"Mr. Trick!" Mayor Wilkins greeted as he watched his golf ball roll across the floor and narrowly miss the cup. Inhaling deeply, he looked up. "What can I do for ya?"
"Uh, sir?" the Deputy Mayor reminded his boss nervously, "You had an appointment, sir."
"Did we?" He frowned until it came back to him. "By golly, of course we did! Well I'll be a long-deceased man's uncle, where is my mind these days?" He set down his putter and sidled behind his desk. "Now, where did I put that pivotal puzzle piece?" He opened a drawer. "Ah. Here it is." Handing a thick manila package to the vampire, he paused. "You understand I'm trusting you to deliver, this time."
"Neither snow nor rain, nor gloom of night," he took the package and stuffed it into his jacket pocket with a confident wink, "I'm the guy that'll make it all right."
"I like that," Mayor Wilkins chuckled, hands in pockets. "It's a smidge be-bop, rap-hop for my liking, but I can't help it if that's what all you kids are listening to these days." He chuckled again.
Trick arched a brow.
The Mayor stopped chuckling. "Just get it there."
* * *
"I can't believe you were held hostage all alone in that horrible place," Willow said, worry creasing her forehead. "And if we weren't so caught up in our own stupid stuff, we could've saved you."
"Your stuff is not stupid," Buffy assured her, sitting down at the library table. She eenie-meenied a heavy book from the tall stack before her. "And I was saved anyway, so it's all good."
"All thanks to me," Faith breezed, ass parked on the table.
Willow's jealous glare went unnoticed. "But still. The factory... Yick."
"That place is just the place of doom," Xander said, wagging his index finger at the group.
"And despair," Willow said.
"And unspeakable evil, and... Oh god why won't Cordelia call me?" His head fell into his hands.
"Because of the place of doom," Willow supplied. "And Spike."
"You're right. It's all Spike's fault."
Buffy closed her eyes tightly, wishing they'd just move on already.
"No it's not," she heard Willow grumble. "It's our fault. Us and our stupid teenage hormones."
"Must be somethin' about that place," Faith said, juggling her stake from hand to hand.
Buffy's eyes popped open. Don't you dare!
"You think?" Xander asked.
"Yeah. I got a little jazzed there myself. Something in the... I don't know. The smell? Rank and musty, makes you wanna get naked? What do you think, Buff?" She winked.
Tight-lipped, Buffy glared up at her, then caught a glimpse of Willow, nose wrinkled in confusion. "I think I need a soda." She took Faith's arm. "And soda you."
"I don't need--"
"Then keep me company," she gritted, dragging Faith outside.
* * *
"I'm just playin' around, B," Faith said to an incensed Buffy, once they were on the safer side of the library's swinging doors. "What's the big? They got no clue, and they never will."
"This isn't a joke, Faith. This is my life."
"Well, maybe you shoulda thought of that before you got busy with Big Baddie."
"Will you stop with that?" Buffy nervously glanced down the empty hallway, then broke away from Faith and quickly strode towards the lunch room. "I hate that you know this. And I can't believe you didn't tell me that Angel sent you!"
"Figured you had enough on your mind," she said, falling into step beside Buffy. "What with the deep dicking--"
"Okay! Faith! What'd I say about rubbing this in?"
"That only Spike can rub you the right way?"
"Oh my god!" Buffy gaped. "Where do you come up with this trash?"
"C'mon, B," she goaded, pushing open the doors to the lunchroom. "I know what it's like to be dyin' to tell someone the triple-X details when you can't." Once inside, she hopped up on a table beside the soda machine. "Here I am. I already know. So lay it on me."
"No!" She inserted a dollar bill into the machine. "I won't be doing any laying of any kind ever again."
"So it was bad," Faith prompted, nails drumming the table top.
Buffy pressed the Diet Coke button, and was jolted with the sensory memory of Spike holding the chains behind her back, of him thrusting into her, sending sharp tingles up her body, whispering into her ear, You like it?
"No," she whispered, looking down at the fallen can. "It was amazing."
Faith bubbled with laughter. "Sing out, sister!"
Buffy took the soda and sat beside her fellow slayer. As she gazed at the scripted font, turning the can in her hands, she realized she did want to tell someone. "It was so... I can't describe it, you know... he just has this way about him, it's... the way he moves, and talks, and... the way he touched me... like he doesn't care, but he really, really does..."
"Oh, I get it!"
Buffy was yanked out of her reverie. "...What?"
"You got it bad for old Spikey-poo!"
"What?" She shot up, standing and backpedaling. "No! Wait, whoa! I do not have it 'bad' for anyone but Angel!" She added lamely, "...-poo."
