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And here we go with a new story. If I do my job right, it'll be raunchy as hell and illegal in most states. Umm, looking to be cut into 5 - 7 parts, which I'll try to post at least once per week.

Personal growth occurs for a variety of reasons, most of which are fairly traumatic. Consider this a form of psychotherapy... Hi everyone, my name's Rowaine and I'm a fanficaholic.

Rating: First part is R, overall is NC-17... or whatever that is with the new ratings. This should eventually rank an 6+ on Willa's Smut Scale, if I do it correctly.
Warnings: D/s; bloodplay; a hint of S&M; possibly some assorted kinks; toying with a few other pervs; might be a bit on the 'dark humor' side at times. Let's just say that this is NOT 'vanilla gay vamp sex', ok?
Pairing: Spander, of course. Plus mention of others along the way.
Setting/Timeline: Several years post S7, therefore AU. A few details from the series have been altered to suit my personal preferences. IE: Angel = Spike's sire, and other tidbits to be announced when I'm good and ready.
Summary: With the destruction of his hometown and subsequent dispersal of the Scoobies, Xander finally has the chance to grow up... and grow into needs he never realized he had.
Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me except for the questionable plot.
Notes: Well now... got a new job last week - which is great, yeah? Only problem is that it's more manual labor than brainwork, leaving me with loads of time to think and nowhere near paper or keyboard to take notes. Whole new genre for me too, so be kind.
Feedback welcome!
Mucho thanks to Amejisuto for the helpful links!

The Labyrinth


Part One

He woke just before sunset, stretching leisurely before untangling muscular legs from the twisted blankets of his king-sized bed. One hand reached for the nightstand to light a four-wick pillar candle, casting a sultry glow into the quiet room. The barest movement sent flickers of shadows jumping across the walls - a soothing focus for his sleep-muddled vision. With a final cracking stretch, he stood and moved around the room, setting a dozen more candles to burn.

By force of habit, he made his way through the dimly lit space to the area designated for his work-outs. After an hour of concentrating on the steady burn of muscles, he felt that sense of peace that comes from sheer physical labor. Pulling off the thin t-shirt and drawstring pants he prefered to sleep in, he tossed both in the convenient laundry basket at the end of his weight bench.

His next step was a hot shower, surrounded by the faint herbal aromas he picked out that soothed without being too strong. He took his time soaping down, working lather across every inch of his body, relearning by touch alone each point of pleasure. Pressure built in his groin, but he avoided the rampant piece of need. He redirected the spray of water away from his body, located the brand new razor, and began to denude himself of what sparse body hair he had.

When fitting out his new home, he chose the fluffiest towels available - a minor indulgence that had given him more joy than all the decadent treats of the past few years. Taking one deep green towel from its rack, he blotted his thick hair lightly, just enough to prevent rivlets of moisture from dripping down his back. Clean, smooth, and completely relaxed, he applied a thin coat of oil to his shower-reddened skin. Finally, he used the towel to both rub and dry his body.

Another ritual complete, he headed to the kitchen for a high protein shake. Its taste was somewhat bland, even though the manufacturer claimed it was chocolate - but he'd done his homework. And isn't that ironic, after all these years?

His state of calm threatened to evaporate as nervous anticipation edged into play. Shaking his still damp head, he chuckled quietly at himself. He tidied up the kitchen, scrubbed his hair briskly on the way back to the bedroom, and tossed the towel on top of his sleep clothes.

Approaching the closet, he felt another tremor of something between terror and exhilaration. Behind the racks of standard attire, he drew out a matte black garment bag. His hands caressed the cheap plastic before finding the tab of its zipper and pulling one tooth at a time. With each click, the scent of leather grew stronger, and his erection responded with a twitch. He glanced down at it almost regretfully before removing a slender strap from the bottom of the bag. Moments later, his genitals were firmly harnessed by the deceptively supple leather of the cockring. He shivered at the knowledge that he would remain painfully hard until... much later.

His recent purchases weren't difficult to find, but had caused him more than a moment's panic. Most of the more impressive outfits took assistance in donning and disrobing - a minor problem, but one of importance in his currently single state. He had spent the past week 'practicing' getting dressed in his chosen ensemble, just to insure that it could be done without a second set of hands.

He had no difficulty putting on the pair of black leather pants, lacing up both sides til they clung smoothly to every muscle in his thighs and across his rounded buttocks. Likewise the low boots, which caused him to sigh in pleasure as his feet slid into the baby soft material. The trick to his outfit lay in the 'top' - a series of straps and buckles that brought into sharp relief the well-defined muscle groups of his chest and back. Thanking the deities in charge of the weather for such mild early spring temperatures, he pulled a maroon silk shirt over his torso before returning to the bathroom for the final touches.

A smudge of kohl eyeliner applied sparingly to highlight his eyes drew attention to thick dark lashes that most women would kill for. His hair was easy enough - finger comb, ruffle across the forehead, with the tiniest bit of gel to preserve the 'just gotten out of bed after a long night of fucking' look.

With a pleased (if nerve-wracked) nod at the overall effect, he grabbed his keys and wallet, blew out the multitude of candles, and locked the door behind him.

~ * ~

For years, he had suppressed several facets of his personality - a fact he could now admit, with so many thousands of miles between him and his long-time circle of friends. The journey of discovery started after the destruction of his childhood hometown. Or, if he were to be completely honest, it began a few months prior to that. The new, improved Xander Harris made a point of being honest with himself at all costs.

And indeed, the costs were high. Loss of his home, the very foundations of his oldest friendships shaken to the core... loss of life in certain cases.

He had mourned his ex-fiance's death, and blamed Andrew for her self-sacrificing actions. How dare the little nobody live on, when Anya could not? At last, he had accepted it as being her choice, her final step in 'humanization', and had offered his apologies to the young man.

Harder to take was the loss of close friendship with Willow. She had never truly recovered from Tara's death, but her role in the battle with the First Evil took a far greater toll on her reserves of strength than she could stand. They each made the attempt to keep in touch, even knowing that they were moving in opposite directions.

The Summers women were a different story - as always. Dawn enrolled in university at some foreign school, making friends and a name for herself away from the stigma of being the Slayer's sister. And Buffy, the first Slayer to graduate from college, no longer the only Chosen One, globe-trotting and romancing yet another supernatural being. He wished them luck, exchanged Christmas cards and birthday greetings, and let them enjoy their lives.

Surprisingly, Giles was the one he missed most, after all. Xander gave full credit to the former Watcher's role as surrogate father, where Xander's own was so pathetically doused in the miasma of alcohol, as being one of the only blocks of stability in his formative years. He was also instrumental in the final phase of Xander's maturation - through much polishing of spectacles, he frequently sent 'care packages' of books and pamphlets, even going so far as to recommend 'teachers' when asked. The blush on Xander's face flared each time he thought about his mentor having experienced any of his recurring fantasies.

He had called one of the names on Giles' suggestion, and received a list of potential trainers. One of which would be expecting him any minute. Had his penis not already been full and leaking, he would no doubt be erect at the terrified shiver of arousal/anticipation that exploded throughout his body.

~ * ~

Without realizing how far he'd driven, Xander found himself parked out front of an old stone-faced house. Set well back from the quiet residential street, behind a tall privacy fence, the house was surrounded by lush trees and shrubs in the early stages of spring bloom. It was the sort of home one expected to find in stately historic New Orleans, not a suburb of Dallas, Texas. But looks, as he had learned too often in his life, were most often deceptive. He turned off the ignition, pocketed the keys, and took a deep breath of courage.

A glance in the rear view mirror showed him to be as presentable as could be expected for his first time at this sort of thing. He spared a quick thanks to the Powers, for such a timely distraction before he began brooding over... other losses.

Deep green ivy clung tenaciously to the exterior of the house, framing the white front door he now faced with trepedation. He stood upon a wide porch, his mind taking note of those myriad details he had heard about (but never witnessed first hand) on various Saturday afternoon 'tour of estates' shows from the public broadcasting station. Window boxes of dahlias and chrysanthemums brought color to the ivy-covered face of the house. A little touch of his inner construction worker admired the clean, classic lines of the overall structure.

He had no more time to appreciate the landscape, however, as the front door opened, revealing a short brunet woman in dark clothes.

"Alexander Harris, is it?" Her voice a husky alto, she stepped back at his nod of agreement, ushering him into the foyer. "Welcome to Wilalston Manor, Mr Harris. I am the caretaker for the Master. You may call me Jancis, if you have any questions." Leaving the offer open, she led him inside.

Bright cherrywood panelling framed with crisp white trimwork covered the walls of both foyer and hall, interrupted only by the occassional painting or wall sconce. Whatever Xander had been expecting, this much... tasteful decorum was far from his imaginings.

At the end of the short hall, Jancis opened a door to admit him into the drawing room. It too was panelled and well lit, with low leather seating arranged between bookcases and convenient tables. A rough stone fireplace roared cheerily behind its mesh screen, offering warmth and the comforting sense of welcome. He barely had time to take in his surroundings before he was addressed once more.

"The Master will be with you momentarily, Mr Harris. If you would, please place your shirt and shoes here," she gestured to an indention on one wall, where a clothes rack and two low shelves lie partially hidden behind a full bookcase. "You will find several items waiting for use in a small bag on the lower shelf. Make sure to utilize them before Master arrives."

With that, the middle aged woman left him to his own devices. A dangerous place to be, he absently noted as his anxiety rose to new heights. Did he really want to be here, doing this? Leaving himself at the total mercy of a stranger? Maybe not, but it was something he knew needed be done. All his life, he had taken care of his loved ones (and perfect strangers, and ex-demons and current demons) - now was his chance to turn all that responsibility over to another. He would not back out.

Xander found himself doubly grateful for the warmth of the fire as he slipped off his shirt and shoes. The caretaker hadn't said how long he had to wait, so he wasted no time in putting his things away. The small cloth bag lying in wait for him opened to reveal a blindfold, a small pillow, and a note. The note's elegant writing caught his attention straight away.

'Place the pillow three feet in front of the center of the hearth.
Here you will kneel, blindfolded, awaiting my pleasure. Know
that you are in good hands - I have spoken with your friend,
and can give you what you desire.'

No signature gave him a clue what his mystery man's name was, nor had he heard any from his brief correspondence with Giles' acquaintence. And maybe that would make it easier on him. Total abandon, leaving everything to someone else's capable hands.

Xander drew a deep, cleansing breath. He folded the paper and placed it in his shirt pocket, before taking the satin cushion toward the fireplace. With less grace than he'd have liked to demonstrate, he knelt on the pillow and carefully placed the blindfold across his eyes. It covered his face from his upper cheeks to hairline, allowing no hint of light to seep into his vision.

And yes, he admitted to a small frission of nervous fear. But more than that, he felt the high expectation of freedom. This was his choice.

~ * ~

As he listened with half an ear for signs of his host's approach, Xander thought back on the past few months of self-discovery.

He had finally moved out of the new Watchers Council headquarters, after seeing to the finishing touches of the buildings. Libraries and dorms, meeting rooms and offices, he had overseen it all. It was a bittersweet triumph, watching the last nail being pounded home, the last coat of varnish covering the ornate bannisters. Some of his best work, and a sense of accomplishment he'd seldom ever felt came over him every time he remembered the glowing praise of his friends and Giles.

Less than a week afterwards, he had approached the chief Watcher. Bored and restless, he'd felt it was time to move on, but had no idea what he truly wanted.

"Er, hi G-man... gotta minute?" Stammering at the door of his mentor's office, Xander waited til he had permission to enter before flopping into a comfortable slump in the overstuffed armchair across from Giles' desk.

With a wry grin, the older man greeted his surrogate son. "Of course, Xander. What brings you here today? I'd have thought you would be spending some quality time with the backs of your eyelids after the past hectic months."

Xander felt the blush before it started. "Yeah, about that... I've pretty much done all I can here, right? Other than whittling new stakes, or tracking down more Potentials. And there are other people who can do that now. I sorta want to..."

"Move on?" Giles nodded his head, having anticipated this reaction from the young man. "There's nothing wrong with that, Xander. What have you in mind? Perhaps I can help in some way?"

And the flush rose another notch. "Uh... about that... I don't know, but maybe. It's sorta... personal, y'know?"

Instead of the glass-polishing he'd been expecting, Xander watched a wicked grin cross his friend's face. "Ah, it's come to this. Very well." Clearing his throat, Giles looked closely at Xander's face. He nodded, apparently satisfied with what he saw. "I believe I know what you need, young Mr Harris," he began in full teacher mode, "Some time away from all who know you, so that you can finally seek out your adult personality. How close am I so far?"

Mutely, Xander could only nod.

"I suspected as much. You've watched your life-long friends mature and wander off into their own pursuits. Frankly, I'm impressed you held off as long as you have, Xander. Back before-"

Cutting him off, Xander quickly interrupted, "Yeah, before. It's something I've been thinking about for quite awhile. But I had to make sure this was finished first, and now it is. There's no need for me to hang around, right?"

Giles accepted the 'move along' motion, drumming his fingers on the polished oak desktop before him. "Quite. So what you're looking for, from me, is not permission to depart. Rather, you're notifying me of your intent?" He waited while the brunet worked that query over in his mind, nodding when he'd translated it from Brit-speak. "And now you feel free to cut ties, to further your own growth apart from the gaggle of females who constantly surround you." Another nod, this one quicker. "And, unless I've missed the signals entirely, you will also be... broadening your horizons, so to speak."

Shellshocked, Xander could only offer a last nod. He knew how observant the Watcher was, but hadn't imagined having that intense focus directed at himself. Apparently, someone was paying attention after all. It shouldn't have come as such a surprise, he reasoned, since Giles often understood him better than Xander knew himself.

"When I was a much younger man, Xander, I went through much the same thing. My parents were nothing like yours, although they were far from ideal in most respects. After such rigidity in my upbringing, I... rebelled. And yes, before you mention it, this was prior to my forray into Chaos magic. Before Ethan Rayne. Actually, it's how I met the ornery bugger, but that's neither here nor there." Taking a sip from his cooling tea, Giles watched carefully over the lip of the cup to see what impact his words had. "Each person has facets to their mental and emotional being, and many of us have... needs... that differ from our contemporaries. You spent more than two years exploring the aspects of a monogamous, heterosexual relationship with Anya. Now you feel it is time to... branch out, yes?"

Caught between embarassment of the subject, and relief that he didn't have to explain himself, Xander ducked his head before answering, "Yeah, something like that. But it's more... I'm tired of being the mature one - and how scary is it, that I was more mature than an eleven-hundred year old vengeance demon? - tired of being the one to take care of everybody else."

"Ah yes, I am fully familiar with such feelings. Unless you are uncomfortable accepting my assistance, perhaps I can refer you to a selection of literature that might help your personal sojourn?" A twinkle of devilment in his eye, Giles left the offer hanging to see if the young man would ask what he meant. No luck there, for it seemed his friend was willing to sit back and waffle. "What I mean is that I have a list of books and suchlike, that could be of use to your... exploration. You're leaving England for this, I presume."

"Uh yeah, probably best if I took myself back to the states. I just can't get used to being surrounded by tea and crumpets, sorry."

That brought a chuckle from behind the desk. "Of course, how dare we presume to influence your deporable preference of Twinkies and HoHos. Whatever the case, if you would contact me with your new address, I can have a comprehensive selection sent to you." Seeing the horror on Xander's face, Giles had to laugh aloud. "There won't be a test, Xander. This is only for you. I cannot see you sharing... certain aspects of your life with the girls, however close you are to them. Nor do I expect you to divulge your findings with me. However, please know that I am always here for you. If ever you have questions, worries, or simply need a friendly ear, remember that I am but a phonecall away."

In the blink of an eye, Xander was behind the desk with his arms wrapped firmly around his friend. Stuffy Britishism aside, Giles relished the contact, extending his own strong hug and patting the young man's back til he regained control.

"You have no idea how much this means to me, G-man. God Giles, I'm terrified what I'll find out about myself, but even more scared to *not* try, y'know?" Affirmative murmurring encouraged him to continue. "I'll let you know where I end up. Someplace far from hellmouths and slayers and magic, if I can help it. Someplace I can concentrate on figuring it all out."

With one last thump to his back, Giles released his 'son' and held him at arms' reach. "You are an intellegent, caring man, Alexander Harris. I am incredibly proud to have watched you grow from fumbling teenager to the man before me. And I shall always be here for you."

Two days later, Xander boarded a plane back to America, his few possessions awaiting a destination before being shipped along.

He finally took the road trip he'd started almost ten years ago, ending up in north central Texas. Demon activity was low, people were fairly friendly, and the temperature almost reminded him of home. Finding a place to stay wasn't difficult, and Xander revelled in walking through the door of his own house, knowing that he had the right to do whatever he wished within its walls. Such simple security was foreign to him, but a feeling he quickly grew to enjoy.

Before long, he called Giles to ask for the promised care package, blushing the entire way through their conversation. He waited on pins and needles for eight days, til the FedEx truck pulled up in front of his home. Wheeling a dolly laden with boxes to his front door, Xander signed for his parcel, part of him thoroughly entertained by the curious looks the driver gave his blushing face. Finally, he closed the door and pounced on his presents, as if Christmas had come a second time.

In a show of scholarship he would never portray in front of the Scoobies, Xander devoured every scrap of information he was given. He even bought a high end computer, got DSL, and went online to search for more topics relating to his 'interests'. The sheer mass of data he had to process kept him occupied (and half hard) for the next four months. In the end, he admitted to himself that he could go no further without a hands-on teacher.

~ * ~

So here he was now, waiting for the teacher to make an appearance. His trainer. His Master. Xander didn't need his eyes to tell how his hard cock throbbed within his pants at the thought. Nipples erect, dick erect, a fine layer of sweat from being so close to the fire - and anticipatory nerves - all telling how very ready he was to meet the man.

A soft click grabbed his attention, letting him know he was no longer alone. Xander straightened his posture, clasping his hands at the small of his back and lowering his head. As it should be, in the presence of Master.

Part Two

After hearing the door open, soft footsteps approached Xander's kneeling form. He barely had time to register the brief flair of panic before a firm hand gently stroked his hair.

"Good evening, Alexander," a soft, cultured voice - oddly reminiscent of Giles' - spoke quietly by his right ear. "You are prompt. I approve."

Some small knot of tension loosened in the brunet's chest over that minor praise. He didn't know fully what he'd expected from this first visit, but soft words and gentle touches weren't high on the list.

"Tonight, it would be best if we covered some of the 'fine print', as it were." Xander felt movement in front of him, as if the Master had sat upon the hearth. "You are a novice, and as such we must make sure how far you wish to go. How dedicated you need to be."

An extended pause led Xander to believe his reply was expected, but he hesitated in speaking.

"Oh you learn quickly. Very nice, indeed." Again, the tousled hair was petted. "When I ask you a direct question, you must give your most honest answer. Remember to use the proper form of address in your response." Long fingers traced his jawline, coming to rest on his lower lip. "Now, what do you most expect to achieve from this experience?"

Not daring to clear his throat, Xander's voice cracked on the first words. "Pl-please M-master, I need... to be free from..." His voice trailed off, uncertain of how to phrase his desires.

"Tell me, little one, what do you most need?" The smooth baritone a caress against his tangled nerves, Xander felt he would weep from the tenderness being shown him by this stranger.

"I need... the freedom of giving up all responsibilities. No one waiting for me to make it all better, or take care of them, or fix everything. No more crying on my shoulder, expecting me to make them laugh or listen to their problems." Once he found a starting point, words spilled from Xander's mouth, finally unburdening his aching heart. "I'm not sure if this is something I should do 24/7, or just on weekends, or even if it'll last more than a month. I think so, it just feels right. But all I've read... there's so many things to-"

"Worry about? That, my boy, is why we are negotiating now." A low chuckle, not unkind. "You show much promise as a quality submissive - with little instruction, you have prepared yourself in pleasing attire, assumed and maintained a position which could not be comfortable for this long, and have attempted to answer fully and with total honesty a very difficult question. Don't fret so much, little one. There will be no punishment over your words or actions this night."

Startled by that comment, Xander's head lifted toward the voice he was rapidly coming to adore. "M-master?"

"Yes, little one?"

"Could I... take off the blindfold?" Quickly ducking his head after asking the question, Xander resumed his previous position.

"Not tonight, Alexander. We have much to discuss, and you will find more freedom in not having to face your inquisitor."

That made... entirely too much sense. And somehow, it relaxed yet another bundle of nerves from his subconscious. "Thank you, Master."

In return, he received another low chuckle. "You've done some reading, it seems."

Xander's blush brightened the darkness behind his mask. "As much as I could, yes. This whole thing is new and sorta scary and I didn't want to go into it blind."

"So you shouldn't. Alright then, let us begin with the basics, shall we? In order for me to give you what you need, I shall have to understand what sort of background you have in submission. Tell me about yourself, your past relationships, your personal history."

Taking a deep breath, Xander wondered how truthful he should be. As a friend of a friend of Giles, this man might well know about demons and such... but was it wise to let it all out? He took too long to reply, and his tumbled thoughts were disrupted further.

"Start with your previous relationships, little one."

A direct request made it much easier. "Ok, sorry... Um... There haven't been many. My first girlfriend was really overbearing, and always ashamed of being seen with me. There were a few... one night stands, I guess, that all ended up with me still breathing, but hurt and confused afterwards. The last, and longest, relationship I had ended a few years ago, and we were just starting to become friends again when she... died." His voice trailing off, Xander was unaware of the tear that crept from beneath the silk blindfold.

His audience of one was more observant, however. Reaching out with gentle fingers, the Master wiped his cheek. "I regret your loss, but you are stronger for surviving, living past the pain." He kept his hand curled around the line of Xander's jaw, cupping it softly. "You've had no others since?" The young man could only shake his head, torn up over reliving the barely-buried ache. "Have you ever been with a man, Alexander?"

And there was the most pertinent question. Stammering slightly, Xander shook his head once more. "Never. But this, whatever it is, wherever it's going... I need it to be a man leading me. Every girl I've ever cared about has been domineering or bossy, and still I was always the one they would lean on." He sniffled, grimacing at the sound. "Is it selfish of me to want to be the weak one?" Almost immediately, he cringed at his own words. "Sorry, that's not-"

"There is nothing wrong with your desires, my boy. It sounds as if you've had a difficult past. Now that you've made the decision to place yourself in someone else's hands, you shall have the freedom of being as weak - or as strong - as necessary." Smoothing the frown lines from Xander's brow, his hand maintained its reassuring contact. "Your honesty is crucial to the success of this undertaking, Alexander."

"Thanks... but could you call me Xander please? Only my parents and teachers called me that."

"Of course, whatever makes you most comfortable. For now."

At last, Xander found something to return his sense of humor. Giggling lightly, he grinned into the strong fingers framing his face. "Ok, your other questions... Personal history? More of the same. I was surrounded by strong, powerful women most of my life. My best friends, past girlfriends, unavoidable acquaintances. Only one man was constantly around, and he's more of a father figure. We don't talk about my birth parents - they weren't much for parental responsibilities."

"I see. Very well, that's enough of a general overview for now. Next item - what is it you most fear to come of this experience?"

A shiver travelled from his hairline down to the soles of his feet, causing Xander to almost jerk off his pillow. "Uh, that's... way too easy a question."

Hands that had framed his cheek so tenderly moments before, grasped his chin in an nearly painful hold. "You will answer me, boy."

Something about the tone of voice caused alarm bells to go off in Xander's head. He couldn't place where he'd heard it before, but the concern derailed his reluctance enough to force brutal honesty once again. "I fall in love, hard and fast and completely. If you keep being so... I dunno... caring and all, I'm liable to fall for you. And that's something I'm not sure I can take. After all, this is what you do for a living, right? So what happens when my 'training' is done and you send me on my way?"

The silence that followed his outburst almost caused Xander to flee the room.

Finally, the smokey voice returned, softer than ever. "This isn't a 'living' for me, little one. I make no money, earn nothing beyond the pleasure of insuring my pet's wellbeing and satisfaction. For now, the question should perhaps be, do you want to take that chance? Or should I restructure my attitude toward you, for the sake of your heart?"

Being offered the choice almost broke the young man. He had never been given such an opportunity, and found himself close to tears yet again. "Can... can you keep it less... personal for starters? Just till I figure out if this is something I can keep doing?"

"Oh Xander, you truly do not know how these things work, do you?" Wry amusement, again reminding him of his Watcher friend, laced the sultry tones. "I will endeavor to maintain a professional attitude, for now. Understand that it cannot remain as such. The further we go into your training, the more... intimate... we will become. On many levels. Such is the way of the lifestyle."

"Lifestyle, or playing? Which is better to start with?"

Chuckling, "You have probably read more on the subject than I, young one. Such keywords are useful for so many upwardly mobile fetishists, but have little place between two people who truly wish to live the complete exchange of power."

"Power? But that's... I mean... Isn't that the point? Giving up power to you?" Thoroughly baffled, Xander's head swam in an attempt at making sense of the contradiction.

"Oh darling boy, you have no idea how much power a submissive has. It is he, or she, who sets all the boundaries. Of whose limits we reach, stretch, push to the fullest. The Master's task is in giving pleasure, pain, punishment, or whatever other feeling his submissive needs. In all things mundane, you will serve me. In the greater scheme, it is I who serve you."

A whisper of lips brushing against his own dry mouth caught Xander's attention, drawing a gasp of surprise and a moan of electrified pleasure from the young man. "Yeah, I want that." He barely felt the words slipping past his tingling lips.

"Then that is what you shall have, dear boy."

~ * ~

Minutes passed before Xander realized that he was once again alone in the room. He shifted his weight on the pillow, trying to find relief for his aching knees, stretch muscles that had atrophied. He didn't know when or why the Master had left, and he wasn't willing to risk the man's good temper by pulling off his blindfold. So instead, he got as comfortable as possible and replayed the interview.

If he understood the main points, Xander wouldn't be giving up his rights as a human, his overall personality. Rather, he would be offering himself as ... what? Sex toy? Servant? Neither seemed to fit the scenario. Ok, simplify the answer: he would be yielding his freedom of choice, voluntarily, in exchange for obedience and consent in whatever his Master did to him.

And through it all, very little mention of pain was made. That was... a surprisingly comforting thought. He'd read of many types of Master/slave relationships that focused on pain and punishment, humiliation of the submissive. Sure, he could handle pain - all his years as a Scoobie had trained him well in that area -but he'd never associated it with sex before. Alright, except for spanking maybe. Or having his nipples chewed. Or...

Groaning low in his throat, Xander forced his attention away from that line of thought. No sense getting aroused all over again, since tonight would be all talk, right?

The air changed, a current out of place, something, whatever, that alerted him to the Master's presence. His muscles unconsciously tensed in preparation for... who knew what.

"I leave the room for ten minutes, and you're wound tighter than a slinky again." Exasperation underlined with amusement, the silky voice stroked his nerve endings. And set off warning bells. What was it about that voice that was so damned familiar? "You need to relax, little one. I can tell that you deeply wish to try your hand at this, but you will never learn to appreciate the joy of utter abandon until you can loosen up. Let go of those tired, middle class morals."

