as Spike's hips pressed insistently against his own. 'I was.........thinking,' he said. 'Brooding,' snorted Spike. 'I leave you alone for five minutes and you get your mopey head on!' 'I am not moping,' said Angel, tracing his fingers down the nubs of his lover's spine. 'I was just.........' 'Moping,' said Spike pleasantly, arching against Angel's hand. 'Admit it.' 'Was not,' grinned Angel and felt Spike shift, his cock rubbing teasingly against his own. 'I was thinking about you.' 'Ah,' grinned Spike, 'That explains this hard cock I can feel.' 'And what were you dreaming about then?' 'Oh I was thinking about shagging me too, Pet.' Angel laughed and lifted his hands free of Spike's body. 'Okay then, you don't need me.' Spike grinned and grasped Angel's hands, leading them back to his ass. 'You'll do, Peaches, you'll do.' Angel growled and rolled over, stretching Spike's hands over his head and coming within millimetres of kissing the man. 'I'll do what?' he growled seductively. Spike bucked his hips up. 'Anything you bloody like, Pet!' With a roar of pleasure, Angel sunk his mouth over his lovers, biting and nipping at the soft lips, plundering it with his tongue, tasting the alcohol and cigarettes and something that was uniquely Spike. His whole body smelled of it and Angel took his time stretching his tongue into every corner of the cool mouth. He could feel his fangs emerging and bit into the tender lip, suckling as the blood dripped into his mouth. Spike howled and sucked on Angel's tongue, his hips pressing up urgently against his sire's. Angel pulled back, looking hungrily at the redness of his lover's lip. He watched as Spike ran a hungry tongue over the coppery liquid, his own demonic face visible. He wanted him now, wanted to possess him and pushed eagerly against the slender body. Spike growled and tilted his neck, offering more than just his throat. He grasped the bottle from the side table and emptied a good amount over his fingers, before sinking them between their bodies and clasping Angel's cock. The older vampire arched back and pushed into Spike's grip, wanting to fuck, wanting release and needing, loving the childe below him. Spike was well aware what Angel needed and lifted his hips off the bed, unsurprised when he felt the inquisitive, vodka soaked fingers exploring the cavity. He moaned harshly when the first digit slid inside, groaned as it was joined by a second and roared when Angel crooked the tips, pressing the gland that wrought such pleasure. Angel pulled back and rubbed his alcohol heated cock against the now slippery opening. 'Do you want me?' 'What kind of a question is that?' chuckled Spike, pushing up against the throbbing cock. Angel pushed forward so that the head slipped inside Spike's ass, inside, but not past the tight ring of muscle. 'One that I'm asking right now. Do you want me?' Spike howled and pushed up, forcing Angel's cock deep. 'I always fucking want you!' Angel grinned demonically and thrust hard, feeling the tingliness of the vodka heating his cock. Spike was always so God damned tight, and when he flexed.........like that.........ohhh.........he could cum in an instant. It felt so strange having a hot cock thrusting forward, but he liked it, liked it when he could feel Spike growling and groaning and reaching with his own fingers? Oh my God! Spike had managed to reach his ass, rubbing between his balls and his ass, that sensitive strip of flesh that drove Angel wild. He growled again and pushed harder, feeling Spike tense and buck up against him, feeling his cock sink in and out of that perfect body, loving the way Spike seemed to anticipate his every need. He was as selfish as hell, everywhere but in bed and Angel had never needed anyone more. 'Will,' he groaned, 'Always you.' Spike barely heard, he could feel his cock pressing between them, throbbing in anticipation and the promise of a good cum, desperately trying not to. He had his own plans now and none of them included coming all over Angel's chest. Oh no, Spike intended to fill that tasty behind with his fluid and several other tasty substances besides. Now all he had to do was make the big vampire thrust harder and faster and pump.........ohh God, yeah, like that, and when he'd come he'd tell him how much he loved the big bugger and ................oh God! 