Never Time Enough
The two very handsome men wandered out of the ‘green’ door at Heathrow to be greeted by an older gent in a very thick tweed coat and scarf.
The greeting was done with a firm handshake for both then an almost predictable, “Right well… I trust your trip was satisfactory… Thank you for the call from New York, I had been a little concerned regards times.” Giles then pointed the way and Xander pushed the luggage trolley toward the sliding doors and out into a rather bleak evening of driving rain.
“My apologies… the weather seems to have had a bit of a turn for the worse.”
To which Spike winked at his Consort then replied, “What? You an’ your witchy lot not on top of orderin’ that sorta thing yet?” before rolling his eyes and adding, “Looks like we’re gonna just have ta’ stay in during the day Pet… What will we think to do???!!”
To which Giles swiftly tugged off his glasses and began to rub them furiously whilst trying desperately to remember which level he had parked on. “Yes… well… weather control is a little beyond the coven… I am surprised you’re not staying with us just while you get established again?”
Xander seemed happy to let his partner do the talking – besides which he was so close to laughing aloud after the next comment that he almost choked, “Oh come on Rupert?! All that estrogen, surprised you didn’t meet us with yer purple and green suffragette kit on.”
Giles all but threw his glasses back on and huffed rather resignedly, “Yes well every job does have a few drawbacks.”
“Was only kiddin’ mate, yer a right champion fer masculinity Ripper an’ boy and me here well thankful for the welcoming committee…” Spike then fell silent and shoved his hands further into the pockets of his leather duster as they entered the lift turned and, like their fellow travelers, stared at the door as they started to move.
Third floor and the conversation began again as Spike said rather gently, “ ‘Preciate the lift mate… You need directions? Red said a bunch of roads ’ve been changed since I was here last…”
Giles was more worried about which row the car was in, so rather distractedly mumbled, “I should be fine… I am well versed in the nicer parts of Surrey Spike…”
“Just didn’t want you goin’ on the cooks tour.”
A rather relieved Giles led them to the coven’s four wheel drive and as he piled their bags into the back, sighed, “I assure you Spike, Xander, there was no chance of that… now please! Let’s just leave, before I have to pay another half hour for parking in this dreadful place.”
In the end it was Spike who paid for the parking, there was no misdirection, and after the car pulled up in the rather grand driveway and the group alighted, it was Xander who ushered their old friend into a space the Mated Consort had not seen for… a few days… but Spike… for many decades.
The lights still used the same brass switch… in its time, state of the art. It revealed a rather grand, recently refurbished entrance hall, wide staircase and open doors to a sitting room with roaring fire.
Giles was rather taken aback by the opulence, Spike whispered under his breath, “Finally! Thank you Angelus” and Xander closed his eyes and remembered. The house had always been ‘their place’.
Angelus had arranged it… finally. Or strictly speaking was very over Darla’s vindictive behavior toward all her ‘offspring’ and the household generally.
After almost three months of torture at Darla’s hands William’s pleas were finally heard, Angelus conceded that his GrandeChilde and Consort should have a ‘safe house’, one with a basement properly equipped for when Dru was being… difficult, or the Matron of the Aurelian line wanted her Angelus to play with alone.
Later it might be argued that the house was actually earned as a reward from its previous owners by William the Bloody and Consort, rather than ‘given as gift’ by the GrandSire, but that was almost irrelevant – the fact that Angelus endorsed that the two (and sometimes his Childe) had a safe haven away from Darla was everything.
The earning had been oddly easy. Will was on the prowl and for ‘Darla reasons’ Xander was with him. She had decided that sending a Mated human to a multi demon clan annual ‘coming out party’ might be vaguely amusing – particularly as many demons didn’t hold the stupid boy’s status in such high esteem, and she might well be rid of him and the pathetic William at the same time. Angelus still seemed obsessed with the boy, despite her fine efforts at beating it out of all of them. Sometimes she really did kick herself for ever turning the roguish Irishman… but then he would be all crafty and killing and then fighting and f#@king... So really… who could resist!
Things had gone rather well, Angelus and Darla there for the first part. Dru was having one of her ‘moments’ so had been chained and gagged in the cellar with her collection of dolls around her for comfort, and two of their strongest minions ready to subdue her again should she escape. Rampage was one thing – but not in the middle of London in the summer social season! Even Darla drew the line at that.
The senior Aurelians had departed, Angelus having just made a rather lucrative deal with a Crent’ath demon family were wealthy – very wealthy – they dealt in diamonds and were quite enthralled by the Aurelian family’s European connections. They had the mines in South Africa and traded into England but Angelus had the contacts in Brussels, Madrid, Amsterdam and Paris, plus some in St Petersburg – though the Russians had their own mines.
Darla was bored by the ‘business talk’ and insisted they leave to go hunting the instant a handshake agreement was reached. It left William and Xander at the party alone – just as Darla had planned.
What she didn’t plan was the ruckus that erupted shortly after midnight, nor her disappointment of a great grand childe and his pathetic mated plaything ‘saving the day’ yet again. Their heroics this time involved the children of the Crent’aths, two pretty twin girls – who but for prehensile tails and slightly pointed ears, could pass for human – indeed did on most days in their father’s exclusive inner London landmark diamond shop. They were careful to coiffeur and couture appropriately, were elegant and well spoken, and at eighteen, considered ‘quite the catch’ in both demon and (oblivious) human circles.
When the fight broke out, fate had it that the girls were both dancing with Xander and William. The inner white knight and gentleman (respectively) emerged and the young women/demons were ushered behind their dance partners.
Apparently the fight was directly related to their father’s trading with humans, and their terrified sobbing mother was being held fast by several vampires forced to watch while their dear father had the rear horn on his head (usually concealed under a hat) torn from its moorings before being kicked unconscious to the chant, “Human lover, human lover!” and “Trade with the warm bloods who kill us… traitor.”
When the mob turned to the girls with a “Oh look it’s the Aurelian whimp, GrandSire’s not around boy!” William whispered, “I’ll take the seven on the right, you take the four on the left and keep the girls safe. ‘s ain’t gonna be pretty.” Then he gave Xander the most excited feral grin and launched himself at the assailants.
The girls huddled down in a corner behind their two protectors and watched as Xander let his fangs drop and his training and fully Mated status kick in.
The ensuing skirmish was fast and furious. Xander pulling out his concealed knives with familiar ease and using them with deadly precision. William’s mouth was bloodied as he dropped his fourth victim then roared and launched himself at a fifth who was advancing on one of the twins.
The end result was dusty… and gooey… depending on the species and established the two Aurelians as outright victors – in more ways than one.
Evan Crent’ath’s horn was a permanent casualty but all other injuries healed in time, and on the night, Master Vampire William and Mate Xander had their Spanish reputations endorsed wholeheartedly by all witnessing the event.
Unbeknownst to any of the Aurelians at the time, the two girls had close to a million pounds in diamonds stitched into each of their corsets, a precaution if something happened to their parents. As a direct result of the safety of their daughters and the treasure, Evan and his wife were more than happy to negotiate a ‘reward’ and pact of understanding with Angelus (and William) post evening.
A pledge from the Crent’aths resulted in the promise of a two hundred year ‘free of encumbrances’ lease of one of their country homes so that William and his Consort might use and enjoy – and that the Crent’ath family might utilize the same in the balmy summers of southern England.
It was William’s first family home since Darla had insisted on selling his after the ‘demise’ of his mother (and annexing the profits of the same for the general Aurelian coffers!)
It had always been up to Angelus to create minions in the past, but as Will was now a ‘Master’ of his own household, with territory that was happily negotiated with the local vampire clan (who considered having the ‘Aurelians on the block’ a distinct advantage), he needed to establish his own group of minions.
Xander had never taken much notice of the process before, and to Angelus it was made very apparent that all were mere cannon fodder or whores for the using, but for his Mated Master the selection seemed far more discerning. They traveled half way across London to find an elderly cook Agnes Beckett– in ill health and merely a kitchen hand, cleaning and peeling vegetables for a gentleman’s club. She was too stunned to speak as William greeted her and turned her one evening, and Xander reaped the benefit. She had been William’s family’s cook – loyal to the end but when the Mistress died, there was nothing for her. Now she was devoted to the Master and his Mate, stepping up to the task with pride and dedication.
