Non-Sequitopia

Parts 31 to 60

by
Misanthrope7842



         
         
         








Part Forty-One   Purring



Xander had a hard time sleeping afterwards, even though he was sated and comfortable and he had a purring,sleeping vampire on his chest. He remained awake for quite some time, running his fingers though Spike's hair, afraid Spike would again have nightmares. Each of the previous bouts with dreams had occurred after they advanced their physical relationship. He hadn't made the connection before, but he long ago learned that the epiphanies one finds when staring blankly into the dark are surprising in their revelations.

But Spike continued to stay cuddled half on top of him, half beside him, and half under him. Xander realized that that was too much Spike, if there could be such a thing. He decided that there couldn't, and he was just channeling Yogi Berra in the middle of the night because of the lack of baseball this time of year. But such was life with a heat-seeking room-temperature lover. Xander allowed himself to relax, holding Spike tighter to him and tangling their legs even more.

When he woke, Spike had extricated himself somehow and was currently in the kitchen. From the smell of things, he was making breakfast, the kind Xander would enjoy, rather than simply toast dunked in blood. Xander left the bedroom for a quick shower, and by the time he was dressed, breakfast was waiting for him.

"I didn't know you could cook." Xander kissed him lightly on the cheek and sat at his customary seat.

Spike lifted a forkful of eggs and said, "Now you do."

"Do you like it? Cooking?"

"It's not something I have much call to do, you know. But yeah, for you." Spike continued to act unaffected about the whole affair, but Xander could see his eyes shift nervously. He wasn't sure if it was fear of mockery or fear of dislike, but there was definitely fear.

"Hey, it's really good." And it was, fluffy eggs, crisp bacon, buttered toast. It was a better breakfast than anything anyone since Willow had made for him. "I just want you to know that you don't have to, if you don't want to cook, or anything else."

"Yeah."

"So, you didn't tell me you could cook," Xander counted off on his fingers. "And you didn't tell me bites could feel so good, and you didn't tell me you could purr-"

"I don't purr!" Spike exclaimed.

"Do too," Xander said back, words coming out around a mouthful of eggs.

"I bloody well do not."

"You do, like last night after we..." Xander trailed off and blushed slightly at the memory of exactly what it was they had just, and how well his body responded to the memory. "And in the mornings, when I come in to kiss you goodbye with my coffee-"

"Coffee, hell, that stuff you drink could strip paint." Spike grimaced.

"Yes, I like it strong. And the Big Bad doesn't wike his coffee bitter," Xander said in a childish voice. "But you do like the smell, which is why I bring it with me to kiss you, so that you'll smell it and want more and pull me back into bed to ravish me and make me late for work." He smiled.

"That's never happened, Pet."

"And just whose fault is that?" Xander pouted. "So yes, you do pur-."

"Snore." Spike interjected. The King of Non-sequitopia strikes again.

"What?"

"I snore."

Xander gaped at him. "You can't snore! You don't breathe!"

"And I don't purr." Spike said finally.

"Ah, the patented Spike method of winning the argument by pretending you've already won the argument. Teach me the ways of your people, oh master." Xander joked.

"Nothing to teach you, Master." Spike somehow managed to both leer and drop his eyes submissively. Now, there was a man with talent.



Part Forty-Two   Christmas Reflections



"Gets much colder here in winter, does it?" Spike asked from the sofa as Xander came in from work, rubbing his arms in an attempt to get rid of the goosebumps.

"Yeah," Xander answered the strange-from-a-not-interested-vampire question. "It's that time of year, I guess."

"Right. Winter." Spike closed his book and followed Xander into the kitchen where they began preparing their small dinner. Sandwich for Xander, which was pretty much the extent of his culinary skills, not counting the opening-and-pouring portion of cereal making; mug-o-blood for Spike.

"Yeah."

"December," Spike added, flicking the microwave door shut and poking a little too hard at the buttons.

"Yes, Spike, December is winter here in California." Xander gave him a funny look, but shook it off as joined him at the table.

Spike sat, sipping his blood and watched Xander eat. The third time he was caught staring, Xander finally asked. "What?"

Spike stood quickly and paced to the other side of the room, trying not to fidget, but failing. "DoyouwantanythingforChristmas?"

Xander took the time to process the rushed question and asked, "Christmas?"

Spike kept his back turned.

