Chapter 27 - Heated
He never hesitated. The moment her arms and the blanket opened he was upon her, his arms slipping behind her back and pulling her against him in a tight embrace. He couldn’t have resisted. Anything but absolute compliance to her command would have been next to impossible. The fact she would even consider this, allowing him to share the blanket and her warmth—when they were both somewhat noticeable clothes-less—filled him with an incredible sense of completion. When he was with her Spike felt whole.
They stood together, arms and blanket snugly wrapped around them, no attention paid to the passing of time as they just enjoyed the feel of each other.
Unbidden, Spike feathered kisses against the column of Buffy’s neck. When she tilted her head to the side, providing easier access for his insistent lips, a smile broke across his face. Her coo of contentment in response to his attention only made him beam more. He couldn’t remember the last time he was this happy, and it was all because of her.
Buffy leant into Spike’s embrace, the lack of a clothing barrier providing all sorts of new sensations. They’d yet to progress to this part of their relationship and, while the lack of clothes should be sending all sorts of warning bells off in her head, all Buffy could think was more. When Spike nibbled on the shell of her ear she shivered, pressing her body more intimately against his. The hardness of his body was delicious, and she delighted in the way the muscles of his back rippled under her touch. They were chest-to-chest and hip-to-hip, and Spike’s broad torso was not the only hardness she felt between them.
The feel of Buffy’s pebbled nipples grazing his chest elicited a groan from Spike, his arms banding more tightly around her waist. Developing minds of their own his hands ghosted her shoulders, skimming the length of her arms before settling firmly on her hips. It was with great hesitancy when he finally removed his lips from her flesh. She was too tempting, the moment too enticing, and Spike wasn’t sure how long he’d be able to maintain control. He had surprised himself for holding it thus far. This moment was the realisation of every night’s dream over the past long weeks. The fact they were here, now, like this, was more than he could ever have wished, and he wanted nothing more than to hold onto her forever.
So it was with great regret that he pushed her back gently.
Once created, the space between them offered Spike room to think clearly, allowed him the chance to take her in. He would never tire of looking at her. And right now, she took his breath away. Her breathing was irregular and rushed, indicative of the reaction to his ministrations. Her hair was a tousled mess from their play in the lake. Removing a hand from her hip he twirled a lock around his fingers.
A frown creased Buffy’s brow before her eyes even opened. One second Spike was creating all sorts of wonderful sensations within her and the next he was gone, made obvious by the slight draft created by his movement. He’d put space between them, moved away from her, and she cast her eyes to the blanket. When one hand abandoned her hip she chewed on her bottom lip.
Buffy looked up at Spike to find him eyeing her lips like he wanted to devour them, which confused her further. First he was all with the closeness and the kisses and the nice touching, and the next he’d put a barrier of air between them. Her arms were half wrapped around his shoulders, keeping the blanket secure, but it felt weird. She was, in effect, embracing him. In a way their stance was none to dissimilar to how pre-teens held each other in middle school dances. Buffy wasn’t sure what he wanted, but she was too afraid to voice her concern.
“Did you—” she began, only to lose her confidence at the sound of her words. “Never mind, it’s not important.”
Spike met her gaze, a small frown of his own appearing at the image presented before him. Buffy looked… uncomfortable. The last thing he wanted to do was upset her.
“I’m sorry,” he apologised as he removed his other hand from her hip. “I knew sharing this wouldn’t be a good idea.”
He tried to step away again but Buffy countered it by locking her hands together and taking a step forward.
“Don’t,” she begged, embarrassment colouring her cheeks. Now he was looking at her quizzically. Feeling self conscious Buffy dropped her eyes to the blanket once more. “How many times do I have to say there’s plenty of room for both of us?”
Spike considered her answer for a moment. Convinced her reason for ducking his gaze was because she was uncomfortable being in such a state of undress around him, he once again suggested they separate.
“I’ll check on our clothes,” he suggested.
Buffy snorted. “Puh-lease,” she rolled her eyes, “they won’t even be close to dry yet and you know it.”
