Behind Closed Doors


by
Jane Davitt



Part Seven

We were on our own in the shop, about a week after he’d told them I’d moved in. Been an interesting week, with me finding out more about the way he liked to do things. There were rules but Giles didn’t always spell them out. He didn’t need to. Inside the house, when we were alone, it was him in charge, in charge of me, and that was simple enough. Most of the time. It was getting easier to obey, to be perfect for him, and yet sometimes it built up until all I wanted to do was grab and bend and break everything he said, every request that was really an order, squeeze through every loophole, no matter how small. He let me too, let me wriggle until I was stuck tight and hey, look at that, I was arse up and ready.

Anya was off at the supplier; middle of the day so the girls were at school, college, whatever, and Harris was flexing his manly muscles building things that would probably fall down before the paint had time to peel off. I was feeling bored and Giles was irritable. Never a good combination. I knew what the matter was but I wasn’t sure how to fix it. If we’d been at home I’d have had a dozen ways to solve both problems but here I knew better than to try unless he started it. Off limits, the shop was, at least most of the time. He told me to go and sit in the corner and not to touch anything. Giles didn’t need to touch me to get me hard but he wasn’t using that tone of voice and his eyes were – I couldn’t look at his face for long. Not without wanting to hit something. Which explains why I took it out on a box I thought was empty, kicking it hard and breaking some tacky statuettes of the goddess Xinra. Ten a penny, but Giles lost it when he heard the crash, charging over to me, face tight and sour.

“A new consignment that I’ve been waiting for for weeks and you’ve broken half of them you clumsy idiot!”

Testy. I went for the pout and the upward glance. I looked cute like that. Not like I could practice in front of a mirror but I knew the effect it had usually. Giles glared at me, without showing any signs of it affecting him, and pointed towards the storeroom. “Get in there and get out of my sight.”

He was definitely losing it. Dreaded to think what the night would be like if he kept it up. Fucking nightmare. The storeroom was dark; a jumble of stuff on shelves, a table in the centre of the room. I sighed, perched on the table and waited for Giles to come to his senses. The bell went over the shop door some time later and I heard Giles start the old chit chat, being charming automatically and getting the usual response. The way some of the customers started getting all silly when they heard his voice, you’d think they’d never heard anyone speak English before. Though come to think of it, it was California... Heard some old biddy ask for something obscure and Giles assured her he could put his hand right on it if she just gave him a moment.

I’d been in that room for thirty fucking minutes and I was leaning back against the table, hand down my trousers, entertaining myself quite nicely. Figured if Giles caught me at least he’d snap out of his bloody awful mood and into a temper instead. Do him good.

Had to admit, I wasn’t planning on him having customers when he found me though. He came in, took one look at me and froze, his face indignant and cross. I was still a long way off coming but I closed my eyes and moaned just a little, running my hand slowly up and down my cock so he could get a good view. Heard his breath hiss out and knew he’d never believe I didn’t know he was there, so I opened my eyes and smiled at him, keeping my hand busy.

“Spike. Stop that.”

I let go at once, pushed my jeans down just enough and turned around, leaning over the table. Not subtle, but effective. Couldn’t spread my legs much but I did the best I could and threw in a wiggle as I got settled. I heard him walk up to me, past me, and the clink of bottles as he reached for what the customer wanted. I folded my arms in front of me and rested my chin on them. Watched him ignore me and watched his cock get hard enough that he really wasn’t going to be able to hide it.

“She’s going to think you’re really happy to make a sale if you go out like that,” I said.

I thought he’d keep on ignoring me and really, I hadn’t said anything much, but he snapped. Thank fuck for that. Apathetic misery I just couldn’t handle. Giles was hurting and in my world you cured that by hurting someone else worse, by getting angry. I was the closest target, though his mood was none of my doing, and if Giles wanted to take it out on me, well, if it made him feel better, I didn’t mind. In fact, knowing it was something I could offer him made me feel, oh, useful. Needed. He couldn’t get that from anyone but me and the way I saw it, it was making him feel better as much as fucking me did. Never occurred to me that he’d feel guilty about hurting me later on, when he wasn’t furious anymore.

“And whose fault is that, Spike?” He slammed his hand down beside my face and I winced.

“Mine?” Figured I’d skip to the good part.

“For once in your overly long life, you’re perfectly correct. Well...your fault, you fix it.”

“Quite willing to do just that,” I assured him, turning my head to grin up at him. That grin was hard to keep on my face when I saw his expression, but I held it there, looking like insensitive, annoying Spike who needed to be taught a lesson the best I could.

From the shop I heard the high pitched twittering of a woman who was gagging for her eye of newt. Giles raised his voice and called out something reassuring at just about the same time as he put one hand in the small of my back, pressing me down against the table. He was in me before he’d finished telling her he’d seen them only yesterday, honestly and why didn’t she browse around the scented candles while she waited, in me dry, first time ever, forcing a scream out of me that his other hand swallowed. When he was in me all the way and not moving, the pain stopped clawing at my throat and receded, taking the scream with it. I bit his hand, hard enough for the chip to jitter and spark, and waited.

He leaned over and said, “Still willing?” in a voice I didn’t know and didn’t like at all.

I moved my head and his hand lifted enough that I could speak. “Got nothing better to do, so, yeah.”