'Angel.........' he moaned and grasped for the larger man's hips, pulling him closer, wanting to touch his face, bite on that neck, give him everything he had. As Angel's fangs sank deep into the white neck Spike let out an unearthly howl before reaching to the skin before him and drinking from his sire. And all the time the pounding in his hips was so strong, so powerful and Angel was growing closer and he could feel it, the tension building and his blood slipping into his lover's mouth, drinking down the iron laiden taste of Angel's blood sliding down his throat. This was passion, this was power and he fought against the climax he was sure would come if he didn't try and oh God.........Angel.........oh now.........now, now! Angel drew his blood-smeared lips away from Spike's neck and screamed as his orgasm throbbed through him, filling his lover's body with each thrust. It took almost a minute to empty himself and as he fell forward onto the prone body, Angel kissed the wound he'd just inflicted, grinning at the pleasure of making love to this vampire. He could feel a low purr coming up through his body and sighed, feeling happiness he'd never expected to experience. He nuzzled against Spike's neck, feeling the younger vampire biting at his body, his tension still apparent and Angel licked the wound clear, watching as the blood slowly welled up in the teeth marks. He looked at Spike's face and read the passion there, still sizzling. He slipped out of the vampire and kissed him lip, suckling lightly on his lower lip, drinking the last of the nectar there. 'You held back?' Spike grinned and kissed his sire hard. 'Yeah, Pet. I had plans for this shag.' Angel smiled and tasted Spike in his mouth. 'What kind of plans?' 'Gonna let me up, Love?' 'And why should I do that?' Spike pushed his cock up against Angel's belly and the vampire growled. 'That's a good reason.' He rolled off and as he was about to grasp for Spike's cock, the vampire winked and jumped out of the bed, bending to his knees and pulling a box out from underneath it. Angel laughed and looked inquisitively at his lover. 'You *have* planned this. What's in there?' 'Wouldn't you like to know, Pet!' Spike picked up the box and laid it on the bed. It was squarish and contained things Angel could only qualify as props. He'd had such an item back in his bad days, although, and he peered in curiously, he couldn't remember having anything like this in it. Angellus had owned a whole chest full of torture implements, designed to tease, torment and terrify the victim. The only way this lot would terrify is if they seriously didn't like Punk. Angel pulled out a CD and a tub of hundreds and thousands. 'Why?' Spike took the tub off him and gestured to the stereo. 'Put that on, would you, Love?' Angel got up curiously, setting the mood with......... 'Lovecats?' Spike grinned and Angel listened in disbelief as The Cure washed over him again. He looked at his lover. 'Dare I ask why?' 'Simple, Pet,' said Spike getting to his feet and walking towards him predatorially. 'I was listening to some of them albums Doyle left and I found this.' Angel listened to the decidedly upbeat and non-punk music and it's pretty lyrics. It was so NOT Spike, it was untrue, and yet it's sentiments were decidedly theirs. They were very catlike, taking what they wanted when they wanted it, selfish beasts with pretty faces. Vampires were lovecats. Nice analogy Spike. He looked up when he heard Spike joining in. 'Oh you know that I'd do anything for you...We should have each other to tea huh? We should have each other with cream Then curl up by the fire And sleep for awhile It's the grooviest thing It's the perfect dream.' And all the while Spike moved forward with the tub in one hand and what looked to be a jar of double cream in the other. Angel backed up, nearing the fire and feeling the heat burning his ass. He saw the come-fuck-me-grin on Spike's face and shut one eye, wondering why he felt a rush of lust run down his spine and slam against the base of his cock. He shook his head. 'You're a dirty fuck, you know that, don't you?' Spike grinned wider and was almost upon him, Angel refusing to shift back further, unwilling to give any more ground. He gave Angel a mock-hurt look. 'Me, Pet? It's only cream. You're not afraid of cream now are you?' 'No,' said Angel warily. 'I'm just don't really want to eat it.' 