Now it was Spike’s turn to duck his head in embarrassment. It was an excuse to put space between them and they both knew it.
“Is there a specific reason why you want to get away from me?” she asked, unable to mask the hurt in her expression despite her earlier bravado.
“If I don’t put space between us I might do somethin’ we’ll both regret.”
The vehemence in her tone was surprising, and had she not been holding the blanket around them Spike was certain she’d be folding her arms across her chest right about now.
“Buffy, you know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout.”
“And you’d regret that, would you?” she accused. “Thanks a lot, Spike.”
“No! That’s not what I meant!” Spike argued. “And you know it.”
“And just how am I supposed to know that, Spike?” Buffy lifted an eyebrow in question. “First you can’t keep your hands off me and then you go all Mister Avoidy.”
Spike curled his tongue behind the back of his teeth arrogantly. “D’you miss my hands on you, pet?” His tone was suggestive and left no room for speculation. He was trying, hoping, to embarrass her into dropping the subject. Buffy’s response was not what he expected, at all.
“Maybe I do!”
“Thought s— come again?”
Buffy laughed at the dumbfounded expression on Spike’s face.
“I said, mayb—”
“I heard what you said,” he interrupted.
“Then why ask?” she retorted impatiently.
“Because you can’t really mean that.”
Now it was Buffy’s turn to be incredulous. Both eyebrows lifted skeptically, her lips thinning in annoyance. “And why’s that?”
“Because you can’t!” Spike insisted desperately.
“Since when was it your job to decide what I can and can’t mean?” Buffy questioned. “I’m the one saying it so I think I’d know what it is I’m thinking I’m saying.”
Spike frowned in confusion. “That didn’t make sense.”
“Yes it did, it made perfect sense!” Buffy snorted. “I’ll simplify for you. My brain, my thoughts, my words.”
He shook his head in denial. It wasn’t possible she was saying what he thought she was. It just wasn’t. He couldn’t let himself believe it; because if she was serious there was no way he was going to be able to not touch her afterward. His restraint had limits, on which she was pushing, quite forcefully.
“But you can’t mean them.”
“Oh my god! Arrogant much!” Buffy threw her arms up in frustration and Spike scrambled to keep the blanket wrapped around them while she vented her frustration. “I meant what I said, okay? So deal with it.” She finished her argument with a pointed jab of her index finger against his chest.
Spike remained silent while Buffy fumed, drinking her in like a starved man upon finding a utopia. She was gorgeous when she was angry. He could practically feel the fire shooting from her eyes, and when she huffed in annoyance her breath kissed his flesh. A smiled teased its way onto his face. Spike would be more than happy to just stand back and watch her. But when he saw how her eyes narrowed further he realised admiring her too openly wasn’t exactly the smartest course of action. She was serious and wanted to be treated as such, and he was not the sort of man to deny his girl.
“Buffy, do you mean it? I mean, do you really mean what you said?” he asked quietly, needing to hear her say it again before he could believe.
“Yes! I meant it the firs—”
Spike gave her what she asked for. Before she could finish what she was saying his lips had fused to hers, his arms banded around her waist. Miraculously the blanket didn’t fall from his gusto.
Thrown by his sudden acceptance she remained still, completely stunned for a moment, before she returned the kiss with just as much enthusiasm. Yes! her mind shouted in triumph.
Buffy wound her arms around Spike’s neck, her fingers toying with the hair at the base of his neck. Her breasts flattened against his chest as she pushed herself closer, wanting no space between them. As their kisses deepened she could feel Spike’s ardour grow, the hardness pressing against her belly an indicator of just how aroused he was.
A few weeks ago she would have shied away from such intimate contact, but not anymore. Not now. Buffy ground herself against Spike’s erection, and she moaned her pleasure into their kiss.
Spike answered her with a groan of his own. Forcing himself to slow down he tore his lips from hers, peppering a couple quick pecks on her swollen mouth before leaning back to take her in. He’d heard her words, felt her response to his touch, but he needed to see for himself that she really meant what she’d said.