Various other members of their minion in their small household were similarly carefully selected. Xander literally tripped over a young woman cradling a dead young child in a back alley as he and William made their way through the shadows to an early evening show in the West End. William relieved the grief stricken vagabond of her putrid bundle then commissioned a carriage, turned her and had her unconscious form delivered to their home with instructions that Mrs Beckett should clean her up.
Young and inexperienced as she was, Mavis Smith, still proved an astute and tough manager of their household, feared by all the male minions – particularly Percy, a rather insipid chap that William had turned to become their downstairs footman. Percy had been a school ‘chum’ of William’s – or rather the weasel like bully that made William’s life a misery on a daily basis. William had never been more pleased to ‘find’ Percy in one of London’s better know brothels, enjoying the company of a larger gent that Will thought he recognized from the gentleman’s club. He knocked out the partner and turned Percy with a minimum of blood, the man’s true simpering nature perfect for the position of servitude.
Other roles were filled as needed. Body guard, cook’s assistant, laundry maid, driver. All were chosen carefully and none suffered other than when they earned punishment.
The home was (as a consequence) always immaculate, the garden lovingly tended and always full of bulbs, strawberries and raspberries for ‘the Master’ and jasmine that bloomed at night. Their life there was oddly… happy.
The Aurelians and Crent’aths had always maintained the Surrey home – indeed, since Dru and William left Europe in the nineteen seventies, two of the Evan Crent’ath great grandsons (and family) had been in residence and in the last four months (with an injection of Aurelian funds) had done up the mansion to pristine condition, and added a number of new features including a refurbished garage, pretty glasshouse with roof that opened to the sky and hot tub.
Percy had long been dust, instead it was Adrian Crent’ath who answered the door, and welcomed old friends home. Within seconds of walking into the entry hall, a buxom woman dressed in a smart chef’s uniform and a pretty woman dressed in a smart suit as though a concierge in an expensive hotel flew into the room, skidding to a halt at the door and to Giles’ immense surprise, bared their necks to “Master William, Consort Xander! Welcome… oh after all this time welcome… Please take of us!”
Spike bared his fangs and took what was his – after more than fifty years dear Ms Beckett sobbed and let all protocol fall away as she desperately grabbed for the Consort’s hand and whispered, “Oh Masters you are home! You’re home!”
Giles was politely introduced to Adrian Crent’ath and the staff before being ushered into an elegant drawing room complete with antique furniture and exquisite art and the most delicate of tea services.
While they settled, Ms Smith fussed near silently at the door, hurrying the new downstairs ‘man’ Leon to his waiting duties, adjusting his bow tie to straight (again) before he entered and whispering, “This is Master William and Consort!… The human is the Ex-watcher and mage Rupert Giles, a friend of the household… Now remember! Polite, calm and perfect, or there will be no blood for a week!”
The tall thin Leon nodded, hoped his tray would remain steady, given the amount he seemed to be shaking in the presence of such a powerful Master Vampire, but did admirably, served the tea, offered petit fours, and managed to rescue a napkin that fell from Mister Giles’ lap before it hit the ground – garnering a polite and genuine ‘thank you’ from the human. Leon waited in the corner then noted empty cups and knew to offer a second round of tea, but was waved away by Master Adrian. At that he felt he had failed somehow, but collected the crockery and other items from the table as silently and efficiently as he could and wondered if he would be given sustenance himself that night… Had he done something to cause the Masters to lose their thirst?
Tray stacked high, Xander saw the almost disguised look of someone, vampire or no, in distress because of work. He sent love and trust through his Consort link, and Spike/Master William sent back the same. So before Leon had a chance to disappear, Xander had subtly nodded at Master William as the minion collected the consort’s cup. He touched Leon on the arm and whispered, “You’ve done a great job… thanks.” The ten year turned minion nearly tripped as he felt the power of Master Spike’s Consort’s touch… Mrs Bennett had told him stories… but as if… and to be thanked as well?!
Mavis said nothing as the rather overwhelmed footman-come-waiter passed her in a daze and disappeared into the kitchen, a crimson tear of sheer happiness very obvious as Leon tried to keep all the cups and saucers steadier than his hand seemed to want to allow. The Master’s consort had thanked him… thanked him!
Giles missed the exchange, completely engaged by Spike’s apparent changes.
The Watcher knew William the Bloody from the texts… and the changed texts as it happened… and from personal experience… but this… now… Master William was obviously in his own domain… regardless of soul or (Giles still assumed) chip.
Spike and his Consort had returned and William’s Grandsire had even agreed to renew their link, and now Master William slipped observably easily into his Lord of the Manor persona. He was very obviously quietly powerful and very much in control, and Giles was in awe. How could they have interpreted this creature, this member of vampire royalty, as some pathetic being to be shackled and suppressed.
Under his breath he muttered, “Injuring then hooding an Eagle before locking it in an aviary that would see it dead; muzzling the alpha male of a wolf pack and trying to train it to heel through cruel ‘lessons’; milking the bile of a moon bear for…” He didn’t realize his voice has risen enough to be heard by all in the room – including Xander… “My G$#d Spike… I’m… ”
Spike had watched the conflict of emotions run across the ex-Watcher’s face, “Ahhh… Don’t get your Y-fronts all tangled Ripper… Didn’t dust me… give ya credit fer that – and the Initiative gave it a better go than the bloody Germans.”
Adrian raised his glass to the comment, with a “Oh yes GrandMamma told me that one – bloody Nazis! And your poor Sire here for all those months! Still at least you knew she was well fed and cared for… and no fear of the sun… GrandMamma even made her some dolls clothes – hand stitched – just to keep her entertained. And there was an old phonograph that she wound and wound apparently… until you came for her. Wonderful story.” Adrian grinned across at Spike then suddenly sobered, “Oh I am sorry. My apologies Master Spike. It’s just… such a thrill… and the wine… Please…” He looked desperately toward Ms Smith before receiving a curt nod. “The sun is down and we had the garden lit by some landscape professionals less than a month ago… would you like to…”
The gesture was a welcome relief and Adrian led the small group out onto the rear patio.
Manicured lawns, well pruned trees, mass plantings of small shrubs and flowers, well planned ‘dry and water features’ designed to draw the eye, as well as various paths and pergolas and seating nooks graced the near three acres in a carefully crafted display of light and shadows with a backdrop of darkness. Tiny fairy lights were wound around certain trees and made structures; spotlights featured a branch or sculpture here and there; and the underwater lighting in the water features had light dancing on strategically placed walls in the most exquisite fashion. There was a tennis court in the far left corner and a classic looking pool surrounded by natural flat rock pavers and spa closer to the house
Master William was heard to take a breath and observed to grasp his Consort’s hand (offered) was taken as though a lifeline. But it was Xander who articulated the emotion of the moment, “Wow! It’s… it’s just beautiful!”
Adrian beamed, “Yes well we took inspiration from the original garden and added a few touches. I had rather hoped the Master – and of course you - would like it, I was quite happy to put the family money toward it – we do so enjoy it here… But it’s so much better with the Master home! Of course we are ever so grateful for the recent injection of funds, but I do rather think it is all worth it… Master?”
Adrian looked over to see the Aurelian Master Vampire fighting to hold back his game face. “Is there...? Can I…? Oh Master… but I thought…”
Xander wrapped his arms around Spike’s waist and spooned him from the back in an act that grounded his Mate and William was able to reply in a rather emotional tone, “’S all fine mate, perfect even… Just never thought I’d see this place again… Not as we are now… not like this… Done your lot and us proud… But then a job worth doin’ and all that… Reckon that’s somethin’… wish your Nan coulda seen this… she’d a been right chuffed.”
Spike cleared his throat… “Anyway… Ol’ Watcher here’s a mite fascinated by our connection – care to show your stuff (no pressure mind!)” Mood broken Spike winked and Adrian grinned then shook and relaxed.
Giles had all but forgotten that the thirty something, handsome male, who’s dark refined looks bespoke of aristocracy and the maharajas (and would have seen him an instant hit in Bollywood), was a demon by birth. By Master William’s invitation Adrian breathed a sigh of relief as he let his real form emerge. Instantly dark and light tiger stripes emerged all over his skin, and long, thin, strawberry blonde spines push through his brown black ‘trendy corporate cut’ near black hair, cascading over his shoulders and down his back. The lashes may have been longer but Adrian’s black eyes didn’t change – though as he turned and gave a shy rather than self assured smile to their Watcher guest, Giles fancied he saw them flash green more than once and barely suppressed a gasp of surprise. A well concealed prehensile tail was the last to emerge as striped hands unfastened blind zip at the back of the fashionably tailored linen pants and released the appendage. At that the elderly Watcher could not suppress the “Oh Good Lord!... I’m… I’m… Good Lord”.
