***Part Four***

Buffy woke the next morning and reached over to shut off the blaring alarm clock. It took a minute to recall all of the prior night's events. She recalled just how the night ended, having sex with Spike - again. She was surprised to find she was alone. Instead of being revolted by the images of what they had done together she found herself wondering if he had really left.

"Spike," she called out as she struggled to sit up, clutching the top sheet in front of her. Willow was not home yet, but it was still early. Her clothes from the night before were on the floor next to the bed, but she chose the shirt at the foot of her bed. It was the shirt Spike had on the night before over his T-shirt. It was deep blue, a blue that brought out the blue of his eyes. It was big enough on her that she did not mind walking around her room wearing only the shirt and it smelled like him, which for some reason she wanted this morning.

She looked in her closet on the chance he went in there when the sun came up. "Spike," she said to the empty closet. He was not there, but she noticed he had put her equipment chest away. She leaned against the closet door and sighed not wanting to admit that she was sad he was gone. She was not angry because she understood he could not stay here. There was no place but her closet for him to stay out of the sunlight.

This morning Buffy felt a different range of emotions than the first time she woke up after having slept with Spike a couple of months ago. Last night they had not slept, though Buffy did eventually fell asleep. She could not remember when exactly and something told her Spike had not slept. It was that thought, that he had stayed with her all night and into the morning the first time but not last night that nagged at her. For the briefest of moments that morning months ago, before she had realized who she was next to and what she had done with him, she had felt comfortable.

She did not want to dwell on feeling disappointed. He had made it clear last night that one night stands were no big thing to him. She tried to focus instead on being upset about what had happened between them, that they had ended up in bed to begin with. She was a little ashamed at the things she had let him do and say to her. Maybe that was why he had left.

That made no sense and deep down Buffy knew that as her hand ran along the length of the silk scarf he had used at one point to bind her wrists together. Dru was no proper lady and Spike had spent over a century with her. One thing she was not going to do was a repeat of Parker. This was Spike after all, Buffy suspected where she stood in Spike's mind. So they had sex, good sex several times during the night. So she had let him bind her wrists and be less than the slow and gentleness she had gotten from Angel. He had been nice to her, she had been upset over what happened earlier in the evening. He had helped her with some vamps and looked after her when she was wounded. All things that added up to her doing some irrational things.

She got ready for the day, hanging the blue shirt in her closet unsure if Spike left it behind intentionally. She took a last look at herself in the mirror. She would see Riley in Psych class and wanted to make sure there was no physical evidence of the night before. Their first night together Spike had given her a hickey on her neck. It had been her first unless you counted the nasty mark she had on her neck after Angel had fed off of her, which she did not. Spike had given her more last night on her breasts, stomach and on her inner thigh. Thankfully none were visible with clothes on. She ran a finger over the one on her thigh a little embarrassed that she sort of liked knowing it was there. Riley would not be getting that close to her again, so she was fine.

Seeing Riley was torture. She had hoped to get out of the classroom before he could catch up to her, but she had no such luck. He must have been anticipating her escape because he was right there waiting for her. He just did not get it, and his determination only made her realize he was not right for her. It was sad, really, because she so wanted him to be right for her. He was nice, treated her well, and he was human which should have headed her list of requirements in a boyfriend. Instead, she was pushing Riley away and drawing a vampire, who until a few months ago had a hard on for killing her, closer to her.


"Riley," she said, meeting his gaze evenly. She had nothing to feel guilty for and hoped that her eyes did not betray the little bit of doubt she had.

"You got home okay last night?"

"Yeah. I had more work to do after you left, busy night for some reason."

"Was it?"

"Yeah," she said with a slight frown. Three in one night while not unheard of was not common either.

"Can we talk later?"

"I'm not ready to talk. I need more than a few hours, Riley."

"I need to know what's going on, Buffy. I like you, I really do and I can't stand that you think on last night as if nothing happened. I can't ignore it."

"I know. And that's the problem. I don't know how we can go back to what we were before. I'm just not ready for more than that." She sighed softly and looked at her feet. "I don't want to hurt you, but I don't want to mislead you either."

"Tell me what I can do."

"Just give me time, Riley. Time and some space. If you pin me down for an answer, my answer right now is this can't work between us."

"You really believe that? You've said that before and yet you seemed willing to give it a chance."

"I do like you, Riley. If nothing else, as a friend."

"I don't want to be your friend, Buffy. I mean, of course I do, but I want more than that."

"I don't think I can give that to you right now. Not until this situation with Spike is resolved."