'And who says,' said Spike, scooping a handful out and slapping it round Angel's ass, splattering it all over his thigh and both cheeks, 'That you get to do anything with it?' Angel laughed and felt the squelchy globs slip down his backside. Spike had the hungriest look he'd seen on his face and that rush was growing stronger. He could feel his cock hardening at the very thought. 'Lie down,' demanded Spike. Angel looked at him a second, before complying. Back in the old days, Angellus had given all the orders, refusing to entertain any other authority. It was his right, a richly deserved bonus of being the nastiest vampire in town. But he didn't recognise the lore any more, and he considered Spike to be his equal, rather than his childe. Besides, and he grinned to himself as he felt the heat of the fire on one side, and Spike's cool body pressing against the other, there were some orders he liked going along with. He could feel the friction of the rug under his hips and groaned, pushing himself against it when the first of his lover's fingers pushed against his ass. Spike looked at the outstretched body in front of him and grinned. There had been a time when he would never have asked anything of his sire, knowing that the bastard would do more than say no. He'd worn stripes across his back for asking more than his sire was prepared to give. In public, Spike was a favoured childe, but childe he was, obeying the lore as much as everyone else. If, in private, Angellus had shown him some leeway, it was a moment outside their lives, something they could tell no one. And now? Spike grinned and found the shaker full of tiny balls. He turned the top so that it was a small funnel and started to write his name in the cream. He grinned as he etched out Will on the thick substance, feeling Angel twitch and buck as he trailed his fingers over the cheeks. He could hear Angel stifling a laugh as he spoke. 'Are you marking me?' 'Yeah, Pet, seeing as I've worn your bloody name on my ass for a fucking lifetime, I thought you should have a go.' Angel did laugh then. 'You're writing your name in hundreds and thousands?' Spike sat back, and wondered whether to underline it. 'You got a problem with that?' Angel rolled slightly and looked up at his lover. 'No, I just thought you'd like something more permanent.' Spike looked at him then, reading the lust in the vampire's eyes and wondering just how serious he was. May as well take a chance. 'I'm not getting some bloody tattooist in here to play with your arse, Pet. You can forget that. This is mine!' The last word came out as a growl and Angel felt himself twitch in anticipation. He reached for the ceremonial knife by the poker and passed it to his lover. 'Aren't you supposed to mark your property?' Spike narrowed his eyes at Angel, wondering what level they were playing on. He'd been trying to tease the vampire, before driving him insane with lust and wanting. He'd felt the scar on his ass many times, knowing that his demon could have healed it, if it wished. It's tenuous hold on Spike's body kept him healthy and strong, but that mark, that tattoo had never altered since Angel had put it there. Some wounds never fade. He took the knife and watched as Angel shot him a seductive grin, before turning back over and stretching out, his cream covered ass in front of him. Tracing the letters he'd recently etched in candy, Spike pressed the blade against Angel's skin. The dark vampire let out a sharp hiss as it sank deeply, blood welling at the cut, stark against the cream. Spike could feel himself breathing with a need he'd not felt in his vampiric existence. He dug down, carving a 'W' on the fleshy cheek and saw Angel's fingers open and close reflexively as he cut. 'I' followed, then both 'L's and Spike could hear himself, his erection throbbing against his lover's leg as the blood started to flow down the crease of Angel's ass. Angel's growling had grown stronger and he could feel the hunger, feel the bloodlust and as Spike sank his teeth around the wounds in his ass, he howled, bucking hard under the vampire. Spike licked and suckled at the cut, blood and cream seeping into his mouth as he grasped his lover's hips, pulling him back against his mouth. He worked his fangs around the bleeding, licking and sucking and thrusting his tongue in his mark. His mark. He owned this body and he was willing to give everything to keep that ownership. He would fight the devil itself if it came down to it. But now was for passion and Spike worked his way to the crease, gathering