"You think so, huh? Last time I checked, straight-up casual sex was about 'then he sucked my titties and fucked me hard', not, 'ooh, the way he is, the way he acts, the way he cares for me!'" Faith cackled.
"I did not say that! I said -- I meant -- there was all that other stuff too! Ugh!" She ambled away in a huff. "I can't talk to you."
"You know what they say about denial, B..." Faith followed.
"I'm not listening..."
"It's not just a slayer who digs the undead..."
"La la la la la..." Buffy clamped her hands over her ears. "Can't hear you!"
"She who gets so hot from the fight she's gotta wrestle 'em naked..."
Their voices fading down the hallway, Spike emerged from his place in the shadows, just outside the lunchroom door. Smirking.
* * *
"Buffy, I trust you'll go straight home after you finish that?"
She didn't look up from her reading. "Huh?"
Giles paused, coat in hand. "I wouldn't want your mother to worry. Or me, for that matter."
"Oh yeah, sure, Giles." She flipped a page. "Not like I have anywhere else to go."
"Alright then. Good luck in your search."
She heard him walk out, footsteps retreating behind her, the door swinging open and shut.
Alone in the library, she sighed. She'd been reading all day. Three Watcher's Diaries, one voluminous vamp history book, two long-winded Watcher's Academy theses, and Trick still remained a mystery. More than a mystery -- he was a mystery wrapped up in an enigma stuffed inside a... an enchilada, or something.
Buffy was skimming a thesis entitled "The Propagation of Vampiric Activity In Climates of Economic and Socio-Political Unrest." Hardly an exciting read. It was like a pulse-pounding thrillride, only without the pulse or the thrill. Or the ride.
Her eyes were losing focus, and her thoughts were lingering in places they shouldn't... Like Spike, on his back, eyelashes low, fingers gripping her hips, the particular tickle that crept up her neck as she rode his-- ... Maybe she could look into some forgetting spells. Or maybe she could quit slaying entirely and go on a sex-filled road trip with Spike. Focus, Buffy, focus.
She came upon the subheading Vampires of the Lesser Antilles. "As opposed to the Greater ones?" Buffy said aloud, "Way to give someone a complex."
She scanned down the page. Blah blah blah, impressive bodycount, blah blah blah, lots of French and Spanish-sounding names, like L'herisson and Sotomayor and DuTrique... DuTrique? She backtracked.
Amidst the tumult and strife plaguing mid-1970s Trinidad-Tobago, black-power leader and rallier Christian DuTrique was said to be killed in the melee of an evening riot in Port-of-Spain's Independence Square. However, several nocturnal sightings were reported years beyond his death, and two local government figures fell victim to "animal attacks" just days following his burial. (31)
It is speculated that DuTrique sired several of his former followers between the years of 1975 and 1979, as many disappeared without a trace. (32) He is believed to have migrated with these minions to the eastern United States in the early 1980s, having eluded Slayer Violet Watson (1982-1984) in Atlanta, and later having financial ties to a nightclub frequented by vampires in Washington, D.C. The nightclub, aptly named "Trick", was burned down in July, 1988 under suspicion of arson. (33) He has not been heard from since.
Well. There it was. The history of Trick. More or less.
So now what?
Informative as it was, this tidbit wasn't exactly useful. She imagined slapping Trick down with a wadded-up thesis while reciting its contents. He'd look at her funny and say, "Why are you telling me about myself, woman?"
She closed the binder, hit by an existentialist pang. All these books, all this hunting, all this energy poured into one vampire... What was the point? Why was she on this single-minded crusade, anyway?
She knew what Faith thought, the annoying little muckraker. She knew it just by her expression earlier, when Buffy'd announced that she had to stop Trick at any cost.
She thinks if I kill Trick, I won't have to think about... what happened.
Well, she's wrong. Trick is evil. He should be killed.
Just like Spike is evil? her conscience whispered. She blanched at her own devil's advocate. Spike is... also bad. But if I see him again... I can't see him again. Ever.
Oh god, she's right.
"Look out behind you," she heard in her ear.
She whipped around, fists first, acting on instinct.
Spike caught her wrists and held them tightly, soul-searching her eyes.
Speak of the devil... The unbelievably sexy devil. Flustered, neck prickling, flashes of memory returning, she said, "Let me go."
He intensified his gaze. "Gonna stake me?"
Not about to clue him in on the effect he had on her -- that voice, that grip, those eyes -- she tested a stern expression. "That all depends on why you're here."
"Not to fight, if that's what you mean."
He let her go and she stood up to face him, fighting the urge to smooth her hair, make sure she looked all right.
"Unless you want to," he added slyly, "'She Who Gets Hot From The Fight'."