Spike pulled from Xander and rounded on Adrian before the young Crent’ath lost his nerve in front of a Watcher, throwing a manly arm across the pretty demon’s shoulder. “Boy here is an upright citizen from the pure line of Crent’ath traceable back a thousand or more years; ‘n from what I’ve heard is a mighty fine businessman… ‘is family ‘interests’ been in Europe since day dot… They’ve never needed to go public in the business sense o’ course! Why bother with branches in Prague, Paris, Brussels and Venice and all the big centers run by cousins and siblings… Had to move around a bit after bloody Hitler started on ‘is crusade, still, since the iron curtain raising – well the last fifteen… twenty years have been a treat. Increased profits tenfold I hear with this man the leadin’ the corporate charge, ain’t that right mate.”
Spike winked at the young man whose stripes visibly darkened and Adrian, who was now feeling rather ‘exposed’, initially dropped his gaze as a young child might but then lifted his chin, smiled and nodded. The fact that the Master Aurelian had asked him to relax and change, then spoke of him and his family in such glowing terms in the presence of others found his tail moving almost of its own volition to grip the Master’s ankle and squeeze just a little in gracious thanks, as was custom and good Crent’ath manners.
Xander noted that it wasn’t only Adrian who was somewhat emotional and after Spike squeezed their host’s shoulder a last time and the tail released, he knew what Spike needed so held up his wrist to his Mated vampire.
With but one mouthful of his consort’s blood, the true Master of the House, Spike turned to Adrian with a smile, “Now food and a place to sleep – I reckon you’ve sorted it … shall we?”
Giles declined dinner but graciously accepted the ample ‘care package’ of sandwiches, fresh fruit, petit fours and flask of hot tea hastily prepared by Mrs Beckett.
The farewell at the car was brief.
“Well… um… I’ll report your good health to Willow and I’m sure the message will be passed on.” Spike held out his hand, the gesture accepted (Giles later realizing that the hand had been warm and that the reason was no doubt due to it having been in direct contact with Xander’s) “Taa mate… be sure an’ tell the bit to come visit sometime soon yeah?”
“Indeed…” Despite the car door already being open, Giles accepted Xander’s hand next, then pulled the man into a hug.
“I’ve no idea who you are any more do I? But… please take care of yourself… my dear boy…” There was a pause then a manly pat before the two released and the old watcher was seen to wipe his eyes with the back of his hand before starting the engine of the compact Volkswagon and drove off.
Master and Consort turned back toward the house, both quietly contemplating how quickly their lives had turned yet again, and as Master William took his Consort’s hand and squeezed gently both remembered the very first time they really needed their haven and walked hand in hand up the gravel driveway to sanctuary and mutual consolation.
It had been a hard two weeks since Angelus had approved their new residence, but the Aurelian High Master was in town for the first time in a hundred plus years and Darla was ecstatic, insisting that the family be ‘up front and central’.
Xander had been briefed on the implications of being formally presented to the Master – something that usually involved the Master demanding that the human be bitten savagely then mounted by his vampire in front of half the court.
Uncharacteristically, Angelus had warned them both of the Master’s varying tastes, advising preparing not just Xander, but also William. The young vampire’s Sire by proxy making his own experience with the Aurelian Master very clear. It was a warning heeded, and post event… gratefully so.
As the two approached the High Master’s ‘throne’ both William and Consort bowed low. Xander could see Darla and Angelus amongst the crowd, Drusilla no doubt restrained in her room so as not to ‘compromise’ proceedings – the Master never quite comfortable if she happened to begin to rant.
So no the Master grinned hungrily, “Ohhh how delicious – would that I could still bend that far… And how delightful that you brought your toy… and yes yes I have heard the rumors… but really! Nothing is as it seems until it is proven… Not in my Court anyway!
“William! Show proper respect… I know my darling Darla has taught you that at least! Present yourself in front of your Lord and Master!”
Xander felt the jolt of anguish through their link but remained stationary as William stood, walked forward and knelt in a fully down presentation, head on the ground and backside skyward, his rear wide open to the Master.
“Angelus! This is your progeny by proxy… now come… Surely you are not averse to indulging your taste for boys with your pretty ‘family’?!” The mirthless laugh said it all and both Angel and William shored up their defenses ready for the worst.
Xander, Mate and Consort, felt William’s hurt but knew not to move. The Mated human knew that William had been serviced by his GrandSire before, and knew to watch, apparently inanimate, as Angelus stripped his Grandchilde with emotionless efficiency, forced him to the floor and began to undress himself until the Master commanded “Stop! I’ve changed my mind… Have him service you by mouth… Here…”
The permanently game faced Aurelian Master moved faster than even the vampires in the room could see, grabbed William’s hair and literally pulled him forward until his mouth was on Angelus’ now exposed – and still rather flaccid – penis. As soon as lips touched skin the Master hissed, “It seems your Grandsire is struggling to perform… I do hope you have the skills to provide me with a decent warm up act. The consequences of failure are somewhat deadly, you see…”
William knew instinctively that the Master was talking about his mated Consort, so took Angelus’ member in his mouth and sucked and swallowed as only one not needing to breathe might. For his part Angelus didn’t move but for a hand on his Grandchilde’s neck just over the turning mark. Unseen by his audience he stroked the mark gently – it was the only solace he was able to provide without being seen. They had done this before, but never forced and never with the entire Court as witness.
Just as Angelus’ felt the start of climax, the mouth disappeared and a cold iron like set of fingers clamped around the base of his erection, cutting off all hope of completion and causing not a small amount of pain. The Master hissed, “Enough…” then shoved him unceremoniously backwards. Angelus forced to ‘tidy himself up’ without conclusion.
William was still on his knees, lips slightly swollen and nose a little red from contact with Angelus coarse pubic hair. He made to stand but was given the sharp instruction, “Stay down pup we’re not finished the entertainment yet…”
William wondered if he was to be the entrée for however many minions the Master allowed to breach him, or whether the Master himself wanted to… he had heard what had happened to Angelus the first time and began to hope it was the former not the latter. He consoled himself that at least Xander had escaped the Master’s notice, until the dreaded announcement, “Now where’s that human of yours? Hmm? Come here… don’t be shy…”
William knew the Master could and would kill his Consort without second thought and sent all the love he could muster in the circumstances through their emotional link.
Xander stepped forward, then dropped to his knees in the Master’s presence as he had been instructed to do. ‘Old bat features’ gave a feral grin toward Darla, who appeared pleased with proceedings thus far.
“A mildly amusing show! But then I would expect nothing less from the apple of my eye… Darla my darkest angel – come observe – the product of the deranged one seems to have learned one or two things under your tutelage… how touching. I do hope his Mate has been similarly schooled as I am quite inclined for a proper show.”
Xander had assumed it would be him that was breached, but it seemed that the Master had other ideas. “William – present yourself to your chosen human.” The word dripped with venom. Xander paled. He had thought as he knelt in front of the Master, that it might have been worse had the pair not made passionate love earlier (Xander still ‘slick’ from the encounter) but now it appeared that it was not him being entered.
William was on hands and knees in front of him. The Master glared at Xander, “Well??? I’m on a schedule here! You stupid dolt! F#$%* him! Now! Come human, Consort… He openly begs for your attentions, surely you would not fail your young Master in front of family!” The last statement dripped with such venom that Xander feared for them both. If he failed in some fashion, their lives (or unlives) would be forfeit.
Xander had no choice and no lubricant. He wished he could apologize to William but had no opportunity, so did the only thing he could as he shuffled forward and into position.
Xander’s hands had been behind his back as was custom in a formal kneel. With two fingers he did his best to collect some of the lubricant from his own opening without being seen and as he now took the sweet round buttocks in his hands, he smeared as much across the opening as he might and the rest down his own erection as he held and angled it toward the target. It would still not be enough to make for a smooth entrance – but it was something.
Xander could see Angelus’ eyes glaze over, looking but not seeing, protocol dictating that he watch a scene the much feared dark vampire wished was not happening. Xander had heard enough to know that Angelus had nothing but loathing for his Grandsire, and that debasement of this variety was the mere tip of the iceberg for ‘old bat face’ who was more often than not, happy to participate and by all accounts, literally hung like a horse!