We hadn’t talked about it, but Giles knew he could hurt me and have me good as new the next day. There weren’t many humans I’d trust with that power over me and a Watcher should have been the last person to think of a vampire as having feelings, but I trusted Giles not to go too far. No matter how pissed off I made him. It was just something else I could offer him; fucking me might make him smile, but he needed more than hearts and flowers in a mood like this; he needed blood, sweat and screams. I had my own idea about who should be supplying them, but Giles wouldn’t have agreed and if I’d told him straightforwardly to get it all out of his system and thump me, he’d have said ‘no’. Wouldn’t have made me the scapegoat, wouldn’t have hurt me without a reason. Would have just carried on brooding and feeling like shit.

Which was why I gave him a good reason by jerking off in the storeroom and answering him back. Wasn’t being a total fucking doormat or a saint; what we’d had the last couple of weeks was trembling on the edge of crashing to the floor in a thousand pieces. If I could shove it back on the shelf, safe and sound, at the cost of a few bruises and a sore arse, it was worth it. I liked being with Giles. Suited me – and even if it didn’t, even if he’d changed his mind, it was going to be something we decided between ourselves, not forced on us by Xander fucking Harris.

So I gave Giles a mouthful and felt his restraint snap like a twisted neck. He put his hands on my hips, jerking them back so that my cock wasn’t touching anything. I knew why he was doing it but I was glad; table was full of splinters. He was breathing hard, slamming into me, hurting me and not seeming to care. I said his name, trying to be quiet, and got a hand slapped across my mouth again. I started to struggle, wondering if he’d stop, starting to wish he would, and felt his fingernails bite deeply into my side and my face.

The woman called out again, getting impatient, her voice a querulous whine that made my teeth ache. Or maybe that was the clenching them hard enough to splinter enamel. Was not going to beg Giles to stop. Wasn’t.

Until I did, a frantic whimper that barely made it out of my mouth and past his hand. That was all it took to bring him back.

He was deep in me, hard and nowhere near coming. Wondered afterwards if he would have. Not really what he got off on; straightforward violence and pain as a way of control. He’d hurt me plenty of times with that fucking crop, but never more than I wanted him to, and there was no contempt, no hatred behind it. Not for me, not for himself. I was being trained, disciplined and used; never felt like I was being abused. Maybe being a vampire made me see it differently but I didn’t really give a fuck about that. I was fine with it and so was Giles. But he’d never got a sound like that out of me before, and it stopped him dead.

He went very still then I felt his hands drop away from me and he stepped back, pulling out of me. I turned and watched him fasten his trousers, tucking his shirt in without looking at me. He grabbed the jar, went out there, served her and then locked the door. Anya was going to give him hell about closing the shop early if she came back.

I waited until I was sure he wasn’t going to come to me and then eased off the table. I didn’t bother with the zipper, just pulled my jeans up and went after him. He was in the loft, sitting in the chair he put there, surrounded by the scary books.

“No, Spike. Not now.”

I wasn’t expecting an apology. Just as well really.

“This is stupid, Giles. What they think doesn’t matter. They’re fucking stupid if –”

His fist was moving before I finished speaking. Felt my lip crack open and took three punches before he broke and fell to his knees, with me going after him and grabbing him. When I held him, he didn’t push me away. I’d have let him break bones if it got us to that point. I wasn’t complaining.

“I can’t – can’t do this, Spike.” He sounded lost, just like he had that night in my crypt when we’d started this.

“You’ve got to, Giles.” I stopped, hating myself and then said what needed to be said. “You going to break this promise too?”

His head jerked up. No tears, eyes glazed with self reproach. “Please, Spike...”

Not expecting this but I wasn’t going to crack, even though hearing him like that, imploring, pleading, was enough to make me shake with the wrongness.

I bent my head and kissed him, soft as I could, working at it until I felt the tension go, felt him relax against me. My hand went to his cock, hidden behind too many clothes, and I fumbled with the zip, got it out, started to stroke it hard. Didn’t take long, and he was moaning as he kissed me, lying across my legs, his hands grabbing onto me as his hips jerked.

“In me, Giles. You’re going to come in me...”

He shook his head but I wasn’t going to let what had just happened spoil anything for us and I wasn’t going to take him, though he’d have let me, I was sure of it. I pushed him back, my mouth on his again, swallowing his protests and reaching back to hold his cock. Slipped it inside me, welcoming the burning rasp, and I felt the change as soon as I was around him. He held me, began to move, began to make me move, taking us both somewhere we didn’t need to talk. After a while he put me beneath him and finished like that, his head against my neck, his eyes leaking tears.

If I could have, I’d have hurt Xander. Not killed him. Just hurt him, the way he’d hurt Giles the night before.

It had been a week since he told them about us and they’d done nothing, said nothing. Thought they’d accepted it. Giles knew them better than I did and he didn’t seem concerned, so I relaxed. Should have known payback was coming.

Giles had been invited around to Xander and Anya’s place; special dinner, six month anniversary of swapping spit or something. I could have cared less if I’d missed it, but I tagged along, both of us thinking he meant me too. Harris had mentioned it when I was there, said they wanted the whole gang over...I was even carrying the fucking gift. Never occurred to me that toleration only went so far and with Harris it wouldn’t stretch to cover the head of a fucking pin.