"Um, I hadn't given it much thought. Christmas isn't the biggest... I mean, I've got some time off for the week, but I hadn't made any plans. Present-wise, I mean. And I don't need anything. Do you do Christmas? Did you want anything? Did you want to do something?"

"Xander, do you ever breathe?" Spike turned back and sat again.

Xander smiled. "Sorry. Did you?"

"Don't you have some big poncey tradition that we'll have to follow?"

"No." Xander spoke harshly and Spike cringed.

"Sorry."

Xander sighed. "No, It's not you. Sorry I snapped. It's just, Christmas at my house didn't involve festivities. Mostly it was just a bunch of drunken Harrises and a bunch of beaten Harrises. No, not a bunch, just me. Until I started sleeping outside."

"Oh."

Xander brightened as he visibly put the memory behind him. "But I've still got the time off. Did you want to go somewhere? The girls are going to be gone, doing something in England with the new Council, so they're out, but we could do something else. Vacation. Want to go somewhere?"

"Where would we go? Not really one for the typical vacation plans, now, am I? Last time I was on holiday, me 'n Dru ate through an entire village in a week." Spike's eyes dropped to the floor as he finished his memory.

"Not gonna be doing that." Xander got up from his chair and circled around the table to rest his hand on Spike's shoulder.

Spike leaned into the contact, and shook his head a bit to clear his thoughts. "Didn't think so."

"Wanna just stay here, then? You, me, bed, blood, chocolate?"

"Yes, no, yes, yes, no."

Xander mentally recapped. "Fine, then, I'll take myself and the chocolate and stay in bed by myself," He replied mock haughtily, sitting back down on the other side of the table.

Spike pretended to reconsider. "Yes, yes, no, yes, no?"

"Okay, I don't even remember what was said when. But I think you just turned down sex."

Spike cocked an eyebrow. "I have other interests, you know."

"Like looking cool and smoking?"

"That about covers it, yeah."

"Go with your strengths, baby."

Spike's demeanor changed yet again. Nervous, petulant, and look, concernfear. "Why do you call me that?"

"I don't know. I just do. Does it bother you?"

Spike thought for a moment. "No."

"You call me your boy."

"I do not."

"You do. You talk in your sleep, and you call me your boy. You do know I'm not a boy, right?"

"You're always a boy, Pet. All enthusiastic and bouncy. 'S nice."

"Nice?"

"Very. You're... good." Spike stood, dropping the line of thought as he circled the table to stop beside Xander. "So, this Christmas thing, then. No plans, time off, whatever shall we do?"

Xander pushed his chair back from the table a little more, allowing Spike to slide between him and it. "I don't know. I'm sure we can think of something." Xander brought his hands up to Spike's hips, pulling him down into his lap. Spike gave him an irresistible grin and began to do very nice things with his body.

"Like this?"

"I dunno. Haven't done this yet."

Spike trailed wet kisses down Xander's throat, working a hand underneath his shirt at the same time. "Ah, see, now we have plans."



Part Forty-Three   Knives



Xander planned on spending the Christmas weekend lounging. They'd decided that no plans were good plans, and since the girls were currently in England, they wouldn't be joining them. He should have known, though, that plans had a way of unplanning the he was involved. Throw Spike in the mix, and he was screwed seven ways from Sunday. Which, in fact, was the only thing he'd wanted to engage in this weekend.

So he was about halfway down Spike's chest, bringing forth some amazing sounds from deep in the vampire's throat when the phone inevitably rang. It was his assistant, panicking about broken water pipes and ruined drywall, and a once nearly finished site that in the course of twenty four hours had fallen at least two weeks behind schedule.  So Xander spent the twenty-third of December re-hanging drywall, avoiding plumbers, and negotiating holiday- pay- plus- over- time, plus a bonus for the wet conditions for the contractors.

Xander tried to ignore the feeling he got that this wasn't just coincidence at work, but couldn't help silently disagreeing with the police report that decided it was a broken water main that started the damage. Even if the authorities could have explained how a top of the line set of pipes broke in the middle, they surely wouldn't make the connection between the windowless space and the pile of old blankets in the corner, or the fact that the one remaining dry patch of the building was covered in dust that was definitely not construction-related. Xander reminded himself to tell Spike to stop by on his next hunt to rid the nest that had settled here, and then lost himself in the work he'd missed since his managerial move.

