"The sight of you is good for sore eyes"
-- Jonathan Swift
It was primal. Passionate. An inferno of flame tearing through her body, leaving her scorched...and wanting more. As if sensing her need, Spike bit even deeper, one hand going up to the back of her neck to hold her steady while the other moved slowly down the length of her back, over her behind, then back up again, under her shirt this time, caressing the bare skin of her back. Buffy whimpered, deep in the back of her throat, and twisted desperately on top of the vampire, trying to get even closer, trying to...
Sensations. Almost too many to count. Cold fangs, deep in her neck. The heat of her blood flowing over them and into his mouth. His tongue, moving rhythmically against her skin as he drank. Her heart, pounding harder against his chest, trying to keep up with her body's sudden, new demands on it. And the scent of him, surrounding her. In her. His arousal, pressing insistently against her, the way her muscles clenched spasmodically with his every move...
Too many clothes. She was wearing too many clothes. There was too much between them. But she could do nothing about it with only one good arm, couldn't even focus enough to pull off the leather coat she was still wearing. She tried, scarcely noticing how much her hand was shaking, how weak her fingers were -- and failed. Frustrated, Buffy whimpered, making another half-hearted tug at the edge of the leather.
Spike reached up for her hand, pulled it away from the coat...and then flipped her onto her back, rolling on top of her, maintaining his contact with her throat the whole while. If anything, the bite deepened, now that he could get more purchase, a better angle... Buffy gasped, then arched upward, straining desperately for more...more Spike. More...everything.
Still drinking, Spike pulled the coat savagely from her shoulders then down both of her arms. Pain stabbed through Buffy's left arm, but the feeling was distant and barely noticeable so she ignored it, moving closer to him instead, both of her legs curling up and around his hips while her right hand went around his back to hold on desperately. Finally the vampire managed to pull the duster free and fling it to one side. Then he ran his hand back under the t-shirt, caressing her breasts.
Buffy convulsed, calling his name, her nails digging into his back...and the world exploded. There was fire. Passion. Need. Everything around her began to fade, the world vanishing on a flood of desire. She was sinking fast, back into the dark waters she had dreamed about. Only this time she didn't care, didn't even try to fight the darkness. Because this time she wasn't alone.
She barely noticed as her hand slowly released its grip on the vampire, sliding across his naked back to land limply on the floor. Didn't notice that she could no longer feel the floor beneath her, could barely even feel Spike's weight on her. Something, a last flicker of the Slayer's survival instinct perhaps, tried to shout a warning, but it was too far away...and she didn't want to listen anyway. Nothing else mattered. There was only this moment. And these feelings.
"Spike," Buffy whispered...and it wasn't a plea to stop. It was an entreaty not to stop.
* * *
The Slayer's blood was like nectar. Honey. Sunlight and fire. Its heat warmed him, filling his cold body and engulfing his senses. Lust and need were cascading through the vampire, one after another, until he couldn't think, couldn't see, could do nothing but hold on and wait for the flames to burn out, for the feelings to fade away and die...
Only they didn't. Instead, they got better.
Everything. This was everything he had ever wanted, everything he had dreamed of...and it was better than he had ever dreamed. The vampire swallowed deeply, savouring the taste of her blood on his tongue, the texture as it slid down his throat. And the scent of her as she surrounded him, the way her body felt beneath his own...
Except there was something he was supposed to remember. Something he was supposed to do. Or -- not do.
Not kill her. Not drink until she died.
Not let his Slayer die.
He wanted to. Everything that made him a vampire, that had spent the last century feeding, killing, and taking whatever and whomever he wanted, when he wanted...it was all telling him to just do it. To finish her off. To keep drinking until her heart beat its last and her body went limp in his arms.
He wanted to so much.
But in the end, he didn't.
And it wasn't the implant that stopped him.
* * *
Buffy moaned as Spike broke away, his fangs slowly pulling loose from her throat. No! She didn't want this to end, didn't want the sensations to stop. Desperately she tried to reach up, to draw him back to her, but her arms were too weak, her hands too heavy to lift...
...and besides...sanity was beginning to return. Slowly. Reluctantly. But inexorably.
Hesitantly the Slayer opened her eyes, gradually becoming aware of the sound of her own panting, the way her chest heaved beneath him as her starved lungs struggled to draw air in. Her heart was fluttering like a bird's and her body was shaking, she realized dimly, both from exhaustion, loss of blood...and the aftershocks of the climax that had rocked her.
With difficulty, Buffy looked up, her eyelids weighted like stones. There was blood on the vampire's lips. As she watched, he licked it away...and, weak though she was, a faint tremor of desire went through her. She still wanted him. God help her, she still wanted him...
Spike felt her quiver and for an instant their eyes met, awareness reflected in each other's gaze...