Wouldn’t let me in. Looked at Giles who’d already stepped over the threshold, smiled at me. Cold eyes, spark of cruelty in them. Said something about standards. Giles’ face...shock, hurt...then Harris pushed it that little bit too far. Giles would probably have bought the whole not inviting me in, who knew when I’d turn, can’t risk the woman I love, bit. Why not? Ignoring it cost him that teacher Angelus killed, after all, but then Harris had to get smart, had to mouth off, with all of them clustered behind him, faces horrified or stunned.

“You can manage without him for a few hours can’t you, Giles? He can wait in the alley outside; might be able to earn a bit of pocket money so he can buy his own blood. Out of interest, what do you charge a trick, Spike?”

Dawn gasped, her eyes all wide and Giles cracked. Pushed past me and went.

I wanted to kill Harris. Really wanted to. I could imagine it and the smell of his spilled blood was so thick in the air my mouth watered. Then I heard Giles throwing up outside and I held out the present, let it drop just as his hand reached out for it automatically – crystal glasses, set of four, Giles always did have good taste - and grabbed his hand to tug him to me, so he was outside his threshold.  Such a careless boy. Oldest trick in the book that one.  Couldn’t hurt him and didn’t want to take the time for an argument, not with Giles throwing up yesterday’s breakfast by the sound of it. So I ran my hand down his cheek and kissed it gently before pushing him away like the trash he was.

“Night, Judas.”

Lost on him, but I hoped he spent the night scrubbing his face raw before crawling in next to his pet demon.

Got Giles home, put him to bed, lay by him as he stared silently at the ceiling, got his back when I tried to hold him, got nothing but empty, averted eyes in the morning and an endless, nervous babble from Anya at the shop that mercifully ended when she left on her errand.

I stopped thinking about the night before and concentrated on the present. We were all tangled up and Giles still hadn’t said anything. I eased him off me and he rolled onto his back, eyes open and blank.

“Giles?”

He whispered it but he might as well have screamed. “What have I done? To you, to them...”

“What you had to. Don’t worry about me; I pushed you into that; thought it’d make you feel better.”

He looked at me, incredulity shouldering away shock. “You thought that making me lose control until I had sex while there were customers in the shop –”

“Only one and I don’t think she noticed.”

“ – and brutalising you when you’d done nothing to deserve that level of –”

“I’m a vampire, not a bloody china doll.”

“Spike, will you shut up? I – this isn’t working. I can’t – you saw how they were last night. You didn’t deserve that and they don’t deserve –”

“Fuck them! What about you? You don’t get to do what you want, while they’re off shacking up with vengeance demons and getting into scary witch stuff? Did either of them ask you about that first? Willow and Xander ... what are they anyway? Your fucking parents?”

“They’re family.”

“And what am I?”

He just stared at me. Buggered if I knew, either.





Part Eight

I woke up hurting and in all the wrong places. My right arm was blazing with pain but I couldn’t move it. Maybe someone had ripped it off and beaten me over the head with it, because that hurt too. Then I managed to open my eyes and the first thing I saw was Harris. Torturing me was one thing but making me hallucinate him was going too far. I made an effort and managed to spit out, “Fuck off,” before my eyes closed again. Heard him charge off, yelling for Giles and felt worse. Didn’t want to see Giles. Knew it would hurt more than my arm. Pain was bringing the memories back. Pity. Amnesia had its plus side.

I remembered everything I’d said before I went out the night before; yelling at Giles, cursing the fucking Scoobies, fuck, I’d even told him I wasn’t coming back, not even if he did pay me. I’d let him hurt me in the shop and it hadn’t worked and I had run out of ideas. He’d gone back to being silent, even when we were home; wouldn’t touch me, wouldn’t look at me, and after a few hours I’d lost my patience and stormed off to kill something. Probably not the best decision in the world.


“He woke up and told me to...uh, go away,” Harris babbled. The room felt full of people; I could feel them pressing against the air and I tried to push them away without looking at them.

“He moved his arm!” Yeah, I’m gifted, I thought. Christ. I forced myself to open my eyes again, focus, and speak distinctly.

“Fuck off – all of you.”

Awkward silence. Faces were moving around; why wouldn’t they keep still? Made me feel dizzy.

“Spike? We thought you were dead.”

Dawn. For her, I made an effort. “Don’t stick around after, pet. Go dusty, remember?”

“Give him some space. Everyone out. I’m going to start the spell.” What the fuck was Red talking about?

“No, you bloody well aren’t!” I snarled it out, game face on. Helped the pain a bit. The demon didn’t care about suffering when there were people around who needed a good killing.

No one left. Guess I wasn’t scaring them or they wanted to see Willow turn me into something she could step on.

Giles was standing at the back of the room, leaning against the wall, arms folded, head down. When I said that his head jerked up, eyes flat. He pushed them aside, came over to the bed and smacked me on the head. It hurt. Not hard enough to be more than a brush of his hand really, but my head throbbed viciously. “Fangs away, Spike, or I’ll finish the job that demon started last night. You’re hurt and this spell of Willow’s will help. Lie still, shut up and behave.”

“’Behave?’ Going to make me, Giles? Guess you might find a few square inches with no bruises. Course; not all down to the demon are they? Made a few yourself, didn’t you?” Meant it to be nasty and it was. Giles looked hurt. Lost. Then his lips tightened and I felt a flicker of apprehension. He looked pissed off again. I wasn’t sure I was up to dealing with him angry when I felt like this.

