Part Twenty-One

The long weeks of training were finally paying off. Xander was becoming comfortable with his body, like he’d finally grown into it. Spike dragged his eyes away from the trail of sweat trickling between the boy’s pecs and dodged the nasty blow from the quarter stave that was aimed directly at his head.

Xander really excelled with the sticks and Spike was proud of him. The boy was tall, and had enough mass and muscle strength to handle the long pieces of wood. Couple that with his increasing surefootedness and dexterity, and he was becoming dangerous. They worked out every evening after Buffy and Giles finished.

The healthier diet that Spike had forced on him and the constant targeted physical activity had whittled most of the baby fat off the boy. They sparred wearing nothing but track bottoms, feet bare, and for Spike, the training was becoming foreplay, naked flesh and sweat and human blood flowing fast with exertion.

The vampire twisted away from a shot that would have cracked across his shoulders, grunting with pain as the tail end of the stave hit his deltoid. He spun, bringing his own stick around, his arms shuddering with the impact when Xander blocked it. But Spike called upon his vampiric speed and then he was moving too fast for Xander to track him, backing the boy against the far wall.

They stood there panting, Spike’s stave at Xander’s throat, and the vampire felt their audience by the way his skin prickled, telling him that beings with power were near. They were hiding though, but he could feel them gathering themselves to interfere.

He dropped the stave, letting it thump dully on the padded floor, before reaching out take Xander’s out of his hand. He pressed closer to his mortal, insinuating a thigh between Xander’s, rubbing his erection against the boy’s hip. He nuzzled into the boy’s neck and his hand wandered across Xander’s chest until he found a flat nipple and pinched it into hardness.

Xander pushed at him, trying to get away. “What the fuck? Spike, we could be interrupted . . . .”

“Shh,” Spike whispered directly into his ear. “Trying to make a point, you tosser.”

“What point is that?” Xander kept his voice low, but Spike heard the irritation in his tone.

“That you let me touch you of your own free will.”

Spike stepped back, running his hands down Xander’s sides and sinking gracefully to his knees. His hands moved slowly, catching at the sides of Xander’s pants and easing them down. The boy’s cock sprang free, hard and glistening in front of Spike’s face. He looked up at the boy, saw the wondering look on the mortal’s face.

“We’re being watched. By your friends. I want to suck you off while they watch,” he purred, rubbing his face against the heated shaft so close to his mouth. He lowered his voice, “Let me, pet?”

Xander’s abs contacted and his breath hitched. His hand was already curled around Spike’s neck.

“Yeah, but no biting. Please?”

Spike wondered why Xander didn’t mind letting his friends know he was knocking boots with Spike, but didn’t want them to know he could bite. He’d worry about that later. Right now he had more important things to do. Like see if he could make Xander scream.

He put his nose in the small patch of hair that he’d let the boy keep, inhaling deeply, letting the scent of this mortal tease his nose. His hands cupped Xander’s balls, warm against his coldness, smooth from the shave the boy gave his groin every morning.

The tension from their invisible observers changed and Spike subtly turned the human so that the spies had a good view of the proceedings. He wrapped his lips around Xander and relaxed his throat, working his mouth over the boy until he had him almost all the way in.

The boy was making gorgeous noises, full of want and need, and Spike purred against the shaft of velvet-wrapped steel that filled his mouth.

“Spike . . . .”

The boy was fast approaching incoherency as Spike worked the back of his throat around his prick. The scent of young human male was abruptly mixed with aroused females and Spike chuckled to himself. The vampire pulled off until just the leaking tip of his cock traced his lips. He looked up at the boy again.

Xander was licking his lips, his eyes wide, but below the lust, Spike was surprised to see . . . almost a twinkle . . . mischief perhaps. And he couldn’t help the joyful smirk that lit his face. Partners they were, in this. In teasing the girls. The boy was with him. Xander saw the look and his eyes grew wondering again, full of questions and Spike didn’t know the answers to any of them. But he’d suss it later. He wiggled his tongue into Xander’s slit.

“Oh, shit, that feels so good.”

His voice was loud enough to carry and the boy wanted to put on a show, did he? Maybe the boy was just tired of all the female rot that he was constantly surrounded by. Spike used his elbows to nudge the human’s legs apart while he swallowed the thick cock again. Xander whined and tightened his hands in Spike’s hair.

“Take it all, Spike. Feels . . . ungh.”