up the sticky fluids in his mouth, growling and pushing his tongue as Angel worked back against him. He reached the puckered opening and thrust his tongue forward, holding tightly to the dark vampire's hips, creating bruises he knew would be gone by morning. Swirling all the blooded mixture into his mouth, he teased Angel open and blew out, filling his body. Angel blinked, the heady knowledge that his ass was full of liquid and then soon, oh so soon, he would feel the pressure of his lover's cock as well. But for now, oh God! Spike had pushed more inside him and Angel, could barely think. His hips bucked on some kind on unknown rhythm and he barely felt the heat anymore, just the need, the damned need to feel Spike inside him. 'Will,' he panted out, 'Now, fuck me now.' Spike growled and pulled up, taking his throbbing cock in one hand and pressing against Angel's dripping hole. 'Mine,' he growled and sunk forward in one push. He'd had passionate sex before. He'd been in love before, but Spike had never owned anything other than his pitiful life in his entire existence. And that had been taken from him. Drucilla had never truly been his, hankering after Angel in her insane way. Angellus had never belonged to him, caring more for prestige and feeding grounds than his own childe. But now, as Angel, such things no longer mattered and Spike was at the front of his lover's mind always. He thrust again and again, feeling the vampire rear and buck beneath him, his hips slamming up to meet his hungry body. Climax was so close, and his bloodlust so strong. He bent forward, enclosing Angel's chest in his arms, reaching for the bared neck and sinking his fangs into the supple flesh. Angel howled again and Spike felt the throb build, each push grinding against his body with a welcome pressure. As the blood slid down his throat he burst forward, pulsating and growling as he came hard, flooding Angel's body with his cum, dimly aware that his sire had climaxed as well. They fell forward, Spike sliding out and to Angel's side, panting hard and yet wanting to hold the man he loved. Angel's hands were on him immediately, drawing the vampire into his embrace. He kissed the open lips, tasting his own blood and staring deep into the dazed eyes of his childe. No, more than his childe, his lover. His Beloved. 'I love you,' he said, trying to read the acceptance in Spike's eyes. There was a blurred moment when he thought Spike had missed it, but then the blond vampire smiled gently and kissed him. 'I know, you great Poof. And if I didn't feel the same way I wouldn't be here.' Angel laughed and brushed Spike's hair back, seeing the depth of emotion in the eyes which once again shone blue. 'Yeah, I know.' He felt the stickiness beneath them and groaned. 'This rug was an antique.' 'Still is Pet.' Angel pulled him on top and started kissing the planes of his cheeks, easily childish in his affections. 'Yeah, but it didn't have such interesting stains on it before.' Spike grinned. 'Adds to the value, Love. Who else has a mat with vampire cum all over it.' Angel laughed then and hugged his lover tightly. 'You'll be the death of me, Spike.' 'Case of been there, tried that. Fucking you is much more pleasant.' 'Oh really?' Spike growled softly before kissing him again.' 'Yeah, Love, really.' 'Ahem.' The naked vampires turned to the stairs to see Wesley staring pointedly at the ceiling, a blush covering his cheeks. Angel moved to get up, but Spike's body was just too pleasant to leave, so he grabbed the throw from the sofa and draped it across them both. 'I thought you'd gone home, Wesley?' 'Yeah, Pet, or did you hang around for the floor show?' Wesley raised his eyebrows and shook his head. 'I was leaving when a young lady arrived.' Spike grinned wickedly. 'Nice one Weasly, keeping that hottie a bit quiet then?' 'No!' said Wesley, and then his tone softened, once again berating a naughty, but well liked child. 'She needs your services, Angel.' 'Which ones we talking about?' said Spike, rubbing his hand against Angel's still sticky ass. The vampire groaned and then grabbed the hand firmly, trying to keep his mind on the matter at hand. Not on the knowledge that he could spend eternity making love to this creature. 'Did you get all her details, Wesley?' 'Most,' said Wesley, chancing a look at the vampires, 'But she really needs to talk to you, Angel. It's a complicated case.' 'Why?' asked Angel. 'Is it urgent.' Wesley laughed and took his glasses off. 'No, I would say not. She's looking for a vampire.' Spike snorted and sat up. 'Let me guess, ate her family and she's looking for Angel to deliver a well sharpened stake. No deal.' 'Spike,' said Angel warningly, 'Just hear him out.' 'Yes,' said Wesley, 'It's not that simple.' 'Well then talk, Peaches, or do I have to beat it out of you?' Wesley stared at him, but Spike was too relaxed to comment. 'A member of her family was turned a long time ago.' 'She wants to kill them?' asked Angel, trying to follow. 'No,' said Wesley, 'She's looking for the vampire who made him.' *