Darla grinned and clapped at the public humiliation of the two on display, and audibly whooped as William fell into game face and traces of blood were scented after two or three thrusts by his Consort.
Xander tried to block out their surroundings and hold back his tears. Despite trying to be careful he felt William’s passage give a little and saw the blood. His erection was all but lost at that point, but William pushed back, knowing this was their only way of surviving the encounter with the Master. Xander felt the press back and gave his failing erection a couple of hardness renewing strokes then pressed back in, this time determined to find and work William’s prostate.
The Master pulled Darla to him as he watched the two male figures move together. She lifted her skirts and sank onto him with all the knowledge and practice of her three hundred and fifty plus years. Even for Darla the Master was long and large, but the reward, her Sire biting her, being happy with her… it was all worth it.
The Master was ecstatic at his Childe’s wanton display but still had the wherewithal to control the amorous display he had ordered centre stage.
“Angelus! Make yourself useful! Your Grandchilde looks hungry… *feed* him with that you would have filled my dear Childe with.”
Angelus’ erection was no more, but he knew better than to defy the Master so moved over to William, knelt low, and fed his flaccid phallus into his Grandchilde’s mouth.
William flashed begging blue eyes at his Grandsire, but they both knew. Angelus touched Xander’s hand, the Consort felt his Mate’s resigned sadness through their link and felt Angelus’ contrition and resignation through the quiet touch. This was about survival, not pleasure, and the message was understood.
Their rhythm fell into synch and they slowly but surely found quiet completion, Xander even managing to slide a stroking hand under William to assist his coming… just as the Master pumped his dead seed into Darla, roared his own satisfaction and bit down hard into his favorite Childe’s neck.
‘The boys’ were dismissed mere seconds later… all restraints removed and clothing left behind to be discarded as the Master began his ‘second round’ with Darla. Post dismissal, the minions effectively left the three to their own devices. Angelus gave William a rueful look, curt nod then retreated to rescue Dru from her bindings and bring her some relief from her Sire while Darla was ‘otherwise occupied’.
William and his consort needed no further prompting. A nod from Angelus saw Xander half carry a distressed William to the carriage and the master order the return to their Surrey home.
That night Xander wished for the oblivion for both of them either that or being permanently baffled like Drusilla – because somehow debauchery and torture would work so much better in that situation. His William was a vampire, yes, but no more monster than a predator needing to kill for survival…
The two nude males, vampire and Mate, alighted the carriage and were collected by Josephine Crent’ath and her staff at the door. Wrapped in heavy blankets they were led to their private bathroom and provided a hot bath, fresh robes and a meal – both human and vampire.
Xander wanted to apologize and began as they sat together in the blissful warmth of the huge cast iron bath, only to be stopped by a cool hand and sad look.
“Please don’t Luv… Please!... Let’s just… Thank you for making it…”
“But you bled… I made you bleed! And I never… Oh Gh@#$ I’m…”
“T’was only a little pain… the rest was… Just… can we just…”
They adjourned to the huge bed that dominated the Master William’s rooms, lying intertwined, simply touching and kissing until both gave in to slumber.
Xander relaxed back against his partner. As usual his Master William had managed to wind himself around his Consort. Warmth and comfort… it had always been right – even in the very beginning … it was all about warmth and comfort.
They were in the ‘big bed’ – the mattress may have changed and the plush sheepskin undercover added a squishy luscious depth, but the view was the same. The evening had exhausted his dear vampire partner… in truth he worried. Despite the valiant show for the Crent’aths, Giles and the staff, Spike seemed so fragile, so… hurt… lost even… when they were alone together. It was as though the hundred years or so apart had all come crashing in and references to the Nazis and various snippets of the many hard times he wasn’t there for his William weighed heavily. If only… if only he hadn’t been pulled away!
Why would the Powers do that?! They must have known… William was never the average demon… If only he had been there! And the demon trials?! Who had picked him up and cared for him after that?! From all accounts… no one! He deserved so much more than noone – for all those years! And with Dru in tow… then denying her own Childe… after all those years of no family yet managing to keep his insane Sire safe!
Xander sent a prayer for his vampire to any deity that might listen… a healing request for his lover… his all, then wrapped himself around his partner more tightly, began to stroke the pale arm, and let tears fall… tears for his lover, one for every year they had been denied each other… then sobs of regret, endearments, requests for forgiveness, and love, always love.
Spike, (though he felt very much like William right now), woke to his Consort’s tears, to the innate connection and the love and regret. He was being stroked and loved… stroked and loved and… His demon and soul agreed, his fangs dropped and he rolled his lover over, legs were instantly open and the invitation taken.
He entered his Mate and bit down on the exposed neck at the same time. Xander sighed then bucked a little as his prostate was hit followed by the act being repeated. He too let small fangs drop and took back some of his Master vampire’s blood, instantly feeling the zing and the connection heightened. This was right, here in their rooms new memories mixed with wonderful old ones, and just as their blood and releases mixed, so did their tears Spike’s cool and Xander’s warm.
Eventually, Xander lowered his legs from their position wrapped around Spike’s back and felt Spike’s soft member slip from him as they both rolled to their sides to kiss and stroke each other gently.
“Do you know where you were, Pet?”
It was a question out of left field and threw Xander, “Wha???”
“For all those years pet… do you know where you were? While I was lookin’ for you… missin’ you! So much… I needed you?!… ”
“I don’t… not really… I mean… I wasn’t… I don’t know?! Wil… I didn’t mean… Oh Gh@#... I don’t know! I didn’t choose to… Please sweetheart! I didn’t want to go! Why would I…” Xander had ceased his stroking with the surprise of the question and for the umpteenth time since arriving back – but the first time in their space… he began to panic.
Where had he gone? Even if the timeline had changed… still… where was his essence for over a hundred years. It was a philosopher’s dilemma, a theologian’s nightmare, dimensional shift theoretical physicist’s fascination, and a follower of the dark arts’ dream. But right here, right now, none of that mattered… and all Xander could do was hug his upset vampire to him and hold on. What if it happened again?! If he didn’t know why in the first place… it was a possibility… wasn’t another shift plausible?! He began to scour his memories but felt the discomfort in his sleeping friend, his mate, so tried to focused on memories… the happy memories of this place.
It was late on a Friday evening. As usual the Crent’ath family were out – this time at a ‘family do’ though it was often the ballet or opera – and consequently the house was quiet. It had been almost a month since the Master and Darla ‘show’ but the fallout was still occurring – not least of which was the desperate need to isolate themselves from the Aurelian ‘Court’ and to touch each other, to share blood, to affirm. The house was their sanctuary.
Xander woke to the gentle strokes of a cool hand as William traced his features and needlessly explored physical lines on his Consort that were now known as well his own. Xander rolled slowly, took the wandering hand and kissed it thoroughly – then its owner. William’s ensuing, “Oh my… I’m sorry… I’m sorry… but I just…” then game-face was all it took for another round of lovemaking.
In the afterglow, Xander stared at the ornate cornices on the ceiling whilst petting the long strawberry blonde locks of his dear Mated vampire.
Angelus was in the building, Darla returning to Prague with her Sire. It was a welcome relief for them all in a sense but did mean that Drusilla and Angel were spending a few days ‘with family’ before regrouping at the Aurelian house just off Hyde Park.
Xander now knew the ‘green’ of jealousy, the ‘red’ of anger, and the blue/black of true hate.
‘Kyldman House’ (as the estate had been officially renamed by William’s Grandsire in a fit of drunken whimsy after its procurement) was their home, and though Xander had learned that his vampire needed to reconnect with family on occasion, William spending time with his Sire and Grandsire without his Consort, and so soon after the Master’s abuse, was still hard to take.
Angelus had arrived for some ‘quiet time’ with Drusilla three days previously and William had been obliged to do the family thing when requested. Xander didn’t worry so much about Dru, indeed had several tea parties with her and her ever present dolls. The old Sunnydale part of him even came to wonder why he had been so fearful of her and so complacent when it came to the threat of Angelus… until he saw her feed.
Unlike her Sire Angelus, there was no playing, no evil games, no warning. Unlike her Child William there was no measured approach, and certainly no intent to do aught but kill. The minion had brought in the rather disheveled ‘lady of the night’ who, though still disorientated, saw her surroundings and decided to make the best of it, so began to ply her trade.