Spike slid a spit-lubed finger into his hole, wiggling it around, and Xander gurgled and hissed. His hips were thrusting into Spike’s mouth and he’d let the boy have his fun, give those chits something to think about. But Spike would have him on his knees again later.

He opened further, working his tongue, letting Xander have his mouth as he pleased. His dick got fatter and his balls drew up, and he was pumping mindlessly, and Spike felt the moment when it hit the boy, when his inner walls contracted, a bare instant before hot human seed hit the back of his mouth. He suckled, keeping his fangs hidden, milking the boy of everything he had.

When the mortal slumped against the wall, sated and boneless, Spike stood up, deliberately making a show of licking his lips, catching any stray drops. But when he sealed his mouth to Xander’s, thrusting his tongue inside and fucking the boy’s mouth, the scent from their audience peaked.

Then Spike forgot about anything other than the heat and sweetness of the boy in his arms.

Part Twenty-Two

Xander was limping slightly when he came home and Spike eyed him, pausing in the act of getting dinner ready. The boy saw the look and explained that he’d been in a mild accident on the job site. Spike grunted and then waved him to the table.

They ate in relative silence, for which Spike was grateful, because he needed the time to calm himself and decide the best action to take. He discarded several options, finally deciding that he wanted the intimacy of skin on skin contact, especially since it was clear that the boy didn’t yet understand what he’d done.

After Xander had cleared the table, Spike leaned back. “In front of the couch. Drop your kit, I need to see the damage.”

Spike kept his tone level, even and calm, proud that he had successfully banished his anger. But the boy seemed perplexed.

“It’s minor, no big.”

“For me to judge, boy.”

He knew that the human was wondering why they had changed the routine. Spike’s inspections usually took place in bed, with both of them naked.

The vampire stood silently by while the boy stripped. Then he circled his human, noting the bruises on his shoulder and ribs.

“You may explain what happened.”

By this time, it was clear that Xander knew he was in trouble, although he was still confused as to why. His posture was uncertain and a small tendril of fear colored his scent.

“Some scaffolding collapsed, and I didn’t move fast enough. Landed badly, on my shoulder. I’m on light duty for a few days. I didn’t get fired or anything, if that’s what you’re worried about, they like me there.”

“You’re injured that’s unacceptable.”

“It was an accident!”

“Perhaps next time you’ll be faster. Go into the room and kneel beside the bed.”

There would be a time when Spike would teach the boy what he knew about physical space and how to take his consciousness outside it. He'd thought it was enough to teach the boy to fight, but he would see if the human was capable of learning to use his senses in other ways. He'd never tried to teach a mortal the skills, but it would be good to try, and bloody brilliant if they succeeded.

After a moment’s indecision, the boy went. Spike followed him, going to the chest and pulling out a well-tapered butt plug. He lubed it carefully and then ordered, “Present your ass.”

The boy relaxed fractionally, perhaps thinking that they were about to have comfort sex. He leaned forward, resting his weight on his forearms and lifting his bottom high into the air, just as Spike had taught him. The vampire felt pride that the boy was so obedient and responsive, but all the more reason why this was particularly necessary. He slid the plug in without preliminaries, knowing that the plug was tapered enough to cause no discomfort. He had his rationale for the plug, if things went as he hoped, but his intent was not to cause pain with it.

“Formal posture.”

The mortal came back up to his knees, crossing his ankles and putting his hands behind his back. His eyes were full of questions as he squared his shoulders, but he was evidently smart enough not to dare speaking.

Spike sat down on the bed, watching his boy. Xander’s eyes were down, as was proper.

“Look at me.” When he had the boy’s gaze, he added, “You will answer my questions. Later, I will allow you to ask your own, if necessary.”

Xander remained silent, waiting, and Spike kept any signs of approval from his face, although he was pleased.

“Who’s property are you?”

“Yours.” The boy hesitated. “Master.”

“Yes, and I’m delighted to see you recall that.” Spike continued, “Do I take care of the things that belong to me?”


“And if someone damages something of mine, how do I normally proceed?”

“You make them pay for it.”

“In one form or another, yes. Then you would agree that in this case, my property is damaged and the one responsible should be punished?”

“But I . . . “ The boy’s protest died as Spike fixed him with an icy glare. “Yes.”

“You are mine.” Spike didn’t try to keep the fierce possessiveness out of his voice. “I won’t tolerate anyone interfering with you, not even you. In the future, I’ll hope you’ll be more careful of my property.”