He almost snorted at that. Wasn't he shrugging off twenty-eight years worth of morals already? Just by allowing himself to enjoy that single, chaste kiss? Ok, maybe he could let the snort out a tiny bit.

"That's better, lad. There is always room for laughter." Humor underlining his tone, the Master returned to his position in front of Xander. "I believe it is time to move on, don't you? We'll start slow, let you get a feel for taking orders, how to express your desires without demanding. All I need now is to know your time restraints."

The man expected honesty, but Xander was torn. In the end, he gave it. "I have a very flexible job, where I usually work from home. There's nobody to expect me back at any time, although I did leave your address and phone number with a friend of mine for emergencies."

"As you should. Eventually, we will be able to trust one another completely. For now, you are offering me the courtesy of honest answers. It will suffice."

Xander gathered a bit of courage before suggesting, "This is Friday night, so maybe we could work on the whole getting to know you thing this weekend. And figure out where to go from there on Sunday?" It was more than he'd anticipated, when he first started looking into domination and submission games. But this seemed less like a game, and more like a way of life. One that was quickly becoming the most attractive offer he'd ever had.

He felt the Master nod at his shoulder. "That will suit us both then. If you are ready to begin?"

"Uh... yeah... how?"

"You are to answer only when asked a direct question, boy. And remember my title, or you will suffer the consequences." That tone crept back into the baritone voice, flicking at the switch of Xander's memory. "Do you understand?"

"I'm sorry. Yes Master." He shivered from toes to eyelashes, his body responding to the concept faster than his mind could catch up and accept his new status.

He must have made a rather pronounced display of his arousal, for the Master chuckled darkly at him. "Very good, little one. I was almost afraid that you would shy away from the sexual aspects of this arrangement. But that isn't the case, now is it? You have been erect since before arriving, and you relish the use of my title."

All he could do was blush in agreement. He had not been asked a direct question, and somehow he figured that replying to rhetorical statements would be bad. For now. He made a mental note to test that theory when he'd better learned the rules.

"Now then, what shall we do with you... Such a lovely specimen, all tanned and sculptured muscles. Did you shave for me, sweet boy?" His voice changed to honey-laced brandy. Whereas before it had been soothing and comforting, now the Master's words and tone simply oozed sensuality.

"Yes Master."


Gulp. "Yes Master."

A throaty purr near his left ear startled Xander, causing him to twitch. In several places. Toward the other man.

"Mmm, very nice. And you're much more excited than you want to let on, aren't you. But is it the situation, the total loss of control, or is it... me?"

Every nerve in Xander's body felt polarized by his Master's words, the man's body calling to him like a siren song. He swayed closer, instinctively trying to re-establish physical contact with the one who was playing him like a fine-tuned instrument. "It's... all of the above, Master."

"Lovely, pet. A worthy answer, deserving a treat. Do you like treats, little one?"

Oh yes, Xander loved treats. He could think of dozens he'd like to indulge in just then. "Very much, Master."

"The question being - do you think you deserve one?"

That was a trick question, he was sure. What was the correct response? Ah yeah... "If it pleases you, Master."

The purr grew louder, closer to his neck. Instead of a reply, he felt blunt teeth and a wet tongue nibbling their way across his neck, up to his ear. Shuddering in pleasure, Xander leaned into the touch, silently begging for more. His brain turned off, missing the connection he'd sought earlier. Where had he heard that voice before? Coupled with the grumbling purr, he would eventually put two and two together. For now, all his lust-fogged mind could comprehend was the intensity of sensations he was being offered. A thrill he was unwilling to turn down.

Muttering thickly against his throat, the Master continued to deftly query his new slave. "Just how far are you willing to be taken, Xander. I wonder... would you let me bind you up tight in leather and silk?" The young man moaned at the idea. "Oh yes, you'd enjoy that." His tongue outlined Xander's left clavicle, lifting only to continue his questioning. "Would you like to be thrown over my lap, with your pants around your ankles, and spanked til that lovely arse is a bright pink?" A louder moan and full-body shiver. "Mmm, I bet you'll look luscious like that. We'll have to try it soon."

Xander's mind felt completely disconnected from his body by that point. Each suggestion of what acts would be performed on him brought his arousal to a higher pitch than he'd ever achieved before. Even during Anya's experiment phases he had rarely encountered such exhilaration.

"Do you need to be punished, little one?" Through the blood pounding in his ears, Xander heard the underlying seriousness of the question, quickly shaking his head. "No more than I deem necessary then, very good. It would be such a shame to damage all this lovely skin with further scars."

His nerves totally focused on the mouth offering such delights to his neck area, Xander almost missed the finger and thumb that came up to twist his nipple. "But you'd love to be tortured with pleasure, yes?" The volume of his groan surprised the young man, but simply brought a delighted laugh from his Master. "Tied down, spread eagle over my big soft bed, all naked and straining against your bindings. I wonder which would drive you mad faster... using a feather to outline every inch of your skin, or my tongue."

If he had sufficient muscle control left, Xander might very well have tried to throw himself into the man's arms. As it was, he could not contain the tremors of desire that coursed through his body. "Wha-whichever pleases you, Master. Please..."

"So eager and willing. The taste of innocent abandon is like ambrosia, did you know? Of course not, as an innocent yourself, you would never have noticed such things." The devilish tongue traced a line from his ear, all the way down his throat, landing near the sensitized nipple. "As we go on, your limits will expand, beyond your wildest dreams. What today would seem like a perversion, may yet be your fondest turn-on." Fingers flattened across his torso, over his fast-beating heart. "Have you pictured yourself bent over a chair, tied tightly to its legs, open and slicked and begging to be filled?"

"Gods yesssss, please Master!" Every iota of need spilled out in that one plea.

"With what would you like to be filled, young one? A thick length of silicon perhaps? Or maybe my cock, pulsing inside your tight virgin arse... Or have you read about other acts, such as using a full hand deep within, flexing and turning to stimulate your prostate with every twitch of my fingers?" The Master's voice went from sultry to husky, as his excitement showed at the prospect of debauching his untried charge.

He didn't have long to wait for a reaction, as Xander's entire body arched into his touch. "I-I wanna try that, Master. Anything, everything, please... now?"

His second hand gripped a trembling arm, holding the young man in place. "Oh we'll try many things, little one. For tonight, however, it would be best to stick with simpler endeavors." Carefully manipulating his slave's body, he laid Xander lengthwise in front of the fireplace. "Comfy, pet?"

"Al-almost, Master."

"Hmm, what would make you more comfortable, dearheart?" Fingers returned to their task of tracing lines of torment across tanned muscles.

"My p-pants, Master. May I... take... loosen them?" Whether the flush was from arousal or embarassment, Xander couldn't tell. He simply knew that he'd never craved another's touch so very deeply as this man's.

With delicate sweeps moving lower, down abdominal muscles and across to the top of leg, the Master's hands settled at his charge's hips. "Let's untie these laces then, shall we? See what sort of treat I've acquired..." Slowly pulling the leather strips from their moorings, he began to unwrap his present. Then stopped, moved back over the equally bound chest, and released the harness from Xander's torso first. "You've got lovely red marks over your chest, dearling. All for me, eh?" His tongue traced each stripe, while his hands went back to work lower.

Xander very much thought that his dick might explode before the other man finally got to his destination. With all his energy consumed in the task of simply *feeling*, he could only moan further pleas to hurry.

"Impatient child. Put your hands behind your head and leave them there. I'll not have you interrupting my... dinner." And so saying, a full mouth covered Xander's panting lips, devouring his cries and words begging urgency.

Minutes later, the brunet lay full length on the floor, naked of clothes and inhibitions. His lips were bruised, swollen and thoroughly kissed. Both nipples in hard peaks, his stomach quivering in anticipation. Still bound by the cockring, his erection dripped steadily against his low abdomen. Even had it occurred to him to do so, Xander could not have formulated enough thought to beg for his own much-needed release.

Soft satin and softer skin rested along the entire length of his body, indicating that the Master had finally joined him. The exotic sensation of fire-warmed satin against his side made the young man gasp, shuddering closer to the other.

"Xander," the voice purred into his ear, "lift your knees." Instantly, he raised both legs til his feet were planted on the floor, leaving his knees in the air, spread a foot apart. "You may relax your leg against me, but keep your feet where they are until I tell you otherwise. Do you understand, little one?"

Hastily, he obeyed, nodding his head in jerky movements. "Yesss Master. Will you..."

"Hmm? For all my talents, I am not a mindreader, child. What do you want me to do?"

It may have been easier to formulate a response, had the man's fingers not been tracing Xander's inner thighs in circles that slowly brought them closer to the evidence of his need. "T-touch me, please Master."

"But I am." Laughter hid behind his words, he let his knuckles 'accidentally' brush against the tightly drawn sac nestled between Xander's spread legs.

Emitting a groan of frustration, the young man barely kept himself from pushing into his tormentor's grasp. "I ache, Master, please..."

He mentally acknowledged how very delightful his charge was, so far beyond simple need for climax that he could give himself over to his Master's whims. Such abandonment was the goal, of course, but it had taken much less time to achieve than one might expect.

Xander didn't know which feeling to focus on. This was so much different than he'd expected, and infinitely more appealing. He'd never been this hard in his life! Every nerve, every hair follicle, was focused on his Master's touch... and that voice, that now seemed more familiar than his own. He barely had time to register one of the torturous hands being lifted from his body before it returned, slick and headed on a direct path up his thigh. And yes, he knew roughly where it was going - he just couldn't bring himself to voice anything resembling an objection.

"Xander, have you ever been played with like this?" Fingers moist with oil traced tight circles across the curve of his buttocks. At the boy's embarassed nod, the Master went on, "Some brave soul dared venture into *my* territory?" A dangerous growl in his voice caused the young man to shiver harder, sending his desire higher with adrenaline-edged arousal. "Did you lie to me, boy? You said no man has ever touched you."

Finally, something that required a coherent answer. "N-no Master! My girlfriend... she l-liked to try new things." He broke off with a moan, when the rough grip on his thigh immediately turned back into a caress. "Had a whole box of toys and manuals. Most she used for herself, but... s-s-she made sure I wasn't left out."

Seemingly satisfied by the response, the Master's fingers resumed their snail's pace. Across one buttock, deftly sweeping into the hairless juncture of thigh and hip, feathering lightly across the aching sac. "Mmm, then this is not so new as you'd have me to believe."

Displeasure hinted within the tone, Xander felt a tremor of unease begin somewhere behind his balls - right where the man's fingers were currently exploring. "Not so much, Master. Honestly! She... tried a few t-times, but I... couldn't let go enough. It always hurt, alot, when she-"

"I see," the interruption spared both men - Xander from remembered pain, and the Master from jealous anger. "You will feel no pain this night, little one. Unlike your lady, I truly am a Master." Teeth nibbled along the young man's earlobe, his purr merging with words to produce a sensual feast for Xander's auditory receptors. "And tonight, you will learn precisely why a man would wish to be breeched. Allow himself to be penetrated."

In his distraction - such a wicked, talented mouth! - Xander almost missed the introduction of one slippery digit to his hidden opening. Merely the tip entered his body, squirming past the first tight ring of muscles to stroke and tease. He couldn't have prevented his long moan of disbelieving pleasure to save the world.

A dark chuckle followed his sounds of approval. "I suspect, young one, that you require very little of the standard submissive's training. More appropriate for you would be the broadening of horizons, forcing you to submit to your own needs, wants, desires."

Following the vocal patterns, Xander barely noticed the finger intrude fully within his ass... until it hit a bundle of exquisite fire inside him that caused his body to bow into a tight arch, pushing down onto the invasion and relishing the brightburnbliss of his first prostrate stimulation.

Had he not been blindfolded, he would have witnessed the stunned expression on his trainer's face. True to the command, Xander offered himself totally to the pleasure being heaped upon him. Honest and complete abandon had never been so alluring, called to him like the thrum of a steady heartbeat. Before he could give it a second thought, the Master lowered his mouth onto the straining erection, slipped a second finger past that tight guardian ring, and flicked open the leather that restrained his charge's reactions.

"Oh gods Master please gonna come lemme come if you don't stop fuck too good can't stop please Master!"

Lifting his head only long enough to issue the order "You have permission, dearling", he engulfed Xander's erection, swallowing quickly until he held every millimetre inside the grasping confines of his throat. His fingers took up a rapid staccato, drilling deep inside the young man's untried body, brushing against his prostrate until a fiery orgasm exploded through his body and flooded the Master's mouth. He sipped the bittersweet liquid like fine wine, savoring each drop before letting it trickle down his throat. Each pass of his tongue on Xander's oversensitized flesh rocked another tremor of pleasurepain along his nerves, extending his climax beyond anything he'd ever experienced.

The brunet's brain refused to come back online. He was stuck in a world of total rapture, reliving the most incredible episode of his life over and over, with instant replay and John Maddon commentary. All he could manage to do was pant weakly. He pushed one limp foot toward the Master's leg, brushing against a hard length, and immediately felt a wealth of guilt.

"M-master... how... do you... let me..." Frustrated by his inability to express his desire to reciprocate, Xander broke orders and brought a hand down to cup the other man's turgid erection. At that point, he didn't care if he was punished for disobedience - he only knew that he had to give his Master as much pleasure as his inexperienced hands would allow. But he received no remonitions, only a slight movement as the man's body realigned itself to give him more room to work.

Blind and uncertain, Xander's lethargic muscles protested as he crawled down the length of hard flesh beside him. He brought his lips into contact, guessing that he'd found a shoulder, and began a series of licks and gentle bites across a toned chest. He kept one hand wrapped tightly around the thick, leaking erection, using the other to brace himself for more ease of exploration. His tongue lathed a wide path across both nipples, before timidly trailing down the line of hair that grew more dense toward his destination.

Master's breath came harshly beneath him, pulling air past lips swollen from having delivered a mind-numbing blow job. Flashes of remembered pleasure urged him on when his courage waned, his mouth learning another man's body for the first time. Xander spared no thought to his rapidly fleeing heterosexuality, determined to taste the feast before him.

"Pet, you don't have to-" His husky voice cut off quickly when a questing tongue flicked across his weaping cock. "Hell with it, have your way with me."

The tiny portion of Xander's brain that could still process words registered the open-ended command. It gave him the necessary boost to take Master's erection between his lips, licking and suckling for every last dribble of precome. The flavor exploded on his tongue, all salt and copper and slightly sweet, and he wanted more.

Laying down between Master's legs, he propped himself on one elbow. This gave him back the use of his other hand, which he put to work rolling the man's balls gently between his fingers. He knew he wouldn't be as proficient in oral skills as his trainer, but he was a willing student when properly motivated. His tongue wet every available inch of cock, providing lubrication, so he switched positions between hand and mouth. He drew the tight ball sac into his mouth while stroking faster, nuzzling into the man's groin and breathing deeply of his musky scent.

From above, he registered muffled curses in a familiar accent. That niggling sensation of recognition almost broke through his foggy brain, but he refused to stop long enough to figure it out.

Master's hips began thrusting up into his hand, thigh muscles tensed and parting just so. He knew it wouldn't be long before the man climaxed, and he found himself wanting to swallow Master's fluid. After all, the man had just done the same for him, right? Xander didn't need a reason - he went with instinct, quickly placing his mouth over the head of Master's cock, pressing the tender skin behind his balls as he rearranged himself for ease of movement.

That, apparently, was all it took to drag every drop of pleasure from the man's body. With more enthusiasm than talent, Xander caught the semen that flowed into his mouth, swirling it around to savor the new taste. By accident, this action also caused him to flick his tongue beneath the foreskin - a toy he had never played with, but promised to be worth long periods of entertainment - forcing a shout of "Bloody hell, pet!" from Master before the man sagged into a satiated heap.

Carefully cleaning the few escaped dribbles of come from the semi-erect penis, Xander's mind finally put a few facts together. There was a reason his hellmouth radar kept going off, if he could believe his ears. The Master, the man who had led him to new heights of sensual bliss, was Xander's former nemesis/roommate - Spike?!

A/N: This has been an exercise in writing technique for me, and a strain on my poor thesaurus. Please forgive the awkward turns of phrase you might find.
From all the information I could gather - online, library, and speaking with people in the lifestyle - there are more methods of Dom/sub behavior than there are people practicing it. I've tried to incorporate the overall attitudes of Master and slave with (what I view as) canon-after-series characterization. And yeah, them's big words for a glorified PWP. Sue me :P

Part Three

His post-orgasmic lethargy prevented Xander from truly freaking out. Resting his head on a sharp hipbone, he took a few deep breaths that could be excused by their recent exercise, and tried to collect his scattered thoughts.

Fact: He had just had the most intensely erotic, incredibly powerful experience of his life. And having lived through Anya's many attempts at finding the 'perfect orgasm', that was saying something.

Fact: Along with the rest of the surviving group, he had watched Spike go up in flames, defeating the First Evil and causing Sunnydale to sink into a crater. Having had no contact outside those who'd ventured to England and the new Watchers Council, Xander knew he'd probably missed alot. But this?

Fact: There was a long list of qualities that, ideally, would be present between Dom and sub. Xander had made notes (which, naturally, he'd left at home), but he clearly remembered certain items. Trust, respect and a degree of love were imperative to any healthy relationship, but vital for this lifestyle. Did he, could he, have those feelings for the vampire? Pushing that question away for later, he continued reviewing.

Fact: Spike had treated him with nothing but kind words and a gentle touch the entire time. Yes, he'd taken charge and set boundaries, asked embarassing questions and demanded responses, but he hadn't gone further than Xander was willing to go. He doubted that another Master, one who didn't know him already, could have taken him to such heights so fast.

Fact: Eventually, he would want to 'come out' to his friends. How would they react to - first - Spike being alive, and - second - Spike being his Master... in effect, owning him. A prospect that sent tingles of anticipatory delight through his refilling balls.

Xander understood that quite a few subs entered into service for sexual reasons; after all, sex played a large role in the lifestyle. His needs went beyond that... he deeply wanted to belong to someone who truly loved him, who could be his rock of strength, who could accept his craving to offer himself completely to his partner. From what he remembered of Spike's past, he knew that the blond could provide these comforts and more. And when he hadn't known the identity of his Master, Xander was fully prepared to throw himself into service. Should he second guess himself now that he knew who would be in control? And did it really make that much difference?

In many ways, this would make things considerably easier. Spike already understood his past relationships, and had a clue how often he had been the shoulder to cry on. They had seen each other at their worst, saved each other's lives more times than was worth counting, and had - albeit unwillingly, at the time - nursed each other through broken hearts. Xander's only concern about their history was, would the vampire be able to look past their mutual animosity and develop tender feelings for him?

Even as he asked himself the question, Xander sensed the truth. If Spike were unable or unwilling to make the effort, he would have dismissed the mortal long ago. Most probably with jeers and taunts. So... Spike was going to give this a chance. Xander did a quick check of his rapid-firing nerves and concluded that he could do the same. For all the uncertainty and unanswered questions, the past couple of hours had been so much more than anything he'd hoped to find. He wouldn't be able to locate another Master so in-tune with his needs, and Xander wasn't willing to give up the large measure of peace he'd found in the blond's arms. And at his feet.

He shuddered again, his renewed arousal making its presence known.

The random purrs and mutterings from above were tapering off, alerting Xander that his peaceful thinking time was almost at an end. He caught himself stroking a long leg that he knew to be pale ivory. His fingers paused for a moment before he decided to continue. It wasn't as if he hadn't been much more intimate with the vampire only minutes earlier. Besides, he found the motion soothing to his own nerves, and figured it would keep Spike placid for awhile longer.

That thought brought him up short. How should he let the blond know that he was aware of his Master's name, his identity? And the very fact that he (mentally) could acknowledge Spike as his Master... settled a mass of tension he'd let form since he began to question their motives.

"Still awake there, dearling?" With his newfound knowledge, Xander could hear his former roommate's timbre through the cultured tones he'd adopted.

"Yeah, just... I dunno... basking. Thanks."

A low chuckle - and he could become so used to hearing that noise - from the vampire. "I told you earlier that there would be no punishment for anything tonight, little one. Are you fretting over your unauthorized actions?"

Xander could honestly say no to that question. But how much further his total disclosure would be, he couldn't tell. "Not really... If you had objected, I would've stopped." Thinking through his topmost concerns, he decided to ask, "You could have, but you didn't take me. Why not?" The answer to that might well determine how far he'd let this go.

One of Spike's hands feathered through Xander's hair, brushing it away from his sweat-soaked brow. "Because you are very new at this, and any imprudent action on my part could keep you from trusting my judgement in the future. However much I might like to sink into your hot, tight body, it would hardly be worth the effort if such an act scared you from ever coming back to me."

Considerate, looking at long-term reactions. Another notch of Xander's apprehension chipped away, and he sighed into his Master's side. "I'm not sure how ready I was, am, but thank you for thinking for me. It wouldn't have occurred to me to worry about that."

"Which is why I am the Master, little one. It is my pleasure - as well as my duty - to insure your peace of mind, not just the satisfaction of your body." A smile crept into his voice, an almost smug amusement tinting his words. "Had you indicated discomfort at any time, we would have stopped at once. Know that, Xander. I am not here to traumatize you, nor to make you feel less about yourself."

Such a radical change from the newly chipped vampire that had once shared his parents' basement. Xander made his decision then - he could trust Spike with his body and mind, and maybe even his heart. "Thank you, Master." He placed a soft kiss on the vampire's flank, only just registering how the side away from the fire was several degrees cooler than human body temperature. "Where do we go from here?"

The extended silence that followed brought a new case of nerves to the brunet. Nothing as terrible as his initial concerns, nor as shocking as the discovery of his Master's name. Xander was about to fill the gap with some mindless babble when the answer came.

"I believe... a bath is in order."

Such a statement made in that dry tone had the young man giggling into his teacher's side. "Of course, what else would we do after-"

"Yes? Go ahead and put a label on our activities. I am most interested in hearing how you would classify them."

"Uh... maybe not." He felt the flush rising on his skin yet again. Damn the bleached menace for bringing out the blushing virgin in him. But not for long, at this rate. And with that thought, his color deepened impossibly into maroon.

How could he have become enamored of Spike's sultry laugh? The dark sound he produced at his charge's color change was far from attractive.

"You're doing beautifully, Xander. Every response you've made this night has been far beyond what I'd expected." Petting sable hair as he spoke, the Master's voice showed pride and pleasure in his slave's progress. "Before we go much further, there is more we should talk about."

Here it was, the unveiling. Xander's stomach clenched, anxiety filling him as he worried over the loss of such easy companionship. After having tasted the Master vampire's authority and care, he would forever be ruined for others. But how best to diffuse a potentially dangerous situation?

"Hey, it's your home. You're bound to know your way around even in the dark, right? If you still don't want me to see, just keep the lights off. It's kinda... nice, learning by braile." He added a grin, pressing his face into the cool side of Spike's torso.

Unfortunately for him, the blond didn't take the offering of an easy out. "No dearling, we really must get this business out of the way first." The previously light strokes through Xander's hair became heavy, urging him to keep his face well away from the vampire's upper body. "Earlier, we spoke of honesty and trust. Lest you have cause to accuse me of damaging our fragile beginnings, I must confess something to you."

Xander's hand curled around the blond's fingers sifting through his hair. "Whatever you have to say, it can't be that terrible. You've been so wonderful about this, showing me how to not be afraid of my own needs." He dragged the cool hand toward his mouth, kissing each finger as he continued, "Besides, haven't we been through enough together to be able to trust each other? You're turning into Giles, y'know that Spike?"

Within seconds, the young man was flipped onto his back, the blindfold torn from his eyes, a golden-eyed vampire searching Xander's facial expressions for any hints of duplicity. He finally calmed enough to reclaim his shocking blue eyes, resting his forehead on the mortal's shoulder. "How long have you known, pet?"

"Hmm... since you came, cursing in mockney? And I liked it better when you were calling me 'little one' or 'dearling'. Unless I really am to be a pet..." his voice trailed off, equal parts thoughtful contemplation and distaste at the nickname. "Anyways, you knew long before me. Why'd you accept this whole-"

Raising his head, Spike claimed Xander's lips in a sweetly apologetic kiss, interrupting his questions. When they broke apart for the young man to catch his breath, the blond answered, "You've always been there for everyone else. Even me, when it came down to it. I'm not the same vampire I once was. Long time ago, I told Angel that demons don't change - but that was a lie."

"Most definitely." Xander grinned at his lover, his Master. "You had already started changing long before the soul thing, Spike. That just made it easier for me to admit it. We *will* be discussing your miraculous non-dusty appearance later, right? But I gotta say, damn it's good that you're here." He'd had enough mushy emotional scenes for the time, and lurched toward the blond's neck to fasten on, intent on sucking the stress out of that pale throat.

Spike knew better than to question his good fortune. His old friend - and new slave - might eventually have second thoughts, but for now he would enjoy a playful lover who *chose* to be by his side.

~ * ~

With his eyes uncovered and most of the tension released from his demeanor, Xander took the opportunity to really *look* at the home Spike had made for himself. It was strange enough that the vampire had chosen Texas of all places to settle down, but this classy manor house with all the trimmings - and a caretaker too - was just... weird.

He let himself be led through several hallways, up a flight of stairs, and down another hall to a partially opened door. Inside was a bedroom, the Master suite, and it too was far from what he'd imagined as being Spike's preferences. If he'd ever bothered thinking about what the blond would want in creature comforts.

Dark cream, the color of fresh caramel, covered the walls and floor, with lighter drapes masking the blackout curtains he knew would be present over the tall windows. Dressers, nightstands and bed were all built in sturdy birchwood, so light it almost appeared to be ash. The bed itself gave Xander most food for thought - besides being tall and sturdy, it was one of those cathedral types with curtains that could be drawn closed to create a room within a room. Some of the deepest emerald green he'd ever seen coated curtains and comforter in lush satin.

A flash of premonition had his phermones flooding the vampire's senses, as he pictured himself bound to head- and footboards, stretched and waiting for his Master's pleasure. Xander couldn't have masked his moan if he'd tried. Which he didn't.

Handy things to have, vampire senses. And Spike took delight in smelling his lover's arousal as it flared anew. "Time enough for that later, little one. The bath's through here, and we both need it, yeah?" His voice began in the cutured manner that had fascinated Xander earlier, but finished in classic Spike.

Grinning unrepentantly, the brunet walked slowly over to one side of the bed. He just had to touch that soft cover, let himself enjoy the fantasy while it was fresh in his mind. "Master..."

"Yes dearling?" A choked sound preceeded the question, making Xander's grin spread.

Neither man had bothered replacing their clothes for the trek upstairs, and Xander planned on taking full advantage of his naked state. Casting his eyes down, he climbed atop the comforter and assumed the most submissive position his could think of, kneeling with his hands clasped behind his back, head lowered as he asked, "Master, is this the bed where you wanted me tied and slick for you?"

