Chapter Nine: Pay The Piper
Pictures rise unbidden in my mind. I see a stake flying through the air, smashing into a vampire. More come forward to attack. Buffy. I can see what Buffy is seeing. Feel what she is feeling. Hear her heart beating, throbbing frantically.
Pulling on my clothes, I run down the stairs and into the kitchen. Tara and Angel are sitting at the counter, quietly talking. Seeing my face, Tara squeaks in surprise and Angel shoves her behind him. “I’m not going to hurt her, you nit,” I say.
I go to the living room and pull out a crossbow and stakes from the weapons chest. Angel follows me. “Why do you have your game face on?” he asks.
“I don’t know what’s going on, alright? I can see through Buffy’s eyes and I can’t control my demon,” I explain. ”What’s important now is that she’s in trouble, seriously outnumbered.” I stuff bolts for the crossbow in my jacket, handing one stake to Angel and tossing another to Tara as we race out the back door.
‘Where is she?” asks Angel.
The images in my mind continue to flow. “She’s in the cemetery, near my crypt. Just follow me.”
Angel and I are running as fast as we can, leaving Tara behind. Angel scoops her up and we take off again. My mind continues to see the fight. Buffy is agile, amazingly fast, her movements a blur.
Jumping over headstones, cornering around tombs, we run to her. Turning a bend, I duck just as something flies over my head. A puff of dust bursts against the wall of my crypt.
Buffy stands a little ways away, holding two vamps, a collar clenched in each of her hands. “You know guys, I really have something better to do.” She looks up, catching my eye. “Speaking of which, there he is.” She smashes their heads together with tremendous force, dusting them instantly.
A quartet of vampires advances on her. A small female vampire comes over to me, waving her hands in supplication. I move into a fighting stance, fists up and ready. “Please, I don’t mean you any harm,” she says earnestly. “I have a message for you from our mistress. She sends her congratulations on your marriage-“
Suddenly she disappears. Tara stands before me, wielding a stake. “Got her!” she says proudly.
“Uh, yeah. Good job, kitten.” I pat her on the shoulder, sighing.
Buffy and Angel are fighting back to back. They are both in rare form, sending vampires scattering with strong punches and kicks. Buffy seems much stronger than usual, her movements a blur.
“Any of you other idiots got a message to pass on?” I yell. One vampire comes towards me. Tara rounds around behind him and dusts him.
“Look, Wicca, I understand that you’re trying to help here,” I say impatiently. “But will you knock it off long enough for me to find out who sent these twits?”
Tara furrows her brow, instantly contrite. “I’m sorry, Spike. I just don’t want you get hurt again.”
I feel like a total ass. ‘Sorry, love-“
“Look out!” screams Tara, just as something lands hard on my back.
A voice whispers, “Drusilla says to tell you that Miss Edith knows how to undo what your Slayer has done…“
The voice cuts off as I hear Buffy scream, “Get off my boyfriend, you creep!”
Rolling over, I look up at Buffy. She hauls me to my feet, patting me all over. “Are you okay?” Her face is tight and looks scared.
“I’m fine, pet. I really can take care of myself, contrary to what you birds seem to think.” Next they’ll be trying to tie my shoelaces for me.
Angel looks over at me, a smirk on his face. Buffy sticks her stake back in her coat. She is glowing, all pumped up from the fight.“Buffy,” I begin, but I am cut off by her kiss. Her mouth is so soft and warm. Deeply, thoroughly, she plumbs my mouth with her tongue. Her breathing is fast and urgent, her heartbeat more rapid. She breaks the kiss and look up at me. Pressing me up against the crypt wall, she whispers in my ear. “I have to drink you now.” She brings her mouth to my neck and bites down hard. She sucks strongly, her hands pressing hard on my chest. I close my eyes, lost in the feeling of pleasure. Slowly, her heartbeat fades, and I feel my demon recede.
Buffy pulls away. She turns around and sees Tara and Angel standing there. Angel looks both aroused and angered, while Tara has covered her mouth, her eyes wide and horrified.
She turns back, looking at me. Her mouth is dark with my blood. “Something strange is happening to me,” she says. Her eyes roll up as her knees buckle. I catch her before she hits the ground, cradling her in my arms.
“Let’s go inside,” I say to Angel and Tara. We go into my crypt. I lay Buffy gently on the couch, giving her a peck on the forehead.
Angel turns on me, furious, pointing at Buffy. “I never should have let her do the ritual,” he says. “I thought it was a stupid, dangerous idea from the time she mentioned it. She just wouldn’t take no for an answer.”
“If she’d bothered asking me what I wanted, I’d never had let her do it,” I say softly.