The instant their eyes met he was filled with a sense of awe unlike anything he’d felt before. Trust. It shone from her eyes like a beacon; absolute and pure and unwavering. Buffy trusted him. Completely.
In that precise moment, Spike was hit with a realisation so strong his knees threatened to buckle beneath him.
He was in love with her.
Spike was in love with Buffy.
I love her…
The thought both terrified and filled him with incredible peace. When the words found his lips he pushed them back with another kiss. While he realised whole-heartedly he would not deny his feelings for Buffy, he was not yet ready to voice them.
He must have been staring because Buffy began to fidget.
“You.” He smiled. Her shyness was enchanting, and once more Spike found himself drinking her in. “Have I told you today how beautiful you are?”
Buffy blushed with happy embarrassment. “I am not,” she denied, although secretly she was pleased.
“Adorable,” he insisted.
Determined not to blush again—or at least not let him see it—Buffy claimed Spike’s mouth with her own for another kiss. A kiss which quickly became more heated by the second.
She was insistent; he’d give her that. Every time he tried to pry their lips apart, or put even a modicum of space between them, a well-timed roll of her hips was all it took to have him whimpering with need.
“Vixen,” he murmured against her mouth.
“You love it,” she replied.
If only you knew how much… he thought.
Spike’s hands found her hips. His fingers dug into her hips and stilled them, before her rocking action caused him to lose the ability of coherent thought. “Buffy, please.”
If Spike thought holding her still was going to stop her when she had her mind set on something, he was dead wrong. She had other methods of persuasion she could use. Like the sensitive skin where his lobe connected to his neck.
“What?” she asked cheekily, a grin curling her lips as she began to tease.
Spike groaned. “Buffy, please. We need to slow down. We need to stop.”
Finally, Buffy halted. “Stop?”
Spike regretted the hurt in her voice, knowing he was the reason for it. “Baby, if we keep this up I might not be able to stop later.”
“But what if I don’t want to? Stop, that is.”
“I mean,” she fidgeted restlessly. “What if I think I’m ready for us to—”
Spike cut her off, shaking his head in denial. “You don’t know what this means to me, hearing you say you might be ready for this. But you can’t think, you need to know. Until then we can wait.”
“No,” Spike refuted. “Pet, I’m serious. This, between us,” he indicated with a wave of his hand between them. “This is the real deal. It means something. It’s special. I… I have… feelings for you.” He swallowed an invisible lump in his throat. “And when we take that step I want it to be because we both know we’re ready.”
Buffy melted at Spike’s confession. “Are you?”
“Am I what?”
Spike nodded. “But that doesn’t mean—”
“So am I,” Buffy announced.
Again Spike shook his head in disagreement. “Love, you don’t need to say that just because I told you I am.”
“Someone’s full of themself!” Buffy proclaimed heatedly. “Are we really going to repeat what we argued about ten minutes ago? I know what I want. And I want you.”
Her confession was unwavering, and Spike finally realised she was serious. He wanted to believe, god, he wanted to more than anything. Buffy was nothing like the girls of his past. She was different. She was special. She was… Buffy. Which was why he was on the brink of hesitation once more. Because when it came to Buffy he was determined everything would be… perfect. Just like she was to him.
Buffy considered ending her little rant there. Judging by the look on Spike’s face he was finally beginning to believe her. And for a brief moment she toyed with the idea of shouting her relief. She’d promised herself there would be no secrets in this relationship. As far as she was concerned this was it. The big one. The relationship that songs were sung about and poems were composed about. Buffy wanted all of Spike, including the scoop on his past. And it should… no, it would be reciprocal. If she expected him to share all his secrets she should do the same, especially considering their current topic of conversation. With a deep—if slightly shaky breath, she continued. “Spike I want you. I wouldn’t lie, I wouldn’t admit this just because you did. I’m not that sort of girl… anymore.”
She recognised the second her words sunk in, finishing her confession with a whisper. “I made that mistake once before, and trust me when I say I’m not going to make it again.”