The boy’s eyes were full of angry resentment, which Spike ignored. “Do you have any questions before we begin?”

“No. Master.”

The human’s tone was bordering on insolent and Spike mentally added several more strokes to his estimated tally.

“Right then. Over my knee, bum up.”

Xander didn’t move for a long moment, glaring at the vampire. Spike was prepared to place him there by force if necessary, but he finally stood up and laid himself across Spike’s lap. Spike spread his knees to accommodate the large human. He placed his left hand in the center of Xander’s back, pressing down to remind him of his place and he rested his right on the boy’s rounded ass.

“Arms and legs on the floor, boy.” It would hurt the boy’s sore shoulder, but Spike would rub soothing lotion into the muscles later, after they got past this. “And try not to fight it, you’ll only make it worse for yourself.”

He didn’t have much hope that Xander would listen to that last bit of advice, because he could sense the outrage rolling off the boy in waves. He would learn.

Spike brought his hand down sharply on one buttock, leaving a reddened print and prompting the boy to begin battling against the hand restraining him. Spike delivered the blows without pause, evenly timed and spaced across the human’s backside.

The boy struggled and cursed, bucking in Spike’s lap and trying to escape to the point where Spike was forced to use his vampiric strength to hold the boy down. He admired the boy’s courage and refusal to surrender, though it was prolonging his punishment. Spike refused to cede control and continued to strike the human methodically.

The mortal’s ass was a deep fiery red by the time Xander stopped fighting the punishment. But Spike was well aware that the boy hadn’t accepted what was happening even though he had stopped trying to get away. He sensed no lessening of Xander’s resolve and so he kept on.

A human master would have been forced to resort to a paddle by now, and even Spike was beginning to feel the strain. He smirked to himself. Perhaps Fate had intended the boy to be a demon magnet cause no other being was capable of handling him.

It happened finally, the strings of Xander’s will snapped, no match for the demon’s determination. He sagged then, over Spike’s knees, resistence draining out of him. His ass was hot under Spike’s hand, but the vampire knew it hadn’t gone far enough yet. He tempered his strikes, knowing that they didn’t need to be so violent anymore, but each smack delivered more pain to the human.

They passed another plateau and Xander emitted a deep tearing groan, which bled into more, and lack of resistance became acceptance. Spike felt the moment when Xander conceded that Spike was right to treat him so.

But Spike wanted to push the human further, beyond the pain and into recognition of what he really was. When Xander stopped his heedless cries and became still, Spike changed the tenor of the blows again, making them lighter but allowing his hand to fly free so that each slap stung the mortal’s tenderized skin, but didn’t affect the muscles below. He hoped that Xander would surrender to the stinging pain and allow them both to have what they wanted.

Xander began emitting new sounds, and Spike fought to control his reaction to them. The boy began rising his ass into the blows, subtly begging them with his body. His hardness grew, poking Spike in the thigh and his grin became salacious. Xander was gasping and his wailing cries turned into words.

“Please, please fuck me. Need you.”

Spike stopped then and dragged Xander onto the bed. The boy’s eyes were dazed, wild and hungry, and Spike let his demon out with a growl. The boy didn’t struggle as Spike bent him onto his hands and knees, just repeated his pleas. The vampire lubed himself and then removed the plug quickly. It had done its job and the boy was ready to receive him without any further preliminaries, something that neither of them could tolerate at the moment.

He sank into the warmth of his human, the boy’s burning ass resting against his belly, radiating warmth into his skin. Spike took a moment to brace his legs and then began fucking his boy with all his demonic strength. Xander arched his back, pushing back against the assault, though Spike was certain that every time their bodies smacked together must have been causing him excruciating pain from his abused buttocks.

“Bloody brilliant you are, pet.”

Neither of them would last long at this brutal pace. He bent over, wrapped a hand around his boy’s cock, and slid his fangs into the human’s neck. He tightened his hand and started to suck, and Xander cried out, his prick jumping in Spike’s hand and the vampire followed instantly, his mouth full of sweet blood as he came, crashing one last time into his boy.

They collapsed together onto the mattress and when Spike could think clearly again, he licked the bite mark, working to heal it. He pulled out of the mortal, laying beside him, running a soothing hand over his back, and carefully avoiding his rear.

