DISCLAIMER: Everything but the plot is Joss'. Too bad.
SUMMARY: A new danger has targeted the Slayer as his next prey and Spike is the only one who can tell when he's near, forcing Buffy to stay with the vamp temporarily.

*************

Chapter 2: In Dreams

For one last time, Spike looked around the crypt. His Slayer shrine was hidden away; no chance of Summers finding it and staking him out of spite. Harmony was packed and gone, hopefully for good this time. Everything was in order for his impromptu guest.

His thoughts lingered on the bed. How many dreams about Buffy had plagued his sleep since he'd realized his feelings for her? It seemed like every night there was some variation on that first dream...they fought...got all sweaty...kissed...he woke up. He always seemed to be waking up before any of the good stuff really happened.

The door to the crypt slammed open and his head jerked to see Buffy outlined in the evening twilight. She just stood there, a bag over her shoulder, her hip cocked. The last of the sunlight shone through her hair, and Spike felt his throat constrict. God, she was beautiful.

"OK, new house rules." Buffy dropped her bag and stepped down into the crypt. "One. You stay out of my way, I stay out of yours."

"Funny. Thought this was my house."

"Two. I get the bed. I don't do coffins and I don't do dirt floors."

"Bed's big enough for two, luv." Spike smiled and caught her wrist before the punch connected with his jaw. "Just for your information, of course." He laughed as her cheeks reddened. "How 'bout some of my rules?"

Buffy crossed her arms across her chest, suddenly aware of the tiny tank top she was wearing. "Like what? No blood in bed?"

"Actually, that's one of my favorite places for it." His lips twisted into a smile as he turned away. This was definitely going to be fun. "No. Contrary to your storming in here whenever you want, I'm not particularly fond of visitors. So no Scooby gang unless I know about it in advance." He paused before asking, "What 'bout your mum? What do she and Bit think?"

"Actually, they don't know I'm staying here." She began wandering around the perimeter of the room, doing everything she could to avoid looking at him directly. "They think I'm on some Slayer training exercise. Giles is going to keep a low profile and bring us our supplies until it's time to go after this hound dog thing."

"What? So no patrolling or going out? At all?"

"Nope. Giles says it's too dangerous. He figures that the crypt should hide me long enough for them to get the answers. And if I go out, it just ruins the whole plan." Buffy said this last bit as if she'd argued extensively with her Watcher about it. And lost. She crossed to the musty couch and flopped down. "So what's there to do around here? I'm bored already." She began to reach for the TV's remote control.

Spike's hand closed around Buffy's as he pulled the remote from her. "Don't think so, Slayer. TV's my domain. You watch what I watch when I watch it. Got it?"

Buffy glared at the blond vampire as he towered over her. "Not very hospitable of you, Spike."

"I figure it's a fair trade. You get the bed, I get the TV. Course, we might be able to arrange some sort of sharing agreement..."

"Eeewwww! I don't think so!"

Spike shrugged. "Your loss. Now shut up. Passions is about to start." He settled on the couch next to her, that familiar vanilla scent filling his nostrils.

"Passions was over hours ago."

His smile to her was defiant. "Got every episode on tape, luv. Passions is always about to start." And his thumb slowly pushed the power switch.

*************

Buffy paced the length of the crypt, the heels of her boots echoing in the silence of the room. She glanced at her watch. Two-fifteen. In spite of the late hour, she wasn't tired, even though she'd had to sit through endless videos of that stupid soap Spike was addicted to. Speaking of the blond vampire...Her eyes wandered to the ceiling, wondering what he was doing up there. She'd begged off his marathon by claiming exhaustion, but now that she was down here, she couldn't bring herself to climb into the bed she knew he rested in. It loomed against the wall, reminding her of its regular occupant, and the thought of sliding between its sheets made her skin crawl.

From overhead, she heard the TV go silent. Was he finally asleep? Don't be silly, Slayer. He's a vamp. Night creature, remember? So what was he doing? For the first time, she wondered what Spike did all day...night...whatever. Smoking cigarettes and lurking could only take up so much time. He always seemed to be free when she stopped by the crypt. What the hell was he doing up there now?

Almost as if he was reading her mind, Spike's voice filtered down. "I know you're still up, Slayer. Bored?"

Damn, she thought. How the hell did he hear me? "Whaddaya want, Spike?"

"Fancy a bit of a spar?"

It was actually a good suggestion. Fighting might exhaust Buffy enough to fall asleep, regardless of whose bed it was. Before she could answer, though, the entrance had been slid aside and Spike was suddenly at her side. "Hey!" she exclaimed. "I could've been undressed down here."