First blood was an intoxicating liquid, filling the mouth with a promise of what may be. There is nothing sweeter than that original taste and every kill from that moment forward is an attempt to recapture the first breath of vampire life. In some cases, it is sweeter than others. Will had been coming back from a job that had gone well. In his pocket were a couple of fingers belonging to the presumably late Mr Hardcastle, that he was going to gift wrap and deliver to his widow. Silly bitches always liked a memento and since the rest of her husband was fish food by now, she'd have to make do with this. It was a shame really, Hardcastle had once been a mate, a bloke he'd got drunk and shared his misspent youth with. They'd grown up on the same street, Will's father beating the crap out of him as Hardcastle's did the same. Boys with the signs of a stern telling off, they'd bragged about how tough they were, resisting the pain of a belt. Hardcastle had shown him the broken skin and Will had conceded that round, but it was the first of many, the dares growing increasingly more brutal as they aged. When they had progressed to knives, Hardcastle had scoffed he wasn't hard enough to take the pain. one big slash across his brow later, Will was feeling much better about the whole thing. The pain was bearable. It hurt like fuck, but it was bearable. As they'd grown up, Will had become accustomed to being a criminal, revelling in the justification of taking from the rich. No Robin Hood he, unless you counted his family in amongst the needy. His father, bloated from a lifetime of alcohol abuse, had collapsed and died in the park one morning and his mother, thankful that she no longer suffered the brunt of his drunken attacks, had relied more on her sons to provide for them all. Well-dressed and comfortable, Will gave no thought to the morality of his situation. If he didn't have, he took and if you were the unfortunate to be on the receiving end of his brutality, that was just your tough luck, mate. There were few rules. Don't steal from your own, don't get caught and never mouth off to anyone. Hardcastle had fallen foul of two of those, getting snatched on the last job and blabbing off to the pigs about a certain little hold up in Peckham. Stupid bloody bastard, Will had thought, couldn't keep your sodding mouth shut. Beyond that consideration, he'd given it no more thought, except to make sure his once-friend didn't pass out when he was cutting him. Anyway, the job was done now and what Will really wanted was a good meal, a good drink and a shag with the dirtiest little bitch in the place. He walked back through the park, confident as always that he was the most dangerous thing in it, his pace easy and his sight fixed on the pub sign ahead of him. The King's Arms, it said. But they had no King and Will thought to himself that power was only ever in the possession of the strong, the most vicious and unscrupulous. Being born to wealth did not make you the big I am. Being born in squalor and getting out, was far more worthy. He sauntered past the tree he'd had his first kiss under, grinning to himself as he remembered how that had tasted, when he saw her. She was watching him from under the bower, a soft, dreamy expression on her face. He took in the expensive, yet old design of her dress and the lack of a wrap, exposing long slender arms to the night air and shrugged. Eccentric rich bint crossed his mind, but there was a look on her face that spoke of more than just delusion. He recognised the predatory expression and stepped a little closer. 'You lost, love?' he asked, totting up the value of the necklace draped round her neck. 