"You know I think you like having that as an excuse."

She was not going to stand here listening to his thoughts on Spike. She could just imagine what he would say if he knew what she and Spike had done the night before. God, she winced, she had slept with Spike after having been with Riley. Spike had not seemed to mind much less notice, but Riley would be royally upset about that. "Listen, I have to go. Willow's waiting. We're having lunch together," she said and began to walk away. He took a hold of her forearm and stopped her from getting far.


"Let go of me, Riley," she said evenly. "Crowding me is not going to get you anywhere but out of my life. Just let go of me. Now."


"I'll see you later."

"Right. Later."

Buffy looked at him for a moment and then looked away. He released her arm and she walked away without saying anything else. God she hated that she had to do this, hurt him. What happened with Riley was a fluke. She had no idea what the deal was with Spike. They had actually gotten along the night before. Giles had sent them off to work out a way to stop fighting. Buffy was relatively certain having sex was not what he had in mind, but at least they weren't fighting.

She got her lunch and spotted Willow sitting with her friend Tara and sat with them. She had sort of hoped to get Willow alone, a chance to talk to her best friend. Buffy did not know exactly what she would say anyway. Talking to Willow about Angel had been difficult enough, and Willow liked Riley which might make her not want to hear about Spike. Willow seemed happy and Buffy didn't want to bring her down, so she remained quiet about her love life problem.

"Tara and I are meeting Xander and Anya at the Bronze tonight. You want to come?"

"Sure for a while before patrolling."

"Okay great. I hear there's a new band playing tonight. They're supposed to be good."

"Great," Buffy said, offering Willow a smile. She was glad to see that the idea of seeing a band at the Bronze did not bother Willow. There was a time it did, reminding her of Oz. It was good to see her friend happy, Buffy hoped that soon her own life would be simple enough that she could enjoy it.

"Are you going to ask Riley to come?"

"No," Buffy said quickly. "I don't think inviting him anywhere is going to be happening anytime soon."

"He took the news about Spike pretty hard, huh?"

"Well, you were there and saw it. I'd say hard is a bit of an understatement," Buffy muttered. "It was my fault, I should have told him."

"Well, you were doing what you thought was best. You were protecting Spike too."

Buffy cocked her head slightly at that as she sipped on her soda. "I guess."

"He would have wanted to take him back to the Initiative if you had told him."

"Maybe," Buffy said. No maybe about it, Willow was right. If Riley had thought it would help he would have. If Riley had known weeks ago that the thing holding her back from wanting to be his girlfriend was this Spike marriage thing he would have done something to alleviate the problem. So why was that a bad thing? Buffy did not know why she did so little to annul her marriage. Until last night it was not like they were really married or anything.

Last night had nothing to do with marriage she thought as she ran her fingers along one of her wrists. Spike had tied the scarf a little too tight at first and while there was no mark from it now she could still feel it. She could see Spike on top of her, feel him inside of her, her wrists bound above her head unable to touch him, his lips on the sensitive skin on the underside of her arms as he brought her over the edge.

Done with classes for the day, Buffy went to her room and studied for the test she had the following morning. Just before dinnertime she had had enough of her dorm room and being indoors so she decided to take a walk. Her walk brought her to the cemetery and Spike's crypt. Now that she thought about it, she was headed here the moment she left campus. She had even stopped at a butcher's on the way to get blood for him.

She knocked on the door, the packets of blood in a bag at her side. She had left his shirt back in her room hanging in her closet. On purpose? She was not sure. She offered him a hesitant smile when he opened the door. He was working the buttons on a shirt, a portion of his chest still visible. Deep red marks from her nails and a hickey could be seen on his skin and she looked away knowing she had left those marks. Had anyone else seen them?

"Slayer," he said, a lift to his voice indicating he was questioning her presence. Great. Like she knew, he was supposed to know.

"Aren't you going to invite me in?"

"Like you need an invitation, unless you changed over night," he said, stepping away from the door. He gestured flamboyantly with one hand. "But by all means, please come in. To what do I owe the honor?"

"I brought you some blood," she said, lifting the bag as she stepped over the threshold into his crypt. She hated thinking of it as his home even though it was.

"Thanks," he said and she knew he could see through her charade. He sat in a chair and slid on his socks. He had stopped buttoning his shirt, presumably because it was her at the door, so it remained open near the top. Her eyes continued to drop to his chest and the marks there. She wondered how bad the rest of them were. There were some on his abdomen, his back and his arms if she recalled correctly. He had called her an animal. At the time it had aroused her, heightened her pleasure and made her act even more out of character. Now, she felt a little ashamed. "That was nice of you. Where'd you go?"

