"Oi, Superbitch!" Spike kneed her thigh. "Summers! Wake up!"
She groaned in her sleep and turned on her side, facing away from him.
"What's it take?" he gritted, on the brink of giving up. "Oi! Slayer! Horny naked vampire in your bed!"
Buffy's head popped up, eyes shut tight, hair a mess. "Huh?"
"Right," he sighed, question answered.
At once, the pain struck her like a wrecking ball. Head throbbing, arms stinging with pins and needles, wrists aching as if bruised, she attempted to nurse her wounds -- and encountered the same obstacle he had.
"What...?" She looked up at the headboard and tugged, still confused.
"Not even the half of it," Spike said.
She spun too quickly, twisting her arms even more painfully. Glowering, the name darted from her tongue like poison: "Spike?"
He pursed his lips. "Expecting some other bedmate, were you?"
Peeved as he was, he couldn't help but be entertained by her inevitable expressions of shock, realization, chagrin and ultimately, out-and-out horror.
"Where are my clothes? Where are your--? Oh god! What did you do to me? What the hell did you do?" She scrambled around while pulling on the shackles, attempting to escape while indelicately shielding her nudity. "I swear to god, if you..."
"Heaven forbid your pristine virtue was harmed," he muttered.
She wheeled around and kicked twice -- first his kneecap, then his thigh.
"Gah!" Unable to defend himself, he shouted, "Bloody hell, Slayer, watch where you're kicking!"
She poised a leg, narrowed her eyes and threatened, "You tell me exactly what's going on this second, or so help me I lock in and destroy."
"I haven't the faintest! I woke up same as you, all chained up and birthday-suited!" Sensing what she was really worried about, he supplemented, "I didn't touch you last night, if that's what
you're implying. The thought makes me ill."
Both relieved and insulted, she blustered, "Like you could have."
"Oh, believe me, I could have. Could've slaughtered you and had a party, the state you were in." Her foot flexed. "But I didn't, did I? We got pissed and passed out, end of story."
She arched a single brow.
"Well," he shook his wrists, "except for this."
"The factory," she whispered in recognition, and turned her back to him again. "Last night... We came here together?"
"Yeah, willingly, even. Proof of the power of alcohol, us two getting chummy. You don't remember anything?"
"It's coming back. Unfortunately." She jerked the chain, grunting rather daintily. "Who did this to us?"
"Got me," he shrugged. "Thought it might be your boyfriend, but this really isn't his style. Where's the fun without the torture, right?"
Irritably, she said, "He's got his soul again, dimwit. And he's not my boyfriend, remember?"
"Right. How could I forget after all the blubbering on my shoulder last night?"
"I did NOT blubber, and I would never go anywhere near your shoulder! Sniffled a little, maybe, but -- oh god, was I in your lap?"
"Wasn't fun for me either," he assured her.
Buffy whimpered. "This sucks beyond all sucking."
"And now that the glaringly obvious has been stated, I could use a bit of super-strength here."
She glanced at him over her shoulder. He gestured at the headboard.
"Oh." She focused on her chains. "They've been welded shut?"
"At every possible break. Whoever did this knows what we're capable of."
"And had power tools? Shouldn't we have heard something?"
He smirked. "The same way you heard me hollerin' bloody murder at you for the last twenty minutes?"
"Wow," she said. "I'm usually a light sleeper."
"Yeah. Whiskey's funny like that."
Buffy mentally checked off her list of enemies, past and present. It didn't add up. "Who would want to chain us up to each other naked? Where's the logic in that?"
"Well, I for one would like to get unchained before I find out."
"Not arguing there."
"Anyway, I think we can crack it, long as we give it our all."
"Piece 'a cake," Buffy said, and resigned to a humiliating match of Co-ed Naked Metal Twisting alongside the unlikely teammate that was her most reviled enemy. Her only consolation was that she could kill him as soon as they busted free. And then, if the headache didn't go away, she could kill herself.
With that shared impetus driving them on, they huffed, puffed and hauled with every ounce of their strength for several minutes... but the metal remained stubbornly intact -- and decidedly untwisty.
She called for a breather and turned to him. "Magical binding, maybe?"
"Maybe," he said, blearily eyeing the restraints. "But I'd wager the real magic here's in our hangovers."
"You are not kidding," she said, clamping her eyes shut. "Now I know what it must feel like to get a root canal. On your brain. How can you live like this?"
"Not so bad really, long as you don't get chained up so far away from the hair o' the dog that bit." He nodded at the splatter on the wall.
"That does it. I'm never drinking again -- doghair or any other bitey thing."
He shrugged. "Each his own."