Xander’s eyes were open, unfocused and lost. Spike purred low in his chest as his hands gradually brought the boy back from the place the pain had sent him.

“Did so well, luv. ‘M proud of you.”

Finally Xander was present, with him again, but his eyes were peaceful. Spike reached for the pot of herbal lotion that the bashful witch had concocted for the Slayer. They all used it though, it worked wonders for aching muscles. He carefully massaged it in to Xander’s sore shoulder and ribs. He wouldn’t heal the boy’s backside, but let him live with the pain as a reminder of the night’s lesson.

When he finished, Xander was staring at him with a look of wonder in his eyes, and Spike wasn’t able to interpret his scent.

“Pet?” Fuck, he hoped he hadn’t misjudged what Xander needed.

“You weren’t kidding when you said I belonged to you. You meant it . . .” He seemed unable to express what he was feeling and Spike became nervous. “Completely. I belong to you completely.”

This time the boy’s voice was full of a sort of shy hope and suddenly Spike understood.

“Never doubt it, pet, you’re mine. Utterly. I’ll never let you go.”


And Xander snuggled closer and Spike wrapped an arm around his shoulders. The boy’s breathing evened out and his heart rate slowed. Spike was left considering whether it wasn’t worse to neglect a child than it was to dish out straightforward abuse. The boy had been forced to do far too much fending for himself in his short lifetime.

But Spike had been hurt a few times himself, broken by the people he loved. The demon was content with merely knowing the boy belonged to him, but the human part still doubted, couldn’t help wondering if the boy would be here if he had a choice. He hated the magic for taking away his certainty.

Perhaps he should give the boy that choice. Show him what he could have, and then bloody well hope he still wanted a vampire.

Part Twenty-Three

The lights in the room flickered and dimmed in mind-tugging lack of pattern, and Spike sat alone on the ratty couch, his naked dick in his hand, while he watched the light play over Xander rooting himself into the mewling girl on the floor.

Light played over his clenching ass and along his muscular back as he drove into her while his lips were captured by another man, the girl taking that dick in her mouth. Another man lost it, spraying come over Xander’s back and into his hair, and Spike hissed when the other woman inserted a questing finger into his boy’s backside.

Spike cursed his own insecurities that had brought them to this. He’d brought Xander to the club, knowing that they had rooms like this in the back, and they’d danced, Spike making free with his hands, his eyes reeling in playmates for his boy. Enough beer to lower Xander’s inhibitions and he pulled him into the room. The boy’s healthy young sex drive had done the rest.

Xander cried out, wrenching his lips away as his back bowed and his hips jerked forward. Light caught his eyes squeezed shut and painted his face with weird shadows in the contortion of his orgasm. Spike fought his demon back with effort, the sudden pain that someone else had made Xander look like that catching him off guard.

He wanted the human to see what was out there, and still choose him, a vampire. He knew he was risking everything, that the boy might not ever come back to him, but he had to be sure.

The first man drew his cock free from the girl’s mouth as Xander pulled out and stripped the condom off. He pushed at the boy and Xander went back liquidly, his legs falling open, and Spike felt his erection wilt away. But the man jerked his penis, spraying over Xander’s face and chest, and the boy licked it off his lips.

The other girl lowered herself over Xander’s mouth and he brought his hands up to steady her, one ass cheek in each hand, and he massaged her while his tongue worked her. She rode his face, finally arching her neck and crying out while her body shook.

Light caught the mingled juices painting his boy’s face even as one of the men knelt between Xander’s spread thighs, and Spike couldn’t do what he’d intended, couldn’t let it happen.

“Right then. Time we were off.”

His voice was harsh, ripping through the lush silence that had descended on the humans. They had enough of their survival instincts left to hear something in his tone that made them afraid, and none of them argued when he helped Xander to his feet.

He didn’t get a good look at the human’s face until they were under the dome light of the car. Spike thought he’d see comfortable satiation, but he was shocked to see Xander look worn and grief-stricken. He huddled on his side of the car as Spike drove them home, and the vampire never imagined that such a large man could look so small.

“Xander. What is it?”

“Are you giving me away?”

The vampire couldn’t recall ever hearing the boy sound so forlorn.

Part Twenty-Four

Spike parked the car and went around to Xander’s side, helping him out, holding his elbow as he guided the boy into their apartment. He’d screwed up again, badly. That’s what he got for trying to be nice. They both hated it.

They stood awkwardly in the living room, and Spike tried to explain what had seemed like a good idea at the time.