"The butcher on Elm," she said, setting the bag on the table near his refrigerator. Spike nodded as she walked to the sarcophagus in the middle of the crypt and leaned against it. She folded her arms over her chest and watched him adjust and straighten the legs of his jeans. "I didn't get to thank you for last night."

"You are thanking me?"

"Well, yeah, for walking me to my room. Bandaging me up. And, okay, the rest of it too."

He stood, his body folding out of the chair in one beautiful and fluid motion, and strode to her. The distance between them was cut to mere inches in no time and his hand was at her hair. His fingers touched her hair, his palm rested against her cheek. She swallowed hard, her eyes wide staring into his deep blue ones trying to figure out what he was going to do. Kill her or kiss her. "You don't have to thank me."

"I, you were gone this morning."

"I thought it best I leave," he said, his hand preventing her from looking down, away from his piercing gaze like she wanted to. "I would rather have been gone than wake up to one of your tongue lashings, Slayer. After what had happened with Riley, I didn't want to be included in the force's power."

"No, it wasn't. I mean, it had nothing to do with it."

"I know that, but Buffy you and I are not always rational when it comes to one another. I didn't want you to accuse me of taking advantage of you."

"You didn't, Spike."

"She says that now, hours later."

"I didn't come here to argue with you. I would think you'd be happy that I came here at all."

She saw something cross his face, which made her curious. "Why did you come here then? To bring me dinner?"

"I'm not sure," she admitted.

"Well then," he said, placing his hands at her hips. She started to protest, but he moved quickly and lifted her onto the sarcophagus. "Have a seat."

"I feel a little weird sitting up here," she said with a light laugh. She grew quiet then, uncomfortable. They had never sought out one another's company before, not like this anyway. "Should I not have come?"

"You're welcome here anytime, Slayer, but you'll pardon me for being a little cautious as to your motives. For bringing me blood. If this was yesterday I would wonder if it was poisoned. Actually, because of yesterday I might wonder that."

"It's not poisoned. If I wanted to kill or maim you, I'd just do it."

"Knowing you as well as I do I know that's true."

"You think you know me?"

"I think I know you better than most, with the exception of Angel. And perhaps Giles and your gang, but I imagine in some ways better than they do."

"Just a little better than they do," she said softly.

"So, what then? You decided to come by for some conversation?" He laid a hand on her knee and she looked at it. Was he expecting a reaction out of her? For her to be offended?

"Maybe. Would that be so bad," she asked, placing a hand over his and slid it higher along her leg.

"I suppose not." Both were focused on his hand now on her thigh. Buffy had stopped breathing for a moment, unsure of what she was doing. "I take it conversation is not exactly on your mind, Slayer. You can just say that's what you came here for if that is indeed the case."

"No! I didn't. I felt like going for a walk. Here I am."

"Ah. Bad day? Or did you miss me?"

"The day was okay. And no I didn't miss you."

"She wounds me with her bluntness."

"I didn't mean it like that. I just. I saw Riley after class. And then at lunch Willow asked me if I was going to invite him to come to the Bronze with me tonight."

"And are you?" Buffy picked up on the note of definite interest in his voice and smiled slightly.

"No. I'll probably just go by myself." She looked up at him and swallowed hard, getting up the nerve to say what was on her mind. "Unless you want to come." There it was, open season on ridiculing Buffy. He would go on and on about how last night had happened but meant nothing, changed nothing between them. But to Buffy it had been more than nothing. He brought things out of her, had said and done things to her that had brought her higher than she ever imagined going.

"To the Bronze? With you and your pals? Why," he asked suspiciously.

"It's not a trick. Willow's going to be there with her friend Tara, Xander's going to be there with Anya. I just didn't want to feel like a fifth wheel with no one. I know you like to go there, drink the beer and eat the food."

He lifted his hand from her thigh and she felt cold as the air brushed against her skin. He ran a fingertip along her lower thigh, from the outside in. Buffy's breath caught at the gentleness of the touch, it was sort of intimate. "Let me get this straight," he said, lifting his eyes to meet hers. She was reminded of his shirt hanging in her dorm room closet, almost the same blue as his eyes. They could be as cold as a winter's day when he was angry, but right now they were warm and bright with intensity. "You want to be seen with me? In public?"

"Why not? It's not like it would be a date. I mean, you've hung out with us before."