I shut my eyes again and heard people finally leaving. One heartbeat stayed behind and I sighed and took a look. Harris.

“I saved your life last night,” he said.

“I remember.” He’d come out of nowhere and called out a warning; meant the demon’s clawed hand had missed my head and just sliced into my arm instead.

“I carried you here. You bled all over me. You were unconscious by then or you’d probably have been cursing me. Spent the night going after whatever Willow and Tara needed to patch you up. Called in sick because I’d probably hammer my hand flat I’m so tired today.” He did look rough.

“This the part where I say ‘thanks’ and we bond with a hug?”

“Not if you want that arm to stay attached.” He stood up, hesitated. “Spike. I hate you. I really do. Don’t hate Giles though. If he wants you, he can have you, though I still don’t know why – never mind.”

“Not up to you to say.”

“No. No it isn’t. We owe him an apology for trying.” He didn’t sound convinced about it.

“Owe me one too.”

“Don’t hold your breath waiting.” Now that was said with conviction.

“Vampire. Don’t breathe.”

“You are sick, aren’t you? That was lame.” Harris had a point. My head was aching and I wanted to sleep, but I had a feeling I might not wake up if I did. If Red was set on doing a spell, God knows how I’d end up. Enthusiastic amateurs were a pain.

“Sorry. Come back later and I’ll tell you just what I think of your schemes and plans and fucking selfish behaviour.”

“Save it. I got it from all the others after you and Giles left the party. Never seen Willow so angry and Dawn –”

“They didn’t know you were going to do that? Set Giles up for a fall?” Shouldn’t have made me feel pleased – what did I care? -  but it did.

“No, they didn’t. Don’t get thinking you’re Mr Popular though. They were bothered about Giles, more than anything.”

“Giles.”

“Yes. Remember him? The man you just kicked in the teeth, metaphorically speaking.” Xander sounded more sure of himself; course he’d just managed to work the conversation around to something I’d done wrong.

“Doesn’t want me anymore. Not if it means you lot getting on his back. Shouldn’t have brought me here, back to him. You should have taken me to my crypt.”

He sighed. “Stupid little bloodsucker, aren’t you? Wouldn’t say that if you’d seen his face when I brought you in. Or if you’d seen what he did to the demon who hurt you.”

That got me trying to sit up which was a terrible fucking idea. I didn’t have the energy to scream but I tried. Harris grabbed me and pushed me back. “Giles told you to stay still.”

“Fuck that! He went after that thing? By himself? And you let him, you tosser?”

He poked me in the chest, hitting a sore spot, not that he had much choice. “Wrong. We went after it. Want to see my back? Gone an interesting shade of bruise. Giles took a hammering too.”

Let that sink in. “You killed it?”

“Giles did. Eventually.”

“Gave him some trouble?” It had given me plenty - course, I’d softened it up a bit for them ...

“Trouble? No. I think he just liked hurting it.” He looked vaguely admiring. “Giles was angry with it.”

I closed my eyes. Too much to think about. “Get Red back. Tell her she can do the healing spell.”

“Want Giles too? He could hold your hand.” He said it with an effort and I could tell he was trying to make a joke, not get in a dig.

Shook my head. Wanted it more than a relief from the pain but didn’t want to see the disappointment in Giles’ eyes because I’d let him down by leaving, given up so easily. “Tell him –”

“Not your fucking messenger, Spike.”

He got to the door before I could say it but I got it out eventually. “Thanks.”

“Don’t mention it. Please.”

Still a git.

Red patched me up, bit of chanting, way too many candles and something to drink that was mostly blood but tasted vile enough that I guessed she’d doctored it up. She didn’t say anything but she smiled at me when she left. Tried to remember the last time she’d done that. Couldn’t. Maybe she never had.

Heard the door open and close as they all left and the house settled down. Giles was moving about a bit, but he didn’t come near me and I went to sleep after a while, feeling my body healing and taking all my energy to do it.

Woke up when the cuff snapped around my wrist on the arm that hadn’t got hurt.

“Giles?”

He ignored me, pulled my arm up and fastened the other part of the cuff to the bed.

“What are you playing at?”

He looked at me then. “I’m not playing, Spike. I never was. Can you lift your injured arm?”

I tried; still stiff but it felt attached again. “Looks like it.”

“Good.” Snap, snap.

“Uh, Giles ...”

“Shut up.”

“No!”

He reached out and grabbed something, held it up. A gag. Fine. I settled for glaring at him and he waited long enough to be sure I wasn’t going to talk and then sat down on the bed, looking down at his hands.

“You left. Without permission. You got brought back by Xander covered with so much blood -” His voice was level, almost bored, but his hands were shaking. “You required the efforts of four people to keep you from losing your arm. You also needed blood and there was no time to get it.”

I opened my mouth to tell him I was sorry and his head lifted, eyes widening in a warning. He rolled up his sleeve; showed me a mark. “You couldn’t feed. We drew blood and spooned it into you.”

‘We’? He knew what I wanted to know and he told me. “Tara, Xander and myself. Dawn wanted to but it wasn’t needed. Willow was too busy with the healing.”

“Why, Giles?” Didn’t care if he gagged me, as long as he told me.

He stared at me, looking almost shy. “They ... did it for me. I never quite realised how much they –”

“Love you?”

He ducked his head, uncomfortable with the thought that people he’d known for years might care about him. “Something like that.”

