3:46 a.m. I only tell him when he's asleep. When I'm sure he's asleep, which isn't as easy as you'd think to tell without the cues of slow, regular breathing deepening into rest, the faint endearing whiffle of a snore.
"Love you," I move my lips silently against his skin, afraid even to put breath behind it. I wait out sixty seconds, to be sure he doesn't stir. Move down a little, to the left, over the heart. Not that it matters. "Love you." Up to the shoulder, against the veins of his throat, as if it could get into his blood the way he's in mine. "Love you."
No matter how long we lie in it, the bed doesn't get warm.
He made a metaphor. I nicked an electric blanket. They go for $35. That's, what, 20 quid?
He thinks I don't know, don't care maybe, what we don't have. Thinks it comes with the soul, some kind of bloody supernatural combination plate.
Maybe he'd have been right, before Buffy. But I know now, what it feels like to make someone's heart race, make their breath catch, to have them touch you only with the warmth of their skin. Just as well as he does. Same girl even.
There's such a thing as too much of a bloody family resemblance.
I dunno why I came here. It doesn't make much sense. Could stand the pity and guilt in her eyes, couldn't stand her callin' me William, so I trotted off to guilt central and the bloke who took 20 years to get the new name right. Cheap irony, or maybe just free association. Maybe I though t he'd kill me. Maybe I hoped he would.
But instead, there's this. He dreams of his sodding secretary and fucks me senseless. Goes looking for the brat he sired on Darla, for fuck's sake, and comes home hands twitching to hurt someone, and here I am. Convenient. For the both of us really, since I've got pains of my own to bleed and burn away. I'd say it was a lucky coincidence, but luck doesn't enter in. He made me this way, a hundred twenty odd years ago. 100 since he left. 41 months since he came back, and left again. A million an' a half minutes, give or take.
Dunno which of them I'm jealous of.
He hasn't lost his touch. I'm the one who did that. And now I have it back and fuck, it's good, too good to stay away even though I'm right back where I started. 2 hours from Sunnydale. 118 miles.
"Love you" I mouth into the palm of his hand. Five fingers, each thick as a cock. Well not his, but someone's. Huge bloody hands, he has. I could lose myself in that grip. Sometimes, when he's feelin' generous, I do.
"Love you" I tell his ribs. 24 ribs. 9 pokers. He has no scars. I wish he had scars. Just one, something small and puckered and faded, to say "Spike was here." What? If I can't make an impression one way, I'll make it another. Not like we were ever much for hearts and flowers.
Some things have changed, though. In the old days I'd never be in the bed, still. He'd take his pleasure and send me to the foot to sleep, or across the door, to guard it like a dog. Some nights, when the words boil up inside me till I'm afraid they'll come out, I end up there anyway. Press my lips into the wood, or the carpet. "Love you. Love you love you love you" until I lose count. He never says anything when he finds me in the morning.