Chapter 6 - Green-eyed Monster
“Willow, are you sure this is a good idea?” Buffy asked nervously as they approached the house. They could hear the music from almost a block away and as they neared it became evident exactly how big this party was. There were people EVERYWHERE. On the street, on the lawn, walking in and out of the house, on the balcony at the front of the large house… likes ants they swarmed all over the place.
“It’ll be fine!” Willow assured, trying to keep the quiver out of her voice. She hadn’t realized it was going to be this big a party. But they were here now.
“Yeah, it’ll be fun, Buff.” Xander agreed, his eyes almost popping out of his head at some of the outfits these girls were wearing.
Willow and Buffy rolled their eyes. Nevertheless they approached the house, walking in through the front door.
“And then I was totally like, ‘Mr. These are $200 shoes, if you spill something on them, I am totally going to make you buy me a new pair.’ You know?” Harmony explained to Cordelia.
Spike had an expression of mock interest on his face. Whenever Harmony would try and slip her arm through his he would brush it off. He wasn’t interested in listening to any of her stories tonight—his thoughts were still fixated on another blonde girl.
Then he saw her and his eyes almost dropped out of his head. She was dressed in a pair of low-slung pale denim jeans, and a backless pink top that had a few strings tying it up. Her hair was a mess of curls that framed her face, and her eyes danced as the whelp Xander whispered something into her ear. His jeans suddenly became a little tighter.
“What are you looking at, Spikey?” Harmony questioned, before following his gaze. “How did those losers get an invite to this party?” she threw in Cordelia’s direction.
“Beats me. Why don’t you go un-invite them Harm, Jason is your ex-ex boyfriend,” the brunette suggested with a smirk, flicking her long mane over her shoulder.
Harmony looked like she was about to approach the group but Spike put out a hand to stop her.
“Don’t, let them be. It’s a big party.” He glanced over at the incredulous look Harm was shooting him and threw his arms up in the air at her. This was just the opportunity he had been waiting for. He had been looking for a way to break up with her for weeks but Angel had convinced him not to because at the time he had been interested in Cordelia.
But then he had seen Buffy. And now that Angel was gone, Spike didn’t need to worry about ruining his mate’s chances. He smirked at Harmony. “Fine, go tell Jason.”
She smiled at that and took two steps away from Spike.
“You’ve just added another ex to your list,” he informed with a smirk as he walked off.
Harmony was left slack-jawed staring after him as he walked away. Cordelia moved next to her to comfort her.
Spike watched her from a distance, waiting for the right moment to approach. Xander walked off to get some drinks and Willow was soon drawn into a conversation with Percy. Ah… that explains the invite… he thought.
He slipped through the crowd until he was standing almost right behind her. He moved to her side, ‘accidentally’ rubbing against her shoulder as he moved by her.
“Hello, Summers,” he greeted with a smile. “Didn’t think I’d find you here.”
Buffy returned his smile with a glare. “What? Am I not good enough to go to one of these parties?” she retorted angrily. Great, so much for her good mood…
Spike sighed in frustration. He had expected her to be a little angry but not this hostile towards him. “Look, I just wanted to apologise for the other day. I should’ve told you sooner, and not like that.”
“Yes, you should have. But you didn’t.” She continued to glare. “I want you to leave me alone, Spike.”
“Summers, I just--”
“The lady asked you to leave her alone,” an unfamiliar voice spoke from behind the pair.
A tall, built, decent-looking guy with light brown hair stood behind her. He was staring at Spike with a look that said he meant business. “Is this guy bothering you?” he asked.
Spike rolled his eyes. “Listen ‘ere, mate, mind your own --”
“Yes, he was,” Buffy interrupted. “Can we go get a drink?” she asked the new guy, giving Spike the cold shoulder.
He nodded, placing an arm on the small of her back and steering her towards the kitchen.
Now it was Spike’s turn to watch, slack-jawed.
Buffy laughed as her new friend finished telling a joke. She caught him gazing at her and she dropped her gaze to hide the blush that was rising in her cheeks. Buffy sipped at her soda, shooting a glance across the room as she tried to regain her composure. In a far corner she noticed Willow and Xander looking her way; Willow giving her a thumbs up and a big grin, Xander scowling. Buffy waved at the two of them, looking at her watch as she returned her attention to her companion.