She sighed, the pain stirring anew. "Maybe we should wait 'til one of us gets our strength back, or 'til someone..." she caught a glimpse of her body and panicked, "...finds us naked and chained together; we really need to get out of here."
"With you all the way, pet." He inspected the headboard. It wasn't a particularly strong one: carved of wood and upholstered in fabric. So what on earth was that hulking metal bar attached to? Did it run all the way through to the brick wall behind them? "There's got to be something worth loosening at the corner here. If you run your chains over here, we can pool our strength--"
"No way," she scoffed, face screwed in distaste.
"I'm not lying naked under you!"
"Look," he reasoned with her, "the faster we get out of here the faster we can forget this ever happened."
She considered this. "You'll leave for good this time?"
"Cross my heart and hope to fry."
"If only," she said with an eye roll. "Look, I'll do it, but just... keep your naked parts away from me."
He answered with his own eye roll.
"And no peeking," she warned testily before flipping onto her back and gliding her link along the horizontal bar.
"Tell me, what in our history makes you think I'd be interested?"
"You're a guy? For all I know, you set this whole thing up."
"Please." Carefully, he mounted her, keeping contact at a minimum. "Like I'd get all strung up just to see you starkers. Keep dreamin', Blondie." He peeked. "Or not so Blondie as it turns out."
"You--" Her knee jerked.
"Ah ah ah," he taunted, now that her legs were trapped snugly under his.
He leaned toward her. "Now, pull."
Scowling, she counted to three.
As the impassive iron continued to mock the struggling pair in their numerous attempts, they began to face a different kind of crisis.
Spike couldn't figure it out. Slayer muscles and gymnast flexibility aside, the thought of nailing his nemeses had never appealed -- that is until Buffy's bronzed, writhing, sweat-sheened body wantonly tricked him into arousal. He told himself it had nothing to do with her in particular -- it was just the way she was vocalizing; the way she was arching her back so her nipples tickled his skin; the way she was trying so hard not to look at him...
Buffy had never felt so humiliated. It was bad enough that she was forced to expose herself like this -- and to Spike, of all people -- but worse still, her body was reacting in all the wrong ways. She tried to train her mind to another place, but she couldn't control her nerve endings' traitorous response to his closeness -- the way his chest appealingly enveloped hers, the way he managed to expel air from his lungs to breathe on her face and neck, the way he growled deep and low with each effort.
To their mutual dismay, the other's presence was becoming intoxicating and impossible to ignore.
She didn't look at him as she stopped to ask, "Is it even budging?"
"Not sure. Hard to see through all the blinding headache."
"Tell me about it."
"One last," he said. "Give it your all."
"Unh!" she grunted, hips rising with the effort.
Now that was just too much. Spike responded, physically and fully.
Buffy gasped when his erection stabbed her thigh.
They froze, and an awkward moment passed. "You were wiggling," he explained ineptly.
"Not on purpose," she said, far less incensed than he expected her to be.
He noticed she was blushing. And that was a first. "Here, I'll move off--"
"I don't think I can do this," she said.
"Buffy, I swear I'm not trying to--"
"No, I mean, I think I should turn around." ...Away from his chest and his breath on her face; away from the temptation and excitement and confusion he was causing. "I might get better leverage."
She wanted to turn around and press her ass against him? Had she any idea what that would unleash in him? "No," Spike said, shaking his head.
He marveled at how she could be so strong and so smart, yet so innocent. "Just take my word for it."
"Oh," she breathed, getting it.
Christ, the things he could teach her. "Right. One last go, and then we'll rest a bit, yeah?"
She nodded, and again they gathered their collective might to heave and ho the headboard off.
This time, as she shimmied against him, he became so mesmerized by her mouth -- lips glistening, teeth grit into an alluring grimace -- that he accidentally let his throbbing erection slip between her lower thighs. On contact, a slippery liquid coated him -- one that was definitely not sweat.
He was shocked into stillness.
Gasping for breath, her eyes met his.
On the edge of a precipice, they stared at one another.
Her riotous hormones spurring her on, Buffy couldn't help but wonder: If she had only one night left, if she was facing certain death, would it be so bad? Wrong, yes -- her head spun at the wrongness of it. But bad...?
Held in thrall by those piercing blue eyes, she found herself saying, "We might not get out of this."
"I don't like you," she said weakly.
"I don't care."
After a beat, Buffy decided, "Me neither."
Their mouths nearly touching, Spike drew back. This wasn't going to be some quick roll in the hay, was it? This was going to change everything; he could already feel it unraveling him from within. "Stop me. Tell me to stop."
I should, her mind reasoned, but her body didn't comply: it only wet her lips and spread her legs.
The next moment seemed to occur in slow motion: Spike inched up, angling his torso, and eased forward.
