DISCLAIMER: Everything but the plot is Joss'. Too bad.
SUMMARY: Buffy is already at her wits end after only one night in the crypt and has drunk the potion Willow made for Spike.

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Chapter 4: Under the Spell

The potion slid down her throat, a frosty bitterness gushing into her system, suffusing her body with a glorious sense of simplicity. With her head still thrown back, her eyes flickered closed. Why had Willow any doubts about this spell? Buffy could consciously feel her head clear of the doubt and anxiety that had been plaguing her, and fill instead with...

Her nose pricked with a sudden smell. With her normal Slayer senses, she was always aware of the stale cigarette smoke/leather combo that mingled around Spike in a cloud of don't-fuck-with-me sex appeal, but now...there was something more...something...primal, that made her mouth unpredictably salivate. She swallowed hard...unhurried...and drank in the musk that raised goose bumps on her bare shoulders.

Spike knew something was different as soon as Buffy's hand dropped to her side, fingers still barely holding the vial. With her head back like that, the delicate curve of her neck lay exposed to him, and he saw the throb of her pulse quicken, becoming a staccato rhythm that resonated in his head. A sense of deja vu overwhelmed him, and he flashed on the hundreds---no, thousands---of times he'd seen that exact same pose...before he'd been chipped...when he'd still been a proper vampire...

So lost was he in his reverie that he almost didn't catch the new fragrance emanating from Buffy's skin. His blue eyes narrowed as he inhaled, and the sudden stiffening in his groin seemed the most natural response to the pheromones she was now emitting. "Slayer...?"

Her golden head lowered, and her hazel eyes opened to meet Spike's. There was almost no iris left; instead, her desire had expanded her pupils until they glittered in sooty hunger at the blond vampire. "Spike..." She drew his name out, purring rather than speaking, and her pointed tongue darted out to moisten her upper lip.

A sharp hiss escaped through his teeth, and he felt the demon inside him struggle to gain control. The animal instincts in Buffy had taken over, and it was all Spike could do to keep himself in check. "You shouldn't have done that," he said, taking a step back.

She countered his retreat with a step forward of her own. "But everything's so much clearer now," she said.

"That's just the potion talkin', luv."

Buffy cocked her head. "Really? Then why my dream last night? You were right, Spike. I was sooooo close..." Her right hand reached up and she ran a finger down, between her breasts, trailing across her stomach, tracing her waist under the band of her jeans.

As hard as it was, the vamp tore his eyes from her seduction to look up into her face. She's not herself, he admonished. She's acting more like a..."Bitch in heat," he muttered.

"What was that?"

"That's what the spell's done for you, Slayer," he continued, a little louder. "We were talking about sex, and it's concentrated your intentions on that. You're acting like a bitch in heat."

She took another step, narrowing the gap between them. "And that's bad because...?"

His mind blanked. God, why was it bad? She was standing there in front of him, and there was no mistaking the scent of her excitement, the hardness of her nipples, the jut of her hip. How many of his fantasies had played themselves out like this, with her standing there, looking just as scrumptious as she did right now? It would be so easy...just reach forward...touch her...

"Dreams don't mean anything," he heard himself saying. Where had that come from? "Hell, mostly they're just ways to get off when you can't do it awake. And you fix on whoever's convenient. I even had one 'bout Red once." The words tumbled forth of their own accord, and even Spike didn't really believe the line he was feeding her, although the dream about Willow had been true. But he couldn't let this go any further. If he did, as soon as Buffy got over the potion's effects, she'd be telling him to bugger off, and he would've ruined any chance he'd ever had.

Her response was swift and violent. Both slim hands rested on his shoulders and shoved him back against the wall, following him with her own body. Grinding her hips against his upper thigh, her smile was a lascivious snarl. "So it's gonna be hard to get time. I like that."

Her forearm came up and pressed against his throat, pinning him in place, while her free hand slid down to his waist. The muscles in his stomach twitched against her touch and he gritted his teeth as she found the button to his jeans, yanking it open and unzipping him at the same time. "I've always wondered...briefs or boxers...?" Her fingers burned a trail inside his pants, outlining the dripping head of his throbbing cock, and her smile widened. "Commando!" she squealed in delight. "I should've seen that one coming."

He gasped as she suddenly grabbed him, pumping upwards ever so slightly. His head slammed back into the wall, and he muttered, "Bloody hell," as her thumb grazed the tip, using the wetness she found there to lube her journey back down.

Buffy arched herself upwards, her neck craning to move her mouth closer to his ear. "Isn't this better than fighting?" she murmured, her hot breath flaming his undead skin, her tongue darting out to lap at the firm line of his jaw. "And I'm going to bet we get just as...hard...of a workout."

Squeezing his eyes shut, Spike couldn't help the groan that escaped his lips. The urge to just turn his head, meet her lips with his own, taste the sweet tang that was her tongue, was almost insurmountable, but he knew, with his head if not with his body, that this wasn't really....no, not the Slayer...not his...

"Buffy..." Her arm across his throat made it difficult to speak, although it didn't distract him quite as much as her mouth...her fingers..."We can't...you...don't..." He was cut off in a strangle as he felt her teeth nip at his neck. He had to put a stop to this before it went too far, before he wouldn't be able to...stop...

With his last reserve of will, Spike pushed against the Slayer's arm, jerking her hand from his jeans, causing her to stumble backwards. Before she could regain her balance, however, he'd scooped her over his shoulder, bending her at the waist, and moved away from the wall.

Buffy giggled. "Oooo, I knew you'd wanna play!"