'Lost?' she asked in a little girl voice, before looking into his eyes. Will bit down a sigh. She was beautiful, but it didn't seem to tell him anything. Usually, the pretty women he'd known had used their looks to an advantage, rich ones included. He didn't get that from her. She wanted something, but he had no idea what. Maybe she was more than eccentric. Maybe she was dangerous. Yeah, right. 'Yeah, Pet,' he said in a cajoling tone, 'You don't seem to belong round here.' 'I don't,' she said, shaking her head. 'I don't belong anywhere.' Will coughed into his hand, feeling the chill of the night and watched as she looked him over. He was a good looking bloke, that he knew, but the way she was looking at him.........he felt like meat at a cattle auction. 'Look, Love,' he said decisively. 'Why don't you tell me where you live and I'll see you home. It's cold and I'm tired and you're not dressed for this weather.' 'I'm so cold,' she murmured and he sighed, before taking off his coat and wrapping it round her bare shoulders. What a bloody gentleman! Huh! She looked at him in confusion and he wondered if she really was a bit tapped. 'You got money, Pet?' She nodded slowly and he breathed visibly in the night air, before taking her hand and walking to the nearest Bed and Breakfast. She was bloody cold and Will felt chilled, an idea that she was never warm teasing his mind. Her fingers felt so fragile beneath his own and he felt unwillingly protective, as if she might break if he didn't handle her right. So much for his dirty shag, he huffed and took her inside. 'What's your name, Love?' She smiled at him then and he stifled a grin, seeing the inherent naughtiness in her expression. There was so much promise there, so much corruption waiting to happen and Will thought that perhaps tonight wouldn't be a loss after all. 'Drucilla' she smiled at him and he nodded. 'Well then, Drucilla,' he added pointedly, 'I'm gonna go have a drink. You can take a room here, put your feet up. Lance here,' he said, tapping the host on the shoulder, 'Will see you right.' She looked at him then and he read the sadness inherent in her expression. 'You're leaving me?' Lance grinned and gestured to the girl. 'Picked up a right one there, Will!' Will grabbed the man by his collar and pulled him to snarling distance. 'Why don't you just shut your hole and get me and the young lady a drink?' Lance blinked, he'd seen Will with women before, knowing that whilst he was a cold hearted bastard, he'd never treated a woman badly. His mother had seen to that. He gulped and nodded quickly, leaving the room as soon as Will put him down. Drucilla watched him, seemingly entranced by what she saw. He was aggressive, which she liked and he had command, which she also liked, it reminded her of her sire and anything that did that.........She smiled at him and he nodded cheerfully, knocking back the alcohol with relish. He knew she was watching him and grinned, knowing his reputation as a hardcase put off all but the most sadistic of women. Drucilla didn't look, or act like any of them. He was struck again by a neediness she gave out, but he still couldn't pin it down. He watched as she sipped from the glass, and grinned to himself as she tasted the course whisky, as though she'd never tasted it before. 'So, Pet,' he began, his eyes straying to the filmy cloth across her breasts. 'How come you're in this neck of the woods?' 'I was looking for Daisies,' she murmured and looked off to a space just left of his head. 'I couldn't find any though and Angellus will be so cross.' Angellus? What kind of poncy name was that? 'So this Angellus, is he your bloke then?' She looked at him then and smiled. 'He's my Daddy.' Ah that kind of poncy name. If she wasn't shagging this Angellus, he was a monkey's uncle. And despite the evidence of Kathryn's hairy child, he was nobody's fool. 'So, you and your Daddy live round here then?' She smiled at him again and Will felt slightly uncomfortable. It wasn't right to be scared of a woman, especially one who looked as frail as this. But he'd known women whose strength had been in their tongues. He grinned at that thought and then looked back at Drucilla. 'Why don't we see the room?' she asked unexpectedly and rose to her feet, 'I want to lie down.' He knocked back her drink and grinned predatorily at her. 'All right, Love. You lead the way.' She shook her head. 'I don't know my way.' He winked at her and took her hand. 'Just follow my lead, Pet. I'll take care of you.' 'Promise?' He nodded. 'You have my word.'