Impulse control had never been one of Spike's best points, and they both knew it. Thankfully, Xander was prepared to be pinned by a blond whirlwind at his mock-innocent question, and his muscles gave way gracefully to his Master's attack. His neck arched to one side, the young man silently begged his lover for the completion of their earlier play. He had waited long enough, and whatever fears he might've had were swept away by the knowledge that Spike could, would, and very much wanted *him*. To train, pleasure, care for. Maybe even love.

"Boy, you're playing with fire," came the muffled admonishment from the crook of Xander's neck. A cool tongue lathed the corded muscle, tracing a swipe over the fragile jugular vein. "Since when do you bare your neck for a vampire, Xander?"

Pleased with his Master's response, and only a little astonished at how quickly he'd accepted the entire package of being Spike's... slave, student, lover, whatever... Xander struggled to find breath to answer. "Only you. Master mine."

Spike groaned into the brunet's shoulder, then nipped sharply at the taut muscle. "You've made up your mind, then?" He had to know, had to be absolutely certain. For, like Xander, he knew himself well - and Spike too fell in love hard, fast and completely. Something he could easily do with this open young man. He found himself thanking whatever deities sent blessings to the undead, for having given him the opportunity to know the new Xander Harris, and for Giles' interference.

"If you'll still have me, Master." The words were almost enough, but Xander knew he had to be more plain. "Gods Spike, I was so scared to take this step! It took me over a month to get up the nerve to call, after getting the number. It's something I need. Need to know, to feel. Everything. But you know I don't trust just anyone, and... had it been anyone else, I probably would've run after the first touch. With you... no matter how badly we used to treat each other, I could always trust you to a certain point."

Wonderingly, Spike finished the unspoken thought, "And you're willing to trust me for everything you need now." Not a question, but full of amazed revelation.

Xander nodded, kissing the tips of blond curls. "For everything, yeah." His hands moved to caress the pale back that held so tense above him. "Dawn used to fuss at me all the time, y'know? She said that you and I should get along so much better than we did, since we're so much alike."

The non-sequitor did its job, derailing Spike's worried train of thought and drawing forth a snicker. Which developed into a full-throated laugh. "Yeah, 'Bit's always been able to see past what most people bother looking at. Remember how much hell she gave Red over that Kennedy bint?"

Joining the vampire's laughter, Xander helplessly nodded against the firm chest. "You shoulda been there when they finally broke up. Dawn's I-told-you-so's echoed for weeks."

"I've missed alot, huh." His mood changing as fast as lightning, Spike raised his head to look the mortal fully in the eye. "Things were crazy when I got back. How I got back. There wasn't much time to do more than figure out how to stay alive another night, much less angsting over a phonecall to Watcher central. What was I supposed to say? 'Hey it's me, sorry I didn't stay dead for ya.' Or maybe I coulda called Niblet and let'er spread the news, and she coulda given me hell for not naggin someone sooner to let'er know bout the amulet bringin me back. Or how bout-"

Xander stopped the rant before it could become a full-on pity party, by the most direct route - he kissed the unlife out of the vampire. When his body started screaming for air, he broke away only far enough to nibble a line across one jaw, latching onto the delicate skin under Spike's ear. From there, he spoke between soft kisses, "Too many what if's. How you tell the girls is your business. I'm just really glad you're here, right now, *exactly* where you are." Using his teeth to latch onto a particularly sensitive piece of flesh, he sucked hard until the blond began thrusting his hips against Xander's. "Be even gladder if you'd follow up on your earlier promises, bleachboy."

With an extended groan followed by a shimmy that had the mortal's eyes crossing, Spike let himself be detoured from regrets. "What did I tell you about using the proper form of address, boy?" He 'punished' the young man by moving completely off of the writhing, tanned body.

Before Xander had a chance to whine about his new (no body contact) circumstance, he found his hands being drawn into silken ropes at the carved headboard. Happily purring, he shifted til his limbs were spread eagle for his Master's use, waiting patiently for the blond to secure him for the fun to begin again.

Spike took great delight from the willing smile on his lover's face. With both arms tied high above his head, his legs spread wantonly, Xander's erection hovered over his lower stomach. Already leaking. And all for the Master vampire. At the last minute, he changed plans, shoving pillows under the young man's hips so his head was pushed into the mattress, leaving his ass high in the air. Spike's purr almost matched Xander's as the brunet recognized exactly where this was heading.

"Yesss, please... Master, Spike..." hissing his agreement, Xander spread his legs as far as they would go, creating a blatant invitation for the blond.

Before moving to join the young man on the bed, Spike pulled open his nightstand drawer, taking out a fresh tube of lubricant. He placed the cool container on Xander's chest, smirking at the indrawn breath from cool metal meeting hot flesh. Had he been following the standard initiation script, he would have spent hours tormenting his new slave before allowing pleasure to overtake him. But Spike refused to let the young man's first time be dictated by custom.

Feather touches to his straining arms, light kisses across his face and neck. If all of Xander's brain cells hadn't already taken vacation time, he would probably be going mad soon. As it was, he revelled in the slow build-up of sensation. Spike was being so... considerate. Something he hadn't expected, and swore he would never take for granted.

Remembering some of the things Xander had told him earlier that evening, Spike took great care in lavishing attention on his lover. If Xander wanted to give up all control, then surely the blond could take the reigns from him. Free him of all the young man's inhibitions and worries. Burying his face in the junction of hip and thigh, Spike inhaled the intoxicating aroma of Xander's arousal - heightening his own need. "Total abandon, dearling. Give me everything you've got."

As a teen, Xander had needed to muffle himself during masturbation at his parents' house. When he later moved out, sharing an apartment with Anya, he had continued the practice - apartment walls were notoriously thin. But here and now, he knew such restraints were unnecessary. He fully understood what Spike was demanding, and wanted to give his Master whatever he asked for. Moans and cries, even the occassional whimper when a particularly sensitive section was stroked, Xander let every reaction out to the fullest. It only seemed to inflame them both.

Spike suckled a swollen nipple, soaking up the young man's sounds of encouragement. Each response he dragged from Xander went straight to his own tumescent cock, but he forced himself not to rush this - a person's first time deserved more respect than some frantic push-and-shove. He petted the trembling stomach, stroked down both thighs that spread for his touch, and continued the too-soft caress with his lips. Xander wanted more, he could tell, more pressure or contact, and he was close to giving in. Just a few more minutes of torment for them both.

Alternately praising and cursing various gods for the century-plus of experience that kept his Master from simply *taking* him, Xander tried to concentrate on memorizing everything - feeling, smelling, hearing, tasting, and finally seeing. Being able to watch the lust flare in those amazingly blue eyes brought Xander's desire to a fervent pitch. He begged for more with every moan, each shift of tense muscles. Finally, his addled brain put its two-cents worth, forcing him to offer in words that which his body was trying to convey.

"Master, please! There's plenty of time for slow and gentle later. I need to feel you, in me, Spike please."

His exploration stopped abruptly, Spike looked closely at his lover's face. Raw, aching need - no other way to describe it - blazed in Xander's expression, his eyes dilated til only burning black watched out from behind thick dark lashes. He quickly came to the same conclusion as Xander.

Positioning himself between the young man's thighs, Spike retrieved the tube of slick and spread a large dollop on three fingers. It wouldn't do to be underprepared, and no matter how eager Xander was, he'd need to be fully relaxed and lubricated to make this enjoyable. His worries withered away at the swift introduction of the first digit, which the brunet accepted with a moan of thanks. As his second, then third, finger went in smoothly, Spike's body reacted with burning intensity - his erection, jealous of his fingers, demanded to be welcomed into the tight sheath presented for debauchery.

Xander felt everything. The slip-slide of the satin duvet. The cool brush of air wafting over his sensitized skin. The random touches between Spike's legs and his own. And those wonderfully diabolical fingers, opening him up and preparing him for his Master's use. Some switch clicked over in his mind, turning what was an incredibly erotic experience into an offering - his ultimate gift to another person. Up until that point, tonight had been a game, something fun and sort of scary, but an act he could walk away from with little regret. Now he truly understood the draw toward this lifestyle.

He breathed deeply, causing the trio of fingers to wriggle further into his body, and whispered his plea, "Master, please take me. All I am, all I can be... is yours."

Spike watched with rapt attention as the young man's mind took off somewhere for a minute. It frustrated him, and he was close to ending the whole thing. Then he saw Xander's eyes refocus, opening to show that emotion he'd demanded before - the total, joyful abandonment. When his lover spoke of his gift, the Master had to stiffle his own whimper quickly. He removed his hand, used more lubricant to smooth over his cock, and slipped the head into place.

"Dearling, look into my eyes." His voice a strangled shadow of its normal husky self, Spike carefully slid inside the sucking inferno of Xander's sphincter. He watched as each inch buried inside the young man's body, watched the nearly-black eyes widen in newfound knowledge. "You feel perfect, little one. Your body was made for this, for me. There's nowhere I would rather be, with no one other than you. Feel me filling you up, opening you to fit my all the way. You're pulling me inside you, lovely loving boy."

The almost babbled words of endearment drew Xander near the brink. It was too soon, and years too late. How he wished that he could have looked past his prejudices and fears long ago, when he first had the chance... but no, they both had much to deal with before coming to this point. Silently sending up a prayer of fervent thanks, Xander pulled his legs up and around his Master's slim hips, tugging him closer. "I feel you, Master. Spike... I see you, only you. Only you ever again."

The heartfelt promise made Spike's hips jerk forward, seating him the rest of the way inside. For several moments, he simply held still, enjoying the overwhelming sensations of pleasure and something akin to peace. Not even his lovely, lost Dark Princess had ever made him feel so deeply, and surely not in such short a time. And whether the young man was sincere, or merely speaking words in passion, he would accept it without question.

They began to move together, slowly building toward the pinnacle of their desire. Each entry had Xander widening his eyes in surprised pleasure, then letting them slip almost shut as the thick length retreated, only to repeat the process.

Watching his lover's reactions, Spike moved with as much deliberation as possible. He didn't want his lover too sore to enjoy a second helping in the morning, or - heavens forbid - to be forever traumatized against repeating the act. Using one arm to maintain balance, he let the opposite hand caress the tanned skin laid out for his delectation. So much area to memorize, and he vowed to enjoy every moment of the learning process.

Spike's hand moved over his ribs, across pert nipples, down his sides and over his abdomen. It was more than Xander could concentrate on, focused so intently on the delicious slide of the thick cock that was bringing him such exquisite joy. He heard himself promising forever, devotion and obedience and learning to love, and he couldn't regret a single word of it. No, he didn't love the blond. Yet. But he very easily could. In a flash of insight, he knew that he *wanted* to - this man, this Master vampire, would accept everything he had to give, wouldn't throw it back in his face. Such a revelation dragged a strangled shout from the Xander as he neared the edge.

With every grasping entry into his lover's body, Spike felt himself melting into the young man. Or, more likely, felt the brunet's spirit melding into him. All the love he had thrown at Drusilla - and later Buffy - was rejected. But this wonderful, grown-up version of Alexander Harris would accept. Was vowing the same offers of everlasting that Spike craved so badly.

When the brunet whispered "Forever, want to be yours, no one else's, let me love you", Spike felt that his undead heart would explode. His voice cracked, but he forced it to function, "Mine, Xan. And I am yours."

That was all it took for Xander to climax, his cock untouched, leaving him a quivering mass beneath the blond. His entire body pulsed with the intensity of his orgasm, gripping Spike with legs and ass, pulling him deeper and holding on with everything he had. As his nerves gradually relaxed, he tilted his neck to one side, again offering his ultimate trust to the Master.

Spike rode out the waves of his lover's climax with gritted teeth. He was strung too tightly to withstand the sight of Xander's ecstacy, the submission of his words, the gift of his bared throat. With more grace than he expected, due to the roiling tension of his body, Spike leaned over the young man's chest, licking across the tilted neck. He desperately wanted to mark the young man as his own, but that would wait til Xander had a better idea of what it entailed. For now, he would accept the offering - and pray it wouldn't be the last time.

Xander felt each taste bud slide across the expanse of his throat. Years ago, he and Willow had snuck a peak at the lesser known Watchers journals, the ones that detailed how erotic a vampire bite could be. And if he publically proclaimed not to be interested, to be disgusted even, it never stopped many of his wet dreams from centering on the topic. Now here he was, the recipient of such targeted interest from William the Bloody, and he voluntarily offered his neck. He was either crazy or falling faster than ever before. Xander prayed for the second option, just as his mind went blank of every thought past 'Oh FUCK that's good!'

Spike morphed into gameface, letting his fangs sink slowly into the mortal's vein. He held back the temptation of claiming the young man, reigning in his demon's adamant demands that he do so. In an inadequate compromise, he sipped slowly of Xander's lifeblood, relishing the mix of emotions it delivered. Pleasure so great it passed into rapture, the abandon he'd demanded of the young man, faith and trust and something that came very close to budding love. It was the last emotion that sent Spike hurtling over the edge into his own gut-wrenching climax. He roared in triumphant orgasm, clutching Xander close to him with all his strength.

Coming back from heaven, Spike's only regret was that his lover's hands weren't petting him. He lifted his weight only enough to release the silken cords keeping Xander's arms bound, then sank back into the mortal's embrace. Arms that quickly came around to hug him closely, stroking his arms and back, across shoulders and over buttocks.

If Xander's dreams had been erotically terrifying, the reality was earth-shattering. Pierced and taken, he felt cherished beyond all else. This was what he'd been searching for, for so many years. For all his life, it seemed. He shuddered when his arms were untied, but lost no time putting them to better use. Spike... Master, had made love to him. Not fucked or shagged or any of the locker room euphamisms. And Xander never wanted it to be any other way.

"I meant it, y'know." Just in case the blond hadn't figured it out. "I'm yours, if you want me."

Spike's brain took a minute to catch up with the situation, but he finally muttered, "Meant it too, Xan." He wanted to say more, make sappy proclaimations, write poems dedicated to the mortal's beloved attributes... and that scared him enough to make him shut up.

He got a smack to the back of the head for his tone of voice. "You're brooding. Stop that shit. Time to bask and cuddle, then we take that bath you mentioned earlier. And then, if you still feel the need to beat yourself over some imagined woe, you can bare your soul - heh - and I'll whap you again and then we can make love some more, ok?"

That short burst of Xanderbabble broke the vampire out of his fugue state, and he laughed at himself. "There's a term for pushy bottoms like you, pet. Think they call'em 'sassies'."

"Yeah, that's me. And I get the impression that you're a switch-hitter. One of those topics we'll discuss later, alright? For now, more kisses and less fussing." Purring happily, Xander lifted his lips eagerly to his lover's, waiting for his mouth to be plundered by that talented tongue. Never one to pass up such a golden opportunity, Spike gave him long linguring kisses that softened into more tenderness than sensuality.

"Bath, or nap then bath? I'll remember to feed you in a bit." As comfortable as he was, Spike knew his mortal would require both soon enough.

"Nap first. Stay..." his voice trailing off, some of Xander's courage seemed to depart in the afterglow.

"Finish your thought, dearling." The vampire tried to lift himself from his lover's body, make him more comfortable, but he was trapped by strong arms.

As the blond made to move away, Xander shyly made his request. "Stay where you are, please. For just a little while."

And since that was exactly where Spike wanted to be, he gave in gracefully. "Of course, love. For just a little while."

Part Four

Xander slowly rejoined the land of the living, his body completely relaxed and his mind at peace. Unlike most days, he felt none of the disorientation that normally surrounded a deep sleep. He remembered, in great detail, the incredible evening he'd had - in the arms of a Master vampire, *his* Master, none other than Spike. He waited for pangs of regret or embarassment, and was quite pleased to find none present. Details of the night's events replayed through his mind, bringing a flush to his skin, a quickening of his breath, and more ammunition for his morning erection.

The only thing that marred his state of mind was... he was alone in bed. Why? Had he done something wrong? His heartrate accelerated, Xander opened his eyes to look around the room. Flickers of sunlight hinted from behind blackout curtains told him that he'd slept well into the morning. The bedroom door was cracked open, as was the door to the bathroom. Where he finally heard sounds. Ah, so Spike was taking a shower. Xander's vitals returned to normal as he slithered out from his nest toward the beckoning hot water.

He made it as far as the open door before a chuckling voice called to him, "Come join me, pet."

Still unsure if he liked that term applied to him, Xander stepped into the stall, allowing himself to be wrapped in water-heated pale arms. Spike's nose burrowed into his neck, a talented tongue traced corded tendons. "Mornin' luv, sleep well?"

"Mmm, yeah. Thought you were gonna wake me up earlier." The sleep lethargy he had missed earlier crept up on him, as the steam and seductive voice wrapped his senses in cotton wool.

"Wanted to, but ya looked so cute an innocent." Nuzzling up his neck, behind an ear, Spike growled, "Wanted to take all that innocence an eat it up." Manhandling him under the spray, the vampire wasted no time in scrubbing his lover's body. "But now that you're awake, we can getcha fed an do it all over again, yeh?"

Mumbling his consent, Xander returned the favor by grabbing a bottle of shampoo and lathering the blond hair. It took him a moment to realize that Spike had forwent his usual armor of gel the night before, but he remembered how very soft those curls felt against his skin. He took his time massaging the vampire's scalp and temples, relishing the soft purr his actions brought.

Spike indulged in a few minutes of selfish indulgence at the warm touch of someone else washing his hair. It wasn't a treat he'd ever become used to, since Drusilla was seldom coherent enough to think beyond her own pleasure, and none of his other lovers had been interested in sharing such simple intimacies. His initial opinion of Xander Harris as lover reaffirmed itself - he was giving and attentive, and took pleasure in offering it to his partner.

After rinsing the bubbles away from their skin, he showered soft kisses across the mortal's face and chest, delighting in the satisfied hum he created with his attentions. It only took a little manipulating before he had the brunet on his knees, leaning back on his heels.

"While you're down there..." With a wicked grin, Spike nudged his toes between Xander's thighs, brushing up against his perineum. He smirked at the startled moan from his lover.

Xander wasn't sure exactly how he'd gotten in this position, but he wasn't complaining. Not really. "That's gotta be one of the cheesiest lines-" his words broke off when he felt the thin toes stroking behind his balls. "Oookay then, one shower blowjob coming up."

With more enthusiasm than talent, Xander licked all along the pale cock. He couldn't get over how turned on such a simple act of submission made him, but he tried his best to relay the feeling through his tongue. It must've worked well enough, if the moans and shivers were any indication. By the time he was ready to take it into his mouth, Spike's erection was leaking freely down his chin - a flavor Xander was quickly coming to love. He moaned around the smooth flesh, taking a little more inside his mouth with each headbob.

Hot, tight, wet... Spike felt himself rapidly reaching completion, and forced himself to slow down. What he needed was a distraction, and had the mortal heard his mental processes he might have run off in a panic. Or he might just swallow around the undead prick. Either was good for Spike. With agile flicks, he pushed his big toe up past Xander's tight ballsac, pressing it against the newly initiated pucker. And there went the gasp-moan-swallow he was hoping for. As the young man's throat worked faster around his erection, Spike flexed his toe just past that resistant guardian ring, bringing the arch of his foot up against a matching hard-on.

Part of Xander's mind screamed out at him - how deviant was it that he was getting off by being toe-fucked while on his knees, blowing his undead Master? That thought did little more than make him so hot he forgot to be nervous about the thick cock in his mouth. He moaned around the pulsing flesh, swallowing and slurping and tonguing his enjoyment. He vaguely remembered Spike telling him that he'd be trying lots of new things, testing his limits. Well, if the bleached bombshell wanted to test him, he'd make sure to pass with flying colors. Xander opened his throat, lowered his jaw, and took a deep breath before swallowing over and over. His nose tucked neatly in trimmed short-n-curlies, Xander nuzzled into the trembling belly as he worked his throat muscles.

Spike's brains were about to explode through his cock. There was no other way to describe the intensity of his inexperienced slave's efforts, or the effect they brought to his body. All he could think to distract himself was to work the brunet into a frenzy of his own lust... Carefully, he wiggled his toe back and forth against that tight ring of muscle, forcing entry as gently as possible. He didn't really want to hurt the young man - unless necessary - or scare him away from trying out other new kinks. Sparing a grateful thought that his feet and toes were long and slim, he flexed the digit through Xander's pucker, pushing his blunt toenail up against the bundle of nerves and waiting half a heartbeat for...


... that! Mission accomplished. The mortal's mouth moved away from its target, since Xander needed all the breath he could gulp to take in this latest development.

Sparkling blue eyes opened wide, peering down at him with almost childlike innocence. Until he focused on the twinkle that spoke of wicked intent. Xander nipped the leaking cockhead, swirling his tongue under the foreskin before he sat back on his heels (and lodged the toe further inside his ass) to glare at his lover. "One word for you: LUBE!" So saying, he dove back to his treat, redoubling his efforts to drag the blond over the edge.

Eyes blinking, Spike's senses overloaded enough that his thoughts on the mutuality of their shower play went up in steam. Probably out his ears. His toe flexed on its own, alternately jabbing the prostate and curling up to stretch Xander's asshole - and since the mortal wasn't really complaining, he let it work on autopilot as the delightful young man sucked his grey matter out.

Spike pealed open one eye (and when had they closed?) to watch his lover's face. Something missing, something needed? Working on intuition, Spike let his fingers work their way into wet brown hair, twisting just a bit to hold Xander's head in place. His hips started thrusting gently, and that urged a ragged moan from below. A lightbulb flashed in his subconscious, reminding him that the young man *wanted* to be taken, used for his Master's pleasure. A thought which rapidly sent the blond hurtling toward orgasm, as he pulled that sweet mouth further onto his exploding cock.

It had all started out as two lovers enjoying themselves in a morning shower. Somewhere along the way, and Xander couldn't say when it happened, his Master had shown back up and took charge. And *fuck* it was still every bit as hot as last night. The introduction of a toe to his fundament was... new and different, and who had the bleached menace been practicing on to get his feet so talented, dammit! Still, Xander was fine with that - he could multitask, and he had control of himself - a little toe action wouldn't send him over the edge. But then Spike really *looked* at him, and there were hands in his hair, gripping him and directing him and holyfuckinhell it was hot being a living sex doll. Then his lover, his Master, came down his throat and that damned toe shoved deeper and pushed hard and all Xander could see was stars.

Through a haze of post-climax euphoria, Spike remembered that he had a lovely slave to treat. After such a nice performance, the darling lad deserved something nice, didn't he? Grabbing ahold of the shower rails, Spike levered himself so that his weigh was off his legs, allowing his other foot to join the byplay. He rubbed and tweaked and petted, still pushing up into that tight place where he'd gone to heaven the night before, but now adding enough friction from the other foot to drag his dearling into orgasm. Positive reinforcement, he told himself.

A half-remembered reflex kept Xander's throat and mouth suckling on the half-hard cock, even as all his nerve endings fled south to join the party in his groin. He'd always associated vampires with great big cats, but he'd have to rethink that now - monkeys, definitely, with prehensile toes and GOD what's he doing now? Before he could force his tasty treat from his mouth, fireworks exploded behind his eyes and balls and overwhelmed him completely. He didn't notice the water turning off. He didn't notice the fluffy towel wrapped so carefully around him. He didn't even notice being lifted and carried back to bed.

~ * ~

Some time later, he woke to the expected haze of sleep-befuddled brainwaves. Only this time he couldn't stretch or turn, and his vision was once again blocked. But panic never set in - his Master's hands were on him, confirming where he was and why, and all was well with the world. Maybe later, much much later, he would worry about how quickly he'd gotten used to the concept. For now, he was more than content. Warm, safe, and happy.

Taking stock of his situation, Xander found that he was *gasp* tied across one of the sturdy armchairs in Spike's bedroom. His ass in the air, arms and legs bound to the sides of the chair, something less solid than the blindfold from before covering his eyes. And long, slender fingers smoothing something slick into his needy ass. He almost laughed at his own thoughts, but that was the truth of it. Before he'd accepted his own craving to be dominated, he never would have used the term 'needy' in regards his asshole. But now that he'd known the thrill of being taken, owned, cherished by Spike... it was the most appropriate he could come up with.

He tried to moan out his approval, only to find that his mouth was already occupied. Not a ballgag, not round enough... it definitely tasted like latex though, and filled his mouth almost to the back of his throat. His breathing picked up as he realized that Master had stuffed a dildo into his mouth. For practice? Probably. Still, it soothed him in a strange way, suckling on the general shape of his lover's cock. He purred around the plastic, wiggling his ass around those delightful fingers.

"Awake again, are you? Took you long enough, dearling." Spike's dark chuckle was like a caress, even as his other hand came up to squeeze and separate the brunet's balls. "Thought we'd have another go before brekkie. You can always say no, pet." The vampire laughed aloud at Xander's attempts at pushing harder against his hands. "Right then, open wide, lovely."

Fingers departed from his hole and balls, leaving Xander empty and ... sad. He whined behind his gag while he waited for Master's next demands. Before long, something hard and cool and slick forced its way inside. It only took a moment for Xander to grasp that it was NOT Spike's erection, but that thought fled quickly enough, as the silicon speared straight into his prostate. His nerves were still rapid-firing around the lovely toy when he realized that Spike was attaching straps to the base of it. Around his thighs, across his pelvic bone, securely bound it tugged this way and that, brushing up against his wonderful new best friend.

"There you are, sweetling. Trussed up and stuffed like a Christmas goose, aren't ya?" With a firm swat to the young man's butt cheek, Spike moved around toward his lover's head. He untied the mortal's eyes, bringing his face down to kiss Xander's forehead. "So what should we do next, hmm pet? Much as I want to spend more time acquainting myself with your delightful treasures, maybe we should feed ya up first, yeh?"

Before Xander had time to complain, the blond bounced back to his feet - slapping the other ass cheek on his way past, and began rummaging around in the dresser. He came back soon enough, wrapped in a silk dressing gown. One strap at a time, Xander found himself untied and being lifted upright. With all his weight forcing the plug in his ass farther inside him. His muffled scream brought an evil grin to the blond's face.

"Now then, precious, time to get something on. Wouldn't want to give Jancis a free show, would we?" He helped the young man into a second dressing gown, snapping a cockring into place before he tied the sash. "Now, if you're a good boy, I'll let you keep this in til we get downstairs." Wiggling the dildo-gag, Spike pulled Xander onto his feet and led him back downstairs.

True to his word, Spike removed the gag at the foot of the stairs, giving Xander a minute to relax his jaw back into place. "Here now, love, don't go scaring the help, yeh? Jan's used to things around here, but there's no need to make a spectacle of yourself." Ruffling the unruly brown hair, he gave Xander another quick buss before leading him into a breakfast room.