Angel scoffs. “Sure, Spike. You’d really have told the woman that you love that you’d rather die than be with her.”
“I would have, you great stupid poof. She had no idea what she was doing.” I sit down heavily in my chair. “I’m beginning to think that I didn’t have any idea what we were getting into either.”
”Buffy told me that she craved blood,” says Tara shakily. “But what she did to Spike, biting him like that...” She looks up at Angel warily. “What is going on?”
“The bond is supposed to unite two vampires for eternity,” explains Angel. “It increases their vampire strengths, because they are combined. Any advantage is made twice as great.” He glares at me. “And any weakness is increased twice as well. If one of them dies, they both die. They are tied, unlife to unlife.”
“But that didn’t apply to Buffy,” Tara argues. ‘She a human being, she doesn’t have vampire strengths. We talked about this. The strengths and weaknesses of the bond can’t apply, because she’s not a vampire. She can’t tie her life to Spike’s. She’s alive.”
Blown away by their stupidity, I stand up and yell at her. “You stupid bints!” Tara stares at me, shocked.
“You thought this was just some meaningless lark? That there wouldn’t be any consequences, any debt to be paid for gaining my life?” I walk over and punch the wall, causing bits of stone to trickle down. “Buffy’s not just a human. She’s the Slayer! She has her own strengths and weaknesses. Not to mention, her own altered lifespan. The girl has died twice, the last time for months!” I turn on Angel. “I thought you said you’d argued with her about it, that she rebutted your arguments.”
He looks over at me, his eyes dark with pain. “She said that she’d discussed the bond with Tara, and she’d already made up her mind. We didn’t discuss the ramifications, she seemed to know and accept them.”
I grab Angel by the lapels. “So you mean to tell me that neither of you had the slightest idea what was really going on?”
Angrily, Angel pushes me back. Towering over me, he snarls, his demon taking over his face . “So help me, William, I…” Tara grabs him arm, holding him back.
“Am I turning into a vampire?” a small voice asks. Buffy is sitting up on the couch, her knees pressed to her chest, arms holding her tight. I go to her.
Picking her up, I settle her back down in my lap. Tara and Angel look at her worriedly. “No, love,” I reassure her. “ No more than I’m going to have my heart start beating or taking strolls at noon. But our traits do seem to be overlapping.”
“Your traits, like the blood drinking.” She looks up at me with wide green eyes. ‘So the immortality thing is true, too? It really does apply to us? You get dusted by someone, and I die?”
“And the opposite is true. You die, and I die too. That’s what it means to be bonded, love,” I explain. “We’ve wedded strengths and wedded weaknesses. Wedded our entire existences, our entire lives.”
Buffy looks serious, but not overwhelmed. I’ll take that as a good sign.
“But that may not be the case,” interjects Tara. “If what’s happening to you is different because Buffy is the Slayer, we have no way of knowing what else is going to happen. We don’t know what other weird side effects this is going to have.”
Buffy looks up at me. “Your chip. When you hit Xander, did your chip go off?”
I pause, taken aback by the question.“ Well, yeah, of course it did.” I think back. “The chip went off, but I could work past it. It happened once before. He really pissed me off and I slammed him into a tree. This time, I was so angry at him for hurting you…” I trail off, confused. “ I don’t know if it did or not.”
“Hit me,” says Tara. She pulls a face at me. ‘Hey, this time I’m volunteering.”
I get up and stand in front of her, hesitantly swinging at her. Nothing happens. ‘I really don’t want to hurt you, Tara. It won’t work if I don’t want to cause you harm.”
She looks thoughtful, and then gives me an assessing look. “I learned some interesting things about you when I was healing you, Spike.” She wraps her arms around my neck, whispering in my ear. “Things haven’t changed a bit in a hundred years, William. No one likes you. No one respects you. Underneath all the attitude and leather you’re no threat to anyone, Spike.”
Hurt, I shove her away, knocking her into my chair. Instantly contrite, I go to her, but she waves me away. “Just for the record, Spike. I don’t think that’s true.”
Angel and Buffy are staring at me closely. “Did you see any chip in head action there?” asks Buffy.
“Didn’t see anything like what you described,” replies Angel.
“Your turn, Buffy,” says Tara. Seeing Buffy’s surprised look, she explains. ‘If you’re sharing traits, maybe hurting a human would hurt you instead of him.”
Laughing, Buffy walks to Tara. ‘Yeah, can’t you just see me being all ‘ouch’”. She raises her hands to her head, yelling in mock pain. Reaching out, Buffy lightly punches Tara. “Oww!” she yells, grabbing her head in real pain. Angel and I both go to her, but I pull her into my arms.