“Wasn’t trying to get rid of you. It was for you. Wanted to give you a choice. Summat you missed maybe. Knew you weren’t gay before this, that the spell took your choice away.”

“That was supposed to be a present? Man, you suck at gift-giving.”

Spike sighed tiredly. Bloody hell, everyone agreed on that, he couldn’t give a proper gift. “Aye.”

“I thought I was doing what you wanted,” the boy said. “But you stopped it.”

Spike fought back the growl. “Couldn’t go through with it, could I? Couldn’t let anyone else have you.”

Xander rolled his eyes, some of the flash coming back into them.

“Geez, you really are blonde, aren’t you?”

He came over and knelt at Spike’s feet, so easily and gracefully that Spike got hard almost instantly, the submissive posture making his demon purr.

“I did choose this . . . I chose you, dumbass. If you’re tired of me and want to end this, just tell me, don’t . . . .” His confidence faltered then.

Spike wondered how his existence had gone so off the rails that getting snarked at by the donut boy was comforting. But there it was.


Right then. No more poncing about. The boy was his and he’d make sure the entire world knew it. But most importantly, both he and Xander would never doubt it.

“Go take a shower. You smell . . . .” He’d smelled of semen and sweat and stale beer and foreign pheremones, and Spike’s demon wouldn’t be able to bear it.

While the water was running, Spike went to the closet and pulled down a cherrywood box. The wood glowed softly under the lights and the thing lying in the velvet interior gleamed with a high polish. Perhaps the boy would like this gift.

The water stopped and Spike stepped into the bathroom. Xander was toweling his hair, but his eyes meeting Spike’s were still uncertain. Spike took the towel away and dried the boy himself, taking his time, getting every spot. Xander stood calm under his hands, and by the time Spike combed his hair into sleek waves, the boy’s breathing was steady.

Spike tilted his head up for a kiss, his hands going to the boy’s waist as their lips rubbed together. Xander’s eyes were dilated when Spike pulled back. The vampire took his hand and led him back in to the living room, where the box waited on the table.

“Kneel. At ease.”

Spike seated himself on the couch while Xander dropped into the more relaxed kneeling position, his butt resting on his heels and his hands palm down on his thighs. His shoulders were back and his eyes met Spike’s.

He took the time to admire his boy, letting the human know with his gaze how pleased he was with him. The boy was a picture of male beauty, broad shoulders, deep chest, and long legs. And his willing surrender made him all the more tempting.

“Beautiful, luv.”

He smiled as the scent reached him, not needing to check to see that the boy was aroused. He pulled the metal piece out of the box, holding it in front of Xander’s eyes. It was a piece of rolled stainless steel, not a perfect circle, but it had been shaped to follow the contours of a human neck and shoulders. It would rest comfortably at the base of the boy’s neck.

“I have another gift for you, one you might like better. But it’s on you to accept this or deny it. Nothing ends if you say no.”

“A necklace?”

“It’s a collar. It’s a symbol that both humans and demons will understand. Means you’re mine, that I own you.” The boy’s eyes widened, his face questioning. “Yes. In the sense that a master owns a slave. Humans will think it’s a game, but demons will know it’s more.”

“All humans know about this?”

“No, not all. The girls will think you’ve got funny taste in jewelry, but Ripper will know what it means.” Spike had no doubt that the Watcher had played these games, probably from both sides of it.

The boy blushed. “Oh.”

“It secures with screws in the back, they sink in and I’ll put a bit of solder on it, and it’ll never come off unless you cut it.”

Spike wasn’t sensing any fear from the boy, just curiosity, so he continued hopefully.

“Once you agree to it, you give me all rights to you. I decide what you wear, what you eat, who you talk to. And if I decide to lend you out to someone else to use, you’ll go. But you’ll have the security of knowing that you wear my collar, and you’re still mine, and you’ll come back to me. And if I choose to end your life, then that’s my right also.”


The boy was afraid now, but Spike knew it had to be said. He’d be throwing in with a demon and had to know the full consequences.

“You can ask me to be let out of the collar, but that will end it between us. We won’t be able to come back from that. This is a commitment more binding then human marriage. I agree to keep you well and safe, and to always do what’s best for you.”

“So I can’t ever disagree with you?”