The obviously older, experienced street walker had time for a single hip wiggle in Xander’s direction, and a “Well… ‘Ow ‘s ya…” before Dru was at her neck and seconds later she was dead. After which Dru went back to playing with her dolls and ‘dancing in moon beams’ (though the moon was not out) as though nothing had happened. It was then that the Consort Xander suddenly understood. Drusilla’s cognition was so damaged that the demon was unfettered and free to work on pure instinct… hungry = eat. Simple, deadly, and he wondered again as to how or why she had turned rather than killed William.
But it was not the incident with Dru that bothered so much. It was Friday, Friday morning to be exact.
William had been ordered to spend time with his Grandsire during the last seven days and nights. They had left for destinations unknown on Friday evening so when Xander’s beloved arrived back home a week later to their private rooms, very drunk and with visible finger shaped bruises on his backside and torso, bite marks on his neck, and the unmistakable smell of his Grandsire’s spunk on him, Xander was ready to stake the bastard.
Seeing his Consort in a rage was the last thing William wanted to face, though suspected it was coming.
He had hoped Xander would understand the occasional need for reconnection – and for his Grandsire… especially now as Darla once more had shunned him in favor of visiting her darling Master, refusing to accompany him to the gathering (in civilized Canterbury!) of the clans from the length and breadth of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
William had not bothered to fill his Consort in as to why Angelus needed his presence. Clan gatherings often involved a good deal of bloodshed and although the Consort’s absence might be noted, William knew the cost to Xander would be dire were he to witness some of what went on. Apart from anything else, there was the summary execution of two vampires – both of whom had chosen to side with the Watcher’s Council and caused the demise of four Childer and one Master in under a month.
Their case had been heard fairly but the evidence was damning and of late, the Council better organized and more threatening than ever before, recruiting from the more ‘wayward’, highly educated witches. The two traitorous minions were ‘staked out’ on a St Andrew’s wooden crosses then forced to drink holy water until their screaming gave way to an agonizing dusting.
Once more Angelus had been forced to explain his own Sire’s absence, and justify the ongoing existence of his mad Childe (given rather unfortunate incident at a recent London party whereby Dru had, in her permanently puzzled state, quite innocently drained a very pretty human guest who were actually meant for the host’s after party play and snack).
As soon as Dru had been delivered back to her Sire and the two departed William fell into his consort’s arms with a combination of regret and plea for forgiveness, “Please forgive… but Grandsire… and he… he needed… was gentle and so sad… and I… I’m his Grandchilde Xan… and… we both needed… Oh Sweeth… So glad you stayed here, so glad… They wanted to dust my Sire! Oh Xan!!! I missed you…love you…*love* you… Grandsire knows that too… you know… how much I love… yeah?!… so please understand… He jusss… needed me and I wanted it too.”
It was Xander’s turn to go with instinct. He let his canines extend and bit hard over the still raw mark on William’s neck. The truth was in the blood - the adoration, the devotion, the vampire and the unmistakable essence that was his Mate, William, along with not a small amount of alcohol. And all anger and jealousy evaporated.
It would not be the first or the last time that William spent private time with Angelus – but it was a pivotal one, and Xander came to know that a ‘boys night out’ meant the Grandsire and his progeny hunting and playing together; that it might include a sexual element; that it was just about vampire family; and that he was safe – even from Angelus- in a strictly monogamous relationship of Consort, Mate and Master Vampire.
Josephine Crent’ath (Adrian’s grandmother) was an extraordinary woman… demon. She had lost her Neville to a stupid accident when cleaning his own gun at their hunting lodge shortly after the arrangement for one of their houses was finalized with the Aurelians. Josephine was always addressed as Lady Crent’ath or Ma’am – even by Angelus! William had the gracious semi bow and ‘Good Evening Lady Crent’ath’ ritual down pat and swiftly schooled his Consort to do the same. Lady Josephine was delighted with the refined manners of ‘her vampire boys’, and as a consequence the two were taken very much under her wing.
Like many demon families who could pass for human the wealthy Crent’aths were part of the general social scene of late nineteenth century Europe and Xander soon learned to follow William’s lead whenever visitors arrived. They always introduced Lady Josephine Crent’ath as the owner of the manor house and deferred to her on all matters domestic. Something that intrigued their demon guests (given that it was now an Aurelian household), fascinated any human ones (two such attractive young men being ‘looked after so’) and thrilled the lady concerned.
Xander had never been one for history at school, but found himself spending hours reading through various accounts of wars, dynasties and ‘classic’ books. Or better still listening as William (donning his glasses) read from Wordsworth, or Homer (in the original Greek), or Shakespeare – and who would have thought the boy from Sunnydale could come to love a selection of sonnets… or even know what pentameter meant!
His appreciation of music also improved. Lady Josephine’s compulsory dinner parties and inevitable amateur music recitals to follow became a regular part of their calendar, but equally they took to traveling to the Albert Hall for a show at least once a month.
After memories of the Master’s and the clan meeting faded, life seemed to even out for a while. William easily stepped into the young lord of the manor role, with a good deal of encouragement – and gratuitous advice from Lady Josephine. She was more than happy to introduce the handsome young ‘Master William and friend Alexander’ to a new circle of acquaintances – both human and demon (though for the latter Xander was more reverently referred to as the Consort of Master William).
Xander lay for a few moments more remembering lazy evenings, piano recitals, live readings and dinner parties before his cell phone toned in with a preset wakeup alarm. It was the twenty first century. Who knew how a century and a half (or so) ensouled vampire and his frenetic time traveling Consort might be received.
Tonight they would go to London and make a highly anticipated appearance at the annual ‘coming out’ solstice ball.
Their London visit was always going to be fraught with difficulties – but Adrian did a fine job of paving the way.
The return of an Aurelian Master Vampire carried with it a great deal of prestige – though in truth the Master and Consort would be privy to more curiosity than reverence these days one would have thought.
The annual solstice ball was now treated more as a fund raiser for several demon run charities than anything else (though should have been an oxymoron, but for the fact that they had to look after their own). Though as a consequence of history and prestige, the ball, being held every year since 1751, was quite the feature on the midsummer social calendar of ‘must do’s’ for the wealthy and the important of the demon clans all over Europe (and a good number of wealthy, ‘connected’ humans).
As far as Xander was concerned, he had attended with the full London Aurelian family barely a year previously. The masqued ball had been quite the triumph of the season. The Duchess Lilliana Medici, the grand dame of the social set of the time (both human and demon), had even danced with both Master Angelus and his pretty Childe, William, during the night. There had been a good number of Europe’s aristocracy in attendance also courtesy of the Duchess’ connections. And as they prepared for the modern day version it was apparent from the guest list, that it was not only the Medici’s who had found wealth and power was enhanced, rather than diminished, by the ‘family demons’.
Spike’s last ball had really not been so much a Medici ball, as a precursor to the most bizarre week of his unlife. It had turned out to be Dru and his last hurrah before heading for New York for a few years.
That year (1970) the theme of the party had been ‘I eat the flowers’ and a rather radical hippy grandniece of Duchess Lilliana’s had managed to convince a fair proportion of the party goers that they should all go directly from the ball to Glastonbury for the Music Festival. They arrived at the cusp of dawn and consequently those of the group who were sun tolerant joined the first of the revelers on site.
After skimming numerous fellow festival goers on the first night, and reeling from drug and alcohol infused blood, Spike had spent almost two days bus-bound alternately unconscious or staring, apparently fascinated, at his own hands, then at the purple and orange and… whatever ceiling, then back at his hands. Thankfully he was at least inside, or it would indeed have been a dusty day at the concert.
It was probably the first and only time Drusilla had been the sanest in the room. Sure, she spent time rocking and crooning to her ‘Sweet Willie’, but for some reason, the drug infused blood had given her the clarity to get them both inside during the day. A wild time was had by all, Spike had spent time backstage, in the hairdressing tent having his dark gold locks bleached white, then in the piercing tent having various parts impaled, whilst Dru took to face painting – and eating some of the later customers. How they had both managed to return to London was anyone’s guess – Spike had no recollection. Shortly after, Drusilla and he left to explore the ‘big apple’ - New York.
Now, just into the twenty first century, this ball would be a far tamer affair with no ‘after party’, and if anything, the whole thing seemed to have a rather corporate feel.