Well-filtered sunlight never quite touched the small table and chairs set up in the middle of the room, but its warmth seemed to soak into Xander's bare feet as he followed the blond and gently sat down when urged to do so. Golden yellows and warm greens covered the walls and curtains, while darker yellow tile in a circular pattern graced the floor. He realized that the room was open on one side into the kitchen, where the caretaker was busy juggling skillet and pans. Bronze cookware hung above a central island, light oak cabinets and countertops maintained the airy feel to the room, even with the cold stainless steel appliances that were probably more Spike's idea of functional than for appearance's sake. If he'd had his own choice, it would've been similar - both in decor and function.

With a big smile, he met Spike's eyes. "Nice place you've got here. Did you do it yourself, or have someone design for you?"

The bashful grin he got in return scattered Xander's thoughts.

"Did it myself, with a little help on the finishing touches from Madam Jancis here. She's a real slavemaster, she is!" A low growl - totally human - came from near the stove. "Couldn't keep it in tiptop shape without her," brought an indelicate snort and a sly smirk. Turning his attention fully on his caretaker, Spike asked, "So luv, what's on the menu this fine morning?"

"Hah! Morning for you maybe, but it's nearing afternoon for those of us who can stand sunlight. Still, you'll get your big southern breakfast to spoil the guest, and I'll get stuck with hours of cleanup before starting all over on dinner." Barely taking a breath to continue haranging her employer, the woman waved a gravy-ladel in his general direction. "And don't you even think about coming down here to mess up my kitchen! It's bad enough you can't remember to keep your toys in the playroom, I don't need to be spending all my time cleaning up splatters of lube and god-only-knows-what-else from my spotless countertops. Now you just sit down, shut up, and eat before I forget myself and dump garlic in the whole lot."

So saying, the petite caretaker deposited platters and bowls in front of one sheepish vampire and his slack-jawed houseguest, before taking a plate of her own out the back door. Both men could hear her continued rant on the porch, until she began eating, when they finally exchanged a grin and dug into their own meals.

Omelets, waffles, biscuits with cream gravy and chunks of sausage, hashbrowns smothered in onions and tomatoes and cheese, fresh orange juice and milk so cold it had flakes of ice floating on top, coffee strong enough to wake the undead - which, in this case, it would have to - and bowls of sectioned fruit. Xander's eyes expanded to comic proportions as he took in the vast amounts of food laid before them.

From his side came a snort of amusement. "Don't let her bother ya, Xan. She's like that... until she knows that you know it's *her* kitchen, and that *she* takes care of everything around here." Taking a quick sip of juice, Spike flashed him a bright smile, "If you really want to be dominated, that's your girl. But you'd probably be scrubbing pots and pans more than playing, y'know?"

Somewhat stunned, Xander could only nod around his mouthful of eggs. He sipped on steaming coffee and swallowed before attempting an answer. "She's... scary. I'm sure she's efficient and takes care of everything, but still... scary!"

"Yeh, an you don't wanna be scared, do ya pet?" Knowing eyes held brown for a long moment. "An that's what this all comes back to. Ya don't wanna be scared or hafta take care of everyone else." Spike nodded to himself, stirring his hashbrowns into a tangle of color. "An I can do that for ya, happy to, can be whatever ya need. Cept this is more, innit?"

In the farthest part of his brain, Xander noticed how his friend and lover slipped back into his fake cockney accent when he was nervous. All part of the Big Bad image that had been his mask against a cruel world for so long. "Yeah, there's more... but it can wait till after breakfast, right?"

With a grin and a quick grope, the vampire agreed, "Sure can, luv. Gotta feed you up proper before breakin ya in, don't I?"

And amidst easy smiles and the occassional stolen kiss, the pair ate in silence.

~ * ~

One pale hand held his upper arm firmly, leading him back to the bedroom. Xander's nerves were on full, pumping out fuck-me phermones at high speed. As the last bite of biscuit had gone down his throat, his lover had flipped a switch and the lovely toy inbedded in his ass started to MOVE and vibrate and it took every ounce of self control he had to keep from falling to his knees right there.

But eventually Spike had him back upstairs, happily bent back over a chair and spread wide open, thrusting helplessly against his restraints. The five inch dildo that had filled his mouth earlier was back in place, giving him something to focus on while his wonderfully devious Master sucked and licked his balls. The harness that held his plug was removed to allow Spike to push, pull, twist, and poke whenever he wanted - a situation that Xander would not be complaining about, thank you very much.

It was only when Xander felt his new favorite plaything being removed that his brain came back online, and he realized that the blond's mouth was no longer attached to his aching testes. He muttered what was supposed to be an interrogatory sound from behind his gag, hoping not to be left so... bereft.

"Soon enough, sweetling. Just getting a few things," the voice came from the other side of the room. Humming to himself, Spike returned to his position between the young man's spread thighs. "How you doing, lovely? Look so good like this, all open and waiting for me. Bet you love it, don't you pet? Love it even more if I'd push inside ya, all slow and easy, filling you up and making you scream, yeh?"

His fingers returned with more slick, slathering Xander's hole til there was no resistance left. Brown eyes crossed each time his Master stroked that wonderful place inside, and all he could do was suck and wiggle and pray *something* happened soon.

"Think you like being at my mercy, Xan. And y'know what? I like it too, alot more than I probably should. Wanna keep you here, ready and willing, all the time. Where it won't matter the time of day or day of the week, you'll always be right where I want ya."

Panting lightly, Spike stroked the tanned lower back as he guided his erection into place. With one smooth thrust, he was fully encased in hottightsoftXAN and pushing til his balls met his lover's. Which they shouldn't be able to do from this angle... frowning, Spike flipped loose the bonds that held his lovely's body, without dislodging his cock, and carried him over to the bed. Set high off the floor, it was a much better position for them both.

Now that his hands were free, Xander could join the fun more easily. Except he didn't have permission. And that little reminder to self kept him from pulling the blond further inside, or tweaking his own nipples, or pulling his aching hard-on. He satisfied himself with releasing the gag's strap and practicing some in-out movement with the plastic cock. It never hurt to practice, right?

"Feckin hell, Xan! You look so damn good like that." Spike had intended on a slow, leisurely fuck, but watching his mortal lick and suck on the pink dildo was really hot. Speeding up, he brought a hand down in a quick smack across Xander's left cheek, watching it tremble, feeling the tight hole grip almost painfully in reaction. "Like that, dearling? Like being spanked while you're suckin that fake cock, my bigger prick pushin deep inside ya?"

Xander moaned helplessly in agreement, slathering more spit along the plastic toy. His legs were locked into place, offering passive resistance for the blond's thrusts. Each smack against his ass - whether with hand or cock - made him leak more precome over the bedsheets.

"Mmm yeah, you love this. So do I, little one. Love being swallowed by your tight little hole, watching your bum turn pinker each time I spank your lovely cheeks." Another quick series of slaps left said ass rosey, and Spike's control slipped. "Tell me yes or no, Xanpet. Want my bite again? Wanna feel me filling your arse and drinking from your neck at the same time?"

Spike's words sent the young man into shivers of sensation, his nerve endings dancing in dry orgasm as he pictured/remembered the feeling from the previous night of being taken, ass and blood, by his Master. Xander quickly pushed the dildo from his mouth, gasping, "Fuck yes, please! Take all of me... Master."

In seconds, Spike had the cockring snapped open, both arms around the panting torso of his boy. His cock fairly flew in and out of that delicious ring of muscle, and he relished every entry into his lover's body. Licking a path between earlobe and shoulder, he rested human teeth in the meaty muscle at the base of Xander's neck. He inhaled the spicy scent of hornysafehotlovedmoreneedmore coming from his Xander, then let his fangs drop lightly, pushing their way past skin and tissue.

From the first prickling at his throat, Xander felt his entire body tense in preparation for another earth-shattering orgasm. The groan from behind clued him in, that tightening anal muscles must feel awfully good, so he did it again and again. Milking that wonderful cock that was sending him to heaven, throwing his neck back and to one side to fully enjoy the gentle suck of full lips and that evil tongue. And if he gave in to the lure of unconsciousness, so what, he was entitled to pass out when his body exploded into tiny pieces of Xanbits...

~ * ~

When Xander came back to full wakefulness, he found himself wrapped in his lover's arms. Brilliant blue eyes stared down into his face, watching over him. He curled into the strong body, relishing such little intimacies.

"Mmm, just keeps getting better." His voice husky and dry, muffled by the pale chest he'd burrowed into.

Fingers carded through his hair, softly brushing out tangles. "That's the way it's supposed to be, lovely."

"Uh huh." Xander didn't want to leave the happy place his mind was stuck in, but they still had a 'discussion' or two. "Remind me to send Giles a thank you note."

His comment from left field got a snort. "From us both."

And something about the tone Spike used forced him to look up, focus on the words. "From you too? Well yeah, you got my luscious self out of the deal." Humor, however inappropriate, was his old stand-by.

"Nah, not just that. Although, you are a nummy treat." The sparkle in Spike's eyes dimmed before he'd even finished repeating the ancient phrase. "Watcher's the one who contacted me bout you. Asked if... hell, Xan, there's a long story. Sure you wanna hear it now?"

Shuffling around til he was comfortable, one pillow bunched up so he could clearly see the blond's expression, Xander nodded slowly. "Now's as good a time as any, right?"

"Ok then..."

Part Five

"Right, the whole story." For the first time since Xander arrived, the blond lit a cigarette, puffing at it in aggitation. "See, some things a vampire can smell, or sense. Like those lovely hormones you humans give off when you're turned on, or the way certain types give off 'whip me beat me' vibes, yeh?"

Xander knew this, or had suspected as much. You don't live with the undead as many times as he had without picking up on some little hints. Much to his dismay in the past, he had often given the blond ammunition against him with the wrong thing said with conflicting body language. So here, he just nodded and kept quiet.

"Yeh, so... was back when I first came to you kids, being chained up at the Watcher's an havin to listen to all of you nammerin on bout one thing or another. Made a few comments to Rupes, he made a few back, we... acknowledged each other."

Eyebrows lifted in confusion, Xander's face begged for explanation.

"You called me a switch-hitter last night, remember luv? Well, you weren't wrong. Rupes is the same, though he's more a bottom than I am. Still, when ya know how to look for it, there's certain behaviors that broadcast it, yeh? You Scoobies wouldn't know it to look at us, but your Watcher and me, we had many a conversation about ... things." Puff, exhale, ash on floor, repeat several times. "I made some comment bout you followin his footsteps, an if he ever needed help trainin ya to let me know."

Strong hands kept Xander from bolting upright. Barely.

"You asked, an I'm tellin, so don't interrupt!" Puff, exhale, ash. "Said it to get a rise outa him, didn't I? Problem is, it didn't work out like I planned. He... he said I might have to, cus you'd never see him as anythin but a stand-in father, an one day you'd be needin someone ta take ya in hand." His accent so thick it was hard to understand, Spike's aggitation increased. "I thought he was pullin my chain. Then he pushed me at you, an I got ta see how ya lived an how demon girl treated ya. An even then, still didn't take it seriously."

He reached into the bedside table, snuffing his cigarette out on an ashtray before laying down again. "Never brought it up again... til that mess with Caleb. You remember how he an I got along bout then? Part of it's cus I told'em no, wouldn't take advantage of ya, couldn't do that to someone who took me in when I was all crazy. He finally got it, still pissed at me, but he didn't ask again."

Flipping onto his side, Spike stroked his hand down Xander's cheek, softly curling his fingers into thick brown hair. "Him an Andrew are the only ones who knew when I came back, an that suited me fine. At the time. Then all hell broke loose an Peaches an his crew all died, an I'm the only one left. Thought bout gettin in touch with the rest of ya, but Rupes, he said it wasn't time yet. So I got settled an comfy, an tried to decide what to do with myself."

Watching Xander's face for permission, Spike ghosted a kiss over slack lips. "See, you were always the best of the lot. Even 'fore the soul, I'd've done most anything for ya, just cus you always treated me better than the girls."

"No Spike, I was awful!"

"Shh, hush you. Even when I was at my lowest, you... feared me just enough that it gave me some dignity back. Then we started snipin at each other, an that was so fine, like I had a friend who wouldn't pull their punches with me. An after... the soul an bein crazy an all... you took me in again, gave me a place where I could pull myself together, away from all the worried looks an estrogen, gave me somethin stable to hold onto. An I'd've done just about anythin for ya, but you never asked..." his voice trailed off, remembering a time...

"Hey, I didn't know-"

Cutting him off, the blond's voice grew stronger. "No, you didn't. Bout yourself or me or him or anythin. An that's fine, was a crazy time for everyone. Just glad ya never went to Rupes. Figured you trusted him most, even how ya look at'im like he's your Da, he'd be the one who-"

"Can I just say 'ewwww' now and we move on? Cus Giles being the one to tie me down and fuck me? Not something I wanna see in my dreams every night." It was Xander's turn to offer comfort, easing his fingers along the lines of Spike's face, smoothing out worry marks and offering his warmth. "I'm glad you made him wait. Before, it wouldn't have been right."

"That's what I tried ta tell'em, but the stubborn bugger's persistant as hell." Pressing into the gentle touch, Spike soaked up his boy's affectionate caress. "Was still worried last night. Scents you put off almost had me vamp 'fore you even made it to the door. Nervous and scared and so horny ya had ta hurt from it, an I had ta make sure, didn't I, had ta know ya weren't gonna run screamin into the night once ya found out it was me."

Soft lips stopped the undead babblefest in progress, bringing the blond head in for a deep kiss. When Xander finally broke for air, he pulled and tugged til Spike rested under his chin, slowly rocking him. "Well, that would have made some of my fantasies more interesting. Back in the basement, I would never have stayed with Anya if you'd just wiggled your fingers my way, y'know? But I'm glad you didn't later, after Caleb and my eye... probably would have asked for... more pain than anything. Bad bad place there."

Between gentle words and rhythmic strokes, Xander had his lover in a quiet trance, finally bringing him out of panic mode. "Super vamp senses, you had to have smelled how much I wanted and hated wanting. Made me viscious with you an awful lot, and I never said sorry for it before, but I am. You didn't deserve to take the heat from my repression. But I'm glad you were the one."

Floating in a sea of his own twisted thoughts, Spike barely heard his lover's words. The last sentence played through his mind several times before sinking in, and at last, let himself relax and completely enjoy. "So you're not mad?"

"Nope, not mad." Xander grinned into blond curls. He knew there would be more discussion after the vampire finally snapped out of his self-induced trance, but for now he was really happy just laying here.

"An you're not mad at the Watcher either?"

Such a small voice, it seemed wrong coming from the larger-than-life Master vamp. "Why would I be? It's nice having someone look out for me. Hell, I wouldn't have known what was missing without a few subtle nudges from Giles. So no, can't say I'm mad there either."

Muscles tensed for too long relaxed against the brunet, as Spike finally permitted himself to believe that maybe, just maybe, his lover wouldn't stake him and run. "Don't suppose you'd wanna take turns, would ya?"

Grin breaking into a wide smile, Xander laughed out loud. "Well, we'll see. First you'll have to show me the ropes, ok blondie? Then we'll decide who gets tied up and when and where." With a smirk wicked enough to concern the Scourge of Europe's youngest member, the mortal leaned closer to his lover's ear, whispering, "And just maybe we'll tackle a certain Watcher together, make him spill all his secrets to us, hmm?"

"Whathefuck?!" Spike's entire body sprang up a foot off his lover's body, turning mid-air to straddle the startled brunet. "Xanluv, ya jus said that he's like yer Da, an now ya wanna 'tackle'em? Got more kinks'n I figured..."

"Woah there, fangboy. Who said anything about... oh. Oh... OH! Uh..." Between babble, blushes, and his train of thought completely derailed, Xander's eyes lost their focus for several minutes.

Apparent to his Master, however, other parts of him were still paying attention to the conversation. Inwardly reprogramming several assumptions, Spike wiggled against his lover's most recent erection and his eyes took on an unholy light. "Didn't figure ya for the sort to wanna be punished by Daddy, but if that's somethin you want, we'll have ta have ol' Rupes visit, yeh?" He leaned down and nipped a flushed earlobe, dropping his voice to a whisper. "He might not even touch ya, jus direct me in how an where ta spank ya, fuck ya, what toys ta use... Tellin us both how naughty you've been an how much ya need to be taught ta obey yer elders, hmm?"

While his conscious mind might rebel against the images being sent him, Xander's traitorous subconsious (and dick) led him deep into a surreal fantasy. Where Giles was back in tweed, his glasses slipping down his nose, as he instructed Spike to use the wooden ruler instead of his hand - it would leave more interesting marks, after all. Full choreography with the old Sunnydale High School library as backdrop, him bent over a research table and strapped down to its solid frame, Spike following the librarian's every order. Including how hard and at which angle to push into him.

Minorly concerned when his lover zoned out so suddenly, Spike was tempted to kiss him out of his stupor. Then he caught a whiff of overwhelming arousal coming from the mortal, followed by a long low groan and shudder. He grinned wickedly, swapping back to his cultured voice.

"You've been a very bad boy, Alexander. And as it is our duty as your educators to insure your growth into moral and intellectual maturity, my associate - Mr. Giles - and I have determined to utilize whatever means necessary to effect the best results. Do pay attention, young man. The following lessons will be repeated until you remember what sort of behavior is expected."

So saying, he caught Xander's wrists and brought them up to the padded cuffs attached to the headboard of the bed, snapping them in place quickly. He shimmied down the flushed body, retrieving ankle cuffs and securing them. Fully spread across the wide bed, Xander's vision began to refocus itself. It was evident that at least part of his attention was still on his fantasy.

Spike smirked to himself as he located the half-full tube of lubricant and quickly prepared himself. If he played his cards right, he would get his lover's cock stuffed deep in his own arse before Xander recovered himself. He moved back into position, then stopped himself. Two last things to make this scenario perfect. The discarded blindfold from the previous evening was found halfway under a pillow, and easily slipped into place. He bent close to the mortal's ear again and used his century's practice at acting to push Xander further into his daydream.

"Oh dear Lord." He even remembered to insert the appropriate disgruntled sigh. "Xander, surely you don't think this is the proper way of expressing your... carnal desires." Another sigh. "Very well, then it must fall to me to elucidate your poorly tutored responses into a more beneficial direction."

Hearing his mentor's voice so close to his ear, Xander was torn between mortification and instant combustion. He was absolutely certain that Giles was still in England. Right? But that tone - the very one the Brit used when he was 20% amused and 80% exasperated - was so near, and Spike's words had triggered long-suppressed feelings.

The vampire allowed himself a brief preen at his snap decision to role-play with his lover. He'd often suspected such a buried desire in Xander's subconscious, and now was the perfect time to experiment.

"Now be still and pay attention, Xander. This is a crucial lesson, one you may very well wish to recall for future reference." Positioning himself above the angry red erection, Spike lowered himself slowly, past the first tight barrier and continuing till his lover's cock was fully sheathed in his arse. "Ah, very good," he panted lightly, struggling to maintain the appropriate voice, "you have a more than adequate foundation here, and with little tuition should be able to make the most of your natural talents."

Gasping harshly, Xander's brain went into overload. He *knew* that this was Spike impersonating his friend. Really, he did. But it sounded so much like Giles. And that voice attached to a body that was engulfing him so snugly just about blew his mind. He was bound thoroughly, unable to do more than push his hips a couple of inches toward that tight haven...

"Oh!" If Spike had first thought this exercise to be for his lover's benefit, he soon found out just how erotic it was to send his lovely into a waking wet dream. Every movement from below pushed that delicious cock against his prostate, forcing his tone to roughen. "Really Xander, patience is terribly important. Do be still so that your attention does not deviate - Bloody Hell!" A series of quick thrusts from his human had Spike almost to the point of orgasm in minutes. "Very well, since you refuse to take this matter seriously, I shall have to demonstrate this one time. Do take notes, there may be a-" *gasp* "-test later. Fer fuck's sake!"

Playtime was apparently over, as the vampire's body began a fast bucking rhythm, driving himself down on Xander's groin with no finesse and little tenderness. He dived for his lover's lips, sucking and lapping his way inside even as his climax ripped through him. Spike barely noticed that his darling boy followed him, filling him with hot seed.

Several minutes later, Xander came back to reality chuckling. He nuzzled the soft hair in his face, whispering hoarsely, "Well, that was... interesting. Didn't realize I had a thing for British librarian types." His mouth found Spike's forehead and landed a few sloppy kisses. "Uh... dunno if I wanna *really* explore that, y'know? But can I reserve the right to do... something about it later?"

Floating down from his own delightful high, Spike decided that he would never again forgo the pleasure of prostate stimulation for such a long time. He sniggered at the young man's embarassed declarations, but made up his mind to get in contact with a certain Watcher before long.

"No rush, lovely. Mmm, was fun though, wasn't it?" A half-hard cock still lodged in his arse, Spike's lower body continued to throb in micro-pulses of pleasure. "Love how ya feel inside me, Xan."

"Fuck yeah, I don't wanna move an inch. No, don't want *you* to move an inch! Stay still, ok?" Hazy and still rubbing his face into the soft blond curls, Xander's voice trailed off as he slipped into a light doze.

His lover reacted by... following him into dreams of rulers and disciplinarians and tweed.

~ * ~

"Dammit Spike, get these things off me. Unless you've got some sick desire to have me flood the bed or something."

After such a rude awakening, the blond grumbled as he released Xander's hands and ankles from their cuffs. He barely managed to sidestep a rather anxious race to the toilet. He straightened the bedclothes while he waited. Then replaced lube and blindfold and random toys in their standard drawers, and waited. He was two seconds from going in to rescue his lover when the sounds of flushing and handwashing filtered out from behind the closed bathroom door.

Seeing the expression of stunned disbelief on Spike's face, Xander snickered past his blush. "What, you don't remember being human? Granted, it's been a long time for you, but still... the phrase 'piss like a racehorse' isn't new." Well, at least the blond's jaw was no longer on the floor. It had finally closed, but there was still a glaze of half shock, half concern directed at him. "Hey, I drank two glasses of milk, a huge glass of orange juice, and several cups of coffee at breakfast. Where do you think that goes? Not everyone has this supernatural metabolism thing going for them, Mister Undead Guy." So saying, he stuck his tongue out at the blond, then flounced back onto the bed with a sigh of relief.

Some small part of what Xander said finally soaked into his upper mental processes, and Spike found himself snorting in derision. "Yeh, I know what you're saying, but it's been awhile. Remind me to put some life preservers and a fire extinguisher in the loo soon, alright luv?"

Had he had the energy, Xander would have tossed a pillow at the smirking vampire. In his current state of relaxation, the most he could raise was a finger in his lover's general direction. "You're gonna wear me out, blondie. Plain generic human here, no super powers, remember?"

"Ah, but you love it, pet." Spike crawled up the bed, returning to his former nest beneath the brunet's chin. "Won't hurt either of us to take a nap though, yeh? Still got an hour or so 'fore Jan's ready to feed us dinner."

"Mmm, delicious high calorie meals worked off by energetic - if new and different - sex. Can't think of anything more appealing. Wanna roomie?"

Even as the words slipped past his lips, Xander found himself wondering how serious he was. For the first time in his life, he owned his own home - one he had worked hard to refurbish to his own tastes, with no one to tell him how to decorate or where to put the coffee table. Was he willing to give that up? Or more importantly, what exactly was he offering to give it up *for*? So stuck in his internal interrogation was he that Xander almost missed the mumbled reply.

"Can if ya wanna." Spike nuzzled into the sweet skin under Xander's jawline, just brushing it with his nose and chin. "No rush ta make up yer mind, Xan. But the offer's open, if an when ya want, yeh?"

Something else for him to mull over, and multiple scenarios of how much fun (or how many headaches) he could have with his undead lover/friend occupied his thoughts till Xander drifted off to sleep again. Complete with a lamprey-like vampire attached comfortably along his side and in his arms. He couldn't remember the last time he'd felt so... content.

Part Six

'This is becoming a habit. Not that I'm complaining, not at all.' Xander woke to the realization that, one, he couldn't move his limbs, and two, he was stuffed in mouth and ass with silicon. A familiar chuckle greeted him seconds before something incredibly soft and fuzzy began stroking his lower stomach.

"Evenin luv. Hope ya don't mind me entertainin myself." With a rabbit fur glove, Spike gently petted his darling boy's torso, enjoying the minute twitches he caused. "Figured ya wouldn't object a nice wake-up call, yeh?"

His gag wasn't strapped in, so he tongued it out of the way. "Mmm, you're so good to me, Master mine." His eyes weren't covered, and Xander let himself soak in the erotic picture of his lover's naked body. What seemed like miles of pale flesh, all available for his visual pleasure. He mentally smirked at the flex of Spike's half-hard dick at his term of address.

"Learnin fast, ya are. An I'd bet me soul that ya get as much of a thrill as I do, callin me Master." Purring his words across the mortal's body, Spike lowered his lips to a tight nipple, lathing it thoroughly before using his teeth to tug it into his mouth. He spent several long minutes on one, then the same on its mate, before raising his head to steal a deep kiss from Xander. "Wanna shag now, or wait'll after we eat?"

Laughing out loud, Xander lifted his head enough to snag his own kiss. "Who says romance is dead." He wasn't terribly embarassed when a giggle slipped out - after all, the look on his lover's face was priceless. "What?!"

Spike withdrew himself from all contact, sitting back to stare into brown eyes. Finally, he had to ask, "Ya really want romance, Xan?" Part of him hoping, another part... skittered to hide deep in his gut.

"Uh, this is that talk we were gonna have, isn't it? Think you can untie me if we're gonna do that deep thoughts thing?"

Between an accelerated heartbeat and the light flush of his skin, the brunet unintentionally offered several facts. First, he was embarassed by his own desires, again. Next, he too seemed to both want and dread the idea of romance between them. But most importantly, Xander was so uncomfortable being in such a vulnerable position (at least during this type of talk) that his erection wilted in record time.

Spike had no wish to squash their budding... whatever this was. He unfastened Xander's restraints, even moving to retrieve the purple vibrator from its warm haven - a move that the mortal stopped, by sitting himself at the headboard. To his credit, Xander barely squirmed as he made himself more comfortable.

"This is where things got confusing, with all the reading I did." His voice soft but unwavering, Xander held blue eyes without hesitation. "Before I showed up here, I thought... a whole lotta things. But never did it cross my mind that maybe, just maybe, I could have both. How would that work, Spike? Would you want... nevermind."

He watched the conflicting emotions cross his lover's face, making the vampire doubly determined to grab what was offered and make this wonderful man his own. For good. "Don't do that, luv. It can work, often does. The few couples who combine their dominatin games with real affection are the ones who stay together longest. Do ya..." Spike fumbled over his tongue, suddenly just as gun-shy as his lover, "That somethin you wanna try, Xander? Datin an romance an all, then come home for this? Not sayin it's gotta be so structured, but... y'know?"

"Dammit, I... I never thought about it, ok? As soon as I started reading up on this stuff, all thoughts about a normal relationship flew out the window. Honestly, that's something I haven't thought much about since... Anya." Xander nibbled on his lower lip, trying to work out how best to say what was on his mind. "How would it work, really Spike? Would we set out specific times for... fuck! I don't even know *what* to ask, let alone how."

