DISCLAIMER: Everything but the plot is Joss'. Too bad.
SUMMARY: Buffy and Spike have made up, while the Scoobies are on their way to rescue Buffy.

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Chapter 17: Into the Fire

They stood in a line, staring down at the puncture, none of them really wanting to move. Finally, Anya broke the silence.

“You at least have a spare, don’t you?” she asked, her arms folded across her chest.

“Yes, of course,” Giles murmured, her query prompting him into action. He strode to the trunk of the car. “At least, I assume I do.”

“I told you we shouldn’t have taken that shortcut,” she continued. “Shortcuts are never good. If they were, everyone would just use those instead of the long way and pretty soon the long way wouldn’t even exist anymore because the shortcut would be the main route, and then everyone would start looking for an even shorter way---.”

“Anya, do shut up,” the Watcher interjected. He pulled the tire out of the trunk and lugged it around to the side of the car, propping it against the door. Returning to the rear, his head disappeared as he continued to rummage around.

“I’ve never changed a flat before,” said Tara. “Is it hard?”

“Not when you’ve got the right tools,” came Giles’ muffled voice. He straightened, a frown darkening his blue eyes. “Which we apparently don’t.”

“Why? What’s wrong?” Willow walked over to the older man’s side and peered into the trunk.

“I seem to be missing a jack.”

“Oh, that’s not a problem,” the redheaded witch offered. “Tara and I can use magic to lift the car while you and Anya change the tire.”

“Me? Why do I have to help? Giles is the one who got the flat.”

He rolled his eyes, annoyance shining within the blue. “That’s all right. I can do it myself.” Standing back, he watched as Tara and Willow joined hands, their concentration focusing on the vehicle. There was a long moment of quiet during which nothing happened. Giles glanced back at the witches. “Is there a problem?”

Willow looked at her girlfriend, frowning, before turning to face the Watcher. “Ummmm, kind of. It’s not working.”

“What do you mean it’s not working? Just poof it up so we can get out of here.”

“I said, shut up, Anya!” Giles’ voice was harder than he intended and he took a deep breath to steady his last remaining nerve. In a calmer tone, he asked, “What do you mean, it’s not working?”

“Hang on.” Scanning the desert ground, Willow picked up a small twig and set it on the hood. Again, she focused her energy on it, and again…nothing. She turned worried eyes back to the group. “It’s like something’s sucking up all the magical power around here,” she explained. “I can feel the forces going out to move the car, or the stick, but then it’s like they get whisked away before they can work.”

Giles glanced around at the landscape. “It must be some geological phenomena with this particular area,” he commented. “It would be interesting to try some experiments later.”

“Later,” Anya emphasized. “But what do we do now?”

“We walk.”

Three sets of eyes widened. “W-w-walk?” stuttered Tara.

Looking up at the setting sun, Rupert said, “The spot where we located Buffy is only six or seven miles from here. We should make it there just about sunset if we set off now.” He regarded his three companions. “And the more we dawdle, the darker it will be when we finally arrive.” His words sent them scurrying for their things in the car. And let’s just hope that we get to Buffy before it’s too late, came his unspoken worry…

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

Waking was like battling through a wall of down comforters, pushing one aside to find another---albeit thinner---waiting to bar the way. As Buffy struggled to return to consciousness, the dreams that had been darkening her mind’s eye scuttled away, their specific images fading, leaving behind the sense of kismet that always accompanied her prophetic Slayer visions. She would not remember these when she awoke fully, however; only the adrenalin coursing through her veins would let her know they’d visited during her sleep.

The first thing she became aware of was the weight curled around her body. The hair on Spike’s arm tickled her side where it lay, and his fingers were sandwiched between her waist and the mattress, gripping her as if she were a life preserver and he was floating at sea. Without opening her eyes, she smiled. There was something infinitely comforting about waking up in the arms of a strong man, knowing for those few precious seconds before the real world set in that she didn’t have to face it alone, that someone else was there to help bear some of the burden, and she was determined to enjoy it for as long as possible.

Buffy had no idea how long they’d been asleep. After the vampire had pulled out the flowers, there had been one incredibly long kiss----a kiss that still curled her toes just thinking about it---before Spike had done something she couldn’t ever remember seeing him do before. He’d yawned.

“I’m absolutely knackered,” he’d said apologetically.

In response, Buffy had just pulled him down so that they were spooning on top of the blankets. “This is nice, too,” she’d whispered, and felt his gentle kiss in her hair before drifting off to slumberland.