...as awareness of another kind went through Buffy. She could see. She could see Spike's eyes, his expression, see the torchlight casting shadows on the angular planes of his face...
"I can see." She managed to say out loud, her voice a ragged whisper. But she had no strength left for joy or relief. The best she could manage was tired surprise. It was taking so much effort just to form the words, to control her breathing enough to get them out... Too much effort. Alarm buzzed faintly in the back of her skull. Drained. That's what she was. In more ways than one. But at least she was still conscious. He couldn't have taken that much if she was still conscious... Right? Even though it was becoming harder and harder to hang onto that awareness, to keep the darkness lurking on the edges of her vision at bay...
"Miss Summers?" It was the Valet's disembodied voice, coming from somewhere to her left.
Buffy blinked and, with a superhuman effort, managed to stave off the shadows, at least temporarily. "I can see," she whispered again wearily.
"Yes, my dear. I'm afraid I wasn't completely truthful earlier. The first part of the Trial was indeed Spike's three challenges...but the last part was yours."
"Why?" Her tone was flat. Uncaring.
"Rules, Miss Summers. Rules. And now," he continued, more briskly, "The Trial is complete. Thank you for your patronage. Have a nice day."
And then the world began to fade around them and the stone chamber...vanished.
* * *
Spike almost had control over himself again, over the demon inside that was still clamouring to sink his fangs back into the paleness of the Slayer's neck, to take the last of the blood pumping through her veins and to continue where he had left off...
No. No, no, and no. He wouldn't do it. It didn't matter how much he wanted to, how much she might want him to even, he bloody well wasn't going to do it.
Locked in his inner battle as he was, he barely heard the Valet's words, scarcely noticed when the room disappeared and was replaced by wet grass, sharp night air, and darkness lit only by starlight and a quarter moon. What Spike did notice though, when he finally stirred slightly, was the pain that came roaring back over him like a freight train.
He actually had been hit by a train once, he remembered. And this felt pretty much the same. The first incredible agony of the impact followed by a whole barrage of lesser torments that just kept getting worse and worse. Oh yeah. Pretty sodding similar.
The burns were still there, he realized, as well as the gashes in his leg, although those at least had stopped pumping blood. And the pain had abated, just a little. He wasn't dying now, at least. That much was certain. The Slayer's blood had done it, had saved him...
The Slayer. Spike blinked and looked down. She was still beneath him, unmoving. Her skin ashen, her heart going a mile a minute...but she was awake. Alive. And staring up at him with a faintly puzzled expression on her face. Staring up at him...
He remembered. She could see. She had said so, just a moment ago. 'Course, he'd been too busy trying to prevent himself from killing her, for it to really sink in but now... Despite the pain, Spike suddenly found himself fighting the urge to break into a grin. He had done it. She could see.
There was a long moment of silence as the two stared at each other, then Spike finally spoke. "You know, Slayer," he said, trying to keep his voice from reflecting both his pain...and the pleasure. "I could get used to this."
"What?" It came out in a whisper, as if she were only half listening...or half conscious.
"Waking up on top of you. We keep on like this and I might start thinking you want my body."
Some reserve energy seemed to return to her and she managed to push at him, albeit weakly.
"Only for something to pummel."
'Atta girl,' the vampire thought. 'Take more than a little blood loss to do you in...' Speaking of... His gaze sharpened as his eyes fastened on the thin tendril of blood running down her throat. Slowly, instinctively, knowing that he was playing with fire even as he did it, the vampire lowered his head and ran his tongue over the rivulet, licking it up...savouring the way she immediately gasped and stiffened beneath him, the way her body arched up toward his... 'Oh yeah - not so indifferent now, are we?'
Trouble was, he wanted more. A hell of a lot more. And unless he was willing to kill to get it... No. Reluctantly Spike pulled away, just enough, rolling the last mouthful of blood around in his mouth to get the full flavour before swallowing it, a feeling of deep satisfaction coursing through him.
He didn't say anything.
He didn't need to.
The moment stretched between them until he thought time might stop altogether, but then the Slayer stiffened, the hands that had been running down his sides now beginning to tense and push at him, this time with more force. "Get off."
"That's what? Three, four times tonight you've said that? That song's getting a little old, love. How 'bout we try a new one?"
"Sure. Do you know 'I'm going to get off Buffy before she stakes me'?"
Spike's tone became serious. "You won't stake me." It wasn't a question. "Didn't then, won't now." Nevertheless, with an effort he pushed himself aside and off the Slayer, rolling onto his back beside her and stifling a groan as his burns protested. Loudly. Then he lay still, waiting for the pain to recede while the stars whirled above him.
Another, longer silence fell between them. Finally, though, he felt her hand move, sliding across the wet grass until it found his own, her fingers entwining in his. "No," she said sombrely. "I won't." She swallowed once then said:
"Thank you, Spike."
"You're welcome, Slayer."
Continued in Part 14