Spike laughed affectionately. “Oh, no, pet. I wouldn’t ask that of you. You still have your mind and your emotions, I can’t take those from you, nor would I want to. And if I tell you to do something that you have serious concerns about, tell me. We’ll talk about whatever it is. I can’t promise you that I’ll change my mind, but I promise I’ll listen.”

“Okay, so no robot pleasure toy being for the Xan-man, that’s good.”

Spike leaned forward, unable to resist touching Xander. “We made an agreement when we started this. No rape, no killing, no turning. I’ll keep to that.”

“But you said . . . .”

“Yes, you’ll give me the right to do as I please. But you’ve my word that I’ll keep my agreement with you. You have to decide if you trust that but I’ll tell you, I’ve no desire to do any of that to you, especially not killing. My demon . . . cares about you. Very much.”

Xander ran a finger along the steel and Spike handed it to him, watching as the boy heft the thing, tugging on it, testing it. He was so adept at learning things by touching that Spike had the odd thought that he might make a deadly good sculptor if he was given the tools. He’d think about that later, if the boy decided to accept the collar.

“I can say no and we’ll still be together?”

Spike knew that if his heart could beat, it would have faltered, but he kept his voice even. “Yes, this is your choice.”

“And if I say yes?”

“Then you’re mine for the rest of your life, or forever. Whichever comes first.”

Xander still held the collar, his eyes remote.

“Do you need time to think, pet?” Spike couldn’t remember ever being so nervous, but after the way he’d fucked up earlier, he had to give Xander the chance to make his own decision. His demon wanted to grab the boy and fuck him senseless, but Spike forced himself to wait.

“Gotta say, I like this present much better than the last one.” Xander looked up and his eyes looked contented. He handed the collar back to Spike. “I want to be yours. Forever.”

Spike nodded, his voice temporarily deserting him. Something slid into place with those words, something . . . maybe good wasn’t right word, because he was still a demon, but something true and strong for both of them. He separated the back piece from the rest of the collar.

“Bend your head, boy.”

The collar went around his neck easily and Spike slid the back piece on, then picked up the small allen screws. He threaded them in, then tightened them with the wrench. He’d solder it later, but now he wanted to bury himself inside Xander.

Xander was panting when he finished, and the fear that had been there had disappeared. Spike tugged on his elbows, pulling the boy into his lap, kissing him thoroughly, until the human was making small pleading noises.

“Take my jeans off.” While Xander worked at the denims, Spike skimmed his t-shirt off. “Turn around and straddle me, hands on the table.”

The boy bent into position, his cock bobbing and balls hanging freely. Spike grabbed his hips and pulled the boy back to his mouth. He licked a swipe from the back of the boy’s balls to his little tight pucker. Xander whimpered as Spike broadened his tongue, lapping at the boy’s hole. He thrust in, slick muscle opening the human, stroking his walls. Xander wailed, begging, and a splotch of pre-come dropped onto Spike’s leg. The vampire relented finally, ending the teasing.

“Stay just like that,” he ordered, and the scent of arousal grew stronger. That head-down position had to be uncomfortable by now, but his boy liked taking orders and Spike smiled as he picked up his jeans, searching the pockets for the lube. He slicked himself and then pushed a finger into the boy, testing him, making sure he was stretched and relaxed.

He grasped Xander’s hips again, guiding him down to impale himself on Spike’s prick. The human whined when he was full, and Spike spoke into his ear. “Fuck yerself on me, pet. But no coming till I say.”

The boy groaned again and began sliding frantically up and down Spike’s shaft. The vampire reached around, getting his hands on the human heat of the boy’s dick, letting the boy thrust into his cold hands.

Xander felt too good, his heat gripping Spike mercilessly and he needed to spend inside him, needed them both to feel his possession of this mortal. He thrust his hips up, convulsing and howling as he came.

His boy sat trembling on Spike’s cock, and the vampire could feel the fluttering muscles telling him how close the human was to disobeying. He nudged Xander off, turning him around to face him. His game face had appeared when Spike had come and he licked a fang in anticipation.

“You can come when I bite you.”

Xander nodded, his eyes unfocused, and Spike kissed his neck, just above the steel encircling it. He pulled his lips back and dug his fangs into the jugular, pulsing hot just beneath the skin. The boy screamed, arching into the assault, his hips thrusting and spattering Spike with the warm gush of fluid from his cock. Spike eased his fangs out, licking the wound until it closed, holding and soothing the shaking boy until he calmed.

