Chapter 7 - Alone
Buffy walked into the frat house nervously, scanning the room for Riley. She didn’t recognize anyone else there, and was more than a little un-nerved by the looks she was receiving from the other house members. The music was slow and mellow, which suited the dim lighting. Whoever had organized the party tonight had done a good job of setting the mood. Too bad I can’t find my date to dance with…
She was wearing a navy blue dress that had two thin spaghetti straps holding it over her shoulders, the length falling to just above her knee. It was fitted around the bust, falling loosely in a way that clung to all the right places. After a shopping expedition with Willow she had bought a new pair of heels to match, and had tied her hair back into a sort of french roll to complete the look.
She knew she looked nice but she hadn’t anticipated that the frat brothers would ogle her. Or that one would be walking straight for her…
Her eyes widened in horror when she saw that the guy was stumbling, obviously having had more than enough to drink already. He was closing in on her and she looked around anxiously for an escape route. But, since she had placed herself up against a wall to wait for Riley, the likelihood of her being cornered was becoming greater as the drunken guy approached.
“Heyyyy, there, babyyy,” the drunken frat boy slurred.
Her eyes darted around the room in a panic - still no sign of Riley.
Just as the guy was about to reach for her someone stepped in swiftly and grabbed one of her arms, pulling her out of the ogre’s grasp.
“There you are, pet. I’ve been looking for you.”
Buffy was about to object when she recognized Spike’s voice, but when he steered her out of the reach of the drunken oaf she was more relieved than pissed off to see the familiar blond.
“Thanks for the save,” she said gratefully once they were out of his range.
Spike nodded in acceptance but still kept a hand protectively on her arm, eyeing the drunk off from their new position. She moved to let go and he stopped her. “He hasn’t lost interest yet, pet,” he warned.
Buffy looked up to see he was right and stepped a little closer to Spike, grateful for his shield. Her knee brushed against his leg and he closed his eyes for a moment before looking down at her, drinking in the sight of her. She looked amazing, and was surprised that he hadn’t noticed it earlier.
Earlier a few minutes ago… or earlier a few weeks ago… the voice in the back of his mind asked.
He pulled her closer, slowly moving to the music. Buffy saw the glint in the drunken frat boy’s eye and decided she didn’t want to risk giving him the chance to corner her again. Lifting her hands to Spike’s chest, she swayed along with him and the music.
Spike closed his eyes, inhaling suddenly when he felt her move closer to him. His eyes blinked open a second later, almost as if to confirm that she was actually in his arms. Her gaze was still fixed worriedly on the frat boy, and to say he was a little disappointed would be an understatement. However, not being one to pass up the moment he slid his arms around her, holding her protectively. He breathed in deeply to calm his racing nerves, only just noticing how sweet she smelled. Vanilla… god he loved that smell.
The song came to an end, and he reluctantly loosened his hold on her. He was surprised when he felt her clutch at his shirt. “Please don’t leave me,” she asked hesitantly. “I don’t know where Riley is and --”
He stepped back a little then, frowning at her. “I’m not a bloody stand in, luv. And if you need someone to protect you, maybe you should be looking for your date.”
Buffy glared at him, folding her arms over her chest. “I didn’t ask for your help,” she retorted.
“But you weren’t objecting to it either,” he pointed out.
Buffy knew that he was right, and it infuriated her. But she wasn’t willing to admit it out loud. “I can take care of myself, Spike.”
Spike stared at her for a moment before shaking his head in disbelief. “Fine then.”
Buffy blinked in shock when he abruptly turned and walked away from her.
“Where are you going?” she called after him when she found her voice, but he was already out of sight.
The frat guy from earlier noticed that she was once again by herself and she turned, leaving the room quickly before he had the chance to approach her. After wandering around for several minutes she found herself in a darkly lit room, filled with just a few sofas and a bar in one corner. Pulling up a stool at the bar she reached for one of the empty plastic cups near the bowl of punch.
It’s probably alcoholic… a voice in her head warned, but she poured a glass anyway.
One glass won’t hurt… she rationalized.
Buffy stumbled out towards the garden at the back of the frat house, drawing in a deep breath of fresh air. But it didn’t lessen the spinning she felt in her head. She’d only had one drink, the only thing she could figure was that it must’ve been stronger than she thought.