Felt tired. I was glad Giles had sorted it out with them; he’d lost Buffy and I didn’t think he could stand losing them too, but I wasn’t sure where it left me. Two weeks and I’d got them thinking about him again, and about sodding time too, but did that mean he didn’t need me now? Fuck. What about me? I think that was the first time I admitted to myself without trying to hide it, that the bargain wasn’t all for his benefit.  “So, it’s all sorted and it’s soppy families all around. Great. Couldn’t be happier. If you’ll just let me go, I’ll bugger off and you can all pretend this never happened.”

“Is that what you want, Spike?”

I shrugged as best I could with my hurt arm, staring at the window. Sunny, from what I could see through the curtain. I’d have to stick around a few hours yet.

He took hold of my face in one hand, turned it to him. “I believe I told you not to do that. Answer me properly, please. Do you want to go?”

Had enough of drama and I owed him for treating me like I meant something, even if it hadn’t lasted. I lied to him, meeting his eyes the way he liked, trying to make it easy for him to chuck me out. “It was fun, but I’ve had enough, Giles. No hard feelings?”

“None whatsoever, Spike.” Cool, polite, vintage Giles.

He stood up.

“Where are you going?” I pulled at the cuffs to remind him that I wasn’t going anywhere until he unlocked them.

“Lunch. A rather late one, but still...”

“Let me go, then.” I felt pinned down, with that faint quiver that came from being tied by Giles making my body wake up and take notice. Started to wonder what was going on. Cuffing me - if he wanted me out of his house, he was going about it a funny way. Looked at him, but his face wasn’t giving anything away.

“No, that’s not going to happen, Spike. I could say it’s because you’re still sick, but you’re well on the mend. I could point out that it’s daylight, but I do have blankets you could borrow. No. You’re staying because I don’t want you to go. If you try, when I eventually stop being so angry that tying you up is all that’s saving you from a beating, I’ll drag you back here. If you tell me you hate me, I’ll ignore you; if you misbehave, I’ll teach you manners.” He paused, looked back at me and said softly, “If I thought it really bothered you, I still wouldn’t let you go.”

“Why?”

His face went still and his eyes held the same expression the demon must have seen as he died. “Mine, remember?”

“I didn’t mean to do it, Giles.” Fuck. I sounded pitiful. What had Willow given me? I didn’t  - quite - believe the last part. He wouldn’t keep me against my will and he couldn’t, not really. But I liked hearing him say that, hearing him claim me, and he knew it. That’s when I knew he’d forgiven me for saying I was going.

He sighed and the tension dissolved. “You never bloody do.”

He walked back and leaned over, kissed me hard until I nearly broke the bed post trying to get my arm around him to bring him closer. “I killed it, you know,” he said abruptly, getting us away from what we’d been saying before we said something we’d regret.

“Harr –Xander told me. Left out all the details. You tell me.”

“Well  - you should rest.” Would have sounded more convincing if he hadn’t sat down on the bed and got comfortable.

“Fuck that. Tell me how you killed it.”

He grinned, looked about ten. “We found it by the Alpert crypt –” he began.

“Uh, Giles? Going to take these off first?” I rattled the cuffs again.

He looked at me. “Why?”

“I could pretend to be the demon,” I offered, waiting for the smile I knew I’d get, the reluctant, slow one.

“I killed the demon, Spike. How far do you want me to go with a re-enactment?”

I tried pursing my lips and looking wistful. “Just want to get a good idea of what you did to the ugly bastard. Talking’s not the same as a visual.”

“Really?” He sounded sceptical.

“No. Well, yes, but it’s not just that.”

Giles frowned. “So why do you want me to uncuff you?” His eyes widened. “Are they hurting you? Willow will kill me if those stitches break before you’ve healed.”

“Relax, Giles.” Wasn’t going to trick him into unlocking them. “Not hurting me being like this. Just – just want to –”

“What?” he prompted. “Spike, just tell me. Brutal frankness may not be one of your most endearing qualities, but it has its uses.”

I stared at him. I could beg him to fuck me, and not care how loud I screamed his name when I came, but telling him I wanted the cuffs off and him in bed beside me so I could just fucking hold him, get my hands on him when I thought I’d never get chance to do it again... couldn’t say that. Not that I was embarrassed; whatever Willow had made me drink might have been magical, but I would have put money on it being backed up with good old fashioned drugs; I felt as inclined to run off at the mouth as I did when I’d drunk too much. No; didn’t want to say it because it wasn’t fair on him. Two weeks and I wanted to fucking cuddle as if we were – no. Might be the drugs talking, might not, but I didn’t want to scare him off either way. Scared me, too.

 “Oh, fuck. Giles, I just want to know you trust me not to run off, that’s all. And I can’t sleep like this and my eyes are closing. Red doped me up good and proper.”

He studied me. “I think there’s more to it than that, but very well.” He stood to unlock the cuffs and then hesitated as if he didn’t want to leave. “I’ll let you rest.”

“Don’t have to go.” He frowned and I said, “I still want to hear about the fight.” Couldn’t help it; I reached out and took his wrist, tugging him back down on the bed. His hand turned and closed around mine for a moment, reassuringly warm. It was enough.

“You were mad going up against it alone. Did you see the size of it? Eight foot, easily.”

I nodded. “Tricky part was that claw. Razor-sharp, that was.”