They should go clean up, but Spike couldn’t be bothered at the moment. He was too full of an unfamiliar emotion and Xander was looking at him with peace in his eyes. The sense of rightness was back and Spike pulled his boy closer, stroking his face until he fell asleep.

Part Twenty-Five

It was past midnight when Spike wandered in from the bar, and he wasn’t really surprised to see Xander still up, but the human’s activity perplexed him. He had a whetstone and oil out and was diligently working with what appeared to be a hunting knife. The sheath lay on the table and it had some sort of heraldic crest on it that Spike didn’t recognize off hand. He wondered if it was some sort of magic talisman and where the boy had acquired it.

There was a sort of wary tension about Xander’s shoulders, and his scent was nerves underlain with grief. Spike wondered what could possibly have happened to him in the hours since he’d left the apartment.

But Xander turned his face eagerly into Spike’s kiss of greeting, so the vampire supposed that whatever was bothering his boy wasn’t anything he had done.

“What’s all this, then?”

The boy’s laugh was bitter. “My dear mother called, said they were leaving some of the family junk on the curb for the trash. If I wanted to root through it, I was welcome to it. I found this.” He gestured to the knife and sheath.

The knife had been polished to a bright sheen and Spike could see that it had so fine an edge that it made him itch to test it. The leather sheath gleamed with fresh oil.

“It was my grandfather’s,” Xander explained. “Given to him when he made Eagle Scout.”

Spike didn’t know what an Eagle Scout was, though he guessed from Xander’s tone that is was some sort of high honor. He’d thought the soddin’ Yanks disdained rank and degree.

“My father . . . used it when he couldn’t find a can opener. The blade was scratched and dull, and the sheath was stained. I fixed them.”

The boy’s tone was defiant, almost challenging, and Spike knew he would have to be careful of whatever this was.

“That you did, pet. They’re both deadly beautiful.”

Xander relaxed a fraction, but his face was solemn. “I want you to cut me with it.”

Dozens of questions leaped to Spike’s mind. Whether the boy saw the symbolism of Spike using the knife that his father had dishonored to shed Xander’s blood. Whether he understood what that meant for a vampire, to be offered human blood from the edge of a noble knife. They’d never discussed the magic that had pulled them together initially, but now Xander was calling up deep mysteries, and the bond between them that had been sealed with Spike’s blood was alive and thrumming with the power of what the mortal offered.

But the look on Xander’s face told him that the boy saw clearly what he was doing, and had made his choice. Spike was overwhelmed and humbled that this human child with his great heart would give such a thing to a demon.

“Xander, are you sure?”

“I trust you, Spike.”

The vampire reached out and laid a careful thumb on the blade. It was sharp as glass and would part his flesh with the slightest pressure. So sharp that it would barely scar the boy if he was careful.

“Clothes off. Put on your wrist cuffs, and kneel on the floor.”

The boy hurried to obey. It would take a little time for Xander to do all of that, and would give Spike time to compose himself. Playing with knives had to be done carefully, especially when you didn’t plan to kill the other person. The demon inside Spike had no desire to kill Xander anymore, and regarded him with an unregenerate possessiveness.

Spike pondered what it meant that the human trusted him fully enough to willingly let him set a blade to his flesh. It went far beyond what he’d ever expected that he’d have from Xander. The demon rejoiced, taking it to mean that the mortal would let them play darker games, but the man was confused, wondering at the emotion driving the boy to ask for it. And wondering what he really felt for his accidental thrall.

The sheath had slits so it could be threaded on a belt, but it also had straps so that Spike could attach it to his wrist. He buckled it on and then went into the room where Xander was waiting. He sniffed the air, finding that the boy’s nervousness had disappeared but the grief was still there. Arousal hovered there too, perhaps because his boy was conditioned for lust when he was cuffed and kneeling naked.

He went to the wall where the boy had installed a cleat to hold the chains that dangled from the ceiling, undoing the knot. Spike clipped the hook to a bar which he stretched between the leather cuffs encircling the mortal’s wrists. He pulled on the chain, raising Xander’s arms over his head, continuing to shorten the chain, until the boy was forced to come to his feet.

“Spread your legs, twice shoulders.”

Xander got into the requested position and Spike pulled on the chain, raising the boy until he wasn’t quite flat on his feet. He stepped back to admire his bound and naked mortal. The position lifted his rib cage, making his chest look bigger, emphasizing the long lines of his body. His calves were taut as the balls of his feet took his weight. The boy was lovely like this, arms and legs stretched open, unable to stop anything Spike might do to him.