Spike was dumbfounded. At first he was happy, joyous beyond belief. His girl wanted him and she wasn’t afraid to admit it—numerous times in fact. However, happiness quickly gave way to fury. The thought that Buffy had been with someone, that way, and that she’d done so out of some sort of obligation filled him with blinding rage. The demand was on his lips immediately.
“Who is he?”
“What?” Buffy asked, dumbfounded by his sudden change. It was as if a storm cloud had settled over Spike’s head, and the lightning looked about ready to strike.
“Who is he?” he demanded. “I’ll kill him. No-one forces my girl—”
“—to do anything, and when I find him I’m goin’ to—”
“SPIKE! Relax.” Buffy pulled him in for a quick kiss. It was fierce and demanding and she could feel Spike’s rage still simmering beneath the surface. With each gentle swipe of her tongue she slowly felt his fury begin to dissolve. Obviously bringing up her past at a time such as this was not the smartest thing she could have done, but it was like he said; this meant something and she wanted to lay all her cards on the table. While she seriously doubted her past was anywhere near as… colourful as Spike’s, it was still hers. Some of her life experience was far from blissful but without it she wouldn’t be where she was now.
It was with startling clarity Buffy realised, for the first time ever, she was thankful for her parents’ divorce. If not for the public revelation of her father’s infidelity, and resulting split of her parents, she never would have moved to Sunnydale. The heartbreak of Hank’s deceit had shaken both Buffy and her mother to the core, but without the experience of that loss she never would have met Spike. As far as Buffy was concerned it was worth it.
“Buffy,” Spike began, only to be cut off once more by the girl in question’s insistent lips.
“It was a mistake. A terrible, horrible, unfulfilling mistake,” Buffy admitted gently. With a shrug and a wry smile she continued with complete confidence. “But I would do it again.”
Spike was aghast. She couldn’t possibly mean that, could she?
Recognising Spike’s confusion she explained. “The day I…” She thought about her words carefully. “The day I took that step, well, that was the very same day my father walked out on us.”
Buffy’s expression was pained, and Spike didn’t understand why either event she’d just explained could be anything short of distressing. “Love, I’m a little confused. That was a good thing how?”
Inhaling a deep breath she smiled. “Because that’s when my life changed. He walked out on us, disappeared overseas and sent divorce papers in the mail. A few weeks later they were officially divorced and we packed up everything we owned and moved to Sunnydale.”
Realisation dawned in Spike’s eyes.
“So you see,” Buffy began, “if not for my philandering father we never would have met. And if not for my mistake that day, which sent me home early to discover him packing, Mom and I wouldn’t have even known he was leaving. Which means we may have stayed in LA.”
Spike remained silent, thoughtful for a moment, taking in all she was saying. “Do you mean to say he wasn’t going to let either of you know he was leavin’?”
Buffy shook her head sadly. “No, he wasn’t. Like I said, I came home upset and found a heap of luggage at the door and thumping sounds upstairs where stuff was being thrown around. I called Mom immediately, something he really didn’t like. Not that being there made much of a difference. He still left us.”
“It’s okay, really. We’re better off without him.”
Spike nodded slowly. He’d only met the man once and from what he gathered Hank Summers was not a pleasant person to be around. He agreed whole-heartedly that Buffy and her mother were better off without the bastard in their lives. “If you need to talk, you know where to find me,” he offered gently.
“I know. And thank you.”
Silence stretched out for a moment and Spike shifted nervously. The previously playful mood between them had evaporated. Spike was thankful for the distraction. After the seriousness of Buffy’s little revelation he was convinced, unequivocally, she’d meant every word she had said earlier about being ready. And Spike didn’t want their first time to be on a dusty rug out in the elements. Buffy deserved to be cherished, and if he had anything to say about it that was exactly the sort of treatment she was going to receive.
“What do you say I go collect our clothes and we’ll get out of here, yeah?” he suggested lightly.
Spike wanted to take care of her, the sentiment shone from his eyes like a beacon. And she was loath to reject his offer. With a nod she consented and their afternoon at the lake came to a close.