He moved to lie beside me, pulled me close without commenting on it at all, and started to describe a fight that got more epic with every sentence. I drifted off to sleep with Giles’ voice soft in my ear, telling me about blood and guts, slicing and dicing, and slept like a baby.





Part Nine

The next day and night I spent in the house but Giles said I was fit enough to go out as soon as the sun went down on the second day, so I stopped complaining. He was lying on the couch reading, his feet in my lap, and I was trying to decide whether rubbing them would count as tickling or a come on. Either would make him put down the book but they’d have entirely different results. Well, I supposed they’d end up with me in the same position - face down, stark bollocks naked ...

Then I remembered something and sat up straight, making Giles tip his tea all over him.

“Spike! Good lord, man!”

“My coat!”

“My shirt?”

“Oh, it’ll wash. Giles, my coat; it got sliced up too; you didn’t throw it away, did you?”

Must have sounded panicky because he took his feet off me, went over to the cupboard and pulled it out. “Here you are,” he said, tossing it over and going to mop up the spill. “Good as new.”

I stood up, caught it and looked it over. It smelled too clean, but that would wear off, and the sleeve, which I remembered being in tatters, was repaired so well I had to peer at it to see the stitches.

“Who did this?”

Giles sat down and stretched out again. “Dawn sponged off the blood, with many exclamations of disgust, and Tara did the sewing. I, uh, emptied the pockets first.” He looked mildly embarrassed. I thought back to what I usually keep in there and grinned.

“Bet you did. God, I could kiss them!”

“A thank you note should suffice,” he said, all prim and proper.

 “You don’t think they’d prefer a kiss? Maybe even a hug –”

Best innocent look, but it was wasted as he didn’t look at me, didn’t even move apart from flicking over a page in his book. “I say where your mouth goes, Spike. Not you.” And we were back in that place again, as if we’d never left, the place where Giles’s hand was resting lightly against the back of my neck and I never knew quite when he was going to tighten his grip.

“You do?”

“Always.” He gave me this considering look, as if he was hungry and trying to decide on the best place to start nibbling. Got me hard every time, that look, but I always knew he’d beaten me to it, because by the time he was looking like that, he was ready to fuck me and I had to catch up fast because he didn’t like waiting.

He crooked his finger, jerked his head, and I went over to him. Lazy git didn’t even sit up, just grabbed my wrist and pulled me so I was straddling him, with one knee wedged between him and the back of the couch, the other about to slip off.

“Want to go upstairs?” I said. “Not enough room on here really.”

“If I wanted suggestions I’d have told you to make them.”

I didn’t have time to work that one out because he sighed and shoved me onto the floor. I landed in a heap and he threw two cushions beside me, lay down with his head on them and looked at me expectantly. I got back where I was before, sitting astride him, and waited.

“Quite comfortable now?”  he asked.

“Hard on the knees.”

“Not on mine,” he pointed out.

“And your comfort’s all that matters.”

He rolled his eyes. “Finally, some light dawns.”

I leaned forward, putting my hands flat on the floor and asked him just where my mouth should be. Could feel how hard he was and I wondered how long it would take for it to be on his cock. Waited for him to tell me what to do, feeling everything narrow to a point and disappear until it was just us.

He brushed one finger against his lip and I bent down to kiss him there, fighting down impatience. Been so long ...he hadn’t done more than hold me since I got hurt. Wanted more. Wanted him. Wanted him to stop thinking and stop treating me as if I would break, as if he had to hold back. He didn’t. Not ever, not with me. That was one thing I could give him and he wasn’t taking it, not really. Now and then, like when he fucked me in the shop with that old biddy waiting, but he held back even before I was hurt.

Fuck. Not like I wanted him to turn into a monster, channel Angelus at his worst. Didn’t. That kind of cruelty wasn’t in him. Ruthless, yes; sadistic, no. But there was as much darkness in a Watcher as there was in a Slayer and it needed feeding, needed attention. Knew all about that and if I couldn’t hand it out any more, taking it was just as good. Nearly. Problem was going to be getting what I wanted from Giles without asking for it. If I asked, he’d have to say ‘no’ because he was still on edge. I’d had time to think in the last two days, with Giles being gentle all over the place. He wasn’t exactly spoiling me or pampering me, but I’d got used to him controlling me, guiding me, making me do everything his way. Taking that away had left me blind. I wanted him back, full force, no hesitation. If it was bothering him that the last time he’d fucked me he’d hurt me, I wanted to tell him it didn’t matter, because I understood why he’d needed that and deliberately encouraged him. Wasn’t sure if he’d already figured it out though. Or how he’d react to being manipulated if he hadn’t.

So I kissed him, tongue flickering against his, gentle and soft, letting the ache build up because I needed something to be hurting me right then.

He pushed me back and looked at me, little bit puzzled, little bit curious. I wriggled, letting him feel how hard I was, and he laughed.

“What?” I said.

“You’re so impatient sometimes, Spike. Do you know how much fun that is? When you’re practically quivering?” Said it like a joke, but I wasn’t smiling. He leaned up on his elbows and looked me over. “Stand up. Strip,” he said.

“No ‘please’?” I said, letting out some of the frustration with a dig at him. He’d been working on my manners since I moved in, as if we had a garden party to go to.

“Oh, I do beg your pardon, Spike. Please stand up. Please strip for me. Please get your arse back here as quickly as possible because apparently we’re in a terrible rush to get it beaten and buggered.”