His boy was going to hurt in so many ways and he was going to be so beautiful with it.

“No restrictions.”

The human flicked his eyes towards Spike with that, questioning, but Spike nodded. He didn’t want Xander distracted from his pain while trying to suppress his orgasm.

He let his human face drop away as he pulled the knife from its sheath and held it horizontally in front of Xander’s face, letting the light play over the deadly metal. Spike imagined designs in blood and Xander focused intently on the blade.

The boy’s eyes followed it as Spike set the keen edge against his upper chest, slowly dragging it across his warm skin. A line of red welled in the path of the blade. Xander sucked in a ragged breath but didn’t cry out and Spike mirrored the action on this other side.

He kept his slices slow, to make sure his boy felt every one of them, to intensify the pain. The red blood painted streaks down his torso. He was hungry for the rich thick liquid, but he didn’t want to mar his design until he finished it. Art in blood and pain.

The boy didn’t start screaming until he reached his lower belly. Spike was careful not to go too deep there, knowing the guts that were close to the surface could be nicked if he lost concentration.

He moved around to the mortal’s back. The boy had fewer nerves there and his screaming stilled but he was gasping harshly each time the knife slid into him. But he howled again when Spike set the knife just below his elbow and drew it slowly down his arm, through the hair in his armpit, across his ribs and finally ending at his hip. Spike treated the other side in the same way, before turning his attention to the boy’s legs. He made long cris-crosses over his trembling thighs, snugged the tip of the knife into the mortal’s groin and carried the wound down to the inside of his knee. He made a series of parallel lines across the human’s buttocks, dipping ever so slightly into his crease.

The room reeked of blood and pain, but not fear. The boy was like a piece of modern artwork done all in red and tan. Drip painting. Spike stepped back and removed his clothes. When he was finished he stood in front of his boy, where the human’s head was hanging down and set the blade just above his steel collar, on the sacred place where the life ran so close to the surface.

Spike didn’t move, but waited until the boy’s pain-dazed eyes cleared and he registered where the knife was. His eyes met Spike’s and they both knew that if Spike’s hand shook, there might not be any way to go back.

But Xander tilted his head to the side, exposing his neck further, and Spike’s instinctive breath trembled but his hand was steady and firm. Blood welled around the blade as he pushed it just far enough to break the skin but no farther. Xander shuddered.

The vampire removed the knife and brought it to his mouth, carefully licking it clean, before reverently placing it back in its sheath.

The demon was hungry and he latched onto the wound at Xander’s throat, licking the blood out, working it until it was clean and beginning to heal. He lapped at the other wounds, savoring the coppery tang there. The slices on his pectorals were deep and Spike worried at them with his fangs, widening them so that the blood flowed fresh again. He suckled there and the sounds from his boy changed to a low moan and the musky scent of human male started overwhelming the other scents in the room.

He covered every injury he had made with his tongue, bathing the human in vampire saliva, sealing the wounds. Xander’s arms and legs were trembling from their stretched position and he had gone a bit pale under his tan from blood loss.

Spike picked up the bottle of slick and worked some into his boy’s hole, opening it efficiently, his demon hissing as the musky scent deepened with the human’s desire. He pushed the boy’s legs further apart so his arse was at a comfortable height for Spike to fuck him.

Xander cried out when he entered him, driving himself wildly back onto Spike’s prick. The vampire set a brutal pace, wanting them to find their releases quickly. He wrapped a hand around his boy’s cock, but it only took a stroke or two before the boy spasmed, clamping down around Spike’s cock as his come sprayed out. Spike roared, sinking his fangs into the nearest piece of skin, pumping himself into his willing boy.

When it was over, Spike lowered the chains, unclipping Xander and helping him to the floor. He reached over to the small refrigerator and pulled out a bottle of juice, holding Xander’s head while he tilted it for the boy to drink. Xander finished the bottle and curled in close while Spike ran his hands gently over his boy, rubbing his sore muscles.

Spike studied him, but the grief was gone and the primary emotion he sensed from Xander was pride.

He handed the knife back to Xander. “It’s a fine thing, pet.”

But Xander rose into the formal kneel and held his hands out, the knife lying across his palms. “Yours, Master.”

Spike took the blade and gave a small dip of his head. “I’m honoured.”

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