She didn't falter -- her features remained taut, indifferent, even as her body temperature rose. "You've been spying on me?"
"Pfft," he hedged.
She arched a brow.
He rolled his eyes and admitted, "Yeah."
"For how long?"
"Not long." He looked up and to the left. "Well, since sundown."
"Three, if you must know."
As creepy as the stalking aspect was, Buffy felt a little thrill that he'd been there as she thought about him. And even more of a thrill that he was still in town, still around, so she could see those eyes, those hands, one more -- Evil. He's evil. Remember the evil. "And what if I hadn't been left here alone?"
He shrugged. "I would've eaten everybody else."
She shut her eyes in disdain. Way to drive home the evil, Spike.
"I'm kidding, Buffy. I don't do that anymore."
"Really?" She folded her arms, unconvinced. "Since when?"
"Is that so?"
"Yeah." He stepped a touch closer and ran a hand up her shoulder, feather light. "You said you couldn't be with a killer. So it's only bagged blood for me, love. From now on."
"So, you're saying, what? A little O-Positive from the hospital?"
"Yeah," he said, hand gliding down, until he noticed the look on her face and changed gears. "I mean -- no! Not human... and not stealing!"
"Not human? What then? Dogs? Stray cats you find around the neighborhood?"
"No!" He dropped his hands, realizing he had one more battle to fight. "Pig's blood! Already dead pigs."
"Uh-huh," Buffy processed. "What about already dead people?"
"Are you sure? What if there was some guy, lying there, dead on the street. Freshly dead. Would you do it? Have a little sip? He's already dead, right, what's the harm?"
"Well, I--" He tried to read the right answer from her face. "No?"
"Iiiis that a question?"
"No!" Spike began to wonder why he was even bothering to ignore his very nature, until he realized that she was doing the very same thing, for him. A staking seemed fairly low on her list right now. Of the wooden variety, anyway. "I'm telling you, I've changed."
"Spike," she sighed. "You threatened to kill my friends less than a week ago. One of them just got out of the hospital. Why would I believe that you've given up killing? And why would you do it for me, just because we...?" She trailed off, once again unable to say it out loud.
"Because," he said fiercely, eyes boring into hers, "you made me feel alive."
For a moment, she was hushed by this proclamation. It was hard to argue with it, considering she felt the very same way. And him, more impressive with the being dead to start with and all... But it couldn't happen again. There had to be a way to diffuse this. Wrong didn't even begin to cover what this could become, what this already was. "You can't just stop! It's in your blood, it's in your head... You won't stop. For me or anyone." She added defiantly, "I don't believe you."
His jaw tightened. "Look. You find me feeding, I give you permission to stake me on the spot, alright?"
"Gee, thanks," she said with a derisive snort, and noticed that his hand had begun a slow, soft journey up her thigh.
She wondered if she could convincingly blame the school's faulty heating for making her shiver uncontrollably. "Stop that." She swatted him away. "Why are you here?"
The corner of his mouth curled up. Head tilting to appraise her every curve, he drawled, "You know why I'm here."
"I do?" Her voice cracked unintentionally.
He nodded, and slowly backed her up against the desk. "Re-enactment."
Oh. God. "But..."
"But what?" Her skin trembled against his lips when he ghosted soft kisses on her neck.
She pushed him off, palms lingering on his flexed pectoral muscles for a beat longer than they should. "Everything, for starters."
"Angel, for one," she managed levelly, watching him do that thing with his tongue against the roof of his mouth that turned her knees to jelly.
"I don't see him around here, do you? Nobody's looking... Is that how it goes?" He bent forward, mouth on a collision course with hers...
She arched backward. "I told you. Stop it. I love Angel."
"So I've heard. I've also heard you hate him, and it's over. Which is it, love?"
She exhaled through flared nostrils. "None of your business. And I'm not your 'love'."
"Oh, I think it is..." His finger trailed down the cardigan sleeves that were tied at her collarbone, down her blouse. "And I think you are."
"You're... Stop it!"
She grasped his hand before it grazed her nipple. "I said... stop."
"I said... make me."
She meant to, she really did, but after a few seconds her hand was still clasped over his, following his feathery movements up and down her sensitive nipple.
He felt her flesh crinkle and protrude at his touch, smiled as he recalled how much she loved to have them sucked...
No, no, not good. She shrunk back, diverted his hand, tried another tack. "You don't have a soul."
Unfazed, his fingers travelled under the hem of her skirt. "Don't have a curse either."
"Well..." she gulped, god, he's making me wet, "I don't love you. I can't..."
He tugged her close and pressed his lips against her ear. "Do you want me?"
"No," she lied, eyes closing, breath hitching, hand involuntarily brushing across his denim-covered hard-on.