When he returned from work dirty and tired, Spike was cooking again, something he now did two or three times a week. Xander called his hello on the way to the bathroom and informed Spike that he'd be taking a shower and they could eat afterwards. He washed quickly, only lingering long enough to rid himself of the grimy feeling from the site he'd visited that day. He flicked off the water, watched the last of it swirl down the drain and hopped out, the warm steamy fog enveloping him as he dressed in joggers and a tee shirt. He brushed out his hair, hoping that Spike's soul-driven reasserted Victorian sensibilities weren't offended by his failure to dress for dinner, all the while savoring the thought of adding a bit of soreness to the work-tightened muscles with finishing what he'd been force to abandon earlier in the day.

When he came into the kitchen, looking forward to whatever delicacy his vampire fixed for him this evening and a bit of nakedy goodness to follow, his mood quickly shifted, half hard-on shrinking away again for the first time that day. Spike was holding the big chef's knife in his hand, tip pointed at one slender wrist. It wasn't yet touching, but Xander could see his eyes flick between the knife and his hand, tip wavering from narrow wrist to the slightly more fleshy heel of his hand. Xander watched him, rooted to the doorway, as he brought it close, then back, closer again until the tip dented his skin just a fraction.

That was enough for Xander, and he found himself moving, stepping unnoticed to Spike's side and closing his fingers gently around the blade.  Spike jumped at the contact and Xander knew that even with his enhanced senses, the blond had not known he was there.

"Put it down," he commanded softly.

Spike released his grip slowly so Xander could readjust his hand, removing his fingers from around the blade. "Finish what you were doing and go sit at the table."

Spike nodded, head down and eyes lowered in submission. He knew he had gone against Xander's orders, but the need had been steadily building all day, while he was alone. Alone with his thoughts, and those of the things he had done in his past; guilt had him in its clutches and by the time he began to cook dinner, a distraction from the voices in his head, telling him Xander didn't really need to be present to deal with the emergency, that Xander had simply grown tired of him, left him, wasn't coming back, he was so far lost in himself he was scarcely aware of his actions. At this point, he had to check the serving dishes just to remind himself what it was he made for Xander to eat.

Xander joined him shortly after, holding his hand out to stop Spike as he started to kneel at his feet. "Sit at the table. Eat if you want to." Spike nodded again, accepting the warm cup of blood Xander handed to him, as Xander proceeded to tell him about his day, about the work he had done, actually pitched in and helped complete, and the amount of new business his 'hands-on approach' helped the company bring in. He made finger quotes around his words, punctuating his disbelief.

"I always thought that was what you were supposed to do, you know? Something needs done, you do it. Apparently, I'm part of a new wave of management types, though, and now they want me to speak at a seminar. Me." Xander shrugged in dismissal. Throughout the entire diatribe, Spike remained still, head bowed and hands clasped in his lap. "Eat."

Spike picked up the cup with trembling hands, and Xander forced himself to pause the loop of Spike and the knife in his head. "Hey, shh, clam down. I'm going to take care of you. Just eat first, okay?"

Spike nodded and seemed to still his hands before he picked up the cup again, draining it at once.

Once he was finished, and he had complimented Spike profusely on his preparation of the meal, he stood. It was time. "Go wait by the room. I'll be there in a moment," he ordered.

Spike went, complying without hesitation as Xander cleaned up in the kitchen, knowing that Spike wanted to do this for him. That was part of the reason he denied him the act. The other reason was that he needed the time to collect himself. He had hoped to wade into this slowly, taking the time to fully learn what Spike craved. But Spike's intense focus earlier proved how much he needed this, how quickly the urge had overtaken him. Xander had been keeping tabs on his lover, waiting for the signs to emerge. This morning he seemed fine, so something must have set him off while he was at work. Xander pushed all thoughts of himself aside. ?It was time to prove to Spike how much he loved him, and that for him to even consider hurting himself would not be tolerated. Spike belonged to him, and he took care of what he owned.



Part Forty-Four   The Room



Spike waited for Xander to finish cleaning the dinner dishes, trying not to fidget and failing, trying not to panic and nearly failing that as well. He let his eyes take in the site of his former bedroom, previously his and now  Xander's, Xander's because everything in this room was something he owned, up to and including the blond vampire that stood just inside the doorway. 