"Not like this. And whether you want to admit it or not, Slayer, things changed between us last night."

"Did they?"

"How could they not? We made love. The first time under the influence of the spell, that was excusable and it was only the one time. Last night, there was more than one time, and there was no spell. There was no force. There was a good deal of desire, though. Raw want and need."

"I remember."

"I'm not going to pull a Riley on you and push you, but you can't toy with me."

"You think I'm toying with you?"

"Uh, pet, coming here bearing the gift of blood, putting my hand higher up along your leg, kissing me."

"Did I kiss you?"

He leaned toward her, offering her a wicked smile. Her heart stopped its relentless pounding for just a second and time stopped briefly as he leaned even closer. "Not yet," he said before he drew away. But Buffy was having none of that, which was exactly what he wanted more than likely.

She grabbed a hold of his shirt front and almost violently drew him to her, crushing his mouth with hers. The intensity of the kiss surprised her, after last night she had expected there to be little desire left. Her arms went around his neck and she scooted closer to the edge of the sarcophagus, closer to him, her calves going around his thighs.

Without breaking the kiss he managed to get her skirt up while she reached to unfasten his jeans. He did not step out of them merely pushed them down. His hands clasped her hips, drawing her closer to him, onto him as he entered her. The kiss was broken briefly as they both took a deep breath, Buffy adjusting to having him inside of her again.

The cool smooth stone of the sarcophagus under her was arousing despite what it was. That combined with the neediness of the act, both seeming to want it there and then, brought her over the edge quicker than she had expected. She had not come there for sex, but now that she was there having it with him she wanted nothing else.

She sensed the change in him before he drew away and she reached up to touch his face. "Don't stop," she whispered before leaning in to kiss him, vampiric face and all. His hands encouraged her to lean back against the sarcophagus and she followed his unspoken directions. Her eyes left his face only to watch his hands as they trailed a path all over her upper body. Even with her shirt and bra on he was able to excite her all over again.

"Buffy," he called out and then hesitated.

"It's okay, Spike," she said softy, reaching up to touch his face again. "It's okay."

"No, you shouldn't have to kiss me like this, pet."

"I like it."

"You what," he asked, his brow furrowed.

"I like that you lose control. That I make you lose control like that. It's," she shrugged slightly.

"Exciting," he offered.

"A little," she replied.

"Exciting is good."

"I think I'm finding that out." She shifted slightly, the stone she was laying on getting uncomfortable.

"I hurt you."

"No, it's just the slab of concrete is uncomfortable."

"Right," he said his arms going to her waist. He drew her up so she was sitting again and adjusted her skirt. "So do you still want me to come with you tonight? Or now that you've gotten a taste of Spike are you ready to go without me?"

"It's up to you," she said, running a fingertip along the path of buttonholes on his shirt. "Maybe I want dessert later."

"Slayer," he murmured as he moved to kiss her, taking her lower lip between his teeth. "When you put it like that I think I might be convinced to tag along."

"You can't tell anyone though," she said with a light laugh.

"Tell them what? About us? About this?"

"Yeah. It'll be our secret."

"I don't make it a habit of kissing and telling." She shifted against him and he groaned softly. "Careful where you're wiggling there."

"Too much for you, Spikey?"

"Not at all, love, just making sure you realized there are consequences to what you are doing. Punishments if you will."

"If this is your idea of punishment, I'd love to see what your idea of a reward is."

"You would, would you," he asked an eyebrow arching up.

"I think so, but not now."

"Tired? What about all that Slayer strength?"

"Yeah, well, you exhausted some of it."

"And you have to patrol tonight."

"Yeah, after the Bronze."

"Bloody hell. You should have told me you were tired, Buffy."

"No, it's okay I'm good." She placed her hands flush against his chest and pushed him gently. He took the hint and stepped back and she slid off the sarcophagus. She smoothed down her skirt and found her shoes suddenly very interesting. Why was it she enjoyed it while it was happening but felt incredibly guilty afterward? Was it her? Was it because it was Spike? She had no idea.

"Something the matter, pet?"

"No, I don't know," she said, running her hand through her hair.

"You can't lie to me, Slayer. Something's on your mind. Guilt is overrated. We did nothing wrong."

"I know," she said softly, still hesitant to meet his eyes.


"I just feel weird. I mean, we don't even like one another."

"I don't think liking one another is the issue here, Slayer, it never has been. Our dislike for one another was based on my being intent on killing you. And you on killing me. That's gone."