"All I need to know." Surging against her hand, he kissed her ear, her cheek, grazed her mouth--
Buffy evaded the kiss. "What if someone finds out?"
She'd evaded, and he knew that by 'someone' she meant 'Angel', but her voice had lowered to a shallow-soft, flirtatious pitch, and her hand hadn't moved. The battle was won. "We'll deny it." He lightly nudged her chin to face him. "Can we start the dream now?"
She hazarded a quick glance past his shoulder to the center of the library floor. "What if the Hellmouth opens?"
He didn't turn his head, said solidly, "We'll deal with it."
"Won't know 'til we open it," he said, inching her skirt upward with his thumb. God, she smelled so good...
"Is that your evil plan?"
"No," he said, voice lowering, eyebrow cocking. "I have a different evil plan. Want to see?"
She gasped as he ran his fingers over the thin, moist fabric covering her clitoris.
Watching her face contort in ecstasy as she rode his fingertips, he said, "Yeah?"
Yeah, she thought. And what if it opened? They'd beat it down, that's what. Or, they'd go out with a bang.
She coasted a hand over his shirt, across his chest.
He hissed, her touch burning him. "Buffy..."
She pressed a finger to his lips, face tantalizingly close to his. "This is the part where you kiss me."
He didn't waste a moment. Kissing, again, finally, god how he missed those lips, that tongue, that ass, and oh yeah, remember to put her up on the table...
Moaning into his mouth, she fumbled with his belt buckle.
He yanked off her panties, got them caught on her shoes, and hurriedly dropped the shoes to the floor as well.
Leaning against the high stack of books on the table, she quickly unzipped and pushed his jeans down, palmed his balls, held his rigid shaft and guided him in.
Eyes heavy-lidded, hands hooked under her knees, he teased, "No foreplay?"
"You wanted it to be accurate," she said breathlessly, bringing him to her threshold. "The re-enactment...?"
"Works for--" He pushed through, and in, and "Oh..." Spike once again found himself swearing off biting for good. Unless it was Buffy, of course, and she really wanted him to taste her...
"Oh..." She took him in, ever so slowly, and almost laughed at the pure bliss of it. Reality? So much better than her dreams.
Spike couldn't help but groan in relief when he was fully sheathed.
"Yeah," she heard herself pant when he began to move.
"Like this?" he asked her, pelvis pitching slowly, fingers pressed deep into her thighs. "This how it went?"
She bucked against him in answer.
"Harder?" he asked, and she nodded. God, if this wasn't the woman for him... Clenching his teeth, he drove into her deeply.
"Unh!" Frustrated, she pushed a bit of the bookpile behind her out of the way.
Getting the message, Spike fanned his arm across the surface, catapulting books and binders and random looseleaf pages through the air, making way.
Buffy propelled herself backward on the table, pulling him by his coat lapels, dragging him along for the ride.
He climbed up and took her head in his hands, slipping his tongue into her mouth as he penetrated her soft, receptive pussy again, again, again. She wrapped her legs around his back, threaded her fingers through his hair, and worked him into a savage rhythm. The table shook and thumped beneath them.
"Best dream I ever had," he managed between thrusts.
Dazedly, she smiled. "It's recurring... so we're gonna have to... do it again."
"Bad girl," he said, voice strained. "Such a bad... bad... girl." He kissed her ear. "I love it."
Yeah, this was better than any dream, anything, anyone... yes, anyone, ever. No matter what happened next, he'd always be the man who taught her what life could be like without inhibition. "Always you," she mouthed silently into his ear.
He slowed, extending his arms to look down at her. "What'd you say?"
"Nothing," she said, body buzzing, making sure he didn't stop... and blushing because he'd heard her little slip. You're gonna take that the wrong way, aren't you, but I don't care, because oh god, the pumping, so good, don't stop, don't stop now, don't you ever...
He saw something flash through her eyes, something he'd seen before; the last time. Not exactly love, not strictly need, but something strong, something fierce. Something like...
And fine... he was hers. Forever chained to her side.
"Don't stop," she gasped, and pulled him down by the nape of his neck to feel that mouth on hers again. "Mmph... Never stop."
He tore away from her to promise, "You've got me for life, you know."
"Spike?" She pushed his chest upwards, fire sparkling in her irises. "You never talk this much in the dream."
He grinned. "More action, then. Got it." He shrugged off his jacket, yanked his shirt over his head, and swooped down to tend to her properly.
* * *
Angel noticed the bulky manila envelope perched on his mantle as soon as he entered the room. Picking it up, he inspected the label.
ANGELUS - WATCH AND YEARN
He ripped off the top, dumped it into his hand, and a black unlabeled VHS tape fell out.