FIC: Riders PG-13 (19/30)

This entry is part 19 of 30 in the series Riders
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Chapter 19  Love Is A Banquet

Take me now baby, here as I am

Hold me close, try and understand.

Desire is hunger is the fire I breathe

Love is a banquet on which we feed.

-10,000 Maniacs

Because the Night


Buffy languidly played with a damp curl lying on Spike’s forehead. After their explorations in the water, they had subsequently moved to the bed. Two hours later, her head was lying on Spike’s arm as they lay facing each other. They were both completely sated and unable to summon either the energy or the will to move.

Buffy felt truly content and in her personal life she almost never had that kind of peace. It was such a rarity that while she lay there idly examining her emotions, she was truly amazed to realize what she felt. She’d never before been with anyone as caring and tender as Spike. He’d turned out to be an extremely skilled lover, insatiable-gotta love that vampire stamina- and thoroughly unselfish and giving. He hadn’t just taken her to bed; he’d made love to her, treating her as if she were a rare and precious jewel. No one, not even Angel, had ever treated her that way. It was an incredibly heady feeling. Could she possibly be in love already? Buffy was starting to think so.

Spike, lying beside her, had rolled over and was staring blankly up at the ceiling. Currently he had only succeeded in mustering the energy to run his hand lightly up and down Buffy’s side. He was completely worn out- Buffy’s bloody incredible in bed, must be that Slayer constitution- and more content then he could ever remember being in his entire undead life.

Being with Drusilla hadn’t been like this, there had always been the specter of Angelus hovering in the background of that relationship. Spike had finally gotten the chance to show Buffy just how much affection and love he could lavish on her and it was everything he’d always known it would be. It had been wondrous.

Spike nuzzled her hair and gently kissed the top of her head.

Buffy shifted a little and sighed.

But Spike worried that Buffy might be having second thoughts. What was that sigh? He’d completely opened himself up to her, but what if she hadn’t liked what she’d seen? He was still a vampire, a soulless demon, and she was the Slayer. Just because he’d thought everything had been incredible didn’t mean that she’d thought so, too. Maybe she’d begun to think this wasn’t going to work after all.

“Why are you sighing luv? Is everything alright? Are we still okay?” His voice held a slight note of anxiety.

Buffy searched his aspect and smiled softly. “Everything’s more than okay, it’s perfect.” She ran a finger lightly across his face and his mouth. He caught it between his lips and kissed it.

Buffy rolled onto her back, bit her lip and sighed again. She did have concerns that needed to be voiced.  “Spike, no guy ever stays with me. They all leave, just like Angel did.”

Buffy sounded apprehensive. “This is almost too perfect, we’re too perfect. When we get back to Sunnydale, please tell me you’re not going to leave or go back to hating me.”

Spike kissed her cheek. “First of all, I haven’t hated you in a long time.”  He chuckled.  “Although I may have thought you were extremely annoyin’.”

Buffy snickered. “Mutual.”

“Secondly, Angel is a git. He left to give you a ‘normal life.’ Bloody hell, you’re the Slayer; normal isn’t ever goin’ to be in your vocabulary. Buffy, you’ve always needed someone who won’t tiptoe around tryin’ to make everythin’ ‘perfect’. You just need someone strong you can depend on to watch your back and I’m makin’ a vow to you that I’ll always be here for you.”

“You’ve already been doing that for me. You’ve been right there, watching my back, even before this trip. Yet you give me space to let me do what I feel needs to be done.” She rested her head on her arm and let out a deep breath. “It’s such a relief not to have to pretend to be less than I am. With you, it’s easy to just be me.”

Spike sat up on his elbows and looked down at her. “Buffy, do you have any idea how much I care about you? I mean really care about you? God, woman, do you even have any bloody idea at all how strong, how beautiful you are?  I’m not talkin’ about just on the outside, either.”

He ran his eyes down her naked body and leered.  “Although that’s not too bad either.”

 Buffy chuckled and lightly smacked his arm. “Incorrigible, much?”

Spike’s expression sobered as he looked deeply into her large hazel eyes. He needed to make sure she understood. “You’re strong, carin’ and kind and you have to take care of everyone around you. Being the Slayer is a lonely job and I want to make it a lot less lonely. And just so that you completely understand, you need to know that I’ve had these deep feelings for quite a while now, just been afraid to tell you.”

He leaned down and kissed her lightly on the lips. “I never dared dream it could turn into something like this.” He suddenly grimaced. “Especially since I don’t have a get out of jail free card like Peaches. Him and his bloody soul.”

A frown crossed Buffy’s face. “Yeah, ‘cause the whole ‘soul thing’ worked out so well for me and Angel.” She placed her hand on top of his and continued.

“Spike, you’ve got to believe me when I tell you that this isn’t casual for me either. I care deeply about you, too. I’m not sure when my feelings changed so much, but now I’ve gotten the chance to see who you really are and I like that person very much. Look at how far you’ve come without having a soul. I don’t think that a soul would make you any different and frankly, it doesn’t matter to me. I want you exactly as you are right now.”

Buffy stared deeply into his eyes. She had to make sure he understood. “You’re the man who carried me all the way across a desert. The man who took care of me. The man who’ll still be by my side when I wake up tomorrow. Yeah, you’re a vampire. Trust me, I so get that. I mean, Slayer here. But that’s not all of who you are; it’s just another part of you, just like being the Slayer is another part of who I am.”

Buffy raised her hand and traced his sharp cheekbone. “We’re a lot alike and I can be help for you, too. I’ll be there when things get out of control. We’ll both have someone we can trust and lean on when we need extra strength.”

Spike listened to everything Buffy said with a growing sense of confidence. She really understood him as well as he understood her and he loved her even more for it.

Spike shifted so he could tenderly stroke her face. No matter what happened in the future, he would always be hers, he would be her willing slave. All he’d ever wanted was a chance to stand by her side.

Spike made another vow, this time to himself, that he would willingly dust before he would allow anything to hurt her.

“You’re the first man that has ever tried to let me just be who I am, not what other people want me to be and that’s so rare in my life. I think we’re going to be really, really good for each other.”

She shifted back to her side. Brushing her finger lightly along his bare shoulder and down his alabaster chest, she watched him shudder and moan lightly.

Spike placed his hands on Buffy’s shoulders and gently pushed her back down on the bed. Leaning over her, he trailed tiny kisses and licks from the hollow at the base of her neck up to her ear. When she moaned, he whispered in her ear. “I think we’ve done enough talking, don’t you? Right now, luv, I think we should just be good to each other.”

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