"Please Buffy, tell me to stop."
She swallowed, and said huskily, "Don't stop."
Her words curled around him the way her legs did -- urging him closer, inviting him in.
And he thought he was the evil one.
The tip of his cock nudged her slick opening. She hummed in encouragement, and he slid inside with deliberate, measured strokes, his jaw firmly clenched.
Each centimeter of her was exquisite, he discovered, finger-cuff tight and pillowy soft: her interior muscles enveloped him like warm, slippery velvet and reduced him to a quivering wreck.
Giving in to the blissful sensation, it faintly occurred to Buffy that this honor, the second time, was supposed to be reserved for the man she loved -- but Angel was someone she couldn't have, ever again. Spike, who was someone she shouldn't have, was proving to be everything she needed -- right now.
Strange, she thought, how shoulds and should-nots become irrelevant once you're hogtied to a headboard.
When at last he was buried to the hilt, their gasps combined into one caught breath.
A look of bewilderment passed over his features when he realized there wasn't anywhere else he'd rather be.
"Buffy," he exalted as they began to move in unison.
"Spike." It shouldn't feel this good, Buffy knew. Nothing should feel this good, especially this, with him... "Don't stop."
"Won't," he promised. "Can't."
"Good," she whispered in his ear, and he lost it.
Snarling, rattling at his chains, he pumped harder and faster, eliciting sweet cries of delight. Suddenly it maddened him that he couldn't touch her, couldn't run his fingers along her glorious skin, couldn't lathe his tongue over her every curve, couldn't love her completely.
Spike wanted it all. Every bit of her.
She slid her heels up to his lower back, down over his ass and back up again. Hips rising to meet his pounding thrusts, Buffy knew this wouldn't be enough.
She wanted more. She wanted it all.
* * *
"What's so funny, Mr. Trick?" Mayor Wilkins asked, cleaning his hands with a WetNap after conducting his daily ritual.
"Well, Mr. Mayor, it looks like our girl doesn't just slay vampires." He spun the monitor his way.
The mayor winced. "Oh, for heaven's sake, that's profane! That's disgusting! Turn that garbage off!"
Trick flipped a switch, and the picture shrunk to a pinhole and disappeared.
Looking a little shaken, Wilkins paced to the window and squinted through the horizontal blinds. "This puts us in a bit of a pickle, doesn't it, Mr. Trick?"
"With a side o' cole slaw," the vampire conceded from his dark corner.
"You know, in my day, slayers were upstanding young citizens. But now, give 'em a snootful of moonshine, kick off their bloomers and anything goes! Teenagers these days." The mayor shook his head in disdain. "No
scruples. Any thoughts, Mr. Trick?"
"You mean, other than 'My god, that's one freaky slayer and why aren't I chained up to her?'"
"Now, now." He turned to regard him. "You know I don't allow filthy talk in my office. I'm a family man."
The vampire smirked and got down to business. "Well, it's obvious the guy doesn't have Slayer Slaughter 3 on the brain."
"Not even at the height of passion? Isn't that what you vampires do after all?"
Trick shook his head slowly. "Old wives' tale. We don't mix business with pleasure."
"Well, ya learn something new every day. Funny how that is." Wilkins looked off into the distance. "I should have guessed that little prank the Akalam brothers pulled would only lead to trouble." He sniffed and said briskly, "I suppose, now, we'll have to cut our losses and leave Angel out of the equation. Such a shame. I was really looking forward to seeing that."
"I wouldn't give up on him just yet," Trick said.
Hands still in pockets, Wilkins twisted his torso to face him. "Wouldn't you?"
Trick strolled to the center of the room. "This juicy little development calls for only a slight adjustment to the plan, and by slight I mean even better. Angel sees them like this and goes buck-wild on both of 'em. Maybe he even attacks her and it's bye-bye soul, hello Angelus -- and hello new right hand man."
The Mayor beamed.
"If not, we still got the frame-up. Slayer's bloodhound gang takes their petty vengeance, and we call it a day."
"I like the way you think, Mr. Trick!" Wilkins laughed with a snap of his fingers. "Yes indeedy!" He sat down at his desk and drummed its surface. "Welp, the sooner the better. This Spike character is proving to be a real variable here, and I don't need to tell you how much of a threat that is to my campaign."
"The brothers are already on it. It'll all go down by sunset."
"Uh-huh. Tell me again how rock solid the restraints are?"
Trick grinned. "Akalam-molded and blessed by a Vago, can't get more solid than that. Ashford and Simpson's love was never so solid -- it'd take ten slayers to destroy it. Even if they were in a hurry to escape, which judging by the intensive boot-knocking isn't the case, they'd need some serious mojo to bust through that rig."