"You haven't done anything but pace since you came down, Slayer." His blue eyes slid to the untouched bed and the corner of his mouth lifted, ever so slightly. "Not feelin' lonely, are ya?"

"NO!" Her vehement denial was louder than she'd expected, echoing against the stone walls, and she bit back the smartass comment that would've naturally followed. "My brain just doesn't seem to want to turn off tonight."

"I wouldn't think that was usually a problem for you." Spike's eyes glittered as he deliberately baited her, watching the casual grace of her shoulder as her fist swung around to meet his jaw. His own steel grip caught her hand, staying the motion, and they stood there for a moment, blue locked with hazel.

It was Buffy who broke the contact. Yanking her fist from his grasp, she stepped away, her jaw set. Although her breathing was even and controlled, her fingers burned from his slight touch and she worried that the heat in her hand would somehow be evident in her face. Still, she managed to spit out, "You're not going to get me that easy, Spike."

His step toward her was languorous, excruciatingly so, and his eyes never left hers, even as he leaned forward until their noses were just inches apart. "Of course not, Slayer," he said, his voice a satin rumble in her ears. "That's half the fun."

That was the final straw for Buffy. With lightning speed, her right leg shot out, sweeping Spike off his feet and onto his back. He grinned in spite of the jolt. "Thought you weren't that easy, luv."

"I'm not." Buffy stepped back and crossed her arms. "Just my way of saying, 'Night, Spike.'"

The vampire put his hands behind his head, his grin even wider. "Always knew you'd like me on bottom, Slayer."

"Bigheaded much?" she retorted. "I like my men to have blood, not drink it for breakfast."

"Right." He dragged out the word, making it sound almost sensual, as he jumped gracefully to his feet. "Wouldn't the poofter love to hear that."

Buffy blushed, turning away so that the blond vampire couldn't witness her discomfiture. Oh God, she thought. I forgot completely about Angel. How could I do that? Especially in front of Spike?!? No matter how hard she tried, rational thought just seemed to fly out of her head every time she got around the chipped vamp, and she found herself acting out those rotten impulses she'd worked so hard to overcome for the last five years.

So lost in self-recriminations, she wasn't even aware of his approach until she felt his silky voice in her ear. "When you're ready to keep dancin', you know where to find me, Slayer." Buffy forced herself not to turn around as his boots echoed against the stone floor. His final words before returning upstairs came floating back. "Pleasant dreams..."

*************

The sun licked its way across her skin, caressing her bare stomach, heating her thighs. Through the blanket, the hot sand massaged her back, curving to her own muscular contours, filling those nooks where a single touch could send thousands of shivers down her spine. She could see the light through her closed eyelids and a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. This was the life.

A shadow momentarily darkened the radiance in which she was bathing. "The Riley man has excellent timing," Buffy murmured. In a single fluid movement, she rolled over onto her stomach. "Can you sunblock me?"

Deft fingers pulled the drawstring of her bikini top, baring her back without even touching her skin. She heard the soft plop of the bottle being opened, followed by what seemed an eternity. She was almost ready to turn around and do it herself when she felt the first drops hit her skin. Instinctively, her back arched, reacting to the chill of the lotion. "No more keeping sunblock in the cooler, 'kay?" Buffy laughed softly and settled back down, crossing her arms under her head.

Within moments, the cream was being spread across her shoulder blades. The pressure was light but exquisitely firm, and Buffy marveled at how strong her boyfriend really was. His hands danced down her spine, sliding along her waist, too strong to be ticklish but light enough to be sensual, and she felt the familiar warmth begin between her legs. Almost against her will, a low purr escaped her throat.

There was a pause as she heard the squish of more lotion being squeezed from the bottle. Her breath caught as she felt the now-familiar sensation, this time along the back of her calves. He massaged the sunblock into her skin...kneading the tightness of her legs...stroking as he skated upwards...closer...onto her thighs...and then...even higher. The chill seemed warmer now, mingling with the heat of her body, and Buffy moaned. She hadn't been this relaxed in ages; it was almost as if none of the last few months had ever happened. No Glory, no worrying about the Key, no unknown illnesses attacking her mother. The only thing that mattered was the here, the now, and the staggering sensations that were beginning to flood through her body.

Keeping her eyes closed, Buffy pushed against his hands so that she was flat on her back again. There was a moment of hesitation before his touch returned, this time on her taut stomach. She was aware that in turning over, her bikini top had twisted underneath her so that it was slightly askew. Although she didn't think there was any nipple exposure, she could feel the heat of the sun on part of her left breast that had definitely been covered before. Did he notice? Would he do anything about it?

