Read Him Like a Book
Spike set Angel’s office stereo to a rock station and turned it up full blast. Wasn’t his fault Peaches had gone out without locking the door. Not to say he couldn’t have picked the lock anyway. He was singing along to the Dead Kennedy’s at the top of his lungs, rapping his hand against the boss’ desk and didn’t realize anyone was listening.
“Could you turn down the angst a touch, sugar? I’m trying to work.”
“What?” Spike called over the radio. “Oh.” He turned it down. “Sorry, Kermit. Got carried away. Though, unlike some souled vampires of my acquaintance, I can carry a tune.”
“Oh, it’s not the voice.” Lorne leaned against the doorpost. “It’s the emotion. You’re scared silly, sweetcakes.”
Spike flopped down in Angel’s chair. “Am not.”
“Are too.” He raised and eyebrow. “And don’t try to work that big bad mojo on me. I can see right through it. What is it, that hell fixation again?”
“Yeah. Right. That’s it. Scared a’ hell. Shitless.”
“Look.” Lorne sat at the edge of the desk and contemplated the vampire. “I know the real reason you want the shanshu broohoo. You’ve seen the open jaws of hell, and you’d do anything to take a pass. Including starting fresh and clean as one of the heartbeat set.”
“Right.” Spike looked down at his hands. “You got it in one.”
“No.” Lorne looked him hard in the eyes. “You fear it, sure. But that’s not what’s got your duster in a rustle.”
“Really?” Spike picked at a hangnail. “I’m breathless with anticipation. Why don’t you tell me?”
“You told Angel you had something special with her. Let him think you’d only have to crook your little finger and she’d come running. Let everyone think the only reason you haven’t gone to her is that you think you’d spoil your big exit.”
“And, my bleached buddy, you’re terrified that she doesn’t love you, and never did. You’re terrified that she’d reject you, all over again. Or, that she’d take you back, use you, and you’d let her.”
Spike rubbed his eyes, hoping Lorne wouldn’t see the tears. Which didn’t help.
Lorne saw everything. Bloody demon.