Adrian filled the Master and Consort in as to the ‘who’s who’ of the evening and emphasized the importance of complementing Lady Marguerite in particular (their Glastonbury colleague now following in her Grand Aunt’s footsteps regards hosting the ball).
The theme was ‘Count back – 250 year ball’, with meticulous attention paid to venue, the former ‘city’ house of the Earl of Sandwich, with decorations so accurate as to predate William by a hundred years or so, though exquisitely modern food. The dress was ‘period’ and most had gone all out – including Adrian, who delighted in having pantaloons, waistcoat and a long jacket tailor made in rich gold brocade, with fur edged matching cape, much in the style of George III. The ruffled shirt, flat buckle shoes and knee high stockings would finish the look. He even went to the trouble of procuring a genuine kerchief from 1751. The look was perfected by a light wig and large ruby ring from the family collection
Spike and Xander, on the other hand chose the high collared formal long tailed dress coats of the British navy of the time – but forwent the powdered wig look in favor of high boots, long cape and appropriate ‘silly hat’ and black hair tie for both of them. There was initially some objection by Xander to the military connotations (given that they were officer uniforms) but was eventually convinced that fighting for the ‘White Hats’ when in Sunnydale qualified them both to wear the attire far more than most front line commanders of the day – and in the end Xander had to concede.
Oddly after the argument regards the uniform, Spike insisted on a single diamond earring even though it was hardly the ‘done thing’ for officers in the mid to late 1700s, complaining that “Well gotta do sommit! Hair’s that bloody poncy colour again… and long! Look at this! Near as long as when…”
Spike stopped mid sentence as he saw the look of unadulterated lust in Xander’s eyes and had an unruly lock stroked from his forehead by his Mate, then finished the sentence, “… when we were together…” Xander turned his partner gently and set about retying the wide black ribbon at the back, admiring the slim athletic lines emphasized by the cut of the waistcoat, the brocade, the cutaway high collared dark naval jacket. He finished by whispering, “You were beautiful then, and even more now… Now… First Lieutenant William, I would consider it an honour to have you let me unfasten your buttons and ties later as I have heard that men in uniforms do need relief after their duties are complete for the day. Good Sir at least allow me that?!”
Xander finished his taunting with a feather light brush over Spike’s arm and torso from behind before grabbing his hat and cape and making a sprint for the door.
Spike was quite ‘in the moment’ then realized he’d been played as tight white pantaloons became impossibly tighter, he too took off at a sprint with a “You right bastard – I’ll have you scrubbin’ decks nude just to enjoy the bloody view afore…”
He crashed into Xander at the bottom of the stairs and pinned him to the wall with a rather juvenile, mock show of annoyance before kissing him soundly – much to the amusement of Adrian who simply said, “Too much of that and it will be everyone in the room swooning over you two – not just the ladies. Ghod… you look amazing! Well done.”
Spike, still pinning Xander to the wall turned with a wide grin, “Not s’ bad yerself – fancy a bit of a snog too? Only the boy here’s off limits.”
Adrian gave an over emphasized wink, said, “Why would I want either of you when I know I’m going to be picking up the distressed ladies when they realize in full colour, just how your bread is buttered! Now can you two please get in the car!”
For the ‘grand entrance’ Adrian had arranged to be driven to the Albert Hall after which they were picked up by a horse and carriage and rode to the party in style.
After surrendering their outer attire to the doorman, the gasps as the three entered were worth every moment of angst as they had dressed.
The Aurelian Master and Mated Consort let Adrian ‘take point’. The Crent’ath head of household waltzed in with all the confidence to which he was entitled. Adrian looked absolutely like a royal guest of the period, and was known, in business and socially, to the majority of the room. After greeting their hostess and her brother, he sauntered in to join a group of equally well dressed old school chums, happily including, by association, a certain Countess Lottie.
She was a minor royal of Austrian descent, recently divorced… Spike noticed and couldn’t help but admire the daring of their cohabitant. He was handsome, charming and obviously… well connected, though did not have a ‘title’. Still, his pedigree was flawless and, Spike hoped for his sake. But there was the immediate matters to be attended to as he and Xander were formally introduced.
Spike stopped in front of the appropriately powder wigged, perfectly coiffed and coutured Lady Marguerite (who also looked decidedly older and plumper than he had remembered from 30+ years before!)
He gave a formal bow appropriate for a 1750’s gent, took her gloved hand and kissed the back of it, then introduced his Mate to their hosts. “Lady Marguerite, Viscount Richard. May I, Master William Aurelius, present my Mated Consort Alexander and thank you for your kind invitation to this fine event, and I purvey the Aurelian Court members’ abject apologies for lack of attendance in recent years.” He bared his true face for a moment before nodding and giving the floor to his Consort.
Xander stepped forward and bade his welcome in the similar fashion as his partner, even momentarily letting his tiny fang’s show – though he had not expected to do so.
Lady Marguerite was charmed by the proper greeting by the very handsome Aurelians yet, as much as she tried (for her own curiosity rather than confirmation as she could feel the ‘prickle’), neither she nor her brother could spy the Mating mark under the high collar. However, the matching uniforms and the ease with which the two stood near touching was an unmistakable mark of partnership. The hostess smiled with triumph to her brother. This was indeed a coup for her – one of the last of the Aurelian clan, an old Vampire Master, and his Mated Consort were joining them again, Master William’s reputation preceded him and the rumors of the charming Consort’s miraculous return was simply… well the talk of the town!
As a consequence, the Lady Marguerite greeted the next few guests distractedly preferring to watch the two ‘work the room’.
She vaguely remembered… OK, not so much vague but had been told post drug hazed event… that she had met the Master William in that wonderful first Glastonbury year, but the individual she observed now seemed different. There had been rumors, demon trials and capture, and everyone had heard of the years with Drusilla and in government custody (at that she almost spat!) but this Master was confident.
They entered the enormous ball room to Chopin’s Nocturne in E Flat played by a stunningly beautiful woman (who Xander later realized had a long prehensile blue tail!)
Xander’s hand was touched lightly and the Mate knew – he was on his own for a time and remembered again how his beloved William (now ‘Spike’) engaged people so easily – cultured and switching demon languages and human ones with apparent ease, plus apparently having a flawless memory. Xander was again reminded of the extraordinary person that was William of a hundred plus years ago.
Xander simply watched him for a time, but then was drawn into idle conversation by a couple of extraordinarily attractive, ‘twenty something’ twins - that he later was told were fauns wearing a glamour. Nevertheless, they were charming, and he was having fun and ‘networked’, and afterward was surprised at just how much of an impact he and Spike made by their arrival in back in England, apparently they were quite the ‘featured celebrity couple’. An hour or so on, as the last of the unfashionably late guests arrived and as the music of Mozart’s ‘Souve sia il vento’ played, the Master and Consort sought each other out. It did not go unnoticed.
None of the ladies who had William or Alexander as dance partners on their card, objected as they noticed the two coming together, their stunningly handsome forms complimented by the well cut matching uniforms seemed to meld as they danced an effortless and elegant slow four step. Whispers regards their past spanned the room. But by the time the first piece finished and the initial few glorious bars of Verdi’s “Va pensiero” (the full 17th century orchestra and choir hired for just the purpose) began, others took the floor in the formal variation of a waltz. In the end it became a triumphant swirl of colour evoking enthusiastic applause from all onlookers. The rest of the night was a variation of dance pieces from the ensuing two hundred or so years since 1751 – though most (at the organizers’ request) were romantic.
Inevitably Spike and Xander had to partner others, but whether they danced together or apart, all became rather a blur. Happily, when the Lady Marguerite called the night to a close with the last song and invited all the ‘stayers’ to avail themselves to the local demon bar, the Master and his Consort… consorted by dancing, very close, and very lovingly, to Louis Armstrong’s slow, “Home Fire” before taking their leave and alighting their transport (a classic London taxi rather than the horse and cart!).
Consort and Master left the building the talk of the town but returned to their home (with a ridiculously expensive cab charge!) quietly and satisfied that the Aurelian presence had been ‘noted’.