Almost as if he was reading her mind, she felt a tickle along the curve where her breast met her abdomen. She squirmed, allowing him better access. His hand felt cool, cooler than she would've expected in this heat, but the contrast set her pulse racing. Please, her mind begged. Please...And in response, his thumb and forefinger found her nipple, pinching it just enough to cause her to gasp.

"Yes..." It came out more like a hiss, but he must've heard because she felt his other hand graze her thigh. "Higher," she whispered. This he definitely heard, as a long finger slid under the elastic of her bottoms, tracing the outline of her hip as it wandered closer to her now-soaking slit. So close, yet he refused to actually touch her, choosing instead to wind through the wiry curls, taunting her with the proximity of satisfaction.

"Please..." she murmured, this time out loud. That same strong finger found its way past her warmth and she gasped as it slid inside, filling her. He pulled out, only to have a second finger join in the journey back in. Out again, this time to be replaced by three. She clenched around him, trying to pull him even deeper, willing him to never leave.

Her moans quickly turned into groans. This seaside seduction was moving excruciatingly slow; what she wanted more than anything was...Her sex thoughts froze and instead, her concentration focused for a moment on the hand between her legs. Yes, those were fingers buried deep inside her, but what was on that fourth? It was cold, metallic...a ring? Riley didn't wear jewelry...

Buffy's eyes flew open. Instead of the beefy shoulders she'd been expecting, she was greeted by the tightly corded muscles of a gleaming white Spike...in the sunshine?

"Hello, luv." The velvet tones of his voice belied the steel in his eyes. "Surprised?" Slowly, deliberately, he extracted his fingers from her bikini bottoms and lifted them to his mouth. She was mesmerized as his tongue licked at the juices that clung to him, but it was his pinky...the ring...the green stone...

"But we got rid of the Gem," she whispered.

"Yeah, well, looks like I got it back," Spike taunted.

She was suddenly aware that her nipple was still caught between his fingers and knocked him away as she struggled to get up.

"No more Mr. Nice Guy," he hissed. His hand shot out, catching hers in one tight grip, and twisted her arms so that both wrists were pinned over her head.

In spite of Buffy's thrashing about, she couldn't shake him. When in hell did Spike get so strong? she wondered. She could only watch as his free hand purposefully slid down her stomach...how did she not notice the iciness of his touch from the start? He crept lower, savoring the journey, finally disappearing under the thin fabric of her swimsuit. She gasped as those lean fingers penetrated...plunging deep inside her...stroking her inner walls...and all the time, his blue eyes were locked on hers.

Without conscious thought, Buffy thrust down against his hand, forcing him even deeper, her hips beginning their own rhythm in spite of her silent screams of protest. "Fuck Mr. Nice Guy," she panted.

Spike grinned. "That's my Slayer," he said. With one swift motion, his head lowered to hers, crushing her lips with a bruising kiss...

*************

"...No!" Buffy shot upwards, her body rigid. What the hell was that all about? Her nerve endings still tingled from the memory of his touch and there was certainly no mistaking the wetness between her legs. She'd been so close, just a few more seconds...

"What is it? You OK?"

Spike's sudden presence next to the bed jerked Buffy from the remnants of her dream. Her hazel eyes widened as she drank in the sight of his bare chest, the sculpted muscles exactly as they'd been on the beach. "Nothing," she stammered. "Just...just...a nightmare."

His shoulders relaxed. "Didn't know you were a screamer, Slayer." His eyes drifted over the pajamas that covered her from neck to toe. "Flannel definitely becomes you."

Buffy flopped backwards onto the bed. Damn him! she thought as he returned to...whatever it was he'd been doing. After finally falling asleep on top of the blankets instead of underneath, here she was having wet dreams about the most annoying man in her life right now. Hold it, Summers, she admonished. Not a man. Vampire, remember? He's just stake food.

With a long, slow breath, she willed her overloaded senses to calm down. Back to sleep, Buffy. And this time, no Spike-sex thoughts...

*************

Upstairs, Spike inhaled deeply. A nightmare? Not bloody likely. Her musky scent was strong enough to reach him here in front of the telly, and the sudden stiffness in his jeans wasn't going to let him go back to sleep any time soon.

So...the Slayer's having sex dreams while she sleeps in my crypt. On my bed. Maybe...of me? He smiled, his tongue tapping against teeth as he thought over the possibilities. He very much doubted he played any significant role in her excitement; he knew from experience that dream lovers could take just about any form. Still...

He lounged back against the couch, stretching his legs to ease the tension in his thighs. Regardless of how this all turned out, when this little hound problem was solved, he'd have Slayer smell all over his bed. This was definitely going to be worth it.


To be continued in Chapter Three: Temper...