Sighing, Spike was about to snap back when he felt her tiny hand slap against his ass before sliding inside the waistband to cup his cheek, her nails raking along his already sensitive skin. She wasn't making his choice any easier. So many games, so much pleasure...With long strides, he was quickly standing in the corner.

Her body turned to see why they'd stopped. "The bed's downstairs, Spike," she started, but her voice froze as she saw him reach for the handheld shower he'd rigged up. Her jaw dropped as the first spray of cold water hit her face, quickly drenching her, sending shivers through her shoulders. Twisting in the vampire's arms, she hit the stone floor and skidded along, driving her jeans into the crack of her ass.

Stepping away from the stream, Spike watched as Buffy struggled to get to her feet. "Not quite a hose, but it'll do," he said.

"You...you...I can't believe...not playing fair, Spike!" she sputtered.

"We'll talk about fair once the spell wears off, Slayer." He lifted a heavy boot to step over her still thrashing form, but found himself flying through the air instead, when Buffy grabbed his heel and shoved with all her strength. He collided against the opposite wall, crumpling into a black heap on the floor.

"Not going to let me play, I guess I better work instead," grunted Buffy as she regained her footing. Through a rapidly swelling eye, he watched as she headed for the crypt door. "I'm thinking...dogcatcher. Definitely." And she disappeared out into the sunshine.

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

Slamming the book shut, Xander slouched back in his chair, sighing heavily.

"Anything?" asked Willow.

"Oh sure. A splitting headache, couple of tummy rumbles, minor nerve damage in the posterior region. I got lots."

"The Hound." Giles glanced at him from behind his spectacles, a stern wordless warning.

"Oh, then, nothing." Picking up a pencil, he began tapping out a rhythm on the table, oblivious to the dirty looks from the other gang members. "I still don't get why we can't just get all Bazooka Joe on its ass. Sprinkle a couple doggy treats, wait for Fido to come sniffing around, then bam! Crispy fried canine burgers."

"As...appealing as that sounds, Xander, I'd really rather not kill it," Giles said. "It's not evil, just...misguided." He slid another volume across the table toward the young man. "Try this one."

The bell over the door jingled, a distant carillon to the absorbed Scooby gang. From behind the counter, Anya was the only one to look up, her shopkeeper smile an automatic response. "Hi! Welcome to the---." She cut herself off, dropping the facade as she recognized the arrival. "Oh. Hi, Spike."

"Spike?" Giles leaned back to see the blond vampire drop the blanket by the door. "What're you doing here?"

"More importantly, where's Buffy?" Xander stood, glad of an excuse to escape the convoluted texts.

Spike stopped. "So she's not here."

Leaping to his feet, Giles crossed the distance between them faster than the vampire had ever seen him move. "You let her go out? On her own?"

"Didn't have much say in the matter, Watcher." Spike ducked his head, but the bruise around his eye was apparent even to those still sitting around the table. "You feel like laying some blame, just point your little finger over at Red there."

"Me?" Willow's eyes widened. "What did I do?"

"Thanks to the little witches, the only thing Buffy's missing is a little tail to wag." He hopped up onto the counter, pulling his duster out from under him to let it hang over the edge.

"B-b-but that potion was meant for you," Tara argued.

"Try telling that to a pissed off Slayer," came Spike's retort. "She swallowed down your little concoction, then went doghunting without me." No reason they needed to know about their little fight beforehand, or what had sparked it.

"And thus endeth the research," Xander announced.

"We don't necessarily have to stop," said Tara. Everyone turned to look at her and she looked at Willow for support. "We could just do a locator spell on Buffy, couldn't we?"

"Well, yeah, I suppose. I mean, we haven't gotten the kinks out of it yet, but yeah, we could give it a go." She turned to Spike. "How much of it did Buffy drink?"

His response was a flick of his wrist as he tossed her the empty vial.

Willow stared down at the bottle. "Guess we better get working on that spell."

"How long has she been gone?" asked Giles.

"Less than an hour."

"And how long to see if the spell will work?" This time to Willow.

The two witches exchanged a look before Willow replied, "Fifteen, twenty minutes."

"Good, good." With a new determination in his step, Giles headed for the training room. "I'll get everything prepared for a foot search, just in case it doesn't work."

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

Buffy walked down the sidewalk, her head a cacophony of both familiar and foreign scents. The exhaust...the tangy sweat of pedestrians...too many perfumes and colognes to even catalog...how did Spike exist in a world this fragrant, this...distracting? There were so many aromas that she didn't recognize, and it had dawned on her very quickly after leaving the crypt that she had no idea what this hound smelled like.

The thought of the crypt and what she'd left behind brought a twinge to her thighs. She sighed. Spike had been so unreasonable, especially with the water dunking thing at the end. If her dream last night had been any indication, they could have played for hours and she could've gotten her mind off everything. And he'd certainly wanted it. She'd been so tempted to just bend over, take him in her mouth...

She shook her head. Gotta stay focused, Buffy. No sex with Spike, just think about dog duty. She had a plan and walking through the streets of Sunnydale was an important part of it. Just walk...

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

There had been no more signs of his prey since his encounter in the cemetery. The attack from the leathered one had been a surprise, but not a real worry, as his size just made him a flea to be swatted. He did carry marks from the assault, but his caretaker was keen on his well-being and nursed the cuts and bites until there was no memory of their existence.

She disliked him going out during the day, but he found this the perfect time to prowl the less-populated portions of the town. At one point the previous evening, he had been convinced he'd found her again, but the trail had been an old one. A home, probably hers, but she hadn't been there in a few days. Still...worth monitoring during his nightly patrols. Now, though...

The hunt continued...


To be continued in Chapter Five: Confrontations...