“Are you okay, love?” I ask her, concerned.
Buffy pulls away from me. She strides over to the door. “I should go. I need to talk to Giles, see if he knows if any Slayers have ever been claimed before.”
I sit up. “What the hell, Buffy? You’re not phased by immortality or drinking my blood, but the notion that my chip zaps you sends you running to Daddy?”
She whirls around. “That’s not fair. I’m not running anywhere.” She paces around, staring at the floor.
Tara stands up. “Angel and I should go, give you some privacy to talk everything out. We’ll see what we can come up with. See you back at the house later.”
Buffy gives Tara a weak smile. ‘Yeah, I’ll be back before sunrise. I need to get Dawn off to school.”
Tara gives me a hug. “Just remember how much she loves you,” she whispers in my ear.
Angel stands up, looking uncomfortable. “If you hurt her,” he says, staring at me.
Buffy gives him a light kiss on the cheek. “He would never hurt me.”
Buffy and I stand there in silence as the door to the crypt closes. She turns and stares at me, face blank.
I go to her, holding her around the waist. “You can’t run away from me any more. Anything that needs to be faced, we have to do it together.”
She jerks back, pissed off. “What, I claimed you and now I need to have you around every second? I don’t think so, Spike.”
“First hint of trouble and you trot off to the Scoobies? I sit around my crypt until you decide you want to punch me or screw me? Have we sunk back down to that level again?”
Buffy looks up at me. “I love you, Spike. You know that things are different now.”
“Then prove it, Buffy. Let me in. Tell me what you’re thinking. Tell me how you feel.”
She turns her back to me. Minutes pass as I give her the time she needs. I see the set of her shoulders soften; the muscles of her back lose their tension. Turning back around, Buffy collapses against my chest.
“Please hold me,” she says, looking up at me. I carry her downstairs, and we lay together on the bed. She strokes my hair, her head resting on my shoulder. I rub her back, trying to soothe her.
“I’m scared,” she admits. “When I was fighting earlier, it was like I was in an altered state or something. Everything seemed richer, deeper. I was so much stronger.” Buffy looks up at me, troubled. “I wanted to slay everything in my path. It was fun, causing so much destruction. And when the slaying was done, I still wasn’t satisfied. I needed something more.”
“Bloodlust. That’s what you’re having, sweets. My bloodlust.” I try to sound calm and matter-of-fact. “My demon came over me, but the force of it was channeled into you. Moved in you. When you drank my blood, you appeased it. Then it returned to me.”
‘So I was possessed? By your demon?” she says slowly, as if it is a foreign language she doesn’t speak.
“That’s right. It moved in you, gave you it’s strengths, required the blood sacrifice. Same as any other vampire.” I watch her, waiting for her to cut and run.
Buffy looks truly sickened. “I’m no better than a vampire.” She looks up at me. “I don’t mean you. I mean…“ She closes her eyes. “God, I just can’t say what I really mean.”
“It’s alright, love. I can understand why you wouldn’t want to feel like an evil, disgusting thing. That’s what you think we are. No nuances, no differences between me and the vamps you like to slay.” It hurts so much that after everything we’ve had, nothing has really changed.
“I love you. I know that you’re different.” Buffy says the words, but they don’t quite make it to her eyes.
“Do you, now?” Try as I might to push it down, pain comes across in every word.
She pulls me close, pressing her head against my chest. “I can see myself in you. And I can see you in me. I can feel your demon. I can reach out and touch it. I can even make it mine. Just as I can make you mine.”
She stares at me deeply, intently. I feel her bring my demon forth, pulling it out of me. Pulling my head down, she licks my brow, running her tongue over the ridges there. Bringing my finger to her mouth, she bites down hard, drawing blood. I gasp, in equal parts pain and lust.
I brush the tip of my bloodied finger across her lips. Buffy’s mouth opens, her tongue emerging to lap up the bead of blood. An expression of pleasure washes over her face. She sucks in her cheeks, sliding my finger in and out of her mouth. Her breathing speeds up even more, her heartbeat pounding faster. She stares at me with intense eyes. “It’s not enough. I need more.”
Without warning, her hand plunges into my pants, sending buttons scattering. Buffy straddles my knees. She clamps her thighs around my legs as she pumps my cock with two hands. A strangled noise gurgles up from my throat as she leans forward and bites my lip.
“Blood,” she whispers, staring at the red trail dribbling down my chin. She licks the blood away, pumping my cock all the while in a grip of steel.