He sounded amused but he was starting to simmer. I turned up the heat, standing and moving a few steps away so he could watch me without craning his head. “Thought you’d forgotten how to do either.”

“You’re still remarkably over dressed, Spike,” he said pointedly, ignoring my words, letting his eyes roam over me.

Cool voice, bored eyes. Not going to get a reaction. Right. I peeled out of my clothes, dropping them beside me. He glanced at them and I waited to be told to pick them up and fold them, or something else that would make me want to scream and break things. Want to. Didn’t mean I would.

“Turn around and kneel down.”

Did it, trying to relax and just let him set the pace, but still filled with impatience that had me quivering with the need to skip all of this and just get to the part where he took everything away but him. Three days since I’d come. Three fucking days and two nights sleeping beside Giles and he hadn’t touched me the way I wanted him to. He came up behind me and brought my arms back, crossing my wrists behind me. “Think you could keep them like this for long?”

I didn’t answer. Didn’t want games, though Giles could come up with some good ones. Wanted fucking and to know that we were back to normal. I was so hard that pulling my jeans off had nearly made me come for God’s sake, and Giles was messing around – what was he doing anyway? What was the point of this, when I could tell he was as ready as I was? Tried to think but I was naked and kneeling with Giles right there beside me and that just wasn’t helping. Any more of this and I wouldn’t be able to remember my own name. Three minutes ago I’d been working up the energy to reach for the remote. Now I was ready to kill something if I didn’t come soon. Giles had that effect on me. Made everything matter more and did it so fast ...

“I asked you a question.” Getting a nice edge to his voice.

“Tie me.”

Came out sounding more like an order than a plea and I felt him hesitate, the way a cat does just before it pounces. I didn’t mean it to be so abrupt but I needed help staying still. If he didn’t do something, I’d break, grab him and then he’d have to walk away; I knew that much, even the way I felt, I knew he wouldn’t –couldn’t – let me get away with that. He moved away and opened a drawer, came back with –

“Cotton thread?”

Three strands wrapped around me, cutting into my wrists, making me go still as they’d snap so easily and he’d never believe it wasn’t on purpose.

“Not meant to hold you; just to remind you where I want your hands. You could break anything I used, if you wanted to.”

“Yes, but –”

His hand slipped around and covered my mouth. “Stop talking. You’re supposed to be kissing me.”

I bit his finger and ran my tongue over it. He bent his head, smiled against my shoulder and slid his finger between my lips. By the time I’d finished with it, if his finger could have come, it would have, and he was biting the back of my neck, marking it with his teeth, his arm round me so I could feel his heart beating against my back. Fast. Should have been. I was good at this.

He stopped me, lay back against the cushions and told me to turn around, with his voice low and husky. I managed it without snapping the thread and knelt beside him. I don’t know where he’d found the time, but he’d got rid of everything but his shirt. It was still buttoned and his cock was framed against white cotton, making him look more naked than I did.

“Where now, Giles?” Make it your fucking cock because I’m dying here, I thought, looking at him and imagining bending forward and using my tongue on him as he lay very still, his hand on his cock, holding it up for me to tongue and taste, suck and swallow...

“Anywhere, Spike. Just don’t make me come, or you won’t get to.”

I think he made it up as he went along. The daydreams fled and I glared at him. “What?”

“I’ve lost count of how many times you’ve argued with me or been slow to obey in the last ten minutes.” He was starting to sound pissed off.

“You’re not making any sense.” Frustration gave my words an edge and his eyes narrowed.

“Whining isn’t an attractive mood and in anyone over the age of two, it’s unforgivable. You’re not trying to understand. You just want me to fuck you.”

“There’s something wrong with that plan? You’re as ready as I am; why are you waiting?”

He rolled his eyes. “I’m waiting for you.” Cold voice now with a hint of warning but I was past caring.

“Huh? I’m right here, Giles. I’m fucking here. Want me to beg? I’ll beg. Want me to whimper? I’m seconds away. Been so long. I need you. I need you in me right now. You’re driving me fucking crazy.”

“Teach you to go out and nearly get yourself fucking killed then!” Knew we hadn’t quite worked our way past that one, despite all the cups of blood in bed. Giles didn’t swear much; too many years minding his language around the brats. He’d been all sweet reason and consideration; should have seen this coming because if there was one thing I knew after a century with Dru, it was that an argument with a lover never ended until someone was bleeding. With Dru, it had been literal and it was usually my blood. With Giles, I was fairly certain I’d still end up losing but I doubted he’d get quite as creative with a skewer.

“So this is your way of punishing me for that? Get me so hard I can’t fucking think straight and then yell at me for wanting you? Because it sucks.”

Just like that, he went back to level voice, calm curiosity, research man. How he managed it when he was half naked, I don’t know. “Tell me what would hurt then. Tell me what would punish you, as you don’t seem to be disputing that you deserve it. I’m interested.”

I floundered. “You could – you could – fuck, I don’t know. Thrash me. Yeah. Get out that crop of yours and - ”

He snorted. “You’d love it. Try again. What do you hate me doing the most?”

Took me about thirty seconds to admit what it took no time at all to figure out. “Ignoring me.”

“Want me to do that?”

“No.”

“Isn’t this better?”

“Suppose.”