Neither one had really moved while they slept, and now, Buffy could feel his solid form pressing against her back, an icy statue bending to fit around her curves, leg to leg, hip to hip. There was no mistaking the hardness pressing into her buttocks and she couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped her throat. The vamp walks around with a permanent erection, she thought, followed quickly by the codicil…must be my sparkling influence…

With extreme care, the young woman lifted the arm from around her waist and slid out of his embrace, twisting herself around so that she could set it down without waking him. His features were relaxed, the laugh lines around his mouth smoothed away in repose, and it dawned on Buffy that she’d never seen him look so serene as he did right then. Is this how Drusilla saw him? she wondered. Or did the crazy vamp drive him to join her in that manic state in which she seemed to exist? Either way, the Slayer was pleased that, for a few minutes at least, she could give him peace…

As she watched, Spike rolled over onto his back, his arm flinging upward to cover his eyes and forehead, exposing the muscled expanse of his alabaster chest. Unbidden, Buffy felt her jaws separate, her tongue curling against her top teeth as her mouth watered in anticipation. OK, safe to admit the truth to herself now. The vampire was most definitely a hottie.

Her hazel gaze slipped over his form. The burn on his cheek was almost gone now, only a faint redness indicating that anything had ever been amiss there. On his shoulder, the arrow wound was healing quickly as well; Spike had removed the bandage some time before his swim, and the stream’s waters had cleaned it even further. Outside of the bite marks on her neck, there were few reminders of their stay in Daymon’s hold, and she found herself wishing that she could just let the whole thing slide, get back to Sunnydale and deal with her crises there without having to tie up these loose ends as well. She sighed. It wasn’t going to happen and she knew it. Daymon seemed too determined to get her for whatever purpose he had in mind.

On the bed, Spike stirred in his sleep, nudging Buffy back into the present. Leaning forward, she brushed her lips lightly across his, more a caress than a kiss, focusing her breathing on his skin as her mouth hovered over his jawline. She inhaled deeply, drinking in the aroma of smoke and leather until it made her head swim, and her eyes closed as a wave of desire swept over her. What would it take to wake him up? she wondered. Just how deeply do vampires sleep anyway?

The young woman’s tongue darted out, joining her lips as they caressed the line of his neck, dipping into the hollow before his collarbone, snaking along its length, past the mending injury, to stop at the depression at the base of his throat. If he were a man and breathing, she would’ve seen the pulse of his heart throbbing there, felt it beat under her tongue. But this was Spike, and that particular spot lay frozen, inert under her touch.

Being wary of waking him, Buffy trailed her hand down his sculpted abdomen, stopping only at the waistband of his black jeans. Her eyes jumped up to his face, and she watched him closely as her nimble fingers undid the button…pulled down the zipper…outlined the length of his hard cock…The vampire lay motionless, still deep in his slumber.

The Slayer smiled, and pulled her hair back with her free hand so that it wouldn’t tickle his stomach as her mouth swept downwards, tasting his skin, stopping just short of his navel. Time for repositioning, she thought, and shifted her weight so that she was just inches from his hardness. Carefully, she lifted the shaft, allowing herself just enough room to slide the head between her lips.

A growl from the head of the bed alerted Buffy to Spike’s waking. As her tongue swirled around him, his hands crept up and began stroking her hair, combing it down her back and out of her face. “And you keep sayin’ I’m the evil one,” he muttered. “How long were you goin’ to let me sleep through this little tongue bath?”

She raised her head, looked up to see him gazing down at her, his eyes darkened. “I’ll stop if you want me to,” she offered coyly.

His reply was to tighten his grip on the back of her neck, causing the young woman to giggle. “Didn’t think so,” she said, resuming her position over his hips.

Her mouth seared his skin as it slid up and down on his cock, and he gasped as he felt her nails begin to rake his inner thigh. The fantasies that had been fuelling Spike’s dreams for the past few months vanished on tenuous wings as the reality of Buffy’s heat drove them away, devastating their pale imitations with her vibrancy, and the vampire reveled in the gift he felt he’d been bestowed. She hadn’t said the words yet, but her vow to explain it to Xander was more promising than anything else he could hope for at the present. It didn’t seem as if the world could get much better.

The shock as her small hand began pumping him in rhythm with her mouth caused him to buck underneath her, and he was met with the force of her shoulder pushing him back down, pinning him in place. “God…” he groaned, his voice a mere croak. He wasn’t sure how long he was going to last under her onslaught; he desperately wanted to make it go on forever, but the combination of her tongue, mouth, and hand was already starting to send him over the edge.

“Buffy…” Spike whispered, mustering what resolve he had left. “Stop…” His hand loosened its hold on her golden locks, and he edged upwards, away from the seduction of her heat.

She blinked. Had he really just asked her to stop? Sitting up, the emptiness at the pit of her stomach ached, and she turned, bewildered, to meet his sapphire eyes.

He could see right away that she was hurt. Bollocks, he thought. She thinks it’s her fault. His hand reached forward, cupped her cheek, his thumb gently stroking the silk of her skin. “Not like this,” he murmured.

“But you…” Her voice trailed off, suddenly unable to articulate, and she swallowed hard in an attempt to clear the lump of fear that had settled there.

