DISCLAIMER: Everything but the plot is Joss'. Too bad.
PREVIOUSLY ON BUFFY: Giles has warned Spike that the Council is interested in him. Buffy and Spike are trying to get on with life as normal, while back at his apartment, Giles has been surprised by Cortina…

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

Chapter 3: Lift Me As a Wave

The air was peppery to the nose, the heavy spices Cortina had used in the meal still lingering in the room as tenuous motes, and Giles unbuttoned the cuffs of his shirts, rolling up his sleeves to lessen the sudden warmth that suffused his body. Prior to moving to California, there would've been no way his palate would've survived such a culinary excursion---vegetables he wasn't sure he recognized spiced with herbs he was certain weren't indigenous to human culture---but now, having gorged himself on what was really a fantastic meal, he wasn't sure he could ever look an overdone Sunday roast in the same way again. And he certainly wouldn't enjoy it.

"So you haven't said," he started, picking up the towel to begin drying the dishes that lay on the drainer. "Does your being in Sunnydale mean you've concluded your business?"

"It means," she replied, plucking the cloth from his hands to slide her body between him and the countertop, "I missed my favorite librarian."

The corner of his mouth lifted in an embarrassed half-smile, and Giles couldn't help ducking his eyes to avoid the forthrightness of her gaze. "Ex-librarian," he reminded her.

Her nimble fingers began tracing delicate paths atop his chest. "You can take the man out of the library," she said, "but you can't take the library out of the man. So I stand by my statement."

"Do you have to…leave tonight?" he asked, knowing that she could feel his arousal through their clothing and feeling oddly liberated that he didn't mind.

"Have to…? Yes, I probably should. The real question is…will I?" There was no mistaking the twinkle in her pale eyes as she glanced up at him, her lips curled into a coy smile, and she firmly took his hand in hers to lead him away from the drying dishes and into the living room.

The scents were less out here, and Giles caught a whiff of the musk he was quickly associating with Cortina's skin, that tangy mixture of heather and freshly turned soil that was so unique to her. When he felt the sharp prickles in his mouth as it suddenly salivated, his erection jumped, the memory of his tongue on the velvet skin of her inner thigh all too much in the present. "There is that whole…sunlight issue," he said, swallowing hard.

"Are you deliberately looking for a reason for me not to stay?" she teased, pressing him down on the couch before curling into his side, lips hovering just over his skin as her breath fanned the side of his face.

"No." He could barely contain the giggle that rose to his throat as the tip of her tongue darted out to trace his ear. "Stop that. I've told you it tickles."

Her chuckle reverberated against his skin as she leaned in closer. "Telling me not to do something is like waving a red flag at a bull, Rupert."

"I just meant…"…giggle… "…so that we don't have to worry about time…" …giggle… "…your cave might be…" He grabbed her hand before it could settle in his lap. "Cortina! Please!"

Her lip jutted out in a pretend pout. "And here I thought you'd let me have my way with you if I fed you first. Remind me to skip the meal next time."

Giles hand curled around her hip, pulling her onto his lap, pressing his arousal into the crack of her ass. "My only intent is that having your way doesn't get impeded by our concerns regarding time," he murmured. "I'd rather be able to spend the night enjoying…you, than having to keep one eye on the clock because you've got to get out before dawn."

She laughed. "Well, at least we agree that neither one of us is planning on sleeping." Deftly, she extricated his glasses from his face, setting them carefully on the table behind her.

"You're incorrigible," Giles said, shaking his head.

"And you're cute when you use big words," Cortina replied, and leaned forward to press her lips to his.

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

The sweat dripped between her breasts, tracing the curve to its underside only to continue its track down her abdomen, pooling at the waistband of her jeans in a familiar stickiness. It wasn't the only part of her that was wet. Feeling Spike's body pressed up against hers, barely even moving as the rhythm of the song wrapped them in its cadence, the moisture between Buffy's legs was undeniable, seeping through her panties until even she could smell the musk amid all the other bodies on the dance floor. It wasn't just her, though. The vampire's erection was evident, even through the baggy chinos, and she ground her hips closer to his, sliding her body in minuscule measures along its length.

Spike chuckled, his mouth on her ear. "Nobody says we have to stay, luv," he murmured.

She glanced back at the table where Willow and Tara were leaning into each other, giggling over some unheard joke. "We pull a duck and run, and they're going to think we're no better than Xander and Anya."

Though she couldn't see his face, Buffy knew the vamp was grimacing. "You know comparin' me to Harris is the surest way to piss me off," he said, only half-joking.

"I know," she laughed, and squeezed him closer.