My hips thrust wildly as I begin to come. “Slayer,” I scream, the pleasure so immense I feel like my head will blow off. She slides down my body in a flash. Suddenly, my cock is encased in her warm mouth, and I explode. I pour into her throat, my hands coiled in her golden hair.
Buffy swallows me down, watching my face. With gentle strokes, she licks my cock clean. Leaning back on her heels, she pulls off my boots and pants as I lie there, still stunned by my orgasm. She wanders off to a dark corner and comes back holding her duffel bag. Unzipping it, she peers inside and smiles wickedly. Looking over at me, she says, “Close your eyes.” I comply, and feel her pull a blindfold over my head, tightening it in the back. I open my eyes, feeling my eyelashes rustle against the leather.
“All that bitching and moaning at the sex shop and you went back and got the blindfold?” I tease her, uncertain what her plan is. Something silky slides over my thighs. I can feel the brush of her boots against the sides of my legs. Her hair tickles my face, the scent of her filling my nostrils.
Something smooth and cool trails over my thighs, running up my stomach. “Looks like now is the time to explore my dark side,” she says softly. Her mouth closes over my ear as I hear a slap and feel a sting. I see an image in my mind, a dark shadow crashing down. Buffy just hit me with a bloody riding crop.
“Please,” I moan. She bites down gently on my ear. ”Are you a good slave or a bad slave?” she purrs.
“I’ll be good, I’ll be so very good,” I whisper. I can’t think of anything I wouldn’t do, just to keep this going.
Her tongue traces my earlobe as the crop cracks down on my thigh. “Wrong answer, slave,” she says cheerfully.
I hiss with the pleasure of it. My cock springs to attention, ready and willing. “I’ll be bad, I’ll be dirty and nasty and evil. I’ll do bad things,” I moan. The crop cracks down again across my belly, close to my pulsing cock.
“You’ll do,” she says, “whatever I tell you to do.” Her voice is breathy and excited. The fact that I can’t see her is driving me crazy. The image in my mind shows my face, starkly white against the mask, contorted with pleasure.
Her hand drifts down my body, flitting across my pubic hair. “Touch me, “ I plead. She strikes me again, making a large snap.
“No,” she says, guiding my hand across her breast and belly, across something satin, and places my hand on her mound. I reach down, sliding my fingers into her sopping depths. I knead her breast with my other hand. I slide my fingers in and out of her, leaving her moaning my name.
“Make me come, slave. Make me scream,” she says. The song of her heart pounds faster in my head. I am so aroused I can barely think straight.
“Please, Buffy, let me fuck you. I’ll be so good for you.” I move my finger inside her skillfully, knowing just what it will take to bring her over.
She twitches around my fingers, bringing the crop down over and over, hitting my chest and stomach, her pace increasing as she nears her peak. “Tell me you want it,” she says, her voice harsh.
“Oh, sweet God, I do, you know I do.” The crop hits me again, and the sound of her hitching breath combined with the blow has me ready to burst. I feel her fluids flow over my fingers as her orgasm overtakes her. Buffy stops moving, held fast by the moment.
Seizing the opportunity, I flip her on her back, replacing my fingers with my cock. I rip off the blindfold. She writhes underneath me, her head thrown back, face flushed. Her arm is splayed back on the bed, the crop dropping from her hand. The straps of her black satin teddy have slipped down her shoulders, revealing one creamy breast. I struggle not to come inside her as her muscles throb and ripple around me. I move gently within her, drawing out her orgasm. “My love,” she moans. I wrap my arms around her, holding her in my embrace as I move within her. The feeling of the silk and leather against my skin, and the sting of the marks on my body, drive me insane with lust.
She opens her eyes and stares into mine. “Hurt me,” she says. She wraps her legs around me. I move deeper inside her, and we both moan with the intensity of it. “Spike, hurt me, please,” she says it again, scratching my chest. I bite down on her shoulder, not drinking. She moans. “Harder, faster, hurt me,” she cries, her body shaking. She is whimpering now. I hold her waist as tightly as I can, biting her hard on her neck. She screams as I lose control inside her, lost in the pleasure of her body. I watch her come, seeing myself do the same in my mind’s eye. Her heart beats fast in my head, throbbing along with the wave of feeling. The orgasm rolls on and on, intense to the point of pain, leaving us both exhausted and spent.
I pull out of her and pull her to my chest. Her hands run through my hair, over my neck and shoulders, caressing me. We kiss softly, gently. Buffy rests her head on my shoulder, looking at me seriously. “You belong to me, and nothing can take that away now.” She drifts off to sleep, her breath blowing against the side of my face. I rest my head on her chest, comforted by the sound of her heart.
Continued in Chapter Ten: Smoke