"Dearling, there's no rules." Seeing his darling boy's frustration, Spike moved closer and took a warm hand between his own. "Wouldn't hafta be like that. Or we could make a schedule. Or jus play it by ear, whatever feels good to us both." He stroked his fingers across tense tendons in Xander's hand. "You do know I care about you, right Xan? Not just sex - which is great - and not just friends either." He left the comment open, waiting to see how his declaration would be received.

Xander stared at their twined fingers. He didn't know what to feel first. Relieved, confused, warm and fuzzy, worried. His track record for relationships pretty much sucked - and more often included non-human, demonic beings. How could he know that this would end any better? Before he even finished that thought, he knew the answer: He couldn't, no more than he could guarantee anything else in his life. All he was sure of was that Spike - his sometime enemy, sometime fellow warrior, frequent friend, and new lover - would not give up until he was thoroughly rejected by Xander. Such persistant devotion was... comforting.

"Yeah, guess I do know that. And right back atcha, blondie. Just... *can* it work? For us, I mean."

Spike hated the almost childlike uncertainty in his friend's voice. Doing the only thing he could think of to remedy the situation, he pulled Xander into a strong embrace, holding the trembling mortal tight to his chest. "Would take a bit of work from both of us, just like any good relationship, but there's no reason we can't try it." He placed a tender kiss to the top of his lover's head. "Remember what you told me Dawn saying? That you and me, we're alot alike? She's right, Xan. Always saw it, since moving into your parents' basement even. When we love, it's with everything we've got. Same with hating. We've tried the hate part... I'd like to see where we can go loving each other."

So soft even vampiric hearing barely picked it up, Xander whispered into a pale neck, "But can you love me, and still be my Master?" He really didn't think he could stand losing the total freedom of submitting to his lover, even if it meant having Spike's affection returned. Returned? Inwardly, he cursed himself for letting himself begin to feel *that* emotion, before he saw signs that it was wanted.

"Hey now," keeping his voice low and steady, Spike brushed the brunet hair away from his darling's frowning face. He was worried about Xander, who seemed to be crawling into some headspace to hide. Or protect himself. Oh. "Only way to figure it out is if we try. But if you're asking if I can love you enough to take care of you, and still be a sappy ponce, then yeh, I can do that. It's what you need, what you deserve too. And maybe... I need it too, Xan."

The only thing that kept Xander from fleeing the room was the steady hand stroking his head, holding him in the crook of Spike's neck. And a gut feeling that if he ran now, he'd mess up something special. Finally, the small part of his brain still taking notes on the conversation poked him out of his internal babble and made him come back to the present. "You do?"

Spike snorted. Short and harsh, self-depricating. "Yeh, bit too late for me not to get attached to ya, so don't make no plans of runnin off someplace, got it whelp?" Even as he said the somewhat calous words, his lips glanced over Xander's wrinkled brow tenderly. "Nothin's certain, can't make no promises, but we got a good start, yeh? Sparks fly 'tween us, an the sex is incredible. Got the same sense o' humor too. Both of us love the girls, fight the baddies, an laugh at Monty Python an Red Dwarf. An yer probly the only person I've ever met who can match me eatin buffalo wings 'n that effin huge bloomin onion thing 'n cheap beer. We're a pair, see? An... Xan, I gotta find out if we're a *match*. I ain't nothin unless I'm lovin someone, an I'm tired of pickin someone who's just gonna throw it in my face."

It took time for his brain to come back online, get away from that dark place inside that said he was doomed to be alone, but most of what he heard broke through Xander's self-imposed emotional barriers. He even found himself nodding, in complete agreement with what he heard from his lover's lips. Lips he had the sudden, undeniable desire to plunder til he sucked every ounce of flavor from. He gave in gracefully - more or less - to the impulse, attacking Spike's mouth, letting every doubt and hope through his ministrations.

Spike's little speech had left him drained. He waited for some reaction from his friend, and almost gave up on the whole thing, when his lips were suddenly devoured. He carefully catalogued Xander's taste and technique, returning with his own. Spike had told the complete truth in how similar the two were in their needs and fears - and each caress of tongue and lips verified it.

Xander forced himself to break for breath - something his body told him was important, even if he wanted nothing more than to stay attached to that talented mouth forever. As his eyes opened, he was immediately caught in a blazing blue stare, drowning in Spike all over again. His lungs hitched, and had he not already been laying down, he would surely have crumbled from the sheer emotion pouring from those expressive eyes.

"Um.. hey." Sheepish and shy, he tried to tuck his head back in the blond's neck. He didn't think he could face Spike just yet.

"Hey yourself." Catching Xander before he could hide, the vampire placed a chaste kiss on bruised lips. "Don't run, lovely. This is going fast, but nothing dangerous, yeh? Just... give it a chance. Please." Gone was the commanding Master, replaced with an uncertain romantic praying for a shot at his dream.

The pleading expression on Spike's face caught Xander before he could fall back into himself. "We really are alike, aren't we... But is that enough?" He wanted to kick himself for asking, years of rejection spinning doubts that threatened to take over.

"Only way to find out is to try, Xan." Spike could admit to himself how terrified he was of trying, yet again, to find someone who could truly love him. This battered mortal touched his unbeating heart and very human soul on so many levels that he couldn't bring himself to back off.

Xander found himself nodding agreement, even as his mental knees shook in fear. "Yeah, guess we can do that." The grip on his face relaxed, and he let himself collapse into strong arms. "Can we... just do couple-y things too?"

"What, you mean now?" A hint of teasing entered the blond's voice, lightening their heavy conversation.

"Uh, well... hadn't meant now, but... maybe. Whatcha got in mind, fang?" Xander smiled into his lover's chest, relieved that they were on a less angsty topic.

Spike considered the question, but he already had a decent starting point. "Dinner first. Can't afford to piss off Jan, y'know? She'd starch me underpants!" He ruffled dark hair, fleshing out an idea. "Then maybe I could show ya some of the sights. Bet ya haven't been to Deep Ellum yet."

"No... can't say I have. Remember, I haven't lived here for long, and most of the time I stay at home or run errands between here and Fort Worth." Racking his memory, Xander came up with a few references for the area Spike had mentioned - a fairly laid back section of the city, east of downtown Dallas, that was home to clubs and shops and restaurants where almost everyone could find something of interest. "Might be fun. But, uh, I'd rather not wear... what I came here in."

Laughing outright, Spike patted his delightful darling on the head. "Course not. You'd get more attention than ya want, specially on a Saturday night. Sure I've got something that'd fit ya here, luv."

Xander got the immediate mental image of himself stuffed into Spike's trademark black jeans and t-shirt. As tight as the blond normally wore his clothes, they'd never fit his larger frame. At least they weren't far from the same height, only an inch difference or so. He must have conveyed a dubious expression, if the look on Spike's face was anything to go by.

"Hey now, I've got more'n what you're used ta seein me in!" Indignation gave way to something uncomfortable. "Sides, my rep's shot, innit? Don't hafta wear all black 'n leather anymore. C'mere an see." Dragging the limp mortal from bed, Spike had to practically carry him several feet before Xander found his balance again. He flung open a door to... the largest walk-in closet Xander had ever seen.

"Uh... you aren't related to Cordelia Chase, are you?"

Snickering, the blond turned on the light, showing not just a huge closet but its dressing table and wall mirrors as well. Xander did a double-take, seeing the vampire's reflection beside his own. "Don't think so, luv. Might be though, spunky thing she was. An stop buggin yer eyes out - it's enchanted."

"Uh huh. At least now you can see how... pretentious... your slicked back hair looks." He barely managed to dodge the headslap in time. "Hey, everyone could tell that you were kin to Deadboy, just by the amount of hair care products you both used." At the flicker of pain that crossed Spike's features, Xander immediately regretted his teasing. He did the only thing he could think of, pulling the blond into a hug. "Sorry, I... Y'know me, open mouth and insert foot, right? He wasn't one of my favorite people, but he didn't deserve what he got."

Spike let himself bury in his lover's embrace, more shaken than he'd expected by the reminder of his loss. "'S not like we got along, but he was family, pet. An after Dru... he's all I had left."

"Dru? What happened? When?"

"Dunno exactly." Still struggling to hold back emotion, the blond's words were choked. "Rumor is that she wandered out to see where the stars went to bed, an that sounds likely." He sighed heavily, taking a deep breath. "Was 'bout six months 'fore Angel... Fuck, Xan! I'm the last now. The proud Order of Aurelius, down to just me - a souled ponce who can't maintain the line."

"Shit Spike, there's gotta be some way..." Xander broke off what he was going to say, suddenly unsure how his words would be received. What would it do to the soul if Spike were to create childer?

Sniffling, the Master vampire shook his head firmly. Seconds later it was apparent that William the Bloody had not quite given up. "There's always a way, Xander. I just have to get permission and find a way to ensoul and... a hundred other things that's never supposed to happen 'tween sires and childer. Don't matter - there's only a few people I'd even think about siring, an none of them'd let me."

Xander watched the transformation. Upset lover to proud Master, to shaken and fragile and *lonely* man. He didn't have a clue how to reassure Spike, how to offer comfort, but he couldn't stand back and let his friend hurt. "Hey, if we can find ways to stop a thousand different prophecies and apocalypses, we can work this out. But that's for later, right? Tonight is Deep Ellum and clubbing and general mayhem. So dress me up and spank me, Daddy, and let's see what Madam Jancis has for dinner."

The brunet's winsome grin nearly drew Spike's mood back to the happy contentment of earlier. If not fully, it made serious leaps in progress. "Yeh, nothin doin' to turn into a broody poof, right?" He wiped a hand across his face, grateful that no tears had fallen. "So, whatcha wanna wear, dearling?"

His attention directed to the awe-inspiring collection of clothing, Xander's first thought was that his girls hadn't been able to collect this many clothes - all six of them, past and present, combined - to equal the quantity or quality available here. "Uh... I'm gonna be really dumb here, and just tell you to pick something." He knew how to choose his battles, and this was definitely one he didn't want to be in.

Chuckling, Spike led him over to a row of casual pants and tops. "How 'bout plain Dockers an a pullover, yeh? Nothin fancy tonight, luv, we're doin comfortable."

Xander's relief radiated off him, giving the blond another reason to laugh. "Thanks, Calvin Klein. Just pick it out and I'll try to remember how to put it on."

~ * ~

Ten minutes later, Xander followed his lover back downstairs, comfortably wearing navy slacks of a heavy brushed cotton, his low boots, and a long sleeve cream pullover sweater. To his surprise, Spike really did own (and apparently enjoy wearing) other colors than black. The vampire looked - and here, Xander shuddered at his own brain's phrasing - radiant, wearing similar pants of charcoal grey with a silvery poet's shirt and loafers. To the mortal, the fabric and hues made Spike's eyes brighter. He couldn't prevent a blush at his sappy thoughts.

It didn't seem to matter anyway, as Spike made a determined bee-line to the dining room, dragging his lover along for the ride. If the kitchen and breakfast nook were comfortably homey, the dining room was stunningly impressive. Warm maple panelling and rich burgundy accents covered the walls, atop maple and cherry checkerboard flooring. Several candle-lit chandeliers hung above a long table, their flickering light reflected in the shine of well-polished wood throughout the room. Xander was more than a little impressed, all over again. Even if he'd never thought about designing a formal dining room before.

Breaking through his awe, Spike led him toward one end of the table, then sat himself at the head. "Yeh, I know it's alot, but Jan gets uppity if I don't show off to guests. She loves this room almost as much as her kitchen." He grinned at the young man, then pressed a finger under the edge of the table. "Built-in buzzer, calls 'the help' to come service us."

If Xander didn't know better, he'd have sworn that Spike was blushing. But vampires couldn't do that, could they? "Uh, sounds... efficient. And fancy. One of those rich people things, right?"

Spike's head ducked down, but he grinned sideways. "Something like that."

There was no cheerful banter with the cook this time, Xander was sorry to find. Instead, a fully uniformed caretaker entered from a discreet side door, pushing a huge cart overflowing with covered platters. His only comfort was that Spike seemed to be just as unnerved by the treatment.

Eventually, their meal was finished and they sat back to let it settle some. The young man had thoroughly enjoyed food he couldn't pronounce the names of, had fun teasing his lover during the whipped cream episode, and discovered that he had actually found a wine that didn't taste nasty to him. He made a note to drill Spike later about what exactly was in some of the dishes he'd inhaled.

Taking one last sip from his glass, Spike took Xander's hand and began stroking his fingers over the young man's palm. The gesture appealed to both men, and was rapidly becoming a habit. "Bout ready, Xanluv?"

"Yeah, if I can stand up after all that." He smiled to take the sting out of his words. "We better dance alot tonight, just to exercise so much rich food off, right? And wow, Jancis really is the best cook! Maybe we should force Buffy to apprentice here or something."

Sharing a laugh at the picture that confrontation would make - even though neither man doubted who the winner would be, since Madam Jancis ruled her kitchen with an iron fist - they took their time in pushing away from the table. Spike caught himself holding open doors for his lover, while Xander... had conflicting emotions from the show of manners. He was both touched and embarassed for his masculinity, but decided that he'd just let it play out.

They went down a back hall, leading them to the garage. As Spike hit the lights, Xander gasped loudly. Apparently, his undead friend had quite a fetish for wheels, as his collection was varied. Xander couldn't identify the years, as cars were never one of his passions, but he did note the general types. Mercedes and Porche, and if he knew his movie cars that had to be a Nash Rambler, not to mention the dozen motorcycles, Jeep, and two kinds of SUVs. He turned to the blond, open-mouthed but silent.

"Eh, don't look at me, pet. I only bought the bikes. Rest of this lot came with the house, dinnit?" Spike's sheepish expression was becoming a common occurance, and Xander decided it was a cute, appealing combination.

"Ok then, which are we taking tonight?" He really wanted to try out the Porche, but that Rambler looked fast!

Spike watched his lover's eyes, noting his preferences. "How bout the Nash now, an you try out a couple of the others tomorrow."

Still drooling his way across the garage, Xander walked on clouds toward the bottle green convertable. He reverantly stroked its sleek lines before opening the door and sliding into the passenger's seat. Spike found himself vastly amused, and perversely turned on, by the instant lust his darling had for the car. Immediately, several possible scenarios popped into his mind, centered around the racy cars and his beloved pet.

Belted in, he started the Nash and let it warm up. "So, we're dancing tonight, and I know several places you'll love. Wanna look through the shops too, luv? There's some interestin stuff in Ellum."

Xander had to force his attention back on the blond. "Uh... whatever you think. Honestly Spike, you know how I hate shopping."

"Dolt, I didn't say shopping. I said looking through'em, not the same. There's everything from clothing boutiques to ink parlors to junk shops. Always good for a few laughs, if nothin else."

Mildly embarassed at his assumption, Xander grinned and took the blond's hand. "Sorry. I'm so used to the girls that whenever someone says 'shop', I usually duck-and-cover, y'know?"

"Yeh, but s'not the same thing with me, luv. Just sit back an see." Putting the car in reverse, Spike revved the engine and smirked in satisfaction. As fascinated as Xander was with it, the Nash was his favorite too. It drove like a wet dream - hot and slick and vibrating just enough in the right places. "Be there in fifteen minutes."

~ * ~

Within an hour after they got to Deep Ellum, Xander decided that he loved it. The atmosphere was loose and bohemian, mostly young adults but with enough random ages to make a good mix, and there was so much to see he couldn't possibly cover it all in one night. They danced at several clubs, heard some great live bands (and quietly heckled a few bad ones), listened to some stand-up comedians (and not-so-quietly heckled them, to the audience's delight), and roamed various shops. He found himself pleasantly surprised that no one made any derogatory comments about two men together.

At one particular tattoo and piercing parlor, he remembered Spike's wistful wish to mark him. Brushing shoulders with the blond, Xander had to ask, "What would look good on me?"

Spike did a quick double-take, then gave the question serious consideration. "Dunno, lovely. Depends on what suits your fancy."

"Uh uh, I meant what would *you* put on me."

His step faltering briefly, the vamp hesitated. "Want me to put my mark on ya, is that it, Xan?"

"Something like that, yeah. Maybe not tonight, but it's something to think about." Inwardly smirking at his ability to throw his lover, Xander flipped pages in one of the huge display books of art. "So, which would it be... here's a bloody spike, so appropriate."

For his efforts, the brunet got a headsmack. "Wouldn't put that on ya, whelp. It'd have ta be somethin classy. Maybe somethin like this." Spike pointed out a Celtic cross, elaborately decorated with vines and roses, the center holding a phrase in Gaelic.

"What's it say? Pretty design, even if I can't understand the words."

Peering at his lover from under his eyelashes, Spike leaned to whisper in Xander's ear, "My eternity for my beloved."

A flash of heat flowed through Xander, body and heart, at the romantic phrase. Beyond that, it was erotic too, in the 'too many years buddying around with the undead' sort of way. He knew he could proudly wear those words for his lover, and hoped to be asked to do so. Someday. Soon?

Spike carefully watched the mortal's reactions, and was calmed by the evidence of his approval. Rejection seemed like a distant nightmare - a thought that soothed him, while making him nervous about jinxing their new relationship. "It's nicely done, yeh? Wouldn't mind having one myself..." He let the words trail off, still paying avid attention to his darling.

"A matched set, huh? Maybe different colors though. As pale as you are, some colors would look better on you than me." Tinting and pictures and snatches of poetry danced in his mind, as Xander drifted into a very nice fantasy about being claimed for all - humans and demons alike - to see. His arousal hit the blond in a rush of phermones, and he was roughly dragged out of the parlor and around the side of the building.

"Some things it's not safe ta tease 'bout, pet." With that terse warning, Spike laid claim to the young man's lips, however temporary the bruising would be. He had to let his lovely boy know how much he wanted the right. Hands and lips and thrusting hips, all working together to put his imprint on Xander, the blond soon lost himself in that sweet mouth.

Xander pulled back only long enough to suck air into his lungs, and offer a promise of "Never tease about that, Master mine", before diving back into the kiss. His hands fumbled for Spike's zipper, slipping inside the soft fabric to grasp a now-familiar cock. Gasping from the blond vamp - who breathed an awful lot for a non-breathing type - and he was sliding to his knees to take that delicious treat into his mouth.

He hadn't hoped to introduce the boy to semi-public sex so soon, but Spike wouldn't complain about those lovely lips wrapping around his hard-on. It'd have to be quick, he knew, or they would run a high risk of being cited for public indecency. But with the way his darling Xander was working hot mouth and clever tongue, it'd only take minutes for him to come.

'Nothing like getting your lover off in the middle of a crowd.' It'd been years since he'd done something like this, but he and Anya had both enjoyed the mild thrill of exhibitionism. As most of the Scoobies knew, and had frequently teased him about. Here on his knees, blowing his male vampiric Master in an alley, on a busy Saturday night... Xander lowered his own zipper, unbearably turned on by what he was doing.

Spike fought to keep his human face, nearly biting through his lower lip at the intensity of sensations roaring through him. 'Fuckin hell, he's getting good at this!' He held nothing back, knowing that time was sparce, and was rapidly heading toward climax - then he caught sight of what his lovely boy was doing with the hand not fondling his balls, and barely had sense to stiffle the scream as he poured a healthy dose down his beauty's throat. "Damn Xan, so bloody precious."

Reflex swallowing kept Xander from drowning in the salty offering of his lover's climax. It was getting easier, this whole blowjob thing, and he found himself developing a taste for the bittersweet juices. Eyes closed in his own pleasure, he was startled when the fading erection was torn from his mouth. Seconds later, their positions reversed as Spike swallowed him whole to return the favor. As worked up as he was, Xander came minutes later, and they both sagged against the brick wall to catch their breath.

"Mmm, midnight snack, s'good." Nuzzling into his lover's neck, the brunet sucked his pale throat while Spike grabbed a double handful of buttcheeks.

"Corny, but appropriate. Love what you do to me, Xan. Wanna keep you forever, show the world you're mine," the vampire's voice husky from emotion and recent use, Spike pulled Xander closer. "That what you want, dearling? To be mine, properly owned and cherished by this Master? I'd take the best care of ya, make sure you'd never want for anything, keep ya happy and loved."

Spike's words wove a spell around the young man's heart, confirming what he'd already felt - if Xander allowed their new relationship to continue, they could give each other what they desperately needed most, a complete devotion that none of their respective partners had to offer. He refused to let the suspicions of 'but it's too easy' mar his satisfaction.

"Yeah, that's what I want. Spike, Master, to be completely yours." Xander gulped a deep breath, then took the dive. "Forever."

He couldn't have prevented his gameface from erupting had he tried - which he definitely didn't. Spike's golden eyes fixed on his sweetheart's face, searching the truth in expression and scent. No matter how much he craved what Xander was saying, he just couldn't afford to be deserted again. But everything he found was honest, from eyes and facial expression, to phermones and the purity of his lover's desires.

"My Xander, MINE! Bloody buggerin feckin HELL, wanna scream it out, but these daft humans'd toss me behind bars for it." Spike buried his face in his boy's warm neck, licking a stripe from collar to ear. "Not gonna mark ya here, dearling. You deserve better than some dark alley, yeh? Wanna get you home an do it all proper-like. See if I remember the ritual words an everything."

"And everything, all of me, for all of you. Gods, feels like my heart's about to burst, so full of... feeling, all about you. Fuck Spike, if this is what love feels like, I've never really loved anyone before now." Even as he spoke the words, Xander cringed back, afraid of what he'd said and how it might be received. 'Too soon, moron! Don't scare him off. Why'd anyone want-'

"Me too, Xan, love, dammit me too." So choked up he couldn't see through emotional tears, Spike missed his darling's scent change. He didn't, however, miss the tension that suddenly raced through the body he held. "Wish we'd given each other a chance years ago. But 'm glad too, means more to have ya now. You're never gonna feel unloved again, sweet darling Xander. Wanna getcha home now, yeh?"

Berating himself interrupted by Spike's declaration, Xander almost sagged in relief when the anticipated taunts failed to make their appearance. "Home. Tell me about claiming? Giles' books contradicted themselves all over the place."

"Course they did, pet. Watchers dunno shite 'bout anything but minions. Granted ol' Rupes is a few steps above the rest, but even he never really understood the difference, not completely." The busy streets caused numerous obstacles for Spike and Xander, until the blond finally started growling at pedestrians to get out of their way. "Dozy buggers all over the place."

Snickering didn't seem like the best idea, but Xander really couldn't help the snort of humor that erupted. His vampire was just so cute when he was frustrated. A thought that made him pause, disect, and mentally shrug, accepting that Spike was cute and that it was perfectly alright for Xander to think it.

Finally, they located the Nash and buckled in. Barely in time, Xander remembered to hold onto the seat as the insane driver tore out of the parking lot and headed toward the freeway. If he survived the ride, Xander decided to lecture his lover on the need to protect his fragile human self by not breaking the sound barrier without appropriate safety precautions and a NASA seal of approval.

Part Seven

"Thousands of years ago, so long ago that even the oldest vampires weren't around to witness, a rift between Earth and one of the hells opened. It allowed the first vampire spirits to slip into this plane, where they waited patiently for physical bodies to inhabit. In the beginning of our species, there were many mistakes and few successes, but among that small number was the first Master Aurelius. He and four others, each the strongest of their specialty, created the rituals and rules of heirarchy among our kind. They acknowledged the division between potential Masters and common vampires. Such clan, or family, lines that were strong enough to control lesser demons became the aristocracy of vampiric culture. Such that it is.

"There's very little loyalty between common vampires and the strong lines. We have no compunctions against dusting the lesser beings, no more than they have for randomly gorging whole communities of humans. Their intellegence is well below their human body's former self, and they lack vital traits - cunning, subtlety, loyalty to their species, and love (as opposed to lust). They abide by no rules or strictures, and rarely acknowledge other beings as equals. One of the few exceptions is that, regardless of their inherent stupidity, they instinctively accept claimed mates of high vampires, considering them part of the species. This does not always guarantee safety to the claimed, but it does provide a measure of security they would not otherwise find.

"The ritual for claiming a mate outside of our species is at least five thousand years old. A high vampire claiming a human as mate doesn't happen terribly often, but each documented occurance has eventually been turned. In each case, there are few changes in personality - many cases claim to still 'feel' their soul's presence. Speculations over the reasons for this phenomena run rampant, but most agree that it is due, at least in part, to the frequent exchanges of blood between the mated couple. It is assumed that the human gradually comes into contact with their mate's demon spirit, accepting it into their soul prior to being turned. Hence, little change after turning - the human would be accustomed to dealing with the demon's impulses, and more capable of reigning in such urges, however violent. After turning, the claimed is usually much stronger than the average fledgeling.

"Components of the ritual vary between clan lines, but not by much. The essential parts never deviate - all differences being the particulars of each family's code or guidelines. There are seven steps in the ritual for the Aurelius line... although we only have record of two claimed humans being accepted by the Master of the time. In our case, sweetling, we're lucking out - since I'm the head of clan now, we don't have to grovel or pimp ourselves out to some pompous bastard, and maybe be killed before we can complete the ritual. Quite often in the past, the whole thing was done in the presence of whatever clan members were close enough to answer the call. Aren't you glad the rest are dust? Anyway, the seven steps are as follows.

"First, I announce my intent to take you into my life, heart, and clan as my claimed mate. There's an outline of what's supposed to be said, and it's real stuffed-shirt, but I'll mean every bit of it. Next, your acceptance - there's words for that too, but you've got alot more leeway. When we've both stated our intent, we exchange blood, just a couple of mouthfuls. We can use either blade or teeth - whatever we choose will leave its mark, so most vamps'll want to use fangs, for territorial reasons y'know. Then we do a quick spell that magically binds us together, and *probably* but no one's certain, lets a part of my demon start slipping into you. I'm pretty sure that's what happens, cus otherwise how else would the demon recognize its mate at the deepest level? Next is the fun part - we have messy, sloppy, delicious sex... no time limit here, and I plan on making the most of it, yeh? There's some formal words after we're done to finish our part, then, traditionally, we take our binding to the Master of the line and get approved. 'S why I said the last'd be simple, since I'm the Master now, right?"

"Well, aintcha gonna say anythin, pet?"

Muffled noise came from Xander, through his gag. Somewhat embarassed, Spike quickly untied the gag and cuffs restraining his lover, and just as quickly stepped back. "Sorry bout that, luv. Had ta make sure you'd let me get all that shite outa the way, didn't I?"

Glaring at the blond-who-might-not-get-laid-tonight, Xander rubbed his wrists to regain circulation, then leaned over for the glass of water on the nightstand. Half a glass later, he finally found his voice. "You really didn't have to do the gag thing, Spike. How long ago did you memorize that, anyways?"

Spike reached out for his prospective mate, stroking fingers across a tanned hand. "Wasn't sure I could get through it if you'd interrupted a single time. 'S a lecture I had ta learn just after being turned, but once I could quote it straight, I never had to repeat it again. So, yeh I did, an... bout a hundred an twenty years. Give or take."