Adrian on the other hand, came home a day later empty handed despite several dances and an 'after party' in the company of the Countess Lottie and friends. He had engaged with a rather lovely Spanish born aristocrat, Princess Christina, early in the night. Spike had immediately recognized her from fashionable parties in the late fifties during Dru and his time in the Italy. He made a point of following the starry eyed Adrian to have a quiet word in the men’s private WC. Spike cornered their lovely caretaker of ‘Kyldman House’ to at least warn off Adrian - vengeance demons were best left alone.
Thankfully, Adrian heeded Master William’s advice and left well enough alone, though in the end needed little help to pass off the lady in question as she had more than willingly turned her charms on an ‘interesting’ candidate whilst Adrian had been off relieving himself.
Spike noted that by the end of the night Princess Christina was quite thrilled to opt for the arm – and ride home - with the amorous son of a head of a notoriously violent human drug cartel from… somewhere in China (?). She was seen to enjoy his attentions at two other functions that week though rumor had it that she was being passed to be used by his second in charge within a week, as was the womanizing Joe Wang’s habit with his discarded lovers.
Adrian conveyed the rest of the story a fortnight or so after the party. Apparently she had borne the humiliation admirably but retaliation by a vengeance demon was never very pretty. Shunned she still seemed to play his game, but met with some of his other female conquests and two days later (if reports were correct) the gent in question’s boast of being ‘hung like a horse’ was exactly that, said stallion sporting an admirable fully functioning equine member on his human body and needing to seriously revise both his partnerships and his wardrobe to accommodate the now ridiculously huge phallus.
Adrian would be forever grateful for giving up his ‘prize’ to another – though was very careful to remain friends with said lady… at a distance of course.
All in all the evening was a wonderful success, Lady Marguerite utterly charmed as she danced with the handsome Master William then Consort Alexander in turn. Xander had never been more happy for William and Dru’s rather frenetic dance lessons before the first time he had to attend a ball at Darla’s insistence, as he expertly guided various partners around the floor, his status as Master Vampire’s true Consort apparently confirmed by dancing ability.
Following the cab ride and sprint up to their rooms, the deliberately slow undoing of all those buttons on formal coat and waist coat had both of them so aroused as to be painful; careful untying of bows on shirt sleeves and neckties and removal of britches found both dripping pre-cum. Finally, dressed in only their now loose white cotton shirts, they divested each other of boots… and ever so slowly, shirts before Spike rolled onto his Consort as Xander pulled himself open and felt the thrill of being filled in a single stroke (blessing the ‘lube fairy’ who seemed to have found Spike’s erection though Xander had not registered when his partner had found the time!)
Spike drove into him with care, the waves of joy and love flowing from one to another with each increasingly urgent entry until climax claimed them both and sleep ensued.
The following day, mid afternoon if the clock was right, Xander untangled himself from his heat seeking lover and reflected on the evening. It had been perfect… really all of it had been… and the last time that happened… at least the day after…
Panicked Xander pulled the (again darker blonde) Master Vampire to his chest, and held on tight… there had been something… he knew there was something he had missed in the back of his mind…
In his sleep Spike began to instinctively seek out Xander’s mating mark and as it was licked again and again he came back to an old worry. Where had his essence gone and would it happen again?
When Spike, still only semi conscious, fell into game face and bit his mate hard, Xander welcomed the sting and almost wished for oblivion – instead he found climax and a few moments of sated black…
Waking mid morning, rather over warm under two douvets, Xander left the bed grabbed the controls from the wall. He squinted at the LCD screen as it lit up with his touch, then turned down the real heater in their room - the fire place was still functional and wonderful, but a directable heating and cooling system suited to the century had been recently installed in their suite at ceiling level.
He then lay awake for a while worrying a little that a) he was still feeling the effects of the amount of champagne – and Spike – imbibed on the previous night, and b) the business meeting in the morning.
This newly returned lord of the manor had apparently remembered his true talents since finding his Consort returned - astute and careful businessman, one quite capable of managing not only a large estate, but also a not so insignificant fortune accrued over the years, his carefully constructed portfolio simply gaining value in his years away from Europe.
It only dawned on Xander in their third week at the estate that a proportion of the money from Will’s designated Aurelian investments must have been constantly put back into the maintenance of the estate via a legal agreement in the 1950s. Then also realized the reason for Angel’s willingness to assist and release more of the funds for the refurbishment, and even more significantly, one that signed William Aurelius joint control, giving Spike free reign to their Swiss accounts. Dru was hardly one to manage… anything and apparently Angel really did remember William’s penchant for all matters financial in the human world, not to mention his own enjoyment of the ‘Kyldman Estate’ before his ensoulment.
Xander grinned as he remembered the look of incredulity then genuine joy on his Mate’s face as confirmation of the fund’s status came through, and felt immense pride to recall the ease with which Spike (his William) took control of all matters financial.
Half the people and demons in the room had already heard of him or had dealings, yet they had only been in England for just under six weeks!
But then that was not so unusual – it had always been William
On his second waking for the day, Xander didn’t bother to try to return to sleep, opting instead to indulge the memories he retained of their last day a century or more ago. He had resolved to ring Giles today, and Willow, then Angel (reluctantly) for good measure (the latter was also to give his dear Mate an excuse to talk to his Grandsire). With all the research, someone must know something by now. He had to know that it would not happen again!
The pain of the last moments was forever emblazoned on his soul, but for now, just for this moment he allowed himself to rejoice in the now bed warmed ‘snuggler’ at his side, any twitch or shift evoking a corresponding wriggle and rewrapping of the lithe body so that maximum contact was maintained. It felt right, comfortable and again he remembered and tried to trace back.
It seemed that Angelus arrived at the estate at every opportunity, usually with Drusilla if Darla was absent, but more often when the ‘girls were out’. Despite Darla’s impatience with Drusilla, she was more than happy to have a girls’ night out with a minion to control her grandchilde needs be. Males were sometimes so tiresome.
Strangely the Consort/Mate found the presence of the Grandsire rather welcome. William adored his Grandsire, and the presence of Aurelian ‘royalty’, particularly one with such a reputation and so noble in looks, was very much enjoyed by Mistress Josephine Crent’ath at any soirée she cared to trump up when his visit was imminent. Consequently many a fine night of entertainment was had by all and Mistress Josephine reveled in her growing reputation as the social beacon not only for Surrey but the entire London set also.
Truth be known that apart from his charm, and reasonable grasp of languages, Angelus sometimes struggled with the recitals, readings and mini-plays. Oh the Grandsire had no trouble enticing one or other of the ‘help’ off for a free feed – even eaten a hapless violin player in his time, however Xander always enjoyed seeing his dear Mate lean over to whisper in his Grandsire’s ear regards the performance if Angelus looked even the least bit uncomfortable.
William was always very discrete, making it look like a quick peck on his Grandsire’s neck or a short whisper regards some lady opposite – depending on their fellow patrons of the arts. Inevitably the advice was needed – and very much appreciated. The humans (or demons for that matter) in the audience never saw the subtle exchange of blood given in thanks, but the consort did, and always smiled, Angelus might be bigger and stronger and somewhat cultured since becoming a vampire, certainly had a taste for luxury and was no fool… but William was so much more.
Xander had learned that as a human, his mate was privately tutored in the classics, including Latin, Ancient History and French; he was also an avid reader and decent mathematician by the time he was seventeen. He had read Law at Cambridge until his father’s sudden demise, then taken a position as articles clerk with an establishment well known to his deceased father. At least this assisted the family finances, particularly after his mother too, became ill.
Xander was in awe as he learned of William’s talents, and remaining knowledge of what it meant to be a 19C gentleman during their first year… and loved him all the more.
His beloved vampire had been, and still was, an accomplished cello player, and could also play the piano with skill – and both seemed to have endured even after turning - something that thrilled their dowager Mistress Crent’ath. And there was more than one night that Consort Xander felt rather jealous of the cello as he listened to the lilting music of this or that chamber piece and watched as the instrument between his dear vampire’s legs was lovingly fingered, bowed and stroked, consequently resonating its joyful sound, and knowing just how well *he* could be ‘played’ by those beautiful pale hands were he in that position.
One evening the Mistress had seen the Consort’s pout and sidled up behind him following the applause and the guests moving to take tea.
A slight tap on the shoulder announced her presence, “Master William is quite accomplished, though I have yet to see a more passionate performance. Perhaps his technique might have improved had his Consort been happier about the event… I doubt that you would be so happy to perform in public under his expert ministrations… Hmmm??”