The bed was pushed against the far wall, made with only black silk sheets. A few blankets were stacked neatly at the foot of the bed, out of the way. The various restraints were set up against another wall, fully assembled and awaiting use. Xander's toys, paddles, whips, floggers, lubes,  and the like resided in a wall sized cabinet to his left, along with towels and face cloths, and a small first aid kit.  The shelves and drawers were hidden by the tastefully plain Shaker-style lines of the cupboard Xander had built himself, customized precisely to his needs. The only other feature in the room was the small refrigerator, filled with blood for Spike and water and juice for Xander, and on top of it the microwave for Spike's blood.

All of this had been set up by Xander, with explicit instructions that Spike was not to enter without permission.  Normally, the words alone would have sent the vampire running for the room as soon as Xander's back was turned, maybe sooner. The fact that he had not only complied, but done so without once complaining or even mentioning the room again went towards proving to Xander that Spike really did want this. That he needed it.

Xander passed him without a second glance, instead taking stock of what he had already procured for the room and deciding on the punishments and rewards to be dealt out tonight.  He turned to Spike, who was now kneeling in submission.  Xander took a deep breath to steady himself, changed his posture and tried to remember everything he'd learned about Dominating, and every smug word Angelus had told him about being a  Dominant.

"Stand up. Go to the center of the room. Strip." His voice was low in both volume and register, but Spike complied immediately. He used short sentences, simple commands. He had no doubt that Spike was capable of following much more detailed orders, but this was not about intelligence or ability. This was about not thinking, not making decisions, just being told what to do and being free to do it.

When Xander spoke again, Spike was completely naked, half hard, and again kneeling. "When I bring you in here, this is how you will present yourself. You will not speak without permission. Nothing will be done without my say so, and if you break these rules, you will be punished. Tell me if this is clear."

"Yes, Master," Spike replied, head still bowed, hands still clasped loosely behind him.

"Do you know why I brought you here?"

Nod.

"You were going to hurt yourself."

Nod.

"I've told you that you must not hurt yourself. Did you misunderstand me?" Xander's words were not harsh and mocking, he was genuinely concerned.

Spike shook his head.

"Right. First, you're going to be punished for disobeying me."  Xander gently touched Spike's head, leading him over to the cross. As Xander fastened the restraints on his wrists and ankles, binding him to the large metal 'X', he explained. "You didn't do it, though, and I'm very proud of you for that."

Spike's cock twitched at the words, wanting to hear more of his Master's approval at the same time as he wanted to deny it, tell Xander that he was nothing to be proud of. But the rules were that he did not speak, so he remained silent, keeping his warring emotions inside, fighting to be strong and not let it show, fighting to be good enough to deserve Xander's approval.

Xander picked out one of the paddles, ran his fingers across it gently as he showed it to Spike. He himself had hated not knowing what weapon would be used, and he would not inflict that upon Spike. "I think ten will do. Count." With that he brought the paddle down on Spike's ass.

"One." Spike said quitely. Even though the volume was low, he couldn't hide the fact that he had spoken through gritted teeth. Xander had hit him hard; not enough to hurt, really, but enough that Spike was left with no doubts that Xander was going to do this, and do it right. He used that same force to bring the paddle down on the right cheek. Borrowed blood briefly rose to the surface, coloring the skin slightly pink before it faded back.

"Two." Spike's voice was a little louder on this number, but his teeth were no less gritted. This time Xander brought the paddle around in an upwards motion, spreading the blow evenly across both firm cheeks.

Spike gasped and Xander watched appreciatively as the muscles in Spike's back, from his neck to his ankles tightened. "Th-three." Xander kept that in mind, but did not use the stroke again. This was, after all, a punishment. When Xander reached ten, Spike was panting, each number said with more force than the one preceding it.

Xander put the paddle down and walked back to face Spike. He took Spike's fully hard erection in hand and squeezed him gently. Spike gasped again.

"You were very good," Xander whispered in his ear, and Spike shivered. "There's something else you need to be punished for, isn't there?" He asked with another slight squeeze.

Nod.

"I told you I would take care of you. You doubted me."

Nod.

"Count." Xander picked up the paddle again, and began to strike Spike even harder, in quicker succession. He stopped at fifteen, when Spike's panting and horse counting ran together.

Between blows, Xander told Spike, "You belong to me, now. I will take care of you." Xander stopped and came around to check on Spike again. He was too new at this to know Spike's body cues, and had to continuously check on him to ensure he was leading the vampire in the correct direction, both cleansing him of the guilt and pain he possessed and bringing him to completion for allowing Xander to be responsible for this, for giving him what he needed. He held his steadily leaking cock and pumped it a few times, growing harder himself at Spike's
whimpers.