“Oh, damn,” she mumbled quietly. Giving him a dazzling smile she placed her empty cup on a nearby bench. “I’m sorry, Riley, I’ve really got to start heading home.”
He nodded, placing his own cup next to hers. “I’ll drive you.”
Buffy shook her hand. “That’s not necessary really --”
“I insist,” he said firmly, a warm smile on his face. “I want to make sure you get home safe.”
Accepting his offer with a nod, she glanced over at her friends and tilted her head in the direction of the door and gestured towards Riley letting them know he was taking her home. Willow nodded and waved, Xander just continued to glare.
“Let’s go,” she suggested.
Taking her hand in his, Riley steered her towards the front door, dodging drunken teens and saying goodbye to a few friends in the process.
A few minutes later they were outside and heading towards Riley’s car, a large green pick-up truck.
A puff of smoke rose into the air from the shadows of the veranda at the front of the house. A second later the cigarette was extinguished, and a bleach haired male made his way to his own car, eyes narrowed as he watched the couple climb into the pick-up.
Spike had attempted to apologise to her for what he’d said at the pool but she hadn’t even let him get it out. The girl frustrated him more than anyone he’d ever known. Normally he wouldn’t have bothered with the apology; for some reason he was drawn to this girl.
“He so much as touches her --” Spike muttered under his breath as he started up his engine, and began following the other vehicle, keeping a safe distance behind so as not to draw attention.
No… you’re not interested at all… the voice in his head mocked.
He followed in silence, clenching his hands so tightly around the steering wheel that his knuckles turned white. A few minutes later the pick-up was pulling into the Summers’ driveway, and Spike drove his Desoto passed the house and parked just around the corner of the next street. He had a good vantage point from where he was and he spun around in his seat to watch, a glare fixed on his face.
The engine shut off as they pulled up at her house, and Buffy looked at her feet shyly when she felt Riley’s eyes on her. She unbuckled her seatbelt quickly and climbed out of the car. Riley mirrored her actions and fell by her side, hands stuffed in his pockets as he walked her up to her front door.
She stopped, fumbling in her small purse for her keys, keenly aware of how close he was to her. Finally finding them, she slipped the right one into the lock and opened the front door before turning to look up at her escort.
“Thanks for the lift, I had a good time tonight.”
“Me too,” he replied with a smile. “Can I call you sometime?”
Buffy nodded slowly. “Do you have a pen?”
Riley reached into his pockets, checking a few before one appeared. Accepting it from him, she turned his hand over, so it was facing palm up, and quickly scrawled her phone number down, handing the pen back to him.
“Goodnight, Buffy,” he bid farewell. He looked down at her for a moment, hesitating before he leaned down to place a chaste kiss on her lips. “Bye,” he said again, turning and walking towards his car.
Buffy waved, eyes wide, a hand reaching up to touch her lips. She hadn’t been expecting that at all. Riley was a nice guy, attractive, sweet, but she was still interested in Angel even though she knew he was gone. She just hoped Riley was the kind of guy that would wait.
Stepping into her house, she flicked on the hall light before closing the door behind her.
Across the road Spike was seething with anger. He waited for the college boy’s truck to pull away and around the corner of the next street before starting up his own car. He was in two minds about what to do. She was already mad at him and if he suddenly turned up at her house… he doubted she’d be impressed.
Turning around in the street, he took off towards his home. Yep… definitely jealous…
~ A few days later ~
Buffy jumped when the phone rang on her nightstand. She answered it, picking up the receiver and holding it by her ear. “Hello?”
“Hey, Buffy. It’s Riley,” his voice spoke clearly down the line.
“How are things?” he asked making with the small talk.
“Things are fine… you?” she asked in return.
“Good.” He paused for a moment before unveiling the reason he was calling. “Look, Buffy, I was just wondering if you wanted to come to a party this weekend, at the frat house. Saturday night,, around eight-ish. It’s not going be as large as the one from last weekend, just some of the guys. I think a few other people from your school will be there as well. Does the name Harmony ring any bells?”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Yeah, I know her. Won’t that be a pleasure,” she answered, not hiding her sarcasm.