“Then stop whining and do as you’re told.” He didn’t sound angry any more and I relaxed a little, thinking that I’d got my point across and any minute now he’d be slicking himself up and sliding in me.

“Kiss you anywhere?” I said, not wanting to make any more mistakes. He nodded. “But not make you come. So I can’t kiss you anywhere interesting.”

He closed his eyes for a second as if he was in anguish at my stupidity. Had a Latin teacher who used to do that, but I never had the urge to kiss him when he had his eyes shut.

“Are you trying to be insulting about 90 percent of my body?” he said finally, opening his eyes and giving me a hard look.

“No, but –”

He rolled over, stood up, walked off. “Giles? Where are you – oh.”

He unlocked the chest he keeps his weapons in and took out the crop he uses on me. “Think of this as a commercial break, Spike,” he whispered in my ear, kneeling me up so my head and shoulders were resting on the couch, my hands still behind me. “A way of relieving my considerable irritation with your continuing –” He paused for thought and then brought the crop down as hard as he could, “complaints.”

A cloud of dust came up. “You hit the couch.”

“It’s hard to miss at this range.”

“Not my backside.”

He slipped the crop between my knees, running it along the inside of my thigh until it rested against my balls, making me gasp and shudder, back arching inward. “Does that explain why? As you weren’t paying attention earlier when we discussed just what punishes you and what you get off on?”

“Giles, I don’t know what you want me to do.” Frustration had stopped being an emotion and felt like a second skin, tight and suffocating. Desire and arousal were spreading and swelling inside me with nowhere to go, until I felt like a balloon about to burst.

“Yes, you do.” He sounded calm, adamant and unsympathetic. If I hadn’t seen how hard he was, the head of his cock glossed over and wet, I’d have thought he couldn’t care less if we fucked now or waited another three fucking days.

“Tell me? Please?” I waited and then added, “Help me?”

Didn’t ask him that often. Heard him sigh and then he knelt beside me, fisted his hand in my hair, yanked my head around and kissed me hard, letting it melt into something sweeter when I kissed him back. God, his mouth on mine was all it took to stop the teeth-grinding ache in my balls from being unendurable, because I knew one more nip from his teeth on my lip, one more slow thrust of his tongue and I’d come and  -

He pulled back suddenly, breathing a little faster and ran his tongue over his lips. “I don’t think that did help. Sorry.” He didn’t sound very sorry to me. “Start over, Spike. You do ... do what you want to. Anything. To me. Now.”

I opened my mouth to ask a question and he glared at me. I shut it again. Anything I wanted but no more questions? I could do that. I thought about it. Anything? Did that include getting my fucking hands free? Because it would make it much more fun...

He got back on the couch and sat there, waiting. I stood up, turned around so my hands were in front of him and tugged my wrists apart, being very careful not to break the thread. He circled my wrists with his hands and said, “If it’s what you want ...” and pulled his hands apart, freeing me. He had to do that. He’d put it on me; wasn’t up to me to take it off, no matter how much the rules had changed. Not that they had, not really. I was still doing what Giles had told me to do. That ran under everything, like a river under the desert.

‘What I want’? Why wouldn’t it be? I knelt down and wrapped my hand around his cock, feeling it heavy and full in my hand. Had to taste it, just had to ... and if I did, I wouldn’t stop and he’d come and it would all be over and  - fuck.

I looked at him. “Want to say something.”

He didn’t say not to, so I carried on. “Going to make you come. You need to. Doesn’t count, right? I won’t, I promise, but you, yeah, you need to.”

He closed his eyes and I took that as permission, bent down and took him in, nearly coming just from the taste of him, the feel of it, the smell of arousal and need. Tried to do exactly what I’d done to his finger, trying to remember how I’d licked and sucked at it, wondering if he’d notice what I was doing. The way his hips were jerking and the sounds he was making, maybe not. I pushed him down with one hand on his leg, keeping the other on his cock, took him in deep and felt that pause as his cock got harder and he came. Knew he’d been close. I looked up at him and his eyes were open again and he was watching me, face still not back to normal, but it never bothered him.

Giles never hid, not from me. I’ve seen him come. I’ve seen him...and he never shut me out, always let me share it, feel it with him.

Now he was looking at me and he smiled. “I think you were right,” he murmured, his voice husky again, catching in his throat. “So, is it your turn now?” He leaned back and spread his legs, just a little, but with him that was as blatant an invitation as it got.

Sat back and looked at him. Knowing I could fuck him – and yeah, that was what he was offering – was tempting, but when I fucked Giles, I wanted it to be on a bed. And I was going to take my time.

I’d also had time to think. ‘Start over’. I’d asked for help and he’d given me a second chance. Do what he wanted and no talking back – or do it my way, show him what I could do when I put my mind to pleasing him.

Yeah. Let myself dream on for a minute and then sat down beside him, pulled him around so his feet were back in my lap and smiled at him.

His eyes crinkled at the edges as he smiled back at me and he said, “Come here.”

So my knee got wedged again and I waited patiently. He sat up and wrapped his arms around me and kissed me ...love, approval, appreciation ... all there, and then there was nothing but heat and we were on the floor and we were rolling and biting and grabbing and his skin was warm under my hands and he was moaning in my ear, even as his teeth bit down on it, and his fingers were in me and it hurt just enough to make me want to tell him to do it again but by the time I managed to say it, he’d already done it.




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