When the song ended, the pair separated just enough to move back to their table, Spike's hand in the small of her back as he guided Buffy through the throng. Anyone watching wouldn't have missed the possessive lean of his body as he pulled her chair out for her, leaving his arm across her shoulders as he eased himself onto the adjoining stool.

"I'm thirsty," Willow announced, just a little too loudly. "What about you guys?"

"Oh, I'm fi---," Tara started, only to receive a sharp elbow in her side. "Thirsty, yes," she amended, and matched her girlfriend's gaze to look over at Spike. "I definitely could use a drink."

The vampire rolled his eyes. "Isn't it just easier to ask me to go?" he asked. "None of this shimmy shammying about, trying to be all subtle-like." He rose to his feet and began to walk away.

"What about Buffy's drink?" Willow called out after him.

"Oh, I'm just going to have---."

"---water," Spike finished with her, and ambled off toward the bar.

"So, spill," the redhead gushed once he was out of earshot. "How're things since you two got all cleansey?"

Buffy couldn't help the smile that spread across her face. "Things're good. No freakout from Mom. Dawn's all, oh Spike is so cool, can I borrow his leather coat. Even Giles asked how he was today. I'm beginning to think we came back to some Stepford version of Sunnydale here."

"You two look really good out there," Tara offered. "Everything just looks like it…fits."

"Well, we definitely have the whole compatible body parts issue under control," she laughed. "But, you're right. It fits. We fit. Makes me wonder what the hell I was ever thinking with going out with Riley." She felt the flash of irritation from behind her, and had to resist the urge to glance back and see the vampire's face. Every time even a fraction of a memory of her ex flitted across her brain, Spike's temper flared, his inability to hide his dislike for the other man almost comical. Her mouth opened to continue, when a sudden image of a naked Drusilla dancing with one of her dolls filled her head, the tinny echo of a record player providing the accompaniment overriding the music from the bandstand. Buffy jerked around, glaring back at the bar, to see the blond vamp smirk as he turned around to pass the cash to the bartender.

A tiny line appeared between Willow's brows as she witnessed the exchange, green eyes darting between the two blondes. "You…OK?" she asked timidly.

"Fine." Buffy's hair flew around her as she whirled back to face the two witches. "I forgot to ask," she went on, changing the subject. "How's Elvis doing?"

"Good. Adjusting. He doesn't like it when I leave him too long, but we haven't been able to come up with a better solution than Cortina's. Somehow, I'm not sure we could get a six-foot dog covered under our pet deposit."

"And I think Miss Kitty Fantastico might be just a little threatened if we were to bring another pet home," Tara added. "Especially if it was the demon canine variety."

"Giles is supposed to take us out there tomorrow," Willow said. "Wanna come?"

"You know, as much as I'd love to, I'm still kind of coming to grips with the whole Giles having a life outside being my Watcher thing. I'm not sure I'm ready to see him making googly eyes at Cortina just yet." She only glanced up when Spike came up behind her, balancing a tray of drinks in one hand as he slid onto his seat.

"Well, I for one am glad Rupert's got a little bit on the side," the vampire commented. "Might loosen him up, let him appreciate the finer things in life for a change." A ballad filtered from the speakers, the heavy saxophone rippling over his skin, and he rose, cool fingers brushing against Buffy's cheek. "C'mon, Slayer," he said.

Tara and Willow watched as the pair drifted back out onto the floor, melding into the other's body with an ease that belied their brief time together. The blonde witch sighed. "Do you think they realize they look like they're doing so much more than dancing?"

Willow answered with a small smile. "Somehow, I don't think they care."

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

The wind had picked up even more by the time they left the Bronze, the soft rustle having evolved into a blustery gale, whipping Spike's coat around his ankles, sending icy shivers down Buffy's spine. Hugging her jacket closer around her, the Slayer's steps quickened, rushing down the sidewalk at such a pace that the vampire raced to keep up with her.

"You could still go home," he offered. "My crypt won't be the warmest place tonight. You won't hurt my feelings if you pick Mr. Gordo over me."

"Liar." She flashed him a quick smile. "Besides, his tail isn't nearly as cute as yours is," she added, and reached inside his coat to pinch the curve of his ass.

Spike jumped, more from surprise than anything else, and a wicked grin cleaved his features. "You did that 'cause you wanna be spanked, didn't you?" he taunted.

She felt his body tense and started running just a split second before he did, her laugher floating back to him on the wind. "Gotta catch me first!"

They ran like that all the way to the cemetery, Spike always just a few steps behind the Slayer, her golden hair a frenetic cloud obscuring her face from his view. At one point, he knew she slowed to allow him to catch up, but the blond vamp deliberately lessened his own pace, maintaining the distance between them, refusing to give up just yet the spectacular aspect of her pumping legs as they melded into her hips. It was only when they were mere yards from his crypt door that he put on the extra speed, diving forward to tackle her to the ground, the pair tumbling over the closely shorn grass until a large headstone brought them to a crunching halt.