“We’ve got all the time in the world for that, luv,” the vampire soothed. “And trust me, I fully intend to enjoy that particular Slayer skill.” He leaned forward, brushing kisses across her eyelids. “But as gorgeous as this mouth is…” His teeth caught her bottom lip, tugging it gently, playfully, before letting go and finishing, “…that’s not where I want to be at the moment.”

Relief suffused Buffy’s breast, followed quickly by awareness of what the vampire was saying. Her mouth made a silent, “Oh,” and the twinkle returned to her hazel eyes. “Then that means getting rid of these,” she said, tugging at the waistband of his jeans.

Spike smiled. “I’m not the only one in pants, pet.” Grabbing her around the waist, he hooked one finger around the edge of her silk underwear and yanked, ripping the fragile fabric and letting it flutter to the floor, before laying back and pulling her down on top of him. Buffy couldn’t help her grin as he locked her against his chest, using his free hand to push the denim down around his ankles, kicking the jeans off so that they flew across the room.

“Someone’s definitely done some recuperating,” she joked.

“It’s all about stamina, luv,” he responded, before meeting her lips in a bruising kiss. Tongues entwined…melded, as the passion both had been holding in check released in a blaze, enveloping the pair in their own silent whirlwind, crushing into dust the fears that both had been harboring. Wrapping her arms around him, pulling him even closer, seemed the most natural thing in the world for the young Slayer; at the moment, she couldn’t think of why she had ever doubted it would be any different.

Breaking free from his lips, Buffy lifted herself up onto the heels of her hands so that she could look down into his face as her legs slid open. His smile was gone; instead, the blue of his eyes had deepened to a stormy sky, locking with hers as his fingers dug into the flesh on her hips. She needed no guide. As the tip of his cock brushed against her, slowly…deliberately…she thrust downward, allowing him to sink in…

…inch by inch…

…burying himself…

…the walls of her pussy sucking at him, urging him deeper…

…until they both felt him pressing into her ass, evidence that every centimeter of his cock was imbedded inside her. There was a moment of hesitation as both vampire and Slayer tasted the intoxicating fervor of fusing together…

…before Buffy started the journey back up, sliding over him, her wetness easing the trip. She began riding him, an unhurried rhythm of in…and out…up…and down…and lowered herself back down to meet his lips once more, her breasts crushing into his chest.

The more he tasted her, the more his hunger for her grew, threatening to unleash the demon and overpower her once and for all. Spike had lost all sense of where he ended and the Slayer began; he knew only the sensations centralized around his cock, the fire laying siege to his skin…

As their tempo quickened, Buffy’s back began to glisten from the sheen of sweat evincing her efforts, and she felt small beads of moisture begin to roll around her sides, under her breasts, slicking her stomach and smoothing the friction between them as he pumped into her. Each thrust seemed deeper, harder, and still she wanted more, pounding her hips against his as her muscles tried to consume him, make him her own.

It began in her pelvis, a low rumble that swelled, radiated up her torso…down the back of her thighs. She couldn’t stop…wouldn’t stop…had to engulf him…until her body detonated, a blinding explosion setting her alight, creating an inferno that should’ve devoured the vampire but instead spurred him further.

Her orgasm sent Spike careening over the precipice as her inner muscles clenched and squeezed, spasming around his cock. His roar as he came matched her scream, blending into a single song, and he clutched at her trembling form to try and stave the swell of emotion rising in his throat. Above him, Buffy slammed down onto his hips, locking him in place, before burying her face in his neck.

They held each other like that as the waves of pleasure ebbed, receding into memory. Overwhelmed by the scent of her hair, Spike nuzzled the golden strands as his hands slipped up her back. “God, I love you,” he murmured, his voice barely audible.

Buffy didn’t reply, only nestled herself deeper into his embrace. I can’t, she thought. Not just yet…

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

As the screams died down, Cortina smiled. She hadn’t meant to be eavesdropping, but when she’d approached the room to remind them of the time, the primal sounds of Spike and Buffy’s lovemaking had been enthralling, and she just couldn’t tear herself away. It was so nice to be right about these things.

When the blond demon had spilled his story to her earlier, she hadn’t been all that surprised. Slayers and vampires went back a long way, and sensing the attraction between these particular two had been as simple as opening her eyes. She did understand his pain, however, and so when she’d suggested he take the flowers back to the room, Cortina was relieved that he didn’t recognize their true origins. Not many knew that the fragrance of the tiny purple buds stripped away falsehoods, acting in its own way as a sort of natural truth serum, and so she knew she was taking a risk by exposing them to it. But her instincts had prevailed, and their recent gymnastics only proved what Spike had known all along.

She sniffed the air. Sunset was still a couple hours away; there was no reason to disturb these two just yet. Let them enjoy these few minutes, she thought, and turned to go back down the hallway.


To be continued in Chapter Eighteen: Confessions