Xander nodded, thoughtful. "Don't think you gave my curiosity enough credit, but I understand your reasons. And not to sound like Giles, but that was just *fascinating*! I almost wanna call the gang to come by as witnesses, y'know? But not, cus ewww - so not thinking about the girls watching us having the ritual sex." He shuddered dramatically, while his vamp lover just smirked. "And ok, a certain amount of exhibitionism is cool, but not the girls!"

Alternately snickering and cringing at the idea, Spike rejoined his lover on the bed. He retook Xander's hand, lacing their fingers together. "You're the first person I've ever told, and the only one outside of clan to know in several hundred years. Might not mean much to you-"

"NO! Gods Spike, it means everything! And before you ask, no I'm not gonna back out. I want this as much as you do, even if it's happening so fast it makes my head spin like that little girl in the Exorcist movie." Xander's strong words were undermined by his trembling hands, but Spike sensed only understandable nerves. His voice softened, his eyes caught and held the blond's. "There's no way I don't want this. It's like something finally clicked into place that I've been missing all my life, and I'd be nuts to doubt it or turn it down. I may be alot of things, but crazy I'm not."

Laughing through his words, Spike tried to agree. " Of course not, luv. Never said you were... that I recall. Do you... *when* do you want to do this? How soon before I can stake my claim on your gorgeous self, hmm?" His words teasing, but a fervent want throbbed in his blazing blue eyes.

Xander shivered at the blatant need coming from his beloved, but he felt the same urgency. "Is tonight too soon? What sort of herbs or candles or stinky potions do we need for the spell part?"

Inside, Spike's demon roared in triumph. His mate-to-be was just as eager, he would face no rejection from the only being to truly deserve his devotion. "Probly got everything we need here, dearling. Simple enough spell, just a few words in Latin - the vampire version of it anyway - and the right incense burning. I'll go hunt that down, and light some candles, if you wanna start a bath for us."

Both men stood, automatically coming together in a tender kiss. Xander swore to relearn how to breathe through his nose so that they didn't ever have to break apart for such mundane reasons. When they parted, Spike left for parts unknown, leaving the brunet to run the hot water at just the right temperature and add soft, musky bath oil.

All previous attempts at long-term commitment had left Xander terrified, clammy and sweaty and ready to vomit. He experienced none of those nervous feelings, only a sense of peace and - cheesy as it sounded, even to him - completion. As if he were finally at the place he was destined to find. Beside William the Bloody, forever. Even the prospect of eventually being turned didn't alter his decision. After all, wasn't that what Giles or Willow was for, to anchor his soul if it was in danger? Although, if Spike's lesson in lore was accurate, he might not even need that. And just how cool was it that he could probably spend the next thousand years with a person who loved him above all others... The broad smile that covered his face showed how ecstatically happy he was.

~ * ~

They bathed each other with gentle touches and loving kisses, replenishing the hot water twice to draw out their pleasure. With fluffy towels and frequent stops to smooch or grope, both found their physical contact had grown more sensual, leading up to their upcoming union. Xander stepped into the bedroom first, gasping at the dozens of candles and soft incense that leant a meditative aura to the room.

"Oh Spike, this is... all it's missing is rose petals to be the ultimate romantic scene." He spotted a bottle of champagne chilling in a bucket near the bed, with two tall fluted glasses on the night table - beside the lube, romantic itself when he thought about his vampire's taste for rough play. He almost jumped out of his skin when a cooling hand met his lower back.

"Shh luv, just me, innit? An I didn't do the rose petals, cus they don't smell right with this type of incense. But if you really want them-"

"No, don't bother. I don't want to spend my wedding night sneezing." Giggling with anticipatory nerves, Xander placed a chaste kiss on the tip of Spike's nose. "You'll... lead me through what I'm supposed to say, right?"

When his darling boy said 'wedding night', Spike almost jumped the mortal. Carefully reigning himself in, he pulled Xander into his arms. "Just listen to what I say. You'll figure out the responses pretty easy from there. Sorta like those church things where the preacher says something and the congregation replies, and it's all written down in the back of the hymnals, yeh?"

"Uh, you do realize that I never really went to church, don't you? Went to synagog a few times with Willow when we were kids, but my folks weren't religious. At all."

"Don't matter, luv. You'll catch on quick-like." Snuggling his face into a warm neck, Spike inhaled the leftover scent of bath oil and the underlying aroma of his darling. He led Xander to the bed, kneeling down in the center and guiding the brunet to copy his actions. "Ready Xan?"

"Almost..." Tentatively, Xander leant forward and brushed his lips against Spike's. Naked and rapidly hardening, his body was energized and electrified - it felt as if he had consumed several two-litres of cola, a dozen Twinkies, and inhaled a ton of pure chocolate. "Now I'm ready. Wanna be yours, Spike."

Spike relished his lover's kisses at any time, but this one was... charged. He could think of no other way of phrasing it, as every molecule in his body seemed to gravitate toward his lovely. "Want you, dearling. Wanna be yours too."

Bodies arranged so they were almost touching, Spike did a quick check to make sure the incense was still going and that none of the candles had gone out. Satisfied, he drew a silver dagger from beneath a pillow and faced his future mate. Locking his eyes with Xander's, he began to speak in a low, strong tone.

"I, William the Bloody, also known as Spike, Master of the Aurelius clan and Master in my own right, lay claim to this human known as Xander, born Alexander Lavelle Harris. From this day til our deaths, let all know that he is my consort, my beloved mate, the holder of my heart. I offer my love, devotion, and protection, as well as anything else he should want or need, for eternity. I ask only that he remain faithful to me, never losing his love and delight in our relationship. This is my intent, so say I."

Xander's lungs locked up tight, hearing the ritual words spoken in that voice he adored. His lover was right after all - he'd have no problem with his replies.

"I, Xander Harris, born Alexander Lavelle Harris, accept the claim upon my life and love by Spike, otherwise called William the Bloody. Til he's dust and I'm dead, may this world and all the rest of them know that I belong to him. May he continue to be my lover, best friend, my heart and the better part of my soul, for the rest of our days. Everything I am or can be is his, and I'll never let anyone come between us. Take my love and loyalty, as I accept yours. This is my intent, so mote it be."

His lover's twist on the ritualistic phrases only caused a raised eyebrow. Spike kissed Xander, letting it deepen til they had practically crawled inside each other's mouth. Pulling away only an inch, he flicked his eyes back to brown ones filled with emotion. "Want blade or bite, luv?"

A full body shiver caught Xander. "Bite me, blondie." He snickered at the old taunt, still shaking lightly in arousal. "Can I bite you too, or do I need to use the dagger?"

"Whichever you like, Xan. Just remember that whatever we do, it's supposed to scar." Licking the warm neck in front of his face, Spike considered where he'd put his mark. The thought almost made him come. "Want to put it here, sweetling, on your shoulder, up close to your neck. That way you'll feel it every time you move, remember who you belong to, yeh?"

By the time the blond finished, Xander was panting heavily. "Specially if it's gonna scar, it's gotta be *my* teeth marks in you. Not just some cold, impersonal metal. To let the rest of the world know, no poaching, property of Xander Harris." Seeing a similar territorial look on the vampire's face, Xander felt less uncomfortable with his primal need to sink his teeth into that lovely flesh.

Spike found himself mezmerized by the steady throb on his lovely's throat. He licked his lips, then traced his tongue across jugular vein, ending beneath the right ear. "You ready, Xander?" Dropping his head onto the mortal's shoulder, Spike nuzzled into his boy's warmth. "Gonna do it right here, right now. Might sting a bit more than the couple times I've bit ya before, gotta be deeper to scar, yeh?" He gnawed on the trembling muscle, relishing the waves of intense arousal and want coming from his darling. "MINE!"

As the vampire's fangs sank through tissue, all the way down to bone, Xander's body slumped into the bite. He had never felt more connected to anyone before, his whole being centered around the feeling of his blood being carefully drawn into that cool mouth. Some small portion of his psyche reminded him to be prepared for his turn, keeping Xander grounded through the bliss invading him, mind body and soul.

Every emotion his lovely felt blazed through his blood, feeding Spike's hunger. It was far from basic bloodlust, however - the most intimate joining of his human soul and demon spirit with this wonderful mortal. Nearly orgasmic in itself, he lifted away from the bite and gently licked his puncture marks closed to begin healing.

Xander floated in and out of consciousness, aware that his turn was coming and trying to stay coherent enough to do it right. If their earlier forays into biting had been intense, sensual, but this... anchored him. His mind flew through a thesaurus of new age terms in an attempt at locating the most appropriate phrase. Nothing really described it, though he came close with transcendental and spiritual merging. Shaking himself out of his foggy thinking, Xander took his mate's lips in a fierce kiss, sucking each linguring droplet from Spike's mouth.

"Think I've got the idea, blondie. Together forever, right?" Sloppy licks and nibbles outlined the vampire's throat as Xander drew a meandering map across his torso. "Know where I want to leave my mark too." Spike could get no firm hints with the brunet's random movements, and his body quivered in surpressed need. "You'll love this, Spike. Gonna hurt and bleed for me, aren't ya... Right... here."

Finally settling his lips into place, Xander tore into the vampire's pectoral, just a couple of inches above his left nipple. He had to use alot more force with blunt human teeth than his lover's fangs had done, but from the sounds Spike was making, Xander figured he didn't mind much. Chewing and sucking, his efforts eventually brought up enough blood for Xander to gulp a couple of mouthfuls. And with each swallow, his senses heightened til he too could feel his mate's emotions. If he'd had doubts before, the taste of Spike's love-drenched blood put them to rest.

With his last sip, he felt something dark and glowing touch his heart. Raising his head, Xander licked across the ragged wound and opened his eyes slowly, immediately caught his lover's golden stare. "I feel you, Spike. Inside me - gods, it's incredible!" Tears flowed freely down his face, so choked with emotion that he couldn't prevent some form of release.

The image of Xander's blood-tinged lips would forever be etched in Spike's memory - a picture so erotic to the demon, and equally sensual to his soul. He captured his lover's mouth, completing the circle of their essence exchange. "Never letting you go, Xan. Can't, won't, would kill me."

"You won't ever have to. Can't let you go either, fangs." Their kisses became more passionate, taking no care around the razor teeth of Spike's demonic visage. "Let's finish this now, Spike. Want you so deep inside me in every way."

Taking a shaky breath, the blond forced himself to rest back on his heels, away from the tempting body in front of him. "Right, next step is the spell. Shouldn't hurt, but... this is where we'll be tied together, luv. Dunno what'll happen, honestly. There's no records of the specific-"

"Hey Spike, shut up and spell us." Xander leant forward for one last, hard kiss. "It'll be a surprise. And you'll be here to catch me, no matter what, right?"

"Yeh, no matter what." His lovely's words strengthened Spike, lessening the worry. Mojo had always made him nervous, regardless of what it was supposed to do. But he remembered well the words to the simple spell, and they fell from his lips quickly. At the last syllable, Spike felt a tug in his mind and heart, tethering him to his lover's spirit. He was so wrapped up in the unique sensation of being enveloped in that warmth that he almost missed Xander's reaction.

"Woah! Fuck me sideways..." The hint of Spike's presence that he'd felt from the blood multiplied, and Xander staggered forward, slumping against the blond's chest. His voice choked and rough, he kept repeating, "In me, around me, you're inside me, Spike."

Some deeply buried part of the vampire's mind remembered the next step in the ritual. And wasn't it convenient how his darling boy was once again in his arms? Spike gently laid the mortal down, grabbing the slick as he slithered his body along the length of his lover. "Gotta have ya now, pet. Make this good for ya, getcha slippery an stretched an ready for me."

Still dazed, Xander locked onto his mate's voice. His legs spread eagerly at the questing touch, closing around the pale hips to drag them closer. When had he gotten so hard? No answer came, but he ignored it for later. Right now, he had a eager vamp with a luscious prick to fill the aching emptiness in his butt. "Don't take too long, Spike. Want you now, hard and fast."

"Not gonna hurt ya, luv. Just a little more," more to reassure himself than his panting Xander, Spike babbled through one, two, three fingers worth of lubricant. "Good enough, sweetling?"

"More than. NOW, Spike!" If he had to flip their positions and mount the blond to ease his burning need, Xander was prepared to do just that. Lucky for them both, Spike caught up with his urgency and swiftly impaled himself. "Oh fuckin hell yesssss..." And then there were no more words, only waves of ecstacy flowing between and through them.

Dimly, Spike recalled the bliss he'd felt when he had first taken his darling - was it really just a couple of days ago? - but he was completely unprepared for the wealth of sensation that swept through him now. There was no finesse to his movements, although he did manage to brush his lover's prostate more often than not. Caught in a tsunami of sensation, he sought and found Xander's weeping erection, pulling it in time with his thrusts. "Not gonna last, luv. Sorry it's so quick-"

"Me too, gods Spike! Don't hold back on me." Xander knew he was just asking for it, demanding the stronger-than-human thrusts into his untrained hole. Pleasure/pain burned brightly, raising the fire inside him to iron-melting intensity. Tomorrow, he'd pay for their energetic activities, but right now he *needed* Spike's full strength.

He didn't want to hurt his lover, really he didn't, but how was he supposed to hold back when the wonderful, sweet *hot* young man was begging so prettily. Lifting tanned legs across his shoulders, Spike dived in for all he was worth, pistoning his cock into Xander's grasping hole in a blur of speed. The tell-tale tingling began at his pelvis and spread up his spine, slowly taking over his senses. He couldn't hold off orgasm any longer, and stroked his lover faster to bring them off together.

Xander was happily stuck in a web of sensual delight. Between the thick erection pounding into his ass, hitting every nerve and setting them on fire, and the cool hand on his dick that demanded his come... he didn't want it to end, but knew they were rapidly hurdling toward climax. Spike's movements became jerky and erratic just as Xander felt the beginnings of his own completion. "Fuck! Mineminemine forever now love you Spike my one my own fuck yessss!"

He honestly tried to hold it back, but when Xander's head started thrashing in time with the pulsations of his ass, Spike's orgasm rampaged over him. He barely heard his lover's rambling declarations - although, his demon apparently took detailed notes, roaring its approval. "Yours Xan, never letting you go." His internal roar turned outward, rattling the windows in triumph. Somewhere in the distant echoes of his buzzing ears, he heard himself screaming possessive claims, but since Xander answered each with a firm 'yes!', he let darkness suck him under.

~ * ~

For the first time since he'd arrived at Spike's home, Xander woke first. Experimentally flexing his muscles, he made a few interesting discoveries - first and most appealing was that the vampire's prick was still lodged in his butt, but he also noted that he didn't have any annoying aches or pains. Probably had something to do with the spell, so he wasn't about to complain.

He took great pleasure in studying this man, his lover and new mate. From golden blond curls to sharp cheekbones, down the defined chest and delicious... His dick woke up too, happily agreeing with his assessment of the vampire's attributes. Xander didn't want to wake his lover, keeping still as possible even as his bladder joined the land of the full-to-burst. After all, what was he supposed to do about it, with 180 pounds of slumbering undead on top (and still buried inside) him?

At least he had a few minutes to take stock without those entrancing blue eyes distracting him. What was he thinking, jumping into this without research or talking to Giles or Willow or... Xander gave himself a hard mental slap, stopping that train of thought in its tracks. All the best decisions he'd ever made had been from his heart. And that was the why and what of it. He quickly stomped on the tiny voice in his head that screamed at his stupidity - mainly because it sounded like his dad, but also because he *knew* he'd done right.

"Can hear ya thinkin, luv. Don't sprain yerself."

Bonded and claimed or not, that deserved the usual response. He whapped the back of a blond head, then leaned up and snagged a sloppy kiss or three. "Hey there, bloodbreath. Wanna get off me so I can pee?"

And apparently, Spike was trainable - he vaulted off his lover and practically dragged him toward the bathroom only seconds after the request was made. Xander's giggles echoed behind the closed door, punctuated by a steady stream of liquid hitting liquid. One of the many facets of humanity that the blond hadn't ever missed.

Flush, wash hands, scrub face, and ok his hair showed exactly how rough he'd been ridden. Xander's satisfied smirk greeted him in the mirror, and he winked at it before opening the door. And immediately was pounced on by the blond tornado with too many hands and a hyperactive tongue that seemed determined to lick every inch of his body in the next three seconds. From the looks of things, it just might succeed too. Not that he was complaining.

Xander waited almost patiently until the blond head moved to investigate his claim mark before asking, "Hey Spike," in his best whine, "Feed me!"

A chorus of two - for once in total accord, both demon and soul - chanted 'Mine mine mine mine' in his subconscious, Spike was determined that his taste buds memorize his darling's body. His purpose was detoured briefly when he came upon his fang marks, and they demanded attention. He could happily have spent the next decade devoted to his oral exploration, but for the sulking voice begging food. With a put-upon sigh, he made note of where he'd left off mapping his territory. "Right, one high calorie meal, if I recall your earlier schedule."

"Umhmm, tasty food before sex, keeps the human from passing out or being grumpy." Without Spike's lips and tongue devouring him, Xander's brain caught up with his stomach. He determined to ignore his hard-on til after sustenance was provided - both it and his vampire could just deal.

Stealing a hard kiss, Spike kept his darling locked in inhuman arms. "Let's finish first, yeh? Won't take long, luv."

"What more do we need to do? I'm yours, you're mine, and now the long line of Aurelius has a new addition - even if I'm not undead yet. And you've already given the Master's approval, right?" Even as he said his list, Xander's attention shifted to his teeth marks on the pale chest. A perfect ring of holes, silvering as they healed to scars, announcing to the world his ownership. His erection seconded the wave of proprietary arousal that swept through him.

"Eh, pretty much that... you've-" Spike's nose picked up the mortal's change in scent "-bloody hell, Xan! Yer not gonna make it to breakfast if ya keep smellin like that." He ground his hips against his lover's, drawing groans from them both. "Right then, you're mine an I'm yours. As Master of the line, I approve the match. Everyone else can kiss arse." Arms closing around Xander, he tossed the human over his shoulder and headed back to bed.

It came as a surprise when Xander felt an answering wave of arousal coming from his mate. Like a feedback loop. All thoughts of food evaporated in lieu of his need for immediate sex. "Food later, fuck me now."

No complaints came from his partner, who had his mouth full anyways.

Part Eight

Floating back to consciousness, Xander felt... good. Way too good for the marathon sex from the past night (?) - he checked the curtains, deciding that yes, his internal clock wasn't far off. So ok, he'd gotten cored over every inch of Spike's bedroom, twice in the shower, and once halfway down the hall on their brief foray to the kitchen. Neither man wanted to risk Jancis' ire by 'messing up her kitchen', so they had taken their antics back upstairs.

The question rolling through his mind now wasn't terribly important to his general welfare, but it nagged at him. The house, a full-time housekeeper, a part-time groundskeeper (that he only heard about so far), and all those cars and bikes. How was Spike paying for it all?

And so what if he should be worrying over other things. Well, maybe not *worry*, but definitely asking 'what now?' would be a good idea. The bleached menace he'd grown to call friend had never had more than a couple hundred dollars at a time. This extravegence... if he didn't charge for his skills as Master, what did he do to pay for everything?

Yeah, his brain was stuck in a rut.

"Bout time ya woke up, luv." Bumping the bedroom door open, a tray-toting vampire brought aromas of coffee and breakfast into the room with him. "Jan accused me of shaggin yer grey matter out. Made me deliver even! I tell ya, good help is so hard to find these days." Grinning to soften his words, Spike sat the tray down long enough to fluff pillows behind his dearling's back. "So sit up an have a cuppa, gotta feed ya so we can make some noise. One a these days, we'll manage ta make'er blush, yeh?"

Another question for the short list: how did a *nocturnal* demon get so damned perky first thing in the freakin morning, when he'd expended just as much energy as Xander had?

"Here ya go, lovely. Have a sip an dig in. Got things ta do today, don't we?" Handing over a pre-doctored mug, Spike sipped from his own, humming in pleasure at the strong brew. He raised an eyebrow at his lover's silence, but let Xander tuck into his meal without interruption.

The brunet honestly couldn't say what he was eating, only that there was plenty of it to fill his hollow gut. Just what did they have to do today other than more of the same? Sex, shower, food, repeat. It was a good working plan, why mess with it?

Snickering from his perch on the side of the bed, Spike reached over to ruffle brown bedhead. "Ya don't remember then. That's alright, Xan, we'll getcha caught up with the convo, yeh? Got about an hour 'fore we should leave, so finish up here and I'll wash yer hair, hmm?"

Well really, how could he turn down that offer. The other half of his plate emptied shortly, he raised his arms up to the blond in a childlike gesture of 'pick me up' that had the desired results in seconds.

"Mmm, mornin precious. So we're gonna play Daddy's little boy again?"

Woops, had he said that outloud?

"S'ok, luv, like takin care of ya, I do. It's a rare treat ta have a lover who'll let me just touch'em. An I do like touchin ya, Xander." Demonstrating his words, Spike ran both hands up and down the mortal's back, lingering over his buttocks. "Like doin just 'bout everythin with ya." He leant forward, eliminating the few inches between them, to capture coffee-flavored lips in a gentle kiss.

With the introduction of that cool tongue to the kiss, Xander finally caught up with the situation, enthusiastically joining his lover's efforts and circling Spike's pale neck. They parted to simply look at each other, and he let himself be lost in blue eyes brimming with affection. "Morning Spike. Sorry bout that-"

"Shh, s'ok sweetling. Shoulda expected it, no matter how mucha my blood ya took last night. Human body's only good fer so long without rest an refreshment." Catlike licks across the corners of Xander's lips. "Gonna have ta learn how ta do a better job. Wanna keep ya 'round a good long time, yeh? If forever's good for ya."

That's when it really hit him. Forever. With Spike. Xander's eyes widened to comic proportions, staring with glassy shock at the blond vampire holding him so carefully. His mouth opened and closed several times, but nothing came out. Blinking rapidly, he hoped his... lover, mate? could fill in the blanks for him.

"Oh sweetling, no regrets I hope." Stroking mussed hair, Spike rocked them gently in a soothing motion. "All happened so fast, but I wouldn't change a bit, yeh?"

The note of hesitancy finally broke through fogged brainwaves. Xander needed to reassure his... Spike. His Spike, dammit. No more doubts or floundering or loneliness chewing a hole in his life. "No regrets! Just... kind of alot to process. Forever." Even as he said the word, a huge goofy grin spread across his face. It felt so good, he had to repeat it. "Forever. Sounds like a dream come true."

Fingers drifted up to touch their marks, both men shivering at the sensual contact. "Never wanna wake, if it's only a dream, Xander." Spike nuzzled his darling's neck, licking across the silver circle of scars. "But we need to shower and get ready. Got things to do, like I said."

"Mmhmm," head thrown back, the young man struggled to keep up with their discussion. Each tiny lick of Spike's tongue across his mark sent pulses of *want* through him. "Wait, what we gotta do?"

Laughing at his mate's slurred speech, the blond removed his mouth from its exploration. "Wanna show you some stuff, luv. What I've been doin here in the middle of nowhere."

"Eh, don't think Dallas, Texas, is exactly the middle of nowhere, blondie." Now that sounded better. More 'here.' Maybe he should try for a few high-syllable words? Nah, too much effort. "You've got a job? As in, actual paying means of supporting your own habits?" The mind boggled. At least Xander's did.

"Don't make a big deal of it, Xan. One of the deeds I... inherited... was from downtown Dallas. All I did was develop the raw materials. Brings in a decent monthly, keeps me out of mischief." The twinkle in blue eyes belied such an innocent comment.

"Uh huh, that'll be the day."

Since his human seemed to be catching up, Spike led them toward the shower. He really did have plans for them - one being Xander's suggestion - and they had an appointment to keep. "Don't want any secrets from ya, luv. I'll give you the whole tour in a bit, but first, you reek." Maneuvering the wobbly one into the stall, he turned on the shower, bouncing out of range when cold water had Xander spasming away from the frigid blast.

"Fuck! Ok Spike, that's just not fair. You're so gonna pay for it!" His tirade tapered off as the temperature became more bearable, but from the glare on his face, the blond wasn't out of the doghouse yet. "Gonna spike you're blood with garlic for that." Petulant, but the best he could come up with. What in hell had they done to cause his higher brain functions to gum up so badly?

Spike shut his darling up by the most expedient method. He stuck his tongue into the rambling mouth, sucking and nibbling until Xander joined the fracas. Deftly directing them under steamy water, he began washing them in brisk sweeps, never letting go of the kiss. There would be no shower sex today, he knew. His sweet boy needed recouperation time after their marathon during the claiming. And dammit, he shouldn't be thinking such things unless he wanted to wank solo.

Xander let himself be bathed and shampooed, soaking up the wonderful feeling of being pampered by his lover. He almost felt guilty for not reciprocating, but a heavy lethargy kept him from doing anything about that. In fact, he could almost fall asleep from the tender ministrations... Then something firm nudged his thigh, and he looked down to find a very interested slab o' Spike. Grinning behind his shaggy hair, Xander run his hand along the soapy expanse of his lover's pale belly, slicking himself with sufficient bubbles to ease his self-appointed task, and casually wrapped his fingers around the blond's hard-on. His body might not be interested in joining the fun, but he could definitely provide some relief with a quick handjob.

Lathering his hair, Spike missed the expression on his darling's face. He surely didn't miss the warm hand covering his cock, moving in quick, efficient strokes that brought him near the edge before he could steady himself. "Xan, ya don't hafta-"

"Hush blondie, I know... but it's ok if I want to, right?" His other hand raised to toy with pale rose nipples, Xander watched with rapt attention at the expression of exquisite pleasure on his lover's face. "You're so fuckin sexy, Spike. Could spend days making a list of how many ways you turn me on. Your face shows everything you feel, and I never have to wonder if you're thinking about someone else when we're together. Your hands, god, they're strong but soft, and they make me feel incredible. Like I never learned how to play my own body. Any time you touch me, it's like a totally new sensation."

Balls drawing up, Spike couldn't hold back his impending orgasm. His Xander wove a spell with words that pushed his arousal up to the boiling point faster than the hottest porn. He sagged against the cool tile wall, giving himself over to his mate's touch.

"Want to taste you, Spike," dropping to his knees, Xander pulled the pale erection toward his lips. "Never thought it'd be so erotic, taking a dick into my mouth. But yours belongs there. Let go for me, my mate."

And that's all it took. A geyser of semen spurted from his balls, spraying his lovely's open mouth as requested. He panted heavily, watching through slitted eyes as Xander licked up every drop, obviously savoring the flavor. "You're beautiful, luv, down on your knees like that. Thank you."

Rising unsteadily, he sagged against the blond, resting his head near his mark. "Always want you to feel good, Spike. It's... my pleasure, knowing I can make you breathe and cum and..." Snort. "And apparently my body has no interest today, even if my brain is screaming 'fuck me, Daddy'."