"You…run like…a girl," Buffy panted, using her momentum to flip him over onto his back.

Spike stared up at her, her chest rising up and down from the exertion, the flush in her cheeks only partially caused by the nip in the air. Digging his lean fingers into her hips, he pushed her down so that her upper body landed against his with a thump, her breasts crushed against him in taunting pleasure. "See how fast you go with five feet of leather draggin' you down," he replied.

Her lips pursed. "Ooo," she cooed. "Five feet of leather? That a promise, or are you just teasing this poor horny Slayer?"

His growl was instinctive, blue eyes darkening to almost black as his pupils dilated with pleasure. "You've been inside my head," he reminded her. "You tell me."

The breath caught in Buffy's throat as the sudden sensation of straps around her wrists, the rough edge of a cord trailing over her nipple, flooded her inner eye, and the movement of her lips to his seemed the most natural thing in the world, mouth sucking at the full lower curve as if to swallow it before opening and entangling his tongue with hers.

"Buffy…luv…"

She didn't know how he did it, made her name sound like dark chocolate smeared across his lips, but it only lit her brighter, her fervor increasing, arms coming up to wrap themselves around his shoulders as she fought to consume him.

Spike noticed the change in the air first, and tore himself away from her kiss to frown up at the cloud-covered sky. Gone was the high-pitched squealing of the wind, replaced now by a deadened calm, every particle in the air seemingly frozen, fearful of making a sound lest it should wake some untold beast. A moment later, Buffy sensed it as well, and twisted her body to gaze around her.

"Storm's comin'," the vampire said. "We should get inside while we can." Rolling her to one side, he clambered to his feet, hand reaching out to help her up as well, but was met with nothing. "Buffy?"

"Sshh," she cautioned. Something was out there, something…familiar, but where it was coming from or even what it was, she had no idea. She was slightly annoyed she hadn't sensed it earlier, and blamed her over-active hormones for her lapse in concentration.

"Nice to know I'm more interestin' than work," Spike said, his lips twisted into a smirk, answering her unspoken thought as if she'd actually uttered the words out loud. "But I think you're over-reactin'. It's just the storm givin' you the heebie jeebies, not some big nasty lurkin' around the corner."

Though she didn't really believe him, Buffy rose to stare around the deserted graveyard, her hand slipping automatically into his as he began pulling her toward the crypt, away from whatever was causing her skin to crawl. Nothing jumped out at them along the way; no bolt of lightning came out of the heavens to strike them down. I probably am over-reacting, she thought as they stood in front of the door. Must just be something in the air…

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

She stared down at the bed, head tilted, the scent of Spike's body still hanging in the air. "You know," she said as his arms wrapped around her waist from behind, "this'll be the first time I've been in this bed since I had that dream about you and the beach."

"Actually," and his fingers slid inside her trousers, deftly undoing the button before sliding down the zipper, "last time you were in it was the dog fever, remember?"

Buffy sighed, enjoying the feel of his lips on the curve of her neck. "I like my memory better," she murmured. She gasped as his nail caught her clit before sliding into the slickness of her pussy, her muscles reflexively clenching around the two fingers, straining to hold them in, almost crying out loud when he extracted them and his hand from her pants.

"You've been wet since we hit the Bronze," he murmured, holding up his fingers so that she could see her fluids glistening there in the flickering candlelight.

"Now's my time to be right," she said, and turned in his embrace. "I've been wet since you got so turned on doing the dishes."

Somewhere between there and the bed, the duo shed their clothes, falling onto the mattress in a tangle of arms and legs, Spike's lips leaving icy trails over the top of Buffy's breasts. The barest flick of his fingers caused her nipples to rise, hardening to twin points under his attention, and he brought himself lower, taking in the nearest to suck it against the roof of his mouth.

She hissed, arching her back to bring him even closer, one hand clutching at the sheet while the other raked down his back. When her legs spread, allowing him easier access to the heat of her soaking slit, the vampire chuckled, and none too gently shoved them back together, using the opportunity to brush the palm of his hand over the coarse curls. "You're an impatient one tonight," he teased, stretching his sculpted form against hers, flipping her around so that each lay on their side, her back to his front, his rock-hard cock easing into the crack of her ass.

Buffy whimpered at the contact, eyes flittering shut as Spike's hands returned to her breasts, rolling and tugging at her nipples as he nibbled across the top of her shoulder. It was at once both too much and not enough, her pussy aching to be filled, the promise of his cock just inches away, and the grinding of her ass into his hips seemed the most natural thing to do, rubbing its length between her cheeks, the pre-cum dripping from the head to create a sticky path in its wake.