"When you doubt me, you disappoint me." Spike stopped his whimpering and went still, head bowing
as much as the restraints would allow. "Look at me. You don't want to disappoint me, do you?"

Spike shook his head slightly.

"Tell me."

"I don't want to disappoint you, Master. Want to deserve you." Spike's words were again whispered, but behind them was such emotion that Xander knew the lesson had been learned.

"That's right. Do you know what will make me proud of you?" Now it was on to the reward portion of their session.

Shake.

"Trust me. Do you trust me?" Xander leaned forward to whisper in Spike's ear, letting the warm, moist air curl around his vampire's neck and send shivers down his spine.

Nod.

"Count." And Xander resumed his stance behind Spike, bringing the paddle up hard, using the stroke that had provoked such a response in his slave earlier. At nine, Spike was trembling, his cock releasing a steady stream of precome, reddened and throbbing. At twenty, he was arching back to meet the blows rather than away from them. Xander spanked him a few more times, maintaining the force and rhythm. At thirty-four, he leaned in and whispered, "Come."

The next strike had Spike coming, long spasms wracking his body as he shoot streams of cold seed across the floor. Xander continued to caress the swollen cheeks, his own erection throbbing in time with Spike's orgasm, the thrill he received at knowing he had caused this reaction almost as great as the pleasure he received from causing it. He rubbed and stroked Spike's ass, and when the vampire seemed to come back to himself a bit, he spoke.

"Look at me. I'm very proud of you."

Spike tried to smile between pants, and Xander saw the relief combine with pleasure in his eyes.

"I'm going to let you down now. Can you stand?"

Nod.

Xander unfastened his wrists, rubbing them even though he had no circulation to restart. Then he placed them on his own shoulders as he bent to free Spike's ankles. "Go to the bed and sit down." Spike nodded and walked away gingerly, reminding Xander of the force he had used. He felt a twinge of guilt, but pushed it aside as he finished wiping down his toys.

When he turned to the bed, he took in the slump in Spike's shoulders. At first he was afraid that he hadn't after all been able to give Spike what he needed. But as he drew closer to the bed, he saw Spike's eyes flicker up to his still painfully hard cock before falling back to the floor.

"We're not done, you know," he said gently. He stood in front of Spike and spread Spike's knees with his own. He maneuvered himself between them and looked down at the expectant gaze turned toward him. Xander laid his hand on the back of Spike's head and nodded. Spike swallowed him with a ferocity Xander hadn't been aware he still possessed in his slightly weakened state. As he felt Spike swallow around him, muscles tightening, he clenched his fingers in Spike's hair. Spike relented only slightly, pulling back to lick and suck and do things Xander couldn't even describe.

"So good. You're so good. You've been so good." Xander knew he was babbling, but he was so close now.

Spike was also hard again, being allowed to pleasure his Master after he had been rewarded with the best spanking he could remember. He took Xander in again, all the way, and let his tongue play around the base of the hard flesh. Spike's hand twitched as he longed to reach down and stroke himself, wanting to join his Master in the sensations, but Master had not given him permission.

"Do it. Touch yourself," Xander commanded as he tightened his fingers in Spike's hair.

Xander's moan reverberated all the way down through his cock, into Spike's mouth and straight to his own. "Gonna come, now. You too, come with me." He felt Spike shudder slightly before he was lost to the sensation of Spike's mouth working him, pulling his orgasm from him and swallowing him down, making him part of himself.

He sank down on the bed, and pulled Spike along with him. Spike pressed into his Master, the urge to feel pain gone for the moment, but the need for reassurance still there, though it was fading.

Once Xander's breath slowed down, he looked at Spike, curled into him, latching on to him and hold on for dear life. Or what have you. "That was amazing. Tell me if you're feeling better. Tell me if I gave you what you needed."

Spike nuzzled his chest a bit and replied lazily, "Yes, Master."

Even as sated as he was, Xander's cock gave a little twitch at those words coming from Spike's lips. "Hungry?"

Spike shook his head, half in response to the question, half in an attempt to get closer to that steady heartbeat below his ear. He loved this, being allowed to cuddle with his Master. Previously, he would have been left to hang, unfulfilled, while Master rested. But that was his former Master, not Xander. Xander loved him, and would not treat him like that, even when he deserved it.

