Toeing off her sneakers, Willow noticed Buffy still faltering on the stairs that led to the beach. "Aren't you gonna come down?"
Buffy hesitantly patted the railing. "Nah..."
"Come on, sweet," Spike said, reaching for her waist. "One foot after the other."
"But it's icky."
"No it's not," he laughed, free arm sweeping outward, "look around you. Moon on the water, crashing surf, sand for miles... romantic's what it is." Off her worried expression, he slung away from her and added, "Uh, for some people, I expect."
It was hard not to smile at him then. Vaguely chastened, he smiled back.
She couldn't blame him for slipping -- the anticipation had risen to a deafening fever pitch since the kiss, and all she wanted was to feel his soft tongue again, his fingers weaving into her hair, his hard, warm body pressing against hers; so insistent, so sensual and... so not ready for other people's eyes.
"It'll be extra romantic when I step on a hypodermic needle full of crack."
"Silly Buffy. Crack doesn't go in a hypodermic needle." He turned his back to her and crouched down. "Up you go."
"Huh?" She glanced at Willow and Oz, ambling hand-in-hand to the water's edge.
"Not a princess..." she grumbled, but climbed onto his leather-clad shoulders anyway.
"There now," he said, voice deliberately straining as he stretched to full height, grasp on her ankles. "All the perks of beach-combing without the pesky beach contact. Hey, watch the hair."
"But I like it when it's messy."
"You do?" He made a mental note to never slick it back again... and then he lost his train of thought, because suddenly she was rocking on his shoulders, using his ears for leverage, and saying:
"You're a way better ride than Mr. Whaley."
As much as that statement begged for a retort, he was more interested in the fact that only a thin layer of cotton separated her from the back of his neck. And god, she felt good.
"And no quarter required." Buffy grinned. This piggy-back thing was fun. "Keep walking! Bouncy bouncy bouncy..."
He let slip an agonized groan -- and she halted. "Oh god. I so didn't mean it like that!"
Recovering, he cocked his head. "You sure? 'Cause there are better parts of me to ride--"
"Shhh!" She slumped forward to whisper at him. "Loudmouth."
"Right. That's one of them."
With a not-so-surprised gasp, she slapped his face lightly.
"Oi! Don't smack the transport!" He teased her bare thighs, and she felt that skin-burn again... until he pinched her.
"Ow!" She pinched his ear.
"Ow, ow--" he stopped, and rolled his shoulders. "Wait, hold on -- just thought of something."
"I can drop you."
"Nooo!" she screamed as he bent over to dump her in a pile of dried seaweed.
Giggling, he fell to his knees and draped some over her. "Lookit my pretty little mermaid..."
"You big stupid-head!" She brushed the crinkly black seaweed off, and with a quick glance toward Willow and Oz -- liplocked and in their own world -- she pulled him by his shirt collar and kissed him.
Surprised at first, he became swiftly overzealous, nearly pinning her on the sand.
She raked her fingernails down his quivering stomach, up his thigh...
He growled in her ear.
Oh. God. "Stop, stop," she panted, palm still cupping the outline of his hard-on.
Pressing her hand there, he rumbled in her ear, "Driving me crazy, you know that?"
She nodded, gulped. "Let's go home."
Spike shot up, and outstretched a hand to help her. "Time to go, kiddies."
* * *
Jumping into the car before their friends did, Buffy and Spike were unable to resist adhering for another buttery kiss. As the back doors opened, they uncoupled, smiled guiltily and tried to look bored. Spike turned on the stereo.
It was impossible to keep focused on conversation all the way to Willow's, thanks to the electric charge that zipped between the duo as they exchanged heady, secret glances and scalded each other with the slightest touches.
When Willow got out, she said with a big grin, "Have fun, you two."
Covering her mouth, Buffy laughed -- busted -- and looked at Spike. He raised a brow, and watched Willow and Oz walk away from the car.
Finally, they were alone. She slid over, coiling into his embrace, their lips meeting again.
Enough waiting. She needed him, right now...
When she reached for his buckle, he stopped her and panted, "Not here, baby. Let's do this right."
She searched his eyes, saw that he meant it. Rebel Spike, die-hard romantic.
"How fast can you drive?" she asked, settling on clasping onto his arm as he set the car in motion.
"Watch me break a bloody world record," he sneered, wheels screeching before he finished the sentence.
* * *
Keeping her safety in mind, Spike dutifully kept his face forward, eyes on the road -- even as she licked his ear and nipped at his neck.
Once they entered the driveway, however, all bets were off.
Finally, she thought as she felt his tongue meet hers again.
Finally, he thought as he pondered which bed was closest.
Suddenly, there was a flash of light behind them. Breaking apart, they sought out the source.
"What...?" She looked toward the house.
There were two cars in the driveway -- Cordelia's and Harmony's. And another one was pulling up behind them.
"Oh no!" Buffy realized, horrified. "It's Friday!"
"What's 'at mean?"
"I made plans with -- Shit."
Why didn't he just let her have her way with him in the car? Why? "Want to get out of here? We could go somewhere--"
She was about to say, Hell yeah, when Cordelia showed up out front, squinting into the headlights.
"This is just what I need..." Buffy rubbed her temples.
He didn't want to say this, but, "Should I drop you here, come back later?"
"No, no! No, I need you. Just..."
"Buffy?" Cordelia asked, accosting them. "Is that you?"
"Don't worry pet, I won't give us away."
After giving him a grateful look, she opened the door, putting on her fake voice. "Oh my god, Cordy, I completely zoned! I'm so sorry!"
Spike stepped out of the car, stuck a cigarette in his mouth.
"It is," Cordelia answered her own question, nose awrinkle.
"He has a name. It's Spike."
"Is it staying?"
"Yes, he is."
"That's nice," she said, plastic smile wide. "Anyway, Buffy, there's someone I want you to meet."
The car had parked behind them, and a tall, boxy, dirty-blonde boy was getting out of it.
Buffy whispered harshly, "What did you do?"
"Riley!" Cordelia said, and he nodded as he approached. "This is Buffy. Buffy, this is Riley. He goes to USC with Angel."
Riley extended a hand. "Hi, Buffy. Pleasure to meet you."
Eyes narrow, Spike flicked his lighter.
"Um, hi!" Shaking Riley's hand, she shot a glare at Cordelia.
Riley peered at Spike. "And you are...?"
"He's just a friend," Cordelia said quickly. "Isn't he, Buffy?"
Buffy turned to Spike. "He's--"
"That's right," Spike interrupted, gaze on Buffy. "I was just dropping her off. 'Fore I went back to my place."
"But he's gonna hang with us for a little while," Buffy added.
Cordelia looked from Buffy to Spike. "Uh-huh." She turned to Riley. "Well, what do you say we go in back and get you two acquainted!" She linked an arm through Buffy's and walked her toward the path to the pool.
Over her shoulder, Buffy sent Spike a helpless look.
After taking a deep, slow drag, he followed.
Cordelia leaned in on Buffy's ear. "Now, you listen up. I've had enough of your post-traumatic whatever. Consider this an intervention."
"I don't want to be intervened--"
"Which is why they call it an intervention. Riley's a psych major," she said loudly as he walked beside them, and whispered, "Maybe he can help."