Though this was hardly their first time, the inferno of the Slayer's flesh in his arms seared Spike in a vortex of runaway emotions, each threatening to take control…the continuing disbelief that Buffy was actually his…the blood-driven lust that demanded he take her, once and for all…the unequivocable love that wanted only for her to be happy. For a brief moment, he wondered how she felt those feelings, if they were just as much of a confusing mishmash for her as they were for him…

"Not confusing," she whispered. "Real."

"Y'know, we've really got to stop doin' that," Spike murmured into her skin.

"Stop doing what?"

"Answering questions that never get asked."

He felt her stiffen slightly in his embrace. "Does it bother you?" she queried, her voice slightly husky. "I try to give you space, you know, so that you can still feel like Spike, but sometimes it's just impossible not to hear you, or to feel you. And things just pop out of my mouth before I can think."

"That's got nothin' to do with what happened in Greece," he replied. "You've been poppin' off without thinking ever since I met you." He laughed as she tried to twist around, her gasp of indignation put on more for effect than because she was actually annoyed. They both knew he was right, and it was that more than anything else infuriated her…in a good way, of course. "But, to answer your question," he continued, his hand straying from her breast to trace lazy circles on her stomach, "no, it doesn't bother me. We're just goin' to have some explainin' to do to the others if we keep it up."

"They wouldn't understand. Especially Giles. I think he'd go all Watchery on me if he knew just what happened between us."

Spike bit his lip, holding back the words of reproach that had automatically sprung there. Couldn't go defending Rupert if he didn't want to explain why he was feeling particularly disposed toward him, and that would just lead to more questions that he didn't want to be answering right now. Better to just…

His hand slid down to her leg, grasping the soft flesh of her inner thigh to separate them, sliding his body downward just enough to ease his hard cock between her outer lips. Her moan of pleasure was all he needed to spur him forward, tongue tracing the curve of her ear as he guided himself to her opening, sinking the shaft into her wetness inch by excruciating inch.

Her muscles sucked at him, drawing him deeper, her leg lifting and curling back around his in order to give him room to slide even further into her pussy. It was only when Spike felt the heavy sac of his balls press against her ass did he stop, holding himself there for a moment that seemed to stretch an eternity, before mirroring his actions in reverse, pumping in and out with agonizing leisure.

"Nice thing about coming in a crypt?" he murmured into her ear. "You only have to worry about your screams wakin' the dead."

Buffy's giggle quickly turned into a whimper as he began to pick up speed, his blunt teeth scraping at the tender flesh of her neck. Every thrust threatened to split her open, and when she began to match his movement, grinding her ass backwards into his powerful hips, Spike growled, the tension in his body forcing him to begin driving even deeper.

The sweat that had dissipated from her skin on the run to the graveyard returned, slicking her back so that it slid with glorious ease over his chest. Its arrival, however, heralded the dysfunction of her lungs, every breath seeming to catch in her throat with a harsh rasp, and Buffy had to keep reminding herself to exhale…inhale…take in the oxygen so that the kaleidoscope that danced before her eyes as he fucked her would stay bright and colorful, not shade itself to black. Just because he didn't need to breathe, didn't mean she could do the same.

He always wondered how someone so small could take him the way she did, swallowing his hard cock whole as if it was candy, every squeeze of those inner muscles a vise-like embrace that offered to drain him dry. He couldn't help the sounds that emerged from his throat, the animal grunts paired innocuously with the words of love… "Buffy…fuck…so beautiful…can't…don't…god…love you…so much…" It was an endless stream, some of it making sense, most of it not, all of it filling her ears, telling the young woman exactly what doing this meant for him.

The explosion came out of nowhere. Usually, there was a build-up, that spring that tightened in the pit of her stomach, but this time, it didn't appear. Instead, the scream was ripped from Buffy's mouth, echoing against the walls of the crypt, her body tensing, clenching, driving against his cock. He came just a few seconds later, always unable to hold himself back as her pussy milked the length of his shaft, and clung to her damp torso, frozen within the depths of her wetness as he shot, load after load, the paroxysms of pleasure wracking throughout his body.

It took a minute for the room to stop spinning, and another before Buffy felt safe enough to open her eyes again. She smiled when she realized that Spike was still buried inside her, his mouth nuzzling her neck, his arm returned to around her waist as if he were settling in for the night. "You don't plan on sleeping like this, do you?" she asked lightly.

"S'nothin' wrong with it," he murmured, already half-asleep. "Just means I'll already be in proper position for round two."

"And just how many rounds do you foresee?"

He chuckled. "I tell you that, and there goes the surprise."

Her laughter joined with his, and slowly, Buffy snuggled back against his chest.


To be continued in Chapter 4: Beneath Thy Power