"Hmm, lovely image, that. But you're right, lovely. Think this luscious body needs a rest, yeh?" Both men rinsed, the blond turned off the water and reached for towels. "That's fine, you'll be too busy today anyway." After such an open-ended statement, he waited two heartbeats for -

"And just what am I going to be busy doing, Oh Master?"

Chuckling, Spike led his darling toward the closet. "Told ya, pet. Wanna show ya what I've been up to. Now pick something comfortable to wear, cus we'll be gone all day."

Randomly selecting jeans and a t-shirt, Xander eyed his lover with trepidation. "Playing obscure, blondie? Thought that was Giles' game."

"Heh, yeh. Just don't wanna ruin the surprise."

Watching Spike, he saw the blond chosing black jeans and top. "And whatever this surprise is, it requires your old image, huh?"

"Nah, not really. Want me in something else, lover?" With a wink and a shimmy, he squeezed his firm arse into the snug denim. "I'd ask if ya wanted me out of it, but..."

"Sorry, human needs recovery time." Had the bleached menace always looked so good in his black armor? Then a thought struck him. "How exactly are we getting where ever we're going? It's bright daylight, Spike."

All he received in reply was a smirk, followed by a swat on the butt.

"Get dressed, Xan."

~ * ~

One of the features that Xander had missed seemed to be vamp-friendly windshields. The Range Rover in particular had glass so dark it was probably illegal. Which made sense, when he was ushered into its leather seat. All will be made clear, young jedi.

Unlike the previous evening's drive, Spike maintained a sedate pace, keeping up with the flow of traffic without breaking too many speed limits. Xander thought he recognized their route - and the idea was confirmed when they once again pulled into the parking lot outside a large warehouse just east of the Deep Ellum district.

"Alright fang, wanna tell me what's what? I really don't like the idea of becoming a widow via direct sunlight, just so you can show off... whatever it is you want to show me."

All he received in answer was a grin, as the blond clicked a remote control on his dash. Silently, the double doors of the warehouse raised to allow them inside, and Spike drove inside like he owned the place. Which, at this point, Xander figured might be the case.

Spike opened the driver's door, clicking another button to shut them inside. He made to escort the human out of their transport, but Xander was already halfway out of his seat. Without a word, he grabbed his mate's hand and dragged him to a dark corner where a door marked "The Labyrinth" in neon letters waited for them to enter.

As they passed through the door and began descending a flight of stairs, Xander caught the sounds of laughter, popping corn, and a cacaphony of music types. He tossed his partner a questioning look, but gave up trying to interrogate the vampire. He figured that he'd receive answers faster if he just played along.

Breathing a mental sigh of relief, Spike was grateful for his lover's silent acceptance. He'd never really told anyone what he'd done with the lion's share of his sire's accumulated fortune. He also took the time to preen just a bit - still in the works, what was already complete looked damned fine.

Stairs finally opened out on a large platform, leading off in several directions in bricked paths. An old road sign was posted beside each path, stencilled letters offering directions to shops or services. The area was dimly lit, but not dark enough to offer trouble for human eyes.

Xander took in the scene, still at a loss. He almost felt that his mate was responsible for... what? the whole maze of underground boutiques? Yes, that seemed right... but why would he bother? Raising curious eyes, he begged an explanation.

The Master vampire waited for his darling's nature to kick in, knowing he'd have to ask. Very privately thrilled at Xander's trust, he gave in before the hundred-and-one questions could begin. "We're working toward the office district now, but this whole thing covers Deep Ellum and a few blocks in either direction. It's classy, yeh? And there's regular patrollin guards to keep down the riffraff. You'd be surprised how many people want to take their businesses away from the stench of topside."

Interpretting, processing, solution? On hold. "So... you own the property, build under the streets, and lease plots to different business types? That's... more complicated than I wanna consider. What I can't figure is *why*? Seems like a lotta hassle, if you've got the cash to live the next century comfortably."

"If you're waiting for some deep, meaningful answer, sorry to disappoint ya. Simple reason - I got bored. Complex reason - I got bored, and wanted someplace to spend my days that wouldn't fry my arse. This fixed both problems and keeps me outa trouble." Grinning quickly at his mate, Spike touched his tongue to upper lip. "Has another benefit, yeh? Can go to any of these shops and get one helluva discount rate."

"Oookay. You're such a philanthropist, Big Bad baby o' mine."

Mock-glaring at his boy, Spike grabbed a warm hand and propelled them to the farthest left passage. "Gonna start the tour down here. Might take a few days to show ya everything, but there's a man with a needle down here who'll do us up right."

Three, two, one. "A WHAT?!"

Spike's snickers could barely be heard above his mortal's pounding heart.

~ * ~

If Xander had found the inked artwork the previous night fascinating, he was... awed, by the masterpiece quality of Turtle's selection. A very large man with shaved head, ape-like arms, and a high tenor voice, Turtle was perhaps fifteen years older than the brunet and covered in a sheet of his own tattoos. And he was apparently waiting for them to decide which designs they wanted to *gulp* have permenantly attached to their bodies by mechanical needles.

"Xan, listen. It really isn't painful. Just a lil prick at first, then it all goes sorta numb."

"He's right, Xander. You'll feel some pressure and the vibration of the ink gun, but not much else. This is a very professional set-up."

Open-mouthed and brain shut down, Xander stared blankly at a page full of variations on the image he'd liked last night. He wasn't honestly scared of the needle. Not exactly. And it wasn't the permenant thing. He just hadn't thought that Spike was *serious* about wearing each other's marks like this.

Shaking his bald head sadly, the artist addressed Spike, "Sorry man, I think you broke his brain."

That comment seemed to shake Xander out of his stupor. "Nuhuh, just... trying to picture it. Yeah." He felt himself blush at their combined scrutiny, knowing that both men could tell he was lying. "Ok fine, I wasn't expecting to get painted today. Hey, uh, Turtle... could you give us a minute to talk this over?"

The man in question bowed his head and gracefully (especially for his size) disappeared, leaving the lovers to their own devices.

"Sorry bout that, Spike. I -"

"Don't worry bout it, Xan. Stupid idea anyway."

"NO!" The brunet grabbed his mate's arm, swinging them to face each other. "No, it was a terrific idea. I just don't deal well with surprises, y'know? And, well, I'm still buzzing from last night. There's some great designs here, but you don't wanna leave it all to me to decide. Which do you like best?" If you can't convince them, distract them.

A technique Spike was quite familiar with. He permitted the change of subject, for the time, and pointed out two similar patterns. "Either of these would look good, luv. Could wear the bracelet under a watch, if you need to cover it. This other'd be nice high up on your neck, behind and below your ear, yeh? Harder to cover up, but it's real classy, innit."

Somehow, he'd managed to offend the vamp. Backtrack, correct. "Sweetheart, I don't want to cover anything up, ok? It's just moving so fast, I needed a minute to catch my breath and think. But those are the two I liked too." Xander offered a shy smile, silently apologizing to his lover. "I really like the idea of built-in identity bracelets though. Maybe later we can do the other as well, but let's start with these."

Spike's bristle dissipated, deflating hurt feelings and mild rejection even as he caught brown eyes staring at him with worry. "Sorry luv, thought you'd like this place. Was your idea last night, matching ink jobs. Didn't realize you weren't serious."

"Hey now, blondie, I never said I wasn't serious. Just didn't figure we'd do it *now*. And that makes less sense outloud than in my head." Grabbing blond curls, Xander planted a hard kiss to pouty lips. "No hiding or excuses, Spike. But human here - the idea of 'forever' still hasn't sunk in yet. So forgive me for being shellshocked, ok? Add 'forever' to 'permenant tattoo', and I wanna make sure we have the perfect pieces. Make more sense?"

Mollified by a better worded explanation, Spike smacked a kiss of his own against his silly human's mouth. "Got it. You plan better'n me, luv. All impulse here, an it gets me in trouble often enough."

Turtle stuck his head through the curtained back doorway, raising an eyebrow at the couple. "Made up your minds yet? No rush, we're not really open for another few hours, but I'd like to get started soonish."

Xander cocked his head at his mate, and together they said, "The celtic knotwork bracelet."

Minutes later, machine buzzing a hypnotic beat in his mind, Xander found himself seated comfortably with Spike's arms around his middrift. As promised, after the first few pricks there was no real pain, and he let himself doze lightly against the solid presence of his lover.

~ * ~

"Xan, sweetling, ya gotta get up now." A persistant drone in his ear, Xander turned his head to avoid the baritone buzz. "Come on, luv. Turtle needs his chair for another customer, yeh? Wanna find us a late lunch too."

The promise of food perked his interest, and a single brown eye slitted open. "Food?"

"That's right, Xan, food for hungry humans and their pet vamps. Just sit yourself up and I'll help ya walk to the food court."

"Uh huh. Food, not Jan's? She's not here."

Soft laughter near his ear, Xander leant toward the husky voice. "No she's not, lover. But we are, and so's this great Mexican food place. Enchiladas and flautas, with a big bowl of that spicy cheese sauce you love so much. Can ya walk a bit, luv?"

"Mmm, chalupa too?" That warm laugh again, and the brunet's brain began to catch up with the conversation. "Hey, Spike. Jeez, feels like an anvil dropped on my head. The dead feeling, not the pain part."

A quick kiss on his cheek. "Yeh, you slept through both tats, Xan. Must've worn ya out more'n I figured. Sorry for getting ya outa bed today."

They were moving, one foot in front of the other, and thank the gods Spike knew where they were heading, cus Xander couldn't make his eyes focus on anything but his lover's blue, blue eyes. "Nah, we'd get bored if all we ever did was have sex."

The blond's steps faltered, and his head whipped to the side, catching Xander's grin. "Ya cheeky bugger, you're not nearly as outa it as you made me think. Gonna paddle your bum when we get home."

Before he could process the very nice visuals that threat produced, Xander found himself being seated on a cast iron cafe chair. "Hey neat, open air dining without worrying about getting rained on, or bird droppings in our food!"

Grimacing in distaste, Spike motioned a waiter to their table. "Thanks luv, coulda done without the commentary." He ordered a wide selection without looking at the menu, and a short time later their table groaned under the weight of platters of steaming, spicy food.

"So, restaurants, clothes and doodads, tattoos and leather shops. You've got your hands in everything here, huh?"

"Yeah, bout right. But this isn't the biggest part, just what's already open. Wanna show ya my pet project after lunch, if you're feeling up to it, luv."

The phrasing of the question made Xander look closely at his partner. Innocent enough, except he *knew* the blond. "Uh huh. Feed me, then we'll see."

~ * ~

Naps were traditionally taken after the noon meal, and Xander wished he'd held off. Not that he'd never eaten so much, but Mexican food was heavy, and now so were his eyelids. Still, Spike's enthusiasm countered the effect, and walking would help bring him out of the foggy 'body digesting' feeling.

They passed numerous other establishments, most open for business and doing a fair trade. The overall age of their fellow pedestrians was higher than topside, by a decade or more, but the general feel of the place was just as laid back. He decided he liked it.

Spike stopped them out front of iron-framed double doors, holding out an antique key. "You ready, pet?"

Not sure what he should be ready for, Xander nodded uncertainly.

Doors swung open with a manufactured creak, and the vampire led him into a... elaborate torture chamber, obviously set up for playing games or atmosphere. Xander wandered away from his mate, taking in the manacles and cages, the stage in back that held a tall wooden X with shackles at each tip. He recognized almost everything from his search into... kinks. His poor brain twinged in memory before the blush could spread beyond his ears.

"Ya don't like it?"

Xander jumped at the soft question, not realizing he'd been followed on his exploration. "It's... got a little of everything. Sorta scary, but... how long before it's open for business?"

Spike shrugged, disappointed by the lack of interest from his darling. "A few weeks left, still hafta paint the top floor and a few private rooms." He turned to give Xander a minute alone, only to be tackled.

"So... we could christen a few of these decorations, and have plenty of time to sterilize them before customers show up." Xander slipped his tongue into Spike's left ear, nibbling the outer shell as he muttered, "Want you to teach me what that cross-thing is for, Master mine."

The use of his title blurred all thoughts but MINE and NOW, and a very willing human soon found himself stripped, covered by his equally stripped mate. It was only after he'd thoroughly examined the warm mouth, neck and shoulders that Spike recovered enough to ask, "Sure you're up to this, lovely? I remember you being all worn out not too long ago."

"Had a nap and lots of food, we're good to go, Spike. Wanna shut up and play now?"

He didn't need to be told twice.

~ * ~

Minutes later, Xander found himself strapped to a cool wooden frame, his arms and legs spread wide, and his dangling bits sheathed in a tight latex cockring. Not that he was complaining about this turn of events. His Master's full attention fell to the glistening silver clamps attached to his nipples, pulling them left and right and left again, each tug shooting a line of fire straight to his dick.

As his lovely boy moaned, Spike raised a hand to collect the crop he'd placed on a convenient hook. Butter soft leather, it wouldn't really hurt his pet - but each stripe would be felt for hours. He planted a soft kiss at the corner of a warm, open mouth.

"Hope you're ready, dearling. This might sting a bit."

That was all the warning Xander got before hearing the swish-thwack of leather slapping flesh. His upper thighs, to be precise. And if he didn't trust the blond completely, now would be an excellent time to freak out. All things considered, he did trust his Master... and he applauded the sensual burns by not restraining the whimpers and moans that needed *out*.

Like an artist at his easel, Spike carefully organized each swing for best effect. He criss-crossed thin red welts down both of his lover's legs, across his stomach and ribs, and even a few that barely brushed his darling's bound nips. Songs of praise fell from parted lips, each time Xander cried out his pleasure-pain.

His mind had shut down at some point, letting the mortal simply feel. The stings of crop to skin weren't hurting him, not really. But they did smart, giving him a focus. This was a game he'd been leery of playing, and now he couldn't remember why. Master would never cause him harm. Master desired him, body and mind and soul. And if Master didn't do *something* soon, he was going to pop the plastic binding his dick by the simple expedient of his balls exploding.

The vampire paused in his deliberate marking of his pet's body. The darling boy was muttering something between begging and gasping. A chant of Master wants, followed by the threat of doing himself bodily harm, however unintentionally. He chuckled and tossed the crop to the floor, roughly yanking the buzzing plug from that tight arse.

"Had enough, precious? Gonna release ya now, so I can cram my prick up your lovely hole." Enthusiastic moans from the brunet brought another dark laugh. "Just relax into my arms, little one."

Shackles unbuckled, Xander could do nothing else. His arms felt like lead, and his legs wouldn't respond. And he felt... free. Horny as hell and desperate to be fucked, but somehow the stinging of the crop had drawn out tension he wasn't aware of having, releasing it to the air. Without thought, he melted into Master's arms.

"That's a good boy, let Master take care of ya." Soft baritone whispering in his ear, "Remember that high bench ya saw earlier, Xanluv? I'm gonna show ya what it's good for now."

Master's voice was an anchor, but still Xander floated above himself.

Placing his burden gently across the bench, stomach down, Spike stroked the tanned back. He almost wanted to mark this expanse as well, but neither of them could wait that long. Stretched and slick, he was able to fully encase himself into Xander's ready hole, both men groaning at the contact. It would need to be fast... their first foray into the higher level of games had them so hot, only a handful of strokes would ignite their passion.

Xander cried out hoarsly as he was filled by his Master's wonderfully cool erection. It soothed part of the ache that had so rapidly built with every lash of leather, while inflaming him at the same time. The angle of the bench also insured that his prostate was hit repeatedly - a fact both good and bad, since Master had yet to remove that damned cockring.

"Please! Master please... need to cum... wanna feel you too..."

If his darling hadn't begged so prettily, Spike might well have broken his own rule: Always bring your lover pleasure before finding your own. So with silent thanks, he rolled the restrictive latex off his pet's throbbing organ, grasping it tight at the base, then releasing the clamps in swift succession. As he'd suspected, the intensity of returning nerves would've brought Xander over the edge. He simply wasn't quite ready for that. Yet.

Mind a swirl of nonsense that all came down to want-need-now-please, Xander held onto his perch for dear life. The pale cock hammering into him must've been a blur of motion - even if he couldn't see it, he could imagine - for it felt as if Spike had somehow attached a vibrating tip directly on his prostate. Stroke after stroke racing across it, making him a bundle of gibbering jello. He hoped his Master didn't object to fucking a gelatin, not that he was volunteering to stop.

He wanted to laugh aloud at his wonderful mate's timely sense of humor. Instead, Spike contented himself with releasing the warm hard-on and using his freed hand to slap a pair of bouncing buttocks. The result was more than satisfactory, as Xander's body seized in place, clamping down on his cock as if his arse had contracted lockjaw. He flooded his boy's hole and flopped across his back, panting and absently kissing flushed skin.

Stars twinkled, birds chirped, and Xander's ass twitched happily. This was the way of the world, and he wouldn't want to change a thing.

After several moments, his brain decided to join the party, cheerfully informing him that aye verily that bench was not comfortable for long periods of time with an undead weigh on his back, and why hadn't the bleached one moved, hmm?

"Hey Spike... wanna let me up?"

"No, not really. 'm comfy."

Cough. "That was a rhetorical question, lover. I need to pee."

"Ya can hold it another minute, can't ya Xan? Wanna stay here."

"Uh no, this is sorta an emergency. As in, I'm gonna be christening your new Docs if I don't find a bathroom in the next ten seconds."

"Damned humans, can't control their bodily functions an let a vamp rest. An after all I've done for'im today." Grumbling, the blond swung back to his feet and pointed a shaky finger in the direction of the public restrooms.

Xander raced away, still giggling over the part where he was 'an ungrateful child, who should have his toys taken away.' Somehow, he couldn't picture Spike surgically removing his dick to lock it in a closet.

Part Nine

Their hormones temporarily quenched, Spike showed his lover around the rest of the club. He took great pains in pointing out the health forms and nurse's station - his soul demanded such things, and his demon supported them, even if only so their patrons would return. He also explained the self-cleaning spells placed on practically every surface that would insure no transference of disease could possibly take place.

Xander was far from experienced in the darker side of sex, but he found himself impressed with the thoughtful precautions that had been placed throughout his lover's pet project. He would never have thought to include 'gift bags' with samples of lubricant, condoms, handi-wipes, and assorted inexpensive toys. Nor would he have imagined such a place could exist outside of badly made porn or seedy back alleys. This... was classy and safe and beyond hot. He couldn't wait for opening night, just to see Spike beaming with pride at the accolades sure to be heaped on him from an appreciative audience.

After the tour, Spike lead his love back out into the main pathways. Neither man realized how much time had passed, but now they were part of a large crowd wandering from shops to restaurants in the underground mall. Xander's eyebrow raised in question, and the blond snickered softly.

"Word of mouth, luv. Don't have ta advertize, see? Most of these places were old, established businesses long before the Lab started. They moved down here to escape traffic, smog, crime, whatever. Works out good for them, better for us."

Xander followed the explanation, absently nodding at the benefits. The last comment stopped him short. "For us?"

"Well yeah, don't expect rent or anythin, yeh? We get 5% after taxes, flat rate. The more business they do, the better off we are."

Mentally doing some math, Xander misplaced a step and almost fell into a display of funky beaded hats. "That's... fuck! That's alot of income!" His eyes comically wide, he stared at his genius of a mate. "Wasn't what I meant, but damn, sign me up."

Spike paused to make sure his darling wasn't going to faceplant in the racks of tie-dyed t-shirts nearby, drawing the brunet close for a quick peck. "What'd ya mean then, Xan? Got an idea of what else we can do here? Just slip it in the suggestion box." He leered, pulling the mortal closer and placing a warm hand against his crotch.

And how was Xander supposed to continue the conversation with such a wonderful distraction at hand. Literally. He gladly groped the half-hard bulge, stealing a kiss that drew applause from passers-by. "Get with ya later about suggestions. Meant, us? This is your project, Spike. I wouldn't want to-"

"Hush you. 'member whatcha said - married, long-term, forever. Want it said in human terms, do ya? With all my worldly goods, for better or worse, the whole bit?" Spike lifted blushing cheeks, holding them tenderly to force brown eyes to meet his gaze. "Everything I have, everything I am, all yours, luv."

Xander suspected that his jello state from earlier had never left, lurking in the shadows and waiting for his lover's sweet words to make a reappearance. He clutched the vampire's shoulders as he melted against Spike's sturdy chest. "Everything, yours. Gods, how did I get so lucky?" Lifting his face toward pink lips, he claimed a soft kiss. "Wanna do the whole human wedding too, bring in the gang and all?"

Blue eyes flashed golden for a moment. "Didn't think you'd want... Feck Xan, course I wanna tell'em! Just -"

"You just didn't think I'd want to, huh. Note to the bleached vamp: I'm not Buffy, or Drusilla or Angelus or that chick before you were turned. When I'm happily in love with someone, I want to tell my friends so they can be happy for me." Words that started as reassurance rapidly gained volume, Xander's ire building as he recalled various indignities heaped upon his lover. "We'll call Giles in the morning and have him schedule a vacation for everyone to come out and celebrate with us. Maybe he'll agree to officiate, since same-sex marriage isn't technically legal in Texas."

"Woah luv, catch yer breath a mo', yeh?" Stunned but very much pleased with his mate's pronouncement, Spike needed to sit and think. He pulled them toward a nearby bistro, ordered what he could remember being Xander's favorites, and clasped his darling's hands. "Xander, I'm all for outing us to yer friends. Makes me feel... special, knowing you wanna share it with everyone. But most of'em don't even know I'm back, yeh?" He held a finger to his love's lips, silencing the outburst trying to break free. "We'll call Rupert in the morning an get him to tell the girls that part. Let'em get used to one thing before we spring the big surprise, alright?"

Partially mollified, Xander leaned over the tiny table for a kiss. "I guess you're right. For now. But we can at least tell Giles, right?"

Spike watched his darling bounce in his seat, and worried that maybe a double mocha latte might not have been the best idea in the world. "Course we can, luv. Can even have the lot of'em over soon, a real house-warming party." He lifted one tanned hand to his lips, placing a gentle kiss to Xander's palm. "Don't ever wanna come tween you an the girls, Xan. But this, us, is forever. I'll do whatever I can to keep peace in yer Scoobie family, but nothin an noone's gonna bust us up."

The soft words were underlined with a powerful possessive streak, and Xander glowed in the light of his lover's declaration. "Us, forever. Gotcha, blondie."

Much to the entertainment of their fellow diners, Xander dragged Spike onto his lap, taking cool lips in a plundering kiss that showed ownership and passion and every ounce of emotion he felt for the blond. They broke apart, panting, to the sounds of smattered applause and the occassional "Robert, why aren't you that romantic anymore?" comment from a disgruntled housewife.

"Home now, yes?"

"Yeh, can see this anytime."

"Race ya to the car."

In minutes, they were back to the warehouse and struggling to open the Rover's doors without releasing their hold on each other. If Xander found it odd that no other cars were parked nearby, his brain refused to allow questions to interrupt a perfectly good make-out session. He congradulated his grey matter on making a fabulous decision, and dived in for another steamy kiss.

Spike showed his ingenuity by lowering the back seat and unfolding a sleeping bag across it - without losing contact with his darling's lips throughout the entire process. Shirts flew into the front seat, pants landed in the floorwell, and shoes went... somewhere with a series of thuds. Only the battered tube of slick was kept, juggled between groping hands and the slip-slide of moist bodies.

"Need ya now, pet. Up on yer knees for me, yeh?" Forcing himself from those tempting lips, Spike rubbed his mate's back as the man hurried to obey. "Hell luv, ya look so damned gorgeous, all ready an tremblin for me."

He knew they had all the time in the world, but Xander didn't want to wait for the pleasantries. "Spike, lube your dick and fuck me, will ya?"

A startled snort. "An who was it said romance was dead." His words flippant, Spike nonetheless followed instructions, slathering his erection and placing it at his lovely's entrance. "Still nice'n ready, aren't ya? Don't wanna hurt ya none, Xan."

In answer, the brunet took a deep breath and shoved his hips backwards, impaling himself in one swift movement that had them both panting and clutching at each other. This time there were no restraints or games between them, only pure passion - the immediacy of newlyweds, demanding consumation of their love, regardless of their location.

With soft moans and loud cries, they moved with an urgency that rocked Xander's foundations. He'd never felt comfortable releasing his full strength with any of his previous lovers. Each of them women, and even Faith's slayer strength didn't prevent him from being cautious. The raw, primal need he shared with Spike fed off each grunt, each scrabble of nail on flesh. He barely recognized his own voice screaming of pleasure and territory.

The Master vampire was likewise shocked by his mate's actions, but not enough to prevent a surge of feral satisfaction from his demon. This man, this barely contained force of masculine energy, was HIS! And only Spike would ever be the recipient of such scalding intensity as his mate radiated. Thrust after thrust, all thoughts of restraining his own formidable strength dispelled by Xander's own insistance. They were reaching the end, but it wasn't enough, never enough.

In a move that would boggle a sane Xander, Spike shifted the mortal's legs and corkscrewed his entire body, leaving the brunet flat on his back and still impaled. His eyes flew up to meet gold, locking them together before their necks bent and their teeth broke skin. A half dozen more thrusts and twin cries of ecstacy announced their completion.

Xander lapped lazily at the bloody marks on his mate's skin, barely recognizing the act as more bestial than human. Sparkles of power erupted on his tongue like poprocks, and he virtually purred his satisfaction against the pale skin. A tiny voice in the back of his head (that sounded suspiciously like his mother, this time) demanded that he stop this madness, put his clothes on, and run far away from the *male* monster that was corrupting her baby. He gave it a snicker and dragged out a mental slideshow of all the various things he and Spike had done in the past two days. The voice retreated to its darkened corner, whimpering in shock, even as he raised his head and claimed the blond's lips in a hard kiss.

Far from displeased with his darling's aggressiveness, Spike cuddled and kissed and suckled the tiny red droplets until the wound began to heal over. Was he shocked by the... energetic actions of his mate? Well, yes, but not so much. Should he worry about it? Maybe something from the spell had gone wrong, brought out more animalistic behavior. But no, his sweet Xan was still there, very much present. He spared a moment of regret that there were no written documents about claimed mortals to compare notes with. Only a moment, however, before his lovely's lips connected with Spike's own.

No more thought interrupted their mutual desire for several long minutes.

~ * ~

Monday morning saw sunlight so bright and clear that even the heavy blackout curtains of the master bedroom couldn't keep the room dark.

Xander's eyes refused to stay shut, his body fairly humming with energy. He needed to be up and active and gods where'd it all come from? He hadn't even had coffee yet! A quick glance at his bedmate showed the blond still sleeping peacefully. He really didn't want to wake Spike so early, but Xander needed to *do* something.

Slipping silently out of the tumble of blankets, he decided to use the downstairs bathroom. Super-vamp hearing would rouse his lover, no matter how quiet he tried to be. Xander grabbed 'his' robe and a pair of sweatpants, and quietly padded barefoot out the door.