"So are you saying you like me? And I like you? That's why we're doing this?"

"Well, we've only done this three times, well, okay more but last night counts as once. And the first time doesn't really count in the grand scheme of things. So it's hard to say why we're doing this. But yeah I'm guessing the old love/hate thing is playing a bit of a part. We've fought for a couple of years and now that we can't fight any longer that built up passion and tension is coming out another way."

"So we're having sex because we can't fight?"

"Something like that, yeah. I much prefer the sex part truth be told," he said, smiling charmingly. "I like the softer side of Buffy. I think I liked you from the moment I first saw you. Might be why I never stayed and fought you to the bitter end during one of our battles."

"You did not like me, Spike."

"It was easy to focus on wanting you gone when I was trying to save Dru, you stood in the way of my doing that. Dru knew it a while ago. She left me because of you."

"All right, now you're lying."

"Do you think I'd admit something like that if it wasn't true? I mean, I'm obviously not trying to get into your pants. Again. I was just there."

"Obviously not," she said softly and turned away from him. She did not want to think about liking Spike or Spike liking her. It was too bizarre and less easy than if they hated one another and were enemies. That she could deal with. But them liking one another was not just creepy but impossible.

"Hey, Slayer, I didn't mean to spring something like this on you. Not at the same time your Boy Scout is pressuring you. So I like you, it doesn't change anything. You can come here no strings attached, no wigging out by ol' Spike. You've gotten a taste for it, no sense stopping now."

"How can you make me feel so good one minute and like complete shit the next?"

"Luck, I guess."

"I did not come here for sex."

"I know you didn't. But just in case you want to know if you could when you want to."

"I don't."

"All right then."

"I've got to go."

"I'm no longer invited to tag along?"

"You can, but you can't tell anyone what's going on."


"Not really, no." She sighed softly. "All right, a little. I just don't think anyone would understand. Or like it very much. It took them a long time to warm up to Angel. He was souled, not chipped. Big diff."

"And you think they have reason to warm up to me?"

"I don't know," she said, whimpering softly in frustration. This was all too confusing and a way different type of confusing than with Riley. Up until recently, up until last night really, she would not have trusted Spike as far as a normal human could throw him. "Can we just go to the Bronze and have fun? And then I have to patrol. Then I'm going home. Alone."



He held up a hand and stepped further away from her. "I was agreeing with you. It's not like you need me, or anyone else for that matter, walking you home. I'm well aware of the fact you can take care of yourself."

"That doesn't bother you, does it," she said, spinning around to look at him again. "That I don't need looking after."

"No, not really. I'll admit a part of me revolts against it from time to time, especially when I'm patrolling with you. But no, it doesn't bother me. I had enough of looking after Drusilla. I'll admit it is nice when you do need my help, like last night. I like to feel useful," he shrugged.

"Because of the chip?"

"Well, yeah, that's part of it, but I just like knowing I can help you in some way. Let's get out of here before we get too deeply into this heart to heart and I start spouting off things that are better left unsaid."

"Okay," she said curiously. "This isn't a date. You know that, right. I mean, Willow's bringing her friend and I'm bringing you. Xander's the only one on a date tonight."

"There's something deeply wrong with that, Slayer. But yeah, I am aware of where I stand with you and your little gang. I'm just the chipped monster who you're taking pity on for some reason."

"It's not like that."

"Yeah, whatever, Slayer, let's go," he said, grabbing hold of his leather duster and slipping it on. "Didn't you bring a coat?"

"No, I wasn't thinking about later when I left my room. I just wanted to get out of there, away from studying. And Riley."

He disappeared as she talked, reappearing with a jacket. "Here. It's not much, but it's warmer than that slip of a top you've got on. How you can dress like that without getting accosted is beyond me."

"You mean like you just did a few minutes ago," she quipped, offering him a smile. She was teasing and hoped he was aware of that.

"Yeah, like that." He placed the jacket around her, over her shoulders and kissed her. "But you wanted it from me, there's a bit of a difference, pet."

"I did not."

He slid his hand from her shoulder to a breast, brushing it with the back of his hand bringing her peak to attention with the touch. "Right."

"That's not fair."

"All's fair, pet. All's fair. If it proves my point at least." He winked and then offered her his hand, which she took without thinking. "I get to have one of those onion things, right?"

"Yeah, you can have one of those onion things."

"Great. Those are good."

"I'm so glad such a little thing can make you happy." He squeezed her hand but said nothing, leaving Buffy to wonder just what he was thinking. He didn't say, so she never found out.

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