Xander blushed profusely, forced back his tiny fangs and willed his erection down (the latter unsuccessfully). A minute or two later as he and the Mistress excused themselves to find refreshment, his pheromones were still uncontrolled and revealed his lustful thoughts… he really should have known… demons and a good sense of smell!!
He whispered “I’m sorry it’s just…” Lady Josephine snickered a little then flung open a peacock feathered fan with a flourish that spelt some practice.
“Oh my dear boy! One should always remember one’s primal needs. Else wise where would we all be? I too have oft found myself wishing I was my dear Neville’s pipe – being held by those loving lips for most of each day… nothing wrong with feeling jealousy over an inanimate object, but my love… the fun is in the telling! Let your lovely Master Vampire know your lust… it is only right!” And with a push from the dear Mistress, he cornered William in the anti chamber as the young vampire began to carefully pack away his instrument into a soft leather cover.
“Mistress said I… Oh Will… next time let it be me between your legs… pleeee…”
It was all he got out as his vampire mate grabbed his shoulders, slammed him against the wall and claimed his lips. The kiss was followed by a blood exchange that reminded them both of how very lucky they were to have each other, followed by a loving slap from William to finish the exchange.
“You dolt! Near as put me off me piece! All those wonderful smells rolling off you! Wondered what was up! Well apart from you and I o’ course! Now grab me music and let’s you and I make peace with the lady o’ the house and get us somewhere horizontal!”
Lady Josephine grinned knowingly as Xander stifled a giggle when he was literally dragged up the stairs after the two had been most gracious and formally taken their leave of the mistress and her guests.
A dark figure in the rear of the room moved forward as the two men disappeared to their shared rooms. “The time is near. Would it not be wise to inform the young master?”
Lady Josephine’s demeanor changed instantly, “Would it change anything?”
“Then let them have their happiness.” In a sea of lilac taffeta she swirled away from the dark mage, immediately in ‘hostess mode’ once more.
William had left his cello downstairs, so the only thing between his legs was indeed his dear consort, his Mate.
Xander had made quick work of both their sets of clothes but was now taking a very long time to work his way up his lover’s body.
William had long since given in to being caressed and lay across ten or so pillows and cushions, arms akimbo, legs spread wide and full erection leaking just a little of his interest onto his taut stomach in a debauched pose that would have made any ‘modern erotica’ painter blush.
Xander sucked toes, licked and caressed each strong calf then thigh and nuzzled the much loved nether regions of his vampire, nipping him… just… there(!) before swiftly covering his pale lover with his own body, forcing their equally hard erections together.
He let the moment take him and ground their bodies together, claiming his lover’s mouth for a time then baring his neck. It was the final straw for William, so used to being in charge, he whispered, “Take me tonight, please… just take me” before burying his fangs in his lover’s jugular vein. Three pulls later he got his wish.
Xander waited for the beloved tongue to lick the wound, ensuring complete healing within hours, then reached for a small pot of scented tallow and greased them both liberally being particularly gentle with his dear one. For some reason this night felt particularly special. It was close to their third anniversary, he put it down to that.
A world away in London, a newly returned Darla was whispering in Dru’s ear. She hated that the runt of the family was so comfy in a house somewhere out of her reach. She was tired of the ‘just going to visit my boy’ Angelus; tired of putting up with the insane female whenever she was home; and that Consort! For all the kudos it brought the family, it was time things changed.
The enraged Grande Dame had the plan planted by her darling Master during her last visit without Angelus again!
Drusilla had the magical ability, all it would take was an object and a spell… the only hitch being the not so small task of having Drusilla cast said spell accurately and at the most appropriate time… when both ‘boys’ were in repose. So close to sunrise was a given.
That night she satisfied Angelus’ needs swiftly and left him to sleep off the combination of a decent amount of fine brandy and good two rounds of sex before ‘attending’ her grandchilde that she might be rid of the mad woman once and for all. With William free of his Mate, his Sire would be his primary concern, leaving Angelus to her whenever she chose!
Drusilla was fortunately in rather a lucid mood, and more than willing to participate. Darla had her kneel in the centre of the circle of candles and handed her a rather odd faceted, crystal orb. It had an overly ornate gold stand and clearly was rather suited to the ‘middle classes’.
Xander had entered and was entered, his demon Consort/Mate status blessing him with the same stamina as his dear partner.
In the end they both lay side by side stroking each other gently, sated, leaking their partners’ seed just enough to remind them and make for a loving smile as lips were caressed by lips and legs intertwined, just to remind each other that they were indeed, as one.
They had made love, they had fed, life and unlife was…
In an instant, torn away!
As Angelus slept, Drusilla, with Darla’s encouragement, chanted, and the portal opened for only one.
Xander’s legs were sucked in first, torn from their satisfied repose, he was tugged, stretched, wrenched, from his lover’s arms and into the swirling abyss.
He remembered William’s cries of anguish, could still see him, wanted to touch but then there was… white.
Xander was shifted from his reverie by a soft touch and baritone rumble, “Penny for your thoughts Luv.”
He buried his face in the strong pale chest and gave in to a life time and a half of grief.
Spike held on for a while before he too gave in to the anguish of a hundred years without his dear Mate, and began to recall, for Xander’s benefit, the events that followed his disappearance.
Lady Josephine had been beside herself. The entire household had felt the magical jolt and reacted with horror as the truth of what had occurred became evident. She sent a messenger to Angelus at once but it was two days before the large Irish vampire arrived at her doorstep. Two days too late as far as she was concerned and had her own informants. She was in no doubt as to who had been behind the dimensional tear (if that’s what it should be called)
Bereft and not eating, William hardly recognized his Grandsire, and Angelus struggled with the grief stricken fledge. He had no experience with Mate vampires and had his own problems with Drusilla and Darla, so simply fed the boy then left, promising the Lady Josephine that he would return at the earliest convenience. Darla had other ideas.
Consequently William was in a haze of grief stricken opium and alcohol for weeks.
Several of Josephine’s staff had managed to collect him over time: once sitting in the middle of a country road in the pelting rain; the second time hugging a cross in the local cemetery, skin smoking; third was an arrested attempt at drinking holy water; but the final straw was the sunrise incident. At that point the Lady Josephine knew they had to call his Grandsire.
It was only the fast action of her dear Gretel, the kitchen hand, that saved the dear Master. Up just before dawn, the girl had been headed for the market garden to collect parsley for the morning breakfast when she spied the young William. He was sprawled at the start of the barley field, rear of the house. A few minutes later and there would have been no sign of his existence bar for an addition to the ash on the soil below.
The Lady promised to keep the house going and was happy for the funds, but equally as happy to pass the dear grief ridden boy to his Grandsire.
Had he been in less pain William would have realized his GrandSire’s concern. Instead, in those first few days, he was cared for as the excruciating pain became dust worthy agony then constant crippling cramps. And oh how he was… falling…
He had thought that if he just froze… a cold body, found and buried again… or better… heated up in the ultimate goodbye as the cremation furnace took the ‘John Doe’ to his final rest. At least he would feel… warm… for just a moment.
His Xander was gone. His Mate had been torn from his grasp… if only he had held on tighter!
Angelus came to collect him again, took his shoulders in a tight grasp that allowed no argument and let him inside but not before an icy drip fell from the tip of his nose and met a tear on his chin, before both salty tributes to despair hit the ground.
It was four weeks but the ache never left, but tonight was augmented by memories of other cold nights, and of a warm presence and quiet dialogue and caring hug.
Now his only solace was to steal out and stand in the icy down pour wishing he were a tree, or a simple statue, the former benefiting, the latter ambivalent.
It was always Angelus who came to collect him, for months and several years later, the punishments and apparent disdain (when Darla was present) slowly molding ‘Spike’. His need to look after his Sire more and more important, and the abandonment/ensoulment of his Grandsire (unexplained by the Grand Bitch incumbent Darla) left him with little choice. He adored her, threw everything he had always felt for his Mate into his care for her. She was his all until… she walked away.
And all those years she had carted around the orb. And all those years he had adored she who had taken… him.
In the end, how the orb came to Sunnydale was rather… Well it was just odd and the whole rift thing… maybe it was a book thing, but as Xander remembered… he also remembered… He remembered William’s distress, his own inability to help and watching William become Spike, be hurt, be abused, be… Xander hugged his dear mate close again and Spike instinctively melted into the embrace.
They had a way to go before all was well but just here, just now… Xander just needed to find that orb!
t b c