Xander felt him tense, and spoke to ground the vampire. "Go to sleep now. You need to rest."

Xander felt a small nod, and Spike began to purr lightly as he lay in Xander's arms.



Part Forty-Five   Thunder



Xander rolled his shoulder to stretch the muscles he had worked so hard during their session after such a hard day on the site. He felt all sorts of sympathy for major league pitchers; the minor soreness he had inflicted on Spike was long healed by now, but his own arms would doubtless be sore for at least a few days.

Spike was still sleeping, motionless as always, but still undoubtedly asleep. His features relaxed while he slept, leaving him looking serene, almost innocent. Xander loved to hold him like this, knowing he had brought such peace to his lover. It was still new to him to be the one in control, not to be dragged about by the whims of another. As much as he had enjoyed his previous relationships, nothing had ever felt as perfect as this, what he had with Spike.

Xander let his hand fall from Spike's waist to the small of his back, rubbing gently. Spike shifted impossibly closer, and Xander found himself examining again how well their bodies complimented each other. Spike's arm was so pale against his stomach he nearly glowed, and his head fit into the hollow under his shoulder like it was made for this situation. Spike was infinitely stronger than Xander, but when they were like this, it was as if Xander could protect him from everything. And he would. Xander fell asleep, still musing on the contrast between the cool silky feel of Spike's back and his slightly warmed chest pressed against him, while the sudden rain began to fall faster outside.

***
Spike woke a while later when Xander shifted in his sleep. He expected Xander to pull away from him, roll away onto his side, but Xander settled back down, finding a new position that allowed for even more skin to skin contact with the vampire. It amazed him, still, that Xander never let go of him, even in his sleep. Spike could hear the steady thrumming of the rain outside, even over Xander's heartbeat below his ear, and through the walls of the underground apartment. Spike was surprised that he hadn't yet heard any thunder, from the sound of the rain, the shower had moved into a full-blown storm.

At that thought, with a case of Hellmouth-inspired coincidence that Spike thought he left in Sunnydale, thunder crashed outside, not even the depth of the apartment deadening the sound.  Xander jolted awake, sitting up quickly and dislodging Spike in the process. He looked around frantically until his eyes adjusted to the small amount of light provided by the night lights found him and he found his bearings. He had been thrown by not waking in his room, but instead the room in which they had earlier conducted Spike's session.

He smiled sheepishly at Spike and settled down again, murmuring , "Sorry" at the vampire's quirked eyebrow. Spike lay back down, oddly feeling that he was providing more comfort for Xander by letting him hold him than by anything else he could be doing.

"Afraid of storms, Pet?" Spike asked. There was no way that the boy who had fought by the side of the slayer all these years and who now slept with a Master vampire could be afraid of a loud noise. But fears were irrational like that. Spike was good with irrational.

"Not afraid," Xander mumbled, already falling asleep again. "Just don't like storms."

"Why's that?"

"Makes it hard to hear them."

"Hear what?" Spike asked, sure that he wasn't going to like the answer to this question. It was like the proverbial train wreck, though, and he couldn't stop himself from asking.

"Things. People. Can't tell when they're coming if you can't hear." Xander let out a soft snore as his voice trailed off and he fell asleep again.

Spike lay still, dazed at the impact of the statement. He was ashamed to admit that when Xander originally told him about his family he hadn't reacted well. He was both too caught up in his own emotions, rocketing out of control, and he had been processing the conversation through the mind of a vampire, relating Xander's experience with his father to his own with Angelus. Sex, domination, and discipline were all tied together in the mind of a demon, and from that standpoint, Xander's abuse hadn't been all that unexpected. But now, in the calm, clearheaded state of mind Spike found himself, he heard what he hadn't then. Xander's fear, disgust, and shame at what had happened were no longer covered by the defenses the boy used, guards down due to sleepiness.

Spike's demon half raged that his human had been hurt that way. Xander may be his Master, but the demon's instinct to protect him was not lessened by his submissive status. If anything, his failure to protect Master's happiness angered him even more because of it. No one was to hurt Master. Ever.

"Won't happen again. Not ever." Spike whispered, vowing to keep Xander safe, always, before falling asleep again to the sounds of the already waning storm and Xander's slow, steady heartbeat.







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