Riley laughed on the other end of the line. “Well, I’ll be there. And I was kinda hoping you might want to come.”
Buffy held her breath for a second. “Can I bring along a couple of friends?” she asked, not wanting to go to a frat house by herself.
“Sure, the more the merrier.” Riley replied warmly.
“Alright then, what’s the address?”
“You’re going to that party?” Beth said incredulously.
Buffy nodded, lifting her goggled up onto her forehead. “Riley told me it wasn’t going to be anything huge, just a small group of the frat guys, and a few seniors from here.”
Beth nodded, a frown creasing her brow. “I’ve heard about the parties thrown at this frat house, they can get pretty wild with the alcohol and all that. Your Mom’s letting you go?”
Buffy sighed. “Mom probably wouldn’t even notice I was gone. She’s been so busy with work lately, I barely see her anymore.”
“So you’re really going then?” Beth asked again, not being able to picture her team-mate in a frat house—she was so shy.
“Going where?” a voice piped up from the next lane.
“Nowhe--” Buffy started.
“A party at the Delta Omicron House this Saturday,” Beth interrupted.
Spike didn’t hide his surprise at that piece of information and Buffy narrowed her eyes into a glare. “You going with that ponce from the other night?” he asked curiously.
Buffy’s expression hardened. “What’s it to you?”
“Guess I’ll be seeing you then,” he announced with a glimmer of a smirk on his face.
“What? Why?” Buffy demanded, her frown lifting and being replaced by a look of confusion.
“I’m mates with one of the guys from the house. Wasn’t going to go but now that I know you’ll be there, pet, it doesn’t sound like it’d be such a boring night.” Spike pressed his tongue behind the back of his teeth, grinning at Buffy in a suggestive manner.
Buffy’s cheeks flushed and Beth looked from her friend to Spike, and back again. “Am I missing something here?”
“No! There’s nothing here,” Buffy replied vehemently, putting her goggles back on again and pushing off the wall into the five hundred meter freestyle cool down.
Spike shrugged his shoulders and followed suit, leaving Beth at the wall wondering what that was all about.
Buffy anxiously waited for the weekend. The school days flew by quickly enough and she did her best to avoid Spike as much as she could. But she kept bumping into him; in the halls, in the cafeteria. And in English that morning the teacher implemented a seating plan to gain more control over the class and he, of all people, was assigned to the seat beside her.
She spent the better part of the class ignoring him, looking straight ahead to the front of the class or at her books. He didn’t speak to her, and she was thankful for that, but he kept shifting in his seat, once or twice his leg touching hers. She flinched away both times, and she knew he was probably grinning from ear to ear at her reaction but she still didn’t look up.
The bell sounded for the end of class and she hurriedly got up from her desk and grabbed her books.
“See you tomorrow night, Summers,” Spike called out to her as she left the room.
Willow was waiting out in the hall for Buffy and chased after her friend as she walked by suddenly. “Hey, Buffy, wait up.”
Buffy stopped. “Sorry, Will, I didn’t see you there.”
“Obviously.” The red head frowned. “Is something wrong?”
The two girls resumed walking. “Nothing much really. I’m just in two minds about going to this party tomorrow night, especially since Spike is going. I don’t know what he’s acting so strange. It’s like he gets a kick out of embarrassing me, and I’m sick of it!” Buffy answered, her frustration obvious.
“Uh, yeah… about tomorrow night.” Willow ducked her head. “I don’t think I can make it anymore.”
“Will! You promised you’d come with me.”
“I know, I know. It’s just, I’ve got this family thing and my Mom isn’t letting me weasel out of it.” She offered a smile of apology. “I really tried, but you know my Mom. Well, of her anyway!”
Buffy nodded glumly. “Great. I’m going to a frat party by myself.”
“It’ll be fine! Riley’s going to be there and he seems like a really sweet guy,” Willow insisted.
“Yeah, he is.” Buffy agreed. “I suppose it won’t be all bad…”
“I want to hear ALL about the smoochies,” Willow said, mischievously.
“Will!” Buffy giggled, trying to sound appalled by the idea but failing miserably. “I’ll call you on Sunday afternoon.”