She sat down on a bench seat, resting her head in her hands, trying to stop the world from spinning. She heard a thump when someone sat down beside her, but she didn’t look up to see who it was. Please stop spinning…
A finger traced a line from her shoulder down her arm, coming to rest on her thigh, and at first she thought it was Spike. When the hand began to trace small circles on her leg, she looked up to tell him to get his hands off her when she realized that it wasn’t him. Recognizing the drunken guy from inside the main hall what seemed like hours ago, Buffy instantly inched away. But he advanced on her, a wide grin spreading across his face.
“You know you want it,” he drawled, his voice low and suggestive as he reached for her leg again.
She pushed it away and tried to stand up, but he grabbed a hold of her arm and pulled her down onto his lap, wrapping his other arm around her waist to hold her there.
“Let me go,” Buffy demanded.
The frat guy just laughed. “Oh, don’t be that way,” he mocked disappointment. “I’m sure we could have lots of fun.” He had leaned in to whisper the last words into her ear, his stale breath blowing across her neck.
Buffy struggled to free her arm but he just held her tighter. Panic rose within her and she began to squirm in his lap, trying to get away.
“Oh, yeah, just like that, baby,” he grunted with amusement, arching his hips against her body.
“NO!” she shouted. “LET me go!”
“Or what?” the guy laughed. “We’re alone out here. Where’s your knight in shining armor? Tsk, tsk,” he added with a hint of sarcasm.
Buffy’s panic reached fever pitch as she began hitting him with her free arm, swinging wildly as her attacks connected with his chest, his jaw and one hitting him square in the nose.
The guy roared, picking her up and carrying her kicking and struggling against him towards the house. They got inside the doors and she swung her head around, trying to find Spike. But he wasn’t to be seen. “Help me!” she begged another partygoer as she was dragged by, but the guy just turned his back and walked outside.
The room began to spin and she had a sudden moment of clarity—her drink must have been spiked when she went to the toilet. She had stupidly left it on the bar, returning a few minutes later to finish it off.
“No,” a strangled cry escaped her lips as her attacks began to weaken, her arms beginning to lose their strength.
She could feel herself being carried up the stairs, and terror coursed through her veins when she realized his intentions. A door came into view and she tried to will her limbs into fighting back, but they wouldn’t respond.
They entered a dark room, fear giving her one last surge of resistance.
“No!” she screamed. “Help! Someone, Spike!!” she called as the door slammed closed.
Spike picked up his pace as he searched the frat house, a wave of guilt washing over him. He shouldn’t have left her alone, even though she was acting like a right bitch. He had gotten all the way to his car, and sat inside it with the engine idling for god knows how long after the little spat with her inside.
This wasn’t the sort of place a girl should be left alone, especially a girl like Buffy. So after going through half a pack of cigarettes he had re-entered the house, searching all the rooms downstairs, before heading out into the garden via one of the many doors.
Having not found her anywhere he came back inside. The place was starting to clear out, most of the guests pairing and moving upstairs for privacy.
A sick feeling of dread washed over him when he imagined her being up in one of those rooms with that meathead Riley. Or worse, someone else. A shiver rolled over him when he remembered the way the drunk from earlier had been staring at her, and his concern for her safety grew. He had to make sure she was okay before he left.
He was halfway up the stairs when he heard her voice, every bone in his body telling him something was wrong. Reaching the top of the stairs he stood perfectly still for a moment, just listening, trying to gauge where the sound had come from. When all he got was nothing, his worries upped a notch. This is bad… very bad.
Two steps down the hall he heard her again and this time there was definite panic in her voice when she called his name.
Oh dear god… let her be safe…
“Buffy!” he shouted down the hall, approaching the first door and swinging the door open.
“Buffy!” he shouted again.
Door after door was opened, mostly finding occupied bedrooms, the inhabitants raising their gaze to scowl and mutter abuse at the intrusion as he slammed the door shut and moved onto the next.
“BUFFY!” he yelled at the top of his lungs.
Then there it was, a muffled sound coming from a room two doors up. Then a crash from another. Adrenaline and guilt ran through his veins. If only I hadn’t left… Spike forcibly pushed the thoughts out of his mind. Now was not the best time to lament. There were only a few doors left; Buffy had to be behind one of them. He instinctively went for the one the thumping sound had come from. He reached for the handle and twisted…
It was locked.
Banging on the door with his fists, he yelled for her. “BUFFY!”
Buffy’s head lolled from one side to the other, as she felt something heavy press down on her, subconsciously knowing it was another person. Strength had long since abandoned her, her attempts to put up a fight only weakening her more quickly. Her eyelids began to flutter closed as noise began to fade out. Shouting broke through the quiet, and it took her a moment to realize it was her name that was being called.
“Spike?” she whispered, fighting a losing battle to stay conscious as everything went black.