Halfway down the stairs, he smelled the delicious aromas of Jancis' morning fare. A fast trip to relieve himself and don clothes, he joined the housekeeper in the kitchen, hoping to beg her good will and a great breakfast.

"Good morning, lovely Jancis! I don't know what you're cooking, but it smells heavenly! Got enough for this growing boy?" He bounced into the room, startling the red-head with a loud smooch to her cheek. "Gods, I wish my mom had half your talent in the kitchen. She could barely manage to make toast without burning it."

Recovering from shock, Jancis poured him a cup of coffee and gestured for him to take a seat. "Won't be ready for another few minutes, boy. Get outa my way an you'll have it sooner." Her stern words belied the twinkle of pleasure at both the praise and the kiss.

"Yes ma'am, Mistress Jan, ma'am! I bow to the chef," so saying, Xander put words to action and bowed low, dragging a crackle of laughter from the housekeeper. He slurped his cup happily, leaning over the bartop well away from flying bacon grease.

By the time breakfast was ready, Xander had drawn the woman into a conversation, getting her opinion on numerous topics. He also had a sketchy plan of what he wanted to do for the day. After all, Spike had given permission for him to borrow any of the cars, right? Taking his plate outside, Xander joined Jancis on the patio to enjoy the early morning sunshine and the woman's ascerbic comments.

~ * ~

It was the most difficult decision he could remember making in many years, and he finally gave up, flipping a coin to determine his fate. When the quarter landed on heads, he whooped in triumph (as he would have done for tails - the Porsche) and slid behind the wheel of the Rambler.

Yes, he was thoroughly, head-over-heels in lust with the sporty car. Only his devotion to a certain blond currently sleeping the sleep of the damned upstairs could possibly rival the love he felt for the green machine. And both lover and auto shared certain qualities: they both purred, they were sleek and slim and sexy as hell, they stole his heart almost immediately, and their sensual exterior concealed a demon under the hood.

His first intention after gorging himself on Jan's home-made biscuits and boysenberry preserves had been to return home and collect some of his own clothes, check email and snail mail, and maybe think about boxing up some stuff. Xander still wasn't positive about moving in with the vampire, but it was definitely high on his list of 'things to think seriously about'. He had a long list these days.

At least he'd remembered to leave a note for Spike. It could only be a bad thing for his possessive mate, waking up to an empty bed with no signs of life. Shivering at the imagined temper tantrum, Xander swung the car carefully up his driveway. If he took longer than a couple of hours, he promised to call and give the blond some sweet wake-up phone sex.

He was so preoccupied with various scenarios he could offer the blond bombshell, Xander missed the first clues that his house might not be unoccupied. A light in the living room that he definitely hadn't left on last Friday night. The shades in living room and kitchen raised. A shadowed figure moving from kitchen to front door. Just before his key touched the lock, the door swung open and Xander jumped a foot in the air.

"Holy fuck!"

"Xander, welcome home. I was beginning to wonder if something untoward had happened this weekend."


Part Ten

"It's so gratifying to know that you remember me, seeing how long it's been since we last spoke. I do hope this is not an inconvenient time to visit?"

All the blood in his body rushed to fill Xander's face. Alright, so this was the man who had loaned him books and pamphlets, sent links to informative websites, even found him lists of prospective masters... But it was one thing for your mentor (unofficial father figure, sorta) to know the general direction of your sex life, and another entirely for the stuffy Brit to *know* what and with whom he was exploring a kink that most of the world's population would see as a sign of mental illness. Maybe not that drastic, he silently admitted, but still... he couldn't picture his friends and family readily accepting his need to be dominated by the not-so-evil undead.

"Uh, hi G-man. Didn't expect you to drop in, sorry. But hey, at least you had the key and didn't have to sit outside, right?" Throwing his arms around the taller man, he noticed -- and surely it wasn't a new development -- how fit the Watcher was. Strong muscles and lean lines toned by years of working his Slayer to top form, the greying hair atop his head almost seemed an insult to Giles' overall studworthy appearance. The thought caught him so offguard that he nearly stumbled over his doorstep.

"Oh dear, you look done in. Let's move our reunion inside and have a cuppa, yes?" Drawing his younger companion into the house, Giles took in the obvious changes to Xander's appearance. He looked... content. Moreso than he'd ever been back in Sunnydale, at least. He also seemed nervous about something, which could mean many things with this young man. Although...

They moved into the kitchen with few words spoken. Giles allowed his wandering thought to work itself out, while Xander did his best to lessen the permanent flush that stained his cheeks. Together, the simple task of filling a teapot and collecting cups and cream took little time. Once or twice, the younger man opened his mouth as if to speak, only to close it with a whimpered snap. If Giles' suspicions were correct, the young man had finally called upon one of the names he had provided. And that explained the tension radiating off his friend quite well.

A cup passed into his hands, forcing Xander to look up from his intense study of his knuckles. "Dear boy, it can't be all that bad. I must apologize for any error of mine that may have led you to prematurely seeking out-"

"NO!!" Hot tea spilled across the table, and he focused on wiping it up while speaking more softly. "No Giles, it's not that, not at all. Um... before I tell any details, how about answering a question for me?"

"Of course, Xander."

"Right. All those names and contacts you sent me... how many of them do you personally know?"

Light brown eyebrows raised and Giles pushed his glasses back into place. "Well, I know *of* them all, naturally. But how many have I actually met? All but a handful, the younger ones, but they had excellent references I assure you."

"Giles, settle down! I wasn't hurt or anything, just really surprised is all. The one I picked," warm eyes drifted to gaze out the window, "was everything I could have hoped for. Taking control without being a jerk or abusive or anything like that. We clicked right off, and it just got better. I spent the weekend with him. But G-man, I almost walked out the first night, when I saw who it was."

Watchers spend their lives picking up the tiniest details to explain the larger problems, and Rupert Giles was The Watcher. He noticed how calm his young friend was when talking about his new master, how delicate shivers raced across his shoulders as his mind replayed the weekend's activities. So what was the problem?

"And just who was it? I must infer from your words that we both know the man. Is that going to be a problem for your training?"

"Oooh no, not in the least," Xander chuckled even as his ears pinkened once more. "See, I know that the Council has secrets, and with you being the leader and all, you've gotta keep those secrets from mere mortals like me. I *know* that!" He held up a hand to forestall the anticipated protest. "But dammit Giles, he was my friend too. Don't you think I had the right to know he wasn't really dusted?"

Sinking back into a slump, the Brit scrubbed his face with a tired hand. "Oh Xander." How could he ever explain? "At the time, there were too many other complications to take the chance of-"

"No, not like this. Giles, listen a minute, ok?" He waited til hazel eyes tentatively sought his. "I'm not *mad* at you! Believe it or not, I do understand the need for keeping certain things from certain people. I guess maybe I'm just... disappointed that you couldn't trust me to look beyond the 'hey, he's back, let's drop everything' and think of the bigger picture."

His words gave little consolation to the Watcher, and Xander felt terrible for making the man so upset. He stood to round the table, dropping to his knees in front of Giles' chair.

"But it's all good now, alright? This is exactly what I need. What *we* need. And even if you didn't intentionally direct me to him, I still owe you a world of thanks for helping me have the courage to explore."

Surprising Giles (and even himself a bit), Xander put his head on the older man's lap and hugged him around the waist. With his face buried in crisp denim, he missed the flash of arousal that flickered across his friend's features before they were schooled back to the usual composed mask.

A choked laugh brought the brunet's attention back to reality, and he hastily sat back on his heels. "Sorry 'bout that, G-man. Guess I really am trained now, huh?" Was it just his imagination, or was Giles blushing?! Hmm, verrrry in-terest-ink. Right, switching channels before anything embarrassing decides to pop up. "So, wanna join us for dinner tonight? I was just stopping back here to check mail and pick up a few changes of clothes."

"Already? My word, Xander, this is certainly moving faster than I'd expected."

Giggling (manfully), the younger man pulled himself up and offered his hand to Giles. "Giles, think about it logically. We've already lived together before, more than once. We've weathered apocalypses and bad break-ups and hellgods together. We've shared beer and popcorn, exchanged insults, and in spite of everything managed to trust each other with the lives of our loved ones. Hell, I *liked* him before... even had the damp boxers to prove it, though I'd never admit to that at the time. This is just... the timing was never good before. But now, here and after everything, it's so *right* between us." Puppydog eyes fluttered, half playful and half beseeching, begging the older man to understand. "Be happy for me?"

Xander had matured well beyond his group of giggling girls, and maybe that knowledge made it all the worse -- such a small, timid voice from the self-assured man standing beside him, it made Giles' heart ache to think he'd caused this gentle man's doubts to surface.

"Oh Xander, you should know I would never stand between you and whomever makes you happy. It was a bit of a surprise, naturally, to discover the identity of your paramour. This does not mean that I am withholding approval." He placed both hands on Xander's shoulders, squeezing them firmly. "If Spike is the answer to your needs, if he cares for you, I will do everything in my power to support you both."

"Aww gee, Dad! Does this mean that you'll give me away?"

However nimble he was after years of dodging demons, Xander failed to duck when the Watcher slapped him upside the head. All in good fun, of course.

~ * ~

Bills dealt with, email checked, and a couple of duffles worth of odds and ends later, Xander proudly led his mentor to his temporary love affair. He stroked the leather seat dreamily before climbing in to start the ignition. And if Giles spent most of the ride chuckling at the little dribbles of drool on his face, well, Xander could forgive that. As long as he had permission to fondle the magnificent machine, he could forgive almost any sin.

Pulling into the garage, he smirked (loudly) at the Watcher's gasp. Yes, there was an impressive selection of automotive power, and yes, Spike really owned them all. Both men happily teased each other as they made their way into the house, where Xander introduced Giles to the housekeeper and snagged a sandwich from the plate being prepared for lunch. He received a swat to his rear for his trouble, and laughingly kissed Jancis' cheek as he bounced toward the stairs.

"Honey, I'm home!" he called out, in too fine a mood to worry about waking the undead. Throwing a quick "just follow me" to the Watcher, he raced up the staircase. Before both feet touched the top landing, a black-clad figure intercepted Xander's catapulting body in a fierce hug.

"So I hear, dearling." Hands pulled the exuberant mortal into a tight embrace, mouth covering mouth to squelch any complaints at the abrupt show of affection. Only after he'd insured his lover's breathless compliance did Spike address the Watcher, "Rupert, yer lookin' good." The possessive arm thrown around his pet did not go unnoticed.

Giles wanted to scrub his glasses, or maybe dive into a research session of some import. Anything to keep his eyes from the stunning picture the two lovers made. It was abundantly clear just how very much they meant to one another, and he felt a twinge of jealousy. Not that either of these two were the specific target really, but he could wish for such a relationship of his own, couldn't he?

"Yes, thank you. As are you, Spike." He cleared his throat against the raspiness that threatened to choke his greeting. "I did not realize that you were still on Moirah's list of availables."

The vampire shrugged. "I wasn't. But ya know she's got the Sight, yeh? My guess is she just knew to add my name, just for Xan." He looked fondly at the confused expression slowly replacing 'thoroughly snogged' on his loveling's face. "Anyway, whatsay we take this someplace more comfy. You two've probly got loads to gab 'bout, an I need brekkies."

Showing the mortals into the bedroom, he left them to catch up a bit while he heated up his liquid meal and arranged for lunch to be brought up.

Keen vampire senses gave him more information than Spike needed to deal with just then, and he had to carefully consider how to handle the Watcher's wave of arousal. Of course, there'd always been something there, 'tween him and Rupes, and to a lesser degree 'tween the humans. But despite that knowledge, and the little role playing he and his boy had enjoyed, was he willing to share even one night with someone who had as much influence over his mate? Not that he was really worried that Giles would try anything... he hoped.

Half an hour later, he made his way back upstairs to join Xander and their guest. Spike still wasn't sure how to deal with the unexpressed sexual tension bouncing between them all, but he'd feel better talking it over with his sweet little one before making a decision. Taking a deep breath, he paused outside the doorway to work up a smile, or at least a smirk.

"-and there was this really cool ink parlor and a huge guy named Turtle who does the absolutely best tattoos I've ever seen, and then we went to a great restaurant and gods I've never eaten so much at one time but it was alright cus we took a nap right there, then Spike took me to his new club that's not open yet but it's gonna be the best-"

Xander's back was toward the door, allowing Spike and Giles to share a look of fond exasperation over his head. Some things never changed, no matter how old the boy or how much he's grown. Xander-babble, it seemed, would never be left behind.

"-let you know when the opening night is and maybe you can come and bring the girls, cept Dawn cus she's never gonna be old enough for *that* kind of club, and you two can stop that now." A very fake sniffle. "If I'm talking too much, you could always do something to keep my mouth occupied." Another fake sniffle, and Xander turned full force puppy eyes on his master.

"Aww dearling, you know I didn't mean anything bad by it." Almost falling over his feet to hold the mortal, Spike knew he'd been played. And didn't mind it a bit. If his darling was secure enough to act the simpering girly-man in front of his almost father figure, well, Spike was a Master vampire and could react however he liked. Yeh.

A none-too-subtle cough from the Watcher was ignored as the mated pair exploited the lame excuse to cuddle. Not that they needed a reason, but as Xander had said the day before, they were 'newlyweds'. In truth, Giles found their display amusing and more than a bit reassuring. Neither man had a good track record with relationships -- if they had finally found their equal then who was he to interfere? Still, he hardly had unlimited time to visit.

"As heartwarming as this little demonstration is, perhaps we might address a few minor details?"

"Hmm?" From his cocoon deep within Spike's arms, Xander heard his mentor's voice. It registered but he made no move to get free of his pleasant snuggle-time. "Oh, details, right. How about this one... Were you ever going to discuss with me your suspicions about my need for, well, being a sub?"

A stronger cough. "Er, that was not exactly what I meant, but yes, now seems as good a time as any." Glasses thoroughly wiped, he pushed them back into place. "To answer your question, I had often thought to broach the subject with you, Xander. However, the timing of such a... personal topic must be precise-"

"Oh drop the formality, Rupert." A quick kiss to the top of dark brown hair. "What he means, luv, is that he had to wait til you got past the denial stage. Wouldn't do much good to offer advice if you're just gonna go running off, screaming and repressing even more."

"Alright, I'll buy that. But the two of you talked about it, about me... and Giles, you knew he wasn't dusty. You were the only one I went to about this. Why not tell me then?"

"I... probably should have handled things better in this instance. Xander, please understand, I care about you a great deal and would never have forgiven myself if you were hurt or... worse."

Spike rolled his eyes dramatically, making sure to let the stuffy Brit see. "Once upon a time, Rupes and I had a chat about your submissive behavior. Then things happened to get in the way, and... it all ended up fine, didn't it?"

Xander shrugged, dislodging his lover's chin from his shoulder. "Guess it doesn't really matter now. I can't regret wasted time, since it took this long for me to find the courage to go looking."

"That is perhaps the most pragmatic outlook I have witnessed in many years."

"Yeah well, there's nothing else to do. Besides, we finally hooked up and now we've got eternity to learn all about each other."

"What?" Hazel eyes speared through Spike. "It would seem that someone forgot to share with the rest of the class."


"Say again?"

"I claimed him, alright? The first Consort in the Aurelius line in centuries. And before ya go off on me, it was his choice, no coercion involved." Battling with his demon to maintain his human features, Spike growled at the older mortal, "There was always something between us, Rupert. Deep down, buried beneath a ton of self-loathing and guilt and expectations, but it was there. When Xan showed up Friday night and his scent hit me, it was like... coming home. I've never felt more whole in my life, before being turned or after the soul. We fit together perfectly, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna sit here and let ya put doubts in my boy's head!"

Giles sputtered his denials, but only the soft touch of his mate's hand gently stroking his cheek drew Spike's attention back to his darling Xander.

"Calm down, Spike, it's alright. What kinda friend would he be if he weren't worried about me?" A tender kiss, lips barely sliding against each other. "Did you mean all that? So soon?"

And the Master vampire melted. "Wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it, dearling. Never hoped ya'd stay once ya found out who I was, and when ya did... I tried, Xan, tried so hard not to push ya away or pull ya too close, let ya make up yer own mind. But I had to have ya."

"And so you do. Forever." A much harder kiss, full of tongue and passion, reassuring them both. "My own, my master."

For several long minutes, they forgot about their guest's presence. Spike even went so far as to cradle his darling boy and carry him to bed before remembering the Watcher. With a quick glance to his lovely, his eyes asked a question that had only been touched on -- briefly -- once before. Xander flushed bright red, but jerkily nodded.

"Rupert, close the door. Don't care if yer on this side of it, or the other." He looked over his shoulder at the stunned man, and grinned. "Won't hurt ya to relax a bit, now will it?"

Giles stood still as a statue while the invitation processed through his stunned mind. Only the slow blink indicated that he was back in the present, before turning to quietly shut the bedroom door. His lips curled into a half smile, he took off his glasses and placed them safely on the dresser.

"What would you have me do?" he asked, his voice neither submissive nor masterful, simply asking for instructions.

"Depends on our Xan, now don't it?" Focusing his full attention on the trembling younger man, Spike laid kisses across the tanned face. "What'll it be, little one? Got anything special in mind, an old fantasy maybe?"

He wondered how he could possibly think, let alone talk, when all the blood in his body was trying to push through the skin of his face. Still, his master expected an answer. "Could I... be between you?"

"Not very descriptive, luv." Petting his consort's twitching stomach, Spike toyed with the buttons on his pants, exchanging a wicked grin with the Watcher. "Do ya mean that ya want us both inside at the same time? Or maybe ya want one of us in yer mouth, while the other pounds yer deliciously tight arse. Or ya could not want either of us inside, instead have Rupert sucking yer lovely cock while my tongue's buried 'tween yer cheeks." So fast that the humans only saw the end result, he pulled Xander's trousers and underwear off in one quick move. "What'll it be, Xan? Tell Daddy what ya want for yer pressie."

Dilated brown eyes bounced between Spike and Giles' faces, his mouth open and panting. "Gah. Do I have to choose just one?"

"Course not, loveling." Only a bit slower than he'd undressed Xander, Spike slid out of his sleep pants and raised an eyebrow at the only clothed person left in the room. "Well Watcher, ya gonna join or take notes?"

As if that was all the impetus he'd needed, Giles began removing each article of clothing, carefully folding them before placing the stack beside his glasses. He knew that this invitation was only for a short term enjoyment, and it brought him a small pang of sadness. Not that he felt that strongly about either man, beyond close friendship and the feeling of family that only survivors of repeated life-threatening situations feel for one another. Still, it would be nice to find his own...

"Sometime today, Giles, please?"

Turning back to face the bed's occupants, his breath caught painfully in his throat. When had Xander grown into such a beautiful young man? Of course, Spike had always been attractive, even during the early days after the chip. But combined... He stalked toward them, face intent and body reacting to the erotic picture the couple painted together.

Spike leaned down to whisper in his lover's ear, "It's alright to enjoy this, little one. Just remember who ya belong to, yeh?"

"Yours, only yours, master."

"Not gonna bite ya with Rupes here, luv. Don't wanna upset the inner Watcher, do we."

"S'ok, Spike, just gah! Can I... kiss him?"

His demon was silent for once, apparently just as ready to watch its Consort with another person as Spike was. "Yeh, wanna see that." He moved to Xander's side, stroking flushed skin and lightly pinching each nipple in turn. "Watcher, yer takin too long."

Giles stood at the side of the bed, taking in the scenery. Whatever doubts he might have concerning the advisability of coming between vampire and its mate were quickly being drowned out by the intoxicating aroma of lust in the air. He leaned forward, fingers skittering across Xander's chest, and pressed his lips to Spike's mouth. "Together," he murmured, then thrust his tongue inside the cool cavern.

Xander gasped in surprise that rapidly turned to burning desire. His lover, his master, kissing the first object of his teenaged homoerotic dreams. The sight nearly took him over the edge. Tentatively, he let his hands move up across each man's shoulders, reveling in the strength, the differences in body type and temperature. And as much as he wanted to take his turn exploring Giles' tonsils, he also wanted to taste other parts of the older man.

Slithering down the bed, careful not to distract his partners, he settled at Giles' hips. The Watcher's aroma was heady and warm, more musk rather than coppery like Spike's. His nose nuzzled at the juncture of thigh and groin, and he let his tongue lightly trace the crease at Giles' hip. Memorizing the different flavors as he went, Xander licked and nibbled his way around the older man's pelvic area before twisting his head to reach the furred ballsac. When his lips caught the crinkled sac and drew them slowly into his mouth, Giles' whole body lurched toward his face.

"Careful, Rupes, our boy don't have that much practice yet."

Satisfied that his master would prevent any serious threats of suffocation, Xander opened his mouth wider and sucked in the hanging globes. Tightly curled hairs tickled his tongue, but that only added to the erotic sensations wrecking havoc on his libido. A warm drop of liquid fell on his chin, and he wiped it off with shaking fingers before tasting that too. Pre-cum. From Giles. Because of the combined efforts of him and his vampiric lover. He had to squeeze hard on his own balls to keep from erupting.

"Lookit our lovely one, so eager an willing. Rupert, yer bound to know a spell for this, something to act like a condom, yeh? Don't wanna take chances with Xan."

He heard and understood, in some far corner of his mind, how master was trying to keep him safe. Tingles raced through his body as the spell went into effect, breaking his concentration long enough to change targets. From this angle, his throat would be more open, easier to swallow *gulp* Giles' thick cock. Xander's eyes nearly crossed, his head hanging off the bed so he couldn't move away for a better look, but there it was in his face. Not as long as Spike's but definitely thicker. His mouth watered and his hands fumbled, but eventually he had the tip between his lips. When he moaned in pleasure, an echo came from above.

"Oh gods, so good. Natural talent."

"Shut up and enjoy, Rupert."

Spike's voice no longer came from above him on the bed, and he opened his eyes. Of course, the main things he saw from this position were a pair of swinging testes... But then there was a second set of legs, pale and wirey, and easily recognized. Letting Giles slowly feed the rest of his length down Xander's throat, the younger man pulled his mentor's legs against the bed frame, securing them so his knees wouldn't buckle when Spike-

"Fuckin hell, yes!"

-did that. Huh. Well this was interesting. And incredibly sensual. Watching his master prepare Giles' ass, those slender fingers doing devilish things, while he practiced deepthroating on the older man's tasty prick. Xander found he didn't much care about his own denied arousal -- it was too good being used like this, for pure enjoyment.

"Damn it all, Spike, if you're going to do it, then do so *now*!"

And that wonderful cock, that Xander knew too well was wise and gifted, pierced Giles' ass, not stopping til he had a second set of balls in front of his eyes. To give in to temptation, or not... A mental smirk (since his mouth was too stretched to do the job), and Xander ran his fingers across Giles' thigh and back to tickle his mate's perineum. From the moans above, and the burst of flavor on his tongue, he figured that they'd both liked that, just a bit.

"Rupert, why dontcha lean over and give Xan a reward. He's got bloody good instincts, don't he?"

And before he could work out what that meant, Xander nearly screamed as a hot mouth closed over his neglected erection. Apparently Giles liked the vibrations on his cock, if the moaning was anything to go by. So Xander started humming and moaning and growling as much as he had air for, and enjoyed reaping the 'reward' his beloved master had offered him. He had to force his eyes to stay open, not wanting to miss the amazing show of pale cock sliding in and out of another man's ass. His own twitched pathetically, jealous and empty.

Spike slowed his thrusts and leaned over, opening the bedside drawer. From his vantage point, Xander couldn't tell what it was he'd retrieved, before his master handed the object to Giles. Broad hands encouraged his legs to part, and since everything felt so damned good, Xander couldn't see why he shouldn't. Warm lips nipped along his leaking prick, keeping him distracted from the fingers moving slowly down toward his butt. Oh. OH! "Oh hell yeah," he muttered around his treat, bending his knees and bracing his feet against the mattress.

"See Watcher, Xan knows what he wants. Now you use lots of that slick, yeh? Don't wanna hurt my boy none."

Two fingertips pressed against his twitching hole, and Xander pressed down against them. There was a slight burn that he welcomed, loving the intensity as every nerve ending in his lower body chimed in with the Halleluljah chorus. His groaning howl of appreciation was met by a chuckle from above, and a similar moan around his dick. Those wonderful fingers went deep, curling to tease around his prostate, and he unconsciously mirrored the action. Spike grunted and pushed back against them, promising wicked delights for his genius mate.

Several minutes passed, wherein each man had to pause to delay their orgasms, before the vampire came to a complete halt. "Right then, time to switch places. Xanluv, up on yer knees. Watcher behind him -- an be careful! Gimme a minute an I'll join ya."

Watching his master's gorgeous cock pull out of Giles' rear was almost as sad as when Spike pulled out of him. Xander drew his head as far back as he could, lightheaded from all the blood rushing down to his brain, and kissed his treat in apology. "Sorry, wish we could all be filled at once, but none of us are that limber."

With one last, tremendous suck, Giles removed his mouth and swatted the younger man's hip. "No matter, the day is far from over." He crawled onto the bed and helped pull Xander into place, petting along his back and over his buttocks. "If I'd known how stunning you were..."

"Shh, no regrets, Giles. You know I'd've run for the hills back then," he offered. Changing the mood back to playful, Xander wiggled his ass against the wonderfully hard prick. Giles' moan made him purr in satisfaction, wanting to preen 'hey, I did that!' And he might honestly have done so, had the Watcher not stopped him with the simple expedient of pushing slowly past his tight guardian muscle.

"Oooofuckmerunninsidewaysss..." His forehead thudded into the mattress even as he pushed back against the older man. A sharp swat to his ass made his head lift back up, coming face to... face *snerk* with his master's clean cock. So this was why Spike had ordered a certain position. Ah well, another mouthful, another assfull, another satisfied Xanman. He hummed happily as he swallowed his lover's length.

He felt more than saw Spike lean forward and grab Giles' shoulders, drawing them together for a steamy kiss. If only he were laying on a table of the perfect height and length, he could watch again. Note to self: draw up blueprints for group sex table, triple reinforced. The construction worker portion of his brain was quickly knocked out cold by a warm hand stroking his dripping prick. Xander cursed himself for not begging for a cockring, if only to make this wonderful afternoon last longer.

"Gods Xan, so lovely like this, full to bursting, stuffed from both ends. Wanna get ya in the middle, yeh? Yer beautiful cock crammed in my arse, while the Watcher here fucks yers nice and hard. Might like to try that meself... Oh fuck, Rupert's face when he's ready to come, gonna have to let you see that at least once, luv. Looks like he's found Divinity in your arse. Ya 'bout there, dearling? Wanna feel ya moan 'round me while ya thrash on his prick."

And that was all it took for Xander to explode. His lover's vivid words, Giles' steady pace, the hand on his dick, even together it wouldn't have forced him to orgasm. But knowing that he was pleasing his mate and their temporary lover, it sent him into orbit. He barely felt or heard either man's exclaimations as they followed him into ecstacy.

T. B. C.

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